Good news, Twins fans: there’s no way to go but up.
Nearly a year to the day after Francisco Liriano provided the only bright spot of the 2011 season, Angel hurler Jered Weaver no-hit the Twins. His gem completed a three game sweep that has left the Twins with the worst record in the Major Leagues. The Angels won the game 9-0, so it also marked the second consecutive game where the Twins have failed to score a run.
Only two Twins reached base in the game. Joe Mauer reached on a strikeout when catcher Chris Ianetta missed the last pitch, and Josh Willingham drew a walk in the seventh inning. Not counting the phantom Mauer strikeout, Weaver notched nine Ks against the Twins.
On the other side of the mound, Liam Hendriks continued the proud tradition of Twins starting pitchers allowing piles and piles of runs. He yielded six in less than three innings thanks to nine hits. The nine hits do not tell the whole story, though, because the boxscore does not show how hard the Angels were hitting the ball every at bat. Alex Burnett allowed three more runs in an inning of long relief before Brian Duensing, Glen Perkins, and Matt Capps kept the Angels scoreless the rest of the way.
Years from now the Twins might look back on this game and thank Weaver, because this is truly the game where the Twins hit rock bottom. Seriously, we’ll all be laughing about this in a few years’ time.
In the meantime, it’s the Angels who should be thanking the Twins. Los Angeles began this three game series with a 7-15 record, a heavy disappointment for a team expected to be one of the AL’s elite. Now with three convincing wins, the Halos have a much more positive outlook on the season. The Twins provided the same service for Boston last week; the Red Sox were well under .500 when they visited the Twins, but they swept Minnesota and have now won seven of their last eight.
It looks like the Twins have found their role this season. They’re like the best friend in a romantic comedy who perks up the lead actress through self-deprecation and humor. In baseball terms, they’re the opposite of a spoiler. Instead of sneaking up on good teams and beating them, they let struggling teams take cheap shots to build their confidence.
The Twins are a freshener.