But why did it have to be this game?
I've been saying for almost two weeks now that this offense is just frustrating to watch. I can think of no better term. Last night I watched Castillo get picked off, and double play after double play after we start off right by getting the leadoff man on. Then to make things worse, I see two big defensive blunders, both involving Cuddyer.
On the first one, a single was hit to Cuddyer with a man on first. Cuddyer, who had made a brilliant throw earlier to nail someone at third, tried to go for the runner at third again. Big mistake. The throw missed the cutoff man and the batter got an extra base out of it. Runners on 2nd and 3rd. An inning or two later, a dome double was hit. High into right center field, and no one called for it. That's the second time I've seen that happen, and remember, I don't get to watch the Twins often!
Finally, I have to make a comment about Rondell White. I know he's a veteran, and a nice guy, but get him the hell out of this lineup. I saw two at bats in particular last night, and I couldn't believe this guy has a major league contract. The first one in question was about the 6th or 7th. Rondell struck out on a ball at his chin! How does anyone think that a ball like that is a) a good pitch to try to hit or b) anywhere near the strike zone. I was in awe that he could swing at a pitch like that. In the 9th inning, he did it again, making a weak pathetic swing that resulted in a "fly" ball to shortstop. Rondell looks terrible out there. Now that we have Nevin, and expanded rosters, there is no reason for him to be in the lineup as much as he is. Let Tyner play LF, let someone with an average higher than .224 play DH. Either Nevin or somebody. Hell, now that we have a third catcher, put in Redmond at DH and have him bat seventh.
Didn't the Twins learn their lesson about lackluster veteran talent early in the season? Remember Batista? Castro? Rondell White? This team has always done better this season with the young guys in there. It's time to "stop the insanity" (thanks SBG) and cut this guy loose.
A radio broadcaster made a good poing about the Cardinals that relates to this. He mentioned that Tony LaRussa is too dependent on veteran players believing in what they've done in the past, and believing that that's enough reason to keep using them. Hence, why he keeps going to Isringhausen when he's had 10 blown saves. Rondell White is not the same player he once was. He's past his prime, and he's bringing this team down. The Twins are in a pennant race, and they cannot afford to depend on a player because he was good 5 years ago. They need to depend on players who can get it done now!
With that said, the Twins managed to stay ahead in the Wild Card race as the White Sox experience much of the same helplessness that the Twins did last night, losing to Cleveland 9-1. It's the first time since the All-Star Break that the Twins didn't immediately lose the WC in their first game home. They're still on the blasted pattern though of losing home games after taking a WC lead on the road. Hopefully that will stop tonight. All we need is one of the pitchers outside of Santana to get us a win. This will be the Twins last good opportunity to make something happen in the Central race itself. It's time to stop piddling around and play like the home team we should be.