June 24, 2022

Twins get 1-0 win over Guardians as bullpen holds the line

This time the bullpen did its job.

Nick Gordon hit a solo home run and four pitchers, including three relievers, stood their ground to preserve the lead and give the Twins a 1-0 win over the Cleveland Guardians. The Twins and Cleveland are once again tied for the lead in the AL Central.

Devin Smeltzer bounced back nicely from his last start and pitched six innings of shutout baseball and perhaps more important, after what happened to the bullpen Tuesday and Wednesday, relievers Joe Smith, Jhoan Duran and Caleb Thielbar limited the Guardians to just two hits over the final three innings of the game.

Smith got a lot of help from the defense in the seventh inning. He had to work around a bases-loaded situation, but he induced two force outs at home and a fly ball to get out of the inning. Thielbar picked up his first save of the season.

The Twins take on the Colorado Rockies Friday. Dylan Bundy gets the ball.

Extra innings…

-The Twins are 39-32.

-The terrible 11-10 loss to Cleveland this week brought back memories of what I consider to be the Twins’ worst regular-season loss in team history, which also was against Cleveland. Others in Twins Territory were thinking of it, too.

Star Tribune reporter Michael Rand revisited that long-ago game this week as well. I’ll tee it up for you: The Twins raced out to a 10-0 lead and then watched it all slip away.

Rand writes:

By the end of the sixth, it was 10-9. By the end of the eighth, it was 10-10. And in the bottom of the ninth, (Ron) Davis gave up one more run — his 11th loss of the season — as Cleveland won 11-10 and officially eliminated the Twins from playoff contention.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again: As a young Twins fan, I’ll never forget seeing the 10-0 score flash on the screen of our TV, and I’ll never forget the horror of seeing that 11-10 box score in the newspaper the next day.

-On June 24, 1984, the Twins took advantage of a bouncing ball.

With two men on in the bottom of the ninth, Tim Teufel hit a broken-bat fly ball that fell for a hit, then proceeded to bounce over the head of Chicago White Sox outfielder Harold Baines for an inside-the-park, 3-2 walk-off win at the House of Horrors, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.

“I couldn’t tell what happened,” said Baines to the Star and Tribune after the game. “The bad thing about this park is the big hops you get. It just took off.”

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.