Taylor Rogers has pitched only eight times in May, mostly because the Twins have been on a run of blowout victories. Their last one-run game was on May 15, and their last two-run game was on May 20, so there haven’t been many opportunities for a high-leverage specialist to get into a game.
Still, the lefthander had excelled, pitching a shutout since April 27: Nine scoreless innings. Which is why his defeat on Monday, when he allowed a double to pinch hitter Hernan Perez and a home run to Orlando Arcia, came as such a surprise.
Well, it wasn’t a surprise to Rogers. “Off the bat, I knew it was gone,” he said.
But Rogers said his on-again, off-again work schedule wasn’t the culprit in Monday’s mistake. “I felt fine. I wouldn’t put too much into the time off or not-time-off,” Rogers said. “Obviously, if I go out there and put up a zero tonight, we’re not talking about time off.”
No, and manager Rocco Baldelli chalked it up to just a bad pitch by a reliever who hasn’t made many of them. “He’s been so good. Over the course of a long year, you’re going to see everyone give up runs,” Baldelli said. “He makes so many good pitches and puts us in so many spots to win games. He pitches us through the most difficult circumstances.”
Baldelli also said he’s not inclined to try to get Rogers, and fellow reliever Blake Parker, extra outings in blowouts just to keep them sharp.
“Something tells me there will be a time when Rog and Park and maybe some of our other guys, we’re going to need them multiple days in a row, three out of four,” Baldelli said. “We want them to be ready when that time comes.”