Eduardo Escobar and Ryan Pressly are gone, the Twins lost their four-game series to the Boston Red Sox, and now the team is nine games behind the Cleveland Indians in the American League Central. All of this, I’m sure, contributed to a long flight home to Minneapolis from Boston. The actual flight time is about three hours, but that’s still plenty of time to dwell on what might have been.
After the Twins were swept by the Kansas City Royals, they embarked on a seven-game road trip with a sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays, followed by a dramatic Game 1 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Thursday. But the best team in baseball proved to be too much and the Twins dropped the next three games, including a blowout loss on Saturday.
Sunday’s game was close, but the Twins’ offense disappeared after they could muster only four hits. Starter Jose Berrios struggled with his command at Fenway and threw more than 100 pitches in four-plus innings. He allowed three runs and that was all the Red Sox needed for the shutout victory.
So, what happens now? Do the Twins throw in the towel, or do they have enough left for an August run? Last season, they won 20 games in August, good enough to propel the team into the second wild-card spot and their first post-season berth since 2010. August is days away, but before it gets here the Twins get a tune-up in the form of a three-game home series with those division-leading Indians. A three-game sweep and the Twins are right back in it.
Ervin Santana gets the ball Monday.
-Although Berrios didn’t pitch well Sunday, Adalberto Mejia made an encouraging relief appearance. Mejia one-hit the Red Sox over three innings with four strikeouts to cut his ERA to 3.65.
-Former Twins pitcher Jack Morris was inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday. Morris is a deserving inductee, but this incident is also worth noting about his career. Slugger Jim Thome, who spent two seasons with the Twins, also was inducted Sunday.
-Once August begins, the Twins play 21 of 27 games against AL Central rivals.