Twins 6, Tigers 2: Pineda Pitches 7 Innings, Twins Take 4 of 5
Image courtesy of © Brad Rempel-USA TODAY SportsBox Score
Pineda: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K
Home Runs: Jeffers (1), Buxton (6)
Top 3 WPA: Pineda .226, Jeffers .156, Rosario .150
Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs):
The story of the game today was the Twins getting yet another impressive performance on the mound from Michael Pineda. After impressing in his first start back from his suspension, Pineda was even better today, going seven strong innings, allowing just two runs on just three hits and two walks, while striking out eight. Of his seven innings pitched, four of them were 1-2-3 innings. This was a great time for a Twins starter to go deep into the game, as the bullpen got worked pretty hard in yesterday’s game, and they will need to be fresh for tomorrow’s doubleheader in St. Louis.
Ryan Jeffers got the scoring started in the third with a one out blast to straight away center field. For Jeffers, it was a statement home run coming off the bat a scorching 111.3 MPH. It was not only Jeffers first career MLB home run, but also his first career MLB extra base hit. It will likely be the first of many from a catch the possess power rarely seen from the catching position.
The Twins were not done score after that, however, as LaMonte Wade got a one out rally started with a bloop double in the very next at-bat. Josh Donaldson and Brent Rooker followed that up with a walk and an opposite field single to load the bases for Eddie Rosario. After a Tigers pitching change, Rosario proceeded to come through with this bases clearing double.
For the second consecutive day, Eddie Rosario made a stupid base running mistake that likely cost the Twins runs early in the game. This over aggressiveness has been a trend with Rosario throughout his career, but unlike in his early years, the excuse of Rosario still being inexperienced is gone. By this point, you would expect a veteran leader on your team to play smarter baseball than that.
The Twins were able to play small ball to scratch across another run in the fifth. Jake Cave got the inning going with a one-out bunt single to beat the shift. Cave was then able to advance to second on an Ehire Adrianza groundout. This gave Ryan Jeffers another chance to come up big in this game, and he did just that, as he hit a groundball single just under the glove of a diving Jonathan Schoop into the outfield, bringing Cave around to score the Twins fifth run of the ballgame.
Cody Stashak made his return from the injured list, after being out since August 11th with a lower back injury. It wasn’t the cleanest of outings from Stashak, as he allowed a rare walk, but in the end he got the job done, and maintained the Twins 5-2 lead.
It was a strong day at the plate for Byron Buxton. In the sixth, he hit a hard groundball back up the middle that deflected off the glove of Tigers pitcher Daniel Norris past the infield shift, and trickled into the outfield. About as soon as you thought that was a good luck single, Buxton was standing on second, as he was hustling out of the box, and used his world class speed to turn his good fortune into what will look like a flyball in the gap in the box score. Buxton didn’t need any good fortune in his next at-bat, as he blasted this no-doubter into the second deck.
Even though it was no longer a save situation, Taylor Rogers still came in in the ninth, as he was already warmed up. It was undoubtably the most impressive outing for Rogers on the season, as he struck out the side to close out the Twins 6-2 victory. Hopefully, this is the outing that Rogers needed to get things going back in the right direct as we head into the final weeks of the regular season.
Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
John, Nick and Seth discussed the game with Twins Daily's live virtual audience.
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