April 5, 2024

Twins fall to .500. At least they’re not the Marlins

The Twins lost their home opener to the Cleveland Guardians on Thursday, 4-2. Both teams had the same number of hits (7) and both teams each committed one error, but look at hitting with runners in scoring position and that’s where you can throw the similarities out the window.

It’s not like the Guards put on a clinic in that category — they were 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position — but it was a lot more than what the Twins accomplished. They were a disastrous 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position, left nine men on base and struck out 15 times as a team, which means the Twins are now 3-3 on the season.

Eddie Julien struck out three times, although he did hit a home run, and Byron Buxton whiffed three times as well. Carlos Correa had another three-hit game, which makes me think the shortstop should be hitting higher in the order. He hit in the No. 5 spot in the lineup on Thursday, while Max Kepler hit cleanup and yet went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Starter Pablo Lopez fell one out shy of a quality start. He allowed four runs (three earned) over five and two-thirds of an inning with a walk and two whiffs on a not-so-efficient 95 pitches.

Joe Ryan gets the ball Saturday.

Extra innings…

-The Miami Marlins lost again on Thursday, which means they are 0-8 to start the 2024 season.

-Call the Twins bullpen the walking wounded. I knew they were without the services of Jhoan Duran, Caleb Thielbar and Justin Topa, but free agent Josh Staumont as well? He apparently fell in the bullpen prior to a March 25 appearance and then did not feel well after it. He has been sidelined with a left calf strain, according to MLB.com.

-Attendance for the home opener: 35,595, which is down from the 38,465 fans who attended last season’s opener.

-Ex-Twins watch: Jose Berrios has produced back to back quality starts for the Toronto Blue Jays. He allowed two runs over six innings on March 28 to earn the win, then followed that by allowing only a run over the same number of frames on April 2. Although the Blue Jays won that game, Berrios did not figure in the decision.

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.