Saturday, August 23, 2014

Twenty to Six

The other day I wrote about the Twins' difficulty hitting left-handed pitchers. So Friday night they faced Robbie Ray, left-handed pitcher, and dough-popped him for six runs in the second innings. And in the sixth inning they stung Ian Krol, left-handed pitcher, for five runs (albeit only one earned run).

Carping about a game won by 14 runs is a bit unseemly, but I find myself a bit alarmed at the difficulties Tommy Milone is displaying so far. Staked to an early 6-1 lead, he suddenly ceased any semblance of effectiveness in the fifth inning after an Eduardo Escobar error. I really expected better than we've seen so far from Milone.

And I was ... bemused, let us say, by the accolades heaped on Escobar for his five-hit game. Let us not forget that he committed two errors and could have been charged with another. It was a rough game in the field for the shortstop, who has generally been pretty solid defensively.

Escobar wasn't the only infielder who had difficulty Friday night. The Tigers made a couple of miscues in the nine-run sixth. Trevor Plouffe committed an error. And, more forgivable, Detroit reserve infielder Andrew Romine gave up a couple gopher balls while mopping up the ninth inning, including Oswaldo Arcia's second flag-pole ringer of the month. (Different flag pole, still impressive, even if it came off a non-pitcher.)

Meanwhile, one has to marvel at what has befallen the Tigers. A month ago they figured to cruise to the division title. Now the Royals are 2.5 games ahead, a starting rotation for the ages is decaying, a bullpen stocked with proven closers implodes with regularity and the revamped defense-first infield can't make plays.

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