September 5, 2018

Twins’ ‘opener’ produces mixed results in loss to Houston

Reliever Trevor May got the ball on Tuesday and he quickly coughed up four runs on five hits after facing eight batters. His job was done and it appeared the Twins were fast on their way to another disastrous “opener,” similar to the 18-4 beatdown they suffered at the hands of the Texas Rangers on Sunday.

But then the “opener” — using a reliever to set up the starting pitcher for a successful outing — worked to perfection. Rookie starting pitcher Kohl Stewart took the mound after May and started his day by striking out Houston’s No. 9 hitter, according to MLB.com. From there, he pitched five scoreless innings. After Stewart exited the game, the Astros tagged on another run late and the Twins lost 5-2. Get a better opening from May and the Twins would have won this game.

Things return to normal Wednesday when Jake Odorizzi gets the ball.

Extra innings…

-Can a data-driven, analytically-minded team like the Twins actually win games without talent on the field? In other words, can the data compensate for what the Twins lack as a ball club and help them win games? It can’t, right? I say this out of frustration after watching the Twins’ “openers” not go as planned, and it has me wondering: Maybe the Twins aren’t as talented as I think they are.

If you had to name a star on the Twins, who would it be? I guess it would be Eddie Rosario because of his consistent play at the plate and in the field. And after that? Well… I wish I could say Miguel Sano (and now Sano is hurt again) and Byron Buxton but both took big steps back this season. Jose Berrios, while at times pitching well, also has struggled. Tyler Austin, Jake Cave and Mitch Garver might represent the future, but they’re not stars either.

So where does the real talent lie on this team? It’s getting harder and harder to tell.

September 4, 2018

‘Opener’ strategy rolls on for Twins

The Twins aren’t done exploring whether the bullpen can actually help a starting pitcher pitch deeper (more effectively?) into games after it was announced that reliever Trevor May will get the ball for Tuesday’s game at Houston. And once May has worked his way through the top and middle of the order, starting pitcher Kohl... Continue Reading »

September 3, 2018

Twins’ experiment with ‘opener’ strategy goes horribly wrong in Texas

Taking a page from the Tampa Bay Rays, the Twins employed an “opener” strategy on Sunday, in which a series of relievers pitches the game instead of a traditional starting pitcher. The theory behind it is that once the starting reliever or closer has faced the toughest part of the batting order, the “primary pitcher”... Continue Reading »

September 1, 2018

55 years ago this week, the Twins clubbed 12 home runs after historic gathering

Fifty-five years ago on Aug. 28, 1963, more than 200,000 people descended on Washington, D.C., for the March on Washington, a watershed moment for the civil rights movement. It was there that Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered “I have a dream,” his most famous speech. The march was considered key to the eventual passage of... Continue Reading »

August 30, 2018

Perhaps Kris Johnson still wants to pitch for the Twins

After the Twins’ blowout loss to the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday, it had me seeking solace in other baseball news. I decided to look up Kris Johnson, who had a cup of coffee with the Twins in 2014, and discovered that he continues to pitch well for the Hiroshima Carp of Japan’s professional baseball league.... Continue Reading »

August 27, 2018

Well? Now what?

The season appears to be slipping away from the not-very-good-but-at-times-pretty-awesome Twins. It’s been clear for some time that the Twins were not going to contend in the division, but now they find themselves eight games under .500 and 13 games behind the Cleveland Indians in the American League Central. The Twins didn’t get any help... Continue Reading »

August 23, 2018

Well, at least the Twins have Annapolis grad Oliver Drake

In an otherwise disaster of a game on Wednesday — including a missed opportunity between third base and home plate that turned into a whole lot of nothing for the Twins — there was one bright spot: Reliever Oliver Drake, one of the few players in major league history to graduate from the U.S. Naval... Continue Reading »

August 21, 2018

Perhaps it’s the Chicago White Sox the Twins should worry about

Perhaps it’s the Chicago White Sox, and not the New York Yankees, that truly give the Twins a hard time. I say that after the Twins lost to the South Siders on Monday for the sixth time this season. That would be easier to stomach if the Pale Hose were a team on the rise,... Continue Reading »

August 19, 2018

The Minnesota Twins? Go figure

After losing series to the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers, the Twins won the next four games and could have tied their longest winning streak of the season at five games if they had beaten the Tigers on Saturday. That did not happen. Instead, the Tigers got to starter Kohl Stewart and reliever Tyler Duffey... Continue Reading »

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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.