Twins Game Recap (9/11): Depleted Twins Fail to Match Up With Strasburg and Nationals
Image courtesy of FanGraphsBox Score
Perez: 5 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 65.6% strikes (59 of 90 pitches)
Home Runs: Polanco (21)
Multi-Hit Games: Arraez (3 for 5), Polanco (2 for 5, HR), Castro (2 for 4)
WPA of +0.1: Cruz .101
WPA of -0.1: Perez -.220, Rosario -.161, Astudillo -.159, Adrianza -.105
The Nationals jumped all over Martin Perez, from the get-go. After retiring Trea Turner for the first out of the game, Perez gave up a double to Adam Eaton, walked Anthony Rendon, a single to Juan Soto and a single to Ryan Zimmerman. By the time the Twins even sent their first hitter to the plate, they already trailed by a score of 2-0.
The top of the third started off like a pretty harmless inning. Martin Perez retired Adam Eaton and Anthony Rendon to get two quick outs, but after a walk to Juan Soto things got interesting. Perez got Howie Kendrick down 0-2 and delivered a quality slider down below the zone that Kendrick lifted into right field for what looked like a routine fly out. However, with Eddie Rosario, nothing has been routine for him in the outfield this year, and that was the case with this fly ball, as he let it sail over his head for an RBI-double. Just two pitches later, Ryan Zimmerman made the Twins pay dearly for this mistake, as he took Perez deep to give the Nationals a 5-0 lead.
The Twins were able to answer back with a couple of runs in the bottom of the inning, thanks to a Luis Arraez one-out single, and Jorge Polanco taking Stephen Strasburg deep to cut the deficit down to three. Polanco’s homer was the Twins 277th of the season and gave the Twins the lead in the home run race over the New York Yankees.
During the middle innings the bats for both teams stayed quiet. The Twins relievers, Zack Littell, Brusdar Graterol and Fernando Romero, all pitched scoreless innings to keep the Twins in the game. Unfortunately, the Twins were unable to take advantage of that. They put up a two-out threat in the fourth, thanks to a LaMonte Wade walk, and a Jonathan Schoop double, but Jason Castro was rung up on strikes to nullify that threat. In the bottom of the eighth, the Twins had yet another chance. The Nationals made a questionable move to bring former Twin Fernando Rodney, and his 5.54 ERA into the game to face Polanco, Cruz and Rosario. The inning started off strong for the Twins, as Polanco reached on an infield hit, and Cruz drew a walk, but then Rosario, Astudillo and Adrianza all hit lazy fly balls to the outfield, killing the Twins' chances. All this was done, by the way, with Mitch Garver waiting in the dugout with his helmet and batting gloves on but was never called upon to take an at-bat that could have tied the ballgame.
Randy Dobnak came in to pitch for the Twins in the top of the ninth, and promptly gave up a solo home run to Trea Turner, to extend the Nationals lead to 6-2, which would be the final score of the ballgame, as the Twins got a couple of runners on but failed to score in the bottom of the ninth.
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Next Three Games
Thu vs WSH, 6:40 pm CT (Corbin-Gibson)
Fri at CLE, 6:10 pm CT (Odorizzi-Civale)
Sat at CLE, 6:10 pm CT (TBD-TBD)
Twins Game Recap (9/10): Berrios Bounces Back in Twins Win
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