When I was in high school, there was a guy on our baseball team that loved nothing more than the first pitch of the game from the opposing pitcher. If it was a ball - and this being high school baseball, it often was - this guy, without fail, would prematurely heckle the pitcher by yelling "STRUGGLING!" at the top of his lungs.
I suppose that's a little like noting that anybody on the Twins is "struggling" after just one series. Nevertheless, the Twins did drop three of four to the Angels, and in the process resurrected old concerns about the team's ability to score runs or hit the long ball.
After the jump, a look at the first series of the year, and at some players who didn't have the best week.
Justin Morneau - He's 0-12 for the year. Throw in the last three spring training games, and he's 0 for his last 19. Two words: not good.
Michael Cuddyer - He is the team's third hitter - and in the series finale, the opposing team chose to intentionally walk the guy in front of him with two outs in the bottom of the ninth with the game on the line. Not only is that embarrassing for Cuddyer - it's worrying for us fans. The right fielder was also just 1-6 with runners in scoring position, and though that's an extremely small sample, he'll be hitting in that situation a lot this year if he stays directly behind Carlos Gomez and Joe Mauer in the lineup. If the Twins are going to score runs, Cuddyer needs to improve.
Carlos Gomez - As local sports maven Tom Linnemann noted: "He never closes his mouth. You can't trust a man that never closes his mouth." Otherwise, though, Gomez was great.
Brian Bass - Made two relief appearances in the series, and gave up two runs (one earned) in 1.1 innings in one, and allowed two home runs in the other. Brought to mind the phrase "cannon fodder" far too often.
Craig Monroe - Played two games as the designated hitter, going 0-5 and striking out twice. Perhaps "designated automatic out" would have been a better moniker for his position in the series.
That's one series down, four games in the books, with 158 left to go. As the Star Tribune's Michael Rand pointed out, if this were an NFL season, we'd be in the second quarter of the first game, with 6:18 left on the clock before halftime. There's a long way to go and many more judgments to be passed...
...which is what makes it so much fun to heckle at this point. STRUGGLING!