First, the good news: Brian Duensing came out and pitched very well for the Twins today. He threw seven strong innings, allowing three runs off of four hits. He walked three batters, but he also struck out six. After allowing a solo home run to Franklin Gutierrez to lead off the fourth inning, Duensing mowed down the next eleven batters before eventually scrambling out of some two-out trouble in the seventh.
A quality start when the bullpen was banged up and struggling--can't ask for more than that, right? But wait, the good news gets better--the aforementioned bullpen actually came through to pitch two shutout innings. Alex Burnett and Dusty Hughes allowed only a single base runner between them, stopping the woes of Minnesota relievers for at least a day.
Now, the bad news: the Twins couldn't muster a single run to help out their pitching. And it's really, really difficult to win games without scoring runs.
The Twins actually outhit the Mariners 7 to 5 on Wednesday, but all seven hits were singles. Seattle starter Erik Bedard defined the pitching term "scattering" by allowing six of those hits in six innings of work. In fact, Bedard's only 1-2-3 inning came in his final frame. He hasn't allowed a run in his last 15 innings of work.
Minnesota's best chance at scoring came in the fifth, when Drew Butera and Alexi Casilla started the inning with singles. (Side note: I doubt I'll type that sentence again this year.) After Denard Span moved both runners over with a groundout, Matt Tolbert and Jason Kubel tallied lazy flyouts that thwarted any chances of a rally.
The Twins dropped two out of three to Seattle, which seems only fitting: their MLB-worst 16-32 record means that they have lost two out of every three games this season. To paraphrase Meatloaf, two out of three is pretty darn bad. At least the latest chapter of this painful season was quick: the game lasted roughly two and a half hours. But then again, baseball games tend to move pretty fast when a grand total of three runs are scored.
The Twins have a day off to think about how comically inept they are before hosting the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at 7:10 PM CT on Friday night. While things may seem bleak for the hometown nine, this writer is guaranteeing that the Twins will not score less than they did on Wednesday during any game of the Angels series.