Rocco Baldelli Hates Facing ‘Openers’… but Minnesota Twins Win Again Anyway

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Minnesota Twins
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Twins won their 12th straight game on Saturday afternoon at Target Field, a 3-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox. It’s the first time since… wait for it… 1991 that the Twins have won 12 straight games in a season.

A win on getaway day, Sunday, would give them their fourth straight series sweep. After a brutal start to their season, it’s an unbelievable bounce back that absolutely nobody saw coming. And guess what, baseball fans around the state are suddenly buying back into the Minnesota Twins in droves.

Minnesota Twins are fun when they’re winning…

Tight owners, impossible to find TV broadcasts be damned. If you win, the people will find a way to tune in. Target Field was a fun atmosphere today.

Related: Twins’ Trade Haul for Luis Arraez Looks Even Better After Marlins Gave Him Away to Padres

Pablo Lopez threw six full innings of one-run baseball (5 H, 8 K), before handing things over to a bullpen that pitched well yet again. Offensively, it was Max Kepler who stepped up yet again, going 2-for-4 with a homer (above) that gave the Twins a lead they never gave back. Willi Castro had a huge game too, going 2-for-4 with a run scored. Castro’s batting average is up to .290 on the season (.820 OPS).

Rocco Baldelli hates facing openers…

But before the game got started, the Twins’ manager didn’t appear very confident that the his team’s winning streak would continue. Mostly due to, Rocco Baldelli explained to reporters, Boston throwing an opener out on the mound.

Rocco then went on to make it very clear how much he really dislikes managing in baseball games where either team is using an “opener” starting pitcher (opensers only pitch one or two innings).

“If if you are playing a game against the team that’s using an opener and then you know six or seven relievers no matter how you spin it the other team will have the matchup advantage over you most of the game we can do our best to minimize that and to combat it but there’s almost no way to fully combat it.”

“I don’t think anyone wakes up in the morning excited to manage or coach or play against an opener and seven different relievers coming at them. I’ll tell you this it keeps you busy it definitely keeps you working and there’s not really any part of the game where you’re just able to sit there and kind of prepare for what’s coming next because it’s kind of like bam bam bam. There’s something going on from the very start. After the first three hitters, of the game, you have to be prepared for almost anything.”

Rocco Baldelli on the Minnesota Twins facing an opener starting pitcher

Whatever Rocco and the Twins did on Saturday, to combat his opener phobia, they did a damn good job. Now… can they move the streak to 13 wins tomorrow in their final game of this series vs the Red Sox?

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