Now it is time to look at the pitchers. Who have been the toughest starting pitchers that the Twins have faced over the last 57 seasons. The criteria just to make this list is very high, pitchers have had to start at least 25 games and pitched 150 innings during their career against the Minnesota Twins between 1961 and 2017 just to show up on this list.
First we are going to look at the right-handed starters and 30 pitchers make the list. Who is the best right-hander that has pitched against the Twins over the years? It is an almost impossible task but I am going to go with Jim Palmer and here is my reasoning.
I have to admit, if not for all the chatter surrounding Roger Clemens about his cheating I would probably have selected him as the guy, but right or wrong I am disqualifying him in my mind as a cheat. Don’t forget that I also consider Hank Aaron as the legitimate home run champion. The starter that I am going with as the best right-handed starter as the Twins is Hall of Famer Jim Palmer.
Palmer started 39 games against Minnesota, all with the Baltimore Orioles colors on his back and put up a 20-10 record with an 2.64 ERA with 14 complete games and four shutouts. In 280 innings pitched he struck out 161 batters and allowed just 238 hits.
Check out the list of right-handed starters below and tell me who you would pick as the top guy if you don’t agree with my selection. It is not an easy pick at all.
Now we are going to pick a left-handed starter, a southpaw as they say. You will see on this list that they were not all soft tossers. Mark Buehrle made 52 career starts against the Minnesota Twins and put up a 30-19 record against the team that had pretty fair success against the Mighty Whitey’s. But the lefty I am going with as the best starter against Minnesota is from those hated New York Yankees, the man they called “Boomer”.
In my mind David Wells just beat out “Louisiana Lighthning” Ron Guidry. Wells had 25 starts against Minny and he threw 178 innings allowing 153 hits and just 27 walks. Wells pitched a perfect game while being hung-over against the Twins and put up an 18-4 record with a sparkling 2.48 ERA and he shutout Minnesota three times. The nomad Wells pitched for 21 seasons and nine different teams and I bet you didn’t know he won 239 big league games. The guy was easy to dislike but he was money in the bank when he faced our Twins.
So now you have my thoughts on the toughest starters to face the Minnesota Twins since 1961. So who do you think were the top right and left-handed Aces?
Our previous selections for the Twins all-opponent team
Catcher – Ivan Rodriguez
First Baseman – Paul Konerko
Second Baseman – Lou Whitaker
Third Baseman – Wade Boggs
Shortstop – Cal Ripken
Left Field – Jim Rice
Center Field – Fred Lynn
Right Field – Magglio Ordonez
DH – Edgar Martinez