June 26, 2003

We interrupt this regularly scheduled blog entry...

(Because of the completely worthless "service" of blogger and their nonexistent "customer support," today's entry is a little messy. The entire blogger service was down from noon yesterday until 6 am this morning and, when I could finally post today's entry - I got up at 5 am for you people! - I got an error message telling me it was "too big." Seriously. So, what I have done in order to simply get the words onto the page somehow, is break today's "too big" entry into 3 pieces. I appologize for the strange look of it, but please keep reading to the end. Thanks and if anyone knows of a similar service to blogger that doesn't completely stink, let me know...)

I had an entry for today all written. It was extraordinarily brilliant and thought-provoking and I finished it at around noon yesterday. Then I sat down and watched the Twins game, as I always do, and the Twins got a horrible performance from their starting pitcher, as they always do.

So, I scrapped all previous plans for today and decided to just vent a little bit. Hope you don't mind...

It is sickening to watch. Game after game, Minnesota's starting pitcher takes the mound, gives up 5 or 6 runs in 5 or 6 innings and gets yanked. And the Twins are not an offensive juggernaut by any means, so they aren't exactly built for slugfests.

The Twins' starting pitching has been awful pretty much all season. Minnesota starters have a 4.86 ERA this season, which ranks 21st in the majors and 9th in the American League.

The ERAs of the 5 regular starters are as follows:

                  GS     IP      ERA

Kyle Lohse 15 100 3.70
Rick Reed 12 70 4.73
Kenny Rogers 15 89 5.16
Brad Radke 15 91 5.74
Joe Mays 16 92 5.77
TOTAL 73 442 5.01

Quite frankly, that is pathetic. Kyle Lohse has been pretty good this year and the rest of those guys have been absolutely horrible. Rick Reed, Kenny Rogers, Brad Radke and Joe Mays - the Twins' 4 "veteran starters" - have combined to make 58 starts, pitching a total of 342 innings - with a combined 5.40 ERA.

As bad as Minnesota's starting pitching has been all season long and as hard as this may be to believe, it has been even worse lately.

Take a look at the performances of Minnesota's 5 regular starters in June:

                  GS     IP      ERA

Kyle Lohse 4 24 5.63
Rick Reed 2 11 6.75
Kenny Rogers 5 26 7.18
Brad Radke 4 26 5.81
Joe Mays 4 28 6.43
TOTAL 19 115 6.34

My god that is brutal.

You know, the Twins are doing some serious "June swooning" and Twins fans like myself are getting a little restless, but the fact is that the team is 9-13 in June, despite getting that extraordinary level of awfulness from their starting pitchers, and that says quite a bit for the offense and the bullpen.

In fact, the Twins' 40-36 record overall this year, while very disappointing, is pretty damn good when you consider their 5 starting pitchers have a combined ERA over 5.00.

Meanwhile, Johan Santana sits in the bullpen with his 2.09 ERA.

I have been making this point several times a month for the last year, but now I think the evidence in my favor is getting so unbelievably overwhelming that I can no longer control myself:


Seriously. Do it and do it right now. I am sick of all this "the Twins have veteran starters already" crap, because, quite frankly, the Twins have a bunch of guys that aren't getting the job done. The fact that they made all-star teams 5 years ago or have pitched a dozen years in the majors has no impact on their ability to get batters out right now.

Joe Mays has a 5.58 ERA over his last 187 innings pitched. Sure, he had a tremendously successful (and, in my opinion, fluky) season in 2001, but if you take out that season, his career numbers look like this:

 IP      ERA      W      L

518 5.18 25 38

Mays had a 5.38 ERA last year and, after giving up 5 runs in 3 innings last night, he's got a 5.77 ERA this year.

Meanwhile, Johan Santana and his 2.09 ERA sit in the bullpen.

Because of various injuries to Rick Reed, the Twins have been "forced" to give Santana 3 starts this year:

GS     W     L      ERA     IP     SO     BB     OAVG

3 3 0 1.00 18 17 3 .150

You look at those numbers after looking at the bloated ERAs of the Twins' starting pitchers all season long, their completely dreadful pitching this month and the track record of Joe Mays and you tell me, with a straight face, that Johan Santana does not deserve to be in Minnesota's starting rotation right now. I mean c'mon, this is getting ridiculous.

Santana got a few stints in the Twins' starting rotation last year too because of injuries. Combined, in 2002 and so far this season, here are Johan's numbers as a starting pitcher:

GS       IP      ERA      W     L

17 98.1 2.83 10 5

FREE JOHAN SANTANA! (Seriously this time)

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