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The coldest games in Target Field history

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The Twins Home Opener today at Target Field is going to be a cold one, but will it even rank among these top bone-chillers?

Detroit Tigers v Minnesota Twins
Remember Opening Day 2013? That was a knee-slapper.
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Though it may still look like February outside your window if you live in the Twin Cities, spring is, in fact, here. The Twins are indeed set to play the Mariners today at 3:10 pm in their first game of the year at Target Field, yet much has been made about how cold it might be. As of now, it’s predicted to be around 37 F degrees at first pitch.

Just how cold is that? Using Baseball Reference, I was able to look up the coldest games played in Target Field history.

Here are the top ten to help give you some context for today’s game.

10. Rays at Twins, April 28th, 2011

Game Start Time: 12:10 pm

Temperature: 41 F degrees

Wind: 16 mph

Back in 2011, the Rays and the Twins had one hell of a miserable series at Target Field. This particular game was actually the first of a doubleheader, following a night game the day before that ended up even higher on this list. The game before that had to be postponed (hence the doubleheader). As you will soon learn, however, in the scheme of things, this game wasn’t that cold.

The Twins still sucked, though, and were swept in the series. In this particular game, Nick Blackburn was on the mound for the Twins, which might be all you need to know. True to his brand, he gave up seven runs (five earned) and was pulled after just 3.1 innings. The bullpen sucked too. Remember Jim Hoey? He gave up three runs. Jose Mijares? He gave up three runs too. Dusty Hughes? Another two runs. Matt Capps? He... somehow was the only pitcher in the game who didn’t give up any runs. Weird.

The Twins lost 15-3, and then had to play another game that night (which they lost).

9. Dodgers at Twins, May 1st, 2014

Game Start Time: 12:11 pm

Temperature: 40 F degrees

Wind: 13 mph

This game was also the first of a doubleheader, and the series went similarly as bad as the one above for the Twins. Mike Pelfrey was on the mound for our boys, and gave up five earned runs in 4.0 innings, bringing him to a 7.99 ERA on the year. These were dark times.

By the time the second half of this doubleheader rolled around, it wasn’t nearly as cold (that game didn’t even rank in the top 30 coldest games at Target Field). You may remember that game, though, because it was the one were Drew Butera hit a solo home run for the Dodgers in extra innings.

Like I said — dark times.

8. Rays at Twins, April 27th, 2011

Game Start Time: 7:10 pm

Temperature: 40 F degrees

Wind: 17 mph

Here’s the game that was played the night before number 10 on this list. It was the first truly cold game at Target Field. You may remember this one because it started snowing during the game, and the broadcast showed a bunch of guys in the stands proudly eating ice cream with no shirts on.

Francisco Liriano started for the Twins and gave up seven runs in the 3.0 innings. Interestingly, Wade Davis — as in, the now dominant closer Wade Davis — made the start for the Rays, and he only gave up two runs over 6.2 innings. Mijares and Hughes both pitched for the Twins for the second time that day (why?), and in the end the Twins lost 8-2. I guess... it could have been worse?

7. Marlins at Twins, April 23rd, 2013

Game Start Time: 1:11 pm

Temperature: 38 F degrees

Wind: 9 mph

Yet another first game of a doubleheader. The game scheduled for the night before had been snowed out, which I will always specifically remember because Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez (RIP) was so excited about it, as it was the first time he’d ever seen snow.

Fernandez, in fact, started this game for the Marlins, facing off against Kevin Correia. Somehow, Correia out-pitched the young Fernandez, lasting 7.0 innings in the frigid conditions while giving up only two earned runs. Fernandez, meanwhile, gave up four earned runs, including a three-run blast by Oswaldo Arcia . The Twins ended up winning 4-3.

For what it’s worth, the Twins did not win the second game of the doubleheader later that day, which just missed ranking on this list. That game was the 11th coldest in Target Field history.

6. Angels at Twins, April 15th, 2013

Game Start Time: 7:11 pm

Temperature: 38 F degrees

Wind: 16 mph

Looks like our friends from SoCal weren’t ready for this one, as the Twins mowed them down in a 8-2 victory. Both Trevor Plouffe and Joe Mauer (!) homered off Angels starter Joe Blanton, and Kevin Correia had another fine start, giving up only two runs over 7.0 innings.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Minnesota Twins
Josh Hamilton opted for the entire-sweatshirt-under-the-uniform look.
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

5. Blue Jays at Twins, April 15th, 2014

Game Start Time: 7:11 pm

Temperature: 35 F degrees

Wind: 1 mph

This one was part of perhaps the coldest series ever held at Target Field (which you’ll read more about below). Even besides the cold, this one was a bit of a downer for the Twins, as they ended up losing 9-3. Hughes looked good through five innings, but hit an absolute wall in the 6th, giving up four earned runs and failing to get anyone out before getting pulled. Trevor Plouffe did manage a two-run home run in the bottom of the 9th inning, but it was too little, too late.

Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins
Melky Cabrera was cold.
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Somehow this game had an announced crowd of 21,818, and more than expected actually showed up to watch. Maybe it was all the Canadians who came down from Manitoba?

4. Mets at Twins, April 13th, 2013

Game Start Time: 3:11 pm

Temperature: 35 F degrees

Wind: 12 mph

New York Mets v Minnesota Twins
David Wright enjoying the weather at Target Field.
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Sadly, the coldness wasn’t as embarrassing as the Twins lineup. Matt Harvey completely shut them down, allowing only two hits and one earned run over 8.0 innings. That one earned run? A solo song by Justin Morneau (he’s Canadian — he could handle it).

3. Detroit at Twins, April 1st, 2013

Game Start Time: 3:17 pm

Temperature: 35 F degrees

Wind: 17 mph

After enjoying relatively mild early Aprils in 2010, 2011, and 2012, MLB finally decided to give Minnesota it’s first, true Opening Day at Target Field. In hilarious fashion, it ended up being cold as absolute balls.

The wind chill factor at first pitch for this game was 24.8 F degrees.

The Tigers had their ace Justin Verlander on the mound, so unsurprisingly, the Twins lost. Their Opening Day pitcher, uh, Vance Worley, couldn’t exactly keep up. (Man, how sad was this game for Twins fans?)

2. Mets at Twins, April 12th, 2013

Game Start Time: 7:11 pm

Temperature: 34 F degrees

Wind: 7 mph

Man, 2013 was some kind of year, wasn’t it? By this point the Twins were so bad and it was so cold, the team had to entice fans to the park by offering free hot chocolate and coffee. It seemed to work, as the announced crowd for this game was 23,735, and a lot of those people did, in fact, show up. Even a snowman!

It was also a little unfortunate all those fans showed up, though, because Twins starter Vance Worley gave up nine runs (even earned) in the first inning and didn’t make it any further than that. The Mets ended up walloping the hometown team 16-5.

1. Blue Jays at Twins, April 17th, 2014

Game Start Time: 12:11 pm

Temperature: 31 F degrees

Wind: 11 mph

Here it is — the coldest game in Target Field history. This one was also the first game of a doubleheader, which was pretty cold overall (the second game ranked as the 13th coldest, and that’s only at start time). Piles of snow greeted fans as they walked into the stadium.

The announced crowd for this game was 20,507, but it’s a safe bet to say many decided to skip the game, as this is what it looked like at first pitch:

And it didn’t get any better...

It’s a shame, because for once in one of these cold-ass doubleheaders, the Twins did pretty well! Kyle Gibson let his inner Minnesotan out, pitching 8.0 scoreless innings to lead the Twins to a 7-0 victory. Trevor Ploufe and Josmil Pinto each knocked in two runs, with Chris Colabello, Jason Kubel, and Kurt Suzuki each contributed with one RBI.

Man, it was a cold one, though.


So, Twins fans, where do you think today’s Home Opener will end up ranking?