Unfortunately for the Twins yesterday’s game went just about how everyone expected it to. They took a half-inning lead in the top of the third, but gave the runs back in the bottom half. The Yankees added more runs in the next two innings, the Twins couldn’t muster any more, and there was little drama after that.
The game displayed of the offensive limitation of the Justin Morneau-less Twins. Look at the lineup with 2009 wOBA:
Denard Span 0.359 Orlando Cabrera 0.310 Joe Mauer 0.438 Michael Cuddyer 0.370 Jason Kubel 0.383 Delmon Young 0.312 Brendan Harris 0.295 Matt Tolbert 0.278 Nick Punto 0.295
Five players not only below average, but all fairly far below it and three players below 0.300. Even with Joe Mauer this is not a playoff caliber offense. As a group they don’t strike out much and have a fairly high BABIP, so they can get hits. And actually out hit the Yankees last night, 10 to 9. The problem is only two of those were extra base hits (both doubles) and they only drew one walk. For an offense like this to score runs they have to get lucky stringing their singles together in one inning.
Further exacerbating the problem, as I talked about yesterday is that Kubel, Mauer and Span are all lefties. Span and Mauer do not have that bad platoon splits, but Kubel’s is extreme. Versus lefties he joins the list of below-average hitters. Against CC Sabathia he looked very over matched, striking out twice and popping out to foul territory.
The Twins get a needed day off to rest a bullpen that got a lot of work in the past two days and calm down after some high pressure days. Tomorrow they face AJ Burnett, the only time they will see a righty until a possible game five, maybe they can string some hits together and steal one from the Yankees in New York.
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