Twins starting pitcher Joe Ryan looked great, Miguel Sano finally broke out of a long hitless streak with a home run and the Rod Carew-like Luis Arraez cracked an RBI double to pace the Twins to an 8-4 win over the Boston Red Sox on Friday.
But all of that was overshadowed by what happened to Byron Buxton early in the game. Buxton hit a pop fly that was lost in the sun and dropped, so Buck slid into a second base for a double. But he immediately reacted to some kind of pain, pounded the ground in frustration and walked off the field to be replaced by Nick Gordon. The initial report about his condition is that he has knee soreness. The extent of that pain is still to be determined. If he is in fact hurt, this will be nothing new for the Twins or Twins fans. As great a player as Buck is, he has played an average of 70 games per season for the Twins because of injuries.
Honestly don’t understand any reaction to another apparent Byron Buxton injury but bone-deep sadness. He’s one of the most talented players in the game, I’ve never heard anyone say a bad word about him as a person. It just sucks. That’s all.
— Chris Towers Is In Baseball Season (@CTowersCBS) April 15, 2022
Meanwhile, Ryan was fantastic. He allowed one run over six innings with seven strikeouts on 82 pitches. Reliever Jhoan Duran served up a two-run home run, but still struck out four in two innings, and Emilio Pagan closed out the game with a scoreless inning, throwing 11 pitches, eight of them for strikes.
Sonny Gray gets the ball Saturday.
-During the TV broadcast Friday, color commentator Roy Smalley said he hit well at Fenway Park. And so he did. Smalley slashed .283/.361/.408 at Fenway, according to Baseball-Reference.com.
-Gary Sanchez broke up the Dodgers’ perfect game on Wednesday with a single in the eighth inning. On April 13, 2013, Justin Morneau dashed Matt Harvey’s no-hit bid against the Twins at Target Field by hitting a home run off the right field foul pole. The Twins would still lose 4-2 to the New York Mets.
-On April 15, 1976, the Yankees beat the Twins 11-4 at the newly renovated Yankee Stadium. The Yanks scored their runs on 14 hits. They also got five innings of shutout relief from Dick Tidrow, nicknamed “Dirt,” and a Sparky Lyle save. It was a save situation for Lyle because he entered the game when the Yanks had a 5-3 lead, but then the Bombers exploded for six runs in the bottom of the eighth inning.
“Our pitching and execution have been pretty good so far,” said Twins manager Gene Mauch to the Minneapolis Tribune after the game. “The only thing we’ve lacked is consistent hitting. But that will come around because these guys hit before. They can slow down (Rod) Carew, but they can’t stop him.”
And then there was this….
This person intends to tweet about a random Twins/Senators player every day until the Twins win the World Series or “I run out of players,” the Twitter profile reads. Good luck.
Random #MNTwins player #5
Mike Fetters, RHP@Twins 2003
Born: Michael Lee Fetters, December 19, 1964 in Van Nuys, CA
Signed as a free agent by the Twins from the Arizona Diamondbacks
Twins stats: 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 5 Games, 6.0 IP, 1 K, N/A ERA+, 0.3 WAR pic.twitter.com/LoMZitS447
— Every Senators/Twins player ever (@MoxitheGolden) April 15, 2022