I'm a homer, but I'm with ya!
This team didn't come out of the gates the way I thought they would. Much of it, has to do with what Auto was getting at in his brilliant post . . . rolling over and playing dead and all that . . .
However, remember that Mauer and Morneau both missed a lot of time away from the game last season. Span too. Mauer didn't get much time in this Spring either. It's going to take them some time to see some pitches in big league action again and get rolling.
Some of you can whine and call it an excuse all you want to. It's the way it is. They are not going to miss the majority of last season and come back this season batting .750 through four games. It's going to take a little more time.
I thought in the third inning today, Mauer made a stride at looking like a leader. He smacked that single sending Carroll to third. And then stole second on a ball in the dirt. We need him to step up like that WAY more though. Morneau and Willingham will drive in those guys more often down the road this season.
Moving Mauer to 2nd in the order, would be a fantastic move.
Sometimes I think Auto and I watch different games. The Twins haven't rolled over this year. They've gotten off to a slow start, but no one has rolled over. 4 different lineups in 4 games. The free pass is over, and if anyone slacks off, down they go this year. You have to admit we've face some really good pitching so far, and it's just going to continue this month. It might be tough to swallow. But so far we've really only been out of one game.
Mauer didn't miss any time this spring, and likely got more time in than any other Twin.
This team will come around, hopefully sooner than later. We aren't the doormat team in the division that some might think we are.
4 different lineups in the first 4 games is nothing new...did the same thing at the beginning of last year and all the position players were healthy then too...
Tt's just what Gardy does and isn't indicative of anything. It's his Little League way of doing things...everyone gets plenty of time.
<<<Are you from up that way?>>>
Sort of. I moved out to Pittsburgh (from Minneapolis) in August, and greyhounded it out to Baltimore to meet an old college friend for the week. I didn't even know the Twins were playing until after I booked the bus tickets...
They need big time 'step-ups' from Valencia, Doumit, and Span, before they're scoring more runs. Parmelee too.
2 players can't really carry a team...
Two outs and nobody on. What would you rather have...a HR or a base hit?
Would you rather have back to back HRs or back to back singles?
HRs matter more when a team don't hit 'em.
They rolled over... every single game this year jack, from what i can tell. Game one, markakis hit the homer, and after that it was absolutely nothing from the team until willingham provided some spark with a late homer. They were passive at every opportunity. Game 2 like i said with liriano. once he had the one bad break it just fell apart. He briefly recovered and then he totally blew up again and it was over, the entire team just rolled over and played dead. Game 3 they rolled over after the snowball inning. Just totally quit. Last game, as soon as jamey carroll botched that dive play, it was totally done.
All it takes and all it took last year was one bad thing to happen. And it's happening again. One bad thing happens and they just stop playing, get all passive and the game's over. Maybe i'm crazy in seeing that but that's what i and others here see. Then you know they get a hit, and they get on a little roll for a couple batters. What game was it though that they had a runner on second with no outs, and didnt get him home. I just remember, doumit i think it was, popping the ball up for out #1 and it was done. they just took every gimmie fastball and got themselves out of the inning.
I watched the game yesterday, and the Yankee game against the Orioles. Nova put things back in perspective, vis-a-vis the Oriole offense. They did not look like the same team against the Yankees and a starting pitcher with swing and miss stuff. We are going to need an extra infielder to stop all of the hot grounders going through our defense, given our starting staff...even when they are healthy. That is, when the balls are not clearing fences!
Willingham has looked good at the plate, and Morneau seems to be holding his own physically so far. However, Willingham looks lost in LF; I thought that was his primary position. I am ready to travel to Target field and start screaming at Mauer! He has what I call the "Casey at the Bat" syndrome. He is taking far too many fat first pitches. The opposing pitchers know it and he is getting typical 3-0 count FB's and letting them go...pitches he could be driving. He ends up swinging at worse pitches later and getting himself out.
It's early, and hopefully our offense is just going through a brief dry spell typical of Twins teams in recent years. The lineup has more punch now, and hopefully they can get hot pretty soon. Right now, I just don't know how to be optimistic regarding the starting pitching.
It's as though they are waiting for some divine intervention to set things right. They certainly need to start hitting, that is a given. They also need to start trending away from hitting so many ground balls.
The only way I can explain is through my own personal observation and that is they appear to be playing a passive game. They seem to be afraid to make mistakes. I thought you nailed it in another post last night. The whole "Oh, no....here we go again" attitude is prevalent once the other team takes the lead. Apart from Willingham, the at bats we have seen so far are among some of the worst we saw last season. I understand it's early, but the offensive numbers they have in these first four games are horrible. They had 41 games where they scored under 2 runs last year. They look like they will run into that same difficulty again. It just seems like a continuation of what went on last year. Until they change it and sustain some offensive prowess for a little while I have little to hang my hat on in 2012.
Even if they had a 'good' pitching staff this might not be a .500 team. Not with the offense it's generated since last season began.