Starting Pitcher: Joe Ryan, 5.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K (107 pitches, 72 strikes, 67.3%)
Home Runs: Édouard Julien (3), Ryan Jeffers (2)
Top 3 WPA: Matt Wallner (.224), Édouard Julien (.147), Willi Castro (.127)
Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)
Offenses get busy early
The bats were active early for both teams. Though the Giants didn’t score in the top of the first, they drove up Joe Ryan’s pitch count by making him throw 24 first-inning pitches. The Twins struck first, though, with Édouard Julien jumping on the second pitch of the inning for a leadoff home run to deep center.
The lead didn’t last long. With back-to-back hits to open the second inning, including a leadoff double, the Giants tied the game on a Casey Schmitt RBI single. The Giants scored only one run, but they once again forced San Francisco native Ryan to throw more than twenty pitches to get through the inning. At 45 pitches after two innings, it was uncertain whether Ryan would be able to stay in for a long start.
How long Ryan would stay in this game was uncertain, but at least he got some immediate run support. Three Twins batters reached against San Francisco starter Anthony DeSclafani in the bottom of the second. Willi Castro doubled to center and was brought home by a Matt Wallner double in the following at-bat that put the Twins ahead. Wallner reached third on a passed ball and scored on a Julien sacrifice fly next, making it 3-1 Minnesota. Ryan threw a scoreless third but couldn’t prevent his pitch count from reaching 62 by the end of the inning. It could’ve been a much shorter inning for him hadn’t he made a throwing error to second trying to rush an inning-ending double play.
Twins take advantage of the Giants’ mistakes and add on
Still, in the third inning, Minnesota’s offense didn’t start well, with DeSclafani striking out the first two batters quickly. But before he could record the inning’s final out, the Twins took advantage of a series of defensive miscues by the Giants' defense to score two more runs.
Kyle Farmer reached on a fielding error by Brandon Crawford, and after Castro got hit by a pitch, Farmer himself scored after a Wallner ground ball went through the legs of Brett Wisely to reach right field. The error allowed Castro to reach third, and with Wallner at first, the Twins tried a double steal. Wisely made a faulty throw home to catcher Blake Sabol, who couldn’t glove, allowing Castro to steal home and make it 5-1 Minnesota.
The Twins scored yet another run on a San Francisco mistake in the fourth inning. With Julien at third, DeSclafani threw a wild pitch, allowing the Twins' second baseman to score Minnesota’s sixth run. Ryan went on to complete five innings allowing just one run but having thrown almost 110 pitches. Could the struggling Twins bullpen hold on to a five-run lead?
Twins bullpen escapes a huge jam; offense adds on
Brock Stewart was the first relief pitcher out of the bullpen to replace Ryan in the sixth. He did not look sharp at all, and San Francisco loaded the bases before he could record an out. He was given an opportunity to try and get out of the jam, at least partially. He got two outs with a strikeout and a popout, then departed the game. Jovani Morán took the mound and got the final out on a single pitch.
The bullpen got even more support in the bottom of the sixth when Ryan Jeffers hit a leadoff home run, making it 7-1 Minnesota and getting DeSclafani out of the game. Morán came back for the seventh and gave up a leadoff walk, but he managed to strike out the next three batters to end the threat.
José De León pitched a quick, scoreless eighth, and former Twin Taylor Rogers pitched himself into a jam in the home half of the inning – runners on the corners with only one out – but Minnesota couldn't capitalize. De León came back to get the first out in the ninth, then Jhoan Durán finished it off without any problems.
Minnesota has a day off on Thursday as they prepare for another home series over the weekend. On Friday (5/26), the Twins begin a three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays at Target Field, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:10 pm CDT. Louie Varland (2-0, 4.18 ERA) is set to make the start for Minnesota, while the Blue Jays starter has yet to be determined.
Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
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