The Twins were fortunate, in a way, that Clayton Kershaw was so dominant on Wednesday.
Had the Dodgers' left-handed legend simply been very good, limiting the Twins to a few hits, none of the debate about lifting Kershaw after 80 pitches and seven perfect innings would have ensued.
And more of the focus might have been on the futility of the Twins' offense.
Here, though, I believe in equal opportunity. So let's turn our attention to the home team.
As I talked about on Thursday's Daily Delivery podcast, Wednesday was a day to forget for the whole organization. You might use the word "disaster," but sample sizes would dissuade me from entering that territory just yet.
But let's consider four things that happened Wednesday:
- First, of course, was getting just one hit against the Dodgers — that coming in the eighth inning by Gary Sanchez after Kershaw was removed. The Twins also struck out 14 times, pushing their season total to 60. Only the Orioles and A's have struck out more times on a per-game basis than the Twins through Wednesday.
- Then consider Alex Kirilloff went on the injured list with a recurrence of the wrist problem that wrecked his 2021 season. Kirilloff was just 1-for-17 to start the year, but the Twins had already used him in the middle of what was supposed to be a stacked batting order this year. Now his availability and effectiveness are in question.
- Also note that Miguel Sano, notoriously both streaky and a slow starter, is 0-for-19 to begin the season.
- Then add in that if you were hoping for reinforcements from Class AAA St. Paul, Wednesday was not a good sign. The Saints got zero hits against Indianapolis in their game.
Again, this is the time of year where sample sizes can skew things. The Twins had a game with six homers earlier this year. The Saints knocked the cover off the ball in the season's first week. The Twins are 2-4, but six games accounts for less than 4% of a baseball season. Not all hope is lost.
But if the strength of the Twins — or at least the area with the fewest question marks — appeared to be their batting order entering the season, the start is not encouraging. They're hitting .181 as a team, second-to-last in the majors.
The pitching has been better-than-expected so far, so maybe we need to shift our expectations. Or maybe a month from now, there will be another word for how the Twins' season is proceeding: identity crisis.