June 5, 2019

As expected, the Cleveland Indians will not go quietly

The Twins dropped Game 1 of their three-game series against the Cleveland Indians, the defending AL Central champs. And the loss largely falls on the shoulders of Devin Smeltzer, who made his second start for the Twins after pitching well in his major league debut.

Smeltzer also pitched well early in Tueday’s game, but ultimately served up five earned runs, including four home runs. Smeltzer fell to 0-1 on the season and the Twins lost 5-2.

The Twins scored both runs on solo shots: Eddie Rosario hit his 18th dinger and Marwin Gonzalez hit his seventh.

Martin Perez gets the ball Wednesday. Carlos Carrasco will take the mound for the Tribe. The Twins have already faced Carrasco this year in a 9-3 win on March 31.

Extra innings…

-The Twins are now 40-19. They have two more games in Cleveland, then head to Detroit for a three-game series, before coming home to play the Mariners, Royals and Red Sox. Those should all be winnable games for the Twins.

-It was a long night for Max Kepler and Nelson Cruz, recently returned from the injured list. Both struck out three times.

-I have a feeling that Smeltzer might benefit from the opener format, in which a reliever starts the game and then turns the ball over to a primary pitcher like Smeltzer. I say that because once the Cleveland lineup had seen Smeltzer two or three times, the ball started to fly out of the ballpark. In theory, the opener approach prevents that familiarity.

-The Twins have drafted two players who have ties to the Northwest: Spencer Steer, an infielder at the University of Oregon, and Casey Legumina, a right-handed pitcher at Gonzaga University.

According to MLB.com:

Steer had been a well-rounded hitter throughout his three years at Oregon, en route to becoming the highest-drafted position player in program history with his third-round selection. The Long Beach, Calif., native credits part of his marked improvement to a .349/.456/.502 junior season to his experience in the Cape Cod League last summer hitting behind Vanderbilt outfielder JJ Bleday, the No. 4 selection in this draft.

 

The son of a former prospect in the Dodgers’ and Tigers’ organizations, the 6-foot-2, 195-pound Legumina was reported by FanGraphs as having cranked his fastball up to 97 mph in February to go with a power slider.

The Twins also drafted a player from Minnesota: Matt Wallner, an outfielder at Southern Miss.

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.