The Twins improved to 17-9 on Monday. They also are 8-2 in their last 10 games, they went 6-0 against the Baltimore Orioles to sweep the season series and they remain atop the AL Central with a 2.5 game lead on the Cleveland Indians. All of that, you would think, would be enough to get fans excited and encouraged to fill Target Field to see their Twins in action.
But that is not the case.
On Monday, for example, a little more than 12,000 fans showed up at a venue that seats nearly 40,000. Granted, the weather has been cold, or maybe the true believers aren’t ready to believe in the Twins. After all, it doesn’t take much to beat the Orioles, one of the worst teams in baseball.
But what if the Twins can beat the Houston Astros?
Sure, the Twins beat up on the lowly Orioles, but what happens when they play a real team and stop hitting a million homers?
Minnesota 1, Houston 0. Jake Odorizzi out-duels Justin Verlander. And the Twins have the second-best record in baseball at 17-9.
— Aaron Gleeman (@AaronGleeman) April 30, 2019
Perhaps more fans will show up to Tuesday’s game after the Twins and pitcher Jake Odorizzi, plus two relievers, shut out the Astros on five hits to beat them 1-0 on Monday.
Odorizzi was terrific. He struck out seven over seven innings with one walk and improved to 3-2 with a very respectable 3.34 ERA. Reliever Taylor Rogers pitched an inning of scoreless baseball, then Blake Parker closed out the game with his sixth save of the season.
The Astros’ Justin Verlander also pitched well. He allowed only two hits, but one of those hits was a home run off the bat of backup infielder, Ehire Adrianza, and it was enough to win the game. The home run was the 50th hit by the Twins this season. If they continue to hit dingers at this pace, they are really going to put up some crooked numbers, according to MLB.com.
Adrianza’s homer was the Twins’ 50th of 2019, a franchise record through the first 26 games of a season. That leaves them on a 312-homer pace over a full season, which would shatter both the club (225) and Major League (267) records for homers in a season.
Michael Pineda gets the ball on Tuesday.
-Although he is on the injured list, Willians Astudillo continues to be the darling of the Internet for his ability to either get a hit or put the ball in play without striking out or drawing a walk. The latest story about La Tortuga can be found at The Ringer.