TwinsCentric was formed by Twins super-bloggers Seth Stohs, Nick Nelson, Parker Hageman and John Bonnes. Together they publish at TwinsDaily.com and have authored books, e-books and magazines that provide independent and in-depth coverage of the Minnesota Twins from a fan's perspective. You can contact them at TwinsCentric@gmail.com.
I do. Heading to the middle of the eighth inning, I’m forced to leave my seat to pick up my kid at 10:00. By the time I walk through the stadium, I’ve heard the roar and see Jamey Carroll standing on third base with no outs and the third through fifth batters coming up.
If I didn’t have to pick up my kid in 10 minutes, I SWEAR I would’ve stuck around. I mean – you know me by now. Is there anyone MORE superstitious?
Four blocks away from Target Field I say to The Voice of Reason™, “Have you heard a roar yet? I haven’t.”
Me: (Heavy sigh.)
One can frame this game a lot of ways. I’m sure the Boston papers will frame it as a Cody Ross redemption game. And if the Twins third and fourth hitters would have managed to do anything remotely similar to what one expects from the eighth and ninth hitters, it would have been a different game, and a different column.
But they didn’t. And it isn’t. Check that – SO it isn’t.
I can’t talk too much about those criticat at-bats. I didn’t see them live. I saw replays of the swings. Apparently, Josh Willingham hit the ball hard but lined out to the third baseman.
Joe Mauer swung weekly at an off-speed pitch and grounded out to first base. The at-bat looks worse because of how poor a hit it was – a dribbling play up the first base line. Of course, it was an off-speed pitch. On a full count, one might expect a pitcher to challenge a hitter, but with two bases open, why would he? He threw a 75-mph-pitch that Mauer had not yet seen and that was it. I want to come down on Mauer – I want to come down on everyone after this loss – but I can see what happened.
A few more notes about the game…
Capping Off A Loss
Hey, at least Matt Capps hasn’t blown a Save (capital S) yet - just a game.
Is that a cheap shot? Sure, but I don’t mean it to Capps. I mean it to the Twins, who seem to think that once a randome team sprinkles a guy with Magic Closer Dust (capital MCD), they’re forever a different guy. Capps now has four strikeouts in seven innings, which is under the league average, especially for relievers, but about average for him. (Correction: He actually has two strikeouts, which is less than half of his career rate.) To his credit, he hasn’t walked a guy. But he’s given up seven hits, which is about average for both him and your average major league pitcher. And, worse of all for a closer, he’s given up two home runs, which is about three times the average rate for a pitcher.
Hey, it’s small sample size. It doesn’t mean much.
Except that home runs were Capps’ soft spot last year and have been every year he’s struggled. He basically matched his career averages in all categories last season – except he gave up a couple of extra home runs. Which is what turned him from a below average closer into a really terrible closer.
Which one MIGHT have anticipated, if he wasn’t all glittery with that MCD.
The Other Story
Minus that eighth inning debacle and a ninth inning home run, here’s what the game story would have included…
The thing is, he pitched yesterday when the Twins were already behind. (And then he gave up a run, so the team was further behind.) Just so we’re clear on where Perkins is so far this year: he hasn’t been particularly good, he hasn’t been available on back-to-back days, he has been hurt, and he just got a long-term deal.
Everyone got all that? Good.
If you missed yesterday's Apopt A Prospect frenzy - well, you missed it. But that' doesn't mean there isn't anyone left. So check out who has been adopted or even sign up yourself at the Adopt A Prospect Forum.
If you're wondering about how some of those prospect did, Seth has his Monday night recap.
If you want an INSIDE look at the life of a minor leaguer, prospect AJ Pettersen talks about hecklers, food management and other stories.
Finally, if Liriano isn't out of your system yet, Nick has some thoughts on Liriano's control.
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