Sometimes, it's easy to watch an individual event and forget that baseball is a team game. When Nyjer Morgan homered in the third inning, I briefly forgot all about Paul Maholm's early struggles and said to myself, "Welp, we can't lose when Nyjer Morgan's out there hitting the ball over the fence." This brief burst of optimism completely ignored the fact that the Twins wouldve been crushing the Pirates had they not kept bouncing in to double plays early on in the game. They stopped doing that, and proceeded to beat the tar out of Maholm for all eight runs on 14 hits in 5+ innings. We may have been better off getting Maholm that extra day of rest and using Karstens for this start while waiting on Morton to get healthy.
Maholm's rough outing opened the door for Joe Mauer to go 4-for-4 and raise his average to .429 on the season. His chances of hitting .400 on the season, while small, are probably nowhere near as insignficant as you think.
So that's one in the Metrodome. I had a bad feeling about this series coming in, and this game did nothing to relieve that bad feeling.