Francisco Liriano was fine today. He was better earlier than he was later, when his control starter to slip a bit, but over six innings he allowed just two runs and that's pretty good. Unfortunately, today the Twins' bats weren't hitting as a result of Daniel Hudson being absolutely outstanding. Six strikeouts, no walks and eight hits over eight innings, Hudson kept the Twins at bay and continued to be one of Arizona's best pitchers.
Liriano himself picked up a groundout RBI in the fifth to pull the Twins within a run, and Delmon Young's solo (YES, ANOTHER SOLO) HOME RUN (sorry caps lock was still on) home run knotted the game at two in the seventh.
But in the bottom of the seventh, Willie Bloomquist smashed a liner over Trevor Plouffe's head and into the left-center field gap. The outfield shift meant that both Young and Ben Revere had a lot of ground to cover, but Revere booted the pickup and allowed Bloomquist to advance to third with nobody out. Of course he scored, but we're lucky it wasn't worse considering the circus catch that Revere barely pulled off.
To be fair to Revere, he also made a diving catch, moving to his right, earlier in the game. No doubt the man can move. But I wasn't his biggest fan today. He didn't get a good enough jump on Plouffe's late bunt, and his boot may have cost the Twins the game.
The Twins had a last chance in the top of the eighth, trailing 3-2. Revere reached on a single into center, but Plouffe's follow-up bunt was to the wrong side of the field. Third baseman Ryan Roberts was already charging, fielded Plouffe's bunt cleanly and got Revere by half a step as he slid into second base. With Plouffe on first, Jason Kubel and Justin Morneau each struck out to end the frame, with Morneau's third strike looking. Justin's called third strike was a perfect fastball at the knees, and he knew it. His frustration at himself was evident.
Just like that, the Twins turn a three-game winning streak into a three-game losing streak. All three games were games the Twins could have won, but this isn't a new concept this season for this club. Every week there have been one or two losses tha could have gone the Twins way; be it on a lucky bounce in the field, a better bullpen or one better pitch made by the starter there have been far too many chances that have gone by the wayside.
Liriano (pitching), Young, Liriano (hitting)
Revere, Plouffe, Morneau