May 29, 2017

Twins fall short in epic rubber match with Rays

The Twins and Tampa Bay Rays squared off for the longest game in Target Field history on Sunday, a six-and-a-half-hour contest that the Twins finally lost 8-6 in 15 innings.

The Twins lost two of three games to the Rays to fall to 26-20 on the season, but they’re still atop the American League Central with a two-game lead over the Tribe.

Sunday’s 15-inning game meant the Twins exhausted their bullpen and finally had to hand the ball to starter Hector Santiago, who appeared on short rest (he started Friday’s game) as the Twins’ ninth pitcher of the match.

Santiago entered the game and he promptly gave up back-to-back jacks to lose the game and fell to 4-4 on the season.

The Twins kept the game close, thanks to Joe Mauer. Mauer, looking like the star of yesteryear, had four hits on Sunday, including a double and home run. But it wasn’t enough.

Extra innings…

-Despite my concerns about starter Kyle Gibson, he won another start from the Twins on Sunday and probably did just enough to hang onto his job. Gibson went five-plus innings and gave up three runs (two earned) and struck out four. But he also walked four batters and gave up two quick runs in the top of the first inning. Are you sold on Gibson? I’m not.

-More encouraging on the pitching front was Adalberto Mejia’s Game 2 start against the Rays on Saturday. Mejia didn’t figure in the decision, but he struck out six over five innings and gave up two runs. Taylor Rogers got the win and Brandon Kintzler the save in the Twins’ 5-3 victory.

-Game 1 of the series went to the Rays and starter and strikeout artist Chris Archer. I didn’t think the Twins would win and they did not, striking out 11 times against Archer in a 5-2 loss. Archer has got the stuff to be a star, but he has been Mr. Tough Luck so far in his career with the Rays. Despite having a 4.02 ERA and 233 strikeouts in 201 innings pitched, Archer LOST 19 games in 2016. This season he is 4-3 with a 3.61 ERA.

-A series win over the Rays would have provided a little momentum for the Twins. Instead, they’ll have to snap that losing streak against the red-hot Houston Astros. The Astros come to town Monday with a 35-16 record and a 10-game lead over the second-place Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The ‘Stros are scary-good: In the AL, they rank No. 1 in team pitching and No. 2 in team batting.

 

May 25, 2017

Backed by Berrios, Twins sweep Baltimore

Jose Berrios won his third straight start and the Twins completed a three-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday. Berrios wasn’t as dominant as his last start, but he still gave the Twins six-plus innings and struck out seven to win, 4-3. Perhaps even more important, Berrios, pitching to backup catcher Chris Gimenez, showed... Continue Reading »

May 23, 2017

It’s over, Kyle Gibson. It’s over.

Kyle Gibson won his first start of the year on Monday, but it wasn’t because of anything he did. Instead, the Twins had his back and powered a 21-hit attack to come from behind and beat the Baltimore Orioles 14-7. Gibson, recently recalled from Triple-A Rochester, lasted five innings and gave up six runs, all... Continue Reading »

May 22, 2017

It’s time to talk about Phil Hughes

Despite the Twins taking two of three games from the Kansas City Royals, sandwiched between those two games was another sub-par outing from Phil Hughes, who gave up six hits, including three home runs, over four innings. The Twins lost 6-4 to the Royals on Sunday in Game 1 of a doubleheader. Hughes, meanwhile, after... Continue Reading »

May 19, 2017

Jose Berrios has arrived, folks. And he’s the real deal.

Pitcher Jose Berrios improved to 2-0 Thursday after he and two relievers combined on a 3-hit shutout of the Colorado Rockies. But forget the relievers for the moment because the night belonged to Berrios. Berrios, who struggled in his rookie campaign last season, appears to have found a welcome battery mate in Jason Castro. With... Continue Reading »

May 15, 2017

Twins take series from Tribe, but can’t complete sweep

The Twins couldn’t complete the sweep of the Cleveland Indians on Sunday, losing 8-3 to end a four-game winning streak. For pitcher Hector Santiago, who did not pitch to Jason Castro (read whatever you want into that), it was his worst start of the year. He lasted only two-plus innings and gave up seven hits,... Continue Reading »

May 14, 2017

Twins put Red Sox debacle behind ’em, win 4 straight to regain AL Central lead

After the run-surrendering extravaganza against the Boston Red Sox last week, in which the Twins gave up 28 runs in two games, the club has come right back to win four straight, including two wins over the Cleveland Indians, the defending American League champions. And to top it off pitcher Jose Berrios, recalled from Triple-A... Continue Reading »

May 8, 2017

Twins’ bullpen is terrible in finale versus Red Sox

It was a weekend of hits and runs for the Boston Red Sox versus the Twins. After the 11-1 victory on Saturday, the Red Sox came right back on Sunday and once again scored early and often. They scored three times in the top of the first and four times between the fifth and eighth... Continue Reading »

May 7, 2017

About Kyle Gibson’s replacement…

Nick Tepesch, the starting pitcher who filled Kyle Gibson’s spot in the rotation, might be joining Gibson at Triple-A Rochester after Saturday’s ugly loss to the Boston Red Sox. The Twins were blasted 11-1. To make matters worse, the game was effectively over after the Twins gave up eight runs in the second inning. Tepesch... Continue Reading »

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Hi, I’m Rolf Boone and I love the Twins.

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.