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Doubleheader Recap: Minnesota Twins Split 2-Gamer with Angels


The Minnesota Twins offense looked completely lifeless in game one, but awoke in a big way in game 2, leading to a split doubleheader for the last place Minnesota Twins.

Game 1: Twins 1, Angels 7

Box Score

Thorpe: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 0 K

Home runs: None

Bottom 3 WPA: Thorpe -.317, Larnach -.101, Donaldson -.100

Win Probability Chart (Via FanGraphs)

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Game 2: Twins 6, Angels 3

Box Score

Berríos: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 7 K

Home Runs: Sanó (7), Garver (7), Larnach (1)

Top 3 WPA: Sanó .230, Garver .090, Rogers .088

Win Probability Chart (Via FanGraphs)

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Game 1: More of the Same

The first half of the double header for the Minnesota Twins largely followed the same script as every Minnesota Twins game this season. The bats were quiet, their starter only went 4 innings and the bullpen again allowed the walls to cave in.

The Angels wasted no time getting on the scoreboard in game one Thursday afternoon, as Lewis Thorpe served up a solo home run to the second batter of the game, Phil Gosselin. After the Twins tied up the game on a sacrifice fly in the second inning, the Angels kept their foot on the gas and didn’t let up, pushing across runs on extra base hits in the 2nd, 5th and 7th innings while the Minnesota Twins didn’t hit a single extra base hit after the 2nd inning. The Angels took the game 7-1 with the result of the game never in doubt.

Apart from the silent bats, the most concerning part of Game 1 was the discouraging start from Lewis Thorpe. The southpaw’s fastball topped out at a meager 91.5 MPH, though for the majority of the game it was in the 80s. Thorpe only generated 2 swings and misses in his 4 innings of work and was unable to strike out a single batter.

What the Twins do with Thorpe will be something to monitor, as it has now been 2 full years since he has shown legitimate stuff and the more time that goes by the more it appears that this is the real Lewis Thorpe.

Additionally, it was another discouraging appearance for Tyler Duffey who went from one of the best relievers in all of baseball to an absolute trainwreck for the Minnesota Twins out of the ‘pen this year. Duffey served up 3 runs on 4 hits in just 1 inning, raising his ERA on the season to a massive 5.87.

Game 2: The Sanó Storm Continues

The Minnesota Twins wasted no time turning their fortunes around at the plate in the latter half of the double header. To start the first inning the Twins followed up a leadoff groundout with a Donaldson walk, followed by a Kepler double and a Polanco walk before Miguel Sanó cleared the bases with a grand slam to give the Twins an early 4-0 lead. The 413-foot shot was Sanó’s 7th home run of the season and 5th in his last 7 games. 
 

The home run parade continued for the Twins in the 3rd inning when Mitch Garver took Hunter Strickland deep for a solo home run, his 7th of the season and ended with Trevor Larnach connecting on his first career home run as a big leaguer, a 397-foot shot to right field in the 7th.

On the mound, José Berríos turned in a solid, yet not spectacular start for the Minnesota Twins. Berríos tossed 5 innings, allowing just 3 hits, however those hits were costly as Berríos allowed a solo home run in the first and a double in the 2nd inning on his way to allowing 3 earned runs on 84 pitches. 

After faltering in game 1, the Twins bullpen was up to the task in game 2 with 2 scoreless, hitless innings from Taylor Rogers and Hansel Robles, who converted his second save of the 2021 season.

Suspensions Handed Down

As game 1 of the double header began, news came out of the suspensions handed down from the Duffey situation in Tuesday night’s ball game. Tyler Duffey was suspended two game and Baldelli three, although Duffey was said to be appealing his 2-game suspension.

 

News later came out that Duffey’s suspension was lessened to 2 games and that he would begin serving it starting in game 2 of the double header.

 

Nelson Cruz Injury

After being hit by a pitch in the first game of the double header, Nelson Cruz was scratched for the second game with a left wrist contusion.

 

What’s Next

The Minnesota Twins will fly out of Los Angeles tonight before kicking off a 3-game series in Cleveland on Friday. Following the game, the Minnesota Twins announced that Randy Dobnak would be making his first start of the season for the Minnesota Twins on Friday night.

 

The Minnesota Twins now find themselves 15-28 and 11.5 games back of the Chicago White Sox in the American League Central.

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It is amazing that a split in a double header seems like a great feat.  Keep going Sano - whatever you and Cruz did is working. 

Duffey is toast.  Some RP seem to be rebounding and Berrios turns in another okay outing which for this team is outstanding.  

Let's hope Kiriloff and Larnach can give us the energy of youth and lift this team back to 500.

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I'm NOT making this comparison, BUT.......the way Larnach turned with authority to pull his 1st MLB HR reminded me of a former Twin with #33.  That ball was absolutely crushed as was the salami that Sano tagged in the 1st inning.  This season is over, I realize that, but at this point any small positives, I will gladly take.  

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I agree this seems like a win, and it's just treading water. Sano will be hot for another game or two until teams realize he still can't hit a well placed fastball  He will  never get above .220.  Will hit 20 bombs, but we will see how empty they  are.. The key, if our top 3  can somehow pitch consistently, will be we may work our way to .500 by the end of the year.  BTW all the fluff pieces on how good we are defensively are silly.  We are terrible  I'm talking to you Josh.  Far from excellent as advertised

No longer dvring every game, just catching it is on....sad

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I watched Jared Walsh's "foul ball" drive. How is it that I could see the yellow mesh of the foul pole partially obscuring the ball? That's because the ball, hooking hard to the right, passed BEHIND the foul pole, then reappeared to the right of the pole before it hit the wire. 

Home run. Fair is fair.

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number of teams who have done that are few and far between however.

Until the Twins learn the fine art of manufacturing runs without the HR ball, they will never crawl out of this hole in 2021.

Amazing how awful Garver can look at the plate.  Yeah he hit one out but the other 3 AB's were hard to watch.

Would be nice to see the team actually string some wins together. Maybe THAT would give us hope. Anyone guess how long Buxton will be out? I'll say till after the AllStar game. All of his injuries are 'serious' and once he comes back he is just one dive, one crash into a fence or one infield hit legged out away from another one, sadly.

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Don't agree with the Twins bats "awoke in a big way" theory. I guess 6 hits in 7 innings is impressive if you've been watching this lineup hit this season but had it not been for 2 walks before the Sano HR and then add the possible HR that Walsh hit this game would have been 4-4 and going into extras. It would be interesting to know how many runs the Twins have scored this year without the HR. 

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Will give Duffey a pass on yesterday's performance.  With everything going on behind the scenes, gotta believe his head wasn't into the game.

Although Thorpe's outing was not terrible, but disappointing, I will give him a pass.  The way he is being used this year has to be tough to work thru.  Kind of long relief in St. Paul with 2 and 3 inning outings, then shipped back to the Twins for 24 hours to get a spot start.  I believe starting pitchers need to get into a routine which is something Thorpe hasn't been able to establish this year.  Hoping they will send Thorpe back to St. Paul to start every fifth game.  Then after a few pitchers are traded in July, put both Thorpe and Dobnak in the starting rotation for the rest of the year and find out what they can contribute.

Great seeing Sano starting to punish the ball.  If he could stay hot for a week or two and then not go back into the K tank for the rest of the year the Twins could be fun to watch again.  Doubt they can get back into the playoff hunt, but at least play competitive baseball.

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To piggyback onto the previous post, I wonder what the most runs the Twins have scored in an inning where they didn't hit a home run. Two, maybe three? I do want to note that their offense is in the middle of the pack, although without Buxton they are pretty pathetic. 

There are some good trends. Outside of Duffey, the back end of the bullpen seems to be coming around. Robles and Rogers look pretty good and Colume seems to be over the worst of whatever was plaguing him. I want to see more of Larnach and Kirilloff and if Sano can manage to hit an occasional bomb, well that's better than 4 Ks.

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1 hour ago, TouchEmAllGuy said:

Larnach is legit.

Kirilloff is legit.

Buxton coming back in the not so distant future.

Hopefully Cruz can avoid the IL. 

Get our "A" lineup on the field most days and entertain us!

Buxton can never stay healthy, so I wouldn't get too excited about seeing everyone in the lineup at once.

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To all fans. There is hope. Buxton is the key. He has to remain healthy. Same for Kiriloff. This wrist problem worries me though. I've never heard of a wrist injury that you can play through and then get surgery at years and. I'm not a doctor but I'm puzzled. Trevor Larnach helps in a big way. He can hit and he's a better outfielder than given credit for. Areaz, Donaldson, Polanco, and Sano on the infield. The catcher issue is crazy. Garver can only hit lefties, so he looks good on paper vs lefties. Vs righthanders the catchers are hitting around .200 combined. The starters need to toughen up. Get at least through 6 innings. And the pen needs to come in and throw strikes. Cut down on lead off walks which have been coming around to score at a prolific rate. They're playing bad baseball right now. And if the analytics guys are reading this. If starting pitchers can't see hitters that dreaded 3rd time through the lineup, why has there been 7 no hitters thrown as of May 20th?

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6 hours ago, big dog said:

My understanding was that Donaldson would make us a better team, as long as he could stay on the field. I believe that I was badly misled.

Well he’s a better player than C.J. Cron, for sure.

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