MIN 2, CHW 1: Berrios Reaches 200 Ks
Image courtesy of © Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY SportsSnapshot (chart via FanGraphs)
Berrios: 74 Game Score, 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 9 K, 65.1% strikes (69 of 106 pitches)
Home Runs: None
Multi-Hit Games: Mauer (2-for-4), Grossman (2-for-2, 2 BB)
WPA of 0.1 or higher: Berrios .362, Rogers .203, Grossman .152, Cave .102
WPA of -0.1 or lower: Adrianza -.110, Kepler -.182
With nine strikeouts, Berrios ends his season with a grand total of 202. The last time a Twins pitcher struck out more batters in a single season was back in 2007 when Johan Santana racked up 235 Ks.
Along with the strikeout milestone, Berrios also managed to lower his ERA to 3.84, topping his 2017 mark of 3.89.
"Nice finish," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "We talked about it pregame. He’s had an overall good year. There’s been some times where I think he’s been frustrated. We saw a little bit of that — more so in the second half than the first — but he kept grinding, and I think he was motivated today. I know he wanted to win. But I know he had those 200 strikeouts in mind. Striking out the side in the first was a good way to put a dent in getting to that milestone. I even think he had another inning left in him, but I didn’t see any real reason to push that. So we turned it over."
Robbie Grossman had another great day at the plate, going 2-for-2 with a pair of walks. Jake Cave had the only extra-base hit of the entire game, a double, and also drew a walk.
Taylor Rogers pitched a scoreless eighth inning and recorded the first out in the ninth before giving way to Trevor May, who earned his second save of the season.
And we will now transition to the Willians Astudillo section of the recap.
Astudillo opened up the second inning with a first-pitch fly out. It’s not too often he doesn’t put a ball in play, but in the fourth inning Willians drew his second career walk. That sent his career walk rate skyrocketing up to 2.3 percent.
Astudillo came up in the sixth with the game tied and the bases loaded. Instead of showing off his new-found patience, Astudillo swung at the first pitch and delivered a go-ahead sacrifice fly.
Astudillo-mania has swept up Twins Territory, but the phenomenon also seems to have had an impact on his manager.
"We’ve all enjoyed the story. It’s just kinda fun to watch that kid play baseball," Molitor said.
With it being the final weekend, the focus is begining to shift to offseason plans. As for Astudillo?
"He tells me that he’s in the best shape of his life," Molitor said. "Not sure that I shouldn’t bring out some diagram of some geometric shapes to see where he fits in there. I think he knows that he probably could do a little more in that regard, but it’s not like he’s going to turn into a base stealer anytime soon."
Postgame With Berrios
Next Three Games
Fri vs. CHW, 7:10 pm CT: Chase De Jong vs. Lucas Giolito
Sat vs. CHW, 6:10 pm CT: Kyle Gibson vs. Carlos Rodon
Sun vs. CHW, 2:10pm CT: Zack Littell vs. Dylan Covey
Last Three Games
MIN 9, DET 3: Vive La Tortuga
MIN 11, DET 4: Bats Bust Out, Bullpen Shuts Out Detroit
DET 4, MIN 2: Mauer Reaches Milestone, Hildenberger Flops
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