July 11, 2024

Twins split doubleheader, but still earn series win over White Sox

It wasn’t a sweep, but the Twins still picked up their sixth straight series win by taking two of three games from the woeful Chicago White Sox, the worst team in baseball.

The Twins won the first game, the second game was postponed due to rain, and then the two teams regrouped Wednesday to play a doubleheader. Game 1 was won by the South Siders, 3-1, followed by a Twins win, 3-2.

Although the Pale Hose are terrible, pitcher Erick Fedde has been a nice surprise for the team. He blanked the Twins across five innings and improved to 7-3 with a 2.99 ERA, which is not bad considering he is playing for a team that is 40-plus games under .500. Reliever Michael Kopech closed out the game with an immaculate inning, getting three outs on nine pitches. Finally, something to cheer about at the ridiculously named Guaranteed Rate Field.

In Game 2, rookie sensation Brooks Lee homered and Carlos Correa did the same, smacking his 13th of the season. Byron Buxton also doubled and then Ryan Jeffers singled him home to help the Twins edge the Sox.

Pablo Lopez allowed two runs over five innings, but clearly did not have great command, tossing 90 pitches. The win went to lefty reliever Steven Okert and the save to Jhoan Duran, his 14th.

Joe Ryan gets the ball Friday against the San Francisco Giants, the final series before the All-Star break. After the break, the Twins start up the second half with home games versus the Brewers and Phillies.

Extra innings…

-Another thought on the worst team in baseball. Is it the White Sox or the San Diego Padres? How can a team with so much talent not win more games? I don’t get it.

-Twins starter Bailey Ober absorbed the Game 1 loss, although he also made a quality start.

-Matt Wallner hit a solo shot in Game 1 and Lee and Correa homered in Game 2, meaning the Twins have gone deep in 28 straight games, tying a second-place record held by the Atlanta Braves. The all-time record is held by the New York Yankees who homered in 31 straight games in 2019, according to MLB.com.

-My son and I were in the Twin Cities last week where we saw four Twins games. During one of those games, a friend reminded me about something he had seen on social media: a black bag offering at Target Field, in which you pay $40 for a ball, either used in a game or signed by a player, but because it’s wrapped in a black paper bag, it’s a surprise. I asked around about it, but some of the Target Field ushers had no idea what I was talking about. I finally found the spot, but it wasn’t easy and it struck me as not being very well promoted. Anyway, I bought a bag and received…

A ball signed by No. 18, Kenta Maeda, who spent three seasons with the Twins.

-And now for something for completely different…

As I previously mentioned, I picked up a Garrison Keillor memoir while we were in Minnesota that has become an enjoyable read, including some of his observations about the Twins.

After Keillor’s first marriage fell apart, he reconnected with a former Danish exchange student who he had first met and remembered from high school. Now in their 40s, they embarked on a whirlwind romance and wedding and a life split between living in Denmark and Minnesota. To me, that sounds perfectly interchangeable. But no, she ultimately didn’t care for the U.S. and Keillor was not always enthused about Denmark, a “nation of dentists” is how one person described it to him. In time, the marriage hit the skids, and with any longterm relationship, it is sometimes the most innocuous moments that act as reminders that not all is well.

Keillor had one of those moments at a baseball game.

“I took her to a Twins game, and after I had explained baseball for 20 minutes, we agreed not to talk about it anymore.”

-On our last day in the Twin Cities, we rode the train to downtown Minneapolis, checked out the “Taste of Minnesota” event, then headed east across the Mississippi River and down to the shoreline to walk the trails along the river before turning back toward downtown.

As we turned to look west, I was stunned to see this enormous building, a building that seemed to stretch for multiple city blocks. We had to check it out, but as we got closer I realized it wasn’t a massive bank or some military installation but the Post Office! If there’s a bigger post office building in this country you’ll have to prove it to me because this place is huge. We entered and I took a picture of a hallway that easily is as long as a city block.

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.