June 23, 2022

The Twins have a bullpen problem

The Twins scored 10 runs on 12 hits, including four home runs, a triple and a double on Wednesday, and yet they still found a way to lose to the Cleveland Guardians 11-10. It was the second consecutive game that the Twins have lost by one run. And once again you can point your finger at the bullpen.

The Twins took a 10-7 lead going into the ninth inning. Reliever Emilio Pagan struck out the side in the eighth, but Twins manager Rocco Baldelli left him in the game to face Cleveland hitters in the ninth. That was a mistake. Pagan had redeemed himself after allowing a game-tying home run in Tuesday’s loss and should have been removed from the game and replaced by Griffin Jax. Jax would eventually come into the game, but by then it was too late.

In the ninth, Pagan allowed three straight hits and a run to make it 10-8. Baldelli then removed Pagan in favor of Jax, but Jax came into the game with two men on and no outs. He allowed a hit and a sacrifice fly and three runs runs scored. Ballgame.

Although Jax was tagged with the loss and blown save, two runs were charged to Pagan, so he emerged with a very odd pitching line. Pagan allowed three runs on three hits with three strikeouts, but was only credited with an inning of work because he couldn’t get an out in the top of the ninth.

Devin Smeltzer gets the ball Thursday.

Extra innings…

-The Twins are now 38-32 and a game back of the Guardians in the AL Central.

-No need to look at Twins Territory on social media after the game. I knew the fan base was pissed, and they were.

-Can somebody please tell me why the radio broadcast of the last two Twins games has not been available on the MLB app? I can listen to an archived radio broadcast of the game, but no live broadcast. Why not? I don’t mind watching the TV broadcast, I just prefer to listen to the radio.

-If the Twins don’t produce a winning season, I predict Twins manager Baldelli is going, going, gone.

-On June 23, 1961, the Twins fired manager Cookie Lavagetto, the team’s first manager, and replaced him with Sam Mele.

“I’m going to demand respect and will discipline accordingly,” said Mele to the Minneapolis Morning Tribune. “Players will report to the clubhouse on time and be on the field in time. When a player steps out of line, he’s fining himself. They’ll know what’s expected of them and they’ll have to live up to it.”

Mele made his boss Calvin Griffith look pretty good because Mele won his debut, a 4-0 shutout of the New York Yankees. Camilo Pascual pitched a complete game six-hitter with eight strikeouts and the big bopper, Harmon Killebrew, went 3-for-4 at the plate with a home run and a double. Now that’s how it’s done, Twins fans.

Mele was a good manager. He was 524-436 over seven seasons and guided the Twins to the 1965 World Series.

Sources: MLB.com, Baseball-Reference.com, Newspapers.com


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.