It wasn't a good night, and it really hasn't been a good week for the Twins. The Royals got on top of Kyle Gibson early, finishing a four-run frame with a three-run homer from Alex Gordon. That Gordon shot was a no-doubter into right field, and the night didn't get much better.
In a stint which has now seen the Twins go 3-7 since last Tuesday, the Twins have scored a total of 17 runs. 1.7 runs per game probably means the Twins are lucky winning three, but it's seen their record drop to 33-26. In the big picture it's still seven games over .500 and probably ten or more games better than most of us expected Minnesota to be at this time of year, but it also constitutes the club's first sustained challenge since opening the season with a 1-6 record.
Still, the highlight of these last ten games may have been Torii Hunter. His frustration boiled over in the bottom of the eighth with a terrible strike three call by home plate umpire Mark Ripperger. Hunter had taken strike two the pitch before, which was a bit high, but strike three was a fastball well off the plate.
The call didn't change the outcome of the game, and the Royals deserved to win all three of these games. At times like this it's natural to try to pick out a villain, and for the next couple of days that's bound to be Ripperger - who not only tossed Hunter (who then lost his mind and his jersey and more!), but he tossed Paul Molitor the second the Twins manager opened his mouth. It was, by any measure of judgement, an itchy trigger finger of a call by the umpire.
Gibson did settle down after the first, and finished with four earned runs (five total) in six innings, with six strikeouts and two walks. He should be better next time. Trevor Plouffe drove in both of the Twins' runs, the second of which was a solo home run (his ninth of the season) just before Hunter was ejected.
Jorge Polanco finished 1-for-3 with a walk. J.R. Graham pitched the final three innings for the Twins, allowing a pair of unearned runs thanks to errors from the Minnesota defense in the seventh.
It's an off-day. Let's hope the Twins regroup and come back tomorrow and play better baseball, and I'll be back a number of times today with content on Mike Pelfrey, the Twins draft results, our weekly minor league report, and possibly one or two other things as well. Jessica will drop by in a couple of hours with your morning news.
Oh - and thanks to SooFoo Fan for the game thread! I've put out an ABP on Bryz.
|4||less cowbell, more 'neau||17|
COMMENT OF THE GAME THREAD
Brananorama: "I'm glad Torii got off the field when he did because I think his pants were next."