Twins Get Crushed In Game 2
Image courtesy of David Richard, USA TodayThings started out a bit shaky for Pelfrey in the first inning. He was able to wiggle his way out of a bases-loaded, two out situation. However, in the second inning, he was not.
Abraham Almonte doubled to center. (6.7%)
Adam Moore struck out (-4.5%)
Michael Martinez singled to center, scoring Almonte. Martinez advanced to second on a wild throw by Aaron Hicks. (11.3%)
Jason Kipnis lined out to shortstop. (-3.0%)
Jose Ramirez doubled to left field, Martinez scored. (10.1%)
Francisco Lindor singled to first base. (1.0%)
Lindor advanced to second on a wild pitch. Jose Ramirez scored. (6.9%)
Carlos Santana singled to center. Lindor scored. (5.4%)
Mike Pelfrey’s night was complete. JR Graham came on.
Santana was thrown thrown out trying to steal second base by Chris Herrmann. But the damage was done. The Twins had their big inning in Game 1. Going into the second inning, Cleveland had a 54.8% win expectancy. Following Santana’s run-scoring single, that number was up to 88.7%
After that, there weren’t really any hits that contributed to Cleveland’s win expectancy. They just continued to add runs. Graham gave up one run in the third inning. Brian Duensing gave up a run in his 1.1 innings. Phil Hughes gave up a hit, but no runs, in his inning. Ryan O’Rourke threw a perfect sixth inning.
Ricky Nolasco returned to the mound for the first time since May 31. He got a ground out and then struck out the next two batters with an impressive curve ball. He could very easily have thrown in the towel on his season, but he worked his way back and you have to feel good for him. We won’t mention the three runs in gave up in his second inning of work that gave Cleveland a 10-1 lead.
However, the Twins were unable to figure out Cody Anderson for the second straight time. In this one, they had just two hits over seven shutout innings. Anderson did walk four, but the Twins really didn’t mount much of a scoring threat against him.
Zach McAllister came on for the eighth inning. He gave up a solo homer to Miguel Sano. The 430 foot blast from the rookie was his 18th of the year.
In the ninth inning, Austin Adams gave up a solo homer to Eddie Rosario to give the 10-2 final score.
The Performance of Pelfrey
As noted above, it was another bad start for Pelfrey. Though the safe call on the Francisco Lindor infield single cost him an out and two runs in the second, he was just being hit so hard, and he was hurting himself by being all over the place with his control. However, that can change with one call and getting that third out. Things could have been different.
He will (most likely) end his 2015 season (and maybe his Twins career) by going 6-11 with a 4.26 ERA.
Coming into the game on Wednesday night, here is where the Twins starters ranked in FIP (fielding independent pitching), a stat which many suggest shows how well a pitcher has been able to control the things that he can control
Mike Pelfrey – 3.99 (this got worse on Wednesday)
Kyle Gibson – 4.05 (this improved on Wednesday)
Ervin Santana – 4.22
Tommy Milone – 4.40
Phil Hughes – 4.72
Tyler Duffey – 3.18 (but his 51 innings is about one half to one fourth of the innings of each of the top five starters above)
That’s just one number, one statistic, of course. Here’s how his ERA ranked coming into the games on Wednesday:
Kyle Gibson – 3.96
Tommy Milone – 4.04
Mike Pelfrey – 4.09
Ervin Santana – 4.10
Phil Hughes – 4.43
Pelfrey’s ERA jumped to 4.26, but he’s still in line with the other Twins starters. He’s been a decent fifth starter and was very important to the team’s success in the first half.
However, he was remarkably inconsistent. In 16 of his 30 starts, he went at least five innings and gave up less than two earned runs. However, in ten of his 30 starts, he wasn’t able to complete five innings. Five of his final ten starts were less than five innings.
So this performance was certainly predictable.
WILD CARD UPDATE
The Twins went 1-1.
The Angels lost to the A’s.
The Astros beat the Mariners.
The Astros have now jumped back in to the second Wild Card position, 1/2 game ahead of the Angels. The Twins are 1 1/2 games behind Houston with four games to play.
It’s not over yet!