Tuesday Night, September 2, 2008
Twins Blow Another Lead
Glen Perkins was given a 5-1 lead to work with, and it wasn't enough as the Twins fell to the Blue Jays in Toronto by a score of 7-5. Although Perkins did not take the loss, or even give up the lead, he pitched more like Livan Hernandez than the Perkins that has been terrific in the second half of the season. The lefty gave up ten hits and a walk in just five innings. Once given the large lead, Perkins gave up a two run homer to Jose Bautista followed by a solo homer by Alexis Rios. As much as Ron Coomer told us after the game that "Perk" threw a good ball game, he was getting hit hard all night long. But again, the bullpen did not help at all. Boof Bonser came in and gave up a two run homer to Lyle Overbay to give the Jays a 6-5 lead. Jesse Crain got the seventh inning and got two outs but left with two runners on. Fortunately, Dennys Reyes got the final out of that inning. Matt Guerrier was given the 8th inning, but he gave up a run on three hits and a walk in just 0.2 innings. He left with the bases loaded, but Craig Breslow was called on to get the final out, and he struck out Brad Wilkerson.
The bats did pretty much nothing after they took the 5-1 lead in the 4th inning. They had two more hits in the 5th inning, but did not have a hit after that point. Credit does need to the Jays bullpen, but that can not happen. Joe Mauer went 2-3 with a walk. He was good as usual. Delmon Young went 2-4 in the game and drove in a run.
A couple other notes:
The Twins are now 5-7 on this road trip with two games to go. They will need to beat AJ Burnett tomorrow and Jesse Litsch in the next two games to finish the road trip at .500.
More interesting (and most frustrating!), they have lost those seven games by a combined 11 runs. The scores in the losses have been 5-7, 3-5, 2-4, 2-3, 2-3, 2-3 and now 5-7. Of those games, they could and probably should have won at least four of them.
Should anything be made of the usage of the two left-handed relievers in this game? Dennys Reyes came in during the 7th inning to face a lefty. Craig Breslow came in with two outs in the 8th inning to face a lefty. Both succeeded. But, which of these do you think is more accurate:
Dennys Reyes is considered the top lefty reliever. So when a tough situation comes up in the 7th or 8th inning, he is the guy the go to. The fact that they had a second situation come up was why Craig Breslow came in for the 8th inning.
Craig Breslow is considered the top lefty reliever. He gets the situation in the 8th inning whereas Reyes gets the 7th inning?
Where does Eddie Guardado fit into this situation?
How will Jose Mijares fit into this situation? (Note - LaVelle tells us that Mijares can not travel to Canada because of Visa issues.)
Does it matter? Reyes and Breslow have both been very solid and consistent. It took Gardy too long to trust Breslow, but now that he does, the two should be interchangeable.
In case you missed it earlier this evening, I posted two other blogs. First, I posted a few updates upon my return. It includes my quick thoughts on the Twins September call-ups. It also discusses my appearance Sunday on Marty Andrade's Weekly Twins Round Table. It also mentions that I will be hosting another SethSpeaks.net Twins podcast Wednesday night at 8:00 central time. Guests will include Twins reliever Pat Neshek and Rochester announcer Josh Whetzel. So, if you can listen live, participate in the chat room. If you won't be able to hear the show live, feel free to e-mail me a question or two for either guest. Secondly, I posted a quick blog on the Ft. Myers Miracle first playoff game.