July 21, 2019

The day Tony Oliva hit the deck, then hit a triple

The Twins lost again Saturday to the Oakland A’s, so let’s forget about the 2019 team for the moment and turn back the clock.

During the recent Twins/Mets series, Strib columnist, Patrick Reusse, tweeted about seeing Mets pitching coach, Phil Regan, visit the mound at Target Field.

And yet nobody booed him, which led Reusse to recall the moment when Regan threw at Tony Oliva’s head in April 1964. It sent the rookie “sprawling into dirt.” But Oliva picked himself up and hit a triple to center field at old Tiger Stadium. It would be a long afternoon for Regan, according to Baseball-Reference.com.

It was Game 1 of a doubleheader and the fifth game of the 1964 season. Regan took the mound for the Tigers, while Cuban curveballer, Camilo Pascual, by then in his 10th season of major league baseball, toed the rubber for the Twins.

The Twins wasted no time against the Tigers. They scored a run in the first inning, two in the second, three in the fifth, two in the seventh and then piled on with four in the ninth for a 12-3 win on 18 hits. Not only did Oliva hit a triple, he hit two. Nearly every Twins player got into the act that day.

Third baseman, Rich Rollins, went 4-for-6 at the top of the order. Don Mincher had three hits, Harmon Killebrew had three hits, including two home runs, and Zoilo Versalles, Oliva and Pascual had two hits apiece. Pascual went 2-or-5 at the plate, including a double, and drove in two runs. He also pitched a complete game, striking out seven.

How did Regan do? He lasted all of three innings and would finish 1964 with five wins and an ERA of 5.03. Pascual would win 15 games with an ERA of 3.30 and strike out more than 200 batters for the fourth consecutive season.

Oliva, who turned 81 on Saturday, was Rookie of the Year in 1964. And what a season it was. He hit .323, with 217 hits, 109 runs, 94 RBI, 43 doubles and 32 home runs. Wow.

Extra innings…

-The Twins lost in heartbreaking fashion on Saturday. They got the early lead, gave it back, regained it to lead 4-3 late, then ace reliever, Taylor Rogers, was tagged for two runs in the top of the ninth and the Twins lost 5-4, despite loading the bases in the bottom half of the inning. Luckily, the Cleveland Indians lost, too. The lead is still three games in the AL Central.

-The best they can do is split the four game series if they win on Sunday. Michael Pineda gets the ball.

-Oh, yeah. The series with the Yankees begins Monday.

July 19, 2019

There is redemption. Just ask the Twins’ Eddie Rosario.

After left fielder Eddie Rosario made a mess of a fly ball in the Twins’ 14-4 defeat at the hands of the New York Mets on Wednesday, Rosie found himself on the bench to start Thursday’s game against the Oakland A’s. But in the seventh inning, with the Twins down 3-1, Rosie pinch hit for... Continue Reading »

July 18, 2019

The Twins’ first 3-game losing streak of the season is here, folks. And it was ugly.

It’s gut check time, Minnesota. And Shannon Stewart is not coming through that door. The Twins’ Mitch Garver scored the go-ahead run in the fifth inning against the New York Mets on Wednesday, only to see that 3-2 lead turn into a complete nightmare. Reliever Trevor May served up a three-run home run, terrible fielding... Continue Reading »

July 17, 2019

Remember the Cleveland series, Twins fans?

All the momentum created by a successful road trip to Cleveland evaporated quickly Tuesday night after the Twins had a lousy first inning against the New York Mets, then struggled to capitalize the rest of the night. Two unearned runs spoil another strong start by Michael Pineda, and Twins fall to Mets, 3-2 at Target... Continue Reading »

July 15, 2019

Twins denied sweep, but still get series win over Tribe

The Twins rallied to tie Sunday’s game at 3-3, but after reliever, Trevor May, served up a solo shot in the bottom of the seventh inning, the fight and game were lost, 4-3. The Twins still won two of three games and have a 6.5 game lead over the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central.... Continue Reading »

July 14, 2019

Game 2 goes to the Twins (and Max Kepler)

Before Cleveland Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer settled in and struck out 11 Twins on Saturday, he first had to contend with Twins right fielder, Max Kepler. Kepler hit two home runs off him, Jake Cave added a third and, despite the strikeouts, the Twins added a few more runs late to top the Tribe, 6-2.... Continue Reading »

July 13, 2019

Game 1 goes to the Twins

The Twins scored first, fell behind early, then rallied for four runs late to beat the Cleveland Indians 5-3 in Game 1 of a key, three-game series on Friday. Perhaps most important: the Twins widened their lead over the Tribe to 6.5 games. Nelson Cruz got things started with a solo home run in the... Continue Reading »

July 8, 2019

The AL Central lead is 5.5 games, Twins fans

If you told a Twins fan before the start of the season that the team would have 56 wins, a new home run record and lead the American League Central before the all-star break, that fan would be thrilled (and possibly a tad skeptical). All of that and more has happened, making the 2019 season... Continue Reading »

July 7, 2019

Twins’ Taylor Rogers is an all-star. Or at least he should be.

The best pitcher on the Twins staff is not the rising star Jose Berrios or the resurgent Jake Odorizzi, it’s Taylor Rogers, the left-handed reliever who throws in the mid-90s and leads the team with a 1.82 ERA. The Twins do not have a dedicated closer. Instead, Falvey & Co., ever since they traded Fernando... Continue Reading »

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Hi, I’m Rolf Boone, Twins fan.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.