As the Star Tribune’s Howard Sinker put it, Sunday was a tough day for paying customers at Target Field.
With the Minnesota Twins falling behind 4-0 before their offense every took the field, the game seemed like it was over almost as early as it started. The Twins lost the series finale to Atlanta in ho-hum fashion.
Compounding the problem was the lineup, which Sinker was critical of on his blog this morning.
I agree with some of Sinker’s points. I don’t agree with others.
I rarely, if ever, have a problem with Twins manager Ron Gardenhire choosing to DH Joe Mauer on a Sunday to rest his legs. This is common practice throughout baseball, no matter what lineup is being tossed out there.
And while Sinker says Sunday’s game was "an important game," I would dispute that. As I’ve stated before, interleague games are the least important games on the schedule. They’re games that have the Twins facing teams in which Minnesota isn’t in direct competition for playoff spots with. If there was ever a time to "throw one away," this was it.
However, I was confused by the resting of a seemingly healthy Denard Span. With a day off today, I have to think Gardenhire could have waited a couple of weeks when J.J. Hardy and Orlando Hudson are back before resting his only center fielder and leadoff hitter. (Granted Hardy’s numbers are looking pretty Matt Walbeck-like right now).
And the wraparound 8-9-1-2 spots of Brendan Harris, Drew Butera, Nick Punto and Trevor Plouffe does cause me to puke in my mouth a little bit. I’m not sure what the solution is there, but I’m pretty sure having Punto hit leadoff isn’t it.