May 15, 2016

News to share: Twins snap eight-game losing streak with 6-3 win over Tribe

Roll the presses because the Twins avoided their second nine-game losing streak of the season by beating the Cleveland Indians 6-3 on Saturday. The win snapped an eight-game losing streak.

The win, believe it or not, was only the team’s ninth of the season — that’s right, nine wins in their first 35 games. That’s how bad it has been for the Twins, but unlike Friday’s game, the team took a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning and held onto it. They even added to the score late in the game, which has been about as rare as the wins these days.

Padding the score likely brought some relief to the bullpen after the Twins’ 7-6 meltdown to the Tribe on Friday, although reliever Kevin Jepsen — a role I still don’t believe he is suited for — gave up a solo shot in the ninth on Saturday.

Despite the win on Saturday, Friday’s game continues to gnaw at me because manager Paul Molitor, I believe, didn’t do enough to preserve the lead and ensure a victory. Anyone can manage a blowout win — or a blowout loss, for that matter — but it takes a special kind of manager to make the right moves in one-run games, deep in the contest.

By my count, the Twins have lost eight, one-run games this season, which says to me, anyway, that the manager needs to be more decisive late in games. For example, pitcher Trevor May entered Friday’s game with a 5-4 lead. He gave up a single, the runner stole second base and then he issued a walk to the next batter.

If I’m managing, May’s night is done and I’m going to the bullpen for the next guy. And if he walks someone, he’s done and I’m calling for the next guy. Molitor needs to do the same. This might sound like playoff baseball, but I think Molitor needs to do more to ensure wins, build morale and find some momentum.

Put together two, three, maybe four wins and there’s a chance the team relaxes a bit and the winning starts to come a little easier and more often.

Extra innings…

Bullpen pitcher J.R. Graham will be traded to the New York Yankees for a player to be named later or cash, the Twins announced. Graham made one appearance this season in the back end of a blowout loss to the Houston Astros. In one-plus innings he gave up three hits, two runs and exited the game with a 10.80 ERA.

 

May 12, 2016

Twins’ Phil Hughes is a mess, it’s probably in his kiss

Forgive the reference to the X song of the same name, but I feel like I’m running out of ways to describe the Twins and their awful play so far this year. Starting pitcher Phil Hughes didn’t help matters on Wednesday after he got shelled and the Twins lost 9-2 to the Baltimore Orioles. It... Continue Reading »

May 8, 2016

Blow it up: The Minnesota Twins are terrible

Time to face facts, Twins fans: This team is terrible, and all the hope created by last season’s team and its 83 wins — plus the near playoff berth — can be forgotten. All that’s left is to find those silver linings that bode well for the future. As for 2016, forget it; I don’t... Continue Reading »

May 3, 2016

The Twins — and this country — have known hard times before

The Twins have experienced hard times before — just as this country has — and both were thrust into the spotlight during the turbulent year of 1968. That’s according to sportswriter, Tim Wendel, and his book, “Summer of ‘68: The Season That Changed Baseball — and America — Forever.” Wendel tells his tale about the... Continue Reading »

May 2, 2016

Twins begin May just like April — with a loss

So much for putting the losses behind you. The Twins, who won only seven of 24 games in April — including nine straight losses to start the season — didn’t make the case for a clean slate on Sunday after they lost their first game of the new month. They also were swept by the... Continue Reading »

April 28, 2016

Berrios, Twins lose game against Indians

Top pitching prospect Jose Berrios made his major league debut on Wednesday, but things didn’t go as planned after he gave up five earned runs over four innings. He also walked two and hit a batter, but still had five strikeouts. A rally late in the game fell short and the Twins lost 6-5. Berrios... Continue Reading »

April 27, 2016

Twins’ Jose Berrios set to make his MLB pitching debut on Wednesday

After being swept on the road by the Washington Nationals — the birthplace of the Twins, by the way — the pitching staff emerged in sorry shape. Kyle Gibson is headed to the disabled list, as is Ervin Santana. And Rice University product Tyler Duffey, who was called up to spell Santana, took a liner... Continue Reading »

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... Continue Reading »

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 »

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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.