Ober: 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
Home Runs: Cruz (14); Jeffers (4)
Top 3 WPA: Ober .195; Polanco .145; Donaldson .096
Win Probability Chart (via Fangraphs)
Bailey Ober Faced the Minimum in Four Innings of Work
Bailey Ober brought his A game to the mound tonight, as he was in complete control, dominating the Seattle Mariners lineup in four innings of work. The only baserunner that he allowed was a leadoff single in the fourth to J.P. Crawford. Crawford would later be thrown out in a strike’em out throw’em out double play. Crawford was initially ruled safe on the play, but after a Twins challenge he was ruled out as he came off the base for a brief moment while Luis Arraez had the tag applied.
It was not just good batted ball fortune that allowed Ober to have success tonight, as he did much of the dirty work himself, striking out six of the twelve batters that he faced. While Ober does not possess overpowering stuff, he has built himself a reputation as a strikeout pitcher in the minors, as he owns a career 11.1 K/9 across four seasons of minor league ball. Add this in with a miniscule BB/9 of just 1.2 and Ober has a great foundation to have a lot of success pitching at the big-league level.
Cruz and Jeffers Both Homer in Four-Run Fifth
After failing to capitalize in a couple of prime opportunities in his first two at-bats of the evening, Nelson Cruz did not miss on a third, as he absolutely pummeled a first pitch fastball, with two on and nobody out, that left the bat with an exit velocity of 112.3 MPH and traveled an estimated 421 feet.
After an Alex Kirilloff ground out for the first out of the fifth, Ryan Jeffers stepped to the plate and belted his fourth home run of the season to give the Twins the 7-0 lead. This was Jeffers fourth home run of the season, all four of which have come since he was recalled to the Twins on June 2nd to replace Mitch Garver who went on the Injured List.
Both Donaldson and Simmons Leave with Injuries
Tell me if you have heard this one before, Josh Donaldson had to leave Wednesday night’s ball game early with calf tightness. He appeared to tweak the calf when he advanced to second on a throw home after singling in the first. Willians Astudillo replaced Donaldson at third base and in the second spot in the order. Each of Astudillo’s first two plate appearances resulted in walks, which were the first two walks he had drawn since the 2019 season.
In addition to the Donaldson injury, Andrelton Simmons was also left the game early with what was reported to be ankle tightness. Simmons was replaced in the lineup by Trevor Larnach, who took over in left for Luis Arraez who moved into second, and bumping Jorge Polanco over to short. Hopefully this injury is not anything too serious, as a healthy Simmons could draw some interest from playoff contenders looking to upgrade their infield defense.
Bullpen Usage Chart
The Twins are off on Thursday before heading to Texas to begin a three game series with the Texas Rangers on Friday night at 7:05pm CT. Jose Berrios is scheduled to take the mound, opposite Mike Foltynewicz.