May 25, 2021

I can feel it, Twins fans. Can you?

There was a lot of talk about momentum after the Twins’ 8-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Monday, and that just might mean this team — a team largely unchanged from winning seasons in 2019 and 2020 — is about to put two months of terrible baseball behind it and go on a little run.

Sweep the Orioles and Kansas City Royals and the Twins will find themselves at 23-29 with plenty of baseball still to be played. Then they hit the road to play the same two teams. Could the Twins get this entire season turned around before the Yankees arrive in early June? It appears possible.

Here’s another way to look at Monday’s win: the positives are beginning to outweigh the negatives.

The positives:

-Matt Shoemaker made his second straight quality start, allowing only one run over six innings.

-Although the team is still banged up, they are getting contributions from rookies and veterans alike. Alex Kirilloff had two hits, Trevor Larnach homered and singled, journeymen Rob Refsnyder and Kyle Garlick each had a pair of hits and Miguel Sano and Mitch Garver delivered key hits as well.

-Can they get clutch hits? They sure could on Monday, going 6-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

-Much maligned closer Alex Colome pitched a scoreless ninth, striking out two batters on eight pitches.

-Great defense: The defensive gem of the night was an outfield assist to get the runner at home. It went from Garlick to Nick Gordon to Garver to get the O’s Cedric Mullins at the plate.

Extra innings…

-Larnach’s home run to straightaway center field at Target Field was measured at 461 feet. On May 24, 1964, Harmon Killebrew hit a titanic shot against the Orioles at Memorial Stadium that traveled 471 feet, according to Baseball-Reference.com. BR says it was the longest hit in that stadium. Who was the victim? Pitcher Milt Pappas.

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.