October 1, 2022

One of the few silver linings of 2022: Joe Ryan’s pitching

Joe Ryan pitched six innings of scoreless baseball, earned his 13th win of the season and set a new single-season strikeout record for a Twins rookie with 151 strikeouts, eight of them in Friday’s 7-0 win over the Detroit Tigers.

It appears this was Ryan’s last start of the season so he finishes the 2022 campaign at 13-8 with a 3.55 ERA. As for the rookie strikeout total, he breaks a record that was previously held by Francisco Liriano, and before him, Bert Blyleven.

Blyleven struck out 135 batters as a 19-year-old in 1970. He would go on to strike out 200 or more batters a season for the next six seasons.

Dylan Bundy gets the ball Saturday.

Extra innings…

-The only thing missing from Ryan’s pitching resume in 2022 is a no-hitter, although he almost had one on Sept. 13 versus the Kansas City Royals. Ryan pitched seven no-hit innings before Twins manager Rocco Baldelli made the controversial decision to pull him from the game.

-From the “what might have been” category: Starting catcher Ryan Jeffers, now back in the lineup after a long absence due to injury, had two hits on Friday, including a triple.

-Infielder Jermaine Palacios, who has been filling in for the injured Jorge Polanco, finally broke out of an 0-for-34 slump with three hits.

-There’s been a lot of hand-wringing about the state of attendance for Twins games at Target Field, which was 1.8 million fans this year, or 20th out of 30 major league teams. I can’t say I’m surprised. They lost 89 games in 2021 and were a disappointment in 2022.

-After seven seasons with the Twins, Blyleven, frustrated with cheapskate owner Calvin Griffith, finally orchestrated his own trade to the Texas Rangers in 1976. The Twins got four players in return, including Roy Smalley.

Blyleven made his final start for the Twins on May 31, 1976, before only 8,300 fans at The Met. His opponent, the California Angels, or perhaps it was the home fans he was battling because of an obscene gesture. It’s one of the many games included in a new book I’m reading, titled, “Metropolitan Stadium: Memorable Games at Minnesota’s Diamond on the Prairie.”

Blyleven battled Frank Tanana for nine innings, finally losing 3-2. As he left the mound, the fans, who had been riding him all game for his exit out of Minnesota, finally booed him one last time.

Bert responded with an obscene gesture, or what Minneapolis Star columnist Jim Klobuchar called an “arm signal that will never appear in the Boy Scouts’ manual.”

September 29, 2022

2 Twins wins and a reminder of what might have been

The Twins have won the first two games of a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox, reminding Twins fans everywhere that if this team had been any healthier and had not sent an AL-leading 31 players to the injured list, the fortunes of this club would have been completely different.   Need an example?... Continue Reading »

September 26, 2022

Twins end 5-game losing streak, but fail to start winning streak

The Twins may have snapped their five-game losing streak, but they went right back to their losing ways with another defeat to the Los Angeles Angels, 10-3, on Sunday. The Twins also dropped the weekend series to the Halos and the season series as well. Starter Dylan Bundy did nothing special, although he wasn’t helped... Continue Reading »

September 23, 2022

The collapse is complete: Twins swept by Royals

The 89-loss Kansas City Royals, one of the few teams the Twins have been able to beat with regularity this season, finally got their revenge with a three-game sweep, including Thursday’s 4-1 win. The Twins entered the series with a 12-4 record against the Royals, but emerge from it at 12-7 for the season. What... Continue Reading »

September 19, 2022

Finally: Twins snap 8-game losing streak to Guardians

It was back to business for pitcher Joe Ryan and the Twins, the team finally beating the Cleveland Guardians for the first time in eight games on Sunday. Ryan, who appeared no worse for wear after he missed out on a near no-hitter during his last start, fired seven-plus innings of shutout baseball and Luis... Continue Reading »

September 18, 2022

It’s over, Twins fans

A five-run rally and a Nick Gordon sacrifice fly kept the Twins in the game for 15 innings on Saturday, but the team finally was undone by an infield error, which handed the Cleveland Guardians a 7-6 win in the nightcap after the Guards beat them 5-1 earlier in the day. When did the season... Continue Reading »

September 17, 2022

Season-deciding series off to terrible start after Twins cough up lead late, lose

A three-game winning streak and maybe a whole lot more has finally come to an end for the Minnesota Twins. The Twins accomplished their first goal by sweeping three games from the Kansas City Royals this week and pulled within four games of the Cleveland Guardians going into Friday’s game. And Game 1 of the... Continue Reading »

September 14, 2022

Twins win, but gain no ground on Guardians. And about Joe Ryan…

The Twins need to sweep the Kansas City Royals before their away series at Cleveland and step one is in the books after they improved to 10-4 this season against the Royals with a 6-3 win on Tuesday. The Twins scored their six runs on 11 hits, getting 10 of those hits from Luis Arraez,... Continue Reading »

September 12, 2022

As ugly as it gets: Twins swept at home by Guardians

The statement wins the Twins needed to make against the division-leading Cleveland Guardians failed to materialize Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and now the club is 4.5 games back of the top spot with 20-some games left in the season. I’m not ready to declare the season over — Twins Territory was certainly in that kind... 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.