The Twins didn’t experience a bullpen implosion Monday. No one was injured. No one made a baserunning mistake to turn manager Paul Molitor’s hair even more gray.
That’s because they didn’t play, as their game with Orioles at Target Field was rained out. It will be made up on July 28, when the teams have a common day off. It was the Twins’ first rainout of the season.
The postponement seemed to be just what the Twins needed following a 1-5 road trip. But third baseman Trevor Plouffe disagreed, explaining that his team needs games to play and no mental breaks.
“We owe a lot of teams some whuppins, and the Orioles are one of them,” Plouffe said. “So we are hoping we can do that. We were excited to play [Monday] and get started with that but we have to wait.”
Molitor hoped the game would be played, too.
“I like to play when we are supposed to play,” he said. “That’s more than losing a home game at this point of the season.”
The problems this season began when it opened last month in Baltimore, where the Twins arrived after a successful spring training but were swept in three games, then lost six more to start 0-9. Now at 8-23 following another five-game losing streak, the Twins are trying to pick themselves off the mat.
So they will resume the series Tuesday, when rookie Jose Berrios starts for the Twins against Baltimore’s Kevin Gausman. Tyler Wilson was scheduled to start for the Orioles on Monday but will be pushed to Wednesday, when he will face the Twins’ Phil Hughes.
The extra day surely helped the Twins’ injured players. Plouffe just returned from the 15-day disabled list because of a right intercostal strain, but he grimaced in his first game back Friday and a couple of other times on the field during the series against the White Sox in Chicago as he worked through lingering discomfort.
“Maybe he will make it through his second at-bat,” Molitor deadpanned. “I like to get on him.”
Second baseman Brian Dozier missed all three starts in Chicago because of a strained right hamstring. Catcher Kurt Suzuki took a foul ball off the facemask Saturday, suffering whiplash, and didn’t start Sunday.
Plouffe, Dozier and Suzuki were all in the starting lineup Monday — all hands on deck during this latest crisis — so another day off isn’t going to hurt.
“In that regard,” Plouffe said, “I think it’s good.”
Dozier definitely is not 100 percent but said he believes he can be productive without aggravating his injury.
“I told Mollie and he knows it,” Dozier said. “He’s helped me out a lot with this, bouncing ideas off of him with the hamstring injuries that he’s had. I told him I’m good enough to play.”
Dozier worked out Monday, performing drills that require the explosiveness that puts the most stress on the muscle.
“Everything felt great,” he said. “At the same time, I’m going to be smart.”
Molitor was cautious about putting Dozier in the lineup but felt better about it after Dozier got through the pregame workout. “So we talked about intelligence and playing under control,” Molitor said.
There is rain in the forecast Tuesday and Wednesday, but Molitor was optimistic that Tuesday’s rain would be gone in time to play the game.
“Hopefully, this will help everyone in the long run,” he said. “Hopefully.”