Twins 3, Cleveland 0: Miguel Sanó Hits Pair of Bombas, Kenta Maeda Pitches 6 Shutout Innings
Image courtesy of © Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY SportsBox Score
Maeda: 6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
Home Runs: Sanó 2 (2), Rosario (2)
Top 3 WPA: Maeda .344, Sanó .172, Rosadio .088
Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs):
Kenta Maeda continues to make Twins fans forget who they gave up to receive him (Brusdar who?). His six innings of work took just 83 pitches in total. Maeda’s off-speed offerings stole the show as he was able to get 14/59 total swinging strikes combined between his changeup and slider. The slider was an especially deadly weapon as when hitters actually did put it in play, they averaged just 78.5 MPH off the bat against it. Maeda likely could have gone deeper into the game but manager Rocco Baldelli opted to give the bullpen more work.
The first two innings were a bit shaky for Maeda as he struggled with command and had to rely purely on batted balls for his outs. The third inning proved to be pivotal for Maeda’s start as he punched out the side and showed better command until the end of his outing.
Miguel Sanó Finds His Groove
Sanó was one of the handful of Twins hitters who have struggled to find their timing to begin the season. The already strikeout-prone slugger was whiffing at an astounding 47.1% clip coming into the night and had a batting average that would make any pitcher embarrassed. Parker Hageman broke down some of the mechanical issues he had in his swing a few days ago.
Something was evidently different on Saturday as Sanó launched two absolute rockets out of left field against Carlos Carrasco.
The Twins offense so far this year has been strangely inconsistent. They had two monster games against the White Sox with a handful of passable performances since against St. Louis and Cleveland. A more consistent Sanó would help alleviate these problems going forward.
Eddie Rosario didn’t want to let just one person have all the fun as he launched his own bomba in the 4th inning.
The Bullpen Remains Strong
The bullpen continued to be incredibly reliable to begin the season as Trevor May, Cody Stashak, and Taylor Rogers combined for three scoreless innings to finish off the game. Both May and Stashak saw some minor traffic in their innings of work but no runs came of it. Rogers has yet to allow a baserunner through his first three outings.
Stashak being utilized in the 8th inning may point towards the Twins believing in him more as a late inning guy capable of getting clutch outs late. He could join the long list of reliable Twins relievers whom Baldelli may call on at any time he needs. Although, Stashak did walk his second ever batter, so the wheels might be coming off for him.
Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
Immediately following the 3-0 win over Cleveland, Nick Nelson, Matthew Trueblood and Renabanena discussed Kenta Maeda's stellar outing and Miguel Sano's two-HR night. Watch below, or download the audio-only podcast.
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