MIN 7, MIL 2: 5 Alive!
Image courtesy of Benny Sieu-USA TODAY SportsWin Expectancy (via Fangraphs)
Now that Jorge Polanco is out of his funk, the only slumping Twins hitters are Joe Mauer (.194 average over last four weeks) and Byron Buxton (.559 OPS since returning from the DL).
Well, better make that were Joe Mauer and Byron Buxton.
Joe and Buxton had three hits each, Miguel Sano had a pair of hits and, of course, Polanco collected two more base knocks. Jorge is now 14-for-28 so far this month. I haven’t had the chance to fire that through my Internet machine to analyze, but that seems pretty darn good.
Enns walked in a run with one out in the third inning, and that was enough to get the hook despite the Twins holding a four-run lead. He gave up two runs (one unearned, but due to his own error) on five hits and a walk while throwing just 53 pitches. The average velo on his fastball was 89.6 mph and his go-to secondary offering was his curveball, which averaged 79.8 mph, according to Baseball Savant.
Enns will still be searching for his first MLB strikeout his next time out, whenever that may be, but he did cross another big milestone off the list. He got his first hit. Like, first hit ever as a professional. Enns had zero plate appearances in the minors, which was evident as he struck out trying to bunt in his first plate appearance. Things went much better his second time up.
Alan Busenitz was the first man out of the bullpen, making his first appearance since Aug. 1 and just his third outing since being recalled on July 24. Booze threw 2.2 perfect innings while striking out two batters. Sano made an excellent inning-ending double play to help him out of a jam in the third.
Ryan Pressly held Milwaukee scoreless in both the sixth and seventh innings, Tyler Duffey pitched a perfect eighth with two K's and Buddy Boshers capped off an impressive night for the bullpen with a scoreless ninth.
Since the Brandon Kintzler trade, the Twins bullpen has given up just three earned runs over 31.1 innings (0.86 ERA). It’s so obvious now that trade was simply a motivational tactic by the new front office. Man, those guys are good.
Both Cleveland and Kansas City lost again, putting the Twins back into second place in the AL Central, 3.5 games back. At the conclusion of the game, the Twins were just one game out in the Wild Card race, but Seattle’s game was still in progress.
With all the victories lately, you’d think the Twins would loosen up a bit and have some fun. But, as evidence from this behind-the-scenes footage from FOX Sports North, the fellas have been all business:
Postgame With Buxton
Postgame With Molitor
Twins W-L Record
Overall: 57-56 (.504)
Last 10: 7-3 (.700)
Last 20: 10-10 (.500)
Last 40: 18-22 (.450)
Last 80: 38-42 (.475)
Here’s a look at the starting lineups from the past seven games:
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Friday: Twins (Kyle Gibson) at Detroit (Anibal Sanchez), 6:10 pm CT
Saturday: Twins (Jose Berrios) at Detroit (Jordan Zimmermann), 5:10 pm CT
Sunday: Twins (Ervin Santana) at Detroit (Matthew Boyd), 12:10 pm CT
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