Johan Santana wasn’t on his summer form, allowing 4 runs (3 earned) in just 6 innings. He had a season-high 4 walks and just 4 strikeouts, while throwing 101 pitches (62 of them for strikes). He also allowed 5 hits but no homers. Still, for a team that scored 4 runs or more in 12 straight games coming into Oakland, and getting 8 hits, 5 walks, and 2 stolen bases in 5 innings against Oakland’s starter, amassing more than Santana gave up shouldn’t be a problem.

But it was. In the first, a runner on third with one out. A walk. A double play by Justin Morneau to end the inning. In the third, a runner on third with one out. A walk. A strikeout. An intentional walk to load the bases for Torii Hunter. A fly out on the first pitch. In the fourth, a single and a walk, followed by a double play by Jason Tyner. In the 5th, runners on first and second with one run already in. A fly out, a ground out, and another ground out. In the 6th, after a Jason Kubel solo homer, a single and a walk. A double steal for two runners in scoring position with 2 outs. A Michael Cuddyer strikeout to end the threat. In the 2nd, 7th, 8th, and 9th innings, we didn’t have anybody in scoring position. Nobody can say we didn’t have plenty of chances to open the game wide open. Cuddyer, Morneau, and Hunter combined to go 1-for-12 with an RBI, two walks, 3 strikeouts, and 13 men left on base.

However, at least the way I saw it, the strike zone size was changing after every pitch. It was difficult for both pitchers to throw any strikes because it would be called a strike in one inning and then a ball the next.

Now the team has traveled a little farther south in California to play a 3-game series against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Boof Bonser will try to get us an opening game win with a 9:05 central time start.