September 3, 2016

Twins go back to losing after snapping 13-game slide

The Twins beat the Chicago White Sox on Thursday to snap a 13-game losing streak, then quickly returned to form by being blown out by the Sox on Friday, 11-4. It’s pretty clear that the only Twins pitcher who can win with any regularity is the one who halted the extended losing streak: Ervin Santana.

Despite giving up 11 hits on Thursday — in a game the Twins won 8-5 — Santana still only allowed two runs, both earned. Meanwhile, Kyle Gibson took the mound on Friday and wasn’t very good, followed by a bullpen that wasn’t much better. Although he struck out six batters, Gibson still gave up five runs, all earned, in five-plus innings of work. Relievers Alex Wimmers, who walked three batters in two-thirds of an inning, and J.T. Chargois each surrendered three runs.

The Twins rotation is so bad that I wouldn’t be surprised if they win once every five games from here until the end of the season. In other words, Santana wins or comes close to winning his starts, followed by no-doubt-about-it losses from everyone else.

Extra innings…

-It’s hard to think the Twins could be any worse, but where would they be without Brian Dozier? Dozier hit his 33rd home run on Friday.

-A 13-game losing streak won’t help a team’s monthly win-loss record. The Twins exited August with a record of 9-20. So far they’ve had only one winning month — a 15-11 mark in July.

-The Twins fell to 50-85 after Friday’s loss, which means they have the unfortunate honor of being the worst team in baseball.

-What to do with all that talent? Outfielder Byron Buxton, who struggled at the plate earlier in the year and won himself a return to Triple-A Rochester, is back with the team with a bang. He hit a home run in Thursday’s win over the Sox and had two hits on Friday. He also hit well in the minors. Let’s hope Buxton has turned a corner. Because if he can hit in the minors, but can’t hit in the majors, what happens then? Do all roads lead to Japan?




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.