With the Twins groping in next to last place in the American League, their grumbling followers could take some shaky consolation in the performance on just one day — Wednesday, July 24 — by the far-flung cast of former Twins.
On the same day when the Twins were shut out 1-0 by the Los Angeles Angels, this is what was taking place among their safely departed players the Twins’ visionaries deemed expendable:
In Texas, Matt Garza, once groomed as the savior of the Twins’ pitching staff, appeared in his first game for the contending Texas Rangers and defeated the New York Yankees and Andy Pettitte 3-1.
In the same game, A.J. Pierzynski, also a refugee from the Twins, hit a home run and went 2-for-4 as the Rangers’ designated hitter.
In the same game, Joe Nathan, for years the ace closer of the Twins’ pitching staff, closed the door on the Yankees in the ninth inning.
In Washington, Francisco Liriano, who debuted with the Twins a few years ago by outpitching Roger Clemens, won his 10th game for the division-contending Pittsburgh Pirates in defeating the Washington Nationals and last year’s pitching wonder boy, Stephen Strasburg.
In Chicago, Torii Hunter, who played centerfield for the Twins when they were making an annual appearance in the American League playoffs, homered for the division-leading Detroit Tigers in their 6-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox.
In Milwaukee, Carlos Gomez, for whom the Twins never seemed to find a position or an appropriate place in the batting order, drove in two runs and went 4-for-4 as the Brewers’ ace center fielder in Milwaukee’s 3-1 victory over San Diego.
In the same game, Kyle Lohse, a pitcher who had trouble persuading the Twins that he belonged in the major leagues, pitched seven innings for Milwaukee, recorded his seventh victory and lowered his earned run average to 3.37.
In Denver, Michael Cuddyer, the leader in the Twins’ clubhouse for years and one of its premier players, raised his batting average to .328, third in the National League, by going 1-for-2 and stealing a base in the Rockies’ 2-1 victory over Miami.
Acknowledging that the Twins’ loss of David Ortiz to the Boston Red Sox belongs to the Ice Age of player transactions, it is probably an overreach to note that Ortiz is batting .323 for the Red Sox.