PIT 6, MIN 5: Taylor Rogers Blows Save, Win Streak Snapped
Image courtesy of © Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY SportsBox Score
Maeda: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
Home Runs: Sanó (3), Buxton (1), Rosario (3)
Bottom 3 WPA: Rogers -.797, Cruz -.093, Gonzalez -.081
Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs):
It’s Sano-ing in August!
Today’s game started out with a bang (literally) for the Twins offense. After a Jorge Polanco single and Eddie Rosario walk, Miguel Sano stepped up with two on and two outs. On a 1-0 count, Sano crushed a pitch into the left field bleachers. The homer had an exit velocity of 114.0 MPH which is tied for the 7th hardest hit ball in 2020.
The Twins continued their offensive dominance in the first two innings this season. In 9 of the first 13 games, the Twins have scored in the first two innings.
Maeda makes just one mistake.
Kenta Maeda was really good once again today except for one mistake. In the second inning Maeda threw a slider to Gregory Polanco and you could sat he was ready for it. Polanco hit it into the river behind the right field bleachers for a total of 446 feet. Even as a Twins fan, that was fun to watch.
Despite the home run, Maeda settled down and got the next 12 hitters out. He ended up with a quality start that looked much better than the box score shows. He has been very impressive early this season and I think the Twins fans will be happy about the trade over the next four years.
Buxton and Rosario pick up the offense.
A couple players that the Twins could really use on offense are Byron Buxton and Eddie Rosario. Perhaps they started a hot streak today as both went deep to give the Twins a 5-3 lead. Buxton went 431 feet to center field and Rosario hit a wall scraper to right, but both count the same!
The bullpen can’t finish it off.
The Twins bullpen might be the most impressive part of the season so far. They have performed well in nearly every game, especially the ones expected to perform well like Duffey and Rogers. Today the bullpen was asked to go three innings without giving up two runs and they couldn’t quite pull it off.
Tyler Clippard was the first pitcher to come in and he shut down the Pirates with two strikeouts. He was a quiet acquisition but his value has already shown. Sergio Romo came in for the 8th inning and gave up his first run of the season but escaped the inning with the lead. Finally, Taylor Rogers entered in the 9th and you knew it was over.
Okay so I wrote that last sentence before the inning began but I'm going to leave it because it's funny.
The Pirates were able to sneak three hits past the Twins infield and pull off the walk-off win. That one stings. The six game winning streak was snapped but hey, you can’t win them all. On to Kansas City!
Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
Immediately following the bottom-of-the-ninth loss, John Bonnes, Matthew Trueblood and Lucas Seehafer unpacked how it all unraveled and took questions from the live virtual audience. Watch below, or download the audio-only podcast version on iTunes. For our next event, go to PostgamePint.com.