DET 5, MIN 3: Is There Anything Left?
Image courtesy of © Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY SportsSnapshot (chart via FanGraphs)
Ervin Santana: 44 Game Score, 6.0 IP, 3 H, 5 ER, 5 K, 2 BB, 58.5% strikes (55 of 94 pitches)
Multi-Hit Games: Ehire Adrianza (3-for-4, 2B) Jorge Polanco (2-for-4, 2B), Logan Forsythe (2-for-4), Jake Cave (2-for-4, 2B)
WPA of 0.1 or higher: Forsythe .153
WPA of -0.1 or lower: Kepler -.101, Morrison -.129, Mauer -.165 Santana -.223
Santana topped out a 90.6 mph and averaged 88.8 mph with his fastball tonight. To his credit, he was able to stay one step ahead of most batters. Ervin only allowed three hits over his six innings of work, but two of them came in the form of two-run homers.
It’s actually been impressive to see Ervin execute with diminished stuff, in sort of a depressing way. He should be getting clobbered. Like bounced outta the game in the second inning clobbered.
The lineup certainly could have executed better. The Twins outhit the Tigers 10-3, but were only 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position. Detroit even committed two errors, but the Twins couldn’t capitalize.
It’s pretty fun to see what Niko Goodrum is doing with Detroit. He hit his 11th home run of the season tonight and has a .720 OPS.
After the game, Santana did what you'd expect a professional veteran ballplayer to do. He took responsibility for his shortcomings and ... oh wait, no, he didn't. Jump head to about the 1:20 mark on this postgame interview:
My take: It's not like Ervin is going on a rampage here, but that's not his style. Still, I say just let him go. Honestly. I'm already wondering if this finger injury has derailed his career, he's certainly not getting his $14 million option picked up and now he's taking shots at the front office.
Even worse, by saying "it’s difficult to play without our good pieces" Santana is being disrespectful to his new teammates who've joined the club in the wake of those players leaving. Just end it now, there are plenty of other starting pitchers dying to get an opportunity.
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
AL Central Standings
MIN 53-62 (-11.5)
DET 48-68 (-17)
CHW 41-73 (-23)
KC 35-79 (-29)
Next Three Game
Sat at DET, 5:10 pm CT: Kyle Gibson vs. Francisco Liriano
Sun at DET, 12:10 pm CT: Kohl Stewart vs. Matt Boyd
Tue vs. PIT, 7:10 pm CT: TBD vs. Jameson Taillon
Last Three Games
LE 5, MIN 4: Walks and a Walk-Off
CLE 5, MIN 2: Cleveland Prevails on Lindor Walk-Off Homer
MIN 3, CLE 2: Mitch Garver Makes it Rain