MIN 2, KC 7: Royal Pain
Image courtesy of Jay Biggerstaff, USA TodayBox Score
Odorizzi: 3 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
Home Runs: None
Bottom 3 WPA: Jake Odorizzi -0.259, Eddie Rosario -0.090, Max Kepler -0.068.
Odorizzi Struggles; Leaves Early With Injury
Jake Odorizzi made his third start of the year tonight and all three starts have come against the Kansas City Royals.
Odorizzi ran into trouble in the first inning when he gave up a three-run home run to Jorge Soler. His defense didn’t help him much either. Sano and Vargas misplayed a pop up behind the first base bag, which allowed Whit Merrifield to score the first run of the game.
In the fourth inning, Jake Odorizzi was hit in the ribs from a line drive off the bat of Alex Gordon. Odorizzi immediately dropped to all fours and was in obvious pain. He got back to his feet and attempted to stay in the game, but was eventually walked off the field by Minnesota’s head trainer, Michael Salazar.
Jorge Alcala came in the game following the injury to Odorizzi and gave up a bunt single to load the bases and walked Merrifield, allowing another Kansas City run to score before recording back-to-back strikeouts against Nicky Lopez and Hunter Dozier to end the inning.
Jake ended his night with a final line of 3 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 1 K
Jorge Alcala Shines in Emergency Role
After struggling early upon entering in relief of the injured Odorizzi, Alcala settled down and worked quickly shutting down the Kansas City lineup. In his second inning of work, Alcala struck out the first two batters of the inning on six pitches and induced a first pitch pop up for the third out.
Alcala worked a second scoreless inning in the sixth, striking out two more Royals hitters and keeping the Twins within relative striking distance. Alcala pitched a total of three innings, allowing one hit and striking out six.
Also, he throws gas, which is always fun to watch.
Injuries Continue to Mount
Much like many teams across the league, the 2020 Minnesota Twins have suffered their share of injuries, most notably to this point on the offensive side. Entering tonight, the Twins were without Buxton, Donaldson and Garver due to injury.
The injured list got a bit more crowded tonight. As previously noted, Jake Odorizzi left the game in the fourth after being hit in the ribs by a line drive. Later in the game, Zack Littell, who entered the game in relief of Jorge Alcala, also had his night cut short due to injury. After hitting Soler on the hands, Littell signaled to the dugout for pitching coach Wes Johnson and expressed discomfort in his pitching arm. He was removed from the game and relieved by Caled Thielbar.
Losing two pitchers to injury in the first game of a 10-game road trip is not an ideal situation.
The No Bomba Squad
The offensive woes for the 2020 Minnesota Twins have been well documented. We’re now nearly halfway through this shortened season and the lineup is still sputtering and shows very little resemblance to the powerhouse they were a year ago. Tonight was no exception.
Through the first seven innings, Minnesota mustered five hits, all of which were singles, and their lone run came courtesy of a fielders’ choice groundout from Ehire Adrianza, scoring Rosario.
Their first extra base hit did not come until the eighth inning when Miguel Sano doubled following a walk from Cruz, who later scored on a wild pitch.
The good news is the Twins are still in first place and have another game tomorrow.
Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs):
Full recap coming soon ...
Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
Nick, Rena and Nash discussed a bad night for the Twins, both because of the result and the potential injuries that the Twins Daily community witnessed.
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