July 26, 2020

Blowout loss follows blowout win as Twins split 2 games with Chisox

Everything that went right for the Twins in Game 1 of the 2020 season went wrong on Saturday as the Twins lost to the South Siders, 10-3.

On Friday, outfielder Max Kepler hit two home runs, including one on the first pitch of the game, to pace an 11-hit attack for a 10-5 win. The bullpen did the rest, pitching scoreless baseball over five innings with seven strikeouts.

But on Saturday, the bullpen was awful, allowing five home runs after starter Randy Dobnak was lifted for a reliever. The Dobber allowed one earned run over four innings, yet was still spelled by Zack Littell after 70-plus pitches. It wasn’t immediately clear why that happened, although Twins beat writer Do-Hyoung Park had this to say on Twitter:

The Twins’ offense wasn’t nearly as potent on Saturday, mustering only six hits, although the ageless wonder, Nelson Cruz, did hit a three-run home run to keep the game close early.

Japanese pitcher, Kenta Maeda, acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers during the offseason, gets the ball Sunday in the rubber match.

Extra innings…

-Starter Jose Berrios was not sharp in Friday’s win. Berrios allowed five runs, all earned, in four innings of work. He also had only one strikeout and served up a home run.

-In two games so far, Josh Donaldson, the so-called “bringer of rain,” has two walks and an infield hit. I bet there are a lot of guys in the Twins lineup who need to work off some serious rust.

-Kepler led the way with two home runs on Friday. The rest of the team followed him with nine singles.

-Major League Baseball’s version of “sudden death” was played out Friday night between the L.A. Angels and Oakland A’s. If extra innings are played this season, teams get to start the inning with a runner on second base. The Angels were unable to score in the top of the 10th, and in the home half of the inning for the A’s it didn’t matter because they loaded the bases. First baseman, Matt Olson, then stepped up to the plate and hit a walk-off grand slam on the first pitch to win the game, 7-3.

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.