Last week we were talking about the Achilles heel of the Twins’ pitching staff (one of them, anyhow) — the home runs.
At the time, we’d given up 155 HR, ranking 12th in the AL. The worry was that our weakness perfectly complements the White Sox’ strength, and that that harms us significantly.
Evidently, someone in the Twins clubhouse was listening, because they’ve really gone out of their way to prove that our fears were warranted.
In the third inning of the second game on Saturday, Perkins gave up a three run home run to Salazar. On Sunday, we gave up 7 runs on 5 homers to the Orioles (Salazar, Markakis, and Montanez). On Monday, we gave up 3 runs on 2 homers to the Indians (Shoppach and Choo). Then on Tuesday, the first four runs we gave up against the Indians were on two home runs (Garko and Cabrera). The streak finally ended in the third inning on Tuesday when a Punto error moved a runner to third and a Liriano wild pitch let the run in.
So, over the course of under four games, we gave up 17 consecutive runs via the home run (on 10 homers). And the only thing that managed to finally end the long ball pain was the Twins’ other major weakness — defense. (Team defensive efficiency of .694, 20th in baseball.)
Mark this moment. 7:10 PM, Central Time. The Twins are down 8-1 in the 3rd to the Indians and the White Sox are up 4-1 in the 4th over the Yankees.
To quote Dick Bremer: “… one of the most unsightly innings of the year.” Indeed. It’s fitting. Almost poetic.
This precise moment may be the end of the Twins’ dreams of contention in 2008. The 17 consecutive runs via the home run aren’t the reason for the end — they just irrefutably demonstrate why the end came.
It was nice while it lasted. And now that the pressure’s off, maybe the Twins can start hitting and/or pitching and/or defending like major leaguers again. It’s gotten too much like watching the Vikings, and I for one can only tolerate that wretched experience once per week.4 comments