KC 6, MIN 4: Coming Down is the Hardest Thing
Image courtesy of © Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY SportsSnapshot (chart via FanGraphs)
Home Runs: Cave (11)
Multi-Hit Games: Cave (2-for-4, HR)
WPA of 0.1 or higher: Moya .104
WPA of -0.1 or lower: Busenitz -.437
The Twins went with the opener/primary picher strategy again today. Any time they roll that out I like to give an overview on how everything worked its way out from the top down.
Gabriel Moya was the opener. He pitched well, but was pretty inefficient. He threw two scoreless, no-hit innings and had a strikeout and a walk. The main problem was it took him 38 pitches to do so. With the expanded rosters that’s no big deal, but if the Twins were to test this during any of the other five months, that kind of an outing from a reliever would not be ideal.
Stephen Gonsalves followed as the primary pitcher. The good news: He pitched three no-hit innings and didn’t give up an earned run. The bad news: He walked four batters, which helped the Royals to score an unearned run thanks to a Jorge Polanco error. Gonsalves threw 69 pitches.
Alan Busenitz took over in the sixth. He gave up a double, then back-to-back home runs. Ouch. He threw 16 pitches, gave up three runs and failed to record an out. Matt Magill took over, but couldn’t get through the inning either.
Magill gave up a run on a pair of hits and a walk. He got two outs and threw 21 pitches. Andrew Vasquez took over and hit the first batter he faced, but the finally recorded the final out of the sixth. He threw 10 pitches.
Tally all that up and you get five pitchers combining for six innings, needing 154 pitches to do so. Not good.
Things settled back down from there, as John Curtiss pitched a scoreless seventh and Oliver Drake covered the eight, giving up an unearned run. An error was charged on Chris Gimenez’s throw to second base on a steal attempt, but it really should have been Polanco’s second error of the game. He whiffed on the catch, the ball just sailed right on by him.
The Twins held a 2-0 lead early thanks to a Jake Cave two-run homer in the second inning. They added two more runs in the eighth on an Eddie Rosario RBI single and a sacrifice fly by Robbie Grossman. That pulled them to within a run of KC, but the Royals added that insurance run in the bottom of the eighth and took care of business in the ninth.
Next Three Games
Fri at KC, 7:15 pm CT: Jose Berrios vs. Jorge Lopez
Sat at KC, 6:15 pm CT: Chase De Jong vs. Ian Kennedy
Sun at KC, 1:15 pm CT: Kyle Gibson vs. Jakob Junis
Last Three Games
MIN 3, NYY 1: Odorizzi Carries No-No Into 8th Inning
MIN 10, NYY 5: Joe Mauer Grand Slam Highlights Big Night for Bats
NYY 7, MIN 2: It Was Close, Until It Wasn’t
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