May 31, 2019

Good, but not great? Twins fall hard to Tampa Bay Rays

Before I get to the disaster that was Thursday’s game between the Twins and Tampa Bay Rays — two of the best teams in baseball — I have to point out that only about 8,000 fans attended the game.

If two of the best teams in baseball can barely attract 8,000 people on a Thursday night, then baseball doesn’t need to be played in Tampa. Attention Commissioner Rob Manfred: It’s time to move the Rays to either Montreal or Portland, Oregon. Just get it done.

Now, about the game. It was a rough night for Twins pitching. Martin Perez gave up six runs, all earned, in two-plus innings to fall to 7-2. But the night got much worse for reliever Zack Littell, who gave up eight earned runs on 10 hits in four-plus innings. Littell, who was called up Saturday to replace Austin Adams after he was designated for assignment, might be headed back to Triple-A Rochester after Thursday’s performance.

Rays starter Charlie Morton remained unbeaten at 6-0 and the offense backed him with 14 runs on 16 hits. The Twins scored three runs on seven hits, mostly from the bottom of the order. Byron Buxton tripled to drive in a run.

Jose Berrios gets the ball on Friday.

Extra innings…

-Tropicana Field, the home of the Rays, was designed to accommodate 42,000 fans.


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.