MIN 4, LAA 3: Throw Down
Image courtesy of © Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY SportsBox Score
Gibson: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 56.8% strikes (50 of 88 pitches)
Home Runs: Garver (9)
Multi-Hit Games: None
WPA of +0.1: Parker .229
WPA of -0.1: None
(chart via FanGraphs)
With the Twins clinging to a one-run lead, Brian Goodwin sent a solid single into center field. Buxton corralled the in-between hop, set himself and fired a bullet to home plate, right on the money, to nail Shohei Ohtani trying to score the game-tying run. This play … wow.
Garver did an excellent job at positioning himself wisely to make the catch and tag at home plate, but sometimes trouble just seems to find you no matter what you’re doing. Ohtani slid into his foot and Garver had to be assisted off the field.
According to old friend Rhett Bollinger, who is now the MLB.com beat writer for the Angels, that thrown from Buxton was 98.6 mph and traveled 253 feet. That play ended up being the difference in the game, as Blake Parker protected the one-run lead to earn his seventh save of the season.
Gibby’s Strike Rate
If there’s one number you can look at in regard to Kyle Gibson and have a pretty good indication of his overall performance it’s his strike percentage. When Gibson is able to throw a good amount of strikes, things typically go very well. If not, it tends to catch up with him eventually.
This has typically been characterized as Gibson nibbling. I’m not so sure if that’s necessarily accurate, I think it has more to do with his command than his confidence. But whatever your takeaway with Gibson’s difficulties throwing strikes, the numbers don’t lie. Check this out:
When Gibson has a strike rate of 60% or higher, which has happened in exactly half of his starts this season, he’s tremendous. Unfortunately, Tuesday was not one of those nights. Gibson carried a shutout into the sixth inning, but he gave up three runs on four hits and a walk before being pulled.
A couple games ago I touched on how much this team was struggling to hit in clutch situations. Eddie Rosario got things off to a great start in this game. With two down and a runner in scoring position in the first inning, Rosie drove in Jorge Polanco with a single. Buxton drove in the Twins’ second run on another hit with two outs and a runner in scoring position.
Unfortunately, they couldn’t keep that mojo working. The Twins loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh inning, but C.J. Cron struck out to end the threat. Angels reliever Taylor Cole started the at bat with a slider out of the zone, threw a changeup that Cron fouled off, then amped it up to pound two 95 mph fastballs on the outside edge.
Rocco Baldelli used three pitchers in the seventh inning. Ryne Harper, who recorded the final out of the sixth inning, faced the first three batters. Tyler Duffey was called upon to face right-handed hitter David Fletcher. He gave up a single and Mike Morin was brought in to face left-handed hitter Tommy La Stella.
Strange. I’m not sure I’ve seen a three-pitcher inning where they were all right-handers. Usually there’s a LOOGY in the mix somewhere. Maybe this tells us that Morin, who has a killer changeup, is effectively the Twins LOOGY right now.
The Shift Works!
Well … sometimes. After a poor run of luck on the shift last night and some good conversations in the comments section of the game recap, I tried to pay closer attention to when it did work and wanted to come away with some visual evidence .
There were a couple instances it worked, but the big one resulted in Mike Trout grounding into a double play.
Of course, the shift taketh and the shift giveth away. There were times it did not work, like when Shohei Ohtani hit a dribbler through the infield for an RBI single in the sixth inning.
Postgame With Baldelli
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Next Three Games
Wed vs. LAA, 12:10 pm CT (Odorizzi-Cahill)
Thu at SEA, 9:10 pm CT (TBD-Swanson)
Fri at SEA, 9:10 pm CT (TBD)
LAA 5, MIN 4: More Missed Opportunities
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