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 sweep of the season after taking three games from the Angels in April.


After the Twins prevented a sweep at the hands of the Kansas City Royals, the team headed to Seattle and played like the team we’ve expected all year: one with power and enough pitching and relief to improve on last season’s 83 wins.

As a team, the Twins slugged eight home runs against the Mariners, including three dingers from Miguel Sano who is beginning to live up to his promise as a true slugger in the making. Sano now has 11 homers on the season to take over the team lead from the suddenly struggling Byung Ho Park. In a rare display of power, the Twins also got home runs from Joe Mauer, better known for his consistency at the plate than the long ball.

Pitching, too, carried the day as the team got wins from rookie Pat Dean and Ricky Nolasco, plus the bullpen bailed out the team in Game 2 of the series. Relief pitcher Kevin Jepsen notched two saves in the series but not without some help from the defense which pulled off a rare double play to secure the Game 2 win.

Extra innings…

As expected, starting pitcher Phil Hughes is headed to the bullpen to make way for the return of Kyle Gibson from the disabled list. Let’s see how long this lasts. Gibson might finally be healthy, but his inconsistent play and career .500 record as a starter could see them switch roles relatively soon. Hughes has a tendency to get stronger as a game progresses, which makes his role in the bullpen questionable.

Outfielder Byron Buxton has been recalled from Triple-A Rochester to spell center fielder Danny Santana who is headed to the disabled list. For those worried about the Twins’ defense, worry no more: Buxton, who hasn’t lived up to his billing at the plate, has certainly lived up to his billing as a defensive outfielder, showing incredible speed and arm strength during spring training and the early part of the season. If his struggles with the bat continue, I say manager Paul Molitor has him bunt every at bat because Buxton is fast enough to beat out throws to first base.


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 »

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 »

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Hi, I’m Rolf Boone, Twins fan.

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.