Recap: Escobar Hits Dramatic Home Run, Twins Split Doubleheader
Image courtesy of © Brad Rempel-USA TODAY SportsGame 1 Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs)
Fernando Romero: 54 Game Score, 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 K, 0 BB, 60.2% strikes
Bullpen: 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 K, 0 BB
Lineup: 2-for-6 w/RISP, 4 LOB
Top three per WPA: Escobar .562, Sano .086, Rodney .081
The Twins couldn’t get anything going through the first seven innings. They entered the eighth with just one hit and trailed 2-0. It appeared they were going to go down quietly that frame as well, with the first two batters getting out, but the lineup turned over and sparked a rally.
Brian Dozier singled, Eddie Rosario drew a walk, then Miguel Sano ripped a single. For a moment, it appeared the Twins would have a chance to tie it up, but Chicago left fielder Charlie Tilson made a great play to keep Rosario at third base.
Maybe they should have just let him score.
I suppose there’s no way we can really know if this mattered or not, but Rosie was dancing all over the place off third base, reminiscent of the run-scoring balk he drew against Milwaukee last season. Nate Jones left a fastball right in the middle of the plate and Eduardo Escobar didn’t miss it.
There was a beautiful moment of suspense as that ball traveled off Escobar’s bat. He hit it hard to dead center. There was enough air under it for the center fielder to get to the wall, then just when you thought it may fall just short, suddenly … plop. The ball dropped on that little stretch of grass in front of the batter’s eye for a go-ahead three-run home run.
Fernando Romero held the White Sox to two runs on seven hits over six innings pitched. He had four strikeouts and did not walk a batter for the first time in his major league career. Tyler Duffey came up big, pitching two scoreless innings, and Fernando Rodney pitched a perfect ninth to earn his 13th save.
Game 2 Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs)
Zack Littell: 15 Game Score, 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 1 K, 4 BB, 54.7% strikes
Bullpen: 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 7 K, 5 BB
Lineup: 3-for-12 w/RISP, 8 LOB
Top three per WPA: Escobar .217, Grossman .076, Rosario .056
Zack Littell’s major league debut didn’t go well. He struck out the first batter he faced though, so he’ll always be able to tell that story, but maybe he’ll leave out the parts about what happened the rest of that inning.
The White Sox scored four runs on five hits, four of which went for extra bases, in that first frame. Littell got through the second inning, then he worked a scoreless third despite walking the first two batters he faced. He walked the first two batters again in the fourth and Paul Molitor had seen enough.
Those two runners came around to score while Matt Magill was on the mound, meaning Littell was charged with six earned runs over three innings. He’ll have better days ahead.
The bats put together a better overall performance than they did in Game 1, but they scored one fewer run. Baseball’s a funny game.
Eduard Escobar was a beast once again, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and the only two RBIs credited to the Twins in this game. Eddie Rosario and Max Kepler had two hits each and Robbie Grossman, who hit leadoff, was 1-for-3 with two walks and scored a pair of runs.
Magill allowed those two inherited runners to score, but he also only give up one hit over three innings without giving up an earned run. Trevor Hildenberger, Taylor Rogers and Zach Duke each pitched a scoreless inning in what was an excellent day for the bullpen.
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
AL Central Standings
DET 29-33 (-3.5)
MIN 26-31 (-4.0)
KC 21-39 (-10.5)
CHW 19-39 (-11.5)
Next Three Games
Wed vs. CHW, 7:10 pm CT
Thu vs. CHW, 12:10 pm CT
Fri vs. LAA, 7:10 pm CT
Last Three Games
MIN 7, CLE 5: EDDIE! EDDIE! EDDIE!
MIN 7, CLE 1: Twins Battle Their Way to Another Victory
MIN 7, CLE 4: Escobar é o Fogo
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