MATT MALONEY ACTION POSE
It started off bad, got a little better, then went straight to hell. How bad? Both I and Twinkie Town's Jon Marthaler independently turned on the White Sox game for a spell, despite Hawk Harrelson.
Nick Blackburn, coming back from injury and at a pre-determined limit of 80-85 pitches, dug his team an immediate hole, giving up three runs in the first and generally looking like someone coming back from injury. Josh Beckett didn't look much better in the bottom of the first, with the Twins loading the bases and Beckett screaming at home plate umpire Adrian Johnson about balls and strikes (quote: "That's [redacted] five outs!" at the end of the inning. The Twins only managed to score one run, an impressive, 10-pitch, bases-loaded walk by Justin Morneau (Professional Hitter?). Until a Josh Willingham RBI double later in the game, it was the offensive highlight of the evening.
After that inning, Beckett settled down, with the aforementioned double providing the only other Twins run of the night, and he completed six innings. This was NOT the case for Nick Blackburn. The Twins starter got though the second without much difficulty, but had more trouble in the third, as David Ortiz hit a Thome-esque shot to right to increase Boston's lead to 5-1. Blackburn finished the third, but that was all for him.
Matt Maloney replaced Blackburn in the fourth, and that was all for the game, essentially. Boston hammered him for five more earned runs as he recorded just five outs. He was replaced by Tony Fiore 2012 candidate Jeff Gray who, while not victorious, pitched 2 and 1/3 scoreless innings. Congratulations on being the Twins' best pitcher on Tuesday night, Jeff. Alex Burnett finished the game and gave up the game's final run.
Finally: Nick Punto got an ovation. I don't even know at this point, you guys.
Studs: Gray, Morneau's first-inning at-bat, Willingham, most all of the Red Sox.
Duds: The Twins didn't get a leadoff man out until the 6th inning. Per FSN's Tyler Mason, the Twins' 5-9 hitters were 0-13 with 5 Ks through the first six innings. No pitching, no offense, no chance.
Enjoy your midweek, everybody.