FanPost

Closing Games

Leading 7-0 through four innings against the Milwaukee Brewers and then 7-3 entering the eighth inning on Saturday night, it looked promising that, through 81 games and the season's midway point, the Minnesota Twins would find themselves 8 games back in the American League Central and 9 games below the .500 mark.

Not so said closer Matt Capps.

Five ninth inning hits and four ninth inning runs helped push the Brewers to an 8-7 lead and an eventual series-splitting victory. It also helped hand Capps his sixth blown save of 2011, and the Twins' bullpen their 13th of the season.

Yes, that's right, 13 blown saves. To the season's midway point, the Twins have now gone 17-for-30 in save opportunities—good for a conversion percentage of 57%.

Here's a breakdown of those missed opportunities:

Matt Capps:

July 2 (L, 8-7)

June 8 (W, 3-2)

May 23 (L, 8-7)

May 21 (L, 9-6)

May 11 (L, 9-7)

April 14 (L, 4-3)

Joe Nathan:

April 16 (L, 4-3)

April 14 (L, 4-3)

Jose Mijares:

June 24 (L, 4-3)

May 31 (L, 8-7)

Glen Perkins:

June 19 (W, 5-4)

Alex Burnett:

April 29 (L, 4-3)

Jim Hoey:

May 27 (L, 6-5)

In the 12 games (you'll see why it's 12 games in just a moment) in which a reliever has blown a save for the Twins in 2011, they have now gone 2-10 (one of the games, April 14, saw both Capps and Nathan blow a save opportunity). Through the midway point in the season, the Twins find themselves looking at the second half of the season with a 35-46 record and a lot of work left to do to make it seven playoff appearances for the team in 10 seasons under manager Ron Gardenhire.

What doesn't take a lot of work is seeing where the Twins could be with just a handful of those blown saves and 10 eventual losses on the other side of the win-loss column.

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