May 31, 2018

Remember when I said the kids were alright? They’re not

After back-to-back losses to the Kansas City Royals, and disappointing injury updates regarding Byron Buxton and Ervin Santana, the bad news is piling up so fast for the Twins that it’s enough for this fan to reverse himself.

Earlier this month I said the Twins were just fine after they went on an extended winning streak. Well, I was wrong. The Twins are in trouble and the series loss to the Royals only compounded the problems.

Rookie pitcher Fernando Romero got roughed up in less than two innings and the Twins never recovered, losing 11-8 on Wednesday. This, of course, was on the heels of the Twins’ eighth walk-off loss of the season to the Royals on Tuesday. The Twins lost 2-1 in 14 innings and are now 3-11 in one-run games.

Prior to Wednesday’s game, the Twins announced that Buxton is headed back to the disabled list to address problems with a toe, and the team halted the rehab starts for pitcher Santana after he experienced discomfort in a surgically repaired finger on his throwing hand, according to various reports.

Despite the loss of Santana, Twins pitching has been pretty good. The team ERA is 4.12, which puts the Twins middle of the pack in the American League. On offense, though, it is ugly. The Twins are dead last in hits and runs out of 15 teams.

What is it about this season that makes the 2018 Twins seem worse than the team that lost 103-games in 2016? I can’t put my finger on it, but I’m not alone. I was reading about Tuesday’s loss in the Star Tribune when I came across this online comment.

Not sure why, but this season is becoming harder to listen to than the 2016 one.  Expectations, maybe?

It must be that: We suffered through a terrible season, the Twins showed great improvement in 2017, so why can’t that continue this season? It hasn’t and that has been frustrating.

Now, the Twins head home to play the Cleveland Indians. Jake Odorizzi gets the ball Thursday.

Extra innings…

-What’s the single-season record for most walk-off losses? I’m not sure. But Phil Miller of the Star Tribune provided a partial answer after the Twins lost on Tuesday. Miller reported that eight walk-off losses in the first 50 games, ties a record held by two teams: The 1968 Pittsburgh Pirates and the 2010 Seattle Mariners. The Bucs finished that season with 13 walk-off losses, while the M’s had 12 in 2010. Now, I don’t feel so bad for the Twins.

-Something I came across on Twitter Wednesday:

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.