An Exercise In Frustration
As the above picture illustrates, tonight’s contest against the Oakland Athletics was a study in frustration.
The game immediately got off on the wrong foot when Nick Blackburn’s first offering to Mark Ellis was punched over the left field fence. Only briefly did the Twins do anything to mount a comeback after that point.
As the A’s continued to scratch runs across the plate to take a 3-0 lead after four innings, the combination of Justin Duchscherer (before leaving due to injury), Kirk Sarloos, and Alan Embree stifled the Twins’ offense through seven innings.
The Twins did put together a mini-rally in the eighth inning that led to two runs off former closer Huston Street and submarining newcomer Brad Ziegler. However, Ziegler found his groove again in the ninth and escaped with the 3-2 victory.
Finally, adding insult to injury, Twins’ starting shortstop Adam Everett was hit in the hand by a foul ball while sitting in the dugout and had to be removed from the game to have X-rays taken.
All in all, just not a good night for the Twins. Whether it be leaving men on base or committing uncharacteristic errors, the Twins were guilty of pretty much everything tonight. About the only positive to be taken from the tilt is that Blackburn was able to pitch into the eighth inning, give at least some rest to a beleaguered bullpen.
The quicker this loss is behind the Twins, the better.
Preview (70-54, 2nd, 1.0 GB CWS): Kevin Slowey (9-8, 3.94) vs. Sean Gallagher (4-5, 4.50). The Twins beat themselves tonight, so eliminating mental mistakes can still lead to a series victory starting tomorrow night.