May 17, 2024

Remember the Twins’ 12-game winning streak?

The Twins fell to earth hard this week, courtesy of the New York Yankees who swept a three-game series from the Twins and made it look oh-so-easy, outscoring Minnesota 14-1.

And just like that the Twins have gone from world-beaters to pretty ordinary in a flash. The Yankees have a habit of doing that to teams with their payroll, which has paid for a deep and powerful lineup.

The Twins certainly didn’t help themselves and Exhibit No. 1 would be utility player Willi Castro who had an awful series, largely because of blunders in the field.

The Wednesday loss was the perfect example: Castro, playing center field, forgot the number of outs in the inning, so instead of throwing home to get the runner tagging up at third base, Willi started running for the dugout, thinking he had made the third out. The runner scored easily.

And then when Castro did make the third out in the inning, he hurled the ball into the outfield seats in frustration, only to see it bounce off a billboard and out of Target Field, according to radio voice Kris Atteberry.

“We came into this series off of a month of pretty spectacular play all the way around,” manager Rocco Baldelli told MLB.com. “I didn’t kind of recognize much of what I was watching over the last three days.”

And it doesn’t get any easier because the Twins on Friday face the division-leading Cleveland Guardians, who are likely to be the Twins’ primary competition the rest of the season. The team needs to shake off the bad vibes of the New York series and refocus quickly to make a statement against the Guards.

Simeon Woods Richardson gets the ball.

Extra innings…

-The Twins now find themselves in third place in the division at 24-19, 2.5 games back of the Guards and a game behind the Royals. The Twins are only 11-11 at home but are 13-8 on the road.

-Twins pitching did nothing to fool Yankee slugger Aaron Judge, who went 7-for-11 over the three games with five doubles and a home run. I don’t think he hit a ball that was under 100 miles per hour off the bat.

-After a three-game set against the Guards, the Twins head to Washington, D.C., to play the Nationals and then come home to take on the Rangers and Royals.

-Don’t look now because the Houston Astros, a much better team than their slow start would suggest, have climbed out of the cellar and are moving up the standings in the AL West. They are 7-3 over their last 10 games and are now 19-25, five games out of first place.

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.