CLE 4, MIN 2: Twins Lose, Clinch Postseason Berth Anyway
Image courtesy of David Richard-USA TODAY SportsSnapshot (chart via Fangraphs)
The Twins displayed their typical “no retreat, no surrender” mentality we’ve seen all season, but their comeback effort fell short. Entering the ninth inning, the Twins had just a pair of doubles and a walk, all of which came with two outs. It was another impressive display from the Cleveland staff, who had allowed 60 fewer earned runs than any other AL team heading into tonight.
But Brian Dozier led off the ninth inning with a single and Jorge Polanco drove him in on his 13th home run of the season to make the score 4-2 Cleveland. Byron Buxton added a two-out single to keep the rally alive, but Max Kepler grounded out to end the game.
UPDATE: Who cares!?!?!?!? Let's just skip right to the celebration:
OK, back to Wednesday night's game. Adalberto Mejia lasted just 3.2 innings, continuing a trend of brief starts for the 24-year-old. In 21 starts, Mejia is averaging less than five-innings per outing and has only gone 6.0 innings or more in four of those starts. Still, he’s posted a respectable 4.50 ERA over his rookie season.
Danny Salazar was electric tonight for Cleveland, but luckily was on a pitch count. He struck out nine batters over 4.2 one-hit innings. Unfortunately, things didn’t get any easier against the bullpen.
A bright spot for the Twins tonight was the bullpen, as five relievers combined to limit Cleveland to one earned run over 4.1 innings. Another unearned run scored due to an error by Eduardo Escobar. John Curtiss pitched 1.2 no-hit innings in relief and had one strikeout and hit a batter. That’s three-straight scoreless appearances
for Curtiss now.
AL Wild Card Standings
THE TWINS ARE IN THE PLAYOFFS!!!!! Go crazy, folks.
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Thu: Twins (Ervin Santana) at Cleveland (Carlos Carrasco), 11:10 am CT
Fri: Twins (Jose Berrios) vs. Detroit (Matthew Boyd), 7:10 pm CT
Sat: Twins (Kyle Gibson) vs. Detroit (Buck Farmer), 6:10 pm CT
MIN 8, CLE 6: Twins Use Team Record 10 Pitchers In Victory
MIN 10, DET 4: Deja Vu All Over Again
MIN 10, DET 4: Twins Blow Out Tigers Bullpen