Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.

Postgame(s): Twins are walking into history

Posted by: Phil Miller under MLB Updated: April 18, 2014 - 12:02 AM

    Three thoughts about what we saw during a cold, 12-hour day at the ballpark:

    KEEP ON WALKING: It's been 18 years, almost to the day, since a team has drawn eight walks in one inning. And while that strange inning had more to do with Jays' relievers than Twins' hitters, it definitely continues a trend. Minnesota drew five walks in the first game, and a whopping 12 in the second game, easily propelling them to the AL lead once more. The Twins began the day third in the major leagues in on-base percentage, and I wouldn't be surprised, after 18 hits and 17 walks, if they're now on top. All the extra baserunners are the primary reason that the Twins are scoring a phenomenal number of runs; 16 more in today's doubleheader means they now average 5.73 runs per game -- heady stuff after scoring 3.80 last year. The Twins are on pace to score 928 runs this year, which would only crush their previous record (877 in 1996) by a whopping 51 runs. And their 886-walk pace (obviously juiced by the big night)? That would be a major-league record.

    WALKING INTO TRIVIA: Not since 2006 had the Twins been awarded so many free bases, and that's a story, too: On Aug. 4, 2005, the Royals walked 12 Twins, and the very next day, they walked 14! And you have to go back to 1996 to find another dozen-walk game for the Twins. The franchise record, though, was set in 1969, when the Seattle Pilots walked 18 Twins in an 18-inning game, an 11-7 win on July 19.  That game was also notable as the only start Jim Bouton (who walked only two) ever made for the Pilots; Bouton immortalized that season and that Pilots team in his classic book, Ball Four.

    HE'S A RUNNER, TOO? Chris Colabello has been the Twins' best hitter all season, and going 5-for-7 in the doubleheader raised his average to .357. But the beefy first baseman shocked the small crowd in the second game by getting thrown out trying to steal second base. I figured it was a missed sign by Josmil Pinto, who was at the plate, but Colabello said he used to steal a dozen or so bases a year in independent ball, and he was inspired by Joe Mauer's stolen base earlier this week. So he waited until Pinto had two strikes, then tried a delayed steal, figuring the Blue Jays would never expect it. "I thought I could catch them off guard," he said with a shrug. "I thought we had a chance, but they made a tough play." Colabello is now 0-for-2 in his career.

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