The Twins have won the first two games of a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox, reminding Twins fans everywhere that if this team had been any healthier and had not sent an AL-leading 31 players to the injured list, the fortunes of this club would have been completely different.
Need an example? I’ve got one: Starting pitchers Bailey Ober and Josh Winder missed huge chunks of the season because of injuries, but if they had been regular members of the rotation, Twins Territory would have seen a lot more of what unfolded Tuesday and Wednesday.
Ober got the nod in the opener against the South Siders and he was masterful, striking out 10 over seven-plus innings with a walk on 91 pitches in the 4-0 victory. He was followed by Winder, who wasn’t as dominant, but still showed that he belongs at the major league level. Winder struck out six with no walks over four-plus innings to keep the Twins in the game before they broke it open for the 8-4 win.
Winder, too, got a lift from the offense, which cranked out 12 hits, including five doubles. Luis Arraez, Jose Miranda, Gio Urshela, Jake Cave and rookie Matt Wallner, who doubled and singed and drove in three runs in the win, were responsible for all 12 hits.
Louie Varland gets the ball Thursday.
-The Twins are 76-79.
-Although the team is out of the running, we can at least root for Arraez to win an AL batting title. He had two more hits on Wednesday and is now hitting .313 on the season, one point behind Gotham slugger Aaron Judge, who hit his 61st home run, tying the AL single-season home run mark set by fellow Yankee Roger Maris in 1961. Judge is hitting .314.
-This longtime Twins fan turned 54 on Wednesday. Something I asked for and received: “Metropolitan Stadium: Memorable Games at Minnesota’s Diamond on the Prairie.”
The book was edited by Stew Thornley. So there I was, flipping through its pages while listening to Tuesday’s game, when middle-innings play-by-play guy and ex-Twin Dan Gladden nearly had an in-game meltdown after the official scorer ruled that a ball hit between the legs of the White Sox’s Jose Abreu was just that: a hit and not an error.
Gladden, of course, disagreed and had a little fun at the expense of the official scorer for the Twins.
And who is that? Mr. Thornley.