Twins Game Recap (9/19): Nelson Cruz Crushes 2 Homers in 8-5 Win
Image courtesy of FanGraphsBox Score
Gibson: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, 48.1% strikes (25 of 52 pitches)
Bullpen: 7.1 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 9 K
Home Runs: Cruz 2 (39), Sano (31), Garver (31)
Multi-Hit Games: Cruz (2-for-4, 2 HR), Sano (2-for-3, 2B, HR, BB), Garver (2-for-3, HR, 2 BB), Rosario (2-for-4)
Top 3 WPA: Cruz .313, Sano .245, Garver .183
Bottom 3 WPA: Gibson -.237, Gonzalez -.080, Schoop -.080
The Royals jumped out to a 3-0 lead early in this game (more on that in a moment) but the Twins bomba’d their way back in it. Nelson Cruz hit a three-run shot to the opposite field in the third inning to tie the game.
Later that frame, Miguel Sano hit a majestic blast into the upper deck. The Royals fought back, but the bombas kept being blasted. Mitch Garver crushed one to center in the fifth inning that tied the game at 5-5. Cruz added a two-run homer in the seventh inning.
The lineup, which was still missing Max Kepler and C.J. Cron, combined for eight runs on 10 hits and five walks. It was nice to see them making some serious noise at Target Field again.
What Even is Kyle Gibson Right Now?
From the 2017 All-Star break through the first half of this season, a stretch of 368 innings, Kyle Gibson pitched to a 3.77 ERA. In his 62 innings since, Gibson has limped to a 6.10 ERA. What awful timing.
This 2019 club is by far the best Gibson’s ever been a part of. The soon-to-be 32-year-old is also slated to become a free agent for the first time this winter. His weight is down due to his ulcerative colitis, and it’s showing on the mound.
Gibson was the Twins starter tonight, but recorded just five outs and was removed from the game after surrendering three runs on three hits and four walks. He threw 52 pitches, just 25 of them for strikes. And it could have been worse. Luis Arraez threw a runner out at home plate.
Gibson has been reduced to a complete question mark in his current condition. Could he be helpful as simply an opener? A long reliever? I don’t know, but it appears unlikely he’ll be dependable in a traditional starting pitcher’s role.
For more on Gibson’s legacy as Twin, check out this piece Nick wrote earlier tonight.
After Zack Littell got a big out to strand the bases loaded in the second inning, Lewis Thorpe took over. He gave up a pair of runs on six hits over his four innings of work, but also flashed some encouraging signs.
Thorpe induced 12 swinging strikes on his 72 pitches and struck out four batters. He managed to throw his curveball, which averaged 73.3 mph, for strikes 14 of the 19 times he went to that offering.
The bullpen A-team took over from there, as Tyler Duffey, Trevor May, Sergio Romo and Taylor Rogers combined to throw three shutout innings of one-hit ball, striking out four while issuing one walk.
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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