August 28, 2016

Losing streak stands at 9 games after Blue Jays rally to top Twins

The Twins handed starter Ervin Santana a 5-0 lead on Saturday, but it wasn’t enough as the Toronto Blue Jays chipped away all game to finally take the lead and preserve the 8-7 win. For the Twins, it was the team’s ninth straight loss, tying the longest losing streak of the season. In case you’ve forgotten (or maybe you’re drinking to forget) the Twins had a nine-game losing streak in April. Who knew this season would become such a shambles?

One more loss and the Twins hit rock bottom. As the saying goes, there’s no place to go but up. Not really. I don’t expect Kyle Gibson to beat the Blue Jays on Sunday, and then after playing the first-place team in the American League East, the Twins head to Cleveland to play the first-place club in the American League Central. After that they come home and play the White Sox, Royals and Indians. Then it’s back on the road to play the Tigers and Mets. Wow. The Twins could absolutely be reeling by then.

Santana was so-so on Saturday. He gave the Twins six-plus innings, but he also walked five, which led to six runs, all earned. Still, Santana came away with a no-decision. Reliever Ryan Pressly got hung with the blown save and loss to fall to 6-6 on the season.

Extra innings…

-Reliever Pressly must be worn out. Pressly has appeared in 60 games this season, which is tied for first in the American League. Not too far behind him is Michael Tonkin, also of the Twins, at 56 games.

-You know why the New York Yankees parted with catcher John Ryan Murphy and sent him to the Twins in exchange for Aaron Hicks? They had catcher Gary Sanchez waiting in the wings, who has so far hit 11 home runs in 23 games — faster than anyone in MLB history. Jesus.

-Interesting story in the Strib about the organizational changes coming to the Twins’ front office, a structure that has found success in Boston, Chicago (Cubs) and Toronto.

Owner Jim Pohlad and President Dave St. Peter have decided to restructure the Twins’ baseball operations department, and they plan to hire a presidential-level executive who will have authority over all baseball decisions yet be freed from the day-to-day particulars of the GM job.

The story widely quotes St. Peter, which made me wonder: What makes this guy think he will survive the changes? Be careful what you wish for because I expect the new “presidential-level” hire to clean house after this mess of a season. And even though ownership has said they were committed to manager Paul Molitor for 2017, I don’t see it. I think Molitor and pitching coach Neil Allen are gone, while hitting coach Tom Brunansky likely has earned his keep. If the Twins want to model the front office after the Boston Red Sox, get used to change, not continuity. In Boston, it’s win now, not later. I’d welcome that change in Minnesota.





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.