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.
Asked Bailey Ober about being pulled on the early side in his last two starts. He noted that he expects to be on a pitch count because he threw 0 innings last year with the canceled Minor League season (and Minor League injuries, accordingly, are way up this year).
— Do-Hyoung Park (@dohyoungpark) June 12, 2021
Jose Berrios, by far the Twins’ best pitcher this season, gets the ball on Saturday.
-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.