Not only because the Twins beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-2 on Thursday, knocking the Jays a game back in the AL wild card race, but also because the Twins appear to have clearly come out ahead in their deal to get pitcher Joe Ryan in exchange for slugger Nelson Cuz.
Yes, there’s a chance that Cruz hits 500 home runs, but he’s also at the end of his career, while the Twins landed a good young pitcher who may pitch well for the Twins for years to come. It’s easy to feel that way after Ryan blew away the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday, striking out 11 batters in five innings, including seven straight strikeouts.
#MNTwins most strikeouts in 5 innings or fewer:
11 — Joe Ryan, 9/22/2021 🆕
10 — Francisco Liriano, 7/23/2006
10 — Pat Mahomes, 4/26/1992
— Aaron Gleeman (@AaronGleeman) September 23, 2021
Following #MNTwins RHP Joe Ryan's 11 K performance tonight against the Cubs, his 25 strikeouts match the most through 4 career games in Twins/Senators franchise history, tying Dave Boswell (1964 Twins) and Dixie Walker (1909 Senators).
— Do-Hyoung Park (@dohyoungpark) September 23, 2021
Meanwhile, the Twins scored seven runs on 13 hits in their win over the Blue Jays, getting three hits apiece from catcher Mitch Garver and outfielder Nick Gordon, who also hit a three-run home run to help the Twins pull away in the fifth inning.
Starter Michael Pineda allowed two runs over five innings to improve to 8-8 with a 3.73 ERA. Bailey Ober faces old friend Jose Berrios on Friday.
-The Twins swept the two-game mid-week series against the Cubs. Pitcher Ryan got a lot of help from Max Kepler, who went 3-for-4 with two home runs. The Twins took a 5-2 lead into the ninth inning during Wednesday’s game, then closer Alex Colome nearly blew it, allowing two runs on three hits with a walk in an inning of work. Colome eventually earned his 15th save for the 5-4 Twins win.
-The Twins end the season against the Blue Jays, Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals.
-The St. Louis Browns* shut out the Texas Rangers on five hits Thursday to win 3-0. The Browns are now 49-104. The Arizona Diamondbacks also are 49-104. It also appears that the Rangers and Pirates could lose 100 games.
*The St. Louis Browns became the Baltimore Orioles in 1954.