It some ways it's almost like watching a baseball movie in slow motion. This team is battered, bloodied and bruised after fighting for every single inch of progress during the season, and you wouldn't believe the number of things that have gone awry if an oracle had appeared on March 31 and explianed it all with intimate detail. So it was last night, not just when Liriano and the rest of the Minnesota pitching staff were shellacked by the Brewers offense, but when yet another player was sent to the disabled list.
How Delmon Young got to the disabled list would be comical if it wasn't so frustratingly sad. Yuniesky Betancourt, who truly is one of this game's worst players, put awkward wood on the ball and arced it into left field. Young initially misjudged the ball, coming in a few steps before turning and retreating towards the left field wall. As the ball came down he put his glove up, turned awkwardly on himself, fell over and the ball bounced away towards the corner. Betancourt would get all the way around for an inside-the-park home run.
After the game, Delmon would say he caught his foot on the bottom of the scoreboard.
"I got my spike caught on the bottom of the scoreboard, the black ledge just sticks out," Young said. "Instead of my foot missing it and just hitting the ground, it got caught in there, and the rest of my weight went into it."
I've watched the replay. Multiple times. Delmon's right foot looks like it was caught for the briefest of moments under the scoreboard, but only after he'd already fallen over. I'm not going to blame Delmon for injuring himself, because that would be stupid, but this situation could be avoided by:
- Having a left fielder who is in better shape, leaving less margin for error.
- Having a left fielder who can field moderately well, if only by taking good routes to the ball.
More on the play, and the game, after the jump.
Young didn't do himself any favors on this play. He took multiple steps in, misjudging the trajectory of the ball. This led to an awkward route, and in order to catch up with the ball he had to run as fast as he could. The faster Young runs, the harder it is for him to make a play on the run. As a result he not only misjudged the ball again, he misjudged where the left field wall was. The split second where the ball should have come into his glove, Young...fell.
I'm guessing he did it to reduce his momentum and avoid running straight into the scoreboard at full pelt. I'm guessing he was timing it to make the catch first, before he fell. And after that comical series of events, adding insult to injury (or maybe injury to insult), his foot was caught in the scoreboard and he's heading to the disabled list.
French Resistance fighter Rene Tosoni will rejoin the team today.
As for the actual game itself, well, there isn't much to tell. Ben Revere's single in the second scored Jason Repko to give the Twins a 1-0 lead. Francisco Liriano came undone in the third, allowing five runs and in the end departing before the end of the fourth and getting charged with six. Anthony Swarzak and Joe Nathan would allow solo home runs, and Phil Dumatrait's weaknesses as a pitcher are starting to come to bare with a terrible night of his own.
That's four in a row. This afternoon the Twins try to put a stop to the skid.
- I'm guessing that Sunday's outfield will consist of Tosoni in left, Revere in center, and Repko in right. At least this outfield will be able to cover some ground.
- Dumatrait's June: 5 games, 5 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 4 R. A couple more bad appearances in the next week or two could lead to the return of Chuck James.
- Michael Cuddyer was 2-for-3 with a walk. He's now batting .293/.360/.464.
- Ben Revere picked up two more hits as well. It's too bad all of his offensive value it tied up in batting average: he's only managed four walks, and his last one was two weeks ago today.
All pitchers, Young, Nishioka