July 8, 2024

Twins take series from Astros, face terrible White Sox Monday

The Twins’ Christian Vazquez has underwhelmed at the plate all season, but on Sunday, in the rubber match against the Houston Astros, it was the Vazquez show as he drove in all three runs for the Twins, including the walk-off dinger in the ninth that won it for Minnesota 3-2.

An interior photo of the massive downtown Minneapolis post office building.

The team banged out 11 hits, but wasn’t real efficient with its clutch hitting as they left nine men on base and went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Still, Byron Buxton had two more hits and rookie Brooks Lee continues to impress with his hitting, adding two more hits of his own.

Carlos Correa was hit by a pitch early in the game and now has a right finger contusion, according to MLB.com. To be honest, I’m surprised the dugouts didn’t empty in this series because seven players were hit by pitches, and it seemed to me that there was some tit-for-tat play at work.

After Jose Altuve was drilled with a pitch, the Astros came right back and hit Buxton. Then the Twins came back and put Yordan Alvarez on the ground, followed by the Astros hitting Jose Miranda and Correa. Somehow cooler heads prevailed.

The win went to closer Jhoan Duran, but starter Simeon Woods Richardson continues to do his job; he just hasn’t much to show for his efforts. Richardson has four decisions in 15 starts and yet he gives the Twins five or six innings per start and has limited the damage to the tune of a 3.48 ERA.

A Twins starter has not been named for Monday’s game at Chicago.

Extra innings…

-Matt Wallner was back in the lineup on Sunday, filling in for the injured Austin Martin. He had a hit, which is encouraging, and hopefully he can stick around this time because he hit well at Triple-A St. Paul. Wallner slashed .259/.343/.544 with 19 home runs and 53 RBI.

-And now for something completely different…

I know of Garrison Keillor and I know of the show that made him famous, but I have never listened to it or read anything by him until now. My son and I visited the University of Minnesota bookstore, as we usually do when we’re here, and we stopped by the section on Minnesota authors, as we usually do, and this time I bought a Keillor memoir called “That Time of Year, a Minnesota Life.”

And it has been a nice surprise. I’m enjoying it so much that I put down the other book I was reading (and I’m not sure I’m going to go back to it) and now I’m inspired to read more by Keillor.

Being from Minnesota, there are, of course, a couple of moments (so far) when he mentions the Twins.

“I was living on the West Bank near Seven Corners, in a neighborhood of hippies and dissidents and musicians, everyone living in shifting romantic arrangements, and I hung out at the Mixers bar with cranky old lefties and would-be writers, men bitching about academia, the government, the decline of journalism, ripping into the manager of the Twins, the abject emptiness of corporate life, the deficits of famous writers.”

(This was the early 1960s, so I guess they were ripping into Manager Sam Mele).

Another passage about going to a Twins game at the Met with a friend.

“We bought steak sandwiches and a couple Grain Belts and sat in the second deck behind home, two birds on a wire. Out beyond right, Holsteins grazed in a pasture, and behind us in the press box sat Herb Carneal announcing play-by-play in his Virginia drawl to Minnesotans sitting on porches from here to Gull Lake as his cohort Halsey Hall puffed on a cigar and did commentary in a voice like gravel sliding down a washboard.”

-We fly home Monday. It was another fun visit to the Twin Cities.

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.