That was quick work. Quick, ugly work.
Coming into the game, I noted this about Nick Blackburn:
Blackburn has had just one good start in his last four. Those three bad starts saw Nick combine for just seven (YES, SEVEN) innings.
Run that streak to one good start in his last five. Take a look at those four terrible ones.
June 1: 3.2 IP, 5 ER
June 6: 2.2 IP, 5 ER
June 18: 1.2 IP, 8 ER
June 24: 3.2 IP, 5 ER
This isn't just a bad stretch, it's a nightmare for Blackburn. He's a guy that's been mystifying those of us who believe in stats and peripherals for a long time, and right now all those doubts are being cashed in at once.
Ricky Weeks and Prince Fielder each jacked two-run homers in the fourth (Fielder's looked like a pop-up, the man swings like a lumberjack), and that was all it took. Yovani Gallardo was filthy, absolutely sick, retiring the first 16 batters he faced before finally Drew Butera came through with a single with one out in the sixth. Not that it did any good. Minnesota finished with five hits, no walks, and managed a runner in scoring position just once.
Gallardo struck out 12. As terrible as it was to see every single hitter struggle (except perhaps Justin Morneau, who hit the ball hard every time and finished with a pair of hits, including a double), it's hard not to appreciate how efficiently he carved up our offense. The man was like a surgeon, and evil surgeon with....well, surgical precision. He managed the complete game shutout on 122 pitches.
When the Brewers finally chased Blackburn with two outs in the fourth, Brian Duensing came on to apply the tourniquet. He got the Twins through the seventh, holding the score at 5-0, but as we already know the offense was unable to bring it back.
And with that, the Brewers sweep the Twins and drop them to 2-4 on their current road trip. Notes and awards after the break.
- Orlando Hudson tried to injure himself again tonight by fouling the ball off himself. He's alright.
- Brendan Harris has been designated for assignment. In a bit of a surprise move, the Twins are recalling Jason Repko. Yes, another outfielder! Denard Span will be pleased.
- Duensing's ERA is now 1.95. That's unexpected.
- Jim Thome got to pinch hit tonight (and was called out on strikes), but Joe Mauer's day off was actually a day off.
MVP of the Game: Yovani Gallardo
MVP in a Losing Effort: Brian Duensing (3.1 IP, 3 H, 3 K, 0 H, 0 BB)
Best Offensive Player: Ricky Weeks (2-for-3, two-run homer to kick off the scoring)
Biggest Disappointment: Nick Blackburn