Postgame: Twins' old problem is back
- Blog Post by: Phil Miller
- May 25, 2014 - 1:02 AM
A trio of leftovers as the seagulls take over AT&T Park after tonight's 2-1 Giants victory over the Twins:
CLUTCH GLITCH: It's a recurring problem, and it's creeping back into the Twins' identity: They put runners on base, but then leave them there. After going 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position Saturday, Minnesota is now 2-for-21 in those situations on this road trip. Worse, they are now hitting .220 with runners on second or third, which is worse than every AL team except Houston. It's even worse than the .225 average they posted with runners in scoring position last year -- when they ranked dead last in the league. Their slugging percentage in those situations is .330, which is also the AL's worst. It's a frustrating problem, because they give themselves plenty of opportunities -- the Twins actually rank in the upper half of the league in RISP chances. But they leave run after after run on the bases.
HE DESERVES BETTER: Sam Deduno is now 1-3 on the season, and 1-2 as a starter, and that's just not fair. He's overcome his reputation for wildness -- his three walks tonight were a season-high -- and he's not only got a moving fastball, it's a sinking one. Just two fly balls and a popup among his outs tonight, and everything else on the ground, if the Giants made contact at all. "His stuff's fantastic, moves all over the place. When he's able to pound the strike zone like he did tonight, that's fun to watch," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "You could see their hitters swinging and missing balls, and then looking back, going 'Where'd they go?' " Trouble is, the Twins don't support him; Deduno has been on the mound for 22 2/3 innings as a starter, and the Twins have scored four runs in that time, all of them last week against Seattle. Glad he's got a good attitude about the scarcity of runs. "It's not hard, because I know if I keep the game close, the guys are going to hit."
PANDAS ARE STRONG: Gardenhire grudgingly admired Deduno's biggest mistake, the ball that Pablo Sandoval blasted almost 400 feet, his second homer in two nights. It was a changeup, headed down, and the switch-hitting Sandoval lasered it to left-center. "You've got to be a strong kid to hit the ball the other way on that pitch," Gardenhire said. "We've seen it, he can do that. He got the bat head to it and drove it. I think later on at night, it might not have gone out, but that time of day, it did."
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