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.

Three postgame thoughts from LEN3: 16-0. Willingham. Mauer

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: May 26, 2012 - 8:02 PM

Here are three thoughts after the Twins' latest loss:

1. They struck out 16 times and didn't draw a walk!!! Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he was pleased with the quality of at-bats the Twins took on Saturday. Max Scherzer can get his swing and miss on when he's right, but Twins hitters could have done something differently to make contact. Jayson Stark is going to have a field day with that stat...

2. Josh Willingham entered the season as a career .262 hitter. After a hot start, he's playing toward his career trends, which should be expected. Willingham seems to be swinging at pitches he shouldn't and taking pitches he should crush. I'm sure The Hammer will get it going soon.

3. Mauer in the clutch. Joe Mauer is batting .341 with runners in scoring position but he struck out last night late in the game and struck out in the eighth with two on and one out when the Twins really needed him to clutch up.What I don't get is that he's being beaten with fastballs.

 

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