August 27, 2018

Well? Now what?

The season appears to be slipping away from the not-very-good-but-at-times-pretty-awesome Twins.

It’s been clear for some time that the Twins were not going to contend in the division, but now they find themselves eight games under .500 and 13 games behind the Cleveland Indians in the American League Central.

The Twins didn’t get any help from the Oakland A’s, who lived up to their red-hot status by winning three of four games to take the series. The Twins won Game 1, then dropped the next three games by scoring a grand total of five runs over that span.

Still, there were some bright spots: Pitchers Kohl Stewart and Stephen Gonsalves showed improvement over their previous starts, and slugger Tyler Austin, who came to the Twins from the New York Yankees via the Lance Lynn trade, continues to hit home runs, including two more on Sunday.

Austin now has 14 dingers on the season and appears to be the DH/first baseman of the future.

Otherwise, the Twins are 4-6 in their last 10 games and now hit the road to take on the Tribe. Kyle Gibson gets the ball Tuesday. They face a tough customer in pitcher Carlos Carrasco (15-7, 3.55 ERA).

Extra innings…

-Remember reliever and U.S. Naval Academy graduate Oliver Drake and his scoreless innings streak? Well, that ended Friday after Drake served up three runs, all earned, on two hits, including a home run. Where once his ERA was 0.00, it is now 2.61.

-Joe Mauer collected his 2,086th hit in Friday’s game, good enough to pass Rod Carew and move him into second place on the Twins’ all-time hit list. Kirby Puckett leads that list with 2,304 hits.

-Meanwhile, the bad news has piled up all season for the Twins, including on Sunday when pitcher Michael Pineda, who signed as a free agent with the Twins in the offseason, said he felt discomfort in his right knee after throwing a bullpen session, according to MLB.com. Pineda is recovering from Tommy John surgery.

-Slugger Miguel Sano hit a massive home run on Saturday, his 12th.

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.