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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Astros Find Way to Lose... AGAIN

Astros 5, Twins 6
Credit the Twins for knowing their opponent. Rather than deflate over Special K's dramatic, game-tying homer in the bottom of the 9th (on a 1-2 count with 2 outs... prompting a, "How 'bout deez nutz, beeyotch?!?" from me over the phone to Shafty), the Twins responded the way a hot team normally does... with an answer.
For some dumbass reason, Gar[d]ner decided to bring in Trev-ER (thus dubbed b/c he's good for an earned run whenever he's out there), who expertly gave the Twins the lead back on a first-pitch BOMB by some guy I've never heard of, further proving the fallacy of the myth of "left-handed specialist." The only thing this left-hander specializes in is disappointment. Nevermind the fact that Roy Harvey struck out the side in the 8th. Nevermind the fact that their lefties had been struggling against him all night. Nope, we "play the percentages."
*soft, slow, mocking clap inserted here*
I've got to number my complaints because my head's spinning this morning, but see if you can follow me...
1. Roy Harvey's rough 7th wasn't his fault.
With one out, and after giving up two straight hits, Roy Harvey gives up a third, routine single to left. With a runner in scoring position, PK cadillacs the ball and the runner aggressively heads for home.
Keep in mind that K-Dawg has a good arm... but seeing his approach, and with the ball in front of him, the runner tries to score. Not believing that the Twins would dare to run on him, K-Money air-mails the ball over the cutoff man, 3-4 feet in front of home plate.
The runner scores. The man on first moves to third. The hitter moves to second. So now, rather than having the bases loaded and one out, the Twins have cut the lead to 4-2 and have two men in scoring position.
The next batter hits a routine grounder to short, which would've resulted in an inning-ending double play with no runs for the Twins. Instead, it scores another run to make it 4-3, with two outs and leaves a man at second.
Then, with two outs and a one-run lead, Roy Harvey gives up a routine flyball down the left field line. I say "routine" because I truly believe most, if not nearly all, MLB outfielders make that play. Instead, PK takes a piss poor route, running straight at the ball (instead of taking it on an angle).
The ball zips over his head, causing him to do the ever-gay "ballerina move" to try to catch it. He doesn't, so the Twins tie it on the "double." Don't get me wrong, PK tied the game in dramatic fashion in the 9th, but wouldn't have had to had he just played common, tight defense.
2. Our pitching staff's lack of focus is pissing me off.
I can't, for the life of me, figure out why it's so freaking difficult for our pitchers to get ahead, stay ahead, and keep runners off base. I thought Roy Harvey did a great job last night; but can The Mole please pitch a damn inning without putting a runner on? Can we please get a lead and not give it right back? Can we please know the situation and execute?
What's more, The Mole is so concerned with striking hitters out that he forgets that's not the goal. The goal is to get hitters out... no matter how. In my book, a groundball is as good as a strikeout. But he plays to the crowd, which is why he uncorks a slider with the winning run on third (put there by him). It's also why he never holds the runners. Granted, Castillo is very fast... but at least throw over there once or something. Damn.
Twice now in two games I've seen our guys get a lead (or tie) and then have the pitcher give it back on the very first pitch of the next half-inning. UNACCEPTABLE.
Guys, you need to go back to Pitching Class. NOW.
3. Morgan Ensberg needs to sit.
I realize Mike Lamb's in a bit of a slump right now. Play Eric Bruntlett, then. Plus, I can't figure out why, when it seemed that Jason Lane was seeing the ball better, he's still on the bench.
If Morgan's shoulder is hindering his success, he should sit until it's well. If it's not bothering him, he should sit until he gets his eyes back. I've watched that guy take pitches right down the middle for strikes and then swing at crap. Granted, he got a hit to the opposite field, showing a nice in-at-bat adjustment; but he struck out THREE TIMES last night.
I like Morgan a lot. I think he's a great asset to our team; but as of last night, his average for the last three months was as follows... April: ± .309, May: .216, June (so far): .143. His average for the season right now sits at a whopping .250.
Get it together, Morgan... NOW.
I've already expressed my frustration with Trev-ER, Lidge, and Gar[d]ner. What's worse, is that the Cards and Reds both lost last night, giving us another chance to move up. We refuse... again.
I don't want to be doomsday this early (especially after last season), but this team is so mediocre right now, that I'm not sure even Roger Clemens can salvage much. Keep in mind that last year, our heroes were 2 games over .500 at the All-Star Break. Right now, we're one game over. With the way we're currently playing, it's not looking good.

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