Twins Game Recap (9/17): Twins Win Wild Game on a Walk Off Hit-By-Pitch
Image courtesy of FanGraphsBox Score
Perez: 4.2 IP, 10 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 70.3% strikes (45 of 64 pitches)
Home Runs: LaMarre (1), Sano (30)
Multi-Hit Games: Rosario (3 for 6, 2 2B), Gonzalez (3 for 6), Arraez (3 for 6, 2B)
WPA of +0.1: Gonzalez .359, Rosario .307, Wade .254, Torreyes .164, Rogers .144, LaMarre .122, Romo .111, Cruz .102,
WPA of -0.1: Harper -.402, Sano -.214, Littell -.145, May -.143, Polanco -.114, Schoop -.100
After the Twins failed to hit a home run in their 5-3 win over the White Sox last night, it was Ryan LaMarre of all people who hit the Twins first home run of the series, leading off the bottom of the third inning. It was just LaMarre’s third home run of his major league career. The homer drew this great reaction from Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Ryan Saunders.
Later in the third inning, Miguel Sano helped the Twins make more major league history, when he belted his 30th home run of the season, making the 2019 Minnesota Twins the first team to ever have five different 30-home run hitters in the same season. Sano’s home run traveled 482 feet, and became the second longest home run in Target Field history, behind only Jim Thome’s 490 foot blast back in 2011.
Unfortunately for the Twins, the pitching staff was unable to hold the 5-0 lead they were given. Martin Perez was hit all over the yard tonight, giving up 10 hits in just 4- 2/3 innings. Somehow, he managed to give up just three runs. In the top of the sixth, Trevor May gave up home runs to Zack Collings and Adam Engel on back-to-back pitches, and just like that the game was tied.
Tyler Duffey had another excellent outing tonight, striking out the White Sox' 3-4-5 hitters in the top of the seventh inning. Duffey has now worked 22 consecutive scoreless outings, dating back to July 28th. Over that time, Duffey has 33 strikeouts to just five walks in 19 2/3 innings pitched and has lowered his ERA from 3.82 down to 2.39.
It was Sergio Romo’s turn in the top of the eighth inning to keep the score tied at five. Which is just what he did, getting a couple of big strikeouts with a runner on first to end the inning. However, he did so with an obvious limp after every pitch. The Twins came out to chat with him about it, be he insisted he was fine and stayed in the game to get the final two hitters. It will be worth monitoring this situation in the coming days to make sure nothing comes from it.
Both Taylor Rogers and Zack Littell had to work out of jams in the top of the ninth and the top of the tenth respectively, to give the Twins hitters extra chances to try to win the game. The first two batters reached against Rogers via an error by Jorge Polanco, and a fielder’s choice by Rogers, when he tried to make the play at second after fielding a comebacker but was late with the throw. However, he was able to battle back by inducing a double play and getting Eloy Jimenez to strike out. In the tenth, Littell gave up two singles to lead off the inning. Then, after a sac bunt, Rocco Baldelli decided to load the bases with an intentional walk. That moved paid off, as Littell got a pop out and a flyout to get out of the jam.
The Twins weren’t as fortunate in the 11th inning as they had been in the innings prior, as Tim Anderson led off the inning with a no-doubter off Zack Littell. Littell did a nice job not surrendering any more runs in the inning, keeping the White Sox lead at just one run. This played out huge for the Twins in the bottom of the inning, when Jonathan Schoop led off the inning with a single. He got pinch run for by LaMonte Wade Jr., who advanced to second on a C.J. Cron ground out, and to third on a wild pitch that barely got away from the White Sox catcher. This aggressive base running kept the Twins alive, as Mitch Garver came through with a sac fly to tie the game back up at six.
In the 12th inning, Rocco Baldelli turned to Ryne Harper to get three outs, and the Twins bats back up with a chance to win the game. Harper did get those three outs However, that wasn’t until after he had surrendered a two-run home run to Ryan Cordell, giving the White Sox a 8-6 lead. Harper nearly gave up a few more runs, as the White Sox had first and third with two outs, but Harper got Eloy Jimenez to ground out to end the inning.
The Twins may have been down but they certainly weren’t out of it, with the middle of their order due up in the bottom of the 12th. Nelson Cruz got the rally started with a lead off single, which was immediately followed by a double from Eddie Rosario, and just like that the Twins were in business. Then Miguel Sano came to the plate, and was immediately set down on three pitches. After Sano came Marwin Gonzalez, who after falling behind in the count, came through with a base hit to bring both Cruz and Rosario around to score, tying the game at eight. However, the Twins weren’t done quite yet. Luis Arraez followed up Gonzalez’s single with one of his own, Arraez’s third hit of the game. That brought LaMonte Wade Jr. up to the plate and he smacked a line-drive single up the middle. Fortunately for the Twins, Tony Diaz has learned from his mistakes earlier in the season, and held Gonzalez at third on a throw that would have had him out by 30 feet. This loaded the bases for Ronald Torreyes, who came in as a defensive replacement for C.J. Cron in the top of the 12th, and this happened.
Postgame With Baldelli
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Next Three Games
Wed vs CHW, 6:40 pm CT (Cover-Odorizzi)
Thu vs KCR, 6:40 pm CT (Montgomery-TBD)
Fri vs KCR, 7:10 pm CT (TBD-TBD)
Twins Game Recap (9/16): Berrios tosses a strong 7.1 innings
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