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The Hypothetical 2020 Twins Season, Part 6: Homer’s Odyssey

We are all going a little crazy without baseball. Especially Twins baseball. That is why Banter Lads has decided to have Jack Kewitsch take over the team as both the manager and general manager through Out of the Park (OOTP).

What a week! 6-0 and riding an eight-game win streak, the Twins may have played lesser opponents but wins are wins and we will take any we can get.

The upcoming series will be a different story though with the Mariners, Red Sox, and Dodgers all being on the schedule. But hopes are high and we are ready to rock.

Game 23: Minnesota Twins (13-9) vs.
Seattle Mariners (15-8)

Continuing to Feel it

Kenta Maeda started the game well, getting the first five batters out. But allowed an early run to give the Mariners the lead. 

Max Kepler led off the third with a single only for Willans Astudillo to hit into a double play. But speedster Byron Buxton bunted for a single and stole second and came home on a Luis Arraez single. Tie game.

That wouldn’t be the last of the offense for the inning either as Nelson Cruz got an infield hit and Miguel Sano singled to drive in Arraez. 

Then, with still two outs, Josh Donaldson blasted the 3-2 count over the left field wall for a 5-1 lead. 

The Mariners would get one back in the fourth but Kepler would blast a Bomba of his own to maintain the four-run cushion. 

Another run for Seattle in the fifth and I pulled Maeda after 5.1 in favor of Chris Martin who got the final two outs to hold the lead.

Martin and Framber Valdez would pitch a one hit seventh and Kepler, who looks to be coming out of his sub-.100 slump mashed his second homer of the game, this time to left center making it 7-3.

Valdez would get two out in the eighth but allowed two on off a walk and single so I brought in a fully rested Trevor Rosenthal with the intentions to get him a four out appearance to close the game.

He did just that and pushing our win streak to nine!

Final Score: Twins 7 – Mariners 3

Twins Record: 14-9

Buxton Steal Count: 20 (1st)
Bomba Counter: 35 (2nd)

Game 24: Minnesota Twins (14-9) vs.
Seattle Mariners (15-9)

Homers Against Homer

An throwing error by Adrianza began the game and the Mariners capitalized with Daniel Vogelbach crushing a ball to right for the lead. 

We’d get one back in the bottom of the first with the lefty-mashing Donaldson getting a double and Cruz batting him in.

Unfortunately, Homer Bailey keeps giving up homers and gave up his second and third two-run jacks in as many innings making it 6-1.

Seriously need someone to fleece in a trade.

Bailey would surprisingly still strikeout 13 over six. But Matt Wilser couldn’t keep the differential to five and gave up the Mariners fourth two-run homer of the game.

Buxton would get two more steals but timely hitting by the Mariners and untimely hitting by the Twins ends the winning streak at nine.

Final Score: Mariners 9 – Twins 2

Twins Record: 14-10

Buxton Steal Count: 22 (1st)

Game 25: Minnesota Twins (14-10) vs.
Seattle Mariners (16-9)

Hitting a Wall

The Mariners would again jump out to an early lead, although only with one run this time. Perfect for us to tie up in the second when Astudillo drove in Sano.

Kevin Pilar would break the tie in the fourth with a run-scoring double and Branden Bishop making it 3-1 on a ground out and they wouldn’t look back adding one more in the fifth and sixth to finish the game 5-1.

Randy Dobnak fell to two and two as the offensive production hit another wall for the second straight game.

Final Score: Mariners 5 – Twins 1

Twins Record: 14-11

Game 26: Minnesota Twins (14-11) vs.
Seattle Mariners (17-9)

Our Supposed Ace

The Lefty Mashers, as I’ve decided to call the group of Donaldson, Garver, Cruz, and Sano (like or not), were back! Cruz hit a two run bomb that hit the right field pole giving us the two run lead!

But Berrios couldn’t find his rhythm and allowed three runs across in the second. This game is stupid finicky. 

 We’d get it back off a Rosario double which drove in Polanco but that’s all we’d push across in the second. At least it’s tied.

Then, after Garver bloop single and a Cruz walk, Sano mashed it for a three run shot! 6-3 Twins.

Berrios likes to see me squirm, apparently, as he got two out in the fourth only to load the bases and give up two on a single. I thought this was the year you were taking the leap, Jose!

But god bless the Lefty Mashers. With one on, Donaldson hit his fifth Bomba of the year and 22 RBI to push the lead back to three. 

Berrios continued to make me writhe by giving up a two-run shot and make it one-run game again, this time with no one out. Then a game-tying triple with two out.

At 103 pitches through five, I had enough with our supposed ace and pulled him for Tyler Duffey. He made quick work of the Mariners in the sixth, striking out two and getting a fly out from another.

Buxton added another stolen base in the seventh and an infield single by Donaldson brought him home to break the tie. 

Taylor Rogers would pitch a perfect ninth for the save and get the team back in the win column.

Final Score: Twins 9 – Mariners 8

Twins Record: 15-11

Buxton Steal Count: 23 (1st)
Bomba Counter: 38 (tied-6th)

Game 27: Minnesota Twins (15-11) vs.
Boston Red Sox (16-11)

A Win’s a Win

The Sox would go up early in the third with a run, but a Buxton double would tie it up in the fifth.

It was a fairly bland game for those who like offense, especially after what we saw the club put together in 2019, but Buxton came through again in the seventh with an infield single to score Kepler and give us a 2-1 lead.

Rogers started giving me a headache trying to close out the ninth by putting runners on the corners, but was able to muster up enough for the final outs and start the series off with a win.

Bland game. But it’s a win.

Final Score: Twins 2 – Red Sox 1

Twins Record: 16-11

Game 28: Minnesota Twins (16-11) vs.
Boston Red Sox (16-12)

Max Kepler is One Thicc Bih

Kepler absolutely destroyed a ball to put us up early in the second hitting one out to right center that StatCast measured to be 443 feet.

Buxton helped the cause by drawing a walk and stealing both second and third and coming in on a Garver infield single to make it 2-0.

Then, Cruz mashed one to left and made it 4-0 against lefty Martin Perez. When will teams learn?

Maeda was back on the mound for this day game and his start didn’t disappoint starting perfect through four before allowing a hit and a run. He’d go a full eight innings and striking out 12 before walking off to a standing ovation from the home faithful.

We’d load the bases and Kepler hit another monster of a home run for a grand slam and his second of the day (eight of the year) and making it an 8-1 game in the seventh.

Then in the eighth, instead of bunting and stealing bases, Buxton rounded them with what has to be one of the longest of his career, 444 feet…to right center.

Final Score: Twins 9 – Red Sox 1

Twins Record: 17-11

Buxton Steal Count: 25 (1st)
Bomba Counter: 42 (6th)

Game 29: Minnesota Twins (17-11) vs.
Boston Red Sox (16-13)

Homer, I’m Not Angry. I’m Disappointed.

Welcome back to the Homer Bailey Clown Hour!

You seriously can’t make this up. After getting the first two batters out in the first, he gives up five straight runs with three coming off, you guessed it, a home run. 

Homer, Homer, Homer. What to do with you. It’s been five starts with no wins and three losses alongside a 8.24 ERA.

I seriously think it’s time to bring up a rookie and trade you for assets.

He’d only get through 1.1 innings before the pen had to cleanup his mess and the bats did nothing to get the team back into it outside of a Sano round-tripper.

Final Score: Red Sox 5 – Twins 1

Twins Record: 17-12

Buxton Steal Count: 26 (1st)
Bomba Counter: 43 (tied-6th with six teams)

Week Review and Lookahead:

A 4-3 week against quality opponents isn’t necessarily bad. But two ugly losses by Homer Bailey should leave a disgusting taste in your mouth. 

Thankfully, there’s only five games in the coming week with three off days. But we travel to the City of Angels and face off against the 20-8 Los Angeles Dodgers and 17-11 Angels. So definitely not a walk in the park.

Although we did decrease the gap between the Indians (20-11), it was only by half a game after being with in a half a game before losing to the Red Sox and the off days.

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