Lookout Royals, here come the Twins. They were outscored 33-1 in three games with the Tigers last weekend, capped off by scratching out 2 hits against Kenny Rogers in 8 innings on Sunday. They did manage 2 runs against the Mariners at home yesterday, but gave up another 8, running their total to 41-3 over the last four games. The Twins pitching was supposed to keep them in games this season, no chance now. Even Santana stinks, as the ace of the worst pitching staff in April, with a team ERA of 6.35. Torrii Hunter finally got his average to .202 after picking up 2 hits last night. The new acquisitions, supposed to help the lineup from last year (worst run production in the majors) have been brutal. Rondell White is hitting .132 with no homers and Tony Batista is hitting .132. After winning their third straight division title two years ago, they are on pace to lose 103 games. As a lifelong Twins fan, I've tried to watch or listen to as many games as possible, until last week, when I found anything better to do. It's time to rebuild, there is no hope in sight.
I didn't really buy the Twins as contending to win the AL Central, but I certainly did not expect them to be THIS bad and neck and neck with the Royals for the worst offensive output in the American League. Although, like you, I'm even more shocked at the pitching being literally the worst in the AL. The 6.35 team ERA is over five-tenths hire than the ERA for the second-worst team, the Royals. THE ROYALS PITCHING STAFF HAS AN ERA FIVE-TENTHS HIGHER THAN THE TWINS. That's simply inexecusable.
And yes, it can totally be blamed on the starting pitching. Their starters have a 7.25 ERA and a 6-15 Win-Loss record. The bullpen statistically isn't doing that badly...a slightly high 4.54 ERA, but that puts them at about the middle of the pack in the American League. And, it's worth noting, that relievers on the team have a combined 3-1 Win-Loss record.
As bad as Santana is, Bradke's been that much worse. An ERA north of 8, he's given up 10 HRs and only struck out 13 batters in six starts. I always got the impression that Radke was a good pitcher stuck on a team that just couldn't get him run support. He still doesn't have the run support, but he's pitching so awfully that there's really no excuses you can make for him.
Detroit's on fire, Cleveland's definitely going to contend, and the White Sox thus far show no signs of last season being a fluke. At least the Royals are going to be the Royals, so that's to be expected. However, it's gotta be tough to be a Twins fan right now.
TO BILL BRASKY!
My LiveJournal, where you can read tons of stuff that you don't give a crap about.
All I'll say is for the love of God put Liriano in the starting rotation. It's not like you're the White Sox who can leave McCarthy in the pen for seasoning because they have 5 possible 15-game winners in the rotation. When you're running Silva and Lohse out there as starters instead of Liriano you are making an error in judgment.
Since the Twins look like they'll be dead in the water before Memorial Day, do they beat the July rush and try to move Hunter and even a struggling Radke while the marketplace has far more buyers than sellers? Last year of a contract for Radke, and some contending teams will think maybe a change of scenery straightens him out and he can be a decent back of the rotation starter(Red Sox, Brewers, Reds, Rangers, Angels, A's if they keep putting guys on the DL, Yankees, Blue Jays, Mets, Phillies, Giants, dare I say Rockies). Of the teams that have been knocked out early, Radke is still either the best or second best starter that could be available, depending upon whether you consider Washington out of it with Livan Hernandez. If they move him now while he's struggling, it is only off a bad month with a lot of teams looking for pitching. If they hold off and he continues to struggle, he doesn't look as attractive and some of these teams will be sellers instead of buyers.
The problem with Radke, besides throwing mid 80s and covering more of the plate than ever, is he has a no-trade clause in his contract. If he keeps pitching like this, he may retire in July instead of Oct. 2. He's given up 10 homers in 5 starts. He usually gives up a lot of homers, but this is crazy. Silva, generally not too bad for a #3, when he keeps the ball down, has had control issues as well. Lohse, who won his second straight arbitration case, will not be back next year and I don't think the Twins could get anything for him this year. There is no way the Twins will pick up the $12 million option on Hunter, so he's gone at the end of the year too. I won't miss that .240 average and 20 homers. Good defense can only get you so far, especially when you can't hit a curveball.
Santana's typically been a slow starter. While that doesn't account for the team's overall ERA or performance thus far I don't think anyone needs to be throwing him under the bus just yet. It seems once the summer hits he starts putting up women's fast-pitch numbers.
Some news and newts: 1. Neyer has a good column on the A's today, over on ESPN.com. 2. Speaking of the dot com, Tony Gwynn will be having a column there too, in addition to doing games. His first one was about Bonds, which was posted today. 3.