The Twins sure find new and interesting ways to lose ball games. Last night against the Seattle Mariners, down 5-4 in the ninth inning, the Twins loaded the bases with no outs off closer Brandon League. You have to give Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki a lot of credit, as Michael Cuddyer hit a foul ball that likely would have scored French Resistance Fighter Rene Tosoni, but Ichiro let the ball drop in front of him. It was a gutsy play, and in the end it worked, as Cuddyer struck out on the next pitch, and Chris Parmelee and Danny Valencia both grounded out to end the game. With the loss, the Twins losing streak extends to ten games for the first time since 1998, increasing their chances at the second overall pick as well.
On the mound, Liam Hendriks was hit hard early and often as the Mariners jumped out to a 2-0 lead with an Ichiro triple and doubles by Kyle Seager and Mike Carp in the first inning. Hendriks would settle down with four scoreless innings, although there was a bit of luck giving up three singles and two doubles between the second and fifth innings. Then in the sixth, with the Twins up 4-2, Alex Liddi smashed a hanging slider to tie the game and send Hendriks to the showers. After the home run, it was just a matter of waiting for the other shoe to drop. In the seventh, Brian Duensing walked Kyle Seager to lead off the inning, and of course he scored on three ground balls, only one of which left the infield.
In all, another depressing loss to a bottom dwelling team. I for one can't wait for the stench of this season to be over so I can get on to the stench of a 5-11 Vikings season. At least the Lynx won their semifinal series last night, so we've got that going for us. Studs and duds after the jump.
Ben Revere: 4-5, R, RBI, SB. After three hits on Monday and four more last night, Revere is now hitting .323 in September. And he stole his 33rd base. He's looking really comfortable at the plate right now, hopefully it carries to the end of the season.
- Chris Parmelee: 2-4, RBI, BB. Parmelee is now batting .381. Given his minor league track record, I don't expect a .300+ batting average out of Parmelee, but I like what I'm seeing.
Matt Capps: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 SO. Too bad he stunk right up until the trade deadline, where he would have had some value.
- Michael Cuddyer: I don't care if he had two hits on the night. With the bases loaded and no one out in the ninth, when you fail to at least put the ball into play you're a dud in my book.
- Liam Hendriks: 5.1 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 0 BB, 5 SO. I like the five strikeouts against no walks, but he was hit hard again. I still like Hendriks future with the Twins, but he's going to take his share of lumps.
- Bottom of the Order: The 5 through 9 hitters went a combined 1-19 last night, not counting pinch hitter Rene Tosoni's single in the ninth. Lots of ugly at the bottom of the order nowadays.