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Recap: Escobar Hits Dramatic Home Run, Twins Split Doubleheader

The White Sox held an advantage over the Twins for nearly the entirety of their doubleheader Tuesday, but a massive four-run eighth inning in the first game allowed the Twins to earn a split on the day. That big inning was all thanks to a two-out rally that was capped off by an Eduardo Escobar three-run homer.
Image courtesy of © Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Game 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
Attached Image: WinEx65G1.png
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
Attached Image: WinEx65G2.png
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.

Bullpen Usage
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Attached Image: Bullpen65.png
AL Central Standings
CLE 31-28
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

More From Twins Daily
Three Potential Catcher Upgrades on the Trade Market
Twins Select Trevor Larnach in the First Round of the 2018 Draft
Twins Select Ryan Jeffers in the Second Round of the 2018 Draft


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15 Comments

Hats off to the bullpen for some excellent work today.

    • glunn and Aerodeliria like this

I wonder why Littell got promoted to AAA and eventually made a horrible debut in the big league with an ERA of 5.87 at AA. Well that's not a brilliant move by the FO.

 

I wonder why Littell got promoted to AAA and eventually made a horrible debut in the big league with an ERA of 5.87 at AA. Well that's not a brilliant move by the FO.

Probably because of his 2.42 ERA at AA last season in a substantially bigger sample size. Oh, and at AAA he's had a 2.57 ERA with 1.07 WHIP and 9.6 K/9 in a slightly bigger sample size than his 2017 AA one. The 23 IP at AA this season is basically the only negative you're going to find on his stat sheet in the past 3 years.

 

Though I do think it's fair to say he's not ready for the majors quite yet and I think he could use the rest of the season at AAA.

    • jun, blindeke, dbminn and 2 others like this

I am glad they gave Reed the day off, what with his problems the last 4 consecutive appearances now. It would have been even more excellent of the pen if Magill could have waited an inning to give up his only hit instead of on the second pitch, and kept us in the game......but man, Magill has sure been a great addition so far. Hopefully, the reigning MOY will not overuse him like he has Reed and Pressly (who also got the day off).

 

I consider it fortunate that they boys got out of there with a split, today, after their non support of Romero. Good to see Romero rebound. Time to crush the second worst team in baseball this year.

    • jun, dbminn and Aerodeliria like this
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Aerodeliria
Jun 06 2018 02:32 AM

What happened to Aaron Slegers in this scenario? He seems to be the man without any mission now that Hughes is gone...

    • rdehring likes this
I watched the first game on TiVo. I did not know they gave Dozier a hit on the 8th? So, if you hit a two hop GB to the third baseman. He kicks it over his head, then makes a nice clean pickup with plenty of time to get the runner. THEN he short hops the ball to First base. That throw which Mauer would have taken back to the dugout for the third out pops out of Abreu glove with BD short of the base by a step. Are you really telling me that's a hit in MLB?
    • 70charger, theBOMisthebomb and wsnydes like this
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theBOMisthebomb
Jun 06 2018 06:19 AM

I watched the first game on TiVo. I did not know they gave Dozier a hit on the 8th? So, if you hit a two hop GB to the third baseman. He kicks it over his head, then makes a nice clean pickup with plenty of time to get the runner. THEN he short hops the ball to First base. That throw which Mauer would have taken back to the dugout for the third out pops out of Abreu glove with BD short of the base by a step. Are you really telling me that's a hit in MLB?

It has become laughable what is considered a hit in MLB instead of an error nowadays. The last five years is when I started to notice it. It is maddening to say the least. This would be a good research topic for a motivated Twins Daily person, comparing what is ruled a hit now compared to a generation or two ago. Have things really changed?
    • 70charger, slash129, dbminn and 2 others like this

I told you that the Twins should consider bull penning and starting the game with an opener instead of a traditional starter... and we gave up 4 in the first and couldn't come back from it... Analytics

Well that was ugly.Haven't seen a flatter, straight fastball as he was throwing up there the first couple innings.

 

Really don't understand why they didn't bring Slegers back for that start.Especially after his last relief outing went so well.Will be a game to look back at if the Twins miss the playoffs by a game...unfortunately, I think they are going to be further out at year's end so this probably won't make a difference.

    • blindeke likes this
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FormerMinnasotan
Jun 06 2018 06:38 AM
Glad to see Romero have a better start after his disastrous previous start, it wasn’t a great start but Romero showed mental toughness in only allowing 2 runs in 6.

The Twins are down non-healthy Mauer, Buxton, Castro and Morrison. They are also down Polanco.Dozier got his second game off of the year in game 2 (although he has PH'd in both) .... I'll take the split, especially considering the weak contact and BABIP luck that Lopez had going for him in game 1.

Why was everyone wearing #42?

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IndianaTwin
Jun 06 2018 07:06 AM

Why was everyone wearing #42?


The first game was a make-up from Jackie Robinson Day in April when everybody wears 42.
    • Puckett34 likes this

 

The first game was a make-up from Jackie Robinson Day in April when everybody wears 42.

Thanks. Forgot about that.

    • Minny505 likes this

 

The first game was a make-up from Jackie Robinson Day in April when everybody wears 42.

 

I still think it's a bummer that we celebrate the third black player to play in the majors and neither of the first two. Not saying that we shouldn't celebrate Robinson and dropping the 63 year ban that kicked the first two black players out of the league, it's celebration worthy for sure. I just think it appropriate to celebrate a Walker Brothers day as well. It might give us better perspective and appreciation from where we were and the progress we've made. I believe May 1st was Moses's debut. That would give us two days to celebrate. :)

    • ashburyjohn, IndianaTwin and jimmer like this

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