September 14, 2022

Twins win, but gain no ground on Guardians. And about Joe Ryan…

The Twins need to sweep the Kansas City Royals before their away series at Cleveland and step one is in the books after they improved to 10-4 this season against the Royals with a 6-3 win on Tuesday.

The Twins scored their six runs on 11 hits, getting 10 of those hits from Luis Arraez, Carlos Correa, Jose Miranda and Gio Urshela. Correa, Miranda and Urshela also contributed home runs as well.

But let’s get to the heart of Tuesday’s game: Twins pitcher Joe Ryan no-hit the Royals for seven innings on 106 pitches. Twins Manager Rocco Baldelli then made the controversial decision to lift Ryan from the game — and Ryan did not appear happy with that decision — in favor of reliever Jovani Moran, who promptly served up three runs on three hits.

Moran was booed by the crowd during his appearance — not because of anything he did, but because he was there in the first place and not Ryan.

Baldelli defended his decision to reporters after the game, according to a quote circulating on social media. 

“You want to let him keep going, but he also has to pitch in five days again in what’s going to be a very important situation for our team. The decision was made to take him out. At some point, you have to do what you think is right.”

Royals manager Mike Matheny agreed with Rocco, noting that the Twins still have some big games to play.

“I get it, it’s something very special,” said Matheny about no-hitters to Bally Sports Kansas City after the game. “But I would’ve been surprised if he (Ryan) stayed.”

I disagree with the decision, and Twins Territory on social media also howled with outrage. I understand the argument that they want Ryan to be ready for games in Cleveland and to avoid injury, particularly for a team that has been riddled with them, but aren’t we overlooking what a no-hitter might do for a struggling team?

There’s a good chance that a no-hitter lifts the entire team’s spirits and potentially spurs them to more success than simply Ryan’s next start. And there’s another downside to removing Ryan from the game: If he struggles in his next start, then the decision to remove him after seven innings on Sept. 13, 2022, could become a distraction.

Sonny Gray gets the ball Wednesday. 

Extra innings…

-Despite the win, the Twins gained no ground on the Guards, who also won Tuesday. The Twins have returned to .500 at 70-70, but are still five games back of Cleveland with 22 games to play.

-Twins Territory twitter went nuts. A sampling:


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.