There's a reason, outside of my debilitating illness, why I haven't been posting as much this baseball season as usual and it's pretty simple - this pitching staff sucks to the point where, even if the offense has a monster game, they still have a pretty damn good shot of losing. It's gotten to the point where when Liam Hendriks didn't allow a run in the first inning tonight it actually sparked a conversation between me and Luxembourg (Luxembourg is my imaginary pet goat who wears a top hat and monocle and is quite fond of British slang." I was all like, "whoa, I can't believe the Twins got out of the first without giving up a run" and Lux was all like, "Well old bean, I'm pretty sure this tosser is a bit of a dab hand at knobbin up the easy-peasy, so I wouldn't exactly be gobsmacked when he cocks up this one." and I was like, "damn straight, goat."
Anyway, my imaginary limey goat is not really the point, the point is how freaking bad this team's pitching staff is. I mean you got a bunch of soft-tossing noodle-arms and and the one guy who can actually bring the good stuff is more terrified of throwing the ball over the plate than that one guy from Teen Wolf who pees himself when he dad wolf gets up in his face. I mean seriously, look at these average fastball speeds: Blackburn - 90.3mph, Marquis - 88.7mph, Hendriks - 90.1mph, Pavano - 86.3mph. What. The. Frunk? Doesn't it almost have to be intentional to assemble this murderer's row of girly throwers?
And no, you don't necessarily have to throw hard to have success and I get that, Jered Weaver and Dan Haren don't throw hard but are a couple of the best in the league, and teams like the Giants and D-Backs have success despite not having many burners on staff, but you still have to people to throw your fastball effectively. According to fangraphs the Twins' fastballs collectively had been 18 runs worse than average this year - second worst in the majors behind Kansas City. And they also rank in the bottom half of the league in every other pitch, including change-up which I thought was like the one thing they were supposed to be able to do. I'm going to go ahead and say that's not good.
And even when the starting pitcher manages not to stick his own dick up his ass there's always the bullpen to put the ball on the Tee. The team has all of three quality starts so far - one by Hendriks and two by Pavano. In those three, the Twins lost after Glen Perkins got more hammered than your mom at a frat party, they lost because they couldn't hit (at all) against Shields, and they actually beat the Yankees. Ok that was less dramatic than I thought but the bullpen still really sucks.
What's really sweet is Fangraphs gives every player a value in WAR (which stands for Wins above Replacement which means how many wins a player is worth over a random AAA player) and if you were to look at the Twins bullpen right now, Brian Duensing and Alex Burnett are the only two who have been better than a AAA dude this year, and we know Burnett sucks in real life and there's zero chance that stays accurate. In fact, on the entire team it's just those two and Pavano and Blackburn who rank above 0 and all four of them just barely make the cut. Honestly what this all means is is you could give me a list of all AAA pitchers in the majors with the best prospects crossed off, and I could spread it out on the floor and let Luxembourg just start pooping, and take the first 12 names he pooped on and make them my pitching staff and they'd probably end up just as good, if not a little better, than the Twins collection of ball hurlers.
Read that shit again. A random collection of AAA pitchers, picked out by Mrs. WWWWWW picking out names that sound hot, are probably as good or better than the Twins' pitching staff. There are positives I'd love to dwell on - Mauer, Morneau, and Span look like they're back, Willingham has been unstoppable, and that's the whole list but it's something, but I can't get passed this pitching staff. Do you realize I just wrote like four paragraphs on how bad their pitching is without doing anything other than barely mentioning Liriano, who is the poster boy for sucktastic disappointmentitude? Seriously this entire stupid season is stupid and I hope there's a strike or something or at least an earthquake.