August 30, 2018

Perhaps Kris Johnson still wants to pitch for the Twins

After the Twins’ blowout loss to the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday, it had me seeking solace in other baseball news. I decided to look up Kris Johnson, who had a cup of coffee with the Twins in 2014, and discovered that he continues to pitch well for the Hiroshima Carp of Japan’s professional baseball league.

Johnson improved to 10-2 this week after he beat the Tokyo Giants, and is now 45-19 with a 2.48 ERA over four seasons with the Carp. Johnson’s pitching is one reason the Carp are working on their third straight Central League title. They lead the division by 11 games.

Extra innings…

-The Twins snapped a four-game losing streak on Wednesday after they beat the Tribe, 4-3. But it shouldn’t have been that close. The Twins left 11 men on base and were 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position. Jake Odorizzi gets the ball Thursday.

-Backup catcher, Willians Astudillo, who practically has a cult following over at FanGraphs, hit his first home run of the season in Wednesday’s win. Meanwhile, the Twins’ Eddie Rosario has been a model of consistency for the team at the plate. Rosario had three more hits on Wednesday, including a double, and is hitting .291 on the season. Rosario leads the team in batting average, home runs and runs batted in.

-In addition to being one of the few major league players to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy, reliever Oliver Drake also made major league history this season by pitching for five teams. The Twins represent team No. 5. Because that’s a major league record, the Hall of Fame wanted something to reflect Drake’s accomplishment — if one can call it that. The Twins sent his cap.

-On Tuesday, the Twins lost 8-1, largely because of Tribe starter Carlos Carrasco, who once again dominated the Twins by striking out 11 batters in seven-plus innings of scoreless baseball. Carrasco is now 16-7 with a 3.38 ERA.

-The bad news is real. Pitchers Michael Pineda and Adalberto Mejia will not return this season. Pineda has a slight meniscus tear in his right knee and Mejia is still dealing with wrist pain, according to MLB.com.

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.