May 9, 2018

The kids are alright

A week ago, I thought the Twins’ season was slipping away. The team finished April at 8-14, the injuries started to pile up and nobody was hitting or pitching, including the bullpen, particularly well. As that win-loss record became more lopsided, I couldn’t help but think of 2016 and how that season quickly got away from the Twins.

Yet the Twins turned things around in 2017 and made the playoffs after losing 103 games the season before. Then Falvey & Co. worked hard to strengthen the team during the offseason, all of which created high expectations for the 2018 Minnesota Twins.

High expectations, combined with an unexpected losing streak, produced a panic. I’m happy to report that panic has subsided because the Twins swept the two-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals and have now won five in a row.

Jake Odorizzi and three relievers, combined to two-hit the Cardinals on Tuesday. Odorizzi gave up a solo shot in the first, then settled down for the next four innings. The club backed him with 10 hits, including four hits from Eduardo Escobar and Eddie Rosario, the two players who have carried the Twins during this win streak.

Tuesday’s win, combined with a Cleveland loss, leaves the Twins a half-game behind the Tribe for the American League Central lead. What a difference a week will make.

Jose Berrios gets the ball Thursday versus the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Extra innings…

-Berrios has struggled of late, but what if Fernando Romero’s success has set a new tone for the pitching staff? After Romero dominated the Cardinals on Monday, Odorizzi appeared to follow suit with five strong innings of his own on Tuesday. It would be great if some of that success rubbed off on Berrios, too.

-After the four-game series with the Angels, the Twins come home to play a make up game against the Seattle Mariners, followed by two against the Cardinals, three against the Milwaukee Brewers and then Ron Gardenhire’s Detroit Tigers come to town for a three-game set.

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.