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 was the Twins’ seventh straight loss as they fell to 8-25 on the season.

The Twins have yet to beat the Orioles and the Chicago White Sox, but they swept the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Go figure.

Wednesday’s start resulted in Hughes’ sixth loss of the season. He gave up five earned runs, including three home runs, and his ERA ballooned to 6.44. It’s hard to single out Hughes and his poor pitching on a team that can’t do anything right, but he has been on a downward trend since he first signed with the team.

Hughes, who once won 18 games for the New York Yankees, joined the Twins in 2014 and made an immediate splash. He won 16 games that year and did it with pinpoint control, pitching 200-plus innings with 16 walks. But the following year he won only 11 games and here he is in 2016 with only one win.

What do the Twins do if he continues to lose? Sometimes a faltering pitcher is allowed to skip a start to see whether additional rest helps. If that doesn’t work, it usually means a trip to the bullpen. I guess there’s also a chance he could be sent to the minors to regain his pitching form. And he could be traded, of course, but I don’t see much value in return.

To state the obvious, the Twins are in trouble. They have a winning percentage of .242. For perspective, the 1935 Boston Braves had a winning percentage of .248 and finished the year with a win-loss record of 38-115.

Are we ready for that Twins fans?

Extra innings…

-Slugger Miguel Sano hit his fourth home run on Wednesday, his birthday. He turned 23.

-The Orioles hit back-to-back home runs on Wednesday for the third consecutive game. If they hit back-to-back jacks in their next game, they will tie a record first set in 1964 — by the Twins. The Twins accomplished the feat June 26-29, 1964.

Here’s who hit home runs over those four games, according to

June 26: Tony Oliva, Harmon Killebrew, 4th inning.

June 27: Harmon Killebrew, Bob Allison, 7th inning.

June 28: Zoilo Versalles, Harmon Killebrew, Bob Allison, 7th inning.

June 29: Tony Oliva, Harmon Killebrew, 8th inning.

That was a great four days for Harmon, by the way.

-It’s time to return Kevin Jepsen to his set-up role and let Longview, Washington native Trevor May close games. May has got the stuff to do the job. In 19 innings, he has struck out 27 with a 1.89 ERA. Jepsen has four losses with an ERA of 5.40.

-I mentioned in my last post about possible changes that might be coming to the Twins in light of their poor play. One person I failed to mention was General Manager Terry Ryan. Ryan has been with the Twins a long time and helped to build a consistent winner between 2002 and 2010. Outside of last year, though, the recent trend has been consecutive losing seasons and we might be in for a doozy this year. I imagine his seat is getting warm.




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 »

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 »

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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.