Twins Notebook 8/6: Seeking Another Sweep
Image courtesy of © Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY SportsLast Night's Game Recap
MIN 5, PIT 2: Randy Dobnak Delivers 6 Scoreless, Max Kepler Provides Key Insurance Homer
One Twins pitcher who induces weak contact relays into another for Thursday’s start. Kenta Maeda has begun 2020 in excellent fashion. His slider has continued to stymie right-handed hitters. Righties are hitting just .143 with a .174 wOBA against 24 Maeda frisbees.
There quite literally wasn’t a better pitcher than Maeda against righties in 2019:
Batting average against RHB (min. 300 faced):
1. Kenta Maeda .158
2. Yu Darvish .181
3. Justin Verlander / Jack Flaherty .182
Maeda’s changeup is a massive key to tightening up his platoon splits. So far in 2020, his changeup has been effective. Lefties swung and missed at nearly 32% of Maeda’s changeups during his first two starts.
Pittsburgh’s lineup presents more than a few challenges for the former Dodger. Josh Bell, a switch-hitter, posted a 1.002 OPS against righties in 2019. Bryan Reynolds, another switch-hitter, hit .334 with a .931 OPS from the left side. Kevin Newman hit .316 with an .824 OPS. Maeda’s changeup will be tested Thursday.
The Twins’ offense entered Wednesday’s game hitting a measly .237/.317/.410 (.727). Trevor Williams, who posted a 5.38 ERA in 2019, held them to just one run in seven innings. It isn’t quite fair to expect much offense from any team right now. The league had a cumulative .708 OPS heading into Wednesday. The Bomba Squad will find their groove.
Thursday’s matchup may provide that opportunity. Right-hander JT Brubaker has the nod for the Pirates. Brubaker has thrown a total of five major-league innings in his career, all during this season. He’s appeared twice in relief and allowed no runs.
Brubaker has seen 11 of his pitches put into play in 2020. Four of them were hit over 100 mph.
This upper-decker fastball mistake to Paul Goldschmidt should have the Twins licking their chops:
Brubaker isn’t stretched out to throw many pitches and the Twins should be striving to beat him out of the game quickly. The Pirates’ bullpen allowed a Max Kepler three-run shot after entering Wednesday with a bottom-8 4.91 ERA. They struggle to consistently throw strikes and the Twins have punished them for it since Monday.
Around the AL Central
CLE 2, CIN 0
CHC 6, KCR 1
MIL 1, CHW 0
STL at DET Postponed
1. MIN 10-2 (+30 run differential)
2. CHW 7-5 (+7)
3. CLE 7-6 (+4)
4. DET 5-5 (-11)
5. KCR 3-10 (-22)
Will Good Teams Play Top Prospects?
The Unexpected Lyft In Randy Dobnak’s Game
Will Luis Arraez Return to His 2019 Form?
Mechanical Adjustments Make for Wicked Matt Wisler
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