Twins ALDS Game 3 Recap: Twins Season Ends in Heartbreak
Image courtesy of © David Berding-USA TODAY SportsBox Score
Odorizzi: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 65.9% strikes (54 of 82 pitches)
Home Runs: Rosario (1)
Multi-Hit Games: Rosario (3-for-4, 2B, HR), Arraez (2-for-4, 2B)
WPA of +0.1: Rosario .110, Cron .104
WPA of -0.1: Sano -.165, Kepler -.139, Gonzalez -.118, Cruz -.112, Polanco -.108, Garver -.101
Here's A Look At Today's Win Probability Chart
(Chart via Fangraphs)
Despite being down in the series 2-0, Twins were amped at the start of the game, and Jake Odorizzi gave them something to cheer about in the top of the first. After striking out DJ LeMahieu to start the ballgame, Odorizzi appeared to get Aaron Judge to fly out to Eddie Rosario in right for two quick outs. However, Judge was awarded first base after catcher’s interference was called. That was no problem for Odorizzi, as he came back and got Brett Gardner to strike out and Edwin Encarnacion to fly out to end the inning.
Odorizzi wasn’t able to keep the Yankees off the board for long, however, as Gleyber Torres hit a fly ball that just cleared the wall, and Jake Cave’s glove, in left. Rocco Baldelli went out and asked the umpires to review the home run for fan interference, and while a fan did reach over the railing and made contact with the ball, it was clearly already over the fence, along with Cave’s glove, before the fan touched it. Luckily for the Twins, the home run came with nobody on base, which feels like a rare occurrence for the Yankees against the Twins of late.
The Twins gave themselves an excellent opportunity to get on the scoreboard themselves in the bottom of the second. Eddie Rosario drove a pitch about six inches above the zone deep off the top of the right-center field wall for a lead off double, narrowly missing a home run. After a Mitch Garver walk, and a Luis Arraez single, the Twins had the bases loaded and nobody out. However, as was the narrative all season long, the Twins failed to get the job done with the bases loaded, thanks to a Miguel Sano popup, and strikeouts from Marwin Gonzalez and Jake Cave.
Gio Urshela led off the Yankee third with a blopper that dropped in front a Jake Cave, who inexplicably laid out for the baseball, coming up a few feet short, and allowing the ball to get past him, turning a routine single into a lead off double for Urshela. Urshela was able to advance to third on a DJ LeMahieu ground out, and looked like he might be stranded there after Aaron Judge struck out. However, Brett Gardner came through with a two-out single that went right past a shifted Miguel Sano, giving the Yankees a 2-0 lead.
After singles from Jorge Polanco and Eddie Rosario, the Twins had another scoring chance with two on and two out, for Mitch Garver, in the bottom of the third. After getting ahead in the count 3-0, Garver took what was pretty clearly ball four high, however, umpire Gary Cederstrom didn’t see it that way, calling it a strike. After that, Luis Severino was able to battle back and strike out Garver to end the inning.
Jake Odorizzi did his job in the fourth and fifth innings, by keeping the Yankees off the board and working two pretty clean innings. Overall, for the night, Odorizzi earned a tip of the cap for doing his job by limiting the Yankees to just two runs across five innings, keeping the Twins in the game into the later innings.
Luis Arraez got yet another Twins rally attempt going in the bottom of the sixth, when he drilled a one-out double that split the gap in left-center field. Miguel Sano followed that up with good at-bat, working the count full before driving a ball that left the bat at 107.9 MPH, toward the wall in right, but Aaron Judge used all of his 6’8” frame to reach up and snare the ball out of midair. Marwin Gonzalez followed that up by driving a flyball high into the Minnesota sky, but that ball came up just shy of the fence, as Judge made the catch on the warning track to end the Twins sixth.
The Yankees added to their lead in the top of the seventh after yet another clutch hit off the bat of Didi Gregorius. Gleyber Torres started the inning with a ringing double off of Taylor Rogers. Then with one out, Gregorius ripped a single down the first base line, bringing around Torres to extend the Yankee lead to three.
It took a long, and I mean long, time but the Twins were finally able to get on the board thanks to this Eddie Rosario blast to lead off the bottom of the eighth.
The Yankees tacked on a couple more runs in the ninth to extend their lead to four in the top of the ninth. Cameron Maybin took Sergio Romo deep, with what looked like a lazy fly ball that just cleared the wall in left. They tacked on their fifth, and final, run of the game, thanks to, you guessed it, yet another RBI off the bat of Didi Gregorius.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Twins got themselves a little rally going in the bottom of the ninth, getting each of the first two hitters on to lead off the inning. However, the ninth ended in the same way as every other Twins rally of the ballgame. Max Kepler picked up the first out of the inning, by striking out three straight sliders from Aroldis Chapman. Jorge Polanco then lined a ball up the middle that appeared destined for a base hit until Didi Gregorius grabbed the ball, and with it the Twins hopes and dreams. The Twins season came to an end with Nelson Cruz at the plate looking at strike three right down the middle.
The Twins ended the game going just 3-for-9 on balls put in play over 100 MPH. Those nine batted balls had an average expected batting average of .612. Instead, the Twins got just over half of that, and of course all the ones that didn’t drop for a hit were the ones hit in the highest leverage spots, but hey that’s baseball.
Postgame with Baldelli:
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
ALDS Game Recaps:
Twins ALDS Game 2 Recap: Nothing Works, Twins Lose 12th Straight To Yankees
Twins ALDS Game 1 Recap: Bad Defense, Questionable Management Leads to Loss
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