Good morning from Target Field.
Glen Perkins got hit harder than he has all season last night, allowing four runs in the ninth to turn a 5-4 lead into an 8-5 loss.
Blown saves happen. His previous blown save, in Oakland, was a function of baseball's flukiness - bloops falling in instead of being caught.
Last night was different. Perkins didn't have command of his pitches, and didn't have enough velocity and bite to get away with missing his spots.
If it's a one-game occurence, it won't mean much more than one loss. The two things to watch today:
1. Did Perkins just have a bad day, or has he become fatigued in a way that could damage the Twins' playoff chase? He's pitched 40 innings and appeared in 41 games so far, plus his All-Star appearance.
Three of the last four seasons he finished with about 62 innings pitched. In 2012, he pitched 70.1. He's not on pace to pitch an exorbitant amount compared to previous seasons, but he has been used in save situations involving more than one inning three times. He earned saves each time.
That wouldn't seem to prompt a dead-arm period all by itself. Most likely, Perkins is just having a dead-arm period that most pitchers go through at some point.
Paul Molitor said he wants to use Perkins today.
2. A couple of people in the Twins' clubhouse were disappointed this morning that the lineup didn't bury the Yankees early. The Twins scored five runs against a struggling C.C. Sabathia, but did nothing after the third inning. This was a prime opportunity to blow out the Yankees in consecutive games and devastate their bullpen, and the Twins hitters let them off the hook. Perkins got the blown save, but there should be a statistic for blown offensive opportunities.
I've always found Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway to be a likeable, funny, responsible player. I didn't realize just how beloved he was by his teammates and people in the organization until I started working on the feature that ran in today's Star Tribune.
Matt Birk, Jimmy Kleinsasser and Ben Leber couldn't say enough about him. Birk would have talked about Greenway for an hour.
I did a long piece on Kleinsasser before his last game in the NFL, and his friends painted a picture of a down-to-earth, family-oriented guy from the Dakotas who had settled into the Twin Cities to raise his family. Greenway listed Kleinsasser as one of his mentors, and they have a lot in common.
I'd like to welcome former Twin Roy Smalley to my podcast network at MalePatternPodcasts.com.
Talking Twins with Roy Smalley joins Souhan Uncensored (my interview show), MalePatternPurple (our Vikings and NFL show with Viking Update publisher Tim Yotter) and The Russo-Souhan Show (featuring Strib hockey guru Michael Russo).
All the shows are available at the website. The easiest way to access them is to subscribe at Itunes or Sticher or your favorite podcast ap.
Interviews at SouhanUncensored include a different side of John Randle, Torii Hunter singing Prince and talking leadership, Brian Dozier on his small-town roots, and Eddie Guardado being very uncensored.
Here's the podcast website: http://tinyurl.com/q3fqe94