KC 6, MIN 5: Maybe It’s Better Off This Way?
Image courtesy of © Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY SportsSnapshot (chart via FanGraphs)
Kyle Gibson: 43 Game Score, 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 K, 2 BB, 63.1% strikes
Bullpen: 2.2 IP, 2 ER, 1 K, 1 BB
Lineup: 3-for-13 w/RISP, 11 LOB
WPA of 0.1 or higher: Garver .154
WPA of -0.1 or lower: Rosario -.111, Dozier -.143, Gibson -.154, Kepler -.300.
After really playing around with things last season, I got these game recaps to a format I liked and haven’t changed them much over the course of this year. Let’s try something different tonight …
Nobody’s going to replace Platinum Glove Award winner Byron Buxton in center field, but Jake Cave has looked pretty darn good out there and tonight Max Kepler made a very nice catch at Kauffman:
In 2018, sometimes it seems like up is down, left is right and third base is left field. Well, for a moment in tonight’s game that last part was actually true.
Check out this crazy shift the Twins were using against Lucas Duda below. They sent Eduardo Escobar way out there and had a three-man infield and a four-man outfield. Bonus points for creativity, buuuuuuut … Duda hit a home run.
Kyle Gibson gave up four runs over 5 1/3 innings, but he pitched much better than that line would indicate. He induced what should have been an inning-ending a popup in the first, but Escobar had a hard time tracking it as he drifted out toward left field. It fell in for a two-out, two-run single. Per Baseball Savant, that ball had a hit probability of one percent. Ouch.
Hunter Dozier added a solid double that scored a run in the fourth before Duda smashed his homer in the sixth, so Kansas City definitely had some well-struck balls against Gibby. Still, he threw 63.1 percent of his pitches for strikes, once again did a great job of mixing things up and got 16 swinging strikes on his 102 pitches. Not Kyle’s best performance, but under normal circumstances he would’ve given his team a very good chance to win.
That’s all fine and dandy, but at the end of the day the Twins lost to the worst team in baseball. It is what it is.
Minnesota’s five runs came on a Kepler sac fly, a Mitch Garver triple, an Eddie Rosario fielder’s choice, a Brian Dozier groundout and a Garver bases-loaded walk. Altogether, the Twins left 11 men on base.
Alan Busenitz surrendered two runs in the seventh inning that really came back to haunt the Twins.
Still, KC led 6-1 at one point and the Twins managed to get the game-tying run to third base in the ninth after mounting a hard-fought rally. That’s gotta count for something, I guess.
The Twins took some great at bats in the top of the ninth inning, but the one I enjoyed in particular was from Rosario, who represented the game-tying run.
Postgame With Molitor
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
AL Central Standings
CLE 52-43 (Friday game still in progress)
MIN 44-51 (-8)
DET 41-58 (-13)
CHW 33-62 (-19)
KC 28-68 (-24.5)
Next Three Games
Sat at KC, 6:15 pm CT: Lance Lynn vs. Jakob Junis
Sun at KC, 1:15 pm CT: Jake Odorizzi vs. Brad Keller
Mon at TOR, 6:07 pm CT: TBD vs. Marco Estrada
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