Monday, May 24, 2004


What a difference four days makes. The last time I wrote, May 19, the Twins were riding a wave of momentum. Matthew LeCroy had just put an exclamation point on what had been a very impressive nine game stretch for the team with his ninth inning game-winning grand slam against the Blue Jays. From May 11-19, the Twins went 7-2 overall, including a sweep of the Mariners at home and winning series in both Chicago and Toronto. Despite the omnipresent injuries, things were falling into place nicely.

Fast forward to May 23. The Twins had just lost in embarrasing fashion to division rival Chicago by a score of 17-7. This finished off what was an ugly weekend of baseball for Twins fans (execpt of course for Saturday's 9-1 win). The Twins finished the first 7 of their 19 games with the ChiSox 3-4. As the Strib noted today, the totals in those four losses have been extremely one-sided:

Category: Twins-White Sox
Batting Avg: .264-.398
Runs: 12-45
Hits: 37-66
Doubles: 4-13
Home Runs: 3-10
ERA: 10.03-3.00

I don't care what school of baseball thought you subscribe to; there is absolutely no way in to put a positive spin on any of those numbers.

I was one of the unfortunate 22,859 people in attendence at today's game. I was really looking forward to the game beforehand. It was Shannon Stewart bat giveaway day (I'm a sucker for promotions) and Saturday's win had me thinking that the Twins were poised to salvage a split in the series and head to Tampa alone in first place. Plus, it has been raining here for like 5 days nonstop and I was looking forward to catching some live indoor baseball (note: this is the ONLY circumstance in which the Dome is a positive).

I'm sure most of you caught at least some of the game (or watched the "highlights") and to make a long story short, it was the epitomy of an ugly loss. I knew we were in for a long day when Johan had some unfortunate circumstances (bloop hit, bunt single, outfield misplay) cost him 3 early runs. But when the Twins took a 6-3 lead in the 3rd, I thought the Twins had a good shot to pull out the "W". Then came "The Neverending Story" also known as the top of the 4th inning. Oh, the horror. That is something I would rather not relive. Needless to say, people started exiting the Dome by the 5th. Even yours truly commited this terrible sin and left after the 7th (with the score 17-6). Hopefully, the baseball gods will forgive me. After this past weekend, I'm sure most Twins fans are wondering when the wrath of the baseball gods will subside and we can get back to the good ol' days: last Wednesday.

Interesting note from Jimmy Souhan over at the Strib sports section: "Top pitching prospect Jesse Crain, who has been hitting 98 miles per hour on the radar gun, was the Twins' minor league player of the week after pitching three perfect innings at Rochester. He's 2-2 with a 2.38 ERA and nine saves."

Anyone think this weekend's pitching implosion may hasten the call-up of the game's top relief prospect?

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