Happ: 4 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
Home Runs: None
Bottom 3 WPA: Happ -.322, Kirilloff -.046, Polanco -.044
Win Probability Chart (via Fangraphs)
As the summer heatwave continued to blast Minneapolis, the Twins continued their frigid play in Seattle Tuesday night, dropping game two of their three game set to the Mariners 10-0.
The Twins had mixed injury news Tuesday. Luis Arraez returned to the lineup from a shoulder injury which kept him out for several weeks.
Meanwhile, the Twins continued to be without their talismanic center-fielder Byron Buxton, who, is still not 100% to return from a hip injury, leaving Nick Gordon to man center field as the Twins continue to MacGyver outfield solutions.
The action on the field was stale and the game got late, early from a Twins perspective. J.A. Happ gave up a home run to J.P. Crawford on the first pitch of the game, a center cut fastball which was swatted into the right field seats. The pitch, the outcome, and the speed of its departure were all emblematic of the Twins 2021 season. Good planning and intentions, horrendous execution, horrible outcome.
The game was ostensibly over by the second inning, which unfolded as follows; walk, single, single, 3 run triple, ground out, passed ball, strike out, hit by pitch, pop out. An increasingly disenfranchised looking and ineffective Happ left the mound after two innings with his team in a 5-0 hole.
The Mariners added to a lead they never looked like they were going to surrender in the 4th, adding a run on three singles and generating the third mound visit of the night for Happ during what was to be his last inning. The Mariners added solo home runs in the 7th inning from Luis Torrens, and the 8th from Ty France. The France home run took the game to 10-0, in which Griffin Jax became the sacrificial lamb, throwing four innings on 93 pitches, albeit slightly more effectively than Happ.
Offensively, the Twins offered little to nothing in what was one of their flattest performances in 2021. Singles from Cruz, Arraez, and two from Kirilloff were the lone offerings on an evening when Chris Flexen pitched eight innings of shutout baseball, striking out eight. What else is there to say?
Mauer Charity Drive
In happier Twins news, Joe Mauer’s home run derby raised $347,838 for Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. Any of the old boys want to come out of retirement to help the 2021 squad?
On my recap days, I’m going to throw in a crowd sourced statistic, joke, story, or complaint to get more voices into the recap. Tonight's Bleacher Tweet is courtesy of Andrew Luedtke.
But what happens when everyone is terrible, Andrew?
Bullpen Usage Chart
On Wednesday, the Twins will send Bailey Ober to the hill against Justus Sheffield. First pitch is at 9:10 CT.