Yes, the Twins won 2 out of 3 and took a home series which they needed to take. Yes they are still 3.5 games up on the White Sox and yes, they are still in the driver's seat for the division crown. But, I can't imagine a series win costing this team more than the Tigers series did. To recap:
- On Tuesday night, the Twins used 5 pitchers: Duensing, Guerrier, Flores, Crain, Capps
- On Wednesday night, the Twins used 6 pitchers: Liriano, Crain, Flores, Guerrier, Capps, Rauch
- On Thursday night, the Twins used 8 pitchers: Baker, Manship, Rauch, Flores, Guerrier, Crain, Duensing, Blackburn
In summary, tonight's scheduled starter Nick Blackburn will not be able to start tonight forcing the Twins to start a Triple-A callup OR someone like Glen Perkins. Not only that, Guerrier, Flores, and Crain have all been used 3 games in a row (with VERY mediocre results mind you) rendering them essentially unavailable for at least tonight. So if tonight's starter gets shelled in the 1st few innings, the Twins will have a very difficult decision to make on how to proceed. Their bullpen is used up and has been growing more ineffective by the day and even the 'plan-B' of using a starter is unavailable.
In addition to all of that, the series cost the Twins Orlando Hudson, Jason Kubel (could be bad, he's headed for more X-Rays), Brian Fuentes and Scott Baker (looks like elbow tendinitis again).
/buries head in hands
I was thinking the other day about what to write about and thought, "you know, the Twins have really shown the depth of their organization this year considering all the injuries they've overcome." The entire infield that started the season has spent time on the DL from Morneau to Hudson to Hardy and Punto. Stepping up into their places have been Cuddyer, Casilla and Valencia and all of them have performed pretty well. Other role players like Jason Repko have provided a spark for the Twins as well. But now, the Twins find themselves at the bottom of the barrel and I don't see where they are going to go from here.
The costly part of the series will not necessarily be felt tonight or tomorrow, but next week and the week after that if the Twins bullpen continues to be used heavily and certain key cogs like Kubes and Hudson continue to miss time. I just have a bad feeling that though last night's game was just one game, it's ramifications could last awhile, especially considering the Twins don't have another off-day until next Thursday. I'll leave you with a Gardenhire quote from after the game last night...
"Tomorrow we will find a pitcher,'' Gardenhire said. "We're looking for about 2-3 but they are on the road in Triple-A. We're trying to get a hold of everybody and are trying to make decisions. We'll have a starter for tomorrow and a couple of relievers. We can't tell you their names right now. We just don't have them.''
As I write this, I've finally reached the 5th stage of grief, acceptance, telling myself that it's just baseball and that the outcome of this season will have little bearing on my overall life.