July 1, 2022

‘I think we’ve had enough of the Cleveland Guardians’

Twins TV play-by-play man Dick Bremer perhaps put it best after the Twins suffered their second straight bullpen meltdown and second consecutive walk-off loss on Thursday.

After Cleveland’s Andres Gimenez cracked what appeared to be a two-run home run, Bremer gave a brief description of where the ball was headed and then the broadcast booth fell silent, neither Bremer or color analyst and ex-Twin Glen Perkins uttering a word.

And then finally this:

“I think we’ve had enough of the Cleveland Guardians,” said Bremer.

Yes, the Twins certainly have had enough after the Guardians delivered another gut punch, turning a 3-1 deficit into a 5-3 walk-off win to win the 5-game series 3-2. All three of the Twins’ losses were the result of late-inning bullpen failures.

And on Thursday it was reliever Tyler Thornburg’s turn who was terrible. He got five outs over the eighth and ninth innings and his pitching line looked like this: lineout, hit by pitch, walk, walk, single, which tied the game at 3-3, followed by two more outs to get out of the eighth inning.

But in the ninth, he walked another batter, then got a groundout and a flyhout before serving up a two-run home run. Ballgame.

If I had to second-guess Twins manager Rocco Baldelli, I would not have removed reliever Jovani Moran so quickly. Moran got four outs, three via the strikeout, but as soon as Moran walked a batter, Baldelli pulled him in favor of Tyler Duffey. Duffey pitched well, too. Let Moran and Duffey go two innings apiece and maybe Thornburg doesn’t even enter into the conversation, or instead of trying to get six outs, he only has to get three.

The Twins now head home to play the Baltimore Orioles, who are looking more and more like the Orioles and not the St. Louis Browns. Joe Ryan gets the ball for the Twins.

Extra innings…

-On July 4, 1973, left-handed pitcher Eddie Bane, a first-round draft pick of the Twins, made his major league debut before more than 45,000 fans at the Met. Bane exited the game with no decision and the Twins lost to the Kansas City Royals, 5-4.

Four days later he had to face the New York Yankees. Minneapolis Tribune reporter Jon Roe did not mince words about the outcome.

Mel Stottlemyre dried up the Twins hitting well Sunday at Metropolitan Stadium, and the New York Yankees made Eddie Bane’s second major league appearance something less than enjoyable, pounding out a 7-0 victory.

Bane was bounced out of the majors after three seasons with a career record of 7-13 and a 4.66 ERA, although he did win 15 games for Triple-A Tacoma in 1975.

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.