Cleveland 8, Twins 1: AL Central Lead Dwindles
Image courtesy of Brad Rempel-USA TODAY SportsCleveland 8, Twins 1
Win Expectancy (via Fangraphs)
Nik Turley got rocked, giving up eight runs over 4.2 innings. Cleveland tallied nine hits and drew four walks off the lefty. The big blow was a mammoth three-run homer off the bat of Edwin Encarnacion.
By taking a quick look at the charts, I wonder if maybe home plate umpire Mike Estabrook had each of these pitchers’ reputations in mind while calling balls and strikes. He certainly seemed to give Carlos Carrasco a more favorable strike zone. Here’s a breakdown of Turley’s pitches, notice all the blue inside the zone:
And here's Carrasco’s below. Hmmm, no blue inside the zone for him.
I’m not trying to suggest the umpire made a seven-run difference in this game, but the information above speaks for itself. By my count, there are five clear strikes from Turley that were called balls, and it’s not like you can find any makeup calls on Carrasco’s chart.
Even if Turley had pitched a gem it may not have mattered much, as the offense wasn’t able to muster much against Carrasco. Joe Mauer entered this game with some incredible numbers against Carrasco, but he had his worst day at the plate of the season, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
On the bright side, the Twins are still one of only three teams to not have been shutout this season. The team’s only run came on a Eddie Rosario homer, which was one of only four hits on the night.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t all good for Rosario. With the Twins trailing 4-0 in the bottom of the third, Rosario drew a leadoff walk. He tried to tag up and advance to second on a Brian Dozier fly out to left field. It was a high risk, low reward move that did not pay off for the ever-aggressive Rosario, as he was thrown out (as pictured above).
The bullpen was solid, as Craig Breslow and Ryan Pressly combined for 5.1 innings of one-hit ball, striking out five batters in the process. Reinforcements are on the way.
Alan Busenitz, who will be making his major league debut, was acquired in last year’s Hector Santiago trade. The 26-year-old right-hander had a 2.15 ERA, 0.85 WHIP and 9.8 K/9 over 29.1 innings for the Red Wings. Wimmers, who had just been sent down Tuesday, is already on the 40-man roster, but Busenitz and Adam Wilk, who is starting tomorrow afternoon, will need to be added.
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
UPDATE: Ryan Pressly has been optioned to Rochester.
Twins (Adam Wilk, 6.75 ERA), vs. Cleveland (Ryan Merritt), 1:10 pm CT
Twins (Adlaberto Mejia, 5.75 ERA) vs. Cleveland (Mike Clevinger, 4.09 ERA), 7:10 pm CT
AL Central Standings
Cleveland 33-31 (-1)
Detroit 32-34 (-3)
Kansas City 31-34 (-3.5)
Chicago 30-36 (-5)
Be sure to also check out today’s Minor League Report, which recaps how the Chattanooga Lookouts locked up a playoff spot.
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