Before we get to Three Thoughts, I just want to make sure everyone understands how crummy the Twins played on Tuesday. Eddie Rosario has to make a better throw home on Erick Aybar's sacrifice fly. Kyle Gibson should have gotten at least one out, if not two, on the comeback in the sixth. And, before that, Albert Pujols has to be thrown out at first, either with a better throw from Trevor Plouffe or a better dig by Joe Mauer.
``We didn't make enough plays,'' Twins manager Paul Molitor said.
Mistakes like the Twins made on Tuesday will lead to their clocks being cleaned, especially as they run through the gauntlet of Angels, Yankees and Pirates over the next week.
And there's the offense. Outscored 21-1 over the last two games. Four walks. A whopping 27 strikeouts. Angels righthander Matt Shoemaker doesn't even throw hard, and Twins hitters where swinging over his splitter like he was Roger Clemens.
``We took strikes and swung at balls for the most part,'' Molitor said. ``We expanded the zone.'' The Twins are batting .179 in four games since the break. Miguel Sano can't recover from his ankle injury any quicker. The one game they won was on two swings of the bat. Eight runs in four games, folks.
And people keep asking me if the Twins are looking for a catcher. I was told bullpen help is their top priority right now. A bat should be second, but I'm not sure where to put one if Sano is back in the lineup soon. I was told Terry Ryan is not as concerned about Suzuki as some other people are. I sense the Twins will ride with Suzuki because the like the way he handles the staff and don't want to disrupt the best part of the team.
Now that you are prepared to read more, here are three thoughts following the Twins' 7-0 loss to the Angels on Tuesday
THE CALL: Paul Molitor said it was 35 years ago when he approach then-Brewers GM Harry Dalton to ask him to have rule changed - the interference call when a baserunner gets in the way of a throw to first. Molitor has flashbacks to 1980 in the second inning on Tuesday when home plate umpire Joe West called Eduardo Nunez out for interference on David Freese's throw to first. First baseman C.J. Cron reached for the ball as Nunez approached and hit Nunez in the face with his arm (or glove) as he ran by. Molitor checked on Nunez then engaged West on his decision. ``He pretty much quoted me the rule literally,'' Molitor said. ``And I told him I don't think that was the intent of the rule to protect a wild throw. It's a more common call when there is a throwing lane issue.'' Molitor's argument: How can there be a throwing lane issue from third base? Catcher? Sure. But third? Nunez couldn't believe it. ``He (Cron) tried to come to the ball, and he came to me. And he hit me in the face. And I was out. It was an unbelievable.'' Molitor sounded like someone who will lobby the rules committee to address the issue during the offseason. ``If you read the rule he has a point,'' Molitor said. ``If you interfere with the throw to first base and your are on the left side of the foul line, then you can be called for interference.''
POOR THROW CHANGES INNING: The Twins were down just 2-0 in the sixth inning when Albert Pujols reached an infield hit. Erick Aybar followed with a comebacker to Kyle Gibson, who should have started a 1-6-3 double play. ``Got it right back to me,'' Gibson said. ``I knew exactly who was covering. I saw where Eskie was. I also knew that to get a double play I had to get rid of it.'' Gibson's throw sailed to the right of second base, enough to pull Escobar off the bag. Everyone is safe. One or two outs there and the entire inning might play out differently. Gibson was not charged with an error, so he has yet to commit an error in his short career. But he left the park on Tuesday believing that he did.
THE DOZIER RULES: Brian Dozier can remember the few times he did not get a first-pitch fastball to start a game. Once against Masahiro Tanaka last year. Another against Mark Buehrle this year. And a third time against a pitcher he can't remember. On Tuesday, Angels pitcher Matt Shoemaker started Dozier off with a first-pitch slider. Uh-oh. That was just the beginning. Dozier saw few fastballs on Tuesday. Obviously, the Angels have see the results and are adjusting to Dozier's fondness for bashing fastballs early in the count. ``Tonight their game plan was he wasn't going to see a fastball in a fastball count,'' Molitor said. ``And if he did, it was going to be on the outer third of the plate.'' It's gong to be up to Dozier to make an adjustment. As the key player in the offense, if opponents shut down Dozier the Twins are in trouble. Especially the way the lineup is going.