MIN 9, CLE 3: That’s Our Eddie
Image courtesy of © Ken Blaze-USA TODAY SportsSnapshot (chart via FanGraphs)
Fernando Romero: 30 Game Score, 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 1 K, 1 BB, 68.3% strikes
Bullpen: 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 K, 0 BB
Lineup: 6-for-14 w/RISP, 7 LOB
Top three per WPA: Rosario .198, Magill .122, Morrison .112
Rosario went 4-for-4 with a double, a solo home run and even a stolen base. He drew a six-pitch walk in his first plate appearance, then hit the first pitch in each of his last four PAs. Of the five times he reached base, he scored in four of them. The other one, well it was one of those adventure moments, but we won’t dwell on that just yet.
Eduardo Escobar also had yet another strong performance, going 2-for-4 with a double and a walk. Unlike so many other games this season, Rosie and Double E got some support from the rest of the lineup.
Joe Mauer was 2-for-4 with a walk, Logan Morrison was also 2-for-4 and drove in three runs and Max Kepler, who entered this game with just one RBI in 13 games this month, drove in a pair of runs.
All that offense was crucial, since Fernando Romero didn’t put his best foot forward. He gave up three runs and was pulled after just four innings. Over his last 16 2/3 innings, Romero has given up 15 earned runs and has just 11 strikeouts.
Lucky for the Twins, an extremely well rested Matt Magill was prepared to pick up the slack. He pitched three perfect innings, lowing his ERA on the season to 1.14.
Circling back to Rosario, he made questionable decisions in both halves of the same inning.
With one out in the top of the fourth inning, Morrison hit a ball to the outfield. Mauer bluffed a tag from third base. It must have been a really good one, because he definitely faked out Rosie. Eddie was caught way off second base, cause some confusion on the bases that led to Mauer being thrown out to end the inning.
Then in the bottom of the fourth, Cleveland had runners at second and third and hit a ball of their own to the outfield. This time, it appeared fairly obvious that it was going to be an easy sac fly. Instead of hitting the cutoff man to hold the runner at second, Rosario threw all the way through to home, and was way off target. Luckily, that runner was stranded at third.
Rosario has certainly been Mr. Entertainment so far this season. His aggressiveness has paid off far more often than it’s hurt the Twins. He’s up to a .323 average and .948 OPS(!), so he’s obviously in a good place playing with freedom this season, even freedom that can border on recklessness. Even so, you can't help but appreciate the fact there's not a single play he doesn't think he can make.
One thing’s for certain, whether he’s at the plate, on the bases or in the field, Eddie Rosario is a guy who you want to watch. Heck, he’s even pretty entertaining in the dugout sometimes.
Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco was forced out of this game in the second inning when Mauer hit a 99.6 mph line drive square off his elbow. That forced them to ultimately turn to the pitcher they originally had scheduled to start tomorrow, Adam Plutko, to eat a couple of innings out of the bullpen.
The Twins went from losing a series against Detroit to not only taking the first two games at Cleveland, but also setting themselves up to face an emergency starter who’s going to be filling in for their emergency starter.
Baseball’s a hell of a drug.
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
DET 35-37 (-2.5)
MIN 31-36 (-4)
CHW 24-45 (-12)
KC 22-48 (-14.5)
Next Three Games
Sun at CLE, 12:10 pm CT - Odorizzi vs. TBD
Tue at BOS, 7:10 pm CT - TBD
Wed at BOS, 7:10 pm CT - TBD
Last Three Games
MIN 6, CLE 3: Anything is Possible
DET 3, MIN 1: Lynn Overexposed, Offense Overmatched
DET 5, MIN 2: Bulldog Berrios and the Addison Reed Experience
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