Pineda: 6 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
Home Runs: Kepler (1)
Bottom 3 WPA: Sanó -.276, Donaldson -.138, Robles -.107
Win Probability Chart (via Fangraphs)
The Minnesota Twins wasted no time getting on the scoreboard today as Max Kepler finally broke through with his first home run of the season on a middle-middle fastball from Jordan Lyles. The leadoff home run marked the 10th leadoff homer of his career and it was a no-doubter:
The Minnesota Twins quickly allowed the Rangers to tie the game back up, though, when Michael Pineda served up a solo home run to Joey Gallo, his second home run and fourth RBI in the four-game series.
After Texas tacked on another run later in the second inning, La Tortuga put the Minnesota Twins back in front with a two-run single to give the Twins a 3-2 lead.
Michael Pineda finished his day after six innings pitched, logging his third quality start of the season. Pineda finished his day allowing two earned runs on six hits, with two walks and five strikeouts.
After Pineda called it a day, the Minnesota Twins’ bullpen struggles continued, as reliever Hansel Robles surrendered a tying home run to Rangers’ backup catcher, Jonah Heim, just the second home run of his career.
Staying deadlocked through the high leverage innings, the Minnesota Twins found themselves in an all-too-familiar position, extra innings. Entering today’s game the Minnesota Twins were 0-6 in extra innings.
It didn’t take long for things to work themselves out how they usually do. The Texas Rangers scored the go-ahead run on the first at-bat of the 10th inning, a RBI single from Willie Calhoun off of Tyler Duffey, to give the Rangers a 4-3 lead.
In typical 2021 Twins fashion, the Minnesota Twins came up empty handed in the bottom of the 10th inning, not even putting up any fight whatsoever. The Twins went down 1-2-3 in the 10th with consecutive strikeouts from Astudillo and a pinch-hitting Donaldson, before Joey Gallo made a diving catch off the bat of Miguel Sanó and the game was over.
The Minnesota Twins are now 0-7 in extra inning games. They are 11-19 and on pace for a 103-loss season. Oh yeah, and Byron Buxton looks to have injured his leg late in Thursday's game. Things are bad.
Nick Gordon's Unforgettable Debut
To not ruin your entire afternoon on the sourest of notes, let’s end this article with the best part of Thursday’s ballgame, Nick Gordon.
After being drafted fourth overall by the Minnesota Twins seven years ago, Nick Gordon finally made his MLB debut and boy did he show out! Gordon drew a walk in his first plate appearance, later connected for a single, and stole two bases along the way. It was a day to remember for a prospect who has not had many things go his way. Congratulations to Nick on an unforgettable debut!
Byron Buxton Update
Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
Click here to see the bullpen usage over the past five days (link opens a Google Sheet).
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