The Twins got nuked again, no thanks to Brian Duensing. All Duensing did was pitch seven innings of three-run baseball, and only two of those runs were earned. No, the thanks for this nuking goes to three very special relief pitchers.
Full recap after the jump, but to make you feel good here is Seth Meyers being extremely hilarious at the White House Correspondent's Dinner. Honestly, this is fantastic.
Joe Nathan: This is just getting depressing. Maybe he just hasn't found his mojo. Maybe his confidence is shaken. After Billy Butler's leadoff double in the eighth, Nathan looked like he was going to work himself out of it after getting Jeff Francoeur to pop up, intentionally walking Wilson Betemit to set up the double play, and then getting Alcides Escobar to pop out on one pitch.
Jose Mijares: Is it just me, or could Mijares not retire a six year old with a wiffle ball bat? He faced one batter, Chris Getz, who singled. Sure, it was essentially a swinging bunt that just trailed into no-man's land, but this made it 4-2, and one of Nathan's runners had scored. And this hell wasn't over yet. No, not by a long shot. Because having realized how completely ineffective Mijares has been lately, the Twins immediately turned the ball over to the strikezone-averse Jim Hoey.
Jim Hoey: By now you know the Royals finished with 11 runs, even though they've only scored four so far. I just wanted you to know that, because in spite of the fact that Kansas City would score seven more runs...
Hoey's ERA would go down after this appearance.
Isn't that fun?
To be fair, it was the first walk Hoey issued this year. But he did it on four straight pitches (even if he was close to the one on occasion) with the bases loaded. 5-2, with two of Nathan's runners now scoring. Then a routine grounder to Matt Tolbert, who made a good throw to Justin Morneau. It was a perfect throw, the kind you expect that same six-year old with a wiffle ball bat to make when he gets his turn in the field. Right at chest height, right at Morneau's body. But Morneau dropped it, and two runs scored. 7-2.
A wild pitch later, Alex Gordon crushed a three-run homer. 10-2. Jarrod Dyson singled, Franceour doubled in his second at-bat of the inning to make it 11-2. Hoey got Betemit to fly out to mercifully end the frame.
Now, I'm confused about something. Hoey's ERA went down, because the official box score says he allowed four runs, all of them un-earned. But how is Gordon's run, the one he scored off his own homer, un-earned? Any of you folks know?
Now, Duensing pitched well. That's a positive. Jason Kubel had another outfield assist, and he also went 2-for-3 with a double and a walk. Denard Span was 0-for-3, but picked up two walks. So there were your stars for the game.
Jim Thome was back in the lineup, which is better than seeing him on the disabled list. And between them, the Twins took seven walks on the night, so that's good too. Moral victories are nice, because they're all the Twins are getting right now.
Game three is this afternoon, and I'm expecting good things. I'll see you there.