No More Excuses
When the usually steady Minnesota Twins’ bullpen began struggling early in the month of August, I made every excuse I possibly could to exonerate them, mostly playing up the fact that the starting pitchers were not pitching deep enough into games to give the bullpen a fair shake. Well, after a month of almost constant bullpen struggles, there are no more excuses…the bullpen had better get its act together, and fast.
Today, in front of a huge crowd and national TV audience, the Twins were leading 4-2 after seven innings, thanks primarily to RBI doubles from Jason Kubel and Carlos Gomez earlier in the game. Baker had given up just three earned runs in those seven innings and looked to finally pick up another victory (lately, he has been the Brad Radke of the staff in terms of no-decisions). But then, Gardy called the pen.
After Baker issued a walk in the top of the eighth, Gardy called for Dennys Reyes, who promptly allowed an absolute tattoo home run from Curtis Granderson. Reyes was quickly pulled in favor of Matty Guerrier, who gave up a single and then another dinger (this time to Magglio Ordonez) to give the Tigers a 6-4 lead.
With the White Sox winning a dramatic, 15-inning game against the Angels when Jim Thome hit a long, walk-off home run, the Twins are quickly going in the opposite direction, LOSING a heartbreaking game.
-Cuddy, Cuddy, wherefore art thou Cuddy? The gaping hole in the Twins lineup usually filled by Michael Cuddyer was embarrassingly exposed in the ninth inning of today’s contest. While nearly every Twin put together a good at-bat that inning (even Mauer in striking out), Gomez (who would be on the bench if Cuddy was healthy) flailed at three pitches and K’d, giving the Tigers an easy out.
Preview (78-64, 2nd, 2.5 GB CWS): Glen Perkins (12-3, 4.08) vs. Chris Lambert (0-1, 6.75). With mid-September approaching, the phrase “must-win game” comes into play at this time. This chance to win a home series qualifies as exactly that.