June 12, 2021

Momentum, if you want to call it that, quickly extinguished after Twins lose to Astros

There was a lot of talk about “momentum” after the Twins’ thrilling, come from behind win over Aroldis Chapman and the New York Yankees Thursday night. Losing 5-3 going into the bottom of the ninth, the Twins hit back-to-back two-run home runs to first tie the game and then won it in walk-off fashion, 7-5.

As soon as Twins hero Nelson Cruz crossed home plate, Ex-Twin and current TV broadcaster, Justin Morneau, suggested that perhaps this was the Twins win to get their season turned around.

And it appeared he was right because the Twins hit three solo home runs to start Game 1 of their three-game series with the Houston Astros on Friday. The Astros eventually countered with four runs of their own to take a 4-3 lead, then the red-hot Josh Donaldson hit his second home run of the night to tie the game at 4-4.

And then starting pitcher Matt Shoemaker entered the game and was terrible, allowing two runs on three hits to send the Twins to a 6-4 loss. Shoemaker is done, done, done, folks. He is now 2-8 with a 7.35 ERA. By the way, Randy Dobnak is done, too, and J.A. Happ is just about cooked as well.

Newcomer on the mound, Bailey Ober, didn’t look bad. He struck out seven over five innings, surrendering two runs, but why lift him after 73 pitches? There was a reason for the early exit, reports Twins MLB.com beat writer, Do-Hyoung Park.

Jose Berrios, by far the Twins’ best pitcher this season, gets the ball on Saturday.

Extra innings…

-In June 1977, the Twins also lost two of three games to the New York Yankees in the Bronx. In Game 1, Ron Guidry struck out eight over eight-plus innings to cruise to a 4-1 win. In Game 2, the Yanks edged the Twins 6-5, but in Game 3, Twins pitcher Paul Thormodsgard, who spent all of three seasons in major league baseball, pitched a complete game five-hitter, allowing only one run in a 6-1 Twins win.

Rod Carew, who hit .388 that season, singled, tripled and homered to pace a nine-hit attack. Carew and Larry Hisle, who also homered in the game, drove in four of the Twins’ six runs.


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.