OAK 6, MIN 2: Gonsalves Gets Burned on Mistake Pitch
Image courtesy of © Brad Rempel-USA TODAY SportsSnapshot (chart via FanGraphs)
Gonsalves: 32 Game Score, 5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 K, 4 BB, 53.3% strikes (48 of 90 pitches)
Home Runs: Sano (12), Austin (12)
Multi-Hit Games: Mauer (2-for-5), Austin (2-for-4, HR)
WPA of 0.1 or higher: None
WPA of -0.1 or lower: Kepler -.106, Gonsalves -.148, Rosario -.186
Even when things are going well for Gonsalves, he has a tendency to struggle with his control. He’s still been effective, however, because he very rarely makes true mistake pitches. It’s one thing to throw non-competitive pitches out of the zone and another to serve up meatballs over the plate.
Gonsalves ran into some trouble in the fourth inning, and got further into a jam due to some of those control problems. With two outs and a runner on first, he issued a five-pitch walk to fellow rookie Ramon Laureano, who had only drawn one base on balls in 45 MLB plate appearances coming into tonight.
A two-out walk, well that’s no big deal as long as you just get the next guy, right?
Gonsalves left a rare cookie over the heart of the plate on his first pitch to Jonathan Lucroy, who blasted the changeup into the seats for a three-run homer.
Manager Paul Molitor called it the biggest pitch of the game. "Gonsalves was a little bit better. He had some command issues at times. The changeup that Lucroy hit was obviously a missed spot, and that was probably the biggest swing of the game."
Pitching coach Garvin Alston had just come out to the mound to discuss Lucroy with Gonsalves and Willians Astudillo. Gonsalves said they knew he would swing at the first pitch. Gonsalves said after the game, "Garvin came out and said ‘Hey, he’s swinging 0-0. So what do you want to throw -- a changeup or a fastball?’ I was locating my changeup pretty well the first couple innings, so I said let’s throw a changeup and hopefully we’d get him to pop out. It was the only changeup that cut on me. Unfortunately, it came back over the plate and caught his barrel."
Oakland did Gonsalves some favors in that fourth inning, running into two outs on the bases, but you still can’t help but wonder how things may have turned out if he had that one pitch back. As it was, Gonsalves gave up four earned runs on seven hits and four walks in five innings pitched.
Both of the Twins’ runs tonight came on solo home runs, as Miguel Sano and Tyler Austin both went deep. Sano’s blast had an exit velocity of 113.8 mph.
Molitor was impressed with the Sano homer. "I didn’t lose that fact that honoring Jim the way we did and then having the mammoth blast from Miggy. It was a good atbat too. He had gotten him out on a 3-1 changeup the first time, and it looked like he had him set up for maybe the fastball after showing him a couple more off-speed pitches in that particular at bat. Yeah, he quick snatched it and it kind of went to a place where not many men can go, as they say."
The lineup combined to go just 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and struck out 10 times. Eddie Rosario was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and left five men on base. Jake Cave, playing right field tonight, had two outfield assists.
Out of the bullpen, Alan Busenitz delivered two scoreless innings before Gabriel Moya gave up three runs in his inning of work. Trevor May finished things off with a scoreless eighth that included three strikeouts. Since his return from Tommy John surgery, May has given up three runs in 11 ⅔ innings (2.31 ERA) and has 16 strikeouts against just two walks.
Before the game, the Twins recognized Jim Thome, who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this year. While Thome only played roughly seven percent of his big league career with Minnesota, tonight’s ceremony was proof that he left quite an impression on Twins Territory.
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Next Three Games
Sun vs. OAK, 1:10 pm CT: Jose Berrios vs. Brett Anderson
Tue at CLE, 6:10 pm CT: TBD
Wed at CLE, 6:10 pm CT: TBD
Last Three Games
OAK 7, MIN 1: Puckett 2,304, Mauer 2,086, Carew 2,085
MIN 6, OAK 4: Twins Top Red-Hot A’s
CHW 7, MIN 3: Sox Get to Gibby
- 108Stitches likes this