September 22, 2018

Twins lose in walk-off fashion for 14th time this season

What will we remember about the 2018 Minnesota Twins? The walk-off loss.

The four-game winning streak came to an end Friday night in Oakland after the Twins dropped another close game in an all too familiar fashion. The A’s took the early lead, the Twins rallied for six runs in the sixth inning, and then the A’s tied the game to send it to extra innings. And then in the bottom of the 10th inning, Khris Davis, an absolutely amazing pickup for the A’s, hit his 45th home run and second of the game to beat the Twins, 7-6.

The Twins lead the majors with 14 walk-off losses and are one short of the team record of 15 set in 1964, according to MLB.com.

Early on the Twins got a taste of their own medicine because Oakland elected to go with the “opener” format, in which a reliever starts the game to tee up the primary pitcher for an effective outing. In this case, the Twins faced reliever and old friend, Liam Hendriks, who spent three seasons with the Twins. Hendriks did his job, as did Chris Bassitt. The two combined to pitch five scoreless innings and the A’s took a 4-0 lead.

But in the sixth inning, the Twins exploded for six runs, starting with a Robbie Grossman home run. They also got extra-base hits from Ehire Adrianza, Jorge Polanco and Jake Cave. But the A’s came right back to tie the game and send it to extras for the eventual win.

Chase De Jong gets the ball Saturday.

-Jose Berrios is still looking for win No. 12 after he didn’t figure in Friday’s decision. Despite striking out eight batters, Berrios gave up five runs in five-plus innings and walked three batters. Berrios probably gets one more start before the season ends. It would be nice to see him get that win, keep his ERA under 4.00 and notch 200 strikeouts for the season. He’s at 193 after Friday’s game.

-How about the season the Oakland A’s have had? After finishing with 75 wins in 2017, who predicted that they would have 93 wins on Sept. 22, 2018? Nobody, except for perhaps Mr. Moneyball and General Manager, Billy Beane. How about the deal to get homer-hitting Khris Davis? In 2016, the A’s sent pitcher Bubba Derby and catcher Jacob Nottingham to the Milwaukee Brewers to get Davis, and Davis has hit 40 or more home runs per season ever since.

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.