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The Hypothetical 2020 Twins Series, Part 8: Early Returns and Common Pitfalls

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).

With a new starting pitcher and a great week behind us, it’s time to get back to work at home!


Game 35: Minnesota Twins (21-13) vs.
San Francisco Giants (19-15)

Stymied

Berrios was on the mound to start the beautiful late spring evening. He immediately got Billy Hamilton to fly out to Buxton who made a diving catch. But he appeared to injure his leg on the play! 

The diagnosis was pending so we had to bring in Jake Cave at right and moved Kepler to center. Please lord have mercy on. Buxton’s fragile body. 

Berrios struggled, allowing two to score in the second after loading the base and another in the sixth off a passed ball. 

Wisler would allow another in the seventh to make it 4-0 and the bats continued to be stymied by Trevor Cahill. 

Rosario and Polanco would hit back-to-back homers to make it a two-score game in the bottom of the inning but nothing more.

Final Score: Giants 4 – Twins 2

Twins Record: 21-14

Bomba Counter: 58 (tied-2nd)


Game 36: Minnesota Twins (21-14) vs.
San Francisco Giants (20-15)

The Lefty Mash

Decent news from the injury front. Buxton is day-to-day with a sore elbow for two to three weeks. I’m no doctor, but I don’t know how you go from injuring your leg to your elbow. It’s not ideal, but I’m in the best position to put him on the IL just yet.

The game started off on a better note this evening with the Lefty Mashers coming through early with Garver saucing up a two-run homerun to left. It wasn’t just the righties having fun either. With one out, we loaded the bases and Drew Smyly walked one in. 

Walks will haunt!

Then Buxton came through with a two-run double of his own! Injury be damned. Knocking the frowning Smyly off the mound. Yet Donaldson continued the barrage and hit a three-run shot of his own. It was 8-0 before the Giants recorded the inning’s final out, but 12 men batted, and we were rocking.

The Giants would knock three in over the course of the next few innings and Cruz would extend his hitting streak to 22 games, but Dobnak would get into some trouble in the fifth by loading them up. So, I pulled him for Littell who finished the inning cleanly.

Four more runs for the Twins would score in the seventh and another in the eighth along with a pair for the Giants, but a 13-5 final was too much for them to overcome.

Final Score: Twins 13 – Giants 5

Twins Record: 22-14

Buxton Steal Count: 29 (1st)
Bomba Counter: 61 (2nd)


Game 37: Minnesota Twins (22-14) vs.
San Francisco Giants (20-16)

Cuteo Dials It In

It was a scoreless affair through four and both Maeda and Cueto were cruising on the mound. But Maeda struggled massively in the fourth giving up five runs off an error, a two-run homer, and a couple of extra base hits. His day was over.

We’d hold them scoreless the rest of the way and tried to climb back off homeruns by Adrianza and Rosario along with a run-scoring double from Arraez, but we couldn’t muster enough to counteract the five-run fifth. 

Final Score: Giants 5 – Twins 3

Twins Record: 22-15

Bomba Counter: 63 (tied-1st


Game 38: Minnesota Twins (22-15) vs.
Kansas City Royals (16-21)

Onomatopoeia!

Bang! Vroom! Those were the sounds Buxton made to start the game. With a 1-2 count, he looked to have just enough height to have the ball clear the fence. But it wouldn’t matter. He raced around the base paths like a bat out of hell and beat the throw home for an inside the park homerun.

Sano would follow him up two batters later with a two-run shot after Arraez reached base and advanced to second on an error.

Odorizzi would strike out he side in the second and we would add another to make it 4-0, but with one out in the third, Odo appeared to have injured his throwing shoulder and had to be subbed. Thankfully, it just looks like a minor strain and he will be able to make his next start.

Donaldson would get in on the Bomba fun himself with a leadoff solo-shot in the fourth and Buxton notched his 30thand 31st stolen base of the year in the fifth with the latter causing an overthrow and bringing him home. 6-0 Twins.

The Royals were determined to make it interesting, however, as they launched a homer for three runs in the sixth. It may have been determination, or it may have been my abuse of Matt Wisler to get us some long relief.

It didn’t matter though, as we added another run in the eighth on a Cruz solo shot and Chris Martin came in and got the save.

Final Score: Twins 7 – Royals 3

Twins Record: 23-15

Buxton Steal Count: 31 (1st)
Bomba Counter: 67 (tied-1st)


Game 39: Minnesota Twins (23-15) vs.
Kansas City Royals (16-22)

Early Returns are Looking Good

A wonderful day for baseball and a wonderful start for newcomer Jeff Samardzija. Through five, he struck out six and only allowed one run to begin the game while the Twins took a two-run lead in the second and added a third when Willans Astudillo hit his first bomb of the year to make it 3-0.

The Bomba Squad/Lefty Masher combo continued to rake too as Donaldson crushed one 424 feet to left for another two, his eighth on the year.

Buxton would single and get his 33rd and 34th swipes in the sixth allowing Astudillo to continue his great game with a double making it 6-1. After loading the bases with only one out still in the sixth, Cruz snuck a single through the left side of the infield and brought in two to increase his hitting streak to 25 games.

Two more were plated in the eighth on Arraez’s single and Buxton nearly hit a homerun but settled for a triple to clear the bases. 

After eight innings of two-run ball, and no homers mind you, Samardzija came off to a raucous crowd and Valdez faced the minimum to secure at least a series win.

Final Score: Twins 12 – Royals 2

Twins Record: 24-15

Buxton Steal Count: 34 (1st)
Bomba Counter: 69 (tied-1st)


Game 40: Minnesota Twins (24-15) vs.
Kansas City Royals (16-23)

Going Down with a Whimper

I really do not have much to say about this game. It was scoreless through five until Berrios gave up a couple of runs and Romo another in the ninth and all we could put together was one. 

Much excitement…

Final Score: Royals 3 – Twins 1

Twins Record: 24-16


Week Review and Lookahead:

While we should have won the series against San Francisco and swept the Royals, this week was a downer. Going .500 against these opponents are the games we need to push on the pedal to regain the Central lead and hopefully put space between us and the field. 

We have a jam-packed week coming up with a four-game set in Detroit before a massive series in Cleveland. 

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