September 7, 2023

The lead is still 6 games, Twins fans. Will it be enough?

The Twins lost 2-1 on Wednesday to the Cleveland Guardians, but no matter because the Twins won the series over their nearest rival and played well during a key stretch of games to maintain a healthy lead in the AL Central.

After the Twins were swept by the Milwaukee Brewers in a short, two-game series last month, they faced games against the Rangers, Cleveland, the Rangers again and three more games against the Guards. The good news is that the Twins won three of those four series and now stand six games clear of the Guardians.

Will it be enough to win the division with 22 games left in the season? I think it will be enough. The Twins have upcoming games against the New York Mets and Tampa Bay Rays, but both series are at home where the Twins are 40-29. They also have to travel to Ohio to play the Reds, but the remainder of their schedule sees them play some of the worst teams in baseball: the Chicago White Sox, the mysteriously bad Los Angeles Angels and finally the Oakland A’s and Colorado Rockies.

The Guardians finish the season against the Angels, Giants, Rangers, Royals, Orioles, Reds and Tigers.

Dallas Keuchel gets the ball Friday against the Mets.

Extra innings …

-Starter Joe Ryan took the loss on Wednesday even though he allowed only two runs over four innings. But that was the problem: He lasted only four innings because he tossed 89 pitches.

He was followed by rookie pitcher Louie Varland, who seems to have adjusted well to the new pitch clock. Varland worked quickly and efficiently, allowing just a hit over three innings on 43 pitches, 30 of them landing for strikes.

-Although the Twins won this most recent series against the Guardians, they lost the season series to the Guards, 7-6. That means if the two teams are tied atop the division at the end of the season, it goes to the Guards because under a recent rule change the one-game playoff was eliminated.

-On Sept. 6, 1964, the Twins had one hit in their 2-1 win over the Boston Red Sox, but that one hit was a two-run home run delivered by infielder Zoilo Versalles, the 1965 AL MVP.

The Minneapolis Morning Tribune lede:

“Zippy Zoilo Versalles of the Twins broke up his second no-hitter in five days Sunday to sink Boston 2-1 with a two-run homer in the sixth inning at Metropolitan Stadium.”

The Boston Globe lede:

“Bill Monbouquette of the Red Sox pitched a one-hit game against Minnesota Sunday and lost 2 to 1.”

Advantage: Tribune.


September 5, 2023

The lead is 6 games after Twins gash Guards 20-6

The Twins unloaded on the Cleveland Guardians in Game 1 of a key three-game series Monday night, scoring nine runs on Guards starter Lucas Giolito, then hammering those who followed him for 11 more runs to bury the team from northeast Ohio by a score of 20-6. It should be noted that seven of those... Continue Reading »

September 4, 2023

Twins lose, Guardians lose. The lead is still 5 games

The Twins were walked off by the Texas Rangers and the Cleveland Guardians lost to the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday, so the Twins’ lead in the AL Central remains unchanged at five games. And now the two teams will meet over the next three days, making it perhaps the most important series of the... Continue Reading »

September 3, 2023

The lead still stands at 5 games, Twins fans

The Twins continue to keep pace with the Cleveland Guardians. The Guards have won back to back games over the Tampa Bay Rays, while the Twins have done the same, getting a 5-1 victory over the Texas Rangers on Friday and a 10-inning 9-7 win on Saturday. Two big innings helped the Twins on Saturday.... Continue Reading »

August 31, 2023

Twins not out of the woods yet as lead slips to 5 games

The Twins were one strike away from claiming a 2-1 win over the Cleveland Guardians on Wednesday. Instead, closer Jhoan Duran threw a wild pitch, the runner on third scored to tie the game, and then in extra innings, reliever Kody Funderburk, who made his major league debut in this series, served up a three-run... Continue Reading »

August 30, 2023

Twins fall to earth, lose to Guardians 4-2

After back to back wins and back to back grand slams, the offense took the night off and the Twins lost to the Cleveland Guardians, 4-2, on Tuesday. However, the Twins’ Royce Lewis, he of the two grand slams, hit a solo shot to make it three home runs in as many games, and Michael... Continue Reading »

August 28, 2023

Job No. 1 accomplished as Twins take series from Texas

The Twins bounced back with authority following the sweep in Milwaukee by taking three of four games from the Texas Rangers, one of the best teams in the American League, including Sunday’s 7-6 win in 13 innings. It wasn’t always pretty — both teams were a combined 4-for-34 with runners in scoring position and stranded... Continue Reading »

August 24, 2023

Twins swept by Brewers. Here comes Texas, folks

A key error, an infield hit and that was all the Milwaukee Brewers needed in the end to walk-off the Twins in extra innings 8-7 and sweep the two-game series. The Cleveland Guardians were idle on Wednesday because their game against the Dodgers was suspended because of rain. It is now set to resume Thursday... Continue Reading »

August 23, 2023

Buckle up, Twins fans. It just got real

The Twins’ first step during an important stretch of games was a complete face plant on Tuesday as the Milwaukee Brewers jumped all over reliever Dylan Floro and cruised to an easy 7-3 win. Making matters much worse, the Cleveland Guardians, who have struggled all season long, clobbered the Los Angeles Dodgers, one of the... Continue Reading »

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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.