Twins Game Recap (9/27): Twins Cruise Past Royals to Earn 100th win
Image courtesy of FanGraphsBox Score
Berríos: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, 61.6% strikes (61 of 99 pitches)
Home Runs: Sanó (34), LaMarre (2)
Multi-Hit Games: Sanó (2-for-4, HR), Cruz (3-for-4, RBI), LaMarre (2-for-3, HR)
Top 3 WPA: Sanó .193, Cruz .117, Berríos .100
Bottom 3 WPA: Astudillo -.063, Cron -.059, Torreyes -.056
The Twins 100th win is not only remarkable for the club itself, but even more for Rocco Baldelli. The rookie manager has now become only the seventh manager in baseball history to win at least 100 games in their first season as a manager. Baldelli is a top candidate to win the AL Manager of the Year award, two years after Paul Molitor did the same with Minnesota.
With two games left, the Twins can still match the club record, held by the 1965 Twins, who won 102 games. They made it all the way to the World Season that year.
Bats take care of business early
Off to a great start, the Twins were able to put runs on the board very quickly. Before the Royals could record an out in the game, Minnesota’s top four batters reached on three singles and a walk. Nelson Cruz drove in his 107th RBI of the year, followed by and RBI-single by Eddie Rosario, driving in his 109th, giving the Twins a quick 2-0 lead.
After the Royals put their first run on the board, it was time for the Twins top of the order to be back in the box and they did more damage. Miguel Sanó got his second hit of the night, jumping on the second pitch of his at-bat, blasting a two-run home run into the fountains. This home run gave Sanó a new career high in RBI (79), breaking his former personal record (77) of 2017.
Ryan LaMarre made his contribution too. Royals starter Eric Skoglund had retired two batters, in what would have been his first scoreless inning of the night. But The Sire had other plans and took him deep with a two-run shot, making it 6-1 Twins. LaMarre’s dinger helped put an end to Skoglund’s night after only three innings.
Berríos achieves personal milestone
There was talk about José Berríos having his pitch count limited in this game. But that possibility vanished once he finished the fifth inning two outs away from reaching the 200-inning mark for the first time in his career. All it took him was five pitches, when he nearly induced a double play. He went on to strike out his last regular season batter and to display a lot of emotion by doing so.
Berríos’ final line could have been even better, if it wasn’t for a couple of errors in the outfield, which allowed the Royals to score twice. The rain interrupted the game in the middle of the seventh inning and therefore it was suspended, giving Berríos a complete game.
“La Makina” concludes his 2019 season going 14-8, with 200 1/3 innings pitched and a career best 3.68 ERA, while striking out 195 batters. Berríos became only the fourth Twins pitcher this decade to reach 200 innings in a season. Carl Pavano did it twice (2010 and 2011) and Phil Hughes (2014) and Ervin Santana (2017) each did it once.
Yankees ahead in the HR count
Sanó and LaMarre hit home runs numbers 302 and 303 on the year for the Twins, but the New York Yankees hit five dingers in their game against the Rangers and now have 304. Both teams still have two games to decide who will keep the record.
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.
- dbminn and nclahammer like this