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Punchless Twins Lose 2-1 To Red Sox In 11 Innings

Carl Crawford doubled home pinch runner Jose Iglesias from first base in the eleventh inning, banging a Jim Hoey pitch high off the left-field wall and giving Boston a 2-1 win and a 3-1 series win. I'd be peeved, but with the lineup the Twins had out, they could have played 45 innings without scoring another run, so even making it all the way to the eleventh inning has to be considered a victory for the pitching staff.

A few other thoughts on tonight's game:

  • The Twins just aren't set up to score runs. This is a lineup with three or four of the worst ten hitters in the major leagues today. Ben Revere might as well swing a folding chair as a bat. Rene Rivera isn't even a good Triple-A hitter. And as for Matt Tolbert, the Twins would be better off if he didn't even bring a bat to the plate. He might have a chance of walking, and there'd be no way he could end a rally by hitting into a double play.
  • After Jason Kubel singled home the tying run in the eighth with two out, the Twins sent Alexi Casilla out to pinch run. This seemed idiotic, given that Justin Morneau was up next, and the big Canadian seems like an automatic out right now. Sure enough, Casilla came up in the tenth with two on and two out and chopped weakly to third.
  • I am starting a campaign to give Alexi Casilla a hurtful nickname. My suggestion: "The Human Herpes Outbreak." No matter what, he always finds a way to hurt the Twins, especially when they're trying to score.
  • Watching Morneau hit is just sad right now. Honestly, at this point I'm just cheering for him to not strike out. He hit a hard line drive foul down the right field line, and I honestly got excited. (Yes, I know he got two hits, and the second one was a hard single up the middle, so that's something. The other one was a busted-bat quail that landed in a good spot.)
  • Joe West threw Ron Gardenhire out of the game in the ninth inning. I just love umpires that do their best to get noticed, don't you? When I tuned in to the game, I was thinking, "Boy, I hope they show a lot of Joe West tonight!"
  • As I said elsewhere, the one good thing about having Rene Rivera in the lineup is that we know what it would look like if the Twins held a write-in contest for a chance to bat in a major league game.
  • Angry comments aside, who do we actually blame for these offensive problems? It's not like Tolbert, Casilla, Rivera, Butera, et cetera are holding hostages and demanding to be in the lineup. These are guys that have never been good hitters anywhere. It's not their fault they are completely overmatched by even the worst major-league pitchers. And it's not like Ron Gardenhire has better choices he's sitting on when he's filling out the lineup card. Watching Rivera swing like he has his eyes closed is literally as good as it gets right now.
  • Spare a thought for the pitching staff, especially Glen Perkins and Jose Mijares, who took care of the seventh through tenth innings. Nick Blackburn pitched pretty well, too, giving up just one run and one extra-base hit, and striking out the side for the first time in his career.

That's a 3-6 road trip for the Twins, who fall to 12-21 and are now ten games out of first place and officially have the worst record in baseball again. I'd name studs and duds, but they're probably pretty obvious given everything I've written already.

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