June 6, 2019

Potential signs of trouble as Twins lose to Tribe again

The Twins remain 20 games over .500 after their second straight loss to the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday. But it’s still a tough pill to swallow because the Twins did what the club from Minnesota has done all season long: they hit three home runs, they took an early lead and yet couldn’t hold on to that lead and lost, 9-7.

The loss now raises questions — for me, anyway — about whether starter Martin Perez has legitimately turned a corner in his career or has simply over-achieved to this point, and whether the Twins bullpen is deep enough for the remainder of the season.

Perez, who burst out of the gates this season, has struggled of late. He lasted four-plus innings on Wednesday. His performance now has me wondering if Perez is about to revert to his historical norm as a pitcher. Perez has seven wins and an earned run average of 3.72 for the Twins, but his career ERA is 4.57, and last season it was even higher at 6.22.

After Perez exited, the bullpen didn’t fare much better, and Blake Parker ultimately got pinned with the blown save and loss. Parker has been effective this season, but he also has a touch of Fernando Rodney in him, meaning he does make things interesting when he takes the mound. On Wednesday night, he served up two home runs and that was the game.

Jose Berrios gets the ball Thursday. It’s up to JoLaMaKina to get the Twins back on track.

Extra innings…

-The Twins are 40-20 and lead the Indians by 9.5 games.

-Although Perez lasted only four-plus innings and gave up five runs, only two of those runs were earned because of an error and passed ball.

-Byron Buxton, Nelson Cruz and Jorge Polanco homered on Wednesday.

-Wednesday’s game was delayed by rain for 1 hour and 43 minutes. That delay didn’t help the Twins because once play resumed in the seventh inning, relievers Parker and Tyler Duffey gave up three home runs.

-The Twins were rumored to be interested in free agent closer Craig Kimbrel, but Kimbrel has reportedly signed a three-year deal to play for the Chicago Cubs, according to MLB.com. (And now I check the internet and see that they signed him for a relative bargain at $43 million over three years. The Twins could have paid that much, right?)


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.