So as I watched the first inning of Monday’s game, I was preparing myself to write another story about how bad Francisco Liriano had been. But he was able to not implode, well the seventh wasn’t pretty, but other than that he was decent. He walked five guys, which isn’t pretty, but he was able to keep the Twins in the game and get past the sixth inning. And if he can accomplish that I am cool with it after how bad he had been. So with Liriano’s start not going terribly bad I was left thinking about how bad the month had been. Then I checked the lineup for today to find that now Delmon Young is banged up and sick and it got me thinking, wow April has been a freaking nightmare. I don’t know that I have seen a month go so wrong in so many areas before.
The season started off with a bang, and by bang I mean terrible starting pitching and anemic hitting. The Twins went through two weeks of baseball looking nothing like people thought they would. But the last few games the bats have come to life, which leads me to believe guys are finding their stride. The starting pitching was awful for two weeks, too, but much like the hitting, the starters are looking pretty good lately. The bullpen actually looked good for the first week or so. Joe Nathan recorded a few saves, getting through a few shaky outings to finish games even. But then the Twins went to Tampa and the wheels fell off. The starters were looking good, only to see the bullpen blow two late inning leads in three nights. And to make matters worse, injuries and illness have started to snakebite the club. Tsuyoshi Nishioka was the first to go down, after only six games. But in the last week Joe Mauer has hit the DL, Justin Morneau has caught the flu, which Mauer may or may not have passed along to him. And now, today, Delmon Young appears to have sore ribs and the flu. Kevin Slowey has been the only pitcher to hit the DL, though, with a sore right biceps. It is absolutely crazy to think how much has gone wrong so far. It makes me think it can only be downhill from here, right?
The Twins have had to call up five guys from Rochester already. Mostly due to bullpen struggles, but still five call ups in two weeks is a lot. Most recently, the Twins called up Eric Hacker to be the long reliever since they have been using Glen Perkins in late innings lately.
I realize it is a long season, and things happen to every team, but man doesn’t it feel like the Twins have gotten the worst of things so far? I am mostly just happy to see the starters put together a few good outings, while the offense is coming around. The biggest issue, as always, is what will Joe Mauer do when he returns? Morneau will need to heat up, and I believe I predicted that he would have a big May, so I hope I am right. I am trying to stay optimistic, as it is very early. I feel good about these guys heating up pretty soon…I think.
It’s been a wild ride so far, and we are only three weeks in, but I for one cannot wait for April to be over. Bring on May and some warmer weather!