September 27, 2019

Twins’ youth movement tops Tigers, earns 99th win

As expected, Twins manager Rocco Baldelli went with a youthful lineup on Thursday, a day after the team clinched the AL Central and celebrated with a birthday cake and booze, according to team photos and videos. Baldelli turned 38 on Wednesday.

Ian Miller, Luis Arraez, Willians Astudillo, Jake Cave, Ryan LaMarre, LaMonte Wade Jr. and Ronald Torreyes all got the start on Thursday in a 10-4 win over the Detroit Tigers. Even with youth on their side, one might think that after a night of partying no one would be in shape to take a few swings at major league pitching, but the heart of the order was especially good.

Astudillo, Cave and Jonathan Schoop — one of only two veterans to get the nod on Thursday — drove in seven of the Twins’ 10 runs. Folk hero and future Dancing With The Stars contestant Astudillo was a sizzling 4-for-5 at the plate, including a home run. Schoop also hit his 23rd of the season.

Baldelli went with youth on the mound, too. Over five innings, Devin Smeltzer allowed three runs on 10 hits, but only two of those hits went for extra bases. He also didn’t walk anybody and struck out four.

Jose Berrios gets the ball Friday in Kansas City against the 101-loss Royals. If he wins, he’ll tie his career mark in wins at 14.

Extra innings…

-The Twins are one win away from winning 100 games this season. If they do, it will be only the second time in Twins history to reach the 100-win mark. The 1965 team won 102 games.

-The Twins are the first team in major league history to hit 300 home runs in a season. Schoop hit No. 300 and Astudillo followed him with No. 301 on Thursday.

-It appears that Jake Odorizzi did not make his last start of the season this week because he is set to get the ball on Sunday, according to MLB.com. The American League Division Series starts Friday. That likely means that Odo will not get the ball for Game 1. So does that mean Berrios, followed by Randy Dobnak, followed by Odo?

-The Twins were 14-5 against the Tigers this season. 

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.