SP: Chris Archer: 4 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K (79 pitches, 46 strikes (58.2%))
Home Runs: Kyle Garlick 2 (3), Max Kepler (5)
Top 3 WPA: Kyle Garlick (.316), Gilbert Celestino (.73), Carlos Correa (.60)
Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)
Chris Archer Returns to Tampa Bay
Chris Archer was acquired by the Twins from Tampa Bay on March 28 of this season, Saturday, he pitched against the team that he spent eight seasons with. While the asset for the Twins was knowing that Archer knows what to throw to his former teammates, the Rays also know what he will throw, which caught up to the pitcher in the bottom of the second when Taylor Walls hit a home run into right-center field off Archer’s slider in the second inning but is the only run that he gave up during his return to Tropicana.
In Archer’s first start against his former team, the Rays lineup made him work for every pitch that was thrown, but he completed four innings with the help of his defense and certainly calm demeanor.
Rocco Baldelli has been limiting his pitches to around 60 during his first three games this season. The Twins are easing Archer into the season after spending most of 2021 injured with right forearm tenderness. Archer’s confidence continued to grow, allowing him to throw a season-high of 79 pitches. He managed to work through four innings and only allowed two hits and one solo-home run before being relieved by Cody Stashak.
The Bullpen did an amazing job of going five scoreless innings holding Tampa Bay to just one run for this game.
Last Minute Roster Changes Assist in Game Win
The further the Twins have gone into April, the more injuries have popped up along the way. This series both Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton missed starting different games due to injuries. In their absence, other players have been stepping up figuratively and literally to get their chance at staying on the roster.
Trevor Larnach replaced Buxton today in the lineup. Buxton was a late scratch for today’s game after he received a contusion from being hit in the hand during the game Friday. Larnach’s hitting against lefties has continued to improve and in his first at-bat, he walked, making McClannahan work.
The Twins kept Larnach in the line-up even after the McClannahan had retired, allowing him to help the Twins continue to work towards the win, getting a double in the top of the seventh scoring Celestino giving the Twins a little padding with a 4-1 lead.
Larnach’s performance has continued to improve substantially over the past two weeks as he puts in the work to show why he should stay after they reduce the roster in May.
Sano is back in the lineup after missing games with a sore knee. Batting eighth in the lineup, he wasn’t able to find his stride in the game and struck out with each at-bat. Frustrating, for not only Sano, but for the team as well. Sano typically thrives at Tropicana Field with hits and RBIs, making it one of his more successful parks to play in, but just couldn’t seem to get anything going.
Bailey Ober was placed on the 10-day IL on Saturday and brought up Cole Sands to take his place. Sands most likely will be making his MLB debut with the team after the Rays series when they travel to Baltimore to face the Orioles.
Kyle Garlick was the MVP of the game today as he smashed two home runs, a solo homer in the first inning, and a two-run shot in the sixth inning to give the Twins a 3-1 lead. Garlick had his first career multi-home run game of his career today and after his second home run, the Rays removed McClannahan bringing out JP Feyereisen to finish out the inning. Kyle Garlick was taken out after hitting his second home run. He returned to the dugout and the Twins brought in Max Kepler for defensive purposes, and because they would be facing right-handed pitchers the rest of the game.
Kepler wasted no time getting in on the action hitting a single in his first at-bat and joining the player he replaced by hitting a home run deep to right-centerfield.
Not Finished YET
The Twins used the ninth inning to give Twins fans a show, getting seven hits and four runs before leaving the bases loaded. The Twins have been on a hot streak lately winning eight of their last nine decisions and potentially could close out this series with a win.
The Twins have a get-away day game tomorrow to complete the series with the Rays before heading to the east coast for a four-game series against the Orioles at historic Camden Yards. Pitching matchups for tomorrow:
- Sunday 12:10: Chris Paddack (0-2, 5.00) vs Josh Flemming LHP (2-2)
Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet