September 17, 2022

Season-deciding series off to terrible start after Twins cough up lead late, lose

A three-game winning streak and maybe a whole lot more has finally come to an end for the Minnesota Twins.

The Twins accomplished their first goal by sweeping three games from the Kansas City Royals this week and pulled within four games of the Cleveland Guardians going into Friday’s game.

And Game 1 of the series at Cleveland got off to a promising start after the Twins took an early 3-0 lead. Twins starter Bailey Ober, who hasn’t pitched in three months, kept the Guards in check for five innings, allowing only a hit, a walk and he struck out five on 70 pitches. No surprise he had a short leash, given his time away from the game.

But the bullpen couldn’t match Ober’s performance.

Caleb Thielbar, Griffin Jax and Jhoan Duran coughed up four runs late, including the go-ahead run on a Duran wild pitch that hit the ground, then bounced high into the air, confusing catcher Gary Sanchez. By the time he found the ball, the run had scored.

All of this means the Twins have fallen another game behind the Guards and are now five games back of the top spot with 19 games to go, including four more with the Guardians.

The Twins and Guardians play a doubleheader on Saturday. Louie Varland gets the ball in Game 2, followed by Josh Winder in Game 3.

Extra innings…

-The Twins are 72-71.

-The Twins are 12-4 versus the Royals this season, but 5-10 against the Guardians.

-I listened to Friday’s game and the conversation between Kris Atteberry and Dan Gladden finally landed on Gladden’s performance at Cleveland Stadium when he was a member of the Twins. It turns out he hit pretty well at the formerly cavernous ballpark, slashing .280/.360/.383 with 59 stolen bases, 19 doubles, 12 home runs and four triples, according to

-And then there was this…


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.