The Twins headed into the break with a 7-2 record against the Detroit Tigers. Unfortunately, they emerged from it at 7-5 after they were swept by the Tigers on Saturday and Sunday.
This is not a good sign. The Twins, other than all-stars Nelson Cruz and Taylor Rogers, essentially had the week off to rejuvenate and get ready for second-half play. Instead, they came out flat, scoring all of four runs over three games and were shut out twice: 1-0 in Game 1 of Saturday’s doubleheader and 7-0 on Sunday.
Some rancor also was visible during Sunday’s game between Josh Donaldson and Luis Arraez, two of the Twins’ best players. It’s still not entirely clear to me what happened, but TV replays showed the following: Arraez was at second and Donaldson was at the dish when the “bringer of rain” apparently yelled at him, calling out Arraez to either turn around or pay attention or both. Then the two of them could be seen arguing in the dugout while Cruz mediated.
And then we get this: The New York Post is reporting, citing the work of The Athletic, that the Twins have made a do-or-die offer to injured center fielder, Byron Buxton, wanting him to agree to a $70 million extension or be traded before July 30. The Post also notes that Buxton has been injured 11 times in his career and has never played more than 100 games. Some on Twitter scoffed at the money the Twins were offering Buxton, but it seems fair to me.
Buxton is a phenomenal talent — when healthy. The Twins have stood by Buxton through thick and thin. Perhaps he should do the same.
-Life doesn’t get any easier for the Twins. They now face the White Sox again at the ridiculously named Guaranteed Rate Field. Who gets the ball on Monday? Griffin Jax versus Lance Lynn, who just agreed to an extension of his own. The Twins are 2-10 against the Sox this season.
-The Twins are 1-6 in 7-inning games and 5-9 in extras after the Saturday doubleheader.
-Twins pitcher Charlie Barnes made his major league debut in Game 1 of Saturday’s doubleheader. He allowed one run over four-plus innings and lost because the Twins could only come up with two hits.
-I watched a little bit of Sunday’s game and it felt like Twins manager Rocco Baldelli was going to leave J.A. Happ on the mound no matter what. And so he did. Happ allowed seven runs, all earned, on 11 hits over seven innings with a walk and two strikeouts. He is now 5-5 with a 6.15 ERA.