Just when you thought the disappointing play of the 2021 Minnesota Twins couldn’t get any worse, it did Monday after the Twins hit rock bottom, losing 16-4 at home to the Chicago White Sox.
Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa, 10 years removed from the game, returned this season to manage the South Siders. During the offseason, he probably heard, as many of us did, that the Twins, back-to-back AL Central champs, would be the team to beat this season.
After Monday’s loss, I can only imagine that La Russa is thinking, “This is our competition?” Yes, at the moment, I find it hard to believe, too.
The Twins looked completely overmatched on Monday. The White Sox scored their 16 runs on 18 hits, including three home runs (one of which was a grand slam), five doubles and one triple. Wow.
Twins starter J.A. Happ lasted all of three-plus innings, allowing six runs, all earned, on seven hits. He’s now 2-2 with a 5.35 ERA on the season.
The Twins try again on Tuesday. Michael Pineda gets the ball.
-The Twins are now 13-26.
-Based on the recent play of pitchers Happ and Matt Shoemaker, I can’t imagine that either has a longterm role with the Twins. And with Kenta Maeda dealing with a possible injury, that leaves the Twins with a rotation of Pineda, Jose Berrios and… who do they turn to now?
-Something positive: Fill-in center fielder, Rob Refsnyder, had a 4-for-4 day at the plate, Josh Donaldson mashed his fifth home run of the season and ex-Beaver, Trevor Larnach, smacked another double off the right field wall.
-Bad blood: Position player, Willians Astudillo, was finally called on to pitch the ninth for the Twins. He worked a 3-0 count to White Sox designated hitter, Yermin Mercedes, and then Mercedes broke one of baseball’s unwritten rules. On a 3-0 count, hitters typically wait to see if they’ll be walked. Instead, Mercedes hit Astudillo’s next offering into the stands. Here’s another unwritten rule: payback. Someone in the White Sox lineup is going to get hit with the ball on Tuesday.
-And then there was this…
This is tied for the fifth-worst start to a season in #MNTwins history after 39 games.
29 losses — 2016
28 losses — 1995
27 losses — 2011
27 losses — 1982
26 losses — 2021
Those other four teams finished with 103, 88, 99 and 102 losses. And the 1995 season was strike-shortened.
— Aaron Gleeman (@AaronGleeman) May 18, 2021