PHI 2, MIN 1: Kepler Stays Hot, Hoskins Pops Deciding Homer
Image courtesy of © Eric Hartline-USA TODAY SportsBox Score
Berrios: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 65.3% strikes (64 of 98)
Home Runs: Kepler (3)
Multi-Hit Games: Kepler (2-for-4, HR), Gonzalez (2-for-4)
WPA of +0.1: Kepler .130
WPA of -0.1: Schoop -.120, Cron -.126
(chart via FanGraphs)
This game got off to a tremendous start for the Twins, as Kepler homered for the third straight game. This was Kepler’s eighth game of 2019, it took him 10 games last season to reach three homers, 32 games in 2017 and 33 in ‘16. So trending in the right direction.
It was also apparent early that Jose Berrios had his good stuff working once again. Berrios carried a shutout into the sixth inning, but it’s going to be tough for anybody to keep this Phillies lineup down for long.
Berrios walked Andrew McCutchen to lead off the sixth inning, managed to retire both Jean Segura and Bryce Harper, but gave up a two-run home run to Rhys Hoskins to give Philadelphia a 2-1 lead. It was a good pitch, a curveball down and away on the corner, and Hoskins didn’t even appear to put all that great of a swing on it, but that’s a strong dude.
Berrios leaned a bit more on his offspeed pitches in his first two starts of the year and really went curveball crazy this afternoon. He deployed that pitch 51 times today among the 98 pitches he threw. That’s pretty bonkers, considering Jose threw that curveball 30.4 percent of the time last season. It’ll be interesting to follow his use of that pitch going forward.
The Twins only had one other really strong scoring chance. Marwin Gonzalez hit a leadoff single in the fourth inning, advanced to second on a ground out and tried to score from there on an Ehire Adrianza single. McCutchen made a beautiful play, throwing a strike to home plate, and Gonzalez was tagged out by inches.
It’s too bad the Twins couldn’t muster any offense after the Kepler leadoff homer, but all in all I’d have to say this was an encouraging series for the Twins. Friday night was ugly, but they were able to hang tough against a formidable Phillies team otherwise. That bodes well for a team that gets to face the AL Central in nearly half of their games.
Postgame With Baldelli
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Next Three Games
Tue at NYM, 6:10 pm CT (Gibson-deGrom)
Wed at NYM, 6:10 pm CT (Odorizzi-Syndergaard)
Fri vs. DET, 7:10 pm CT (TBD)
MIN 6, PHI 2: Twins Find Power Stroke, Slug 3 Homers in Victory
More From Twins Daily
Twins Minor League Report (4/6): And on the Third Day, There Was Baseball
The 12 Stages of Willians Astudillo Fandom
- verninski, nclahammer and caninatl04 like this