MIN 4, DET 3: Bats Quiet, Bullpen Hangs On
Image courtesy of © Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY SportsBox Score
Pineda: 6.0 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 76.0% strikes (73 of 96 pitches)
Home Runs: None
Multi-Hit Games: Rosario (2-for-4, 2 RBI)
WPA of +0.1: Parker .170, Buxton .132, Rogers .124, Kepler .101
WPA of -0.1: Cron -.140
(chart via FanGraphs)
At first glance this doesn’t appear to be all that bad of an offensive performance, but the Twins got their four runs on just five hits, all of them singles.
The Twins had an excellent scoring chance in the bottom of the seventh, but let it slip through their fingers. The Tigers walked the first three batters of the inning, but Jorge Polanco and Nelson Cruz both struck out and Eddie Rosario flew out to center field.
Not that the Tigers exactly impressed, either. Again, with game time temperatures just above freezing, this was not a great day to hit.
In the top of the third inning, Pineda induced what appeared to be a double-play ball, but it ricocheted off the second-base umpire for what was scored a single. That loaded the bases with no outs, and Detroit was able to capitalize by scoring two runs that inning.
Luckily, the lineup had Pinada’s back. The Twins answered in the bottom of the third, scoring all four of their runs on the day without the benefit of an extra-base hit. Rosario provided the big hit, a two-run single.
That inning ended with Rosario trying to trail Cruz as they both attempted to advance bases on a fly out to center. I’m guessing Eddie assumed Cruz would draw a throw to third base. Instead, Rosario was thrown out at second to end the inning.
Luck continued to trend in the Twins’ direction in the top of the fourth, as Pineda had an eight-pitch inning thanks to a line-drive double play. Pineda was going right after Tigers hitters, and after striking out five more batters while not issuing a walk today, he has an incredible 7.50 strikeout to walk ratio (15 Ks, 2 BBs).
Trevor Hildenberger was the first man out of the bullpen, taking over a clean inning for a change. He’s already inherited 11 runners this season, allowing three of them to score (27%). In all of last season, he only inherited 25 runners, 14 of which scored (56%).
Hildy delivered a scoreless inning, Taylor Rogers pitched a scoreless eighth inning and Blake Parker came in for the ninth. Parker put the tying run on with a one-out walk and allowed that runner to advance into scoring position due to a wild pitch.
But just when it looked like things were slipping away, Parker struck out the next two batters to earn the save.
Jorge Polanco had a single and a sacrifice fly at the plate, and also made a great diving catch to end the first inning.
Marwin Gonzalez was 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts. His passive approach has paid off the past couple seasons, but it seems to be working against him so far this year. He took seven strikes today and was called out looking both times. I talked a bit (very briskly) about Marwin’s approach yesterday evening.
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Next Three Games
Sun vs. DET, 1:10 pm CT (Berrios-Zimmerman)
Mon vs. TOR, 6:40 pm CT (Perez-Shoemaker)
Tue vs. TOR, 6:40 pm CT (Gibson-Sanchez)
NYM 9, MIN 6: Forever of a 5th Inning
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