October 26, 2016

*Derek Falvey’s Cleveland Indians take Game 1 of World Series

Cleveland Indians pitcher Hans Kluber, also known as Corey, struck out nine over six innings and the No. 9 hitter in the lineup smashed two home runs to beat the Chicago Cubs, 6-0, in Game 1 of the 2016 World Series.

Both teams feature outstanding pitching, but it was the Indians who showed off those winning arms on Tuesday. Kluber breezed through the early part of the game, followed by relievers Andrew Miller and Cody Allen. All three combined to strike out 15 Cubs.

Pitcher Jon Lester of the Cubs pitched well enough to win, but he gave up some quick runs before settling into a groove. Lester had a great regular season, finishing 19-5 with a 2.44 ERA. But he also pitched 26 quality starts — six innings or more with three or fewer earned runs — which means there were some missed opportunities throughout the season. Tuesday’s game felt like a missed opportunity as well as Lester stuck out seven over five-plus innings. Once again, he didn’t get the run support he needed to win.

Meanwhile, the Indians’ Roberto Perez hit two home runs, including a three-run shot in the bottom of the eighth to seal the victory.

Extra innings…

-MLB Trade Rumors, citing a Strib report from LaVelle E. Neal III, say the Twins are likely to hire Thad Levine as general manager to work under newly hired Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey. Levine currently is assistant general manager of the Texas Rangers.

Levine, 45 next month, has been in his current role with the Rangers since the 2005 season. His responsibilities in Texas include assisting GM Jon Daniels with player acquisition, roster composition, contract negotiations and statistical/financial analysis. He also oversees the team’s international scouting operations. The veteran baseball executive has also served as the senior director of baseball operations with the Rockies. He’ll bring to the Twins an executive with a long background in player development but also one who is quite familiar with more modern trends in statistical analysis.

Amiel Sawdaye, Red Sox vice president of international scouting, also had been mentioned as a possible GM candidate for the Twins, but he’s already accepted a job with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

If Levine is the new GM, that likely means that Rob Antony, the Twins’ longtime assistant GM and current interim GM is out of a job, unless he is retained for a different role with the club.

-Oct. 25, 1987: The Twins win their first World Series in seven games over the St. Louis Cardinals. Twins pitcher Frank Viola is named World Series MVP.

-Cool photo of the week: Charlie Manuel, Ron Gardenhire and Billy Beane when they worked and played for Triple-A Portland (Oregon). Bring baseball back to PDX!

*Derek Falvey: Assistant general manager of the Cleveland Indians and the soon-to-be chief baseball officer of the Twins.

 

COMMENTS

Hi, I’m Rolf Boone and I love the Twins.

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.