May 29, 2023

Twins lose 4th straight series, now face Houston (ugh)

The Minnesota Twins lost their fourth straight series on Sunday, a 3-0 defeat to Jose Berrios and the Toronto Blue Jays.

What does it all mean? It means the Twins are essentially a .500 ball club, which is … which is … which is … well, what is it exactly? The Twins aren’t terrible, of course, but they’re also not very good. But if the grand strategy is to hang around long enough to turn on the jets in August and September, then I’m all for it. The only problem is I don’t see any indication that the Twins can “turn on the jets.”

And now they hit the road to face the Houston Astros, a team that is 8-2 in its last 10 games. Sonny Gray gets the ball.

Extra innings …

-The Twins struck out 14 times as a team on Sunday, including three whiffs from Byron Buxton, who is really struggling at the plate. Buck went 1-for-14 against the Blue Jays with six strikeouts. He is hitting .154 over his last seven games.

-Although the rookies stepped it up in Saturday’s win, they reminded us on Sunday that they still have some things to learn. And Exhibit No. 1 was Eddie Julien, who was tagged out after over-running second base. He also dropped a ball after fielding it and struck out twice.

-Old friend Berrios earned the win on Sunday, improving to 5-4 with a 3.68 ERA. And he looked every part the veteran after he worked out of trouble in the first inning, then settled in to blank the Twins for five-plus innings with five strikeouts. He also pitched around five walks.

-Bailey Ober pitched well for the Twins — he just didn’t get any run support. Ober allowed two runs over five innings with seven strikeouts and lost, falling to 3-2 on the season with a 2.68 ERA.

-After the Houston series, the Twins come home to play the Cleveland Guardians for four games. This is a key series because if the Twins want to make a serious move in the division, they need to demonstrate that they can beat their AL Central rivals. If not, this season might end sooner than you think.

COMMENTS

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.