September 28, 2018

Twins’ Astudillo strikes out for first time in a month

Internet sensation and stat geek favorite, Willians Astudillo, who has established that he hits and only hits, struck out Thursday in the Twins’ 9-3 rout of the Detroit Tigers. What’s so remarkable about that? It was his first strikeout in a month and only his third in 26 games, according to MLB.com.

Meanwhile, Astudillo and former New York Yankee, Tyler Austin, accounted for seven of the Twins’ nine runs. Astudillo drove in four runs on two hits, while Austin drove in three runs on two extra-base hits. In all, the Twins had 12 hits, including three from Jorge Polanco. Astudillo is now hitting .357.

On the mound, the Twins went with an “opener” and it produced mixed results. Reliever Gabriel Moya, who has largely been the preferred reliever in the opener format, gave up a run in the first inning before things were turned over to rookie and primary pitcher, Stephen Gonsalves. Gonsalves wasn’t very sharp but the still got the win and improved to 2-2. He gave up two runs in three-plus innings with four walks and two strikeouts. The bullpen pitched scoreless baseball the rest of the way.

Jose Berrios makes his final start of the season on Friday. It would be great to see him win and exit the season on a high note.

Extra innings…

-The Pale Hose arrive tomorrow for the final four games of the season. The starters are Berrios, Chase De Jong, Kyle Gibson and reliever Zack Littell in Sunday’s opener. Friday’s game is a doubleheader.

-After Thursday’s win, the Twins are back within 10 games of .500 at 74-84.

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.