Posted at 11:22 AM on June 27, 2005
by Josh Lee
There were some good signs for the Twins in yesterday's 5-2 win over the Brewers, suggestions that there may be a light at the end of the slump they've been in for the past few weeks. For one thing, they jumped out to an early lead, and for a change didn't give it up, meaning that they didn't have to play gritty, scrappy, rally-cap baseball in order to eke out a close win. I mean, I love gritty, scrappy, rally-cap baseball as much as the next person, but honestly, all these come-from-behind, extra-inning games are exhausting for me as a spectator; I can't imagine how wearing they must be on the players. Not to mention that gritty/scrappy/etc. is only lovable when you're winning; when you're as slumpified as the Twins have been lately, gritty/scrappy/etc. is just whistling in the dark. But getting some solid run production from Shannon Stewart and a bunch of guys you've never heard of will go a long way towards restoring your emotional stability and curbing your antacid habit.
The emotional and gastrointestinal stability of Twins Territory was also helped by having a starter get through a showing without having a complete meltdown on the mound (or a mysteriously shrinking strike zone, depending how you look at it). Kyle Lohse didn't have a 1-2-3 inning all day, but he managed to pitch out of every jam he got into without disaster striking. Hardly the stuff of Cy Young awards, but it'll do. Of course, just to make sure that every silver lining has a (humid, muggy) cloud, Joe Nathan went to the mound in a non-save save situation and proceeded to scare the holy pants off of everyone, giving away two runs before finishing Milwaukee off with two nasty strikeouts.
One game isn't enough to make even the most optimistic fan think that their team has finally turned the corner or -- oh, who am I kidding? I totally think the Twins are on the cusp of regaining the dominance on the mound that they had way back in the good ol' days of a month ago, and are showing signs that they might even learn to hit one of these days. And I'll keep on thinking that until their next desultory 4-1 loss against a middle-of-the-road team, at which point I will put on my sackcloth and ashes and once again start casting about for a way to dull the pain of a sagging infield or an out-of-control pitcher. It's fun to be a fan of the Twins (or any sports team, really), but it'd be more fun if I had some lithium.