Posted at 6:53 PM on September 6, 2008
by Steve Rudolph
The Twins lost 6-4 to the Detroit Tigers at the Dome on Saturday. According to the box score, Matt Guerrier was credited with the loss. Ron Gardenhire deserved it.
Entering a tied game, Guerrier failed to record an out giving up two runs on two hits, one a homerun to Magglio Ordonez that proved the difference. Guerrier, the American League leader in appearances, might have been more effective with the game on the line Saturday afternoon if he hadn't been asked to pitch in a blowout win on Friday night.
What was Gardy thinking bringing in one of his top setup men into 10-2 game in the 8th inning, especially one who has show signs of fatigue the past month?
I realize that some of the young arms struggled in the blowout loss in Toronto, but there were plenty of pitchers who hadn't been in 67 games already this season.
Friday night would have been a perfect chance to reintroduce Eddie Guardado to the Twins faithful and possibly give him a chance to bounce back from some rough outings on the road trip. Or give Jose Mijares his first taste of the bigs. The Twins aren't likely to find many more favorable situations for that than Friday.
One of the reasons the Twins are in the hunt is because Gardenhire relied on Guerrier, Reyes and Nathan over and over again in June and July. But as expected, they are now breaking down and throwing the season away in September.
I guess one of the knocks on Gardenhire is that he rides the horse that got him there all season. It was painful watching the team lose another late inning lead due to a broken bullpen, but I think it's more a lack of confidence right now than fatigue. This young team seems to flow as a unit; offensively; defensively; pitching wise, and when leading by 8 the bullpen looks relaxed and they all pitch better. They hit their spots instead of tightening up. I don't blame Garnderhire for putting them back out there. He'll need them to find their confidence soon if they want to play in October.