September 12, 2021

Familiar win-loss pattern continues for Twins (but at least the pitching future looks bright)

A four-game losing streak was followed by a four-game winning streak, followed by a loss and then a win on Saturday over the Kansas City Royals, 9-2.

What does it all mean? Not much. The Twins finished a game over .500 in August and so far are playing .500 ball in September, which isn’t nearly enough wins to make up for what happened in April, May, June and July. But at least the power show returned on Saturday, with the Twins going deep five times, including twice from Jorge Polanco, who now has a team-leading 29 home runs.

Byron Buxton, Nick Gordon and Max Kepler also hit home runs.

The win went to Michael Pineda, who allowed one earned run over five innings. Bailey Ober gets the ball on Sunday.

Extra innings…

-The best thing about a team well out of contention like the Twins is that we get to see what the future might look like as more and more prospects get called up. And the Twins just might have made the trade of the summer after they sent Nelson Cruz to the Tampa Bay Rays for pitching prospect Joe Ryan.

Ryan came highly touted and he delivered in a big way during the four-game winning streak. Ryan pitched a perfect game through six innings against the Cleveland Guardians last Wednesday. He ultimately allowed only one hit over seven innings with no walks and four strikeouts to earn his first win.

-Although not a prospect, the former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher John Gant also looked good against Cleveland, especially his changeup, which when thrown effectively, appears as though the ball hits the brakes mid-flight. Check the highlights: Cleveland’s Jose Ramierz was fooled badly by one of Gant’s changeups.

-And more pitching prospects are on their way after the Twins announced Saturday they have called up lefty Jovani Moran from Triple-A St. Paul.

According to the Twins:

Moran, 24, has split the 2021 season between Double-A Wichita and St. Paul, combining to go 4-2 with a 2.41 ERA (67.1 IP, 18 ER), three saves, 32 walks, 109 strikeouts and a .124 opponent batting average (28-for-225). The 6-foot-1, 167-pound lefty has appeared in 112 minor league games (7 starts) over five seasons in the Twins organization, going 18-10 with a 2.64 ERA (225.1 IP, 66 ER), 11 saves, 107 walks, 333 strikeouts and a 1.05 WHIP.

You read that correctly: 109 strikeouts over 67.1 innings pitched.

-Ober, Griffin Jax, Ryan, Moran… clearly these are some pitchers to get excited about.

-Speaking of pitchers, old friend Jose Berrios continues to do his thing for the Toronto Blue Jays. And take note, Twins fans, the Blue Jays marched into Yankee stadium last week and swept the Bronx Bombers. Berrios contributed to the sweep by allowing only two runs over six-plus innings with eight strikeouts. He’s now 11-7 with a 3.52 ERA.

-The Blue Jays are now tied with the Yankees for the second wild card spot in the American League. As for the Yanks… who cares, right?


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.