Results tagged ‘ Alberto Callaspo ’
Up until just recently, the Minnesota Twins had owned the Kansas City Royals. During the “division title years” earlier this decade, the Twins would routinely come into KC and get fat both at the plate and on the mound. Recently (the past few seasons), though, the Royals have morphed into one of our toughest divisional opponents. Though perennial cellar-dwellers (although I won’t gloat too much, as I, having grown up in the 1990s with Twins Baseball, know what that is like), the Royals seem to bring their A-game when the Twins come to town. The first two games of this series only served to continue that trend, with the Twins and Royals playing each other very tough, right down to the wire.
That being said, today the Royals reverted back to their old ways and gave the Twins a much-needed victory. Glen Perkins was by no means perfect (allowing 10 hits over seven innings), but the Royals could only muster a measly one run for all their efforts. More daunting, though, were the defensive miscues, such as a ball that went right through the wickets of second baseman Callaspo, and a ball lost in the sun by Willie Bloomquist. John Bale walking in a run even put a cap on things. For a time, and had the Twins not needed a win so badly I would have felt worse, I felt bad for the boys in royal blue, as this kind of play just seems to be their kind of lot in life. I know how difficult it is to compete in today’s game without a large payroll, and the Royals continue to get bit time and time again. Whenever a guy gets good (Johnny Damon, Carlos Beltran, etc.) he gets shipped somewhere else, or else a player that once looked great suddenly falters and is gone within a year or two (too many to count).
The Twins were actually really lucky back in the early 2000s to have the nucleus (Santana, Hunter, Jones, Koskie, Dougie Baseball, Guzman, etc.) come together so quickly. The Royals have not been so lucky, instead reduced to playing “payroll roulette” and hoping the hit the jackpot. Were it not for the fact that the Twins need to make a living by beating them, I would love to see the Royals develop into a competitive franchise once again.
Preview (41-39, T-2nd w/CWS, 3.0 GB DET): Lucas French (0-0, 0.00) vs. Kevin Slowey (10-3, 4.41). The fact that the Tigers, playing in perhaps the most important series of their season so far (as are the Twins), are sending a guy making his major league debut to the Metrodome mound tells you something about where they are right now pitching-wise. Hopefully the Twins can take advantage of it.
Weren’t we all afraid this was going to happen? Coming off what is traditionally the hottest part of the season for the Twins, Interleague Play, the Minnesota players and fans came into Kansas City on a high. Sure, we were only a game over .500, but we had been playing better baseball (especially on the road) and still (if only by default) in the AL Central division race. Then we lay on egg against the Royals with our best pitcher on the mound.
Besides a two-run blast from Justin Morneau, the Twins couldn’t muster any offense against KC’s Luke Hochevar. I believe we had one hit through five or six innings against him. Once again, the lineup that can (at times) put some crooked numbers on the board wilted on the road against a team we should handle fairly easily. Not once in the game did two consecutive batters get a hit.
On the flip side, Nick Blackburn pitched a decent game, but seemed to be just a little “off” from his normal self. He wasn’t getting first-pitch strikes, and the hitters seemed to be really teeing-off when they got their pitch (thus the two home runs from Callaspo and Olivo). However, this was probably just the case of a pitcher (as sometimes happens) not having his best stuff, and battling through it. He kept us in the game, at the very least, although with the kind of stink our offense was wallowing in it really wouldn’t have mattered anyway.
Now the pressure is on to win the final two games of this series…as that is what a contending team should do.
Preview (39-39, 2nd, 4.0 GB DET): Scott Baker (5-6, 5.17) vs. Brian Bannister (5-5, 4.17)