May 19, 2016

Twins implode in Motown

Don’t remember the Twins’ back-to-back wins against the Indians? Well, there’s a reason for that because the Twins rode those rare wins to Detroit and completely fell apart, getting swept by the Tigers, the fourth-place team in the division.

The Tigers aren’t that good. They’re 1-8 against the American League Central, but are undefeated against the Twins. And that’s not saying too much because nearly every team in baseball is undefeated against the Twins, except for the Indians and Angels. Remember that series? The Angels were SWEPT by the Twins. Hard to believe.

How bad was the series with the Tigers? A recap:

-Jose Berrios, Eddie Rosario: Top-rated pitching prospect Berrios and 2015 Rookie of the Year candidate Rosario are both headed to the minors as a result of their play. Berrios got hammered by the Tigers on Monday, surrendering eight runs in the first inning of the game, and Rosario, as suspected, finally was sent down because of his struggles at the plate. Wednesday’s miscues in the field and on the base paths didn’t help his case for staying.

-Pitching? What pitching? Phil Hughes was cruising along against the Tigers on Tuesday when he suddenly needed to come out after six-plus innings and 75 pitches because of shoulder fatigue. In comes the bullpen and they were rocked, giving up another big inning to the tune of seven runs, including a double and two home runs. Michael Tonkin got tagged with the blown save and loss, but Trevor May wasn’t much better, giving up three runs, all earned.

-Defense: Ricky Nolasco didn’t pitch that poorly on Wednesday in the Twins’ 6-3 loss. Nolasco gave up four runs, but only two were earned because of three errors: one fielding and two throwing, including one from Nolasco after he threw wide of first base during a pickoff move.

The Twins, now 10-29 on the season, come home to face the Toronto Blue Jays and power hitters Jose Bautista and Josh Donaldson. Of interest is how pitcher Tyler Duffey will handle the Jays this time around. Duffey made his major league debut against the Jays last season and was blasted in two innings of work. He also faced them during spring training and didn’t fare much better. Still, Duffey’s had three quality starts so far this season, lowering his ERA to 1.85.

Extra innings…

Rosario was sent to Triple-A Rochester, which means Robbie Grossman is on his way to Target Field. Grossman, according to MLB.com, was hitting .256/.366/.446 with six homers, five doubles and 14 RBIs in 35 games with the Indians’ Triple-A affiliate in Columbus.

Ervin Santana gets the ball on Thursday.

 

COMMENTS

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.