Michael Pineda: 4 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (68 pitches, 52 strikes)
Home Runs: Jorge Polanco (16)
Win Probability Chart:
Top 3 WPA:
- Trevor Larnach (.077)
- Jorge Polanco (.068)
- Miguel Sanó (.065)
Bottom 3 WPA:
- Michael Pineda (-.179)
- Max Kepler (-.125)
- Luis Arraez (-.082)
No Offense, The Defense
For the second game in a row, Michael Pineda gave up two earned runs. If there is one thing that can be said about Pineda, it’s his consistency. All year, Pineda has hovered around a couple of earned runs and 5 strikeouts, and today was no exception. The brightest spot of his performance today is his high strike percentage of 76.5%. According to Team Rankings, Pineda’s strike percentage in his last 10 games is 67.6%, putting him above the likes of Jose Berrios and Kenta Maeda. Despite the eventual loss, his improved performance and general consistency is a silver lining for Pineda.
The bullpen is another story. Once again, the Twins’ relievers were responsible for the ultimate demise, despite the L being placed under Pineda’s name. In his Twins’ debut, John Gant helped the Cardinals add to their lead. To add insult to injury, the Cardinals seem to have already forgotten who he is.
Danny Coulombe surrendered one more after Gant, and Beau Burrows closed out the game with the final two Cardinals runs.
The Twins’ offense were partly to blame for the loss, as they barely made a splash after the two-run second inning. However, in the sixth inning, Jorge Polanco hit his 16th home run from the left side of the plate off of salsa-king Adam Wainwright. He is only six away from his career high from 2019, his All-Star season. He only has one home run less than Miguel Sanó at the moment.
Polanco had a monstrous July, only going seven games without a hit recorded, most of which were in the first half of the month. He’s showing no sign of stopping. Without Nelson Cruz, Josh Donaldson, and Byron Buxton in the lineup, the offense has struggled to push runs across the plate. Polanco has picked up their load and more.
It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane. No, It’s Miguel Sanó on Base
The departure of mentor Nelson Cruz hasn’t slowed down Sanó. Despite only hitting slightly above the Mendoza Line on paper, Sanó has continued to heat up nicely. His double today increases his OPS has to .746, two hundred points higher than where he started the season. Lately, Sanó seems to be spending more time on base than the dugout.
While there are mixed feelings among fans on Sanó as an everyday player, additional playing time has proven to be beneficial for Sanó so far. With Alex Kirilloff on the IL, the Twins need his continued improvement.
Around the Bases
Andrelton Simmons batted in the first two runs of August after hitting .163 with 4 RBI in the month of July. Josh Donaldson’s hamstring kept him out of action once again. Luis Arraez made a seemingly costly error that didn’t end up as the game decision maker. He also did not make up for it offensively, going 0-4. Trevor Larnach hit his 10th double of the year, tying him with the aforementioned Arraez and Mitch Garver. Garver continues to hit, scoring one of the Twins’ runs.