September 29, 2021

Twins edge Tigers for 70th win of the season

Well, I’m struggling to find the enthusiasm to write about the Twins as the disappointing 2021 season winds to a close, but here goes nothing…

Two sacrifice flies and a home run — Miguel Sano’s 30th — were the difference as the Twins topped the Detroit Tigers 3-2 on Tuesday before a home crowd of about 16,000. Again, not bad for a team well out of the running. It was 77 degrees at first pitch, however, which sounds pretty nice.

The pitching victory went to Minnesota native and reliever Caleb Thielbar, who is now 7-0 this season with 3.36 ERA. Alex Colome picked up his 17th save, but it was once again a very Colome-like outing. The Twins took a 3-0 lead into the ninth inning, then Colome did just enough to end the ballgame after he allowed two runs on three hits with a strikeout in an inning of work. Whew.

Michael Pineda gets the ball Wednesday.

Extra innings…

-The Twins are 70-87.

-I think the AL Manager of the Year is going to be the Houston Astros’ Dusty Baker, who has done an incredible job with that team since he took the reins following the cheating scandal. The former Houston manager, A.J. Hinch, was suspended from the game for a season for his role in that scandal, and then he accepted the job in Detroit. I don’t think we’re far enough removed from the cheating scandal for Hinch to win the award, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets a number of votes and he just might finish as high as second place. The Tigers lost 114 games in 2019 and yet here they are in 2021 at 75-82, good enough for third place in the AL Central.

-Old friend Robbie Grossman, who has never been much more than a role player, finally landed a full-time job with the Tigers this season. And he has done a reasonably good job, setting new career highs in a number of categories, including home runs, RBI and strikeouts, although he’s also approaching 100 walks this season, and has an on-base percentage of .356.

-I guess I could check to see what happened to the Twins in baseball history on Sept. 28, but I already know. Read about it again, if you like.

COMMENTS

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.