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Twins 9, Rays 1: Garlick Powers Twins to Win


Twins Daily Contributor


The Twins seven-game winning streak came to an end in Tampa Bay on Friday night as Dylan Bundy gave up six runs in the first inning and the offense just couldn’t seem to battle back. Chris Archer made his return to Tropicana Field as a Minnesota Twin. Archer, the bullpen, and the lineup all came to play and started a new winning streak. 

Box Score
SP: Chris Archer: 4 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K (79 pitches, 46 strikes (58.2%))
Home Runs: Kyle Garlick 2 (3), Max Kepler (5)

Top 3 WPA: Kyle Garlick (.316), Gilbert Celestino (.73), Carlos Correa (.60)

Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

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Chris Archer Returns to Tampa Bay
Chris Archer was acquired by the Twins from Tampa Bay on March 28 of this season, Saturday, he pitched against the team that he spent eight seasons with. While the asset for the Twins was knowing that Archer knows what to throw to his former teammates, the Rays also know what he will throw, which caught up to the pitcher in the bottom of the second when Taylor Walls hit a home run into right-center field off Archer’s slider in the second inning but is the only run that he gave up during his return to Tropicana.

In Archer’s first start against his former team, the Rays lineup made him work for every pitch that was thrown, but he completed four innings with the help of his defense and certainly calm demeanor. 

Rocco Baldelli has been limiting his pitches to around 60 during his first three games this season. The Twins are easing Archer into the season after spending most of 2021 injured with right forearm tenderness. Archer’s confidence continued to grow, allowing him to throw a season-high of 79 pitches. He managed to work through four innings and only allowed two hits and one solo-home run before being relieved by Cody Stashak.

The Bullpen did an amazing job of going five scoreless innings holding Tampa Bay to just one run for this game. 

Last Minute Roster Changes Assist in Game Win
The further the Twins have gone into April, the more injuries have popped up along the way. This series both Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton missed starting different games due to injuries. In their absence, other players have been stepping up figuratively and literally to get their chance at staying on the roster. 

Trevor Larnach replaced Buxton today in the lineup. Buxton was a late scratch for today’s game after he received a contusion from being hit in the hand during the game Friday. Larnach’s hitting against lefties has continued to improve and in his first at-bat, he walked, making McClannahan work.

The Twins kept Larnach in the line-up even after the McClannahan had retired, allowing him to help the Twins continue to work towards the win, getting a double in the top of the seventh scoring Celestino giving the Twins a little padding with a 4-1 lead. 

Larnach’s performance has continued to improve substantially over the past two weeks as he puts in the work to show why he should stay after they reduce the roster in May. 

Sano is back in the lineup after missing games with a sore knee. Batting eighth in the lineup, he wasn’t able to find his stride in the game and struck out with each at-bat.  Frustrating, for not only Sano, but for the team as well. Sano typically thrives at Tropicana Field with hits and RBIs, making it one of his more successful parks to play in, but just couldn’t seem to get anything going. 

Bailey Ober was placed on the 10-day IL on Saturday and brought up Cole Sands to take his place. Sands most likely will be making his MLB debut with the team after the Rays series when they travel to Baltimore to face the Orioles. 

Kyle Garlick was the MVP of the game today as he smashed two home runs, a solo homer in the first inning, and a two-run shot in the sixth inning to give the Twins a 3-1 lead. Garlick had his first career multi-home run game of his career today and after his second home run, the Rays removed McClannahan bringing out JP Feyereisen to finish out the inning. Kyle Garlick was taken out after hitting his second home run. He returned to the dugout and the Twins brought in Max Kepler for defensive purposes, and because they would be facing right-handed pitchers the rest of the game.

 

Kepler wasted no time getting in on the action hitting a single in his first at-bat and joining the player he replaced by hitting a home run deep to right-centerfield. 

Not Finished YET
The Twins used the ninth inning to give Twins fans a show, getting seven hits and four runs before leaving the bases loaded. The Twins have been on a hot streak lately winning eight of their last nine decisions and potentially could close out this series with a win. 

What’s Next? 
The Twins have a get-away day game tomorrow to complete the series with the Rays before heading to the east coast for a four-game series against the Orioles at historic Camden Yards. Pitching matchups for tomorrow: 

  • Sunday 12:10: Chris Paddack (0-2, 5.00) vs Josh Flemming LHP (2-2)

Postgame Interview 

Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

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This was a very well played game by the Twins, I thought. McClanahan was just filthy with his stuff and command but Garlick got to him on two rare pitches which weren't excellent. And then as soon as the Rays took him out the Twins feasted on the bullpen.

Meanwhile, pitching and defense remained great. Archer clearly battled with his command but he came through and the bullpen did the rest. And boy, I love to watch Jhoan Duran. He's filthy as well.

 

Small correction to an otherwise excellent article: It's McClanahan, with only one n.

Also, apparently they made a change and Josh Winder is now starting tomorrow. Looking forward to that!

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I thought because TB was so familar with Archer, I thought they'd really clobber him especially since they were so ready for Bundy.  But he did pretty well while working out the bugs on the fly and gaining endurance. It's a shame they signed Archer so late nevertheless I'm glad they signed him because in the long run he'll pay hugh dividends.

McClanahan pitched pretty well but luckily we were still in the game by the time he tuckered out and we blew the game wide open. I thought they'd put Winder in the 5th so he'd be able to get the win. Don't know why they are saving him.

 

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37 minutes ago, Doctor Gast said:

 

McClanahan pitched pretty well but luckily we were still in the game by the time he tuckered out and we blew the game wide open. I thought they'd put Winder in the 5th so he'd be able to get the win. Don't know why they are saving him.

 

Reported elsewhere on the site that Winder will start the finale in Tampa/St. Petersburg. Beyond that, Winder and now Sands are on the team as starters-in-waiting and only in the bullpen to pitch long relief on a short start due to injury (Gray in Boston) or ineffectiveness (Archer against the Sox). 

My concern is that using a top prospect in a limited and low leverage role isn't the best utilization of their talents. This, of course, is complicated by the short Spring Training and expanded roster limits. As it stands right now, the Twins are on to their seventh starter (Winder), but it would seem to be temporary, as neither Gray's or Ober's injury would seem to hold them out for much over the ten day Injured List minimum. 

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2 hours ago, stringer bell said:

Reported elsewhere on the site that Winder will start the finale in Tampa/St. Petersburg. Beyond that, Winder and now Sands are on the team as starters-in-waiting and only in the bullpen to pitch long relief on a short start due to injury (Gray in Boston) or ineffectiveness (Archer against the Sox). 

My concern is that using a top prospect in a limited and low leverage role isn't the best utilization of their talents. This, of course, is complicated by the short Spring Training and expanded roster limits. As it stands right now, the Twins are on to their seventh starter (Winder), but it would seem to be temporary, as neither Gray's or Ober's injury would seem to hold them out for much over the ten day Injured List minimum. 

It’s for an initial debut.  It’s always a good idea to make debuts less stressful for the rookies.  There is plenty of time during the next 6-10 years for Winder to start on a regular basis.  

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19 minutes ago, Brandon said:

It’s for an initial debut.  It’s always a good idea to make debuts less stressful for the rookies.  There is plenty of time during the next 6-10 years for Winder to start on a regular basis.  

You’re discussing Sands correct? I would have had no problem with him working the ninth, but as I said earlier, the club seems committed to having the next man up for the rotation only to be a long reliever after a short start. 

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It's clear from his past performances that Sano is a really streaky hitter. However, this prolonged spell of poor production to start the season may need a sharp reset. He shouldn't just be placed in the lineup day after day waiting for him to produce. Maybe something is wrong physically?

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Buxton being a late scratch is concerning. Can't help but get that creeping feeling any time he's removed for an injury.

Garlick, wow. He's got 4 hits this year and 3 of them are HRs. He's making it awfully tough to send him down when he plays like this against lefties.

Would be very nice to win this series in Tampa.....

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3 minutes ago, bighat said:

Garlick, wow. He's got 4 hits this year and 3 of them are HRs. He's making it awfully tough to send him down when he plays like this against lefties.

Would be very nice to win this series in Tampa.....

Garlick is out of options, correct? So, if that is true, he would be exposed to be claimed if the Twins wanted to send him down. I have to believe that will not happen. 

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One other thing……Duran is looking better every time he goes out there. He was so efficient I was hoping they would give him a third inning. What a weapon to have in the pen. Now we just need two more like him….

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Twins have played 21 games.  Buxton has only been in 13 of them.  Sounds frustratingly familiar.  He needs to get healthy and stay on the field.  Up to this point nothing has changed with him.  He's very good when he plays.  He just doesn't play any where near enough.  Here's hoping he gets better.  I'd love to see a healthy Full Season of Buxton production.

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You had to like how the Twins kept battling against McClanahan, who has terrific stuff. He kept ringing up Ks, but it never felt the Twins were just getting overwhelmed. You saw Polanco have a long AB against him, etc and they kept fighting him. Garlick of course did exactly what he was supposed to do: crush lefties. 

Archer didn't have an easy time of it out there, but battled through it and limited the damage. I think he gets another inning if it had been May already and he'd had another start under him, but with his injury history I approve of being cautious with him. Bullpen did a great job. My goodness, Duran!

Really nice to see the team keep pushing and add runs in the 9th to pad the lead. Correa is clearly heating up, which is great news. Just a nice win by a team that's playing pretty darn well right now. TBR are a very good team and a tough beat anywhere. Be lovely to steal the series from them!

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Not a big deal...... he did give up 6 runs, just not all in the first inning.

"....as Dylan Bundy gave up six runs in the first inning "

He gave up 4 in the first, and one in the 2nd, and 1 in the 3rd.

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