August 17, 2016

Tweet stirs reporter to call former Twin Nick Punto

The Twins on Tuesday got their first win over the Atlanta Braves this season, getting another quality start out of Ervin Santana, who scattered four hits over seven innings and didn’t allow a run in a 4-2 victory. He also walked two, struck out six and lowered his ERA to 3.43. I wish I could write that Santana won his 15th game; instead, it was his sixth win to go with nine losses. Santana appears to be getting stronger down the stretch, but he and the team still have a lot more work to do.

Also, Santana didn’t exactly beat the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium before 54,000 in prime time. He beat the Braves, the worst team in all of baseball at 44-75.

Santana was backed by 11 hits, including three apiece from Joe Mauer and Trevor Plouffe. Mauer hit his 10th home run, while Plouffe, recently returned from the disabled list, contributed a double.

Extra innings…

-Pioneer Press reporter John Shipley wrote a fun piece on the Minnesota reaction to seeing Olympian Shaunae Miller dive across the finish line to win gold in the 400-meter run in Rio. To many, it reminded them of former Twin Nick Punto, who was known for his head-first slides.

Associated Press reporter Jon Krawczynski was the first to make the connection between Miller and Punto,

and Punto noticed, too, tweeting, “Take that sports science!”

Shipley called him for reaction:

On diving into first base:

“I respected Terry Ryan and Gardy and the Pohlads, but in my mind I knew I was a little quicker when I dove. The timing had to be absolutely perfect, but it worked.”

On Twins fans:

“People from around the country don’t know it, but Twins fans are die-hard,” he said. “You don’t realize it until you run into one at the grocery store; they know everything about you and what’s going on in the season. They’re sneaky, passionate fans.”

On those who disagree about diving into first base:

“It doesn’t really bother me, it’s just that it was kind of nice to get some validation last night. But it still wouldn’t matter. I know. I would still be a one-man army.”

-Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki has cleared waivers, according to the Pioneer Press, “meaning he can be traded to any team before his two-year contract extension expires at season’s end.”

Kyle Gibson gets the ball on Wednesday.

 

COMMENTS

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.