June 19, 2016

Forget it, Twins fans: It’s the New York Yankees

Update: The Twins finally got one of those rare wins over the Yankees, beating them 7-4 on Sunday to salvage the last game of a four-game series with the pinstripers. Ervin Santana went seven-plus innings to win for only the second time this season, while Max Kepler had three hits including his second home run. So it’s a win over the Yanks, but it’s hardly satisfying. The way this team is playing it will be a while before the Twins sweep the Yankees at home, let alone on the road.

Earlier: I used to think the Twins’ futility against the New York Yankees could be compared to the Boston Red Sox’s historic battles with the Bronx Bombers. Except I was mistaken. Boston has always been able to beat the Yankees. It’s just that, until recently, the Red Sox couldn’t beat the Yankees when it mattered most.

That’s not the case with the Twins. It doesn’t matter if it’s the playoffs or the regular season, the Twins can’t seem to find a way to beat this team. Oh, there’s the occasional win, of course, but you’d never notice because it happens so infrequently.

The Twins as a franchise, including when they were known as the Washington Senators, have a win-loss record of 760-1,109 versus the Yankees, or a winning percentage of .407. For the Twins, it’s the lowest franchise winning percentage against any team in baseball, according to Baseball-Reference.com.

(They actually have a lower winning percentage versus the San Francisco Giants, but they’ve played each other only 12 times).

And the losing has continued this weekend. The Yanks have taken three of four games from the Twins, including Saturday’s 7-6 win. At least starter Ricky Nolasco kept it close.

Once again Nolasco and his three wins, which leads the team, made another quality start. He limited the pinstripers to two runs over seven innings and then stepped aside to watch the bullpen give up five runs and the game. The Twins are now two games away from falling to 20-50.

Extra innings…

-Boston College product and pitcher Pat Dean was sent to Triple-A Rochester after his most recent start against the Yankees, an 8-2 loss. The Yanks will do that to you.

-In Dean’s place, the team has recalled Tommy Milone, who went 4-0 with an ERA of 1.66 in seven starts for Rochester, according to MLB.com.

-Closer Glen Perkins, who has struggled with injuries of late, has decided to have season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum. Perkins has recorded 120 saves in 11 seasons with the Twins, including 30-plus saves in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

-Outfielder Oswaldo Arcia has been designated for assignment. The Twins now have 10 days to trade him, release him or allow him to be claimed on waivers by another team, the Strib reports.

-Old friend Anthony Swarzak, who pitched five seasons for the Twins, made an appearance in Saturday’s game for the Yankees. He struck out two in one-plus innings of work.



June 14, 2016

If only the Twins played the Angels every day

Update: Never mind. Earlier: Well, the Twins’ four-game winning streak versus the Angels came to an end Tuesday night after a 5-4 loss. I guess this was inevitable, considering how the Twins have played this year, and Tuesday’s loss reflected the season so far: enough hitting and defense to keep it close, but not enough... Continue Reading »

June 11, 2016

As Meat Loaf would say: Two out of three ain’t bad

The Twins took two of three from the visiting Miami Marlins this week, getting plenty of power from a lineup that no longer has Miguel Sano and pitching help from some new faces in the bullpen. For the moment, the Twins don’t miss Sano because they hit seven home runs in the team’s two wins... Continue Reading »

June 6, 2016

When religion divided the Minnesota Twins

What do you do when the Twins fall to 16-40 by early June? You find a reason to avoid reading depressing box scores. For me that meant buying “Down To The Last Pitch,” sportswriter Tim Wendel’s book on the 1991 World Series between the Twins and Atlanta Braves. Many have called it the greatest World... Continue Reading »

May 30, 2016

Twins notch second sweep with wins over Seattle Mariners

Winning streaks apparently come in small doses for the Twins after the bats fell silent in a 3-2 loss to the Oakland A’s. Still, prior to Monday’s loss, the Twins had put together a rare four-game winning streak, including an even rarer three-game sweep of the previously AL West-leading Seattle Mariners. It was the Twins’ second... Continue Reading »

May 29, 2016

Kris Johnson of the Hiroshima Carp: The Twins need you

Despite consecutive wins against the Royals and Mariners, the Twins still need a lot of help, particularly in the rotation. The Twins have the worst team ERA in the American League, and while Pat Dean and Tyler Duffey have made encouraging starts this year, there’s more work to be done. Just ask pitching coach Neil... Continue Reading »

May 23, 2016

Tyler Duffey and the curse of the Toronto Blue Jays

Here’s a telling stat: Twins pitcher Tyler Duffey has a 2.13 ERA in 13 of 15 major league starts, but in two games against the Toronto Blue Jays — his major league debut and last week’s start — Duffey apparently can’t pitch at all, surrendering enough runs that he has an ERA of more than... Continue Reading »

May 19, 2016

Twins implode in Motown

Don’t remember the Twins’ back-to-back wins against the Indians? Well, there’s a reason for that because the Twins rode those rare wins to Detroit and completely fell apart, getting swept by the Tigers, the fourth-place team in the division. The Twins are 4-2 against the Indians, 0-14 against rest of AL Central. The Tigers are... Continue Reading »

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... 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.