May 17, 2021, White Sox vs. Twins was supposed to be a matchup of two AL Central foes battling it out to see who would take home the division crown. While one team is absolutely on that track, the home team tonight looked just as lifeless as it has for most of the 2021 season.
To sum it up:
After some very promising starts, Happ for the second turn in a row had a start he will try to forget. In some fairness, Happ was facing likely the toughest matchup for him in 2021 facing a White Sox team that hits lefties very well.
The lefty did nothing to help himself as he may have nibbled himself to death as he tried to live around the edges of the zone. That approach resulted in Happ only being able to execute 48 of his 85 pitches for a strike before leaving the game with 2 outs in the 3rd inning and being charged with 6 earned runs.
Mitch Garver Exits Early
In the 1st inning, while catching, Garver took a foul ball right off of his knee. While his catcher gear stood between the ball and his knee it could only do so much in the way of preventing pain. Garver was initially barely able to stand and was clearly hampered as he doubled and scored a run in the 2nd inning.
As the game turned to the 4th inning, Garver was lifted from the game in favor of Willians Astudillo who was bange up himself coming into the game. Official word on Garver was his injury was a knee contusion.
Have a Day Nick Madrigal
When picking which White Sox hitter was going to threaten to hit for the cycle Monday evening, Madrigal likely wasn’t going to be on anyone’s list. Especially since the second baseman hadn’t ever hit an MLB home run coming into Monday night’s action.
That changed in the 3rd when Madrigal hit a home run to left center-field off of Happ after collecting a single in the 1st. He would then hit a double to knock Happ out of the game in the 4th and…
The Few “Positives”
Looking at the starting lineup Rob Refsnyder (similarly to our sentiments about Madrigal) was likely the last player anyone chose as the Twins offensive player of the game. He was just that as he went 4-for-4 with an RBI double.
Just as there was chatter and even wishes for a rain shortened game. The Bringer of Rain brought it. Josh Donaldson may not have had the best all-around night at the plate but he provided the most fireworks from the Twins side. And after going 1-for-3 with that home run, Donaldson earned himself some time off as Larnach would come in to replace him after the homer.
It will be interesting to see what happens with the Twins roster before tomorrow's game. With the bench already short before Garver was injured and the way pitchers have been used/performed. It would seem like some roster shuffling will be on its way.
Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet