Wednesday, June 28, 2017

One to forget, and remember

The Twins did very little well Tuesday night -- hitting, pitching, fielding -- and got embarrassed by the Boston Red Sox. It happens to every team on occasion.

The rain delay that forced Hector Santiago out of the game early probably didn't help -- not that Santiago was dominating in his two innings, but the Twins certainly wanted him to throw more than 49 pitches in his first start back from the disabled list.

Santiago probably wasn't likely to work deep into the game regardless, but his rain-hastened departure exposed the weak side of the Minnesota bullpen to a potent Boston lineup. Craig Breslow fared worst: three runs (two earned) in one painful inning.

Breslow -- and Matt Belisle, who followed him with two innings in which he allowed three unearned runs -- were signed in part for chemistry reasons. The idea was that a bullpen that figured to contain several younger, inexperienced pitchers would benefit from a a couple of 30-somethings who've been around.

That may be. But the core job is still to get outs. Breslow's ERA now stands at 5.28 -- he had a 2.57 ERA three weeks ago. Belisle's ERA, even after his superficially "effective" two innings, is even worse: 6.53.

The good news is that Paul Molitor avoided using his big three (Tyler Duffey, Taylor Rogers and Brandon Kintzler) to eat innings in a lost game, and Buddy Bosher wasn't deployed for a third straight day. They're presumably all available tonight.

In the longer term, Tuesday further undermines the status of Belisle and, especially, Breslow.

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