Last night's game was a big disappointment for the Twins' Fans: The bats were alive, but Slowey and Ayala were not on the top of their game, resulting to turning the game in the favor of the Blue Jays, pretty quickly at the late innings.
Here is a closer look to the win probability graph by fangraphs:
I marked 2 points with asterisks (*1, *2 and *3), because I think they were the turning points of the game and they were bad decisions by Ron Gardenhire:
*1: Kevin Slowey has been struggling throughout the game, but Gardenhire sends him in to start the 6th inning. At this point, the Twins are about 85% win probability. If Slowey left the game then, and the Twins won, he would have been credited with the win. Slowey allows a hit to Rolen. Instead of taking him out at that point, Gardenhire lets him face the next batter (in a manner similar to that allowing Liriano to face multiple hitters after he walked in a run with the bases loaded in the last game of the Chicago series). Overbay hits a home run and the Jays are within 2. A little too late, after facing 2 more batters and walking one, Gardenhire lifts Slowey for Guerrier. Guerrier finishes the inning and starts the next. Breslow replaces him in the 7th after he gives a hit and strikes out the only batter he faces. At this point, Gardenhire, uses Breslow again only to face a single lefty hitter and replaces him with Ayala who finishes the 7th giving a hit and driving a run with 2 outs to bring the Jays within 1 (6-5 Twins)
*2: Top of the 8th inning. You would think that Crain is the 8th inning man, esp. with Ayala having problems the previous inning, who can provide a bridge to Nathan. But this is not the case: Gardenhire keeps Ayala in. A double and a home run later, the Twins' win probability drops from 75% to 15% and the score is Jays 8, Twins 6. That was the biggest turning point of the game
*3: Bottom of the 8th, the Twins hitters are staging a comeback: Brendan Harris doubles to start the inning and goes to third with no outs on a wild pitch. Delmon Young is up. The Twins have a great batter and the best AL Centerfielder in Carlos Gomez on the bench, one would think that getting Gomez in to sacrifice Harris (or get a bunt base hit) would be the proper play (or at least have Young try for the sacrifice). The win probability with Harris at 3rd, nobody out and the Twins down by 2 runs, climbed up to 30%. Young strikes out. Gardenhire, still going for a 2-run homer instead of getting the man from third in with a sacrifice, substitutes Crede for Morales. Crede strikes out. Punto strikes out. Inning over.
Last season, Gardenhire's mismanagement of the pitching staff and the bullpen, cost the Twins the division championship. He was rewarded with a contract extension. Apparently he has not yet learned his lessons from last season. I hope he learns them pretty quickly before this season gets out of hand.