Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The outfield defense and a dead cat bounce

Oswaldo Arcia and his fly ball drop.
I encountered a co-worker -- actually my boss -- around noon Monday, and he said something about the Twins playing better now, and I replied: It might be what is known on Wall Street as a "dead cat bounce."

Saying things like that just before fiascoes like Monday night's game is part of how I got a reputation around the office for knowing something about baseball.

For a variety of reasons it was basically a radio-and-Twitter night for following the game for me. Dan Gladden really went off on Oswaldo Arcia for his dropped fly ball to open the three-run sixth inning; Gladden accused Arcia of "hot-dogging." The radio boys also surmised that the pop-up that fell in front of Jordan Schafer did so because Schafer called off Brian Dozier. Corey Provus recalled Terry Ryan saying this spring that the outfield defense wasn't that bad, and then said it has to be a concern. (Provus also mentioned the infield defense.)

There are a lot of things that ought to be a concern.

Kyle Gibson had a "Nick Blackburn start" -- no strikeouts in five-plus innings. This gives him a total of three strikeouts in three starts this year. His strikeout rate had been going up near the end of last season, and there was hope this spring that the change-up he was working on would garner some swings-and-misses. Not happening so far.

Blaine Boyer had a deceptively good line score with two hitless innings, But his wild pitch ultimately allowed two inherited runners to score. And Caleb Thielbar and Tim Stauffer combined for a crooked number in the eighth to put the game out of reach. The bullpen behind Glen Perkins and Casey Fien is simply not reliable.

And while batting average is hardly the be-all measure of offense it was reckoned to be 40 years ago, Monday's lineup featured five starters who ended the game under the Mendoza line. That's not going to work.

No comments:

Post a Comment