SP: Bailey Ober: 4.0 IP,4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K (74 pitches, 48 strikes (64.9%))
Home Runs: Josh Donaldson (24)
Bottom 3 WPA: Bailey Ober (-0.143), Ryan Jeffers (-0.143), Joe Ryan (-0.097)
Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)
Second Time Not the Charm for Ober
Bailey Ober has had a terrific showing in his rookie season, and on Saturday things looked to be going quite well. Ober got outs on the first eight batters he faced before issuing a four-pitch walk to nine-hitter Reese McGuire. He recovered to strike out leadoff man, George Springer for the final out of the third inning.
However, things went south in a hurry in the fourth inning. Ober thought things were going to start out well. He thought he got Marcus Semien looking at a called third strike. Unfortunately, it was called a ball. The next pitch, Semien crushed his 40th home run of the season.
Ober then walked Vlad Guerrero, Jr. before Bo Bichette lined a single to center field. That brought All Star Teoscar Hernandez to the plate. He hit a high fly ball to left field that landed just beyond the fence for a three run homer.
Ober gave up one more hit, but he was able to complete the fourth inning.
Donaldson at Home in Toronto
For the second straight day, Josh Donaldson got an ovation before his first at-bat at Rogers Centre in Toronto. For the second straight day, Donaldson hit a home run against the team he spent almost four seasons playing for.
In his time in Toronto, he played in two All Star games, won two Silver Slugger awards and was named the 2015 AL MVP.
Unfortunately, the Twins had just four hits in the game.
Ups and Downs for Jovani Moran
The value of getting your feet wet in the big leagues is different for every player. Generally, it is to help get rid of some of the nerves that can appear early in a player's career. That's especially important for a guy like Jovani Moran. We know how good he can be. Just look at those strikeout numbers and read accounts of hitters trying to hit his changeup when it is on. However, we can also acknowledge that he can sometimes get wild and issue walks. While we will be able to see the splits over his big-league career, it would likely be more anecdotal for me to guess that in the minor leagues, it seemed like he often struggled most with his control in big situations. On Saturday, we got to see both.
Moran came in with a runner on in the sixth inning and completed the inning by coaxing a big double-play ball. Unfortunately, in the seventh inning, Moran could not find the plate and walked the bases loaded. At one point, Wes Johnson came out to talk to him. From that point forward, he threw almost exclusively changeups, and with more success. He did get a Marcus Semien strikeout. But after the third walk, he was replaced by Kyle Barraclough who allowed two inherited runners to score.
The point, at least for me, is that it will be nice for Moran to go through the ups and downs and have some of these good and bad experiences down the stretch. Clearly, his stuff can play in the big leagues. He just needs to find a way to relax on the mound. If he can, he can be very impactful. If he can't, he can't be use in big situations.
I'll bet that he'll be impactful.
The Twins will finish their series in Toronto and face #OldFriend Jose Berrios. The Twins have yet to announce their Sunday starter, but this will be updated as soon as it is announced.
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