Randy Dobnak: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Home Runs: Nelson Cruz (15)
Top 3 WPA: Max Kepler .167, Hansel Robles .144, Alex Colome .109
Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)
The Minnesota Twins picked up their third win in a row and sealed a series victory after taking down the Texas Rangers by a score of 3-2 Saturday afternoon.
Byron Buxton made his triumphant return after being sidelined with a hip flexor strain, going 1-for-4 at the plate and scoring one of the team’s three runs. His lone hit was an infield single in which he didn’t display a single hitch in his giddy-up.
One batter later, Nelson Cruz tied the game at 2-2 with a long home run.
While Cruz hasn’t exactly been the NELSON CRUZ the Twins and their faithful have come to expect over the last few seasons, he has still been remarkably good for a player north of his...experience. Should the team decide to pull the trigger on shipping out anyone with one year remaining on their deal, something that is almost guaranteed to happen, Cruz will be one of the more sought after bats on the market. His departure from the Twins will be sad, but he will go down as a true fan favorite and one of the more fun players to watch in team history.
Randy Dobnak started on the mound and although he allowed a home run, his start was encouraging compared to his previous appearances. Saturday’s start represents pretty much exactly what the Twins want to see from Dobnak; control the zone and induce double plays. The biggest quibble one can have with Dobnak’s start is that he only picked up one strikeout, but at this point, the Twins will take any positives they can get when he takes the mound.
Speaking about taking any positives they can get, how about the Twins bullpen? Caleb Theilbar, Alexander Colome, Hansel Robles and Taylor Rogers combined to throw four innings of scoreless baseball, striking out five and allowing only three runners to reach base. Saturday’s performance is exactly what the Twins’ front office envisioned over the offseason. Unfortunately, it’s a little too late for the Twins to make a run, but if the bullpen strings a couple of games like this together, perhaps they can recoup some value on the trade market.
The Twins will turn to Kenta Maeda (2-2, 5.01 ERA) on Sunday as they look to sweep the Rangers. First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. CT.
Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
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