Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dumatrait closer to the "Circle of Trust"

Dumatrait showed life out of the 'pen (Photo: US Presswire)
The Twins lost another heartbreaker on Monday afternoon. There have been many stories out there about the play that allowed the winning run to score for the Tigers. From all of the replays that have been shown, it seems the umpires blew the call on a hit that bounced into the stand. It stinks for the Twins to lose a game on a call like that but the team was in the position to win.

One positive that came out of the game on Monday could have been the signs of life that the bullpen showed in the late innings. Nick Blackburn started the game for the Twins and was removed in the seventh inning after giving up a walk and a single to start the inning. This meant that the Twins turned to the bullpen with runners on the corners and nobody out in a tie game.

The Twins first turned to Jim Hoey to try and get out of the mess in the seventh. Twins fans have been harsh on Hoey in his first year with the club. This can be understandable with some of the performances he has shown on the field. Even his hometown newspaper is following his up and down season thus far. After an eight pitch at-bat Hoey walked Ryan Raburn to load the bases. After that Hoey was able to strikeout Austin Jackson on six pitches with all three strikes being called strikes.

The biggest pitches came off of the arm of the next pitcher that entered the game. Phil Dumatrait entered the game in a situation where the bullpen is accustomed to giving up multiple runs this season. The bases were loaded with only one out. The Tigers sent a pinch hitter to the plate in the form of Casper Wells. Dumatrait took care of Wells quickly on only four pitches with the strikeout. The next batter was Brennan Boesch and Dumatrait was able to coax a ground out on the third pitch to end the inning.

With the bullpen in charge, the crisis was averted for what seems like the first time this season. To say the bullpen of the Twins has been a disaster this year, would be an understatement. In previous years, this would have been just another outing for the arms in the Twins bullpen. The Crains or Guerriers of the world would have stepped in and saved the day. That story-line has not played out the same way in 2011.

The Twins need to see some life in the arms out of the bullpen. This appearance from Dumatrait could be the spark that leads him to having a more important role on the team. With Glen Perkins on the DL, there are very few arms that Twins fans can trust in the late innings. Dumatrait could work his way into the "Circle of Trust" for Twins fans.
Dumatrait is closer, but not there yet
This could have been a fluke outing for the bullpen. But I think all Twins fans are hoping that this is the first sign of life from a team that needs a lot of life to get back in contention for the 2011 season.

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