Thursday, August 9, 2007

Twins waste yet another good start

Matt Garza came out firing on Thursday afternoon, putting together another good start. Garza went 6-plus innings, had 6 strikeouts, and allowed 1 run on 4 hits. Garza also walked no hitters in the game. This start brought Garza's ERA on the season down to 1.70. What do the Twins do with yet another gem of a pitching performance? They waste it by making Kyle Davies look like a Cy Young winner. They managed only 3 hits off of the 4-8 KC pitcher. Garza was robbed of another win by his own team yet again, since they provided no run support. This is the second game Garza has lost in which he allowed 1 run, however in his other start the run wasn't even earned. Garza is now 1-3 on the season, but is still sporting that 1.77 ERA. The Twins hitting is ridiculously awful, especially when hitters should be in their groove this late in the season, and against a pitcher like Davies who had a 6.07 ERA on the season before this start.

Notes from today's game
  • Punto was on the bench like he should be. Unfortunately, this meant playing time for Luis Rodriguez, who deserves less playing time than even Punto. Predictably, L-Rod didn't get a hit in the game.
  • Casilla did everything he could in his first start as the leadoff hitter. Casilla went 2-3 with a walk and one stolen base. A dropoff from Castillo? So far, trading Castillo to open up @B for Casilla has seemed like a smart move.
  • Speaking of smart moves, obtaining a bat right now seems like a necessity. We can't get shut out by the Kansas City Royals when we are playing for a playoff spot. It just can't happen.
  • Another reason we didn't score today? Michael Cuddyer pulled off his best Adam Dunn impression, and not in the good way (that was last night). Cuddyer struck out 4 times in the game in 4 at bats. Now, I'm in no way saying that the loss is completely on Cuddyer's shoulders, but when you lose a game 1-0, and your cleanup hitter strikes out 4 times and leaves 3 runners on base(two in scoring position), a large portion of the blame can be centered right there.
  • Jason Kubel has shown he can hit right handed pitchers well. For the rest of the season, there is absolutely no reason that Kubel should be out of the lineup with a RHP on the hill. Kubel doubled and had a walk in the game. His split stats show a .244 average against righties this season, but Kubel has been great of late against them.
  • Tommy Watkins, the recent callup from AAA-Rochester didn't get an at-bat in the game, his first game suiting up for the Twins.
  • Brian Buscher, who was placed on the DL, allowing Watkins to come up, had his leg drained of fluid and will be out at least 2 weeks. Great, this means 2 weeks of Punto, L-Rod, and Watkins sharing time at 3rd base.
  • The lineup has a lot of potential. While they didn't score today, I think today's lineup was the best we've seen in a long time. With Casilla leading off and Bartlett hitting second, they are setting up well for our 3-6 hitters. Kubel is a capable 7th hitter, and with a hitter like Rondell White hitting 8th, it really doesn't matter who plays 3B and hits last in the lineup, since I personally feel like that is a solid 1-8 hitting lineup.
The Twins start a critical 6 game West coast trip tomorrow, playing the LA Angels and the Seattle Mariners. Every game at this point is critical, but when you are playing teams ahead of you in the Wild Card standings, the Twins desperately need to win both series.

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