Reusse: Once-dominant Burton setting up Twins to fail

  • Article by: PATRICK REUSSE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 2, 2013 - 11:47 AM
hide

Twins reliever Jared Burton left the field displeased with his performance — and the feeling among Target Field fans appeared to be mutual — after giving up two runs and three hits and committing a run-scoring throwing error in the eighth inning against the New York Yankees on Monday night.

Photo: Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

The Twins signed Jared Burton as a minor league free agent on Nov. 11, 2011. They did so knowing that he was on the rebound from right shoulder surgery and he would have to be protected to a degree in his workload.

This was one of the few things that worked well for the 2012 Twins, as Burton worked 62 innings in 64 games, registered a 2.18 ERA and held opponents to a .186 batting average.

The Twins were impressed enough to sign Burton to a two-year contract. He turned 32 in early June, and at that point it seemed to be a very wise decision by Terry Ryan’s front office.

Burton had made 27 appearances in 2013, holding a lead 13 times, saving two games and losing two leads. He had a 2.03 ERA and opponents were batting .204.

A month later, the Twins are in position to contemplate if it is time to start protecting themselves from Burton.

He blew another game Monday night, entering with the Twins holding a 4-3 lead over the Yankees in the eighth, and leaving with one out, rookie Zoilo Almonte at third, and the Twins trailing 5-4.

Manager Ron Gardenhire came to get Burton to the accompaniment of boos and shouts from the second deck with the message, “Way to go, Gardy.”

The folks following this team — and Monday’s paltry crowd of 29,619 indicated that number is in serious decline — have grown increasingly unhappy with Gardenhire’s loyalty to Burton as his eighth-inning man.

After Monday night, the dreadful résumé for Burton since June 6 is as follows:

He has been in 10 games, lost three, pitched nine innings, allowed 17 hits and nine runs, for an ERA of 9.00 and a batting average of .386 for opponents.

On Sunday, Burton entered with a 7-7 tie and gave up a home run to Kansas City’s David Lough.

On Monday, Burton entered with that 4-3 lead and gave up a booming double to Robinson Cano. From there, Burton failed to retire Ichiro Suzuki on a bunt, threw away a pickoff attempt, gave up an RBI single to Almonte and mercifully departed.

OK, it wasn’t that merciful, since Gardenhire then gave an increasingly ornery crowd a look at Brian Duensing, his other option as a setup man. Duensing and the Twins turned the ninth into an outrage against baseball, as the Yankees scored four runs for a 10-4 victory.

The Yankees came to town with Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson all absent from the lineup. The only remaining star, Cano, hit two home runs to produce New York’s first three runs, and the Twins bullpen produced the rest.

By the end, there were only stragglers in Target Field, dealing with the reality that even when the Yankees are the Faux Yankees, they still figure to make the Twins look foolish on a ballfield.

Postgame, Gardenhire went with tradition and said, “We got to the right guys at the end,” while also knowing this was not an opinion shared by a majority of his team’s followers.

Not many feel Burton is the right guy at the moment, but then Option B, Duensing, or Option C, Josh Roenicke, didn’t look like the right guy in that pathetic ninth.

“Burton gave up that hit to Cano, and then he threw the ball around a couple of times,” Gardenhire said. “He just got flabbergasted out there, if that’s the word.”

Actually, Burton got flustered, and the customers got flabbergasted, as he threw away Suzuki’s bunt, and then threw a pickoff throw past first base.

Gardenhire was asked what he sees different with Burton, from his terrific Twins introduction in 2012, and then the first two months of this season.

“He’s not able to finish off a hitter — we saw that with Cano tonight,” the manager said. “The changeup isn’t in the strike zone, and it’s not a pitch they are chasing.”

When he was good, Burton was throwing a fastball or two to get ahead, then throwing the changeup out of a perfect motion, sending it toward knee level andhaving it dive under some silly looking hacks.

“He looks different, kind of on the side of the ball,” Gardenhire said. “We’re trying to figure what’s wrong … We desperately need him.”

 

Patrick Reusse can be heard 3-6 p.m. weekdays on AM-1500. • preusse@startribune.com

  • related content

  • Twins go from Diamond to dust in loss to Yankees

    Tuesday July 2, 2013

    Starter Scott Diamond steadied himself after giving up two homers, but the Twins bullpen took its lumps again, giving up seven runs in the final two innings.

  • Pelfrey does what he needs in Cedar Rapids rehab start

    Tuesday July 2, 2013

    Mike Pelfrey gave up two hits and threw 70 pitches in six innings during his rehab start for the Cedar Rapids Kernels.

  • Willingham scheduled for MRI

    Tuesday July 2, 2013

    Willingham, the Twins’ leading home-run hitter, was pulled from the lineup just minutes before game time Monday when he experienced “increased discomfort in his left knee,” the Twins announced.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Final123456789RHE
Minnesota0000101002100
Baltimore «00010110X381
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:A.Miller(5-5) L:J.Burton(2-3) S:Z.Britton (30)
HR: MIN- None BAL- J.Paredes (1)

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 0 FINAL
Toronto - WP: D. Hutchison 2
Detroit - LP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Sale 6
Chicago Cubs - WP: F. Doubront 5 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: J. Masterson 1
Cincinnati - LP: A. Simon 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley 3
Minnesota - LP: J. Burton 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: A. Miller 3
Philadelphia - WP: J. Williams 7 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: B. Colon 2
Miami - WP: J. Cosart 4 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Harang 0
Boston - LP: A. Webster 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Odorizzi 7
Cleveland - WP: J. Tomlin 3 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: S. Downs 2
Detroit - WP: K. Ryan 8 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: C. Bassitt 4
Texas - LP: P. Klein 0 FINAL
Houston - WP: S. Feldman 2
Colorado - WP: T. Matzek 2 FINAL
Arizona - LP: V. Nuno 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wada 2 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: M. Gonzales 13
Los Angeles - LP: J. Wright 1 FINAL
San Diego - WP: T. Stauffer 2
Milwaukee - LP: M. Fiers 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: J. Peavy 3
Oakland - LP: J. Samardzija 0 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: Y. Herrera 2
Washington - WP: S. Strasburg 3 FINAL
Seattle - LP: R. Elias 1
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 26 FINAL
UCF 24
Troy 10 FINAL
UAB 48
(7) UCLA 28 FINAL
Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 FINAL
Purdue 43
(5) Ohio State 34 FINAL
Navy 17
Appalachian St 14 FINAL
Michigan 52
Ga Southern 23 FINAL
NC State 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Massachusetts 7
West Virginia 23 FINAL
(2) Alabama 33
Rice 17 FINAL
(17) Notre Dame 48
(10) South Dakota St 18 FINAL
(24) Missouri 38
Fla Atlantic 7 FINAL
(22) Nebraska 55
California 31 FINAL
Northwestern 24
Marshall 42 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 27
UC Davis 0 FINAL
(11) Stanford 45
Arkansas 21 FINAL
(6) Auburn 45
(16) Clemson 21 FINAL
(12) Georgia 45
Liberty 29 FINAL
(23) North Carolina 56
Ohio U 17 FINAL
Kent State 14
Louisiana Tech 16 FINAL
(4) Oklahoma 48
Stephen F Austin 16 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 55
Fresno State 13 FINAL
(15) USC 52
Southern Miss 0 FINAL
Miss State 49
Texas-El Paso 31 FINAL
New Mexico 24
North Texas 7 FINAL
Texas 38
(1) Florida State 37 FINAL
Oklahoma State 31
(14) Wisconsin 24 FINAL
(13) LSU 28
Idaho 0 Postponed
Florida 0
South Dakota 13 FINAL
(3) Oregon 62
(25) Washington 17 FINAL
Hawaii 16
Utah State 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 0 FINAL
Seattle 1
New England 3 FINAL
Toronto FC 0
Columbus 0 FINAL
Montreal 2
FC Dallas 0 FINAL
Chicago 1
Real Salt Lake 1 FINAL
San Jose 1
Portland 3 FINAL
Vancouver FC 0
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Chicago 70 FINAL
Indiana 77
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How sure are you that the Twins are on the road to improving?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close