Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)
Hitting woes continue
For the game's first five innings, the Twins bats did not get anything going aside from a Carlos Correa infield single in the fourth to stop Jonathan Heasley’s 10 up-10 down start to the game. Many of the Twins’ at-bats were wasted on flyouts and groundouts and not taking enough pitches each at-bat to draw walks as Heasley had 64 pitches and 41 strikes through five.
The Twins mounted their first threat in the top of the sixth when Caleb Hamilton led off with a walk (his first career walk) followed by a Luis Arraez single which advanced Hamilton to third. Hamilton scored two batters later on a Nick Gordon sacrifice fly finally getting the Twins on the board down 3-1.
The Twins hitters combined for a total of two hits and three walks with a run in Thursday’s game, continuing to miss opportunities to drive in runs when provided as in the sixth.
Winder throws well with no support
Josh Winder had the start for the Twins and had a solid first two innings of work surrendering only a double to Bobby Witt Jr. and walking to Salvador Perez. Both those batters got to Winder once again in the third as both singled on back-to-back at-bats with Perez driving in Witt Jr. to put the Royals up 1-0.
Winder worked the sixth inning to give the bullpen a little extra rest, and aside from a two-out single to Kyle Isbel, he was able to retire all other batters on flyouts. Winder’s afternoon was done after the sixth inning. He threw 89 pitches and gave up three runs on six hits. He struck out four. An improvement from his previous start against Cleveland but still plenty of room for growth.
End of season skid sees no end
After the loss, the Twins have a 6-15 record for the month of September. They have not had this bad a record for the month of September since 2016 when they went 8-19 in the final full month of that season.
The 2016 season was the worst in Minnesota for franchise history, this year has not been the case, rather the slow burn of falling apart since mid-June. This Twins team has also failed to really capitalize on any run-scoring opportunities as they have scored only 67 runs across 21 games.
Twins return to Target Field Friday night to start the final homestand of the season with a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels. Louie Varland is on the mound for the Twins against the best two-way player in history; Shohei Ohtani. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. CT.
Bullpen Usage Sheet