It feels like every time the Twins lose (multiple games), reports grip on to a couple certain players and "credit" them with all the losses. Like for instance blaming Scott Baker and Liriano for the 3 games we lost to the Yankees. I didn't know Scott Baker's presence affected the other two games that he didn't pitch, or Liriano's affecting the game I was at or the one Scott Baker pitched. That is some talent right there in the midst of our starting rotation.
I know Scott Baker has had his brutal bad outings, but then again, he's also had his outstanding outings where he barely lets up a run. Honestly, I don't think the outcome of a game can be blamed entirely on a pitcher (unless it's all home runs they are giving up, or walking in every run.) Sure Scott Baker got credited with 5 earned runs against the Yankees (those 3 of those runs were let in by Brian Duensing, Baker got them on base however) but the start before that, he had 1 earned run. I'm not trying to make up excuses for him nor for Liriano, because I know that everyone should know, I'm not the biggest fan of Liriano. I don't think he's shown his potential that he had pre-Tommy John surgery...I think since that surgery, he's been mediocre at best. I don't know that I could fully blame him for the loss yesterday however. (the fact that he likes to try and give the navy jerseys a bad name, I can blame him for.)
I think yesterday our bats against a guy who was only a spot starter were weak. The team was 1-9 with runners in scoring position (RISP) and they left 8 guys on base! Why was this loss not blamed on the fact that Denard Span, Matt Tolbert, Justin Morneau, Mike Redmond or Nick Punto couldn't hit the ball. Everyone in the line up besides Tolbert (and Harris's 1 AB) struck out once. How can we win a game if we can't capitolize on runners on base and in scoring position? I know the night before Cuddy going 0-4 and striking out when the bases were loading helped us lose that game, also errors or lack of catches (foul ball) has helped us as well.
I just think that there are many factors to consider when posting blame for losses. Do I think we should start playing better? Yes. I think we need to be like Nick Blackburn and bring out A-game out when playing. I think the boys need to stop acting like they are intimidated by teams like the Yankees or Boston, and stop being overtaken by starters who are newbies (either haven't pitched against us or are recent calls/spot starters). We've struggled with hitting those pitchers all season long. They get a scouting report on these pitchers, why can't they figure out the best approach and then work on hitting them. If their approach doesn't work the first two times at bat...maybe consider figuring out another way. During the Yankees series, Justin (who obviously is one of our power hitters/big threats) went 0-11. He needs to bust out of this slump he's in and start hitting, walking, or whatever to just get on base! No more of this pop-outs, strike outs or ground balls! Get on base, and get the runners in! (That message can be said for all the players).
So I found out that my sign that I made was on TV not only just on the Wednesday night game that it was at, but also yesterday afternoon as the game started! My mother watched the replay of the game last night (when FSN rebroadcasted it around 7 pm) and said she saw it, but didn't see me (yes, Mom, that's because they didn't put me in the shot...which is fine...don't need anymore enemies!).
3 Stars of the Game: (these will all be Twins because I refuse to give stars to Yankees or other teams I don't like.)
1. Joe Mauer (went 2-4 and still is the batting leader.)
2. Brendan Harris (pinch hit and went 1-1, sorry, I had to!)
3. Michael Cuddyer (only went 1-4, but had a double to get into scoring positiong.)
Tomorrow: I will be going to meet Jason Kubel (and attempt to throw Joe Nathan into that equation) and then I am going to be going to our amazing Twitter/Blogger party at Jen's place.
Here are the details for that (though I know some of you already know about this from Katie, K-bro, Lipgloss and Baseball or Those Girls blogs as well):
What: Twins Fan/Blogger/Twitter Party
When: July 11th, 2009 12:30-3:30pm
Where: Jen's House (please email firstname.lastname@example.org for address and info)
Who: Anyone who wants to come! If you're reading this, you're invited. We're a very inclusive bunch!
This is pre-game before the 6:10pm White Sox game, which happens to also be the Twins Hall of Fame induction night for Brad Radke. It's pretty laid back. We're planning to hang out and meet some new folks who share a love of Twins Baseball. I'll be bringing some materials for sign-making and perhaps some Twins trivia. People are free (and encouraged!) to bring any outdoors-y, tailgate-y games they might have. We'll just be doing snack foods, so folks are welcome to bring a little tasty something to share if they're able. Some bloggers/tweeters have purchased (or are planning to purchase) cheap seat tickets to the game, and are going to be sitting together as a group. If you already have tickets elsewhere, or don't plan to go to the game (shame on you! Brad Radke!), you can still swing by pre-game for some fun and frolicking. It will be good times. I promise.
Katie and I will be attending the game (as well as other bloggers). Katie and I are cheap seating it, and will be sitting in section 212 (Justin Morneau's home run section) as low as we possibly can (since I'm busting out the sign that Sarah requested last year). If anyone would like to sit by us, shoot me an email to email@example.com so we can be on the lookout for ya! We'll be the ones with the neon-pink sign that says "Bleach the Sox...no on second thought they'd enjoy that."...if that changes, I'll let everyone know!