April 24, 2016

Twins on the verge of being swept by Nationals

Just when I thought it was safe to celebrate a Twins’ 8-1 victory over the Brewers — and I read way more into the win than I should have — the team heads to Washington, D.C. (the birthplace of the Twins, by the way) and drops two in a row for the third time in three weeks.

Friday’s loss marked a terrible outing for pitcher Kyle Gibson, once again showing the inconsistent play that has defined his career with the Twins, followed by free-swingin’ Saturday as the Twins strikeout 18 times as a team and lose 2-0, wasting another quality start from Phil Hughes.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, the Twins get to face Stephen Strasburg on Sunday. Forget the dog days of summer, how about the dog days of April? One more week to go, guys. Let’s hope May 2016 is as fruitful as May 2015 was for the Twins.

Some positives since Thursday:

-Offense: The eight runs scored against the Brewers was the most so far this season.

-Ricky Nolasco: Nolasco has done very little in his time with the Twins, but suddenly in his third season with the team he’s pitching like the ace of the staff. He has an ERA of 2.66 — the lowest among all Twins’ starters — plus he’s pitched 20-plus innings in three starts with 15 strikeouts.

-Miguel Sano: Sano might struggle in right field, but his bat is finally starting to heat up. His batting average, once well below .200, now stands at .250. He leads the team in strikeouts, but he’s also second in walks, has 15 hits, including five extra-base hits.

-Joe Mauer: Despite some down years recently, Mauer’s play this month reminds us that he can be the team’s best hitter. He’s hitting around .330 with a team-leading 21 hits and 14 walks. I shudder to think where the Twins would be if Mauer had gotten off to a slow start. Maybe no wins?

I wish there were more positives. Tyler Duffey, recalled from Triple-A Rochester to spell Ervin Santana, gets the ball on Sunday.

Extra innings…

Chris Colabello, who spent two seasons with the Twins in 2013-2014, was suspended 80 games on Friday for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing drugs. He is eligible to return July 22, according to Baseball-Reference.com.

 

 

 

 

April 21, 2016

Consecutive losses return as Twins fall to Brewers

After nine straight losses, followed by four consecutive wins, the Twins have returned to familiar territory with back-to-back losses, including a 10-5 defeat on Wednesday to the Brewers. Questionable defense in right field was the problem on Tuesday, but on Wednesday the attention shifted to left field and Oswaldo Arcia who had an error and... Continue Reading »

April 20, 2016

Tuesday’s loss raises fresh questions about Miguel Sano as a right fielder

The four-game winning streak came to an end Tuesday after the Twins lost 6-5 to the Milwaukee Brewers at Target Field. Key to the loss were two errors, one of which was committed by Miguel Sano in right field which allowed three unearned runs in the fifth inning. Yikes. Sano botches a line drive to... Continue Reading »

April 19, 2016

Twins extend winning streak to 4 games

Losing streak? What losing streak? The Twins are quickly making the baseball world forget their horrible start after they knocked off the Milwaukee Brewers in a rain-shortened game on Monday, extending the team’s winning streak to four games. After wait of 2:06, Twins declared winner, 7-4 over Brewers, after 6 innings due to rain. First... Continue Reading »

April 18, 2016

Twins end 9-game losing streak with sweep of Angels

The nine-game losing streak is over after the Twins not only captured their first win of the season but won consecutive games to sweep the Angels at Target Field. As my late, legendary high school coach Scott Muckey would say, "Well, we know one thing. We're not gonna lose them all." 😎 — Trevor Plouffe... Continue Reading »

April 12, 2016

Home cooking makes no difference as Twins lose again

Oh, boy. As if things needed to get worse, the Twins played their home opener on Monday before 40,000-plus fans, but before it was over the booing started and fans left early after the team stumbled to its seventh loss in seven games, losing 4-1 to the Chicago White Sox. That’s right: the Twins are... Continue Reading »

April 11, 2016

Twins fall to 0-6, seek home cooking on Monday

The good news? The Twins’ home opener is Monday against the Chicago White Sox. The bad news? Everything leading up to this point: the strikeouts, the lack of hitting, lack of pitching and the poor defense, all of which has contributed to the team’s 0-6 start. Twins manager Paul Molitor: “We’re going home 0-6 and... Continue Reading »

April 10, 2016

A different kind of autobiography from Rod Carew

At a discount retailer the other day, I came across an old hardback copy of a Rod Carew autobiography, co-written by former sports writer Ira Berkow. I quickly realized it was too tempting to pass up, so I paid the nominal fee and settled in to flap through its 236 pages. Right away I noticed... Continue Reading »

April 9, 2016

Same as it ever was: Twins off to yet another slow start

Just when you thought it was safe to identify encouraging signs about the Twins during Spring Training, the regular season gets under way and nothing goes as it appears it should. First anthem of the 2016 season. pic.twitter.com/S7IRXRwvL9 — Phil Miller (@MillerStrib) April 4, 2016 That’s because the Twins, who won 19 games in March,... 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.