April 23, 2018

Twins swept by Rays. Now, it’s on to New York. Good luck.

The Twins were swept by the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday after old friend Carlos Gomez, best known for scoring the winning run in Game 163 of the 2009 season, hit a walk-off home run to beat his old club, 8-6.

It was a terrible series for the Twins. They had no business losing to the Rays, let alone being swept by them, because the Tampa team came into this series with five wins and 13 losses. It didn’t matter: They hit and hit with power and seemed to have an answer for every Twins’ rally. Meanwhile, the Twins’ bullpen was a disaster, exiting Tampa with a 12.60 ERA.

And now the Twins head to the Big Apple to play a team they have historically had no answer for: The New York Yankees. The Yanks are only a game over .500, but don’t be fooled. The Bronx Bombers have hit 27 home runs so far this month, second most in the American League. The four-game set begins Monday.

What does it all mean? It means the Twins are on the verge of what could quite possibly be a seven-game losing streak. But here’s the silver lining: It’s much better to lose in April than during the final week of September. If it does in fact become an extended losing streak, the Twins should get it out of their system and move on.

Jake Odorizzi gets the ball for the Twins on Monday.

Extra innings…

-Phil Hughes got the start on Sunday and struggled, throwing 70 pitches in three-plus innings. He only allowed two runs, but gave up both in the first inning. Where does Hughes go from here? I really don’t know.

-As bad as the bullpen has been, it does not apply to reliever Ryan Pressly who made another appearance Sunday and struck out four in one-plus innings of work. He continues to have an ERA of 0.00.

-The Twins are 14-46 at Yankee stadium since 2002.

-Brian Dozier singled in the third inning to extend his hitting streak to 16 games, a new record for the Twins to start a season. The previous record holders were Kirby Puckett and Josh Willingham, who had 15-game hitting streaks to start a season.

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.