It was not pretty, and Ron Gardenhire knew just what to say after a 7-0 loss to Chicago that gave the White Sox their first series sweep in Minnesota since 2004, “Well, we were pretty much dominated in this series.” Dominated is the right word choice for a series which saw the Twins score just 4 runs, 3 of those coming in the first inning for the series opener. 26 more innings and the Twins managed just one more run, that’s being dominated.
The Twins are now 12 games under .500 and haven’t won a series since taking three out of four from the Kansas City Royals immediately following the All-Star break. Since that series win the Twins are 7-14, and not only have they lost 5 games in the AL Central race, but they missed key opportunities to gain ground as the division leaders. The Tigers are still just 8 games above .500, with 12 wins in their 22 games since the break and he Cleveland Indians, the surprise of the first half, have all but fallen flat after their hot start to the season and are 3.5 games behind the Tigers, just a single game above .500, despite raiding their Minor League system for Ubaldo Jimenez. The Twins had much anticipated four game series against each of these Twins, at home at Target field after the All-Star break and could manage only a series split. With their latest loss to the Chicago White Sox (their fourth loss in a row), the Twins are now fighting the Kansas City Royals for 5th place in the division and any dreams of another 2nd half run have all but vanished from even the most optimistic Twins fan.
I don’t see the Twins getting a lot closer to the top of the standings before this season is over. Barring any waiver wire transactions the Twins are going to head to September, call up some more of the Luke Hughes and Kevin Slowey types from Triple-A and hope to limp their way through September. For now, their goal should be to play competitive baseball, get Ben Revere and other youngsters as much game experience as possible and prepare for future success in 2012 and beyond. Meanwhile, Triple A pitchers Kyle Gibson and Anthony Slama were both in the Twin Cities over the weekend to have their elbows examined by team doctors, hopefully they’ll be healthy enough to be a part of that future in 2012.
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