Here are three thoughts from LEN3 following the Twins' loss to Baltimore:
SLOPPY ON D: The Twins weren't charged with any errors on Sunday, but they were not crisp in the field. Dozier mishandled a grounder and had to sprawl on the ground and reach for the ball to force a runner at second. Eddie Rosario's throw from the left field corner evaded two relay men. And Jorge Polanco has had some moments at short recently. Molitor cut off the questioner, he was so each to agree about the recent defensive effort. "The last couple of weeks the errors have been a little more frequent," Molitor said flatly. "Kind of a mixed bag, from throwing to not fielding the ball cleanly. But I thought it has waned a little bit here heading into the break." Molitor agreed with another questioner that long innings and pitchers taking time (Gibson) can lead to a defense that's not on its toes. "The pace of the game was terrible," Molitor said. "It was hard to watch it get slowed down like that. You'd like to think your defense can stay ready but it gets more challengeing. I thought the play that Dozier recovered and tagged the base was the result of a very slow inning. So I do think it does have a litte effect on hwo the guys play on the defensive side."
ANOTHER LOPSIDED LOSS: Read somewhere early this season that the mark of a good team is how many games it wins by five or more runs. So I've paid attention to that a little bit. The Twins have won 12 games that way - but Sunday marked the 19th time they have lost by five or more runs. And that explains why their run differential is minus-60. We've watched this team play all season. The offense is functional and has plenty of upside. The defense has improved. But if the Twins don't add at least one starter (not named Bartolo Colon) and one reliever they are going to see that number continue to head in the wrong direction. Because they can win 5-2 or 4-2 but they will also have games like Sunday's that will turn the differential the wrong way. It's also hard for fans to embrace this team when they lose by scores like Sunday's to teams it should beat.
DOZIER GRUMBLES: Brian Dozier was flabbergasted in the first inning when home plate umpire Lance Barrett ruled that he struck out. Dozier argued that he tipped the ball and the ball hit the dirt, but Barrett said the ball was caught by catcher Caleb Joseph. Dozier held out his arms and pleaded with Barrett, who didn't look like he was intersted in a debate. Twins manager Paul Molitor jogged out to join the discussion as well as to protect Dozier.