Step 3 to getting back into 1st place was "win the winnable games." These last two games qualify as the Twins were/are playing ONE OF THE WORST TEAMS IN THE AMERICAN LEAGUE. Not only are you now right back to where you started the 2nd half at 3 1/2 games out 1st, you've lost two games that should have been easy victories. This team is infuriating. Last night, right after the Twins scratched back to tie the game at in the 7th, Jose Mijares comes in, walks the leadoff guy and coughs up what turned out to be the winning run.
Come on Twins, what more do you need? You have the new stadium, you have ~40,000 people at every home game, you have the awe-inspiring lineup, you have all the tools to be a winning baseball team yet you continue to stumble and sputter at the WORST times. Admittedly, I don't get to watch many Twins games on TV. I live in Chicago, I don't have MLB.com's season pass so save for the rare nationally televised game, or when the Twins are playing the White Sox, I don't get to watch. But in the games I have watched, this team seems to lack urgency. It would be a tough argument to call their play on field "lazy" but it wouldn't be a stretch to call it 'uninspired.' In the recently concluded White Sox series, they seemed to have a little fire, which seems all but gone in this current series.
It's hard to say what kind of impact the absence of Justin Morneau has had on the offense. The Twins are 4-6 in the 10 games that Morneau has so-far missed, but they've been on a similar trajectory for the past month and half. The reports of late have not been that encouraging and it's looking unlikely that he rejoins the team this weekend. Concussions are tricky things so the Twins will probably be careful with this injury.
The Twins made it official today that Nick Blackburn will be replaced by Brian Duensing in the rotation and Duensing will start Saturday against the Orioles. Unfortunately, Blackburn will now be pitching out of the bullpen when I wish they would just invent an injury for him and send him back down to Triple-A for "rehab" starts...for the rest of the season. Twins Geek illustrated just how bad Twins pitchers have been over the past month and a half, with Blackburn leading the way. In an ideal world, Duensing would duplicate his effort from last season and provide the Twins with a 3rd reliable starter. If not, pretty much anything is better than the garbage Blackburn was throwing out there. And the Twins gave him how much money?...oh my.
The Twins continue to be pretty quiet in the trade market, which isn't a bad thing, but I think they waste an opportunity to improve this year's team if they don't make a trade. We don't need an ace, we just need some consistency.