Game Recap #99: Doziers 2, Santanas 8

Another day, another loss.

Yohan Pino pitched about as well as you can expect your fifth starter to pitch.  I guess it's an open question whether he's the fifth starter or the fourth starter these days, but even if he's the fourth starter, he's a fifth starter.  He had a bit of OBI (One Bad Inning) syndrome, but his total numbers are still 6.1 innings, four runs, seven hits, no walks, and five strikeouts, which is not that bad.

Unfortunately, the Twins could only score one run in five innings off the immortal Danny Salazar, a pitcher who had started the year in the starting rotation, been sent to AAA, had not pitched particularly well in AAA, and was making his first start back in the big leagues.  They did not lack for opportunities, but for the game the Twins stranded ten men and went 0-for-8 with men in scoring position.  The fact is that they have no one in their lineup that one feels confident, or even particularly hopeful, will come through in a key situation.  A couple of guys get on, we see whose coming up next, and the best reaction we can hope for is, "Well, I guess he's as good as anybody else we've got."

It really says about all you need to know about the Twins lineup that Trevor Plouffe is batting third.  I don't mean this as a slam at Plouffe, but the third spot is where you put your best hitter, right?  Plouffe is batting .243 with an OPS of .736.  Those are numbers that are actually slightly above his career numbers.  He is average at best offensively and always has been.  And yet, he's as good an option as anyone the Twins have for a number three hitter.  In fact, the Twins two through five spots in the batting order are batting .239, .243, .240, and .212.  And it's not like any of them have a ton of home runs to make up for that.  You're just not going to score runs that way.

Once again, it feels as if the Twins are at a critical point in the season.  So far, every time it felt like the Twins were about to fall off a cliff, they've managed to walk away from the cliff and put together some wins.  They need to do that again.  Unfortunately, Kyle Gibson has been scratched from tonight's start with back stiffness, meaning it's up to Anthony Swarzak to get a winning streak started.  Well, it's baseball.  As Joaquin Andujar told us, youneverknow.  If he comes through, that will propel the Twins to their season-ending sixty-three game winning streak.  We'll just have to settle for 108-54!