April 9, 2024

Twins’ Ober shows improvement in loss to Dodgers

Starter Bailey Ober gave the Twins a much improved outing on Monday, and the bullpen wasn’t that bad either, but if all you can muster is three hits against the Los Angeles Dodgers don’t expect to win.

And they didn’t, the Twins losing 4-2 to the team from Los Angeles. They are now 1-7 against the Dodgers since 2022.

After losing 11-0 to the Royals, Ober returned to the mound on Monday and allowed only a run on three hits across five innings with two walks and seven strikeouts. He exited after 68 pitches, which some might question, but again it really doesn’t matter if the best you can do is score two runs on three hits.

The Dodgers’ Shohei Ohtani had three hits by himself: two doubles and a home run to pace their win.

Louie Varland gets the ball on Tuesday.

Extra innings…

-Although the Twins lost, fans still got to see Byron Buxton at his defensive best as ran, dove and caught a sinking liner to right center field, then quickly bounced up, injury free, to nearly double up the runner at second base. At full strength, Buck is a sight to see.

-The Twins bullpen has gone from the walking wounded to a full-blown M.A.S.H. unit after Daniel Duarte landed on the injured list with a right triceps strain. He joins Caleb Thielbar, Jhoan Duran, Justin Topa, Josh Staumont and possibly Jorge Alcala. In Duarte’s place, the Twins recalled Jose Miranda, seeking offensive help over pitching depth, or so it would appear.

The Twins need to be very careful because leaning on a short-handed bullpen on a team that is struggling to score could be a recipe for disaster if they get used too early and often.

-Donovan Solano, anyone? He remains unsigned and yet he hit .282 for the Twins last season and was third in team hits at 111. He also hit .333 with runners in scoring position. He is not a switch hitter and he has no power, but if someone doesn’t start hitting on this team, I say he gets a second look.

-Ex-Twins watch: Blue Jays pitcher Jose Berrios turned in another quality start and earned the win in a 5-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners on  Monday. Berrios blanked the M’s on four hits across six-plus innings with a walk and six strikeouts to improve to 2-0 with a 1.45 ERA. He has made three quality starts so far this season.

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.