Jim Souhan analyzes the local sports scene and advises you to never take his betting advice. He likes old guitars and old music, never eats press box hot dogs, and can be heard on 1500ESPN at 2:05 p.m. weekdays, and Sundays from 10 a.m.-noon.
Find him on Twitter
I'll write about this more in the Monday paper, but let's just say, for now, that Joe Mauer let his teammates down.
Not only did he not volunteer to play first base on Sunday, with the Twins fielding a weaker-than-3.2 beer lineup. He didn't even take ground balls at first this week, knowing that Justin Morneau is going to be out until at least August, and that injuries to so many outfielders will keep Michael Cuddyer from playing first base every day.
-Remember when Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau were healthy and at the top of their games? I'm still not sure they were more entertaining than the Brewers' Nos. 3 and 4 hitters, Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder.
Braun's sweet, stylish righthanded swing stands in perfect contrast to Fielder's violent cut. Fielder is on a classic contract surge right now, knowing he'll be a free agent this winter, and Braun hit a not-so-bad pitch from Carl Pavano so hard on Sunday that, when the ball bounced back onto the field. Braun couldn't tell whether it had hit the outfield wall or the wall beyond.
If the Brewers can revive third baseman Casey McGehee, they will be very tough to pitch to. As it is, Rickie Weeks, Braun and Fielder are three of the most talented players in baseball, and have combined for 50 home runs.
-I'm not particularly disturbed that the Twins went 1-5 on this road trip. I figured they would go 2-4, and that 3-3 would be a triumph, since they were playing two good teams on the road without Morneau.
What's more troubling is that they reverted to their sloppy ways. Alexi Casilla made a lazy error, Tsuyoshi Nishioka failed to catch a perfect throw to the base on a pickoff, and the middle infielders failed to keep Ryan Braun close to second base, giving him an easy steal of third.
When Ron Gardenhire visited the mound after that play, you could see him heatedly correcting his infielders.
While we all seize on such details, the reality is this: If you looked at the lineups before each of the Brewers games, you'd pick the Brewers to win. They're a much better team right now. The Twins' miracle run of 15 victories in 17 games was just that, a miracle made possible by exceptional starting pitching.
After three games with the Dodgers, the Twins will face Milwaukee, Tampa Bay and the White sox for 10 games. They're going to have to start beating good teams to remain in the race, and to do so, they could use Mauer at first base when he's unable to catch.
-Upcoming: I'll be on 1500espn at 2:40 and 6:15 on Monday.
|Professional baseball (163)||Vikings (258)|
|Gopher coaches (54)||Gopher quarterbacks (14)|
|Gopher recruiting (3)||Gopher road games (4)|
|Gophers disciplinary action (3)||Gophers injuries (1)|
|Gophers recruiting (3)||Gophers spring football (4)|
|TCF Bank Stadium (24)||The Big 10 (26)|
|NCAA: football (17)||Gophers coaches (65)|
|Gophers players (45)||Tubby Smith (39)|
|Williams Arena (17)||Gophers post season (8)|
|Gophers roster moves (5)||Golf (38)|
|Soccer (4)||Twins news (39)|
|WNBA (8)||Wild news (59)|
|AFC (14)||Bears (35)|
|Ex-Vikings (29)||Football on TV (118)|
|Lions (31)||NFC (96)|
|NFL draft (47)||NFL post-season (54)|
|Packers (65)||Super Bowl (67)|
|Vikings coaches (137)||Vikings defense (68)|
|Vikings fans (49)||Vikings injury report (19)|
|Vikings management (91)||Vikings off the field (36)|
|Vikings offense (77)||Vikings quarterbacks (46)|
|Vikings road games (16)||Vikings rookies (4)|
|Vikings roster moves (3)||Vikings special teams (2)|
|Vikings training camp (6)||Off the field (6)|
|On the road (26)||Quarterbacks (44)|
|Rookies (7)||Roster moves (1)|
|Vikings draft (42)||Ron Gardenhire (122)|
|Target Field (160)||Twins fans (168)|
|Twins management (219)||Twins offense (118)|
|Twins transactions (98)||NBA playoffs (42)|
|Wolves coaches (77)||Wolves draft news (34)|
|Wolves guards (42)||Wolves injury report (10)|
|Wolves management (84)||Wolves players (65)|
|Wolves trade talk (16)||Wolves training camp (13)|
|All-Stars and honors (95)||Fighting (2)|
|Wild coaching (48)||Wild management (60)|
|Wild off-season news (12)||Wild player moves (9)|
|Adrian Peterson (84)||Anthony Herrera (2)|
|Antoine Winfield (16)||Ben Leber (1)|
|Bernard Berrian (7)||Brad Childress (30)|
|Brett Favre (58)||Brian Robison (3)|
|Bryant McKinnie (3)||Cedric Griffin (5)|
|Chad Greenway (18)||Chester Taylor (5)|
|Chris Kluwe (3)||Darrell Bevell (8)|
|E.J. Henderson (4)||Jared Allen (29)|
|John Sullivan (6)||Kevin Williams (6)|
|Leslie Frazier (55)||Madieu Williams (2)|
|Pat Williams (3)||Percy Harvin (29)|
|Phil Loadholt (3)||Ray Edwards (1)|
|Ryan Longwell (9)||Sage Rosenfels (1)|
|Sidney Rice (10)||Steve Hutchinson (7)|
|Tarvaris Jackson (12)||Tyrell Johnson (2)|
|Visanthe Shiancoe (5)||Brad Childress (30)|
|Darrell Bevell (8)||Leslie Frazier (55)|
|NHL news (11)||2010 Winter Games (13)|
|Olympic curling (1)||Olympic hockey (8)|
|Olympic skiing (5)||Olympic speedskating (1)|
|Olympic village (11)|