MIN 8, MIL 2: Arráez Reaches 5 Times, Twins Take Series
Image courtesy of © Benny Sieu-USA TODAY SportsBox Score
Pineda: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
Home Runs: Garver (1), Sanó (1)
Top 3 WPA: Pineda .193, Arráez .166, Garver .160
Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs):
Buxton Leaves Game Unexpectedly in the Third
Twins Daily own, Tom Froemming, speculated that it could possibly be a migraine being that nothing seemed to physically happen in the field.
I don’t know that a “non-COVID illness” eliminates the potential for a migraine, but Dan Hayes of The Athletic later added “... this isn’t serious, just unpleasant”. I would guess that with Buxton’s history of concussions a migraine might be considered more serious, so hopefully this just means Buxton is dealing with flu-like symptoms rather than anything that could linger for more than a few days.
Starting Pitchers Duel Early
It may not have been both starters pitching six no-hit innings like it was on Saturday night, but Adrian Houser and Michael Pineda were both efficient and effective through the first four innings of the game. Combined the righties allowed just five hits and two walks while striking out a combined five batters. Each pitcher allowed an early run as the Twins scored in the top of the first on a Kepler RBI groundout and the Brewers took advantage of a Polanco fielding error. Houser gave up an opposite field homerun to Mitch Garver, his first on the year, in the top of the fifth before being pulled for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the fifth.
For the Twins, Pineda also only lasted five innings despite just being at 81 pitches, but this was partially due to a 31-pitch fifth inning and the Twins offense scoring four runs in the top half of the sixth. When his day was done, Pineda allowed six baserunners and zero earned runs while striking out five, and Twins Daily own Matthew Taylor encapsulated his start perfectly.
Twins Offense Leaves 21 Runners on Base
The Twins leave Milwaukee 2-1, scoring 15 runs, and combining for 37 walks and hits throughout the series so it’s hard to complain. That said, the Twins also combined to leave 47 runners on base throughout the series, including 23 on Thursday afternoon. This isn’t a trend I would expect to continue as the Twins have the third best batting average with runners on base in the league since the start of the 2019 season but something to keep an eye on early on in the season.
Twins Bullpen Lights Out Again
Stashak allowed a solo homerun to Jackie Bradley Jr to start the sixth inning and appeared to be having troubles with his landing spot on the mound. After walking the next batter he made an adjustment and that represented the only real opportunity the Brewers had to give Houser a no-decision for his efforts. The bullpen finished their day retiring the last 11 Brewers batters.
With the exception of one inning on Thursday afternoon the Twins bullpen was very good this series allowing just 3+2+?? Walks and hits combined over 11 2/3 innings pitched in the series. Dick Brehmer of Bally Sports North noted that the Twins bullpen had seven 1-2-3 innings in the series, and ended with a total of eight after Alcala locked down the ninth inning. More importantly, Alex Colomé bounced back with a save on Saturday after that disastrous inning on Opening Day, although Tyler Duffey carried his spring into the start of the season allowing four baserunners during his two outings totaling 1 1/3 innings.
Postgame with Baldelli
Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet