Twins Game Recap (7/20): Twins Offense and Bullpen Can’t Do Enough to Secure the Win
Image courtesy of FanGraphsBox Score
Berrios: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 65.4% strikes (74 of 113 pitches)
Bullpen: 3.1 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
Home Runs: Garver (17), Cruz (19), Sano (14)
Multi-Hit Games: Sano (2-3), Kepler (2-4)
Top 3 WPA: Schoop (0.37), Berrios (0.28), Sano (0.24)
Bottom 3 WPA: Rogers (-0.62), Garver (-0.43), Littell (-0.43)
Hot start with the bats
The Twins began the third game of the series about as well as you could have hoped. Jose Berrios worked out of an error, bunt single and hit by pitch to strike out the side and it looked like he was well on his way to another quality start at the least. The bats also started off great, with a Mitch Garver home run, followed by a Cruz home run and then a Sano double that the Twins couldn’t cash in but it was 2-0 Twins after one.
Mitch Garver is now batting .289/.357/.684 (1.041) with five home runs when he has hit leadoff (10 games this season).
Offense slows down and Berrios navigates through trouble
After the first inning, the Twins offense took a nose dive back down to Earth and couldn’t buy a hit against Anderson. There was an 0-for-14 stretch where everything was hit on the ground and there were only two balls hit with a 90 mph exit velocity or better. In the midst of these rough innings, Berrios seemed to be struggling and doing well at the same time. He got all the way into the sixth inning with spotty command but he showed just how good he is even without his best stuff.
Bullpen struggles and Sano has a big day
Berrios was taken out after 5 2/3 innings and was replaced by Tyler Duffey who did a good job of striking out the first guy he faced. He went back out for the seventh, walked the leadoff guy and got a pop out before he was removed for Zack Littell. It was not a good day for Littell after the front office showed how much they trusted him by letting other pitchers go. He immediately gave up a crushing two run home run to Mark Canha and then a solo shot to Ramon Laureano to give Oakland the lead 3-2.
The next inning began with a Miguel Sano moonshot to left center that had an exit velocity of 113.8 mph and traveled 443 feet. The fans were back in it and the game was tied. The Twins offense rode that wave and C.J. Cron later scored on a sac fly from Jonathan Schoop. 4-3 Twins.
Rogers blows the save and comeback falls short
The ninth inning began just as everyone expected with the ever reliable Taylor Rogers in for the save, with a groundout and strikeout. Things got messy from there as the next batter was hit, then Laureano doubled and that was followed by a two-RBI single from Khris Davis off the glove of Adrianza at first. Eventually Rogers got out of the inning but it was 5-4 Athletics.
The game appeared to be over, but the Twins refused to quit. Kepler singled, followed by a Schoop double and then Eddie Rosario was intentionally walked to bring up the greatest catcher of all time with the bases loaded and a chance to win it. Facing Liam Hendricks, Garver hit the first pitch right to shortstop for a crushing double play to end the game and the Twins fell 5-4.
Bullpen woes hard to ignore
The outcry from the fans for another bullpen arm or two to be added was never louder than throughout the game tonight. When Zack Littell is the guy you turn to in a big seventh inning, you may want to add. After the second home run it was apparent the fans at Target Field were upset as they rained down the boo’s from all over.
The overuse of Rogers was also apparent tonight. He is the only reliever anyone can trust out there and he just didn’t have it tonight. If that is linked to fatigue then making a trade is much more necessary.
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.
- nclahammer likes this