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  1. Twins Game Recap (9/11): Depleted Twins Fail to Match Up With Strasburg and Nationals

    Box Score
    Perez: 5 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 65.6% strikes (59 of 90 pitches)
    Home Runs: Polanco (21)
    Multi-Hit Games: Arraez (3 for 5), Polanco (2 for 5, HR), Castro (2 for 4)
    WPA of +0.1: Cruz .101
    WPA of -0.1: Perez -.220, Rosario -.161, Astudillo -.159, Adrianza -.105

    The Nationals jumped all over Martin Perez, from the get-go. After retiring Trea Turner for the first out of the game, Perez gave up a double to Adam Eaton, walked Anthony Rendon, a single to Juan Soto and a single to Ryan Zimmerman. By the time the Twins even sent their first hitter to the plate, they already trailed by a score of 2-0.

    The top of the third started off like a pretty harmless inning. Martin Perez retired Adam Eaton and Anthony Rendon to get two quick outs, but after a walk to Juan Soto things got interesting. Perez got Howie Kendrick down 0-2 and delivered a quality slider down below the zone that Kendrick lifted into right field for what looked like a routine fly out. However, with Eddie Rosario, nothing has been routine for him in the outfield this year, and that was the case with this fly ball, as he let it sail over his head for an RBI-double. Just two pitches later, Ryan Zimmerman made the Twins pay dearly for this mistake, as he took Perez deep to give the Nationals a 5-0 lead.

    The Twins were able to answer back with a couple of runs in the bottom of the inning, thanks to a Luis Arraez one-out single, and Jorge Polanco taking Stephen Strasburg deep to cut the deficit down to three. Polanco’s homer was the Twins 277th of the season and gave the Twins the lead in the home run race over the New York Yankees.

    During the middle innings the bats for both teams stayed quiet. The Twins relievers, Zack Littell, Brusdar Graterol and Fernando Romero, all pitched scoreless innings to keep the Twins in the game. Unfortunately, the Twins were unable to take advantage of that. They put up a two-out threat in the fourth, thanks to a LaMonte Wade walk, and a Jonathan Schoop double, but Jason Castro was rung up on strikes to nullify that threat. In the bottom of the eighth, the Twins had yet another chance. The Nationals made a questionable move to bring former Twin Fernando Rodney, and his 5.54 ERA into the game to face Polanco, Cruz and Rosario. The inning started off strong for the Twins, as Polanco reached on an infield hit, and Cruz drew a walk, but then Rosario, Astudillo and Adrianza all hit lazy fly balls to the outfield, killing the Twins' chances. All this was done, by the way, with Mitch Garver waiting in the dugout with his helmet and batting gloves on but was never called upon to take an at-bat that could have tied the ballgame.

    Randy Dobnak came in to pitch for the Twins in the top of the ninth, and promptly gave up a solo home run to Trea Turner, to extend the Nationals lead to 6-2, which would be the final score of the ballgame, as the Twins got a couple of runners on but failed to score in the bottom of the ninth.

    Bullpen Usage
    Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:

    Next Three Games
    Thu vs WSH, 6:40 pm CT (Corbin-Gibson)
    Fri at CLE, 6:10 pm CT (Odorizzi-Civale)
    Sat at CLE, 6:10 pm CT (TBD-TBD)

    Last Game
    Twins Game Recap (9/10): Berrios Bounces Back in Twins Win

    • Sep 12 2019 04:27 AM
    • by Andrew Thares
  2. Twins Game Recap (9/10): Berrios Bounces Back in Twins Win

    Box Score
    Berrios: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 67.0% strikes (63 of 94 pitches)
    Home Runs: Garver (30)
    Multi-Hit Games: Arraez (2 for 4, 2B)
    WPA of +0.1: Berrios .455, Garver .143
    WPA of -0.1: None

    The story of tonight was unquestionably the bounce back performance from Jose Berrios. After posting an 8.07 ERA over his last six starts, Berrios gave the Twins seven scoreless innings tonight against the Nationals. Berrios had a perfect game going into the fifth inning, until Howie Kendrick singled on a line drive to Eddie Rosario in right.

    The Twins got their first real scoring chance of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning, after Luis Arraez drove a one out double over the left fielder’s head, setting the table for Jorge Polanco and Nelson Cruz to drive in the first run of the game. However, neither was able to come through with a clutch hit, and the game went to the seventh inning scoreless.

    In the bottom of the seventh the Twins finally broke the scoreless tie, thanks to Mitch Garver blasting his 30th home run of the season.

    The Twins were able to add one three more insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth, effectively blowing the game wide open. The inning started with a Jonathan Schoop hit by pitch, followed by a Luis Arraez single. Then after a wild pitch from Nationals pitcher Tanner Rainey, Jorge Polanco came through with a two-run double. The bases were reloaded thanks to walks from Eddie Rosario and Mitch Garver, leading to an Ehrie Adrianza sac-fly for the Twins fifth and final run of the game.

    Those insurance runs were important, as Taylor Rogers was up and warming in the pen to get the save, but instead he was able to get the night off, as Trevor May came in and sent the Nationals down 1-2-3 to finish off the Twins win.

    Bullpen Usage
    Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:

    Next Three Games
    Wed vs WSH, 6:40 pm CT (Strasburg-Perez)
    Thu vs WSH, 6:40 pm CT (Corbin-Gibson)
    Fri at CLE, 6:10 pm CT (TBD-TBD)

    Last Game
    Twins Game Recap (9/8) Clevinger Shuts Down the Scuffling Twins Offense

    • Sep 10 2019 09:01 PM
    • by Andrew Thares