The Twins so far this season have a record of 5-12. One of the reasons for this is the fact that they’ve not taken advantage of scoring opportunities. They’ve hit into 19 double plays. Not only that, they’re 8-47 with runners in scoring position in their past five games.
Last night’s 6-5 loss featured an excellent opportunity in the eighth inning for the Twins to score. Jamey Carroll reached third base on a single and a two base throwing error. Joe Mauer grounded out to first, Josh Willingham lined out to third, Justin Morneau was intentionally walked and Ryan Doumitt popped up to short.
Matt Capps came on in the ninth and gave up a homerun to Cody Ross that made the score 6-5. Ross had also hit a two run homerun to tie the score at 5 in the seventh inning off of Twins starter Jason Marquis.
And in the bottom of the ninth inning, Trevor Plouffe hits a fly ball to left that almost went over the fence for a two run homerun that would have won the game for the Twins, but died at the last minute and was caught for an out.
You could say if only Capps didn’t give up that homerun, then we’d had an opportunity to win, maybe even winning in extra innings since the score was tied when he came on. Or, you could say if only Plouffe’s fly ball to left went a little higher and had gone over the fence for a two run homerun, the Twins would have won the game. The Twins didn’t take advantage of their earlier opportunities in the game. Therefore, we didn’t win the game.
To create runs, you need base runners. Not only that, but you need to actually score runs. If you don’t take advantage of those opportunities when you have runners on base, then you won’t win as many games. The team that wins a game is one that makes the least mistakes and takes advantage of the scoring opportunities handed to them.
To say if only this had happened or if that had happened, it doesn’t change the outcome of the game. Once the game’s over, it’s over and the team that loses needs to look back and realize that they didn’t execute when they needed to.