June 19, 2023

Twins drop 3 of 4 games to the not-so-bad Tigers

Joey Gallo struck out with the bases loaded, Byron Buxton did the same and the Twins came up short on Sunday, losing the game 6-4 and the series to the Detroit Tigers. With the loss, the Twins are again a .500 team at 36-36.

The Tigers scored first, the Twins tied the game in the second inning, the Tigers pulled ahead with a five-run fifth inning, and then the Twins finally showed some grit and appeared poised to have a big eighth inning. They scored three runs, then the rally fizzled as Kyle Farmer popped up and Gallo and Buck struck out to end the inning.

Pablo Lopez gets the ball Monday against the Boston Red Sox.

Extra innings …

-The Twins do not look good. They struck out 14 times as a team, including four whiffs from Gallo, and Buxton had a terrible series.

-More bad news: Reliever Jorge Lopez has been put on the 15-day injured list for mental health reasons. This news unfolded strangely on Sunday. It was first reported that he had been put on baseball’s restricted list, then he landed on the injured list.

-With Lopez headed to the injured list, the Twins called up rookie pitcher Jordan Balazovic, who pitched three-plus scoreless innings on Sunday after starter Louie Varland got knocked around for six runs.

-The 2023 AL Central is looking more and more like the 1984 AL West, a season in which only one team in the division had a winning record. The Royals won the division, a mere six games over .500. The Twins and Angels both finished at .500 (81-81), while the A’s, White Sox, Mariners and Rangers all had losing records.

Despite the .500 finish, the Twins were much improved that season after losing 92 games in 1983 and more than 100 games in 1982. They were 9-4 versus the Angels, 8-4 (incredibly) against the Yankees and 8-5 versus the A’s and Rangers.

But they were a dismal 1-11 against the Blue Jays.

That one win came on Aug. 25, 1984, a 5-4 decision in 12 innings that featured a walk-off walk.

Twins reliever Bobby Castillo earned the win, despite walking seven batters in five innings. The two teams turned eight double plays, five of them by the Blue Jays.

The Twins spent 58 days in first place that season before it all went to shit in late September.

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.