Well, that didn't go quite as good as it could have...
After irking out a win against Kansas City in the first game of the series against the Royals last week, the Twins had won eleven games in a row. I wrote that it wouldn't surprise me for the Twins to go 4-1 in the days leading into the break, and considering the competition, who we had pitching and how the team had performed as a whole, the thought didn't seem outrageous.
We all know what happened. Boof was handled by an improving Royals squad; the bullpen couldn't hold a tie; Silva got the crap knocked out of him and got hurt; a pair of 2-run homers spelled doom for Santana. Only Liriano's blanking of the Ranger offense on Saturday earned the Twins their solo win in the last five games. Chicago and Detroit were both 3-2 in their last five, all but negating the ground the Twins gained during their incredible June.
Yes, I know. It hurts. Go ahead and let it out.
A few things worth reading
Check out how Twins hitters have performed versus PECOTA's hit projections, courtesy of our very own ubelmann.
Roger checked in with his usual weekly minor league report. If you were wondering who'll be closing for Rochester now that Neshek's in The Show, Roger has you covered.
Speaking of Pat Neshek, I'm sure his site could use a few more hits. See what he has to say about his first MLB appearance.
Have you found the way to the light? Have you become a Mauerist? If you'd like to advertise your newfound devotion, be sure to check out your options.
Head over to TG's site for a run down on arbitration and service time. You'll find a couple of great links to get all the brush-up you need, and you'll see how keeping Bartlett in the minors for two months too long will probably keep him affordable for a whole extra season.
John Sickels reviews Twins prospects, pre-season style. Of course it's based on thoughts from before the season, but he was pretty accurate. If I had the chance to edit the list to how things have changed, I'd add 2B Alexi Casilla to the list, I'd give J.D. Durbin a better grade, I'd give Kubel a better grade, Neshek would have to be on the list, and grades for Moses and Plouffe may not be as strong. But, then again, his list isn't about mid-season evaluation, is it? Check it out.
SBG posted his 17th edition of 360 Degrees. Check out his latest evaluation of the pitching staff.
The Greet Machine celebrates it's 800th post! Nice work, Shane.
Over at The Hardball Times there's a fun look at King Felix Hernandez and Francisco The Phantom Liriano, graph style.
Technically, it's true. And, it's sad. But he's right...this man is not an American League All Star.
Who was the worst Twins snub for an All Star team? Who was the worst Twins player to make an All Star team? Courtesy of some nice research, see what frightwig has to say.
Over at Third Base Line there's a list of where Santana sits versus career strikeout leaders. Right now, he's 51st. Look out, Barry Zito.
That's enough for now. I hope you had a good weekend, barring those gut-wrenching losses, of course...