The Minnesota Twins bullpen leads something to be desired. What is desired is good pitching and there are only a few arms in the bullpen that are contributing such results, one of those is, of course, All-Star closer Glen Perkins. New manager Paul Molitor realizes this.
The Twins went into the bottom of the eighth inning against the Kansas City Royal on Tuesday night with a 5-4 lead. Casey Fien was on after appearing in the seventh for the last out and was given the eighth, but blew the lead giving up the tying run. That’s when it got interesting.
With two outs in the eighth, Molitor went to his best reliever in Perkins. Molitor made the rare move of throwing his closer in a close game in an inning that wasn’t the ninth. Shocking!
More shocking was the fact that it didn’t work. Perkins gave up a single to Mike Moustakas which scored the winning run for the Royals. I am here to tell you to forget the loss for a moment and forget that Perkins failed, but revel in what Molitor did.
Most managers shiver at the thought of using their closer outside of the ninth inning, but Molitor did it. Sometimes a manger goes for the four-out save, a rarity, but it wasn’t even a save for Perkins. Molitor knew that he would need his best arm to get out of the inning and sometimes even your best arm fails.
The move is noteworthy, but it shouldn’t be widely celebrated. Even though the move failed this time, it is another example of Molitor being willing to take chances and experiment against the commonplace thoughts that are held throughout baseball.
The times they are a-changing for the Twins and it looks like those changes are for the better.
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