Friday, September 3, 2010

The morning after the night before

As a rule, things never seem quite so bad the day after a bad loss. The sun comes up tomorrow and all that. As Earl Weaver said: This ain't football. We do this everyday.

But Thursday's game might be the exception. It's not just that the defense, which I have been increasingly criticizing as the season progresses, submerged into utter incompetency (merely following the trend line). It's that the pitching staff has utterly been blown apart.
Scott Baker (no goatee)

Scott Baker went just two innings because of elbow pain. He received a cortisone shot after the game for what is described as tendinitis. That means he's unlikely to make his next scheduled start.

Nick Blackburn, who was to have started today, pitched an inning Thursday. Brian Duensing, who was to have started Sunday, pitched two innings. Now Blackburn is to pitch Sunday and emergency call-up Matt Fox is to start tonight.

Jeff Manship went four innings, 65 pitches. He's certainly not available for a couple of days at least, and might be the guy who takes Baker's start. (Or maybe Kevin Slowey will, as he may come off the DL early next week.)

Jesse Crain went two innings, 40 pitches. He has now pitched four times in five days, and Aaron Gleeman notes that over the past month, Ron Gardenhire's used him at a 100-plus appearance pace. If that hasn't already taken a toll — he's already allowed more runs in September than he did in all of August – it will.

Matt Capps and Brian Fuentes didn't pitch Thursday. Capps, who had pitched the previous two days, was "sore," and Fuentes has been nursing a bad back.

Matt Guerrier: ERA since
July 1 is 6.46
Matt Guerrier pitched in each game of the Detroit series, blowing two leads in the process. That's not entirely fair to Guerrier — if J.J. Hardy could throw strikes to first base, Guerrier wouldn't have blown the lead Thursday — but the fact remains that he's been lousy since Gardenhire used him four days running (June 27-July 1).

Randy Flores also pitched in all three games, although at four batters faced he's hardly doing the heavy lifting that Crain and Guerrier are.

Jon Rauch has pitched two days running, 21 pitches on Thursday.

Gardenhire handles his pitching staff under the premise that pitchers can handle frequent work in short bursts. Rare is the Twins relief pitcher under his regime who averages more than an inning per game. Guerrier is at 60.1 innings in 63 games; Crain 58.2 innings in 62 games, Rauch 49.2 in 49 games ...

But there's a limit to everything.

Besides Fox, the Twins have called up Rob Delaney and Alex Burnett. Only Fox will need a roster move, as he's not on the 40-man roster.

1 comment:

  1. In last night game if Gardy knew that the other two "closers" were not availible why would he bring in Rauch in the seventh? The Twins were 3 runs ahead at the time! Capps is slightly sore and told the team so...we are in a divisonal race and this guy cant pitch because he is sore?
    I think we did the wrong thing when we brought Capps and kicked Rauch to the curb, and no one can tell me that this did not mentally effect Rauch, from a top 5 closer to mop up duty. This closer situation could cost the Twins the post season! How about Fuentes, did anyone check to see if this guy was healthy? Bring back Rauch to close!!!