Looking For The Big O

No… not THAT “Big O”. This is a baseball blog, get your mind out of the gutter!

(Image: Declan Burke)

Although, that said, the Twins and their fans could certainly use a little tension release right now. You can feel the stress building already. All it took was that doubleheader loss on Monday to the ‘Toons and all of a sudden, blood pressures are elevated all over Twinsville.

Everyone wants to know who’s to blame. Scott Baker for not giving the team enough advance notice that his elbow remained sore? The bullpen for giving up a few runs? Anthony Swarzak and Scott Diamond for not shutting down the Tribe hitters? Or do we just fall back on the “first rule of leadership” and declare it to all be Gardy’s fault?

For me, it’s “none of the above”. I’m looking straight at the Twins’ hitters and I’m concerned that we aren’t seeing the offense we’re going to need to see to keep the momentum that’s been built up over the past several weeks.

During the first half of July, leading up to the AllStar Break, the Twins won seven of 10 games. During that stretch, they outscored opponents 60-45, which thankfully makes doing the math easy. They averaged 6 runs each game. In fact, there were only two games in which they scored fewer than five runs (and they won one of those games).

After the break, it looked like the Twins would pick up right where they left off, beating the Royals 8-4 on Thursday. In the five games since that night, however, the assbats have apparently returned.

In the past five games, Twins hitters have a combined .231 batting average and an on-base percentage of just .272. That’s not good. But what’s even worse is that they have hit just .121 with runners in scoring position. Looking at that, it’s hardly a surprise that the Twins have not put up five runs on the board in any of those five games. Given that Joe Mauer seems to be coming back to form and hitting the ball well, I’m afraid to even look at what happens to those stats if you pull his numbers out.

Almost everything I’ve read lately has been about the state of the Twins’ pitching. The closer situation. Possible trade targets for bullpen help. Whether Slowey should be brought back to the rotation. How seriously is Baker hurt? Should Gibson get his shot? That’s all fine, friends, go ahead and fret about the bullpen and by all means, worry about Scott Baker’s elbow and the inconsistency of the rest of the rotation.

But the guys with the sticks need to start doing their jobs again or nothing else will matter.

– JC