March 14, 2021

Twins pitching still stellar, but where’s the hitting?

Five Twins pitchers combined to two-hit the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday, once again demonstrating that the Twins appear to be more than ready on the mound. The only problem? Rays pitching was almost as good, limiting the Twins to just four hits.

Twins pitcher Randy Dobnak, aka the Dobber, dazzled on Saturday, striking out six over three innings. He was followed by four more pitchers who blanked the Rays the rest of the way.

Jorge Alcala pitched a scoreless inning and Brandon Waddell did the same by striking out the side. Derek Law also struck out the side and earned the win and Andrew Albers picked up the save. His save effort also included picking off a runner at first base.

The Twins had all of four hits. Kyle Garlick, Tzu-Wei Lin and Gilberto Celestino each had a hit, but the big blow and only RBI of the game was delivered by folk hero, Willians Astudillo, who hit a home run to give the Twins their 1-0 win over the Rays.

Kenta Maeda gets the ball on Sunday against the Boston Red Sox.

Extra innings…

-The other day I wondered whether Twins pitcher Brandon Waddell was related to Rube, and by that I mean, Rube Waddell, a turn of the century pitcher and Hall of Famer, who was as interesting off the mound as he was on it, according to the Society for American Baseball Research.

Says SABR:

Known to occasionally miss a scheduled start because he was off fishing or playing marbles with street urchins, Waddell might disappear for days during spring training, only to be found leading a parade down the main street of Jacksonville, Florida, or wrestling an alligator in a nearby lagoon.

Waddell, who died at 37, was 193-143 over 13 seasons, his best years spent with Connie Mack’s Philadelphia Athletics. He won 27 games in 1905 and struck out more than 2,300 batters in 2,900 innings pitched. He also tossed 261 complete games, pitched 50 shutouts and recorded five saves. Late in his career, Waddell pitched for the Minneapolis Millers, according to SABR.

Waddell died after contracting tuberculosis while helping to control a flood. His final days were spent at a Texas-based sanitarium to combat the disease.

-The Twins improved to 6-6 on Saturday. In case you’re keeping track of the allegedly improved Chicago White Sox, they are 2-8 so far this spring.


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.