It was an honor again for my band, The 4onthefloor, to play Target Field during a Twins game, this year as the inaugural band of the brand new Midwest Music Showcase series. We had a fantastic time again – the Twins treat us great and it’s an amazing experience especially for a lifelong die hard Twins fan like myself. Unfortunately we’re now 0 for 2 on rocking the Twins on to victory so they might not ever ask us back again. Click the photo above for more photos taken by my good friend, Ryan Siverson (rysiphoto.com).
As for the actual game, The Twins took an early lead but left four runners on in the first two innings. After that The White Sox’s bats got hot and they pounded Twins pitching for 9 runs and 3 home runs over the final seven innings. As is increasingly becoming the case, and as most of us expected coming into the season, the starting pitching was poor. Mike Pelphrey just isn’t fooling anyone and the Sox were hitting rockets all over the field off him. More concerning is that the bullpen, which had been stellar until the past week or so, again struggled. The White Sox are not a good team and have been terrible offensively, but right now, Twins pitching is even worse. Offensively the Twins left too many guys on base early or this game could have had a different complexion. Mauer and Morneau continue to be hot and Eduardo Escobar homered but mostly the bottom third of the order didn’t do much.
Joe Mauer had three more hits including another double. He’s climbed back up to 4th in the AL in batting average and is now third in the AL with 16 doubles, 11 of which have come during his current 14 game hitting streak. He also struck out again, stretching his streak to 14 consecutive games with a strikeout. A thought popped into my head that maybe the reason he’s hitting more doubles and striking out more often is that he’s swinging harder this year. I have no idea if this might be the case. I wonder if anyone has asked him. His strikeouts don’t bother me at all – he’s still putting up monster number other than home runs.
The Twins rotation is as bad as we expected. Correia thus far has greatly exceeded my expectations. But Worley has been much worse than expected and Pelphrey has been almost as bad. I don’t expect Correia to continue to pitch as well as he has, and I want to think Worley should be better though he hasn’t shown anything so far. Pelphrey probably should be dropped from the rotation but right now there’s nobody demanding his spot. Kyle Gibson has been inconsistent, Cole Devries is coming back from injury and struggling in the minors, Liam Hendriks has struggled at AAA and is now hurt, Sam Deduno, PJ Walters, and Andrew Albers have pitched pretty well at AAA but are not on the 40 man roster, and Alex Meyer and Trevor May aren’t ready for the big leagues yet. It’s hard to imagine anyone besides Scott Diamond on this staff posting league average stats or 180+ innings. We’ll probably end up seeing as many as ten different guys get five or more starts this year.
Josh Willingham isn’t doing much for his trade value right now. His overall numbers aside from his batting average aren’t bad, but he just doesn’t look very good lately. The Twins have too many RF/1B/DH types and eventually they will need to clear some space. Willingham seems like the most likely guy to bring something of quality back in return but he needs to hit.
Oswaldo Arcia looks like a guy going through a little bit of a rookie readjustment period. It’s just a few games but he hasn’t looked as in control at the plate lately. I’m not worried. I still think he’ll win AL Rookie of the Year.
I didn’t get to really focus a great deal on the game today so those are my few thoughts for now.