Here are three thoughts following the Twins loss to the Yankees
PERKINS' INJURY: Glen Perkins apparently is dealing with the same neck problem that led to him being shut down in September. ``It kinda became clear what needed to be done,'' Twins manager Paul Molitor said. ``We put a plan in motion to get that done as quickly as we can.'' Perkins underwent a battery of tests at the time, which showed nothing serious. ``It's enough that the fact is that he's had a little history with that,'' Molitor said. ``You want to make sure you are doing the right thing and taking care of him and his career. Hopefully we'll find out nothing major and we can alleviate some of the inflammation there and get him back out there as soon as we can.'' Perkins had 28 saves and a 1.21 ERA at the All-Star break but has a 8.10 ERA since with two blown saves. He entered the game Monday in the tenth inning and loaded the bases on two hits and an intentional walk before the Yankees scored the winning run. My thing is, if Perkins takes a cortisone shot, he'll need a couple days for the medication to work its magic. How soon could he return? Saturday? And do the Twins want to rush him back to the mound? Stay tuned on this one.
BULLPEN WOES: Nothing can demoralize a team like a bullpen that gives away games. And the Twins have done it in back-to-back games against the Yankees now. Totally understand the spot manager Paul Molitor was in with his bullpen tonight. His plan was to hope the youngsters could hold off the Yankees then use Trevor May in the ninth. Teams have games in which key relievers have to sit out and the manager has to ad lib. But this is also a reflection of the Twins bullpen construction that goes back to the offseason when they hoped Tim Stauffer would be the answer. Trying to find cheap talent is not going to get it done. Houston dropped money on Luke Gregerson and Pat Neshek. How they doin'? Failure to add another bullpen arm before the deadline had hurt them. And this also speaks to Michael Tonkin and other relievers in the system who would be welcomed with open arms if they can get people out when given a chance.
SANO IS GOOD AT BASEBALL: Another two-run home run for Sano tonight. The rookie is having a great week. He has about 25 friends and family members in town. He's showing off at the Yankees expense. Just think how things would be without Sano around to show the Twins that the future is now. ``It's a lot to put on that man to put him in the slot we have, but he has responded,'' Molitor said. ``The numbers are accumulating quickly.''
BONUS THOUGHT: Did Mike Pelfrey give the Twins what they needed? Yes and no. Pelfrey shut the Yankees out for three innings before Carlos Beltran doubled in the fourth and Greg Bird drove him in with a single for his first major league RBI. Holding the Yankees to one run over 5.1 innings in their house is not easy to do, and Pelfrey served the Twins well in that regard. But he fell behind hitters all night and was pulled after 51/3 innings and 104 pitches. He had four full counts. The way things turned out, they needed him to go deeper. Much deeper. ``That's kind of my regret, not going deeper into the game,'' Pelfrey said. ``I put the bullpen in a bad spot there. My fastball command was all over the place.''