Twins Game Recap (9/22): Twins Offense Erupts for Twelve Runs Over Royals
Perez: 2.1 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 73% strikes (38 of 52 pitches)
Bullpen: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 6 BB, 14 K
Home Runs: Cruz (40), Sano (33, 34)
Multi-Hit Games: Polanco (2-for-4), Cruz (2-for-3), Rosario (3-for-4), Gonzalez (2-for-4), Sano (2-for-4)
Top 3 WPA: Miguel Sano (0.25), Eddie Rosario (0.24), Nelson Cruz (0.14)
Bottom 3 WPA: Martin Perez (-0.26), Mitch Garver (-0.09), Jason Castro (-0.03)
Both starting pitchers have abysmal starts.
Martin Perez vs Jorge Lopez was never advertised as a pitching duel and somehow it was still about as disappointing as it could have possibly been. The Twins scored six runs (touchdown) in the first inning but couldn’t get the seventh run across (something Vikings fans know all about). Three straight hits from Jorge Polanco, Nelson Cruz and Eddie Rosario drove in the first run, then a Marwin Gonzalez RBI single drove in another to bring Miguel Sano to the plate. He crushed a ball 133.8 MPH to left field and the Twins were up 5-0.
The Twins would go on to score one more thanks to a Jake Cave RBI single, and Martin Perez was given an early 6-0 lead to work with. It did not go well. He gave up two runs in the next inning from a Nick Dini home run but things really got messy in the third. Four hits in the next five batters from Lopez, Soler, Dozier, and Cuthbert cut the lead to 6-5 and Perez was pulled for Zack Littell who came in and shut the door.
Twins bullpen shuts the door as the offense slowly pads the lead
Luckily for Martin Perez, the Twins have an elite bullpen and a historic offense to pick up the slack. Zack Littell came in for 1 1/3 innings, followed by another great inning where Tyler Duffey struck out the side. May and Stashak each covered an inning after that and both once again looked good. Not surprisingly, Tyler Duffey ranks seventh in AL swinging strike percentage since the All-Star break and Stashak also is in the top ten at number eight.
The offense didn’t stop after their six-run first inning, erupting for double digits in this one. Miguel Sano hit his second bomb of the night in the third inning. Since the All-Star break, Miguel Sano has the third most home runs (20), trailing only Jorge Soler (22) and teammate Nelson Cruz (23). Nelson Cruz actually added to his lead in that category in the fourth inning when he hit his 40th home run of the season! It’s not easy to out-homer your age when you are 39 but he did it nonetheless. He also joined just 57 previous players by hitting his 400th home run in his career.
The Twins continued to add on with two runs in the sixth and two runs in the seventh inning. RBIs from Eddie Rosario, Marwin Gonzalez came in both of those two innings. Rosario had two RBI doubles and Marwin had an RBI single and a bases- loaded walk.
Graterol and Romo close it out to cut the magic number to three games.
Brusdar Graterol came in for the eighth inning and continued to audition for a playoff role by striking out the side. He actually threw more sliders (7) than fastballs (3) this outing which is something we have not seen from him. If he is throwing 100 MPH heat with a working slider then nobody is hitting him.
Fernando Romero came in for the ninth but was lifted after issuing three walks in a six-run game. He was replaced by Sergio Romo who was able to finish the game after walking in two runs. The Royals brought the tying run to the plate with like 34 walks in the final inning, but the Twins have cut the magic number to three!
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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