August 16, 2021

Here come the second-half Twins. Just like Kevin Tapani

The Twins recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of the team that won the 1991 World Series, including bringing former players to Target Field. Among them: Twins pitcher Kevin Tapani, who went 16-9 that season with a 2.99 ERA. Tapani started the 1991 season at 2-6 before going 14-3 to finish it, according to Baseball-Reference.com.

The Twins, like Tapani, have mostly played better baseball after the all-star break than before it, (according to my research, anyway) and once again we are seeing a Twins team that appears to be finding its true form, including their 5-4 walkoff win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday.

Sunday’s win marks the third straight series win for the Twins over Houston, Chicago and now Tampa, all first-place clubs. Up next, Cleveland comes to Target Field, which should be another series win for the Twins, or possibly even a sweep. Then, whether the Twins have truly improved will be put to the test: they play the Yankees, Red Sox and Brewers.

Griffin Jax gets the ball Monday.

Extra innings…

-In the bottom of the ninth on Sunday, Max Kepler hit a leadoff double and advanced to third base on an error, then Jorge Polanco hit a deep sacrifice fly to win the game, 5-4.

-Twins starter Charlie Barnes allowed only a run over five innings, but he didn’t figure in the decision. The win went to closer Alex Colome, who improved to 3-4 on the season.

-The Twins scored five runs on four hits. How is that possible? Tampa pitching issued nine base on balls, including five by Rays starter Luis Patino. There’s your ballgame.

-Not only did Tapani finish the 1991 season strong, he also pitched a career low in walks, issuing 40 base on balls over 244 innings, or 1.5 walks per nine innings.

-On Aug. 15, 1993, the Twins’ Kirby Puckett, as he did so many times over his career, had himself a day against the Oakland A’s. Puckett went 5-for-5 at the plate, hitting two home runs, scoring two runs and driving in four more to beat the A’s 12-5. Despite the win, it was a long season, the Twins finishing in fifth place in the old AL West division at 71-91. It was a lost decade for the Twins after the 1991-92 seasons. They wouldn’t have a winning record again until 2000.

August 15, 2021

Twins, Tampa trade blowout victories

The Twins had one of their biggest blowout wins of the season on Saturday, a 12-0 defeat of the Tampa Bay Rays that makes up for the Twins’ 10-4 loss on Friday. The Twins scored the 12 runs on 16 hits, eight of them extra-base hits, including home runs from Max Kepler, Luis Arraez, Brent... Continue Reading »

August 12, 2021

Well, what do you know? Twins get series win over White Sox

The one team that has had the Twins’ number all season? The Chicago White Sox. But this time the Twins turned the tables on them and won two of three games, including Wednesday’s 1-0 victory. And two young pitchers are beginning to make a difference for the Twins. Griffin Jax struck out 10 on Tuesday... Continue Reading »

August 11, 2021

Jax, Twins bounce back with 4-3 win after Monday’s disaster

Rookie pitcher Griffin Jax made a quality start with 10 strikeouts, Willians Astudillo hit a two-run home run and the Twins went on to beat the Chicago White Sox 4-3 Tuesday. The win would’ve been even better had the Twins trounced Chicago, but a win is a win and anything helps to ease the sting... Continue Reading »

August 9, 2021

Wow. Twins get series win over AL West-leading Houston Astros

I disappeared for a few days after I saw the Houston Astros on the schedule. They hit and pitch well, they are 20 games over .500 and they have had mostly success against the Twins, including in the postseason, of late. So, I ignored the internet and TV, thinking the Astros would make quick work... Continue Reading »

August 4, 2021

3-run dingers power Twins to come from behind win

Mitch Garver hit a three-run homer, Jorge Polanco did the same in the ninth and that was pretty much all the Twins needed to rally from a 5-4 deficit to a 7-5 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday. Reliever Alex Colome walked a tightrope in the bottom of the ninth, allowing a hit and... Continue Reading »

August 2, 2021

Ex-Twin Berrios wins his Toronto debut (and the Twins lose)

Former Twins pitcher Jose Berrios won his Toronto Blue Jays debut on Sunday, quickly improving to 8-5 on the season after he pitched six shutout innings with one walk and seven strikeouts to beat the Kansas City Royals, 5-1. He also lowered his earned run average to 3.31 and assisted in a double play to... Continue Reading »

July 31, 2021

Twins trade Jose Berrios, Happ and others on busy deadline day

It wasn’t a rebuild, but the Twins certainly retooled — to borrow a word from president of baseball operations, Derek Falvey — sending a handful of players to other teams on Friday, including a bit of a shocker: Right-handed pitcher, Jose Berrios, the homegrown Twin who compiled a record of 55-43 with a 4.08 ERA... Continue Reading »

July 29, 2021

Hit all the home runs you want, but it means very little if you can’t stop the other team

In the end, it always comes down to good pitching. And the Twins simply do not have enough of it. Despite hitting seven home runs, including another grand slam, and rallying from a 10-0 deficit, Twins pitching couldn’t shut the door on the Detroit Tigers who went on to win 17-14, taking two of three... 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.