Starter: Kenta Maeda 4.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 7 K
Home Runs: Alex Kirilloff (5), Gilberto Celestiono (1)
Bottom 3 WPA: Robles (-.241), Farrell (-.226), Donaldson (-.163)
Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)
It had been 20 games since we last saw Kenta Maeda take the mound for the Minnesota Twins. His return was made up of several shifts from moments of “Old Maeda” showing some great command and then “2021 Maeda” losing command and back again.
While it wasn’t the most comfortable of rides, Maeda gave the Twins 4 good innings and held the Mariners to one run on 76 pitches. The flashes of command were very encouraging even if not as consistent as one would like. Thankfully, Maeda had Jeffers behind the plate who also did his thing in helping his starter get every strike that he could.
Young Outfield Trio Provides Offensive Spark
This weekend caused a lot of attention to shift to trade deadline deals and what Twins should make up the core of the next playoff team. Monday night, the outfield full of rookies gave us a potential glimpse into the future as Alex Kirilloff, Gilberto Celestino, and Trevor Larnach provided the offense for the Twins.
The Twins first inning was full of weak singles that were capped off by Larnach’s RBI single to start off his 2-for-3 night. It was then Kirilloff’s turn as he did the opposite of hit a Gonzales pitch weakly, launching his 5th homer of the season.
Celestino would quickly follow suit and hit his first career homer to put the Twins up 3-1 over the Mariners.
While Maeda’s start was encouraging, it still left 5 innings for the Twins bullpen to be able to navigate. Luke Farrell got the 5th inning and immediately allowed the Mariners to tie the game up 3-3.
Jorge Alcala and Tyler Duffey followed and were able to hold the game at a tie score as the Twins offense just couldn’t get another hit to come through. Hansel Robles’ name was called on for the 8th. His outing started out well as he struck out Dylan Moore, but in the next at-bat, Jake Bauers took Robles deep for his third home run of the season to put the Mariners up 4-3.
The Twins had one more chance in the 9th as the top of the lineup came to the plate. While that is the exact situation any team would want to try and win the game, the Mariners Steckenrider was able to close the door on the Twins.
For another time in this disappointing 2021, the Twins seemed just one more pitcher or one more good at-bat away from being able to claim a win. Tuesday night the Twins will send J.A. Happ to the mound to try and find a win in Seattle.
Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet