I know that the Twins were not supposed to contend this year, and that I should be happy that we are even in the race, gaining experience, the thrill of a pennant chase--all that.
But, at a certain point, you want to win games. We are now entering September and we are at that point. Who knows if we ever get this close again for a decade?
This road trip, 14 games in 15 days, has been billed as the be all and the end all of the Twins season, and to the extent that it is, things are not looking good.
Joe Nathan has blown two saves against teams that are less than solid offensively. Jesse Crain has been battered in the late innings and come back to the hotel with a pair of losses. The offense has come up punchless in three, make it four games, leaving decent pitching performances on the table.
But, last night, WTF? Can anyone explain to me why Harris was in the game, in the 9th inning with a one-run lead? Isn't the manager's job to put his best defenders on the field and maximize the chance of winning?
Harris is not a defensive whiz, to say the least. And, if you watch the losing play carefully you can see that Nathan had the guy at third, made a decent throw, not even all that hard. But, Harris does not move his glove into backhand position, but rather, tries to scoop it down low moving across his body. And, he misses it.
I know. Nathan gets the error. A throw right at Harris's chest and the Twins are likely in 1st place this morning.
But, still, Gardy has got to bring Everett in to play SS and move Punto to third late in games when they are winning. Even if the game goes into extras, he still can pinch hit Buscher for Everett and move Punto back to short.
It's the kind of managerial oversight that you don't often see anymore. And, I wonder if Gardy will acknowledge his mistake on the radio show this morning.
Sure, baseball takes a million turns, and I am the first one to admit that a change like that changes what would have happened on the field. But, could it get any worse than it did? Giving up two runs on a single hit in the bottom of the ninth? And just why did they bring in Everett as a free-agent if they are not going to use him--one of the best shortstops of his generation?
The Twins are finding ways to lose games. And last night's, while there were accessories, has got to be laid at Gardy's feet.