The Twins won. I must keep reminding myself of that fact; they won Tuesday's game.
But they demonstrated many of the irritating things about the 2010 edition — the things that so far keep them from being a truly top-flight team.
J.J. Hardy made a poor throw on the leadoff batter (photo); Michael Cuddyer, Brian Duensing and Orlando Hudson apparently conspired to turn the second batter's bunt into a single. (I was walking the dog and listening to the radio; Dan Gladden said all three went for the ball and nobody covered first.) That first-and-second, no-out situation turned into two (unearned) runs. In the second inning, Orlando Hudson bounced a DP throw past Cuddyer to allow another run to score.
In this case the shoddy defense is obvious in the box score; Duensing is showed with seven innings with no earned runs. Often it isn't. But for the second game in a row, defensive failures were prominent in Ron Gardenhire's post-game recap. If he keeps talking about this, eventually the broadcasters will realize: This is not a good defensive club.
Hudson failed on a second DP pivot later in the game, and Denard Span got turned around on a fly ball that went for a double. Neither resulted in runs. Still, it's part of the pattern of failing to convert outs there for the taking.
Jason Kubel got thrown out by approximately 17 feet at home plate to end the bottom of the seventh. Chris, a regular reader who follows the games via Internet play-byplay, keeps asking what's going on with the killed base runners. In this case I've no idea.
Bases loaded, two out, ground ball single to right field by Delmon Young, not hit all that sharply. Watching the game on TV, my immediate reaction was: Two runs. Except that it wasn't. I don't know if Scott Ullger waved Kubel around — FSN seldom shows replays that might explain a base running blunder — or if Kubel got a bad jump or if Casper Wells simply has a better arm than the Twins realized.
I know this: With two outs, I expect a base runner to score from second base on that ball. Kubel didn't come close.
But they won. They really did.