September 15, 2021

Tuesday was almost worse than Monday for the Twins

After the Twins lost again to the New York Yankees on Monday, the team flew home to play a doubleheader against the Cleveland Guardians at Target Field. On the mound for Minnesota? The talk of the state, Joe Ryan, the big-time pitching prospect acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays, who pitched well in his Twins debut, one-hit Cleveland in his second start and was ready to face them again in Game 1 Tuesday afternoon.

And then it felt like the future of the franchise was snuffed out in seconds after Ryan, who cruised through his first five innings, took a line drive off the back of his pitching hand. He reacted immediately, walking off the field, throwing his mitt in disgust and disappeared down the dugout steps. Based on his reaction, it seemed like the injury was terrible, maybe even season-ending (or worse). But here’s the good news: X-rays came back negative and now he is reportedly suffering from stiffness in that hand, according to

The Twins caught a most welcome break because nothing, and I mean NOTHING, has gone right this season. On paper, before the season started, this was a competitive team. But none of their free agents worked out (and most of them are no longer with the team), starting and relief pitching struggled and player after player wound up on the injured list. I’m not sure baseball, which tracks everything, treats the injured list like a statistic. But if it does, the Twins must have set a record, or at least a team record, for the number of players who got hurt this season.

And you can add one more name to that list: pitcher John Gant. Gant got the nod in Monday’s game in The Bronx, but after checking the box score I noticed he pitched less than an inning. My first thought was, oh, Baldelli went with a bullpen day on the mound. But no, Gant got hurt after facing three batters in the inning. He exited early with an abdominal strain and is now going to spend 10 days on the injured list. This season really has been unbelievable.

Extra innings…

-As for the doubleheader, the Twins lost 3-1 and won 6-3, the bottom of the order coming through in a big way in the second game. Ryan Jeffers, Willians Astudillo and Nick Gordon had six of the Twins’ nine hits in the win. Griffin Jax gets the ball Wednesday.

-Old friend Jose Berrios and the sizzling hot Toronto Blue Jays lost on Tuesday to Tampa. Berrios was the tough-luck pitcher in this one. He allowed one run over seven innings and still took it on the nose to fall to 11-8 with a 3.43 ERA. The final was 2-0, Rays.

-The St. Louis Browns lost their 98th game on Tuesday.


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.