Posted at 9:56 PM on May 16, 2007
by Chris Dall
Ugh. Another bad loss last night, as the Twins go down 7-1 to Cleveland. Their record in their last 10 games is 3-7.
Last year at this time, the Twins were sitting at 17-22, and things were looking dire. The pitching was shaky, the offense was anemic, and it didn't look like help was coming any time soon. Then Francisco Liriano was inserted in the rotation, Morneau started hitting, and the piranhas were born. The rest is history.
Fast forward a year, and the story is remarkably similar.
Sunday's 16-4 pasting of the Tigers aside, the offense just can't seem to get it going. Obviously losing Mauer hurts, but even with Mauer, the Twins just aren't getting enough production out of three key run-producing positions: Third base (Punto), left field (Kubel, Tyner), and DH (Cirillo). Getting Mauer and Rondell White back should help, but in the long run the Twins are going to have to find a way to add more offense. And no, Lew Ford is not the answer.
But all the offense in the world might not help the way the pitching's been going lately. Right now Santana and Silva seem to be the only pitchers who can be counted on, and when you're counting on Carlos Silva, that's not a good sign (see last night). After a strong start to the season, Ramon Ortiz has looked awful in his last two outings, and Boof is showing he might be more of a 5th starter than a 3rd or 4th starter.
So what's the spark going to be this year? Will it be Matt Garza? Are Bartlett and Punto all of a sudden going to catch fire? Can last year's miracle run be repeated?