September 17, 2018

Twins avoid sweep, beat Royals 9-6

The Twins on Sunday avoided the four-game sweep at the hands of the Kansas City Royals by scoring nine runs on 18 hits, including four home runs.

Jorge Polanco had four hits, newcomer Johnny Field had four hits, and Field, Tyler Austin, Polanco and Max Kepler each hit a home run. Kepler hit his 19th to tie his career high in home runs. It would be great to see him hit more than 20 to end the season.

Kyle Gibson improved to 8-13, despite giving up 11 hits. Still, he struck out six over six-plus innings and didn’t walk a batter. Gibson has battled all season and he has a respectable 3.78 ERA to show for it.

Now it’s on to Detroit for a three-game series. The Twins will go with the “opener” format in Game 1 by having reliever Gabriel Moya start the game.

Extra innings…

-The Twins finished their season series with the Royals at 9-10.

-The final two weeks of the season are here. What would you like to see the Twins accomplish before it’s over? As I mentioned before, I’d like to see Kepler hit more than 20 home runs and the Twins avoid losing 90 games. The team is 68-81 with 13 games to go. I think they can do it. After the three-game series at Detroit, the Twins head to Oakland and then come home to play the Tigers and White Sox to wrap things up.

-It’s been a long season. Most of the free agents didn’t pan out, and the injury bug was especially bad, afflicting Ervin Santana, Miguel Sano, Byron Buxton, Jason Castro, Logan Morrison and Adalberto Mejia. Brian Dozier is gone and so is Eduardo Escobar. But there were bright spots, too, such as Eddie Rosario’s steady play, the arrival of Tyler Austin, center fielder Jake Cave and Internet sensation, Willians Astudillo, who is now hitting better than .300. Pitcher Jose Berrios has a chance to strike out 200 batters.

-The Twins also need a lot of work, but I’ll save that for a future post.

September 15, 2018

Get this: Twins can beat Yanks, but not the 96-loss Kansas City Royals

The past four games have been a microcosm of the Twins’ entire season. Inconsistent hitting, pitching and defense have plagued the team since April, and once again they were good enough to take two of three games from the New York Yankees, but not good enough to beat the Kansas City Royals, a team on... Continue Reading »

September 12, 2018

Take that, New York Yankees

The Twins snapped an eight-game losing streak to the New York Yankees on Tuesday by giving the Bronx Bombers a taste of their own medicine. Instead of the Yanks piling on, the Twins scored 10 runs on 13 hits, including a six-run fifth inning that was punctuated by a Joe Mauer grand slam. How sweet... Continue Reading »

September 10, 2018

Cult hero Willians Astudillo wins it for the Twins with walk-off home run

Willians Astudillo, whose unique statistical accomplishments have quickly earned him a devoted following, delivered in a big way Sunday after he hit a walk-off home run to beat the Kansas City Royals and win the three-game series. The Legend of Willians Astudillo™, updated: Homers – 3Strikeouts – 2Walks – 0 pic.twitter.com/jDIUrrqIYo — Aaron Gleeman (@AaronGleeman)... Continue Reading »

September 9, 2018

Too bad: Twins’ Gonsalves doesn’t appear ready for prime time

Despite winning 53 games in the minors, starting pitcher Stephen Gonsalves, who has made four starts since being called up by the Twins, has struggled in every appearance, including on Friday. Gonsalves gave up five earned runs in two-plus innings, but the Twins had his back and rallied for a 10-6 victory over the Kansas... Continue Reading »

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... Continue Reading »

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 »

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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.