September 2, 2019

The day the Twins win was hardly the story

The Twins have won two of three games, including Sunday’s 8-3 win, against the terrible Detroit Tigers. That’s the headline, I suppose. Behind the scenes, however, there was even bigger news.

The team activated cult figure, Willians Astudillo, and defensive superstar, Byron Buxton, from the injured list, and called up a whole mess of players, including the man with the most interesting name in baseball: Brusdar Graterol.

Graterol, who throws his fastball close to 100 miles per hour, made his major league debut on Sunday and pitched a scoreless ninth, allowing two hits with a strikeout.

“Oh, yeah, that felt good,” Graterol told MLB.com. “Great. I mean, great. For my first strikeout right here in the big leagues, wow. That was incredible.”

Astudillo, batting eighth, had a hit, scored a run and drove in a run in his return. Buxton spelled Jake Cave in center field but did not have an at bat. Buxton has dealt with multiple injuries this season, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he was slowly eased back into action.

Starter Michael Pineda also continues to pitch well. He turned in another quality start, striking out nine over six innings with five hits and two runs allowed, both earned. He’s now 11-5 with a 4.11 ERA.

Jake Odorizzi gets the ball Monday.

Extra innings…

-There was also bad news on Sunday. Starter Kyle Gibson has landed on the injured list with ulcerative colitis after he dealt with a bout of E.coli earlier in the season. And to think he likely has been battling both in some form this season and still has 13 wins is pretty amazing.

-Reliever Sam Dyson continues to underwhelm. He got an inning of work on Sunday and promptly gave up a home run. What did the Twins see in this guy again?

-Oh, yes, perhaps most important of all: Cleveland was swept by the Tampa Bay Rays, so the Twins now lead the division by 5.5 games.

COMMENTS

Hi, I’m Rolf Boone, Twins fan.

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.