Thursday, September 4, 2008

Short Rant

I can't write a whole lot today, if only because I'm sure to punch a hole through anything/anyone if I start getting worked up again. Last night was a pitching and fielding abomination. A complete meltdown. A glimpse of hell.

Our starter, Nick Blackburn, had pitched six very good innings and had a nice 3-2 lead after Joe Mauer cleared the bases with slicing double to the left-field gap. Things felt pretty good at that point... then they turned to crap. Blackburn started the inning off well enough, getting two of the first three batters out, which left Kevin Mench on second base with two down. That's when Nick Punto - normally a sure-bet to make an inning ending play - biffed on a hot grounder to short. The ball bounced off his glove and arm, but somehow he didn't knock it down. Mench came around to score, tying the game at three. Folks, if Punto makes that play, the inning is over and it's possible that none of the following happens.

Five pitches later, Matt Tolbert makes a beautiful stop at third base, but fails to connect with Justin Morneau on the throw. The ball ended up in the stands, which thankfully stopped the runners from advancing. Then, inexplicably, Gardenhire removes Nick Blackburn from the game with just 84 pitches thrown. There is no more ridiculous move that could have been made in that situation. Quick Recap: Blackburn gets (seemingly) two ground-ball outs, then is removed from the game? Was he pointing a gun at Tolbert? Did he lunge at Punto with a knife? Why take him out? He's still effective, the bullpen obviously isn't capable of closing out games... what was the deal? Dammit, I'm getting pissed off again.

As we all know, Matt Guerrier pitched 1 1/3 innings of spotless relief before giving way to the suddenly-helpless Joe Nathan, who once again barfed up a terrible performance when the team needed a pick-me-up. Forget the Pridie error... Nathan hasn't looked good for over a week... he's letting tons of men reach base, and isn't giving himself a chance to close out the game (read: isn't giving the TEAM a chance to win). I'd never suggest a change with the kind of pitcher he is, but this is getting ridiculous. The bats are producing and the pitching can't hold down an opponent? AARRRRGGHHHH!!!!!

Here's a sweet post from someone named "The Wombat" in the Twins message board area:

Well, hindsight being 20/20 and all, maybe we should have done more for the bullpen at the trading deadline. Regardless, there's no debating where to lay the losing record from this road trip.


4-2; 80.9 IN; 89 H; 30 R; 27 ER; 17 BB; 52 SO; 3.00 ERA


1-6; 31.8 IN; 30 H; 17 R; 15 ER; 10 BB; 23 SO; 4.25 ERA

1-6?!?!?! Incompetence hardly describes this. I would've been happy with a 7-7 record coming out of this road trip, and we should have been able to accomplish that. Bullpen my ass. Try Pig pen.

My sentiments, exactly.

The 11th inning loss was tough to take, but none of that crap would ever have happened without the earlier bloopers.

Sometimes, I wonder why I even bother to watch. Slowey vs. Litsch tonight at 6:07 p.m... hoping for better things. I'll be watching football.

I'll try to write something more coherent tomorrow... thanks for reading!

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