June 1, 2020

Even in the virtual world the Twins can’t beat the Yankees? Really?

I find simulated baseball to be a lousy substitution for the real thing. And though I’ve tried to ignore it, I have peeked at what Baseball-Reference.com has done by using a program called Out of the Park Baseball 21 to simulate the 2020 season. It’s hard to miss because the data can be found almost front and center on the site.

So there I was, reviewing scores from the week when I discovered the Twins had dropped two of three games to the Yankees. Even in the virtual world, they can’t catch a break. I hate to say it, but I guess that’s accurate when one considers the lopsided history of the two teams.

The most recent loss was on May 28. Pitcher Jose Berrios struck out nine over five-plus innings, but still allowed four runs, all earned. Reliever Taylor Rogers took the loss in the Yankees’ 6-4, 10-inning win. Strangely enough, the bottom of the order for the Twins featured Mitch Garver, Eddie Rosario and Ehire Adrianza. They had five of the Twins’ nine hits.

The Twins also lost 4-3 on May 27. Kenta Maeda struck out six over six innings, but still allowed four earned runs. A quick glance at the overall Twins’ simulated season appears to show that a number of Twins players have a down year after 2019. Does that apply to the Yankees? Of course not. Or, at least not in the case of Gerrit Cole, who beats Maeda and the Twins by striking out 12 in seven innings.

The Twins did get their one win on May 26, according to the simulated season data. And it was an old friend who did it.

Ex-Yankee, Michael Pineda, pitched seven strong innings and the bullpen took care of business from there. Tyler Duffey picked up the hold, and lefty Rogers closed out the 4-3 win with his ninth save of the simulated season.

If only any of this was real baseball. I sure do miss it.

Extra innings…

-Kudos to the Twins for being one of the few teams in major league baseball that will pay its minor league players through August, according to MLB.com.

-Thumbs down to Twins outfielder, Max Kepler, for wearing a “blue lives matter” COVID-19 mask, according to TMZ, the tabloid sports and entertainment website and TV show. I have no idea what he was thinking, given what’s happened in Minnesota after an African-American man, George Floyd, died at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer. Kepler’s mask makes light of the Black Lives Matter movement, and that is wrong. Kepler has apologized.

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.