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.

What a relief it is for Twins nation because the team absolutely could not hit during the losing streak, and what a difference a few more hits will make.

The Twins banged out eight hits to secure their first win of the season on Friday, followed by 10 hits on Saturday and 13 hits on Sunday to beat the Angels 3-2 in 12 innings.

The team is also showing more patience at the plate. The team struck out 17 times against the Angels, compared to 22 times against the White Sox and 37 times versus the Royals.

And batting averages finally are on the rise.

Joe Mauer (.372) and Eduardo Nunez (.556) have provided most of the offense to date, but Trevor Plouffe (.302), Oswaldo Arcia (.294) and Miguel Sano are starting to come around.

Arcia had three hits on Sunday, including the walk-off winning hit in the bottom of the 12th. Sano is still hitting under .200, but he had three hits against the Angels, while Plouffe topped them all with eight hits in the series. Plouffe, though, appeared to get hurt in Sunday’s game. Hopefully, he’s not out of the lineup for long.

The Twins were rarely blown out during the losing streak because quality starting pitching kept them in games. A few more hits and starters will be rewarded with a few more wins.

Tommy Milone gave them six innings on Friday to snap the losing streak. Ricky Nolasco gave up four runs early in Saturday night’s game against the Angels, but then held them scoreless through seven innings, and Kyle Gibson followed him on Sunday with seven innings of his own.

Meanwhile, the bullpen, which had a rough spring, was brilliant versus the Angels. They pitched three scoreless innings on Friday, two scoreless innings on Saturday and five scoreless frames on Sunday. They also had three wins and two saves. Michael Tonkin, whose spring ERA blew up, struck out four over two innings on Sunday to secure the third win in the series.

Bottom line: The losing streak is over and the bats are starting to heat up. Bring on the Brewers!

Phil Hughes gets the ball on Monday.

 

 

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 »

April 3, 2016

So this is it: Where will the Twins finish in 2016?

The Twins wrapped up Spring Training with a loss on Friday to the Nationals and an 8-8 tie against the same team on Saturday to finish 19-11-2 before the regular season begins Monday at Baltimore. Game ends in an 8-8 tie, closing the Twins' spring schedule with a 19-11-2 record. Opening Day is 48 hours... Continue Reading »

March 28, 2016

Here’s what I’ve learned about the Twins after the fourth week of Spring Training

The Twins improved to 15-10-1 through Sunday (March 27), showing signs that this team is set to advance on the progress they made last year. The starting pitching has been solid, the offense has clicked — particularly from key players, such as Byung Ho Park, Miguel Sano and Trevor Plouffe — and the bullpen, while... Continue Reading »

March 25, 2016

Remembering Calvin Coolidge Ermer, baseball manager

Calvin Coolidge Ermer, who managed the Twins for part of 1967 and all of 1968, is one of 991 players in major league history to appear in one game, according to Baseball-Reference.com. That moment for Ermer, better known as a “cup of coffee” in baseball terms, came on Sept. 26, 1947 with the Washington Senators.... Continue Reading »

March 20, 2016

Here’s what I’ve learned about the Twins after the third week of Spring Training

The Twins returned to winning form through Saturday (March 19), finishing the week with four wins and a loss to improve to 9-7-1 overall. Most notably, the offense stepped it up, getting blowout victories over the Orioles and Red Sox. Byung Ho Park, Miguel Sano, Brian Dozier and Trevor Plouffe continue to hit, as do... 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.