Posted at 6:28 PM on June 11, 2006
by Josh Lee
Aside from Cuddyer's second grand slam in two weeks, last night's Twins game was a pretty grim affair. Carlos Silva had a tidy three-pitch inning in the 4th, but that was just a teasing little reminder of how efficient he was last year, as the rest of his six-inning, ten-hit, five-run start was kind of a mess. Kyle Lohse wasn't much better: He celebrated his first appearance since being recalled from AAA by hitting Baltimore's Brandon Fahey with a pitch, then gave up three runs to ensure that the rally that was about to begin would not be enough to get over the hump, and by "hump," I mean "butt-whooping." Why Gardenhire felt the need to leave Lohse out there for three innings is beyond me.
Today's game, on the other hand, went about as smoothly as yesterday's didn't. Francisco Liriano gave exactly the kind of performance one needs to wash the bad taste of poor pitching out of one's mouth. Tallying one hit and six strikeouts in seven innings, it was the kind of game where the pitcher is off the mound before you even realize that he's gotten started. And even though Joe Mauer was only 1-for-4, and Cuddyer struck out four times, and Gardenhire got ejected for arguing one of those strikeouts, Justin Morneau's two-run homer was plenty enough to give the Twins a winning lead.
Silva and Lohse are the past we'd like to leave behind. Liriano, Mauer, Cuddyer, and Morneau are the present we'd like to build around.
i'm not ready to throw silva under the bus. lohse has a long history of being a mediocre pitcher at best. silva was fantastic all year last year and he's still very young. he's shown he can do it for a year, which is about a year longer than lohse has done