TB 11, MIN 4: Bullpen Lets Game Get Out Of Hand
Image courtesy of Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsSnapshot (chart via Fangraphs)
The offense could muster only five hits and Jose Berrios gave up five runs over 5.0 innings. To be fair, the score was just 3-1 when Berrios was removed from the game. Things really fell apart once the bullpen took over. It took five different relievers to get through the final three innings. Yep, must be September.
It’s really funny how pitching stats work out sometimes. In the box score, Buddy Boshers gave up zero earned runs over 0.1 innings, but he came in and gave up a massive two-run single that increased Tampa’s lead to 6-1 before recording the final out of that inning.
One big difference between earlier in the year and now is that when the Twins are losing big, early in the season that typically meant we’d get to see Chris Gimenez pitch. Now, it means we get to see Glen Perkins pitch. He walked the first two batters he faced before getting a groundout and maxed out at 90.9 mph tonight. Both those runners eventually came around to score after Perkins had been lifted for Tyler Duffey.
There was a bit of a scary moment in this one, as Mitch Garver was involved in a collision at home plate with Steve Souza Jr., who is 6-foot-4, 225 pounds. That’s not supposed to happen anymore right? Yes, but sometimes two guys are just in the same place at the same time.
There is more video available of this game … but you don’t want to see most of it. There were a few bright spots. Brian Dozier hit his 28th homer of the season. His career high is 42, of course, but he’s now tied his second-best home run total in a season. Joe Mauer also hit his 30th double and Byron Buxton stole his 25th base.
Doing these things every day has helped me realize a bit why “take things one day at a time” is such a baseball cliche. These guys do this everyday. If you think too far ahead or dwell too much on the past, things aren’t going to go well for you in the present.
This was an ugly loss. The Twins have had quite a few of these over the season, though it’s been a while. They’ve lost three out of four now, but we’ve seen this before and survived worse. And you know what? They’re still in a wild card spot despite all that ugliness.
But ... it will be very interesting to see how Molitor manages this huge bullpen going forward. There aren't many (if any) guys who have defined roles right now. That can be great in theory, but I'm not so sure the Twins have the personnel or manager to pull that off.
Another part of the sting from Monday’s loss was the fact that the Yankees and Angels both won. So the Twins trail New York by three games and hold just a 0.5 game lead over Anaheim. Cleveland also won again. That’s 12-straight victories now. They lead the Central by 10 games.
Postgame With Molitor
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Tue: Twins (Bartolo Colon) at Tampa Bay (Jake Odorizzi), 6:10 pm CT
Wed: Twins (Aaron Slegers) at Tampa Bay(Blake Snell), 12:10 pm CT
Thu: Twins (Kyle Gibson) at Kansas City (Sam Gaviglio), 7:15 pm CT
KC 5, MIN 4: What Even Is A Swing, Anyway?
MIN 17, KC 0: What Negative Run Differential?
KC 7, MIN 6: Oh, So Close