The Kong show.
Unfortunately, I don't have time this morning to give this game the recap it deserves. I'll do my best given the amount of time I have.
The Twins missed some chances to take control early. They had two hits and a walk in the first, got the leadoff man on in the second and third, and got a leadoff triple in the fourth, but only had a 2-0 lead out of it. That came back to haunt them, as the Pirates turned two hits and an error into two runs in the fifth to tie it. The Pirates took the lead in the sixth, as Roy Smalley and I both thought Molitor left Pelfrey in the game too long, although given the Twins bullpen troubles, one can understand it. The Twins tied it in the sixth on Hicks' RBI triple.
The bullpen didn't do badly at first. O'Rourke pitched very well. Fien did well in his first inning of work, then gave up a couple of hits.
Then came Duensing. He pitched poorly, no question about it, but I think some of the comments in the game log were based on emotion rather than logic. That's not a criticism--I get the same way during a game. But in his eleven appearances before last night, Duensing had pitched 14.2 innings and given up no runs on three hits and two walks. One bad game should not completely wipe that out.
To the Twins' credit, they came back in the bottom of the eighth. But again, they missed a chance to take the lead, as they had the go-ahead run on second with one out and did nothing with him.
Perkins had his second poor outing in a row and his third out of four. One hopes it's simply a poor stretch, as just about every reliever other than Mariano Rivera will have at some point. If Perkins doesn't come through, the Twins are in real trouble, because they don't appear to have any other closer options.
So, the Twins lose again. They try to avoid the series sweep this afternoon, as ex-Twin Francisco Liriano goes against apparent staff ace Ervin Santana. There's still a lot of season left, but if the Twins want to make the playoffs, they need to get things turned around pretty soon. And that's just what they'll do. Today, they start their season-ending sixty-three game winning streak! We'll just have to settle for 115-47!