On May 15, we were in the middle of this year's Great Baseball Road Trip. As we drove through the Midwest, we listened via the miracle of modern technology, to a Twins/Indians game.


In that game, Derek Lowe of Cleveland threw a six-hit shutout. He improved to 6-1 on the season with a 2.05 ERA. In the same game, Jason Marquis allowed five runs in five innings. Marquis pitched one more game for the Twins, was rocked by Milwaukee, and then was gone.

During the course of that game, the discussion in the car -- and even a bit on the radio, via the Twins broadcasters if we recall correctly -- was that Cleveland had made a savvy move by trading for Lowe during the offseason. He was owed $15 million this season, but Atlanta was picking up $10 million of it. So the Indians had a veteran starter for $5 million, and one who was lights-out. Twins fans, who that day watched their team sink to a low-water mark of 10-26 on the season, while watching a similar type of veteran pitcher on a cheap one-year deal get shellacked, had envy and wondered why Minnesota couldn't make deals like the one Cleveland made for Lowe.

Therein, however, lies the danger of a small sample size.

Since that game, Lowe has gone 2-9 with an 8.28 ERA. Having seen enough, Cleveland designated the veteran pitcher for assignment on Wednesday. Marquis was picked up by San Diego after being dumped by the Twins and -- while hardly being great -- has an ERA of less than half of that huge Lowe number since going to the Padres.

Bottom line: The Twins didn't exactly strike gold with Marquis, and nobody should be sad that he's gone. But they weren't as dumb as they looked May 15 when it came to Lowe.