MIN 4, CWS 1: Gibson Great, Twins Hit 3 More Homers
Image courtesy of David Banks-USA TODAY SportsWin Expectancy (via Fangraphs)
Top 3 Twins per WPA: Gibson .282 | Vargas .119 | Polanco .075
Let’s talk about bunting, shall we? The White Sox opened up this game by getting hits in three of their first six at-bats. They held a 1-0 lead in the second inning. They had runners on first and second with nobody out. They were facing Kyle Gibson. And they decided it was a good time to attempt a sacrifice bunt.
They paid for that decision. Jason Castro managed to nail the lead runner at third base, gifting Gibby an out. Chicago managed to load the bases with one out, but could not score. They also loaded the bases with nobody out in the third and could not score.
Jorge Polanco homered in his third-straight game to tie it up at 1-1 in the fourth inning before a Kennys Vargas solo blast put the Twins ahead in the fifth. Joe Mauer led off the sixth with a misplayed double and I’m sure the Twins lineup was smelling blood.
The Twins were already up a run. Mauer was in scoring position with no outs. Polanco was up. He bunted.
Yes, Jorge Polanco, the guy who has been on fire this month. The guy who homered in three-straight games. The guy who you have to watch hit through those goofy eclipse glasses otherwise his hotness will burn out the back of your eyeballs. That guy bunted.
Luckily, Eddie Rosario was able to make a laughing matter out of all this madness by crushing a two-run homer on literally the very next pitch. Thank goodness Mauer only had to trot in from third base. Hopefully Paul Molitor learned a lesson, but I doubt it.
Again, Gibson got off to a dreadful start, but he was incredible after he got going. He struck out the side with the bases juiced in the third before setting down the Sox 1-2-3 in both the fourth and fifth innings. He gave up a one-out single in the sixth before inducing an inning-ending double play from the next batter. He closed out his night with a 1-2-3 seventh, striking out the final two batters he faced. Over 7.0 innings he gave up one run, which was scored on a wild pitch, and struck out a season-high eight batters.
Trevor Hildenberger pitched a perfect eight before Matt Belisle delivered a scoreless ninth to earn his fourth save. Max Kepler was out for the second-straight game with an illness. Ehire Adrianza started in left while Rosario manned right field.
Postgame With Molitor
Twins W-L Record
Last 10: 7-3
Last 20: 14-6
Last 40: 21-19
Last 80: 39-41
AL Central Standings
Minnesota 65-60 (-4.5)
Kansas City 63-61 (-6.0)
AL Wild Card Standings
WC1: Yankees 67-57 (+2.5)
WC2: Minnesota 65-60
Angels 64-61 (-1.0)
Kansas City 63-61 (-1.5)
Seattle 64-63 (-2.0)
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
***UPDATE: Tim Melville has been DFA’d and Dillon Gee will start Saturday. John Curtiss will be called up from Rochester to join the bullpen.
WED: Twins (Ervin Santana) at White Sox (James Shields), 7:10 pm CT
THU: Twins (Jose Berrios) at White Sox (Derek Holland), 7:10 pm CT
FRI: Twins (TBD) at Toronto (TBD), 6:07 pm CT
Question of the Day