Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Royals at Twins: Uptight

Tuesday: Royals 3 - Twins 4 (10)
Wednesday: Royals 10 - Twins 5

Record: 4-7

Everybody is uptight. And the more the Twins lose, the more uptight they're going to get. It's time to relax and have some fun.

Well, the hitting is starting to come around. Cuddy had a great night at the plate on Tuesday by going 4-4. And on Wednesday, the Twins finally scored a run in the first inning. So that's something.

I'm getting worried about the starting pitching, and I'm really getting annoyed with the defense.

I don't really expect Duensing to repeat the fantastic season he had last year to the letter. But I gotta admit that I'm worried that he's overmatched, or at least he's feeling that way. I think that Gardy's naming him a starter so early in spring training may have put a lot of pressure on him. He's uptight; hopefully he can settle down and find a comfortable groove.

I'm more worried about Liriano. You can practically see how uptight he is. We all know how very good he can be -- it was just last year. But now he's tentative and meek. Gardy has been saying that he wants Frankie to worry less about strikeouts, and try pitching more to contact so he can go deeper into games. Which is fine, right up until his defense lets him down, and then he can't figure out what to do. At that point, all that "contact" turns into a bunch of "hits" and consequently, "runs." It's fairly well known that he's easily rattled -- "headcase" is a term that's thrown around a lot. Clearly he and Rick Anderson are tinkering, and he's still figuring out what he's trying to do. But asking him to pitch to contact when he has fill-ins for middle-infielders might be asking a bit much for someone who seems to get wigged out easily. Gardy needs to just let him pitch how he wants to pitch and Frankie just needs to learn how to relax and stop thinking. After all, in the wise words of Crash Davis, "don't think; it can only hurt the ball club."

Poor Frankie did have a lot of bad luck on Wednesday. With Tolbert playing short and Cuddyer playing second, he kind of didn't have much of a chance. There were a couple of plays I thought they should've made. I'm willing to cut Cuddy some slack -- he's truly filling in. But Tolbert was playing uptight and should know better -- he airmailed a ball in the first that probably unsettled Liriano from the get-go. Valencia also had a couple diving attempts both Tuesday and Wednesday that I thought maybe he should've made. Maybe I'm being a little tough on them, but I miss the days when the defense was excellent.

Anyway, I'm getting too uptight too. I need to relax.


I went to Wednesday's game. I got a chance to sit in those once-in-a-lifetime-you-can't-turn-them-down-because-you'll-never-get-a-chance-to-sit-there-again-ever seats. I also brought my nice camera. Needless to say, I may have taken a picture or two.

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