Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Shut Out Again

Twins futility at the plate painful
Minnesota leads American League in being shut out

By The Bullpen Catcher
You can't ask much more of your fifth starter than what Scott Baker gave the Twins Tuesday night in Toronto. Let's be clear about it, Baker isn't exactly Jim Kaat in his prime, but he has worked himself into a doable fifth man in a wobbly rotation.

Baker was OK for a little over six innings, allowing just four runs in seven innings of work. He held a solid Blue Jay lineup at bay (three runs) until he would have normally given way to the bullpen. But, alas, the Twins bullpen is a geldingpen these days.

It's enough to have Paul Simon singing: "Where have you gone Ed-die Guar-dado? Everyday Eddie's arm is blown away. Hey, Hey Hey ..."

The bullpen is left to Matt G-R-R-R and Spaz Neshek. Guerrier is the typical journeyman long reliever and Spaz looks like he has a tired arm finally (wonder how that could happen with such good mechanics?). Last year, The Big Fat Dennys Reyes, Steriods Rincon and Billy Goat Crain would have stopped those Canadian bats and held Baker's ERA a little lower than his 5.30 showing. I'm not Baker's biggest fan by any means, but six hits, one walk and five strikeouts against the likes of Kelly Gruber Jr. (Troy Glaus), Lawrence Taylor (Big Hurt), Boomer Wells, and Grand Rios should make Ron Gardenhire happy.

The biggest problem wasn't the geldingpen. It sure wasn't Torii Hunter's idiot baserunning. It wasn't Baker.

It's the problem that should have Terry Ryan now in trade-for-the-future mode. The time to trade back into any race is over for 2007. Why? The offense.

The Twins offense has been as anemic and tempermental as a high school girl the week of prom.

Where are the runs? Justin Morneau can only hit so many homeruns to get this team to within four of the other team. Joe Mauer is the best bases-empty, down by five hitter in baseball and Torii defines sporatic at the plate. The Twins lead the American League by being shutout nine times this season. Time to get some middle relievers for next year and maybe someone to hit in that lineup for Gardy's boys.

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