Recap: Polanco Homers Twice as Twins Split Doubleheader
Image courtesy of Matt Marton-USA TODAY SportsGame 1 Win Expectancy (via Fangraphs)
Top 3 Twins per WPA: Dozier .117 | Polanco .092 | Busenitz .032
Tim Melville’s Twins debut did not go well. The 27-year-old gave up two runs in the first inning, cruised through the next two frames before getting knocked around again in the fourth. Here’s how things went: walk, single, three-run homer, strikeout, walk, hit batsman. At that point Molitor had enough.
Melville ended with 3.1 innings, five runs on four hits and three walks with four strikeouts. Nik Turley pitched the next 3.2 innings, giving up two runs.
Melville topped out at 96.6 mph, per Brooks Baseball (though their pitch classifications were all wonky for him) and Turley’s max was 95.7 mph. So those two can bring the heat, but as we know by watching Bartolo Colon, there’s a lot more to pitching than velo.
The Twins trailed 7-1 heading into the sixth inning, but battled back to make things very interesting. Jorge Polanco provided a three-run homer to bring the Twins within a run in the eighth, but the comeback effort fell short.
Alan Busenitz pitched a perfect eighth inning and struck out one batter. He now has six-straight scoreless appearances, a streak that covers 9.0 innings. Brian Dozier was 2-for-4 with a double, a walk and a run scored. Eduardo Escobar was 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI.
Game 2 Win Expectancy (via Fangraphs)
Top 3 Twins per WPA: Polanco .218 | Gee .113 | Dozier .109
The Twins basically put this one away shortly after it got started. Polanco and Dozier each hit a three-run homer in the second inning to give Dillon Gee a big cushion to work with early. Through four innings, Gee was perfect and threw just 42 pitches.
When it was all said and done, Gee pitched 6.0 innings and gave up one run on two hits. He didn’t walk a batter, which was huge given the big lead he was afforded, and had four strikeouts. This was Gee’s first start with the Twins, and he has now has a 1.93 ERA over 18.2 innings to go with a 0.80 WHIP and 7.7 K/9 with the club.
Byron Buxton and Jason Castro added to the offensive explosion, providing homers of their own, as the Twins hit four home runs. Here they are:
Buxton now has a 12-game hitting streak. He, Dozier and Castro all had multi-hit games. Castro also drew a walk and scored three runs. Tyler Duffey was perfect over the seventh and eighth innings, but he was sent back out for the ninth and ran into some trouble. He gave up a solo homer, but still finished out the game to earn the three-inning save, the first of his career.
Postgame With Gee
Twins W-L Record
Last 10: 6-4
Last 20: 14-6
Last 40: 21-19
Last 80: 39-41
AL Central Standings
Minnesota 64-60 (-5.5)
Kansas City 62-61 (-7.0)
AL Wild Card Standings
WC1: Yankees 66-57 (+2.5)
WC2: Twins 64-60, Angels 64-60*
Seattle 64-62 (-1.0)
Kansas City 62-61 (-1.5)
*Monday game still in progress
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
TUE: Twins (Kyle Gibson) at White Sox (Lucas Giolito), 7:10 pm CT
WED: Twins (Ervin Santana) at White Sox (James Shields), 7:10 pm CT
THU: Twins (Jose Berrios) at White Sox (Derek Holland), 7:10 pm CT
Question of the Day
I still included Gee in the bullpen report, but he’s gotta stay in the rotation at least for another turn, right?
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