July 23, 2018

How not to start the second half: Getting swept by the Royals

The 2018 season didn’t end for the Twins on Sunday, July 22, after they were swept by the Kansas City Royals. But there’s a good chance it ends this week now that they have to face the Blue Jays, Boston and Cleveland over the next 10 days. If they should continue to stumble, it is over, folks.

Sunday’s game was a mess. Despite an eight-strikeout performance from starter Jake Odorizzi, the Twins could only muster three runs on three hits. Odorizzi gave up two runs, but only one was earned because of an error behind him. He exited after six innings, then watched as the bullpen gave up three more runs.

The big blow came in the seventh inning when Old Friend Drew Butera, who spent four seasons with the Twins, hit a Texas leaguer that was misplayed by Twins’ center fielder Jake Cave, and that allowed the ball to roll all the way to the fence for an inside-the-park home run. Three runs scored and the Twins lost, 5-2. It was the Royals’ first sweep since last season. Ugh.

Adalberto Mejia gets the ball Monday.

Extra innings…

-Ace Ervin Santana, whose off-season surgery on a pitching finger turned into a longer than expected recovery, is finally set to make his 2018 debut. He gets the ball Wednesday.

-Drew Butera played for the Twins and so did his father, Sal, who spent four seasons with the club in the early 1980s.

-After center fielder Cave misplayed Butera’s hit, many on social media couldn’t help but point out that Byron Buxton would have caught that ball. But where’s Buxton? Still in the minors working on his game.

-Joe Mauer struck out three times Sunday after getting three hits on Saturday.

-The next 10 days look like this: Three games at Toronto, four games at Boston and then three games at home against the Tribe. Good luck, Minnesota.

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.