Tuesday, September 28, 2010

This Twins losing streak, no big deal!

As the Twins slog through their post-clinch losing streak, the fan base is getting a little (a lot) upset. Reactions are ranging from general grumbling day-to-day to the more specific rips on "Fat" Gardy ruining the team. So, what is going on here? Does this blow it for the Twins in the playoffs? Please! As I said early in the year, There is still nothing wrong with the Twins!

I'm not worried!

In 1987, the Twins lost all 5 games after they clinched. They managed to win the World Series. The 2000 Yankees went 3-15 after they clinched. They won 3 rounds of playoffs including the World Series 4 games to 1. These are two examples of teams that have been fine.The Twins are 1-5 since they clinched, but their probable first round opponent, the Yankees, have only gone 2-5 in that same time period.

The Twins have been great at home this year going 52-25 and on the road, they end this night 40-40. The 5 games in a row they have lost have all been on the road.

The Twins haven't had their best position players. Mauer and Thome haven't played in one game since the team clinched, due to some nagging injuries. They are my MVP and runner up for the 2010 season. In place of Mauer, the Twins have had 4 games of Jose Morales and his .188/.282/.219 line and 2 games of Drew Butera and his .189/.232/.289 line. With Thome out of the lineup, the opportunity to play has been given to the monster sized bats of Nick Punto, Matt Tolbert, Alexi Casilla, Ben Revere and Jason Repko. Useful parts, but not the kind of guys that a fan would want too many of in the lineup. With J.J. Hardy also missing 5 of the 6 games, the Twins have had at least 3 of these guys in every starting lineup. In the last 6 games, the team has still managed 26 runs, while only winning 1.

The pitching has been even worse! Friday, Liriano was fine until he got sick after 3 innings. He should be ok. Jeff Manship and Alex Burnett gave up 8 of the 10 runs. Neither pitcher will be anywhere near the post-season roster. Saturday, Carl Pavano was awful, but he hadn't pitched in 8 days and should be sharper next time around. One start doesn't worry me. He gave up 7 runs in 4 innings. Glen Perkins gave up 2 runs in .2 innings. He's another guy who won't be on the post-season roster. Brian Duensing wasn't terribly sharp Sunday, but he wasn't too bad. Last night, Kevin Slowey was brutal, giving up 6 in 1.2 innings. He probably won't make the post-season roster, surely not as a starter. Manship gave up 3 more runs. Randy Flores, another guy who won't sniff the post-season, gave up a run in .2 innings. Finally we get to tonight. The pencilled in Game 4 starter, Nick Blackburn, gave up 8 runs in 4.1 innings. This is Blackburn's first hideous start since before he was sent down to the minors. Scott Baker has a great opportunity tomorrow. A good start would bump Blackburn out of a starting role. Baker is the better pitcher overall, so I am hoping Baker turns it around. The Twins were also blessed with 2.2 innings and 2 runs from Perkins tonight.

So, basically, the Twins have been crap lately! They've lost 5 in a row. Their hitting has been inconsistent, their defense has been lousy and their pitching has been crap! The good news is, a lot of the players that have been failing the last 5 games, will see little or no action in the post-season.

I look for the Twins to finish up strong, but even if they don't, they will have as good a shot of winning the world series as they had last week!


  1. Shawn,

    Good article, but once again you are thinking with your heart and not your head. The Twins have been a disaster against the Yankees this DECADE so why do you believe the 2010 playoffs will be any different. If the Twins draw the Rays in the first round it would be a lot better but that is not going to happen.

    The team is playing lousy right now against a Triple AAA lineup and you believe they will just turn it on like a light switch once the playoffs begin. You must be listening to Roy Smalley or Bert Blyleven!! Yes, it happened in 1987 but that was very rare and they did not have to play the Yankees. I won't be the only fan out there calling for Gardy's job if we get swept. The bottom line this team would have to beat the Yankees, Rays, and Phillies to win the World Series and that is not going to happen.

  2. As usual, Jack, you swing and miss. For all the times the Twins have been hot at the end of the season (for instance, like last year) it has not translated into success. Conversely, then, we shouldn't expect a lack of success to hang over into the postseason. And busting the team's butts to get one extra home game in the ALCS (if everything breaks exactly right) isn't worth it. I'd suggest that you relax, though I know you're either incapable or deliberately trolling for attention.

  3. This really has nothing to do with Gardy history or who they are playing or anything else. Was just written to show the fans that are freaking out that the team is fine. I'm not trying to convert non-believers but, if someone thought this team would do well the day they clinched, their opinion should remain un-changed. This 5 game losing streak is meaningless as far as playoff prospects go