MIN 12, DET 1: Once Again, The Twins Bounce Back
Image courtesy of Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY SportsSnapshot (chart via Fangraphs)
This team takes care of business. There have been about a dozen times where it seemed appropriate to count this club out over the course of the season, and while they’ve had their struggles against some of the top teams in the league, they’ve done an excellent job at avoiding extended skids. The longest losing streak the Twins have endured this season is just four games.
For every devastating blowout, a bounce back has followed. For every sweep, a hot streak.
The series at home against Houston when they were swept and outscored 40-16; getting swept in a four-game series at home against Cleveland; going 5-12 heading into the trade deadline and watching their closer get dealt away … none of those things killed these Twins.
It looks like their sweep at the hands of the Yankees isn’t going to finish them off, either. Every time these guys get their teeth kicked in, they just say “screw it, we like applesauce anyway, let’s eat.”
The Tigers are in shambles, finishing the season in a complete tailspin, but that shouldn’t take away from the fact that the Twins cleaned up against them Thursday night in Detroit. This was a big opportunity for the team to deliver a message that there will be no spoiling this season.
Joe Mauer had yet another big night, going 3-for-4 with a double, a walk, a pair of RBI and two runs. There’ve been a lot of great moments this year, but seeing Joe fill up the stat sheet again of late has been particularly satisfying. He entered tonight’s contest with a .333/.413/.447 line since the All-Star break.
Jorge Polaco also continued his second-half breakout, tallying three more hits and drawing a walk. Eduardo Escobar had a pair of hits, a walk and scored three times. Max Kepler had two well-struck hits and drove in a pair of runs. Byron Buxton had a big two-run single and had his 22nd-straight successful stolen base attempt. That tied a team record. The offensive outburst was impressive enough to garner the Starship treatment ...
Adalberto Mejia didn’t last very long, but the results were encouraging while he was out there. In just his second start since returning from the DL, Mejia held Detroit to one run on four hits and a walk over 4.2 innings. He had five strikeouts.
Dillon Gee finished off the fifth and pitched a scoreless sixth. He was followed by Ryan Pressly, who was dominant. Over two perfect innings Pressly struck out three batters and threw 19 of his 24 pitches for strikes. Matt Belisle, who hadn’t pitched since Sept. 14, finished things out with a scoreless ninth, thanks to some help from Zack Granite.
Good teams beat bad teams. Check. Good teams win on the road. Check. Good teams take care of business. Period. Maybe the Twins aren’t among the American League’s elite, but this is a good baseball team.
AL Wild Card Standings
WC1: Yankees 85-67
WC2: Twins 79-74
Angels 76-76 (-2.5)
Rangers 76-76 (-2.5)
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Fri: Twins (Kyle Gibson) at Tigers (Daniel Norris), 6:10 pm ET
Sat: Twins (Ervin Santana) at Tigers (Matthew Boyd), 5:10 pm CT
Sun: Twins (Jose Berrios) at Tigers (Buck Farmer), 11:10 am CT
NYY 11, MIN 3: Twins Crumble At Yankee Stadium (Again)
NYY 5, MIN 2: Tough Night For Berrios, Twins
NYY 2, MIN 1: Garcia, Yankees Bullpen Dominate Twins
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