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Punchless, unraveling Twins fall into last place

Sep 6, 2011, 12:16 PM EDT

Joe Mauer, Jason Kubel, Michael Cuddyer

It might have been the low point of the Twins’ season had they been no-hit by Zach Stewart last night, but … well, I’ve lost count of low points by now.

Instead they merely lost both ends of a doubleheader to their biggest rival while scoring one total run, losing to Johan Santana trade castoff Phil Humber and a rookie with a 5.48 ERA. Not only are the Twins 8-27 in their last 35 games, they’ve now plummeted past the Royals into last place in the AL Central.

Overall this season the Twins have scored zero or one run in 26 percent of their games, which is tied with the Mariners for worst in the league. And as bad as that sounds they’ve been far worse recently, scoring zero or one run in 17 of 33 games since August 1. To put that in some context, consider that the Yankees (13), Diamondbacks (15), Tigers (16), and Orioles (16) have scored zero or one run fewer than 17 times all season. What a mess.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Sep 6, 2011 at 12:29 PM

    The first truly horrendous year ever under Gardnehire. Hopefully for the Twins sake, the ownership and the fans refrain from rash judgments on the guy. He does as much with what little he is given as anybody except maybe Joe Maddon.

    • klbader - Sep 6, 2011 at 12:40 PM

      Except that the Twins are 9th in total payroll at $112.7 million, compared to the Rays (second lowest) $41 million. I am not saying that the Twins need to fire Gardenhire right now because one really bad year after a number of good ones does not justify the firing. But the Twins have been spending money on payroll since they moved to Target Field (Twins were 10th last year).

      • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 6, 2011 at 12:54 PM

        Opening Day payrolls
        2011: $113,237,000
        2010: $ 97,659,167
        2009: $ 65,299,266
        2008: $ 56,932,766
        2007: $ 71,439,500
        2006: $ 63,396,006
        2005: $ 56,186,000
        2004: $ 53,585,000
        2003: $ 55,505,000

        Yeah, I guess Gardy doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt on the whole “doing a lot with little” anymore. Their payroll DOUBLED in the last 3 years. WOW. I guess this type of uptick kinda gives him a shorter leash than I thought.

  2. missthemexpos - Sep 6, 2011 at 12:39 PM

    It seems like only yesterday, hometown hero Joe Mauer signing long term to stay, the opening of a new park, Morneau winning MVP, and now… the Twins have become one huge SNAFU.

  3. joshftw - Sep 6, 2011 at 12:40 PM

    Where have you gone, Jim Thome
    Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

    • threeputtguy - Sep 6, 2011 at 12:59 PM

      Same tune but insert JJ Hardy!!

    • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 6, 2011 at 1:10 PM

      Thome had a very nice 1 1/2 years for the Twins and Hardy had a terrible one season with the team. You Twins fans are nuts pining over those two. How about Morneau’s concussions, Mauer’s injuries, and the truly disastrous starting pitching the Twins have had? You guys ripping the team over the Hardy decision are just crazy…hindsight’s 20/20 you know.

      • threeputtguy - Sep 6, 2011 at 1:15 PM

        Yes Nishioka has been dazzling.

      • ThatGuy - Sep 6, 2011 at 1:18 PM

        You can’t really say Hindsight is 20/20 in regards to the Hardy trade, because pretty much everyone knew right away it was an awful trade. He wasn’t even terrible last year, he was perfectly good when he was on the field(that was the problem last year). When you trade an above avg(even if it was just slightly above avg) for two single A relievers, that is a bad trade no matter how you slice it. And it was recognized as a bad trade instantly by every twins fan I know.

      • kopy - Sep 6, 2011 at 1:20 PM

        JJ Hardy hit .268/.320/.394 in his Twins season and his plus defense was good for 1.3 WAR in the time he played. He missed some time because he was hurt sliding into a base, which isn’t some chronic red flag issue. He was very far from terrible, and he was traded to save money and because the Twins crave short lil’ speedy types. The Twins were tight on money because they spent A LOT on an unproven Japanese import replacement, and they gave Hardy’s money to Pavano.

        There are Twins fans that don’t mind Hardy being gone, but those that do are far from crazy. Hardy is easy to miss when he knows how to hit and his best replacement so far does this:

      • Bryz - Sep 6, 2011 at 6:20 PM

        Yes, hindsight is 20/20 because I wrote this the day after the trade. /sarcasm

  4. threeputtguy - Sep 6, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    If a manager can not get his players to play(and play hard) Cuddyer withstanding, why should he not be held accountable. I am a season ticket holder and watching them there is no doubt in my mind they have quit on him(and us).

  5. - Sep 6, 2011 at 2:17 PM

    This means the Royals aren’t in last place! Oh Happy Day.

    • royalsfaninfargo - Sep 6, 2011 at 5:57 PM

      Now I can finally trash talk all of the Twins fans around me and have something to back it up with!

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