Here are some thoughts following Wednesday's debacle
DUFFEY'S STRUGGLES: Both manager Paul Molitor and Tyler Duffey agreed after the game that opponents are starting to lay off some of Duffey's curveballs. That means Duffey is going to have to throw the pitch for strikes more often, or hitters are going to sit on fastballs. Duffey said he threw some changeups - Albert Pujols flied out to center on one in the fourth. I wasn't sure how many he threw, but it will also be a key pitch to maintain in his arsenal if he's going to turn things around. But there seemed to be times when he would just throw fastballs to hitters, and he doesn't throw hard enough to get away with that. ``I have given up a few hard hits when it counts,'' Duffey said, ``but ground balls have been just perfectly placed. I feel like that has happened to everybody. A bunch of balls just right where guys weren't. There's nothing to do about it. It's baseball sometimes.'' Duffey has an 8.35 ERA. It will be interesting to see how long his leash is.
CORNER OUTFIELD FLUBS: Four of the Angels runs came on outfield mistakes. Max Kepler overran a fly ball that fell in for a hit and allowed two runs to score. Robbie Grossman took a bad route on C.J. Cron's drive that fell in for a double and allowed two runs to score. Man, did the Twins make Cron look like a hitter on Wednesday. Both Kepler and Grossman are not bad outfielders, so the mistakes were surprising. Kepler didn't lose the ball in the lights. He thought the ball was headed for the wall, so he took his eyes off the ball to find the wall. But then, it was too late.
ONE BRIGHT SPOT: Joe Mauer drove in Byron Buxton with a single in the eighth for the Twins second, and final, run. That extended Mauer's streak of getting on base to 27 games, the longest current streak in the majors. But that's not the bright spot. It was Buxton squaring up a pitch and driving it to the gap for a double. That's what the Twins need to see from Buxton, who doesn't look as overmatched in his second stint in the majors as he did earlier this year. ``We're seeing flashes,'' Molitor said before the game. ``I don't think the results have been great as of yet. I think the mentality from at-bat to at-bat has been pretty good. I think he's making adjustments. He's absorbing. He's learning. Putting time in. And we hope it translates to more production and more hits. I think he's doing what he needs to do to get better.''