Here are three thoughts following the Twins' 6-5 loss to Kansas City
GO WITH THE SLIDER?: Glen Perkins stuck with his fastball in the eighth inning on Tuesday instead of throwing his slider to Mike Moustakas with a runner on third. The pitch ends up in the dirt sometimes.
``It's tough to go to a slider there with a guy on third.'' Perkins said, worried that a wild pitch would have allowed Orlando to score. ``I have to do a better job with the fastball with two strikes.'' I'm wondering if another factor is that Kurt Suzuki's right foot isn't 100 percent after taking a line drive off of it yesterday and therefore he's not exactly Mr. Twinkle Toes behind the plate. So Perk went with his fastball, caught too much of the plate with it, and give up the game-winning hit. If Perk puts that pitch in on Moustakas' hands, they might still be playing. That much is true. But his slider doesn't have to be perfect to be effective. I talked to one person after the game who would have encouraged Perkins to throw his slider to Moose.
BULLPEN BLUES: Twins relievers entered the game with 24 strikeouts - 29th in baseball. Lack of velocity in that bullpen could be a season-long issue. It would be nice if opponents would have to gear up to face a reliever who miss bats late in games. ``Well. if you're getting outs and you're being successful, I'm not putting more stock into it than I need to,'' Twins manager Paul Molitor said when asked if that was a problem. ``There's a time when everyone could use a strikeout.''
ROYALS RUNNING GAME: There was a lot of inner ball going on in the late innings when Salvador Perez led off the eighth with a single and was replaced by pinch runner Jarrod Dyson. The Twins were determined not to let Dyson steal. Fien threw six pickoff throws to first while throwing seven pitches to Paulo Orlando. He varied his throws and looks over there and got the job done. Fien also threw a couple pitches that weren't officially pickoff throws but would have been easier for Kurt Suzuki to throw to second. But Orlando messed everything up by hitting a single. Dyson was on third. Now, Orlando was on first, and the Twins didn't want him to steal second. They were going to throw to second if Orlando took off. Casey Fien's release time isn't bad, and they liked their chances. But when Orlando took off, Alcides Escobar squared to bunt. That made Suzuki pause just enough where a throw would have had no chance of getting Orlando, so no throw was made. Dyson scored on a ground out. Orlando scored on Moose's single. Game.
BONUS THOUGHT: Who is the heck is Paulo Orlando?