That was certainly a tough spot for Gardy in the eighth inning on Saturday afternoon’s game. Blackburn had looked good, getting through seven innings and giving up just a three run homer to Mark Teixeira,* and we’d just rallied to take the lead 4-3.
* Does anyone else think Teixeira is really dialing up his game against the Twins? He’s hit .369/.416/.653 in his career against the Twins, which is the third best he’s done against any other team. (After the Nationals and the Indians.) The reason for that can’t be Gomez, that was too recent. However, given how quick Teixeira was to explode at Gomez about something that was neither of their fault and was just part of the game, there may be a pre-existing issue here. I wonder if he blames us for not taking him first overall? Some baseball players have been mistreated … but, like people, some of them are just jerks.
Blackburn had already thrown 98 pitches, but with the knowledge that the bullpen is simply awful, Gardy couldn’t in good conscience bring in a reliever. Unfortunately, Blackburn surrendered a run in the 8th to tie the game, wasting the rally and his strong start.
I appreciate the fact that he disregarded the almighty 100 pitch count and left the starter out there for an extra inning. But we really shouldn’t have to do that. This demonstrates the fact that Gardy has realized that we simply don’t have an 8th inning reliever right now, and it’s found yet another way to cost us a game.
After extending Guerrier to another 2 inning outing,* we had to go to Breslow. He managed to record an out in the 10th, which was a minor miracle, but he couldn’t do the same in the 11th. He walked Teixeira and gave up a walkoff home run to A-Rod. There’s a reason that when Breslow comes in I immediately say “Well, here comes a walk and a home run.” And it’s because when he comes in, he gives up a walk and a home run.
* As I wrote the other day, we can’t keep using Guerrier like this. He looked good in those 2 innings, but this kind of thing is what wrecked his arm — and possibly his career — in 2008. If the plan is just to ride him until he blows out his shoulder and then cast him aside, then fine, but I don’t think that’s what we should be doing.
Another thing I said when Breslow came in was that for some reason, Gardy was still using our relievers as if it’s wise to use a pitcher for one batter in an extra inning game. He came in to face Damon, and I thought it was simply inconceivable to have him face Teixeira and Rodriguez, given that they’re both right handed power bats … and Breslow sucks. Again, it’s a tough spot.
Frankly, I wanted to be able to write about Mauer and Morneau today. This is the second time this season that they’ve both homered in consecutive games. While I think that’s awesome, we’re having serious OBP problems in the 2-hole — all five of the home runs the Twins have hit in this series have been solo shots. That’s pretty bad.
The Twins have come close to beating their New York curse in each of the first two games of the series, and each time have come up painfully short. Let’s see what they can do this afternoon.11 comments