August 3, 2023

The Twins look like a .500 team to me

The Twins snapped a five-game losing streak this week with a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals, and then they reverted to form by losing 7-3 Wednesday, once again showing that this team is only good enough to sustain the most modest of winning streaks. In this case, one game.

And before the Twins could even think about scoring some runs on Wednesday, the game was over because starter Joe Ryan, who suddenly finds himself in a serious funk, served up four blasts to give the Cardinals a 7-0 lead. The Twins scored three runs on four hits, with all of those runs coming on a Matt Wallner home run to straight away center field at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

On June 22, Ryan was brilliant, shutting out the Boston Red Sox on three hits. After that win, he improved his record to 8-4 with a 2.98 ERA. But since then Ryan is 1-4 and his earned run average has ballooned to 4.43. The long ball is taking its toll because after Wednesday’s loss, Ryan set a new team record for home runs allowed over a seven-game period at 17, according to MLB.com.

“You know you’re going to have bad ones,” Ryan told MLB.com. “You never really expect it to go on this long.”

Sonny Gray gets the ball Thursday.

Extra innings …

-The Twins are again only a game above .500 at 55-54 and yet they still lead the Cleveland Guardians by two games in the terrible AL Central. Only the Twins have a winning record in the division. Given the state of the Central, maybe the Twins can win it all with a .500 record, which will be seriously strange if we are cheering them on in late September, as if they were running away with the division, but no better than 81-81. I guess it’s possible.

-After Ryan stepped aside, Josh Winder and Caleb Thielbar pitched four innings of scoreless relief with six strikeouts. Twenty-four of Winder’s 36 pitches landed for strikes.

-And then there was this …

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.