The Minnesota Twins and the Tampa Bay Rays found themselves in a familiar scene on Saturday. The Twins had a one run lead and Joe Nathan was in for the save.Unfortunately history has a knack for repeating and would do just that here with both Joe Nathan not keeping the Rays from celebrating another come from behind win and the game winning RBI delivered by Johnny Damon for the 5th consecutive game and his 2nd walk-off of the series.
Clearly the Twins are struggling at the moment. Matt Capps and Joe Nathan are both giving up runs in save situations while several of last years set up men are now featured closers around the league leaving the question hanging; did the Twins front office stick with the right guys? And the answer is simply too early to tell. Nathan’s surgery required him to miss all of 2010, there are going to be some setbacks in his recovery. Capps on the other hand was with the team last year, making it unclear why he is struggling here early. Minnesota is now all alone in the cellar of the American League Central, and only Boston has less wins in all of Major League Baseball with a mere 3 victories.
So the pitching is struggling, the offense will just have to pick it up right? Easier said than done with Joe Mauer now on the 15 game DL with a leg infection and only Jason Kubel and Denard Span hitting over .300. Danny Valencia, often a bright spot in the lineup, is fading towards the Mendoza line. And he’s not alone. One of the best hitters in baseball, Joe Mauer, is closer to .200 than .300. The first thing you need to do when digging yourself in a hole is stop digging. In the case of the Twins they need to take away the keys to the backhoe. This could get out of hand real quick for manager Ron Gardenhire, who has never finished worse than 3rd. Fortunately for Ron if the Twins continue in the wrong direction his 3rd place or better streak would continue, as he likely he wouldn’t finish.