Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Sweep In Pictures

What's the difference between being 3 games back and 9 game backs? The ability to use a bat when it matters.

The rare assis auriculus

Five runs in three games does not demonstrate that ability. Of course, the problem wasn't necessarily getting runners on base (at least not after the first game). Rather, the problem was that the Twins couldn't come through in the clutch. They stranded eleven runners in scoring position and ran their way out of other opportunities as well. And they did it in the most infuriating fashion. They hit into double plays and they watched three straight strikes without moving their bat from their shoulder (Jason Kubel, I'm looking at you, eh). They popped up and swung at ball four. They did it all.

A key part missing from the Twin's Offensive Engine

If they had done the little things right, they might still have been able to pull out the series. Instead, they compounded their problems with mental (and physical) errors. A costly error by Jason Bartlett in the first game and poor fielding by Nick Punto and Jason Tyner in the seventh inning of the final game were too much for the Twins weak offense to overcome.

The message Gardy saw after the Twins' mistakes

And if just one Twin had actually gotten a hit each of the last two games, we would all be singing a different song.

The sheet music for "Stocking up for Next Year"

They didn't, however. Which is why the Tiger's have a nine game lead, the Twins have two of their four real hitters battling injuries and it looks like it's time to see if Terry Ryan can unload some of his free agents to bring in a center fielder, third baseman and DH for next year. On a positive note (and it's always important to find a positive note), at least we'll get to watch Scott Baker and Matt Garza figure out how to use their abilities and become quality starters.

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