Twins Game Recap (9/8) Clevinger Shuts Down the Scuffling Twins Offense
Image courtesy of FanGraphsBox Score
Dobnak: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 67% strikes (22 of 33 pitches)
Bullpen: 7.0 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
Home Runs: None
Multi-Hit Games: None
Top 3 WPA: LaMonte Wade jr. (0.13), Ryne Harper (0.03), Fernando Romero (0.02)
Bottom 3 WPA: Cron (-0.10), Dobnak (-0.10), Polanco (-0.09)
Clevinger dominates against strange Twins lineup
The Twins have been hit with the injury bug a frustrating amount of times this season, and that was on full display today. By the second inning, only three Twins players in the lineup were in the lineup on Opening Day. The Twins did what was expected with this lineup against the elite Mike Clevinger by getting just four hits over 6 1/3 innings.
Max Kepler left the game after a first inning at-bat that had him feeling some upper chest pain, and Ian Miller got his first career at-bat. He struck out and was eventually replaced by Twins legend Ryan LaMarre. Through seven innings no Twin had more than one hit and a bases-loaded opportunity went to waste.
The Twins did get a bit of offense off of Clevinger with this Mitch Garver home run.
Twins opener not as successful the second time around
The Twins broke out their first real opener last week against Boston and saw the Dobnak/Lewis Thorpe combination lead to a win, but today did not go as well. Dobnak started again but gave up two runs, and then his replacement was Smeltzer, who also gave up two runs.
With Michael Pineda suspended, Kyle Gibson on the IL, Jose Berrios struggling, and Martin Perez being a huge question mark, the opener strategy will likely be utilized by the Twins down the stretch. It may even be used in the playoffs so hopefully they can get a solid rotation or combination going to see what works.
Indians bullpen finishes off the game
The Twins were finally able to get Clevinger out of the game, and they were threatening to get back in to it. After loading the bases with one out, C.J. Cron and Mitch Garver both struck out swinging. As a team, the Twins are hitting just .215/.221/.318 with the bases loaded. Also, the Twins lead all of baseball in wOBA, but they are somehow last in wOBA with the bases loaded. Baseball is weird.
The eighth inning was easy for the Indians as Oliver Perez set down the side 1-2-3, and then Brad Hand and his 6.00 second-half ERA came in to finish it off. Luis Arraez hit a ball 98 MPH with a .400 xBA but Greg Allen made a great catch to rob him of a double. Adrianza flew out, Wade was hit by a pitch, Schoop walked, and 2018 Twins legend Ryan LaMarre stepped to the plate with a chance to tie the game ... He struck out.
Twins fall to 5.5 games over the Indians
The Twins basically just had to go 3-3 over these last six against the Red Sox and Indians and they did exactly that. Now moving on to six more tough games against Washington and Cleveland, the Twins should just go 3-3 again to secure the division. What is your panic level? I mean it shouldn’t be high except for the absurd amount of injuries, but let me know in the comments and I’ll discuss with you. Twins lose the series two games to one against the division rival Indians.
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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