MIN 8, DET 2: Gonsalves Stymies Tigers
Image courtesy of © Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY SportsSnapshot (chart via FanGraphs)
Gonsalves: 6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 69.2% strikes (54 of 78 pitches)
Home Runs: None
Multi-Hit Games: Grossman (3-for-5), Adrianza (3-for-4, 2 2B), Austin (2-for-3, SF), Astudillo (2-for-4, 2B)
WPA of 0.1 or higher: Austin .164, Gonsalves .157
WPA of -0.1 or lower: None
The Twins used an opener again today, it worked out great, but I still think it’s curious how they’re implementing the strategy.
Gabriel Moya made his fourth start of the season and Gonsalves served as the primary pitcher. I don’t really get stacking lefties in this case. Why not go with a right-hander in front of Gonsalves? Also, the only dangerous hitter in Detroit’s lineup right now is Nicholas Castellanos, who hit third today. He’s a right-handed hitter who has an .857 career OPS vs. lefties and a .753 mark against same-sided pitchers. Since that’s the guy you’re most worried about beating you, why not open with a right-hander?
All’s well that ends well, I suppose.
Moya pitched a scoreless first inning. He hit the No. 2 batter Christin Stewart with a pitch before giving up a single to Castellanos, but then managed to induce an inning-ending double play. The Twins tallied four runs in the top of the second, meaning Gonsalves inherited a 4-0 lead.
The most impressive part of Gonsalves’ performance, especially considering how things have gone to this point, is how he went right after Detroit hitters. He walked only one batter and threw nearly 70 percent of his pitches for strikes.
Gonsalves leaned a little bit more on his fastball, throwing that pitch 64 percent of the time. He averaged 89.9 mph on that pitch, but maxed out at 94. He also went with the curveball a little bit more over his slider today. That’s a fun pitch, a big looping curve that he throws at 73 mph. He got three swinging strikes on the 10 curveballs he threw, and Detroit hitters were able to put that pitch into play only once, and even that had a wimpy exit velocity of 62.8 mph.
Through three and a half innings, the Twins had already built a 6-0 lead in an impressive display of offensive efficiency. They managed to score those six runs on just six hits and a walk, and even did so without the luxury of a home run.
Robbie Grossman collected three more hits. He’s 10-for-23 over his last six games (.435 average). Ehire Adrianza also had three hits and living legend Willians Astudillo drove in three runs today. Tyler Austin followed a three-RBI game by driving in two more runs today.
Addison Reed, pitching for just the fifth time this month, worked a scoreless eighth. The only downer from this one is that Alan Busentiz surrendered two runs in the ninth. Over his last seven appearances, Busenitz has given up 11 earned runs over just 4 1/3 innings pitched. He gave up only 11 earned runs in his 40 innings with Rochester this year.
Next Three Games
Fri at OAK, 9:05 pm CT: TBD
Sat at OAK, 8:05 pm CT: TBD
Sun at OAK, 3:05 pm CT: TBD
Last Three Games
MIN 5, DET 3: Odorizzi Turns In Another Quality Start
MIN 6, DET 1: Stewart Impresses, Rosario Exits Due to Injury
MIN 9, KC 6: Twins Swat Four Homers, Avoid Sweep
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