Rocco Baldelli bluntly addresses bad umpiring in 3-1 loss to Guardians

He wasn't happy, but Rocco Baldelli knows bad umpiring isn't the only issue.
Division Series - Houston Astros v Minnesota Twins - Game Three
Division Series - Houston Astros v Minnesota Twins - Game Three / David Berding/GettyImages

After getting off to a 2-0 start, the Minnesota Twins are either starting to stall out or take a step back -- neither of which is optimal.

Making matters worse is the team losing a second straight game to the Cleveland Guardians on Saturday, a loss that drops the Twins to 3-4 on the season. Those numbers are actually pretty decent when you dig a little deeper to figure out why things are sputtering so bad out of the gate.

The Twins extended their streak of leaving runners in scoring position to 24 straight at-bats. Minnesota is hitting a miserable .136 with RISP this season, with almost all of that production coming in the first two games of the season against a pretty bad Kansas City Royals team.

Adding some extra texture to the offensive woes is bad umpiring. For as awful as the Twins have been at the plate, part of the reason might be how out of whack hitters have been due to wildly inconsistent strike zones.

We saw a good example of that on Saturday, but it's not something Rocco Baldelli is ready to use as a crutch.

Rocco Baldelli refuses to blame bad umpiring for Twins 3-1 loss to Guardians

Rocco wasn't ready to fully dismiss the number of bad calls he thought were made, but he also didn't let it serve as an excuse for why the Twins are so bad offensively.

"We didn't lose today because of the strike zone. I can't sit here and cast the blame on anyone but ourselves," Baldelli said. "I didn't go look at all of the pitches. I heard that there were a number of pitches that were not helpful to us, and not really that many on [Cleveland]."

There's no question that the bad umpiring is impacting Twins hitters at the plate, but it's also not the main reason for the anemic offensive production. Saturday was a rough game, one that got so bad that hitting coach David Popkins was ejected for arguing balls and strikes, but Minnesota has only itself to blame for how bad things are going.

Since scoring nine runs in the first two games of the season, and taking out a seven-run win in Milwaukee, Minnesota has mustered up just five runs in four games. It's starting to look painfully similar to the offensive struggles the team had last year, and it's a big reason why the Twins are struggling in games they should be winning.

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