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Red Sox 8, Twins 6: Twins Lose Fifth Straight

At least they scored six runs, eh?

Jason Kubel homered and was 3-4 with two RBI, but David Ortiz more than matched him, going 4-5 with a double, a homer, and three driven in. Scott Baker gave back a 5-1 lead in the sixth inning as the Red Sox plated four, and Joe Nathan allowed two runs in the ninth after entering the game with two out and a runner on first.

There's not much more to be said, I guess. The Twins do boneheaded things, like Joe Mauer dropping a throw at the plate that would easily have nabbed Ortiz in the eighth, thus allowing Boston to take a 6-5 lead; the Twins do incompetent things, like Nathan coming into the game and allowing three consecutive hits in the ninth to turn a 6-6 game into an 8-6 loss.

Tim Wakefield was denied win number 200; he gave up five runs, three earned, in seven innings, and was actually the pitcher of record when the Red Sox took the lead in the top of the eighth. Alfredo Aceves allowed a leadoff double to Trevor Plouffe and a two-out RBI single from Kubel to tie the game - and then vultured the win from Wakefield when the Sox came back to win in the ninth.

I suppose your lead dud is Nathan, followed closely by Danny Valencia, who turned four at-bats into five outs by bouncing into a double play. He also struck out. He has made a truly impressive number of outs this year. I'll give third place to Mauer, whose failure to tag Ortiz at the plate in the eighth was the latest demonstration of epically bad baseball from Minnesota.

To end this recap, a plea: I know we're all angry and frustrated. The Twins are playing poorly, and it'll take some doing for them to not finish last in the AL Central this year. We all had high hopes, even as late as a month ago, that they could pull it out. They will not. As the kids on the Twitters say, #ItsNotHappening.

But let's admit: we've been spoiled over the past few years. We've seen six division titles in a decade. Though the team really hasn't done the "little things" since Doug Mientkiewicz was patrolling first base - you know it's true - we have at least seen a reasonably good standard of baseball. It's been a long time since we've seen the Twins be truly this uncompetitive.

Two weeks ago today, the Pirates were tied for first place. As I write this, they lead the Giants early, but in that two weeks they've lost 12 of 13 and have dropped ten in a row, and most importantly, they are now ten - TEN - games back in the NL Central. Some of you weren't even alive the last time the Pirates had a winning season.

Feel free to complain; the Twins suck right now. But try to keep in mind that it could be a lot, lot worse.

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