TB 8, MIN 7: Playing The Wrong Notes
Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs)
The opening segment of this game wasn't particularly harmonic either. Lance Lynn's control was crummy, and has been all year: he's now had 15 walks in his 15 innings as a Twin, which is horrendous. He did, however, mostly hold things together and his game score is, if one wants to be kind, a little unfair. He entered the seventh inning trailing 3-2 and with a game score of 52, which would have been at least average. But Twins manager Paul Molitor kept him out there a few pitches too long, allowing two baserunners without getting an out. They both scored as part of a couple of discordant outings by Taylor Rogers and Ryan Pressly. The Twins trailed 6-2 before the inning was over.
However, then Rays manager Kevin Cash matched Molitor's minor keys with his own, committing the same sin: leaving a pitcher in a bit too long. In this case, he tried to get through the 8th inning with right-hander Sergio Romo, despite facing left-handed hitting Eddie Rosario with the bases loaded. To make matters worse, he had southpaw Ryan Yarbrough (who literally had not given up a hit versus a left-handed hitter yet this year) warmed up.
That went about as bad as it could go.
Perhaps to redeem Cash's decision, Yarborough finally gave up a hit versus a left-handed hitter when Max Kepler gave the Twins a ninth-inning lead.
But then the inharmonious notes started happening ON the field. Fernando Rodney hit Carlos Gomez with a pitch, let him steal second, and then a literal "bad hop."
And the whole movement ends with a critical bad half step. Zach Duke seemingly induced a ground out to end a scoring chance in the tenth inning, but his foot can't find the first base bag after a toss by Joe Mauer, and the Twins lose.
There is no shame to losing to Rays ace Chris Archer. The Twins entered Friday night’s game 8-5, while the Rays entered it 5-13, and yet the Rays were slight favorites in Vegas yesterday. But the starting pitchers were not the difference in this game, and it's not clear that the relative quality of each team was either. Friday night's game came down to two bullpens and a lot of wrong notes.
Next Three Games
Sat at TB 5:10 pm CT
Sun at TB 12:10 pm CT
Tues at NYY 6:05 pm CT
Last Three Games
MIN 2, CLE 1: Berrios Stars, LaMarre Plays Hero as Twins Survive 16-Inning Duel
CLE 6, MIN 1: Kluber, Lindor Outshine Twins in Puerto Rico
MIN 4, CHW 0: Mauer Reaches 2,000 Hits, Leads Twins to Victory
More From Twins Daily
Max Kepler Improving His Approach in 2018
- Dantes929, mikelink45 and nclahammer like this