August 23, 2018

Well, at least the Twins have Annapolis grad Oliver Drake

In an otherwise disaster of a game on Wednesday — including a missed opportunity between third base and home plate that turned into a whole lot of nothing for the Twins — there was one bright spot: Reliever Oliver Drake, one of the few players in major league history to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy, continues to pitch well since joining the team.

Drake was claimed off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays. Since joining the Twins he has pitched nine-plus innings of scoreless baseball, including a scoreless inning in Wednesday’s game, with 11 strikeouts.

Meanwhile, the Twins lost 7-3 to the Chicago White Sox after starter Kyle Gibson served up three home runs. In all, he gave up seven runs on seven hits in four-plus innings, but only four of those runs were earned. He also walked four and struck out five.

Now, about that botched rundown between third and home. Here’s how it unfolded, according to MLB.com:

In the sixth inning with runners on first and third and no outs, White Sox right fielder Avisail Garcia hit a sharp ground ball to Miguel Sano at third. Yolmer Sanchezstrayed a bit too far off the base and got into a rundown between third and home.

 

But after Sanchez made it back to third safely, Yoan Moncada, who started at first, was also standing at third base. The Twins had the opportunity to tag out Moncada, but made no play and Moncada retreated safely to second. Garcia, who had tried to advance to second behind Moncada, also got caught in between bases, but made it safely back to first base with the Twins holding the ball.

 

Twins manager Paul Molitor’s reaction:

“He (Miguel Sano) made the right play, given the score, to try to cut the run off,” Molitor told MLB.com. “Double play, possibly, I didn’t want to give up the point there. Just didn’t handle the rundown as cleanly as we should. We get the guy going back to third, potential two runners occupying the base. But when they release, you still got to find a way to get an out, and we held on to the ball.”

Despite the embarrassing lack of an out, the South Siders did not score. Former Twins’ prospect Daniel Palka hit into a double play and Tim Anderson struck out swinging, according to MLB.com.

Kohl Stewart gets the ball Thursday against those red-hot Oakland A’s.

Extra innings…

-If you thought this year’s home opener at Target Field was cold, wait til next season. The Twins released their 2019 schedule on Wednesday, which shows the Twins will open at home on a potentially frigid March 28. This year’s home opener was 37 degrees (we were there and it was cold), followed by a game days later that was 27 degrees, the coldest in Target Field history.

Snow is pushed aside for the 2018 home opener on April 5.

-The Twins dropped two of three games to the Pale Hose. Monday’s game was at Target Field, but the next two games were at Guaranteed Rate Field.

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.