June 17, 2019

If you wanna be the best in baseball, you beat the weakest teams in baseball

The Boston Red Sox on Sunday swept the Baltimore Orioles, the worst team in baseball. That’s a fitting and appropriate result. The Red Sox are the defending World Series champions, and even though Boston has gotten off to a slow start this year, they’ve now won five straight games.

The Twins should have done the same on Sunday. They were poised to sweep the Kansas City Royals, the second-worst team in baseball, but came up short in an 8-6 loss.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The Twins had no business losing on Sunday. They out-hit the Royals, they out-slugged the Royals and, quite frankly, Martin Perez out-pitched the Royals on Sunday, despite giving up five runs. But only four of those runs were earned, which speaks to one of the problems the Twins had on Sunday.

But there was an even bigger problem: You can get all the hits you like, but it won’t matter if nobody comes home to score.

The Twins connected for 15 hits, including three doubles and two home runs, but left 15 men on base and were 4-for-18 with runners in scoring position. They apparently left the bases loaded three times, according to Twinkie Town. They also committed two more errors to give them five in two games. Unearned runs are killers.

And now the Red Sox come to town. To be the best, you sweep aside the weakest teams and go toe-to-toe with the strongest teams. Here’s your chance, Minnesota.

Jose Berrios gets the ball on Monday.

Extra innings…

-How did the Red Sox win on Sunday? They rallied for six runs in the ninth and 10th innings to beat the O’s, 8-6. Now that’s how it’s done.

-About 38,000 fans filled Target Field and watched the Twins lose to the Royals. That is no way to win over a fan base.

-Sunday’s game was precisely four hours: 4:00, according to the box score.

-Nelson Cruz hit his 13th home run and Miguel Sano his seventh.

-Berlin-born, Max Kepler, did all he could to win it for the Twins on Sunday. He went 4-for-6 at the plate, including two doubles, and drove in two runs.

-As noted by Strib columnist, Patrick Reusse, it’s amazing that the Twins/Royals series wasn’t a weekend filled with player and manager ejections.


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.