Walters' job well done is wasted as Twins fall to Yankees

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 4, 2013 - 6:57 AM

A brief but crushing rally in the sixth was the righthander's lone blemish as Minnesota's skid reached four games.

view larger photos

  

 

The Twins’ clubhouse had the air of an election-night party for a losing candidate Wednesday. Everybody keeping a stiff upper lip, speaking optimistically about the chances for a miracle — but morbidly mindful of the numbers that just keep piling up.

Numbers like: four, the length of the latest losing streak after their 3-2 loss. Or nine, the games-below .500, tying their season high.

And, for P.J. Walters, six.

That’s the number of starts Walters has made since his last victory. The inning that derailed him Wednesday, after five innings of one-hit pitching. And most important, the number of starting pitchers the Twins will have on Saturday, the day one of them will lose his job.

“Obviously, that’s above my pay grade. But at the same time, all but my last two outings, we’ve had a chance to win,” Walters said bravely, as though hoping those late ballots from the suburbs might turn things around. “That’s my job, to give us a chance and try to win some ballgames. It’s been awhile since I won one — I need to get that going pretty quick.”

If he doesn’t get that chance on the Twins’ upcoming road trip, he can blame CC Sabathia and Robinson Cano, two Yankees still performing at Hall of Fame-type levels. Sabathia had the number of the night: 200, his career victory total after holding the Twins to fewer than four runs for the 15th consecutive start against them. He’s now 11-0 in his past 12 starts, regular season or postseason, against the Twins, and he showed why with the game on the line.

In the third inning, with Joe Mauer on third and Ryan Doumit on first, no outs, and the Twins leading 1-0, Sabathia faced the 4-5-6 hitters in the Twins’ lineup, and Mauer never budged. Strikeout, pop fly, strikeout, and the Twins’ best chance was over.

“We had chances we didn’t capitalize on, me in particular,” said Trevor Plouffe, who later touched Sabathia for a home run in the fifth. “I missed the one pitch he was going to give me. With a guy like CC, you’ve got to score those runs.”

Yep, can’t miss the rare chances a pitcher gives you. You know, like the Yankees. With Walters effectively confusing New York with his 75-mph slider and 88-mph fastball, he opened the sixth with a four-pitch walk to Brett Gardner. “Walking the leadoff guy always seems to turn into trouble,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Then you run into that mess.”

Ichiro Suzuki started the mess with a double, bringing up Cano, baseball’s hottest non-Puig hitter. He was 18-for-his-last-35 at the moment, and Gardenhire considered simply walking him. But “you really don’t want the go-ahead run with no outs on first base,” he concluded, and Walters was instructed to try to get Cano to chase a ball in the dirt.

He got ahead of Cano 1-2, “and with a base open, I don’t want to let him beat me. I just hung a breaking ball, a pitch I should have bounced,” Walters said with a mournful shrug. “With a 2-2 count, I could still do anything, and if I walk him, oh well. But obviously I hung it — not what I was trying to do there.”

Cano bounced the ball off the wall for a double, driving in two. When Travis Hafner singled, Walters was done. Perhaps done with the Twins for a while.

“For five innings, he was moving the ball. I thought he used his fastball a lot better,” said Gardenhire, who would not comment on the Twins’ impending decision. “He pitched really good. But it got away from him in a hurry.”









 

  • related content

  • BOXSCORE: Yankees 3, Twins 2

    Wednesday July 3, 2013

  • Wednesday's Twins-Yankees recap

    Wednesday July 3, 2013

    GAME RECAPImpact playerRobinson Cano, YankeesWith game-tying, two-run single, the second baseman is 7-for-11 in the first three games of the...

  • Midway point shows regression, not improvement for Twins

    Thursday July 4, 2013

    This season was supposed to be better, and for a while, it was. Two weeks ago, the Twins were three...

  • Postgame: 4-batter stretch undid Walters' night

    Thursday July 4, 2013

    Thielbar's shutdown numbers in relief are nearing historic levels

  • Oswaldo Arcia’s third-inning strikeout was the first of two against for him against CC Sabathia.

  • P.J. Walters headed to the dugout after giving up the tying runs in the sixth inning at Target Field.

  • CC Sabathia looked as sharp against the Twins in the first inning as he did in the seventh, when he threw the last of his 121 pitches.

  • The Twins mulled over some missed opportunities as they watched Mariano Rivera mop up in the ninth.pitch in the ninth inning at Target Field in Minneapolis Min., Wednesday, July 3, 2013 Yankees won 3-2. ] (KYNDELL HARKNESS/STAR TRIBUNE) kyndell.harkness@startribune.com

  • Left fielder Oswaldo Arcia was one especially frustrated Twin, striking out twice against CC Sabathia on Wednesday night.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Final123456789RHE
Minnesota000000000040
Detroit «00100002X340
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:D.Price(15-12) L:K.Gibson(13-12) S:J.Nathan (35)
HR: MIN- None DET- I.Kinsler (17)

ADVERTISEMENT

San Diego 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Indiana 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Detroit
Dallas 7:00 PM
New Orleans
NY Islanders 6:00 PM
Boston
Pittsburgh 6:30 PM
Detroit
Vancouver 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Chicago 7:00 PM
Nashville
Arizona 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Carolina 8:00 PM
Calgary
Buffalo 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Columbus 9:30 PM
San Jose
Connecticut 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
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: Who should get the Twins' managing job?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close