You saw it. I saw it. We all saw it. Going into the 9th inning in last night’s game the Twins had a 10-0 lead and it looked like there was a shot for a Minnesota pitcher to actually go a full nine innings for the first time in well over one hundred games. Heck, I could almost see Bert’s drool running down my screen.
But after a long battle with Hannahan which ended up with Oakland getting just their 3rd hit of the game Baker walked the next hitter. That’s when trouble really hit. Gardy got Jesse Crain up in the bullpen and it was obvious that Baker was distracted by that.
Now my question is this. Who’s to blame?
If you ask Blyleven, it’s Baker. He repeatedly said (with disdain) during the broadcast that Baker doesn’t seem to “want it” enough. It’s true that Baker was distracted and maybe even looked like he wanted to come out. But if he’s out of gas, shouldn’t he admit it?
This is Anderson’s job. When he sees Baker stumbling out on the mound, he needs to get up, go out there and assess the situation. Give him a rousing pep talk if that will get it done. If Baker’s just completely gassed, then so be it. Get him out. To me, it looked as if everyone wanted to see a complete game so badly that they were ignoring the situation in front of them and the Twins can’t afford to have Rick Anderson on that bandwagon.
Oh…and can we just give up on Jesse Crain already?