By Joe Christensen
The press box line of the day came from ESPN’s Jayson Stark, who wondered if the Twins had set a spring training record for most field goals allowed in a game. Cincinnati scored three in the first (off Boof Bonser), three in the third off Julio DePaula, three in the fifth off Ricky Barrett and three in the eighth off Carmen Cali.
Recalling a line I wrote last April, from a Twins loss in Detroit, I wondered what zip code the Reds’ linescore would be after five innings: 30313. Today’s answer was Atlanta. (From that 18-1 loss to Detroit last season, the Tigers had Alford, Florida’s zip code, 32420.)
So, as you’ll recall, teams do rebound from these embarrassments. Today’s 14-1 loss left the Twins at 0-3-1. Would I call this an ominous start? Yes.
1) Injuries: Besides Lew Ford, who seems headed for arthroscopic knee surgery, most of these are minor aches and pains. But Torii Hunter, Luis Castillo, Alejandro Machado and Ken Harvey are among the walking wounded.
2) Pitching: Matt Garza threw two perfect innings in Wednesday’s opener. But Scott Baker (1 1/3 innings, four earned runs), Carlos Silva (two innings, five earned runs) and Bonser (one inning, three earned runs) all had appallingly bad spring debuts.
3) Energy level: The Twins have looked fairly flat for the past three games. Besides Garza’s outing against the Red Sox, and Joe Mauer’s three-run, game-tying homer in the opener, they’ve done very little to make anyone excited.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I am [sweating it],” Bonser said. ”I’ll tell you what. I can’t wait to get back out there in five more days and get the thing rolling again. … Look around the clubhouse. There’s guys trying to take my job, just as I’m trying to take a spot here, too.”