GameChat – Twins @ Rays #3, 12:40 pm

As bad as the Twins looked last night, they still have a chance to win this series over the Rays. All they need is to play good baseball and have Francisco Liriano pitch well.

Yeah… I know… but hey, it COULD happen!

Liriano is one of the guys definitely on the hot seat with the Twins (as I discussed in a post earlier this morning), but he’s far from the only one.

The line up looks pretty familiar. Justin Morneau’s still DHing. The sore foot apparently is well enough to hit, but not yet to the point where they want him on the field manning 1B. Clete Thomas seems to be establishing himself as the regular right fielder… though it’s hard to see exactly why that’s the case. I suppose maybe his defensive abilities out there are better than Ryan Doumit’s, but we need to keep expectations in check offensively. I can’t help but wish Joe Benson was hitting better than .180 in Rochester. Ah well.

TWINS

@

RAYS
Span, CF Jennings, LF
Carroll, SS Zobrist, RF
Mauer, C Pena, C, 1B
Willingham, LF Longoria, 3B
Morneau, DH Keppinger, DH
Parmelee, 1B Upton, B, CF
Valencia, 3B Rodriguez, S, SS
Thomas, C, RF Gimenez, C, C
Casilla, A, 2B Johnson, E, 2B
  _Liriano, P   _Niemann, P
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Minnesota 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 5 0
Tampa Bay 0 0 2 1 2 0 0 1 x 6 5 1

I’m not sure what it says when an outing where Liriano gives up 5 funs over 5 innings is considered an improvement, but whatever it says, it can’t be good. I don’t see a solution where Liriano would be salvageable to the point where he starts actually helping the Twins again. The best they might hope for is to find some way for him to stop hurting the team so damn badly. I give him one more start and if we see nothing different, it’s time to make a pretty drastic decision.

Offensively, the only highlight to speak of was Ryan Doumit’s pinch hit bases-loaded base hit to drive in the Twins’ only two runs of the game. WTG, Ryan. – JC

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