If only for the night, the terrorizing Twins returned to life in U.S. Cellular Field. Either that, or it simply doesn't matter what state of disarray their franchise is in, Minnesota will give the Sox trouble.
It certainly holds true for Gavin Floyd. His streak of eight straight losses against the Twins would sound like an anomaly of the pitcher-wins stat if he hadn't given up 39 ER and 8 homers in the 47.2 innings that comprised those starts.
Another night where Floyd was helpless when he couldn't spot his cutter, and he's now regressed away all traces of his hot start thanks to his lack of damage control.
Meanwhile, the Sox turned another organizational soft-tosser into a titan, as 27 year-old P.J. Walters threw his first complete game and set a career-high in strikeouts. It was his 7th career MLB start, and he topped out at 91 mph.
It's only May, and the field is far from set, but this is quite a candidate for Flattest Effort of the Season
Twins 9, White Sox 2
Gordon Beckham - 1 for 3, HR - Obviously any solid contact from him is greeted with open arms, but given the signs usually looked for from him (line drives to right), what's to be made of this outbreak of home run power to left field (three HR in four games)?
Paul Konerko - 2 for 4, 2B, RBI - A successful return from a black eye...well, at least at the plate
Gavin Floyd - 3.2 IP, 8 H, 9 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, HR, 88 pitches - Even in blistering defeat, Floyd reminds that he has great stuff. Nine swinging strikes,
Zach Stewart - 3.1 IP, H, 3 K - Second-straight bullpen-saving long relief effort. Getting too many opportunities, though.
Viciedo/Ramirez/Escobar - 0 for 8, BB, 5 K - Completely eviscerated, to the point where Orlando Hudson has already been announced as starting tomorrow.
P.J. Walters - CG, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, HR, 110 pitches - The only way he could make this right is by following this start up with a dominant career. That would still be terrible for the Sox, just more explicable.
A delirious array of 'Twins hits' and Murphy's Law struck in the 2nd inning. After a leadoff walk, both Ryan Doumit and Alexi Casilla found grounders down the 1st base line to be a reliable way to acquire doubles. A Jamie Carrol single was turned into a triple thanks to a bad relay throw and a subsequent wild pitch.
After all that, Denard Span hit yet another ground ball past Konerko to make it 4-1. The man doesn't deserve this indignity.
Things Would Different If...
It's hard to wonder what could have been after a 9-2 loss, but one might dream about how Tuesday night might have gone had the Sox not cannibalized four leadoff men on base with double plays.
Off days are always bad news in the middle of winning streaks, and Konerko himself cited the funeral for Kevin Hickey as a distraction.
It's still a shame to drop another home game, especially to the worst team in the league, but there's some context here.
Ventura might have provided the best takeaway line there can be, though.
Robin Ventura: "We got our asses kicked." Yes he said that.
— Chuck Garfien (@ChuckGarfien) May 23, 2012
Team Record: 21-22, 3.5 GB