July 17, 2019

Remember the Cleveland series, Twins fans?

All the momentum created by a successful road trip to Cleveland evaporated quickly Tuesday night after the Twins had a lousy first inning against the New York Mets, then struggled to capitalize the rest of the night.

The ninth inning was the perfect symbol for the entire game. The Twins loaded the bases for slugger Nelson Cruz, who then popped out to third base and the Twins lost, 3-2.

Suddenly, the Cleveland Indians are only five games back of the Twins. The Twins were off Monday, but not the Indians who won and moved a half-game closer to the division leader. Then the Tribe won again Tuesday over the terrible Detroit Tigers to pick up a full game on the Twins.

Tuesday’s game for the Twins began with an error and passed ball, which contributed to two early runs for the Mets. Twins second baseman, Jonathan Schoop, who committed the error, redeemed himself with a home run and the Twins ultimately tied the game at 2-2. But a wild pitch contributed to a third run for the Mets in the fifth and the Twins never recovered, despite putting a man on base in nearly every inning, according to the New York Daily News.

The Twins put a runner on base and threatened to take the lead in every inning but the seventh, when (reliever Justin) Wilson worked a 1-2-3 frame. But there was no relief in Minnesota’s lineup, ranked second-best in the Majors with a .271 team batting average. Top to bottom, Twins batters tried to intimidate the Mets bullpen into folding.

Twins starter Michael Pineda lost, but he still gave the Twins a quality start. He went six innings and allowed three runs, but only one run was earned. He’s now 6-5. Martin Perez gets the ball Wednesday.

Extra innings…

-The Twins were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base.

-Eddie Rosario and C.J. Cron were back in the lineup Tuesday after spending time on the injured list. They had four of the Twins’ eight hits. I guess that’s a good sign.

-The Twins’ front office tandem of Derek Falvey and Thad Levine, otherwise known as Falvey & Co. on this blog, appear to be up to something. Two pitchers have been designated for assignment and a third was released, which could mean the Twins are trying to clear roster space to welcome new players. Is a trade in the works?

-Rosario and Cron were back Tuesday, but Schoop left the game early after an apparent injury. Byron Buxton, too, has been placed on the seven-day concussion list, according to MLB Trade Rumors.


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.