I know that saying this may sound cliché, and saying it sounds cliché may be cliché (still with me?), but this is a really important series for the Minnesota Twins.
The Twins have repeatedly missed staff aces like Yovani Gallardo of Milwaukee, Chris Carpenter of St. Louis, Zach Greinke of Kansas City and Justin Verlander of Detroit, but won't be so lucky for the last two series heading into the All-Star break.
After facing C.C. Sabathia last night, the Twins will face A.J. Burnett and Sergio Mitre before playing host to the White Sox and their three-headed Southside monster of John Danks, Gavin Floyd and Mark Buehrle.
Last night, Scott Baker was very inefficient as he struggled with his command through three innings. Brian Duensing was the same. R.A. Dickey threw well, but the game was already out of reach by the time he even thought of warming up.
The team again came out with a losing attitude, as if they already knew they were going to lose, allowing Sabathia to do what he wanted with no contest. The Twins failed to get in his head early, even when they knew how.
They failed to lay down bunts, which I'm sure is a main reason why they went with the speedier Carlos Gomez over Jason Kubel in the lineup. The Twins had a great chance to attempt some bunts with speedy 8-9-1 hitters in their lineup, but failed to do so.
The Twins will try to salvage the series tonight while they face Burnett, who is 5-2 with a 1.88 ERA in his last seven starts. Glen Perkins has been great in his own right, as he's 3-1 with a 2.66 ERA since coming off the disabled list on June 16th.
They'll have their work cutout against them, but hopefully they come ready to play today, which I think is what hurt them yesterday.
Interesting stat: In the past five games, the Twins have 15 walks. Nick Punto has 7 of them.