April 16, 2023

Twins drop game to Yanks under cloud of controversy

New York Yankees starter Domingo German struck out 11 over six-plus innings on Saturday, leading the Bronx Bombers to an easy 6-1 win over the Minnesota Twins in Game 3 of their four-game series at Yankee Stadium.

But in the minds of some Twins players, German made it look too easy.

That’s according to MLB.com, which is reporting that both Byron Buxton and Oregon state man Trevor Larnach felt that German’s pitches were moving much more differently than scouting reports had indicated.

So, was German making legitimate pitches or was he getting a little extra help?

In the end, Twins manager Rocco Baldelli was ejected from Saturday’s game for questioning the umpires about why German wasn’t removed from the game after they had stopped to question him about the rosin on his pitching hand.

According to MLB.com, first-base umpire and crew chief James Hoye asked German to remove excess rosin from his hand following the third inning. But when German returned to the field, Hoye checked his hand again and still found a tacky substance. Hoye apparently asked why he hadn’t removed the substance, then the umpires conferred and German was allowed to remain in the game.

Baldelli took a different view, saying he wasn’t questioning whether there was an illegal substance present, but that German should have been removed from the game for not following the ump’s request.

“Their pitcher was asked to do something pertaining to a rule that’s been a focal point of a lot of discussion, and he failed to do what he was asked to do: Rid himself of something that he was carrying on his hand,” Baldelli told MLB.com. “That’s all.”

The Twins go for the series win on Sunday. Pablo Lopez gets the ball.

Extra innings …

-Despite the controversy, Twins starter Tyler Mahle wasn’t very sharp on Saturday. He lasted only four-plus innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on four hits, including two home runs, and he walked three batters.

-The Twins won big on Thursday, then rallied for a 4-3 win over the Yankees on Friday. Rookie pitcher and Minnesota native Louie Varland served up three home runs in Friday’s game, but he also didn’t run and hide, sticking around long enough to strike out eight over six innings. He didn’t get the win, but he still made a quality start.

Varland and the bullpen held the Yankees to just three runs, while the Twins went to work. Carlos Correa and Kyle Garlick both hit home runs to cut the Yankees’ lead to 3-2, then Correa doubled in two runs late in the game to take the 4-3 lead.


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.