The Twins have played two games this season, both against very good pitchers for the Tigers (David Price and Anibal Sanchez). Minnesota countered with Phil Hughes and Ricky Nolasco. Hughes was very good last year; Nolasco was not. In both cases, the opponent had the upper hand going into the matchup — enough so that an e-mailer sent in this thought:
I’d say Paul Molitor failed his first test of thinking out of the box. He should have thrown his 4th or 5th starter on opening day against Price. You figure on giving up that game, but now you come back with your #1 starter against Detroit’s #2 starter, etc. The problem is that if the Twins keep matching up Hughes against other team’s #1 starter and Nolasco against the other team’s #2 starter, etc, you are underdogs almost every game and guaranteed to have another 90-loss season. In a sport where winning 58% of your games probably puts you in the playoffs you should be willing to be big underdogs in one game to have a slight edge in the next 3-4 games. Won’t happen, but is actually the best chance for the Twins.
A little intriguing. A lot desperate. This is what it has come to already for some fans.
I wrote Monday about reasons for optimism. But pretty much every bit of worry that fans had about this team has played out so far. Hughes was mortal on Monday. Nolasco was rocked Wednesday. Tim Stauffer, out of the pen, was no better Wednesday. The offense, which had the potential to regress, has been largely lifeless. The outfield defense contributed to the Wednesday misery when Torii Hunter couldn’t flag down a ball in the gap and Jordan Schafer made two mistakes when the Tigers were blowing the game open. Energy-wise, the team seems a little sapped by the still-fresh Ervin Santana news. In short, a team that could have used a positive early jolt has received the exact opposite.
And yes, it’s just two games. If this was an NFL season, it wouldn’t even be the end of the first quarter of Game 1. If these were games 122 and 123 this season, the griping wouldn’t be as loud.
But it feels and looks like more of the same.