La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Twins postgame: Will the real Twins please show up?

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: April 30, 2011 - 12:03 AM

You can't use injuries as an excuse for this game.

The Twins were lousy in several areas, still had a chance to win despite their lousiness and then lost 4-3 to Kansas City to make things more lousy.

On Thursday, they were streamrolled by Tampa Bay in Game 1 and their bats handed to them in Game 2.

``Sometimes, you'd rather lose those games than to lose one like this,'' outfielder Jason Kubel said.

When will this team respond? I know the bottom four hitters in their lineup tonight were starting in the minors at this time last season. But that's no excuse for bad baserunning - and for Alexi Casilla failing to get a bunt down in the first inning and not catching a catchable ball in the eighth.

There's stuff this team needs to clean up, healthy or not..

Gardy looks like he's ready to pop. If they lose tomorrow things could be interesting.

Just cracked open the Twins media guide. They lost 16 games in April in 1978, 1994 and 1998.

Add 2011 to that list. They are sitting at 9-16 with one game left to play this month - oh boy!

The biggest sign that the Twins can be licked right now came in the seventh. Righthander Blake Wood was on the mound for the Royals with two outs, runners on second and third and Justin Morneau at the plate.

If this was a year ago - or if Jim Leyland is in the other dugout - Morneau is walked intentionally and Wood goes after Michael Cuddyer. But Wood is allowed to face Morneau, Morneau swings and misses three breaking balls off the plate and the inning is over.

That's how opponents are treating the Twins these days.

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