Everyone To Blame
Before getting into the specifics of last night’s horrible loss, I just wanted to point out what ended up being the epitome of a Twins’ inning as of late:
In the top of the fifth inning, with the Twins trailing 2-0, September call-up Matt Tolbert tripled to deep center field (pictured above). So, in what looked to be a sure one run, both Carlos Gomez and Denard Span struck out, while Alexi Casilla grounded to second. Inning, rally, and perhaps game, over.
Yet, there actually turned out to be quite a few fireworks in this game, just not a whole lot for Twins fans. Joe Mauer’s bases-loaded double briefly put the Twins ahead 3-2 in the seventh inning, but the Jays tied it up again when Nick Punto couldn’t handle a routine grounder.
The Twins then got a huge clutch hit from Brendan Harris to go up 4-3 heading into the ninth, but Joe Nathan once again melted (could not find the plate) and Toronto tied it up.
In extras, the Twins kept going down 1-2-3, while the Jays rallied every inning. In the tenth, Nathan escaped a bases-loaded one out jam. In the eleventh, Eddie Guardado was called from the pen and promptly gave up two hits, to be quickly removed in favor of Boof Bonser. Toronto’s McDonald quickly blasted a double off Boof and won the game.
-Two weeks ago, I said that if the Twins could hang with the White Sox through this long road trip, we would have the advantage down the stretch. However, if our starting pitchers keep turning in short starts and the bullpen keeps blowing leads, this pennant race will crumble as fast as it did in 2001.
-You know your bullpen is in trouble when Bonser must be summoned in extra innings in a crucial situation. Yikes.
Preview (77-62, 2nd, 1.0 GB CWS): Kevin Slowey (11-8, 3.70) vs. Jesse Litsch (9-8, 4.01).