Max Kepler tripped over his own bat while running out of the batter's box on Monday night in Seattle.
Just let that marinate and soak in for a moment.
The Minnesota Twins were in Seattle for the next leg of their west coast road trip (thanks, TC Summer Fest) and had a typical roller coaster performance. Kepler's little moment happened in the fourth inning and served as a perfect metaphor for both the Twins offense and how these sorts of games have gone for Minnesota this season.
Kepler lined a pitch to right field, tripped over his bat, but ended up on second with a double. Honest props need to be directed Kepler's way for playing off tripping over your own bat in about as smooth a way someone possibly can.
All of this happened at a point in the game where the Twins looked like they were on the verge of chasing Mariners starter Lewis Gilbert and blowing a 2-0 lead wide-open. Rather than add to their lead, the Twins ended the inning without any runs and blew their lead an inning later.
Max Kepler tripping over his bat is a perfectly depressing metaphor for Twins
There are perfect metaphors and then there's Max Kepler tripping over his own bat after making contract yet still managing a double.
Spoiler alert: Kepler didn't score after this double and the Twins ended up losing the game 7-6. Gilbert, who the Twins appeared to be chasing early, ended up with his eighth win of the season while Gray earned his 13th decisionless start of the season.
That's the cherry on top of this metaphor, as it was yet another frustrating loss for a Twins team that has struggled to make things easy. To be fair, the offense scored six runs and it was a disastrous fifth inning from Sonny Gray that led to the loss, but the metaphor still stands.
The Twins have been proverbially tripping over their own bats all season long. At one point earlier in the year, when the good times were rolling, Minnesota was outscoring its opponents 62-37 while in the middle of a stretch were the team won 10 of its first 14 games.
Since then, the offense has cratered and the best players have slumped hard. Byron Buxton is having a particularly bad year, hitting an abysmal .196 and is in the midst of an 0-for-21 hitless streak. It marks the second time this season that Buxton has gone more than 20 plate appearances without a hit, and he's only reached base four times since July 4th -- somehow still managing an RBI thanks to a bases loaded walk against Oakland.
Buxton is by far the worst hitter the Twins have right now, which is very obviously a problem. Carlos Correa has slowly started to wake up after getting moved to the leadoff spot but for most of this season Minnesota's two best players have been among their worst offensive performers.
It doesn't take much more digging to figure out why the team is barely above .500 and clinging to first place in the AL Central. Rather than bringing up stats, when someone asks you what's wrong with the Twins just show them Kepler tripping over his own bat and let that footage do the talking.