The statement wins the Twins needed to make against the division-leading Cleveland Guardians failed to materialize Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and now the club is 4.5 games back of the top spot with 20-some games left in the season.
I’m not ready to declare the season over — Twins Territory was certainly in that kind of mood on social media — but I will say this: If they drop one game to the Kansas City Royals this week, a team that is 4-9 against the Twins, then the season really is over. The Twins need to sweep the Royals to remain relevant before they head to Cleveland for five games, beginning Sept. 16.
Although the Twins showed some fight in each loss to the Guards, albeit extremely late in each game, they otherwise were lifeless, listless and lackluster affairs, particularly Game 2. Chris Archer was gone after two innings because of an injury, although he had already served up a two-run home run by then, and then Archer was followed by reliever Cole Sands. What can one say? He was a disaster, walking in two more runs on four walks and two hit batters.
Joe Ryan gets the ball Tuesday vs. the Royals.
-The Twins are 69-70, a game under .500 for the first time since late April. The Guards beat them 7-6, 6-4 and 4-1 to complete the sweep.
-The Chicago White Sox lost 10-3 to the Oakland A’s late Sunday.
-Ex-Twin Martin Perez improved to 11-6 with a 2.77 ERA on Sunday after he six-hit the Toronto Blue Jays over six innings. He allowed a run and struck out seven.
-I watched the FOX broadcast of the Twins game on Saturday, which featured the play-by-play tandem of Aaron Goldsmith and John Smoltz. They certainly made a big deal about baseball’s defensive shift ending next season and how Twins right fielder Max Kepler should benefit from that change. Yes, that might be the case, but there’s a bigger problem here: The best hitters make adjustments and continue to get their hits; Kepler seems to be incapable of doing that.
-On Sept. 11, 1999, a much better day for the Twins (but not a better season) as Twins pitcher Eric Milton tossed the fifth no-hitter in team history after he struck out 13 Anaheim Angels at the Metrodome for a 7-0 win. However, the 1999 season was otherwise terrible, the team ending it with 63 wins and 97 losses, including a 7-21 record in September. The month also included their longest losing streak, an eight-game skid that began Sept. 25 and ran through Oct. 2. It started with a 13-4 beatdown by the White Sox.
-And then there was this… a pretty telling tweet about the state of the Twins.
Guardians and Twins respective injured lists are the AL Central race in a nutshell. pic.twitter.com/ZfqW3ao8hG
— Aaron Gleeman (@AaronGleeman) September 10, 2022