Changes Will (Or Should Be) Made
Yeah, yeah, I know…the Twins finally got a big win (bats-wise) on the road tonight in Oakland. Another game closer to catching the Tigers in the AL Central “race”.
However, when a team is leading 10-0 in the bottom of the ninth and the CLOSER has to come in to get the SAVE, something is wrong with that team.
I can excuse Baker, as he pitched a gem up until the ninth and maybe just ran out of gas. However, if I were Ron Gardenhire, I would be pretty perplexed/frustrated by the performance of the other relievers. Jesse Crain was horrible, as usual these days, and (much like Juan Rincon last year) could be nearing the day when he finds a pink slip in his locker. Jose Mijares couldn’t find the strike zone with a navigational device, which further extended the pen. Of course, Nathan then came in and slammed the door shut.
So, although the Twins picked up the “W” in this one, I can’t imagine that the mood in the clubhouse was too jovial. I know that Gardy may have tried to make it that way in accordance with his even-keel philosophy, but each and every member of that terrible inning (Alexi Casilla included) knows they could have easily blown a game tonight.
Preview (29-31, 2nd, 4.0 GB DET): Francisco Liriano (2-7, 6.12) vs. Dallas Braden (5-5, 3.41).