This one got ugly.
Things didn't look right from the start. Rusty Greer followed up a Mark McLemore walk with a home run to put the Twins in a 2-0 hole just three batters into the game. Will Cark, Dean Palmer and Mickey Tettleton loaded the bases before Kevin Elster cleared the bases on a double, and finally Dave Valle homered to complete the seven-run top of the first. The only good news in the frame was that leadoff batter Darryl Hamilton was 0-for-2 in the inning.
It didn't really get any better, although thankfully we wouldn't see Travis Miller again.
Jose Parra managed to give his offense a chance to climb back into the game over the next three innings, facing just one over the minimum over the next three innings, but other than Scott Stahoviak's run-producing groundout the talented Twins offense couldn't make a move on Bobby Witt.
Parra scuffled the moment he took the hill in the top of the fifth. Juan Gonzalez and Will Clark went back-to-back leading off the inning, and Elster's one-out double would make it 10-1. Dave Stephens relieved Parra for the sixth but it was just one of those days--Clark's ground-rule double and a Stahoviak error led to two more runs.
It was an ugly game, there's really no other way to put it. The opposition was mashing the ball all over the field, balls were flying over the fence and our own offense...which is pretty good in its own right...couldn't put anything together.
Chip Hale, who took over for Chuck Knoblauch in the blowout, singled home Pat Meares in the bottom of the eighth, but there was just one more dagger left: Elster, who had four hits and five RBI in the game, scored the final run of the game on a home run. How else could it have possibly ended? Final score: 13-2.
Thankfully, games like this are just part of baseball and don't happen very often. If this were a team headed for the post-season, as opposed just just a .500 ballclub, I might be concerned. But it's not like the Twins lost to an inferior club, either--this was a good team.
Wait, what? It's not 1996? This team, the one for which all aspects are going wrong at once, is headed for the post-season in five days? Oh. Well, in that case: even if momentum means nothing going into October, you don't want to be playing shitty baseball as a team heading into it.