October 1, 2023

Make sure the Twins’ youth movement is part of postseason play

The Twins’ youth movement, otherwise known as the rookies and young players who have stepped up in Byron Buxton’s absence and Carlos Correa’s down year at the plate, stepped up again big time in the team’s win over the Colorado Rockies on Saturday.

Oregon State man Trevor Larnach hit a grand slam, Matt Wallner hit his 14th home run and Eddie Julien, who also had three hits, connected for his 16th dinger of the season to help the Twins run away from the Rockies, 14-6.

It was a bullpen day on the mound as six relievers toed the rubber. The starter was Emilio Pagan, who after an inning of work was followed by Chris Paddack. He turned in three scoreless innings with four strikeouts and picked up the win.

I think you could make the case that all of the aforementioned players should be on the postseason roster, but I’m beginning to have my doubts about veteran pitcher Dallas Keuchel and whether he makes the cut. He was the last pitcher to get the ball and he really struggled.

Get a load of this line: Keuchel allowed four runs on six hits (including a home run), walked three batters and struck out four over two-plus innings on 78 pitches! Not what you would call an efficient outing.

The Twins are 87-74 and go for the sweep of the Rockies on Sunday, the final day of the regular season. Bailey Ober gets the ball.

Extra innings …

-Max Kepler hit his team-leading 24th home run in Saturday’s win.

-Larnach’s grand slam was the eighth of the season for the Twins, tying a record first set in 1961.

-On Sept. 30, 1967, the Boston Red Sox edged the Twins 6-4 to tie Minnesota for the top spot in the American League.

The Minneapolis Tribune lede:

“The home-run hitting of George Scott and Carl Yastrzemski carried the American League pennant fight down to the final day as Boston defeated the Twins 6-4 Saturday before 32,909 partisans.”

The Boston Globe lede (with a Bud Collins byline):

“At nine minutes to five 32,909 baseball patrons at Fenway Park became prime candidates for the state hospital at Bridgewater. They went mad as King Lear himself, deliriously and noisily mad, as Carl Yastrzemski hit his 44th home run to win Part 1 of Our Old Town Team’s Last Stand.”

Advantage: Boston Globe. Brilliant.

Sources: MLB.com, Baseball-Reference.com, Newspapers.com

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.