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Indians 8, Twins 1: Hughes beat up early, offense still dead

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It's dead, Jim.

Tim from St. Paul can't watch as the Twins' playoff hopes turn into a tire fire
Tim from St. Paul can't watch as the Twins' playoff hopes turn into a tire fire
Rob Stothard/Getty Images

There's a saying that says that one of the reasons baseball is superior to football is because if you lose, you don't have to stew about it and think about it for a week; you come out the next night and have a chance to win. As far as the Twins are concerned, they've lost so many times and have had their asses handed to them so completely over the last few weeks, I think they might like a week off just to catch their breath and try to shake off that losing feeling.

It's dead Jim

Phil Hughes got busted up early and often today, finishing with seven runs in just three innings off of an incredible nine hits and a walk. To that point, Corey Kluber hadn't even allowed a base runner. Aaron Hicks was Minnesota's first base runner of the game, earning a one-out walk in the fourth, but he was erased on a double play.

Kluber was fantastic, although given the state of the Twins offense they probably deserve just as much credit as the Indians' starter. But the Cleveland ace faced the minimum through the first 20 batters of the game. Joe Mauer broke up the no-hitter with a solid single with two away in the seventh, but by that point Minnesota was already dead. Hicks drove in Shane Robinson in the top of the ninth for the Twins' only run.

Brian Duensing did a nice job, allowing just one hit as he pitched a scoreless fourth and fifth. Casey Fien gave up three hits in the sixth, which was when Cleveland put up their eighth run of the afternoon. Trevor May and Ryan O'Rourke pitched scoreless frames in the eighth and ninth.

With yet another loss the Twins drop to 55-56, under .500 for the first time since May 1. Granted, we'd be pretty excited about that right now if we lived in Randball Stu's alternative universe, but watching this team collapse in on itself like a dead star has been a pretty harsh dose of reality.

It's easy to blame the front office for not bringing in help at the trade deadline, particularly if you believe the confidence of the players was somehow negatively affected by the lack of support, but the reality is that the team's issues go deeper than whatever help Terry Ryan could have found at the end of July. Neither the rotation nor the bullpen are consistently doing their jobs, regressing to performances that more closely resemble what we could have realistically expected to start the season, and with the offense on an extended cold streak the run support hasn't been there to bail the pitching out. So sure, there's probably some blame to be placed on the front office, but right now execution on the field has been sorely lacking.

We'll take another crack at this thing tomorrow. It's a much needed off-day, but be sure to check in. I think we're back to Twinkie Town being an emotional support group.

STUDS

Aaron Hicks
Brian Duensing
Trevor May
Ryan O'Rourke

DUDS

Phil Hughes
Casey Fien
The rest of the offense