Twins Game Recap (7/13): Series Clinched Behind Big Performances From Kepler, Cave
Image courtesy of FanGraphsBox Score
Odorizzi: 5.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 60.7% strikes (54 of 89 pitches)
Bullpen: 3.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
Home Runs: Kepler 2 (23), Cave (2)
Multi-Hit Games: Polanco (3-for-5), Kepler (2-for-5, 2 HR), Cave (2-for-3, 2B, HR, BB), Arraez (2-for-5)
Top 3 WPA: Cave .210, Odorizzi .153, Harper .141
Jake Odorizzi made his first start since a blister sent him to the injured list. He had an excellent first half, earning him All-Star honors, but he had actually been struggling prior to the injury.
In his final four starts, Odorizzi gave up 16 earned runs in 18 1/3 innings pitched (7.85 ERA). That being the case, I was pretty anxious to see how he looked tonight. It wasn’t among his best performances of the season, but he made pitches when he had to and ended up limiting Cleveland to just one run on three hits over 5 1/3 innings.
Odorizzi ran into some trouble in the sixth, hitting the leadoff batter then issuing a two-out walk. Luckily Ryne Harper came in and retired Carlos Santana and Jason Kipnis to end the threat.
It was helpful the lineup gave Odorizzi some breathing room. Max Kepler homered in his first two at-bats, meaning he went deep off Trevor Bauer in five consecutive plate appearances. He hit three home runs against Bauer in Cleveland on June 6.
Kepler has actually faced Bauer more than any other pitcher over his career. He entered tonight with a .324/.378/.647 line against him (1.025 OPS). Pretty amazing to see that kind of ownage of such a good pitcher.
Jake Cave also homered off Bauer and provided a big two-run double in the eighth inning to give the Twins, who were only holding a one-run advantage at that point, some wiggle room.
The Twins played some nice defense, as they turned a couple double plays and Byron Buxton made an outstanding catch to take a hit away in the eighth inning.
Buxton finished out the rest of the eighth inning, but did not come out to play defense in the ninth. Similar to last night’s game, the Twins faced some adversity. Bauer struck out 11 batters in his six innings, and the Cleveland staff combined for 15 Ks. Jonathan Schoop had a particularly rough night, striking out three times and leaving five men on base. And, again, this was a 3-2 game heading into the eighth inning. The Twins have had to fight for these two victories.
With this win, the Twins have extended their lead back up to 7.5 games in the division. Jose Berrios will take the mound tomorrow afternoon and hope to put an exclamation point on what's already been a statement series for the Twins.
Postgame With Baldelli
Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
Click here for a review of the number of pitches thrown by each member of the bullpen over the past five days.
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