MIN 5, CLE 4: Awesome Sauce!
Image courtesy of © Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY SportsSnapshot (chart via FanGraphs)
Ervin Santana: 27 Game Score, 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 1 K, 2 BB, 68.2% strikes
Multi-Hit Games: Miguel Sano (2-for-3, 2B, BB), Mitch Garver (2-for-4, 2B)
WPA of 0.1 or higher: Garver .271, Magill .180, Sano .171, Polanco .158, Rodney .147, Moya .131
WPA of -0.1 or lower: Rosario -.156, Santana -.278
Let’s go around the horn …
Mitch Garver has been on a tear. This guy needs to be in the lineup as often as he can handle. On the days he’s not behind the plate, the Twins don’t have a better DH option on the team than GarvSauce. One of the funnest things about these next two months will (hopefully) be a lot more moments like this one.
This team needs Miguel Sano, and I’m not just talking about the 2018 Twins. He showed some positive signs in his third game back from the minors tonight. He hit an RBI double in the second inning, singled in the fifth and made a great catch going back on a ball in foul territory. Sano also led off the bottom of the ninth by drawing an eight-pitch walk.
Gotta take the good with the bad. Yes, he also struck out. He was also picked off by the catcher at second base. It was an eventful day at the office.
Ervin Santana looks like he’s in survival mode. In his first two starts back, he’s been throwing tons of changeups. He’s gone to that pitch 61 times among the 185 pitches he’s thrown in these two starts. Last year, he only went to the changeup around 10 percent of the time.
The fastball’s just not back. Ervin topped out at 90.9 mph. He only got four swinging strikes on his 88 pitches. The fact that he’s been able to limit the damage as much as he has is a credit to his willingness to adjust.
In case you missed it, the Twins traded Zach Duke to Seattle and dealt Lance Lynn to the Yankees. Adalberto Mejia will take Lynn’s spot in the rotation and Addison Reed was activated off the DL. With the bullpen shuffling and this game being tied late, we got to see some different looks from Paul Molitor.
Gabriel Moya bailed out Santana in the sixth inning, recording the final two outs with two runners on base. Then, Molitor went right to Trevor Hildenberger, who worked a scoreless seventh.
Taylor Rogers came out for the eighth, but after giving up singles to two of the three batters he faced, Matt Magill came in. Yes, Matt Magill. He came back out of the witness protection program, or where ever he’d been, and pitched in the eighth inning of a tie ballgame. He retired the next two batters to end the threat.
With the top of the Cleveland order coming up in the ninth, Molitor turned things over to Fernando Rodney. He was very on brand. He walked leadoff man Francisco Lindor on four pitches.
Lindor advanced to third with one out and then just when you were convinced it was all going to come crashing down … a strikeout.
Then another walk. Then he fell behind the next batter 2-0 … and struck him out. Never a dull moment. This may have been the final time we’ll see Rodney in a Twins jersey. If that’s how it goes down, this was pretty much a signature game to remember him by.
Postgame With Molitor
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
AL Central Standings
MIN 49-56 (-8)
DET 45-62 (-13)
CHW 37-68 (-20)
KC 32-73 (-25)
Next Three Games
Tue vs. CLE, 7:10 pm CT: Kyle Gibson vs. Trevor Bauer
Wed vs. CLE, 12:10 pm CT: Adalberto Mejia vs. Carlos Carrasco
Fri at KC, 7:10 pm CT: TBD
Last Three Games
BOS 3, MIN 0: Fenway Free Fall Continues
BOS 10, MIN 4: Twins Blow Lead in Spectacular Fashion
BOS 4, MIN 3: No Escobar, but at Least We Still Have Belisle
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