Cleveland 5, Twins 2: Encarnaci-Owned
Image courtesy of Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY SportsCleveland 5, Twins 2
Win Expectancy (via Fangraphs)
You can’t help but wonder if this game may have ended differently if the Twins just pitched around Edwin Encarnacion. They mostly avoided challenging him this series, but apparently Gibson getting him swinging on strikes in the first inning eased their concerns.
Here’s what Edwin did in his second at bat:
And here’s what he did in his third:
Images via Yahoo Sports
Encarnacion kept inflicting damage from there, adding an RBI single in his fourth PA then an insurance run on a sacrifice fly in the ninth.
Outside of the two homers he gave up to Encarnacion, Gibson actually pitched pretty well. He even got himself out of trouble on a couple of occasions, surrendering just the three runs over six innings.
The offense was held in check until they broke through for a pair of runs in the seventh inning. Cleveland tallied double-digit hits in each game of the series, while the Twins failed to hit that mark in any of the four games. In all, Cleveland outhit the Twins 46-21 on the weekend.
By the end of this one it seemed the umpiring crew was ready to just call it a weekend. Eduardo Escobar was called out on a very questionable strike three for the second out of the ninth inning (see below). The final out of the game was challenged by the Twins, and it appeared Eddie Rosario beat Andrew Miller to first base, but the call was not overturned.
The called third strike is that orange dot you see over there way, way outside the strike zone.
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
The Twins have an off day Monday, which couldn’t have come at a better time for the bullpen. Tuesday night they’ll open a three-game series with the White Sox at Target Field.
AL Central Standings
Twins 34-33 (-2)
Kansas City 32-35 (-4)
Detroit 32-36 (-4.5)
Chicago 31-37 (-5.5)
Make sure to check out Jeremy’s 2017 Draft Notes and Rumors article, which has been updated to include information on all the confirmed signings.