MIN 4, HOU 1: Odorizzi, Twins Battle Their Way to Victory
Image courtesy of Brad Rempel-USA TODAY SportsSnapshot (chart via FanGraphs)
Houston scored 57 runs in their six games against the Twins last season, but in their first two contests of 2018 have been held to just three runs. The Astros lineup looks very similar to last season. The Twins pitching staff? Not so much.
Odorizzi had some kind of magic working tonight. The Astros had two men on with one out in the first, but Odorizzi coaxed an inning-ending double play. He walked the leadoff man in the second. Unfortunately, he didn’t have any spells to ward off a haunting. That ended up being the lone runner who scored for Houston.
Odorizzi walked two men in a scoreless third, but his most impressive wizardry came in the fifth inning. Alex Bregman hit a leadoff single, but he was soon picked off. Jose Altuve followed with a single himself, but Carlos Correa hit into an inning-ending double play.
Odorizzi capped off the night with a 1-2-3 sixth. He walked five men, continuing a troubling trend for the Twins, but held the defending champs to one run on five hits over six frames.
Neither Odorizzi nor Lance Lynn necessarily looked great against the Astros, but they showed what established, professional pitchers can do: Go to work even without their best command or stuff.
Speaking of work, Twins hitters put Dallas Keuchel to task. He threw 101 pitches over just four innings. Minnesota scratched across a couple of runs in the first inning thanks to an Eduardo Escobar sac fly and a Robbie Grossman double.
Joe Mauer drew a bases loaded walk in the second, but from there the Twins struggled to deliver with men on base.
Brian Dozier reached safely in all five of his plate appearances (1-for-1 with four walks) and Mauer was on base in four of his five PAs (2-for-3 with a pair of walks). The thing that kept the Twins from really blowing this one open was that Miguel Sano went 1-for-5 with three strikeouts and left 10 men on base.
Fortunately, Odorizzi was tough as nails and the bullpen turned in another great outing. Ryan Pressly, Zach Duke and Fernando Rodney each pitched a scoreless inning to help lift the Twins to an impressive win.
Postgame With Molitor
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Next Three Games
Wed vs. HOU 12:10 pm CT
Thu vs. CHW 7:10 pm CT
Fri vs. CHW 7:10 pm CT
Last Three Games
HOU 2, MIN 0: Failure to Launch
SEA 11, MIN 4: That Escalated Quickly
MIN 4, SEA 2: Bombs and Bullpen
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