DET 5, MIN 3: Tigers Out-Tater Twins, Gardy Gets Tossed
Image courtesy of © David Berding-USA TODAY SportsGame 1 Box Score
Pineda: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 68.4% strikes (65 of 96 pitches)
Home Runs: Castro (5), Cron (8)
Multi-Hit Games: Castro (2-for-4, HR)
WPA of +0.1: Cron .288, Harper .161, Castro .127
WPA of -0.1: Cruz -.120, Rosario -.137, Kepler -.214, HIldenberger -.402
(chart via FanGraphs)
The Twins entered the ninth inning tied and had a freakishly fresh bullpen to work with. Rocco Baldelli had both Trevor Hildenberger and Taylor Rogers warming in the pen during the bottom of the eighth inning. He went with Hildy. It didn’t work out.
Hildenberger gave up a solo homer, his first home run allowed this season, and allowed a second Tiger run to score in the inning. He’s now surrendered eight runs in his last six appearances. You have to wonder when it’s time to roll him back to low-leverage work whenever possible.
Michael Pineda started this game. In the fourth inning, he gave up his third home run of the day to the struggling Tigers lineup, sparking conversations about what to do about his spot in the rotation going forward.
He ended up providing a quality start.
The Twins’ starting pitching has been so dominant of late that a performance the club would have been desperate for from a back of the rotation guy in recent years inspires cause for concern in 2019. Pineda ended up giving up just those three runs on the solo homers over his six innings of work.
Pineda did get an assist from Ryne Harper, who stranded two inherited runners in the seventh, but Big Mike ended up surrendering just six hits and didn’t walk anyone. Serving up taters is bad, obviously, but Pineda has always done a nice job limiting damage by limiting free passes. He now has 35 strikeouts and just nine walks on the season, a 3.88 K:BB ratio. That ranks second on the starting staff behind only Jose Berrios.
In the sixth inning, Jason Castro appeared to have been hit by a pitch. Detroit should have left well enough alone, but instead they challenged the call and it was overturned. Castro responded by destroying a home run to bring the Twins within a run of the Tigers. C.J. Cron tied things up in the eighth with a home run of his own.
Unfortunately, that’s when Hildenberger came in and allowed Detroit to re-take the lead. The Twins’ lineup failed to make the most of their opportunities in this game. They drew five walks and had a batter hit by a pitch, but were also 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base.
Ron Gardenhire was ejected from this game, drawing a fun reaction from the Target Field crowd. Good to see Gardy still has some fire left in him.
Bonus Fun with Morneau and Perkins
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Next Three Games
Sun vs. DET, 1:10 pm CT (Perez-Norris)
Mon vs. LAA, 6:40 pm CT (TBD)
Tue vs. LAA, 6:40 pm CT (TBD)
MIN 6, DET 0: Odorizzi Deals (Again), Twins Win Fourth in a Row