September 20, 2018

Hey, this ‘opener’ thing has got legs, Twins fans

The “opener” appears to have a future in Minnesota.

Once again a reliever started the game for the Twins, followed by a rookie primary pitcher who took advantage of the moment and won his first major league baseball game. That was the case Wednesday when reliever Gabriel Moya did his thing and so did primary pitcher, Stephen Gonsalves, who went six strong to cap a three-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers.

Gonsalves struck out four over six scoreless innings. He gave up one hit, one base on balls and exited with a 6.75 ERA. Where’s the improvement in that? you might ask. Well, Gonsalves has whittled his ERA to 6.75 from more than 11.00. And the Twins backed Gonsavles with eight runs on 11 hits.

Robbie Grossman and Ehire Adrianza had three hits apiece, while Tyler Austin and Willians Astudillo each had two. Astudillo also drove in three runs to lead the Twins in RBIs.

Moya, Gonsalves and Addison Reed pitched well, but reliever Alan Busenitz has really struggled. He gave up two runs, both earned, on two hits and exited with an 8.14 ERA. He has been hit hard of late.

Jose Berrios gets the ball Friday in Oakland. Kyle Gibson won his last start, as did Jake Odorizzi and primary pitchers, Kohl Stewart and Stephen Gonsalves. Berrios needs to continue the streak with a win of his own. Odorizzi, by the way, has won his last two starts.

Extra innings…

-The four-game winning streak has allowed the Twins to pull within 10 games of .500 at 71-81. Up next the Twins head to Oakland for a three-game series, followed by the final seven games of the season at home against the Tigers and Chicago White Sox. I predict the Twins take one game off the A’s, three off the Tigers and two from the South Siders to finish the next 10 games at 6-4 and the season at 77-85. And for the season the Twins had, that wouldn’t be bad at all.

-How great would it be if the Twins finished at 81-81?



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.