July 18, 2016

Now the Twins’ season could get really ugly, part 2

Update: Well, I must need glasses because the Twins play four games, not three, at Boston later this week. So I now need to revise my prediction. I say the Twins take two of four games from the Red Sox to finish the week at 2-5.

Original post: The Twins lost two of three games to the Cleveland Indians, and now they hit the road for six games: three against the Detroit Tigers, followed by three more versus the Boston Red Sox. If recent history holds true, the Twins finish 1-5 over the next six games to fall to 34-63, nearly 30 games under .500.

The Twins are winless versus the Tigers this season (0-6) and are 1-2 against the Red Sox. The good news is that the last time I made such a dire prediction (1-11 over 12 games), it didn’t come true (thankfully) and the Twins actually played fairly well over that earlier stretch of games.

And Detroit’s team pitching isn’t much better than what’s on display in Minnesota. The Twins are dead last in that category in the American League, but the Tigers are ranked 13 out of 15 AL teams. Red Sox pitching ranks ninth in the AL.

The bigger concern for the Twins and the team’s trip to Fenway Park is that Boston has the best offense in all of baseball with a team batting average of .289. Twins outfielders better prepare themselves to play a few balls off the green monster because the Red Sox lead all of baseball — and by a pretty healthy margin — in doubles with 217. The next closest team, Colorado, has 190.

The Twins don’t face anyone particularly special in the first two games against the Tigers, but then they get Justin Verlander (9-6, 3.91 ERA) on Wednesday. Verlander, despite a so-so record, is 166-103 for his career, a winning percentage of .617.

Ricky Nolasco gets the ball on Monday.

Extra innings…

-Hall of Fame manager Casey Stengel once said that “good pitching will always stop good hitting and vice-versa.” Well, perhaps this much is true: good pitching will always stop mediocre hitting. That was the case on Sunday as the Tribe’s Josh Tomlin held the Twins to one run over seven-plus innings to win his 10th game of the season. The Twins only run came courtesy of Max Kepler, who hit his ninth home run in the sixth inning.

-Twins starter Kyle Gibson wasn’t great, giving up 10 hits and four runs over six innings. But relief pitcher Neil Ramirez was worse, surrendering three hits, including two home runs. He also walked two in three innings of work. Despite his performance, Gibson got hung with the loss to fall to 2-6.

 

July 16, 2016

Twins start second half with loss to Tribe

Update: After nearly four hours of play, the Twins finally beat the Indians in walk-off fashion after an error in the bottom of the 11th inning scored the winning run. The Twins tied the game at 4-4 in the seventh and then watched as it was delayed by rain for two hours in the top... Continue Reading »

July 13, 2016

Huh? Twins’ Nunez sees little playing time in first All-Star game

As if this season needed to get any worse, Eduardo Nunez, the only member of the Twins to be named to Tuesday’s All-Star game, didn’t get a chance to contribute to the American League’s 4-2 win. Instead, as noted by MLB.com, he sat for eight innings and then came in as a defensive replacement to... Continue Reading »

July 11, 2016

Hey, something’s brewing with the Twins, folks

After posting losing records in April, May and June, and falling so far behind in the AL Central that it appeared as if the Twins might set some records for futility, the team heads into the All-Star break looking like a completely different team. Suddenly, the Twins can hit, pitch and play defense, all of... Continue Reading »

July 8, 2016

Twins top Rangers as tragedy unfolds in Dallas

Update: Outfielder Eddie Rosario, who struggled at the plate earlier in the year and then compounded things with some crummy base running, “redemptified” — to quote Max Kepler — himself Saturday night, going four-for-five at the plate, including two doubles and a home run to beat the Rangers 8-6. Ricky Nolasco finally picked up his... Continue Reading »

July 6, 2016

Twins’ Milone finally wins a game

Update: Ervin Santana not only pitched his best game of the season on Wednesday, but he pitched one of his best games in years, throwing a two-hit, complete game with eight strikeouts and no walks to shutout the A’s 4-0 — and he did it in exactly 100 pitches. Don’t look now, but the Twins... Continue Reading »

July 4, 2016

Welcome back, Miguel Sano! (to 3B or DH, that is)

Twins slugger Miguel Sano is back with the team after completing a rehab assignment at Triple-A Rochester, and he appears to have picked up where he left off in both good and bad ways. The good side of the ledger is that Sano, despite some uninspiring numbers during his rehab stint, can hit major league... Continue Reading »

June 29, 2016

Twins finally snap six-game losing streak to White Sox with shutout win

Update: The good news is that Brian Dozier continues to mash, collecting an extra-base hit in his 11th straight game and taking over the team lead in home runs with 13. The bad news is this: What in the world do the Twins do with their rotation? Kyle Gibson and Tyler Duffey will win the... Continue Reading »

June 28, 2016

New York media piles on after Twins beat Yanks

The Twins pulled off the unthinkable on Sunday, beating the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium with six home runs and a pitching performance that was nearly perfect, including eight strikeouts, from starter Tyler Duffey. But that kind of loss apparently doesn’t sit well with the New York media, which are no doubt accustomed 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.