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Game Recap: Orioles 6, Twins 3

With today being June 2nd, the date that marks both the beginning of Lou Gehrig became the Yankees’ starting first baseman and the date in 1941 that he passed away at the age of 37, Major League Baseball decided to honor him with the first ever Lou Gehrig Day.

Box Score

Dobnak: 5.2 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K  

Home Runs: Jeffers (1)

Bottom 3 WPA: Astudillo -.127, Dobnak -.124, Colome -.100, 

Win Probability Chart (via Fangraphs)


Squandered Opportunities in the 1st

Just two batters into the ballgame, the Twins already had a threat mounting against Orioles starting pitcher Matt Harvey, after Jorge Polanco leadoff the game with a double, and was followed by a walk from Josh Donaldson. That opportunity, like many others before it this season, was not taken advantage of, as three and four hitters Alex Kirilloff and Nelson Cruz both struck out before Trevor Larnach grounded out into the shift to end the inning.

In the bottom half of the inning, the Orioles put together and even greater threat, as the first three batters to face Randy Dobnak all reached base to load them up with nobody out. Freddy Galvis then struck a hard line drive up the middle that looked destined to be a single, however, thanks to the shift, Jorge Polanco was positioned perfectly to snare the line drive and double up Trey Mancini at second to give Dobnak two desperately needed outs. Dobnak then got out of the jam by getting DJ Stewart to flyout to left to end the inning.

Jeffers Picks Up Where Garver Left Off

The Twins received bad news today, as catcher Mitch Garver needed to undergo surgery to repair damage done in Tuesday night’s ballgame when he was struck in the groin with a foul ball. Timing could not have been worse, as Garver was coming off a great month of May where he easily led all Twins hitters with a 183 wRC+.

As a result of the injury, Garver was placed on the 10-Day IL and Ryan Jeffers was recalled from St. Paul to replace him, and it did not take long for him to do that as Jeffers blasted a home run in his first plate appearance to give the Twins a 1-0 lead in the second.


In the eighth, with the Twins trailing 6-1, Jeffers drilled an opposite field flyball to the right-centerfield gap. For a second it appeared as though Orioles centerfielder Cedric Mullins would track it down, but the ball glanced off his glove and made it to the wall. This allowed Nick Gordon, who had reached on a single to leadoff the inning, to score from first and Ryan Jeffers to treck all the way around to third for what was not only Jeffers’ first career MLB triple, but his first triple since he became a professional in 2018. Jeffers would later come in to score on a Jorge Polanco sac-fly to cut the Orioles lead to three.

Orioles Bats Came to Play in Middle Innings

Things were cruising along well for Randy Dobnak through the first few innings. He had scattered three hits, a walk and a hit batter, but had not allowed any runs through three. However, things picked up for the Orioles in the middle innings. In the fourth, they strung together three singles together and scored a run on a throwing error from Nick Gordon that sailed into the Orioles dugout down the first baseline.

In the fifth, Dobnak was on his way to a quick 1-2-3 inning after retiring the first to Baltimore hitters. However, he then lost Freddy Galvis to a walk, and after a mound visit from pitching coach Wes Johnson, Dobnak left a hanging breaking ball over the heart of the plate that DJ Stewart did not miss, as he sent it over the wall in right to give the Orioles a 3-1 lead.


 After the Twins worked around a leadoff double in the sixth, the Orioles connected for three more runs in the seventh to stretch their lead out to five runs. Caleb Thielbar began the inning by striking out two of the first three batters he faced and giving up a single to the lone batter that he didn’t strike out. He then had to be removed due to an injury and was replaced with Alex Colome. Colome then proceeded to give up a walk, before Ryan Mountcastle took him deep on this three-run home run.


Bullpen Usage Chart


What's Next?

The Twins will continue their road trip with a visit to Kansas City to take on the Royals in a four-game series that begins Thursday night at 7:10 pm CT. The Twins are slated to throw J.A. Happ against Kris Bubic for the Royals.

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To repeat a my post from the game thread with an extra sprinkle

Rocco using Sano to "Pinch Strike Out" was absolutely priceless on soooo many levels

What an absolute clown car this team is.

Speaking of.... Sano should be required to have circus music for his walk up song until his K rate drops below 35% or his batting average goes above 0.200!

And the "strike out" coach should have to sit on a small stool next to the ball boy/girl down the foul ball line for the whole game until...um...there is any sign that....uh....he is successfully...er... coaching hitting.

Done and..... Done


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Andrew I am really impressed, you wrote a compelling description that almost felt like this was a game that mattered and these were real MLB teams. Why is it that our extended players - Kepler, Dobnak, Polanco, Sano all feel like dead weights around the team ankles?  I am about to leave for a week working on a cruise in Puget Sound and I am not sure I want to have internet access - if I do I might tune in again.  

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We watched a replay from the Royals game last week - a 2-out walk, a clutch RBI hit and the dam breaks. 

6 for 31 hitting is pathetic.  Adding three walks only gets OBP up to .265.  When you have this many call-ups, the veterans (Polanco, Donaldson, Cruz and Sano) should be leading by example.  But just barely -  they hit a collective .200.  😞

If the team cannot sweep Kansas City this weekend and get its act together, then the season is truly baked.  A dried-up, overdone turkey, to be precise.

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I was able to watch the Dodgers and the Cardinals game yesterday (the Japanese default is either the Yankees or the Dodgers if no Japanese player is featured). Gant is a very similar pitcher to Dobnak. The biggest difference is how the defense played behind him. Despite Gant's elevated WHIP (he had no inning that I watched where at least one hitter wasn't on base), his ERA is below 1.50. The talking heads kept saying, you know it is only a matter of time before this WHIP kills him, but every play by the defense was clean. If you have pitchers such as Dobnak or Gant, the defense must perform to a high standard. We didn't and the Orioles win.

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100 loss season is still in play.  Please fire Rocco.  Please...

Our family watched the game and we all laughed when Colome gave up the predictable bomb.  Way to take us out of the game Rocco.  We also laughed when Rocco called on Sano K King to pinch hit with again, predictable results.

It is so pathetic that all you can do is laugh.  And I agree with the clown car music comment.


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OK. Now if they aspire to win 90 they have to go 68-39. It's beyond obvious that that is not going to happen, so it's time to clear the decks and play for next year and beyond. Kiriloff, Larnach, Jeffers, and maybe Gordon are a good start. Back to the drawing board. All expectations have been destroyed, so there is nothing now to lose.

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Even the MLB app is ripping on Sano. Can we please not use him in situational hitting? I personally believe that letting Celestino should have stayed in the game. Gotta let the young guy do something. You can't protect young players forever.


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16 minutes ago, Major League Ready said:

Dobnak has one pitch.  He has absolutely no control over the slider.  Send him down until he can control a 2nd pitch or even better a 2nd and 3rd pitch.  Bring up whoever they feel is closest to ready. 

Colome is the reason the Twins lost this game, so anything the Twins do to Dobnak won't solve the problem.

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Can't hit with runners on base. Not only that, they can't even make contact.

A leadoff double should come around to score. Get 'em over, get 'em in. That's how it's done in pro ball. The Twins are a bad team that doesn't create many opportunities - but even when they do, they can't capitalize.

The players have given up, the manager is out of ideas, and the front office is hiding under their desks.

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1 hour ago, Taildragger8791 said:

Sano's WAR is back to zero. WPA is negative. It's all sky balls and strikeouts. Can't square up a ball to save his life.

The whole batting approach of "swing as hard as possible in case you hit it" is miserable viewing. Blah.


Sano will hit well again, at least in spurts, but maybe that should not be in a Twins uniform.  

My opinion is if the Twins do not cut ties with Sano, something is wrong, and I would hope we can at least put a pause on the narrative that this front office is doing a good job.  Paying part of his salary to play for someone else should not be off the table.  Getting him off the team will be a plus.  Just like it's no surprise when Sano launches a pitch to the moon, it's also no surprise that there is often comical drama and inconsistency with him.  Let him go.  If no other team wants him, which is highly doubtful, this would only solidify the Twins mistake with keeping him around so long.

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