Patrick Reusse
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The Twins went 7-13 over the first 20-game segment of this season and batted .195 as a team. The Twins went 17-3 over the second 20-game segment and batted .284.

The Twins started the third such segment with a three-game home series against the New York Yankees, and that might have provided a strong hint as to which of those prior 20-gamers was closer to reality.

One season ago, the Twins reversed their futile ways against the Yankees, winning the season series 4-3. It was the first time our feisty fellas had won a season series vs. New York since 2001.

There was also the matter of the Yankees posting a 16-2 record in six postseason matchups from 2003 to 2019.

Facing a rotation this week of hittable Carlos Rodón, walkable Marcus Stroman and suddenly superb Clarke Schmidt, the Twins reverted to form, and you can take that as a reference to the team's history against the Yankees, or to that feeble First 20 of 2024.

The Twins started this series with Ryan Jeffers pounding his first-ever game-opening home run on Tuesday vs. Rodon. And they then went 26 innings without a run.

That scoreless streak is tied for fifth in team history, although the record of 34 innings overlapped the 2014 and 2015 seasons. The record during one season is 29 scoreless (1964 and 1978), and the Twins will get a shot at breaking that on Friday night at Cleveland vs. Triston McKenzie.

The Twins had three hits Thursday, a 5-0 loss, and were 14 for 97 in the series (.144). They had 20 total bases in three games, allowing them to beat out Aaron Judge (15).

In total, the Twins were outscored 14-1 by the Yankees, and also got outscored this week by our PWHL team 3-1 (in two games) and 2-1 by the Loons (in one match).

You want more? Jeffers' home run came on the second pitch faced by the Twins in the series. The Yankees threw another 378 without yielding a run.

The helpless hitting for three games did overshadow some outfield play that made a well-worn baseball writer nostalgic for those golden days when wondrous Willie Norwood and the legendary Disco Dan Ford had their adventures on the greenery of Met Stadium.

Byron Buxton's latest absence and Willi Castro's ability to hit has had him in center field regularly. On the previous homestand, Willi took a bad route on a ball that cost the Twins a couple of runs.

Things got worse when the Twins came back for this three-game stay Tuesday. Even before Jeffers' home run, Castro failed to find a routine fly in the early evening sun. This was followed by a nonchalant toss back to the infield that allowed Juan Soto to reach second.

Soto didn't score, but later Castro had another flawed route that turned into a two-run double.

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Then came Wednesday. Castro came in for a fly ball in medium-center, caught it and kept running.

Except there was one out. The Yankees got a free run. As major crimes go in baseball, not knowing the number of outs is high on the list.

Manager Rocco Baldelli did not publicly take him apart for this. What he did do was put Manuel Margot in center and move Castro to third base on Thursday.

A former Twins player from the Tom Kelly Era was asked what Kelly would've said to a player who had a blunder one night and then compounded that effort the next.

"I don't think TK would've said anything," said this player. "But he probably wouldn't have been out there the next inning."

Castro's absence in center did not solve the outfielding mishaps. Slump-ridden Alex Kirilloff was in left. He got to a drive near the wall in left-center in the second inning, had his glove turned awkwardly, and out came the baseball. Gleyber Torres was generously credited with an RBI double that made it 2-0.

Kirilloff has a greater problem than substandard outfield play. He's now in a 2-for-36 nosedive at the plate.

The Twins plan to add Buxton as an outfielder Saturday. The anticipated move would be sending rookie Austin Martin back to St. Paul, although he might be of more value than Kirilloff at the moment: Martin can play anywhere in the outfield, and with indications he will stay on top of the number of outs.