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Thiéres Rabelo

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  1. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Dylan Bundy, 6.0 IP, 4H, 1R, 1ER, 2BB, 2K (60 pitches, 42 strikes, 70.0%) Home Runs: none Bottom 3 WPA: Gio Urshela (-.198), Alex Kirilloff (-.195), Max Kepler (-.164) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Tonight’s starters aren’t having the most impressive of seasons thus far, but based on their recent outings, both offenses had their work cut out for them. Dylan Bundy arguably had his best start in a Twins uniform last Saturday, when he delivered eight innings of one-run ball against the Diamondbacks. Similarly, Rockies starter German Marquez pitched very well in his last two starts away from Coors Field, allowing only five runs in 13 innings of work. Bundy and Márquez’ recent success set the tone early on tonight, as both starters completely dominated their opposing lineups. It only took Bundy 19 pitches for his first time through the order, allowing only a couple of hits in the second inning, the only time Colorado’s offense threatened him early on. Similarly, Márquez originally took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, when Ryan Jeffers broke his no-hit bid with a two-out double. But later in the game, they officially changed a Max Kepler reaching on a fielding error in the fourth inning into a single. Márquez wasn’t the only obstacle for Twins hitters in the early going, but also some solid defense from Colorado. Alex Kirilloff and Luis Arraez had a couple of hard-hit flyballs to deep left fielded by outfielder Connor Joe. Kirilloff’s flyout in the second left his bat at 98.9 MPH and had a .550 expected batting average. The pitch count looked great for Bundy, who completed five innings of shutout ball with only 41 pitches. But came the sixth inning and Colorado put together a good offensive display against him. Joe and Yonathan Daza hit back-to-back one-out singles, allowing Joe to reach third. Then Charlie Blackmon hit a ground ball to the middle of the Twins’ shift, preventing Carlos Correa from turning a double play in time and allowing Joe to score from third. Bundy would still give up a two-out walk before inducing a groundout to end the inning. Despite the low pitch count, Bundy didn’t return for the seventh. As Márquez continued to dazzle Twins hitters, Minnesota’s offense couldn’t build up any momentum. After that Jeffers double in the fifth, the Twins lineup went 0-for-8 against him with three walks. With two outs in the eighth, Correa reached on a fielding error by old friend C.J. Cron, also sending Jeffers to third. That play finished the night for Márquez, but Kepler grounded out against reliever Daniel Bard next, ending Minnesota’s potential rally. One silver lining from tonight’s disappointing loss was the good outing from the bullpen. Tyler Duffey (two) and Tyler Thornburg (one) combined for three shutout innings on 35 pitches, which could be great for morale after a tough week for Twins relievers. Potential targets for the Twins? Last week, Twins Daily’s Cody Pirkl wrote a nice article on how Márquez could be a great target for the Twins at the trade deadline. Tonight, he certainly showed he can be very comfortable at Target Field. If not Márquez, Bard is another great arm from the Rockies organization whom the Twins could also target. He helped Colorado to seal the deal tonight with a four-out save. That was his 15th of the season, tied for seventh-most in the majors. His ERA is now down to 1.91. What’s Next? Game two of the series is scheduled for tomorrow at 6:15 pm CDT. Minnesota will have Chris Archer (3.44 ERA) on the mound, while the Rockies will start Antonio Senzatela (4.42 ERA). Postgame interviews Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT Smith 0 0 21 26 0 47 Duran 0 27 0 17 0 44 Pagán 0 17 24 0 0 41 Cotton 0 11 28 0 0 39 Jax 0 27 7 0 0 34 Duffey 0 0 0 0 28 28 Thielbar 0 0 15 12 0 27 Thornburg 0 0 0 0 7 7
  2. The Twins got another excellent start from Dylan Bundy, who pitched six innings on 60 pitches, but Colorado had an even better one from Germán Márquez. Minnesota’s offense couldn’t figure him out and the Rockies held on to a sixth-inning run to win the series opener. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Dylan Bundy, 6.0 IP, 4H, 1R, 1ER, 2BB, 2K (60 pitches, 42 strikes, 70.0%) Home Runs: none Bottom 3 WPA: Gio Urshela (-.198), Alex Kirilloff (-.195), Max Kepler (-.164) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Tonight’s starters aren’t having the most impressive of seasons thus far, but based on their recent outings, both offenses had their work cut out for them. Dylan Bundy arguably had his best start in a Twins uniform last Saturday, when he delivered eight innings of one-run ball against the Diamondbacks. Similarly, Rockies starter German Marquez pitched very well in his last two starts away from Coors Field, allowing only five runs in 13 innings of work. Bundy and Márquez’ recent success set the tone early on tonight, as both starters completely dominated their opposing lineups. It only took Bundy 19 pitches for his first time through the order, allowing only a couple of hits in the second inning, the only time Colorado’s offense threatened him early on. Similarly, Márquez originally took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, when Ryan Jeffers broke his no-hit bid with a two-out double. But later in the game, they officially changed a Max Kepler reaching on a fielding error in the fourth inning into a single. Márquez wasn’t the only obstacle for Twins hitters in the early going, but also some solid defense from Colorado. Alex Kirilloff and Luis Arraez had a couple of hard-hit flyballs to deep left fielded by outfielder Connor Joe. Kirilloff’s flyout in the second left his bat at 98.9 MPH and had a .550 expected batting average. The pitch count looked great for Bundy, who completed five innings of shutout ball with only 41 pitches. But came the sixth inning and Colorado put together a good offensive display against him. Joe and Yonathan Daza hit back-to-back one-out singles, allowing Joe to reach third. Then Charlie Blackmon hit a ground ball to the middle of the Twins’ shift, preventing Carlos Correa from turning a double play in time and allowing Joe to score from third. Bundy would still give up a two-out walk before inducing a groundout to end the inning. Despite the low pitch count, Bundy didn’t return for the seventh. As Márquez continued to dazzle Twins hitters, Minnesota’s offense couldn’t build up any momentum. After that Jeffers double in the fifth, the Twins lineup went 0-for-8 against him with three walks. With two outs in the eighth, Correa reached on a fielding error by old friend C.J. Cron, also sending Jeffers to third. That play finished the night for Márquez, but Kepler grounded out against reliever Daniel Bard next, ending Minnesota’s potential rally. One silver lining from tonight’s disappointing loss was the good outing from the bullpen. Tyler Duffey (two) and Tyler Thornburg (one) combined for three shutout innings on 35 pitches, which could be great for morale after a tough week for Twins relievers. Potential targets for the Twins? Last week, Twins Daily’s Cody Pirkl wrote a nice article on how Márquez could be a great target for the Twins at the trade deadline. Tonight, he certainly showed he can be very comfortable at Target Field. If not Márquez, Bard is another great arm from the Rockies organization whom the Twins could also target. He helped Colorado to seal the deal tonight with a four-out save. That was his 15th of the season, tied for seventh-most in the majors. His ERA is now down to 1.91. What’s Next? Game two of the series is scheduled for tomorrow at 6:15 pm CDT. Minnesota will have Chris Archer (3.44 ERA) on the mound, while the Rockies will start Antonio Senzatela (4.42 ERA). Postgame interviews Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT Smith 0 0 21 26 0 47 Duran 0 27 0 17 0 44 Pagán 0 17 24 0 0 41 Cotton 0 11 28 0 0 39 Jax 0 27 7 0 0 34 Duffey 0 0 0 0 28 28 Thielbar 0 0 15 12 0 27 Thornburg 0 0 0 0 7 7 View full article
  3. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Sonny Gray, 4.0 IP, 8H, 4R, 3ER, 0BB, 4K (85 pitches, 59 strikes, 69.4%) Home Runs: Carlos Correa, 2 (7), Max Kepler (7), Gio Urshela (6) Bottom 3 WPA: Jharel Cotton (-.476), Griffin Jax (-.453), Emilio Pagan (-.285) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) With four combined runs scored by both teams in the first three innings, this game was off to a busy start. The Twins offense went off very early, with Carlos Correa hitting a solo home run in the game’s second at-bat. Then, in the second inning, Minnesota added another run after Gio Urshela and Trevor Larnach hit back-to-back singles, allowing Ryan Jeffers to push Urshela across the plate with a double on a liner to deep left. Cleveland nearly gained some momentum at the top of the third. Sonny Gray had retired seven of the first eight batters he faced, including a stretch of six consecutive. But Myles Straw hit a one-out double shortly before Steven Kwan hit an RBI triple to bring him home, cut the Twins’ lead in half, and still pose a threat at third base. Despite the two extra-base hits, Gray was able to cool down and retire the next two batters to end the inning. The Twins' response was quick, as Correa saw three pitches to lead off the bottom of the third and crushed his second dinger of the night, making it 3-1 for Minnesota. This was Correa’s first multi-home run game of the season, the 11th in his career. Following the home run, Max Kepler drew a walk, but the Twins couldn’t take advantage and settled for the one run. Twins extend the lead to four, but Gray can’t hold on to it Minnesota was able to extend their lead a bit more in the bottom of the fourth inning after Gray delivered another scoreless frame. Urshela led off the inning with a hustle triple that Straw couldn’t field. Jeffers followed him with a pretty RBI bunt that Guardians starter Triston McKenzie couldn’t glove, scoring Minnesota’s fourth run. Jeffers himself got to third base on a Nick Gordon single. Batting next, Luis Arraez, a career 0-for-9 against McKenzie, couldn’t get his first hit against the Cleveland starter, but he hit a sac-fly deep enough to bring Jeffers home, making it 5-1 for Minnesota. After four solid innings from Gray, the Cleveland offense started a rally in the fifth and jumped right back in this game. Austin Hedges hit a leadoff home run to cut the lead down to three. Then, Straw, Kwan, and Amed Rosario hit three consecutive singles off Gray, adding another run and ending his start. Gray departed the game leaving two runners on and no outs for Caleb Thielbar. Kwan scored from third on a one-out balk from Thielbar, making it a one-run game, but the Twins’ reliever managed to strike out the next two batters to brilliantly get out of an inherited jam and put an end to the Cleveland (first) rally. Cleveland rallies again, snatches the lead for the first time The long ball continued to work for the Twins, as they hit their third home run of the night. Kepler punished McKenzie’s second pitch of the fifth inning to hit a leadoff dong that gave Minnesota some breathing room. Thielbar and Joe Smith combined to pitch a scoreless sixth, but it wasn’t without a fight from the Guardians, who managed to produce a couple of baserunners before Smith could get the final two outs. For the first time in the game, in the bottom of the sixth, the offense didn’t score a run and that would prove costly later on. Jharel Cotton took the mound in the seventh and after three consecutive scoreless appearances (including one last night), he was ambushed, allowing Cleveland to take the lead for the first time in the game. Rosario hit a leadoff home run to cut the Twins' lead down to one, then, shortly after José Ramírez was hit by a pitch, Oscar González hit a two-run bomb to left, making it 7-6 for Cleveland. Twins rally back for four runs in the seventh, but the bullpen blows the lead in the ninth The Twins offense didn’t score in the sixth when Minnesota had a two-run lead, but they did when it mattered the most. Relievers Anthony Gose and Anthony Castro needed only six pitches to get the first two outs in the bottom of the seventh. But Minnesota’s bats weren’t done. Kepler drew his second walk of the night, then moved to third on a Gary Sanchez single. A mound visit didn’t help Castro, as he gave up a game-tying RBI single to Alex Kirilloff, who ended up on second after Sánchez hustled to third, nearly getting tagged by Ramírez. With a tied ballgame, Urshela gave the Twins some much-needed insurance by hitting a three-run bomb to center. Emilio Pagan was trying to redeem himself from the rough outing he had the night before when he blew the lead by giving up a game-tying two-run home run in the eighth. Tonight, he flawlessly struck out the side in the eighth, protecting the Twins’ lead. However, as he was brought back for the ninth, things got ugly for him. Rosario, Ramírez, and Josh Naylor got three consecutive hits against him to open the inning – the latter an RBI double to make it 10-8 Minnesota. Rocco Baldelli removed Pagán from the game immediately, bringing Griffin Jax into the game. With no outs and with runners on second and third, Jax got ahead in the count against González, but a bloop single to center was enough to score both runners. González advanced to third on a sac bunt and scored right after that on an Owen Miller sac-fly that gave the Guardians the lead, 11-10. A 1-2-3 effort by reliever Emmanuel Clase secured the win for the Guardians at the bottom of the ninth. What’s Next? Tomorrow at 12:10 pm CDT these two teams get back on the field with Minnesota trying to prevent a series sweep. The Twins turn to Devin Smeltzer (3.52 ERA) to start the game, while Cleveland brings Zach Plesac (4.41 ERA) to the mound. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT Jax 0 16 0 27 7 50 Cotton 10 0 0 11 28 49 Thielbar 0 31 0 0 15 46 Pagán 0 0 0 17 24 41 Duran 0 0 0 27 0 27 Duffey 0 25 0 0 0 25 Smith 0 0 0 0 21 21 Thornburg 0 0 0 0 0 0
  4. In a wild back-and-forth battle, the Twins hit four home runs and scored ten runs, but that wasn’t enough. It was a tough evening for Minnesota on the mound, as Cleveland homered three times and rallied for four runs in the ninth to take the series victory. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Sonny Gray, 4.0 IP, 8H, 4R, 3ER, 0BB, 4K (85 pitches, 59 strikes, 69.4%) Home Runs: Carlos Correa, 2 (7), Max Kepler (7), Gio Urshela (6) Bottom 3 WPA: Jharel Cotton (-.476), Griffin Jax (-.453), Emilio Pagan (-.285) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) With four combined runs scored by both teams in the first three innings, this game was off to a busy start. The Twins offense went off very early, with Carlos Correa hitting a solo home run in the game’s second at-bat. Then, in the second inning, Minnesota added another run after Gio Urshela and Trevor Larnach hit back-to-back singles, allowing Ryan Jeffers to push Urshela across the plate with a double on a liner to deep left. Cleveland nearly gained some momentum at the top of the third. Sonny Gray had retired seven of the first eight batters he faced, including a stretch of six consecutive. But Myles Straw hit a one-out double shortly before Steven Kwan hit an RBI triple to bring him home, cut the Twins’ lead in half, and still pose a threat at third base. Despite the two extra-base hits, Gray was able to cool down and retire the next two batters to end the inning. The Twins' response was quick, as Correa saw three pitches to lead off the bottom of the third and crushed his second dinger of the night, making it 3-1 for Minnesota. This was Correa’s first multi-home run game of the season, the 11th in his career. Following the home run, Max Kepler drew a walk, but the Twins couldn’t take advantage and settled for the one run. Twins extend the lead to four, but Gray can’t hold on to it Minnesota was able to extend their lead a bit more in the bottom of the fourth inning after Gray delivered another scoreless frame. Urshela led off the inning with a hustle triple that Straw couldn’t field. Jeffers followed him with a pretty RBI bunt that Guardians starter Triston McKenzie couldn’t glove, scoring Minnesota’s fourth run. Jeffers himself got to third base on a Nick Gordon single. Batting next, Luis Arraez, a career 0-for-9 against McKenzie, couldn’t get his first hit against the Cleveland starter, but he hit a sac-fly deep enough to bring Jeffers home, making it 5-1 for Minnesota. After four solid innings from Gray, the Cleveland offense started a rally in the fifth and jumped right back in this game. Austin Hedges hit a leadoff home run to cut the lead down to three. Then, Straw, Kwan, and Amed Rosario hit three consecutive singles off Gray, adding another run and ending his start. Gray departed the game leaving two runners on and no outs for Caleb Thielbar. Kwan scored from third on a one-out balk from Thielbar, making it a one-run game, but the Twins’ reliever managed to strike out the next two batters to brilliantly get out of an inherited jam and put an end to the Cleveland (first) rally. Cleveland rallies again, snatches the lead for the first time The long ball continued to work for the Twins, as they hit their third home run of the night. Kepler punished McKenzie’s second pitch of the fifth inning to hit a leadoff dong that gave Minnesota some breathing room. Thielbar and Joe Smith combined to pitch a scoreless sixth, but it wasn’t without a fight from the Guardians, who managed to produce a couple of baserunners before Smith could get the final two outs. For the first time in the game, in the bottom of the sixth, the offense didn’t score a run and that would prove costly later on. Jharel Cotton took the mound in the seventh and after three consecutive scoreless appearances (including one last night), he was ambushed, allowing Cleveland to take the lead for the first time in the game. Rosario hit a leadoff home run to cut the Twins' lead down to one, then, shortly after José Ramírez was hit by a pitch, Oscar González hit a two-run bomb to left, making it 7-6 for Cleveland. Twins rally back for four runs in the seventh, but the bullpen blows the lead in the ninth The Twins offense didn’t score in the sixth when Minnesota had a two-run lead, but they did when it mattered the most. Relievers Anthony Gose and Anthony Castro needed only six pitches to get the first two outs in the bottom of the seventh. But Minnesota’s bats weren’t done. Kepler drew his second walk of the night, then moved to third on a Gary Sanchez single. A mound visit didn’t help Castro, as he gave up a game-tying RBI single to Alex Kirilloff, who ended up on second after Sánchez hustled to third, nearly getting tagged by Ramírez. With a tied ballgame, Urshela gave the Twins some much-needed insurance by hitting a three-run bomb to center. Emilio Pagan was trying to redeem himself from the rough outing he had the night before when he blew the lead by giving up a game-tying two-run home run in the eighth. Tonight, he flawlessly struck out the side in the eighth, protecting the Twins’ lead. However, as he was brought back for the ninth, things got ugly for him. Rosario, Ramírez, and Josh Naylor got three consecutive hits against him to open the inning – the latter an RBI double to make it 10-8 Minnesota. Rocco Baldelli removed Pagán from the game immediately, bringing Griffin Jax into the game. With no outs and with runners on second and third, Jax got ahead in the count against González, but a bloop single to center was enough to score both runners. González advanced to third on a sac bunt and scored right after that on an Owen Miller sac-fly that gave the Guardians the lead, 11-10. A 1-2-3 effort by reliever Emmanuel Clase secured the win for the Guardians at the bottom of the ninth. What’s Next? Tomorrow at 12:10 pm CDT these two teams get back on the field with Minnesota trying to prevent a series sweep. The Twins turn to Devin Smeltzer (3.52 ERA) to start the game, while Cleveland brings Zach Plesac (4.41 ERA) to the mound. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT Jax 0 16 0 27 7 50 Cotton 10 0 0 11 28 49 Thielbar 0 31 0 0 15 46 Pagán 0 0 0 17 24 41 Duran 0 0 0 27 0 27 Duffey 0 25 0 0 0 25 Smith 0 0 0 0 21 21 Thornburg 0 0 0 0 0 0 View full article
  5. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Chris Archer, 4.0 IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 3 K (61 pitches, 38 strikes, 62.2%) Home Runs: none Bottom 3 WPA: Caleb Thielbar (-.140), Carlos Correa (-.133), Griffin Jax (-.069) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) No team in baseball has had better productivity from the top of their order this season. Coming into this game, Minnesota’s batters one, two, and three ranked first in the majors in both OPS (.854) and wRC+ (147), according to Fangraphs. They also led the American League in runs scored, with 142. This fact became evident right out of the gate this afternoon. Very early in this game, the Twins’ A-B-C trio (Luis Arraez, Byron Buxton, and Carlos Correa ) were already threatening the Diamondbacks. Arráez fell behind in the count but managed to smack a double to left that was barely fair shortly before being sent to third by a Buxton single next. With men on the corners and no outs, Correa couldn’t get a base hit of his own, but his double play grounder was enough to bring Arráez home, scoring the game’s first run. But that hot start was met by a cold stretch. After the single by Buxton in the first, the Twins' offense went 1-for-15, entirely dominated by D-Backs starter Merrill Kelly. Jose Miranda started the sixth inning with a leadoff single, but Kelly went on to retire the next three batters to end the threat. Chris Archer, on the other hand, didn’t have a brilliant start, but it wasn’t bad at all. The Twins starter, who flew in his father to watch him pitch, tossed four innings and allowed two runs on a couple of solo home runs, both by Christian Walker, one in the second and one in the fourth. This was the first time this month Archer allowed more than one run in a game. Rocco Baldelli decided not to bring him back for the fifth inning, sticking to the club’s conservative approach with him this year. At 61 pitches, today’s start is tied for his second-shortest of the season. The Twins bullpen gets wrecked Archer’s start wasn’t long, but it kept the Twins in the game. Unfortunately for Minnesota, their bullpen wasn’t on a good day. Griffin Jax took over in the fifth and immediately allowed a leadoff home run to Pavin Smith. He retired the next three batters on ten pitches and kept this a two-run game. As the offense once again couldn’t figure out Kelly and didn’t take advantage of the leadoff single by Miranda in the sixth, the Arizona offense punished Caleb Thielbar hard. Facing batters two, three, and four to begin the inning, he loaded the bases with only one out. With Thielbar struggling to throw strikes, Buddy Kennedy swung on a 3-0 four-seamer for a grand slam, giving the D-Backs a 7-1 lead. After an excellent month of May and four solid appearances this month, Thielbar allowed more than two runs in a game for the first time since April 26. Tyler Duffey took over when Thielbar gave up his second walk of the inning, and he got the final out of the sixth, besides tossing a couple of scoreless frames afterward. He now has 5 1/3 innings in his last three appearances, allowing only one run in that span. Kelly had one more inning of dominance in him, and he tossed a scoreless seventh. He departed the game after that, keeping the Twins offense to a 3-for-23 since the Buxton single in the first inning. Sadly for the Twins, Kelly’s departure from the game didn’t make things any easier. D-Backs reliever Joe Mantiply pitched a scoreless eighth and Noe Ramirez got the first two outs in the ninth. He did give up two walks, prompting Arizona's manager Torey Lovullo to bring Ian Kennedy to get the final out and secure the win. What’s Next? After a six-game road trip to the West Coast, the Twins head back home for a six-game homestand. They take the day off tomorrow, then host the Guardians for a three-game series starting on Tuesday. Joe Ryan (2.81 ERA) is set to start in game one, while Cleveland’s starter has yet to be determined. The first pitch of the first game is scheduled for 6:40 pm CDT. Postgame interviews Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet WED THU FRI SAT SUN TOT Thielbar 4 0 0 0 31 35 Duffey 0 0 9 0 25 34 Thornburg 0 0 33 0 0 33 Jax 11 0 0 0 16 27 Cotton 16 0 0 10 0 26 Smith 15 0 0 0 0 15 Duran 13 0 0 0 0 13 Pagán 0 0 0 0 0 0
  6. Seven fantastic innings from Diamondbacks’ starter Merrill Kelly, combined with a bad outing by the Twins’ bullpen, resulted in a tough loss for Minnesota in the rubber game of the series. The Twins conclude their West Coast trip with three wins out of six games. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Chris Archer, 4.0 IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 3 K (61 pitches, 38 strikes, 62.2%) Home Runs: none Bottom 3 WPA: Caleb Thielbar (-.140), Carlos Correa (-.133), Griffin Jax (-.069) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) No team in baseball has had better productivity from the top of their order this season. Coming into this game, Minnesota’s batters one, two, and three ranked first in the majors in both OPS (.854) and wRC+ (147), according to Fangraphs. They also led the American League in runs scored, with 142. This fact became evident right out of the gate this afternoon. Very early in this game, the Twins’ A-B-C trio (Luis Arraez, Byron Buxton, and Carlos Correa ) were already threatening the Diamondbacks. Arráez fell behind in the count but managed to smack a double to left that was barely fair shortly before being sent to third by a Buxton single next. With men on the corners and no outs, Correa couldn’t get a base hit of his own, but his double play grounder was enough to bring Arráez home, scoring the game’s first run. But that hot start was met by a cold stretch. After the single by Buxton in the first, the Twins' offense went 1-for-15, entirely dominated by D-Backs starter Merrill Kelly. Jose Miranda started the sixth inning with a leadoff single, but Kelly went on to retire the next three batters to end the threat. Chris Archer, on the other hand, didn’t have a brilliant start, but it wasn’t bad at all. The Twins starter, who flew in his father to watch him pitch, tossed four innings and allowed two runs on a couple of solo home runs, both by Christian Walker, one in the second and one in the fourth. This was the first time this month Archer allowed more than one run in a game. Rocco Baldelli decided not to bring him back for the fifth inning, sticking to the club’s conservative approach with him this year. At 61 pitches, today’s start is tied for his second-shortest of the season. The Twins bullpen gets wrecked Archer’s start wasn’t long, but it kept the Twins in the game. Unfortunately for Minnesota, their bullpen wasn’t on a good day. Griffin Jax took over in the fifth and immediately allowed a leadoff home run to Pavin Smith. He retired the next three batters on ten pitches and kept this a two-run game. As the offense once again couldn’t figure out Kelly and didn’t take advantage of the leadoff single by Miranda in the sixth, the Arizona offense punished Caleb Thielbar hard. Facing batters two, three, and four to begin the inning, he loaded the bases with only one out. With Thielbar struggling to throw strikes, Buddy Kennedy swung on a 3-0 four-seamer for a grand slam, giving the D-Backs a 7-1 lead. After an excellent month of May and four solid appearances this month, Thielbar allowed more than two runs in a game for the first time since April 26. Tyler Duffey took over when Thielbar gave up his second walk of the inning, and he got the final out of the sixth, besides tossing a couple of scoreless frames afterward. He now has 5 1/3 innings in his last three appearances, allowing only one run in that span. Kelly had one more inning of dominance in him, and he tossed a scoreless seventh. He departed the game after that, keeping the Twins offense to a 3-for-23 since the Buxton single in the first inning. Sadly for the Twins, Kelly’s departure from the game didn’t make things any easier. D-Backs reliever Joe Mantiply pitched a scoreless eighth and Noe Ramirez got the first two outs in the ninth. He did give up two walks, prompting Arizona's manager Torey Lovullo to bring Ian Kennedy to get the final out and secure the win. What’s Next? After a six-game road trip to the West Coast, the Twins head back home for a six-game homestand. They take the day off tomorrow, then host the Guardians for a three-game series starting on Tuesday. Joe Ryan (2.81 ERA) is set to start in game one, while Cleveland’s starter has yet to be determined. The first pitch of the first game is scheduled for 6:40 pm CDT. Postgame interviews Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet WED THU FRI SAT SUN TOT Thielbar 4 0 0 0 31 35 Duffey 0 0 9 0 25 34 Thornburg 0 0 33 0 0 33 Jax 11 0 0 0 16 27 Cotton 16 0 0 10 0 26 Smith 15 0 0 0 0 15 Duran 13 0 0 0 0 13 Pagán 0 0 0 0 0 0 View full article
  7. It was mostly a quiet afternoon from both offenses, but a few clutch hits late were enough for the Twins to win the rubber game against the Mariners. Minnesota wins the first series of the West Coast trip. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Sonny Gray, 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (65 pitches, 41 strikes, 63.0%) Home Runs: none Top 3 WPA: Sonny Gray (.263), Ryan Jeffers (.224), Caleb Thielbar (.131) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) A pitcher’s duel took place early in this game, as both starting pitchers dominated the opposing offenses with brilliance. Coming off the Injured List, Sonny Gray was making his first start for the Twins since May 29, and he looked superb for the first portion of the game. Gray retired six of the first seven batters faced, and that took him only 23 pitches. Come the third inning, he encountered his first speed bump of the afternoon, giving up a leadoff double to Taylor Trammell. To make it worse, Max Kepler made a throwing error on that play, allowing the Mariners right-fielder to reach third. Despite going back to the top of the Seattle order, Gray managed to retire the side and strand the runner on third. After dealing with the threat in the third, Gray continued to dazzle Mariner hitters and tossed a couple more shutout innings. He pitched exactly twice through the order allowing only three hits and no walks, with a total of only 65 pitches. Apparently, he picked up right where he left off before his latest trip to the IL. Pitching wasn’t the problem for Minnesota, but the bats were once again having a hard time. Southpaw Marco Gonzales was fiercely dominant against the Twins lineup, allowing only two hits and a walk for his first six innings of work. Minnesota’s first hit only came in the fourth. But things changed in the seventh inning. Gonzalez retired the leadoff man for his fifth consecutive Minnesota batter put away. Then the Twins started to manufacture their first run when Gary Sánchez hit a bloop single and Luis Arraez drew a walk after him. Jose Miranda sent Sánchez to third on a hustle play, avoiding a double play at first. Gonzalez was pulled right there, and Ryan Jeffers faced reliever Paul Sewald. On the second pitch he saw, he smacked a hard single to deep center, deep enough for Sánchez to score easily and put the Twins on the board. After Gray departed the game, Griffin Jax took over to pitch the sixth, and with a killer slider, he breezed through the three batters he faced, striking out two in the process. But once he departed, the Twins bullpen pitched themselves into a jam. Joe Smith allowed the first two batters he saw to reach in the seventh, on a leadoff single to Eugenio Suárez and a five-pitch walk to Jesse Winker. Fortunately for him, Dylan Moore popped out on a bunt next for the first out. Then, Gio Urshela made a fantastic defensive play for the second out. Smith departed the game after that, and Caleb Thielbar got the final out with four pitches. Such a clutch performance by the bullpen needed to be rewarded, and the offense came through in the top of the eighth. Gilberto Celestino hit a leadoff single against reliever Penn Murfee, and he scored a couple of at-bats later on a Carlos Correa double to left, making it 2-0 Twins. Minnesota wasn’t done. After Urshela grounded out for the second out of the inning, Sánchez drew a walk. It was up to Arráez to break the game open, and he came through. Following a wild pitch, Arráez pushed both runners across with a sharp ground ball thru an infield hole on the left side, doubling the Twins lead. It was his first hit of the day, driving his batting average back up to .354. Seattle’s bullpen found trouble again in the top of the ninth, although this time, they were able to limit the damage. Jeffers drew a leadoff walk and was followed by a Kepler single. Reliever Roenis Elias got Celestino to ground out next, allowing Jeffers to score from third, making it 5-0 for Minnesota. Jharel Cotton came in to finish the game and, despite allowing two runners to reach, managed to put this one away with a strikeout and a couple of ground ball outs. What’s Next? Minnesota gets a day off tomorrow as their West Coast trip continues on Friday. The Twins pay a visit to the Arizona Diamondbacks for a three-game set. Devin Smeltzer (2.38 ERA) duels Madison Bumgarner (3.50 ERA) in game one, with first pitch scheduled for 8:40 pm CDT. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT Cotton 26 0 18 0 16 60 Duran 16 0 13 0 13 42 Pagán 21 0 18 0 0 39 Duffey 0 33 0 0 0 33 Thielbar 19 0 8 0 4 31 Megill 16 0 0 14 0 30 Thornburg 0 26 0 0 0 26 Jax 0 0 12 0 11 23 Smith 0 0 1 0 15 16 View full article
  8. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Sonny Gray, 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (65 pitches, 41 strikes, 63.0%) Home Runs: none Top 3 WPA: Sonny Gray (.263), Ryan Jeffers (.224), Caleb Thielbar (.131) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) A pitcher’s duel took place early in this game, as both starting pitchers dominated the opposing offenses with brilliance. Coming off the Injured List, Sonny Gray was making his first start for the Twins since May 29, and he looked superb for the first portion of the game. Gray retired six of the first seven batters faced, and that took him only 23 pitches. Come the third inning, he encountered his first speed bump of the afternoon, giving up a leadoff double to Taylor Trammell. To make it worse, Max Kepler made a throwing error on that play, allowing the Mariners right-fielder to reach third. Despite going back to the top of the Seattle order, Gray managed to retire the side and strand the runner on third. After dealing with the threat in the third, Gray continued to dazzle Mariner hitters and tossed a couple more shutout innings. He pitched exactly twice through the order allowing only three hits and no walks, with a total of only 65 pitches. Apparently, he picked up right where he left off before his latest trip to the IL. Pitching wasn’t the problem for Minnesota, but the bats were once again having a hard time. Southpaw Marco Gonzales was fiercely dominant against the Twins lineup, allowing only two hits and a walk for his first six innings of work. Minnesota’s first hit only came in the fourth. But things changed in the seventh inning. Gonzalez retired the leadoff man for his fifth consecutive Minnesota batter put away. Then the Twins started to manufacture their first run when Gary Sánchez hit a bloop single and Luis Arraez drew a walk after him. Jose Miranda sent Sánchez to third on a hustle play, avoiding a double play at first. Gonzalez was pulled right there, and Ryan Jeffers faced reliever Paul Sewald. On the second pitch he saw, he smacked a hard single to deep center, deep enough for Sánchez to score easily and put the Twins on the board. After Gray departed the game, Griffin Jax took over to pitch the sixth, and with a killer slider, he breezed through the three batters he faced, striking out two in the process. But once he departed, the Twins bullpen pitched themselves into a jam. Joe Smith allowed the first two batters he saw to reach in the seventh, on a leadoff single to Eugenio Suárez and a five-pitch walk to Jesse Winker. Fortunately for him, Dylan Moore popped out on a bunt next for the first out. Then, Gio Urshela made a fantastic defensive play for the second out. Smith departed the game after that, and Caleb Thielbar got the final out with four pitches. Such a clutch performance by the bullpen needed to be rewarded, and the offense came through in the top of the eighth. Gilberto Celestino hit a leadoff single against reliever Penn Murfee, and he scored a couple of at-bats later on a Carlos Correa double to left, making it 2-0 Twins. Minnesota wasn’t done. After Urshela grounded out for the second out of the inning, Sánchez drew a walk. It was up to Arráez to break the game open, and he came through. Following a wild pitch, Arráez pushed both runners across with a sharp ground ball thru an infield hole on the left side, doubling the Twins lead. It was his first hit of the day, driving his batting average back up to .354. Seattle’s bullpen found trouble again in the top of the ninth, although this time, they were able to limit the damage. Jeffers drew a leadoff walk and was followed by a Kepler single. Reliever Roenis Elias got Celestino to ground out next, allowing Jeffers to score from third, making it 5-0 for Minnesota. Jharel Cotton came in to finish the game and, despite allowing two runners to reach, managed to put this one away with a strikeout and a couple of ground ball outs. What’s Next? Minnesota gets a day off tomorrow as their West Coast trip continues on Friday. The Twins pay a visit to the Arizona Diamondbacks for a three-game set. Devin Smeltzer (2.38 ERA) duels Madison Bumgarner (3.50 ERA) in game one, with first pitch scheduled for 8:40 pm CDT. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT Cotton 26 0 18 0 16 60 Duran 16 0 13 0 13 42 Pagán 21 0 18 0 0 39 Duffey 0 33 0 0 0 33 Thielbar 19 0 8 0 4 31 Megill 16 0 0 14 0 30 Thornburg 0 26 0 0 0 26 Jax 0 0 12 0 11 23 Smith 0 0 1 0 15 16
  9. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Devin Smeltzer, 6.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K (96 pitches, 61 strikes, 63.5%) Home Runs: Byron Buxton, 2 (17), Carlos Correa (5) Top 3 WPA: Byron Buxton (.198), Devin Smeltzer (.110), Jorge Polanco (.082) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Over the last seven days, the Twins offense has experienced a spike in productivity. Coming into this game, they had baseball’s second-best OPS in that span, at .945. The bats continued to impress at the beginning of this game. Despite capitalizing on only one run, five of the first eleven Minnesota batters reached safely. They quickly jumped to a 1-0 lead with a second-decker from Byron Buxton five pitches into the game. According to Aaron Gleeman, that home run raised Buxton’s SLG to .702 since May 26, when he snapped a 0-for-30 slump. It was Byron’s fifth homer in the past six games – only his second of the season as a designated hitter. Despite having several batters reach base, the Twins failed to bring them home. Through four innings, Minnesota went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and left five men on base. Fortunately for them, Devin Smeltzer put together another lovely outing. The Rays tied the game in the top of the second on an Isaac Paredes long solo home run. Smeltzer gave up a leadoff walk to start the third but then followed that up brilliantly: he retired nine consecutive batters on only 35 pitches. He completed five innings of one-run ball with only 70 pitches. All he needed at that moment was some run support. Twins explode for six runs in the fifth Tampa Bay starter Drew Rasmussen kept the Twins scoring on a leash during the first four innings, but his start was wrecked in the fifth inning. Minnesota crushed him scoring four runs on six hits, four of them for extra bases – not to mention a walk drawn by Trevor Larnach. Buxton led the way hitting his second solo home run of the night, smashing a low-hanging slider for a line drive that barely cleared the centerfield wall into the Twins bullpen. With that dinger, Buxton became only the fourth player in Twins history with back-to-back multi-homer games, joining Don Mincher, Kirby Puckett, and Eddie Rosario. Two more runs came in the following three at-bats when Carlos Correa hit a double to left, then was pushed across by Max Kepler, thanks to a fielding error. Kepler himself scored next, with Jorge Polanco hitting a double to left, making it 4-1 Minnesota. A mound visit didn’t help Rasmussen, as he gave up a walk to Trevor Larnach. Gary Sánchez then hit a grounder to left that third baseman Yandy Díaz couldn’t glove, allowing Polanco to score the fifth run and Larnach to go to third. That was the end of the night for Rasmussen, but not the end of the Twins' scoring spree. Now facing old friend Ralph Garza Jr., Nick Gordon got a two-out single off the end of the bat to bring home Sánchez. At this point, Luis Arráez was the only Twin not to reach base on the night. That, of course, would change as he followed Gordon’s RBI single with one of his own. He hit a liner to right that scored Gio Urshela from second, making 7-1 Twins. Smeltzer pitches into the seventh, departs after being roughed up After five brilliant innings, Smeltzer pitched yet another scoreless frame in the sixth inning. His streak of consecutive retired batters reached eleven before he gave up a two-out single to Harold Ramírez. He struck out Díaz to end the inning with a healthy 84-pitch count, which made the decision to bring him back for the seventh a no-brainer. Unfortunately for him, his almost impeccable start was stained, and he had to leave the game before he could record a single out in the inning. Randy Arozarena hit a long flyball to deep center that could’ve been gloved, but Gordon failed to. It took Kepler too long to get to the ball that bounced off the centerfield wall, which allowed Arozarena to score an inside-the-park home run. On the very next pitch, Vidal Bruján hit a bullet to deep left, out of Larnach’s reach, for another home run. Even after a mound visit, Smeltzer seemed a bit off, and after an eight-pitch at-bat, he gave up a walk to Paredes, prompting Rocco Baldelli to pull him from the game. Griffin Jax came into the game and, with three strikeouts, made sure the Rays didn’t score anymore. The Twins bullpen needed some damage control after Thursday’s meltdown against the Yankees. Jax striking out the side and preventing a Rays rally in the seventh was a good start. Then, in the eighth, Baldelli made the odd choice of bringing Joe Smith into the game (he tossed 26 pitches the night before). He had a blown save on Thursday night, giving up a game-tying two-run home run. Maybe one way to reason for bringing Smith into this game is that he could regain some confidence. Coming into tonight’s game, he had an awful 8.44 ERA in his previous seven appearances. He could use a good outing here. But he wasn’t off to a good start, giving up back-to-back singles to Manuel Margot and Ramírez. Margot would end up scoring on an Arozarena groundout, but Smith managed to keep the damage to the one run. Correa adds on some insurance Garza Jr. settled down and finished his outing by retiring seven out of eight batters, keeping the Twins offense scoreless in the sixth and the seventh innings. But once he departed the game, the Twins bats were back at scoring some more runs. Arráez hit a leadoff single to open the eighth and, a couple of at-bats later, Correa took reliever Calvin Faucher deep for his fifth home run of the year, breaking the game open once again. Then, it was up to Emilio Pagán, who had no trouble closing out the game with a perfect ninth, making it his fourth scoreless appearance in the last five games. What’s Next? Both teams are back on the field tomorrow, with the first pitch scheduled for 1:10 pm CDT. No starter has been officially determined by the Twins yet, while the Rays will turn to rookie righty Shane Baz, who will be making his season debut. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT Smith 0 0 0 26 24 50 Cano 0 33 0 13 0 46 Jax 0 0 27 0 14 41 Megill 0 38 0 0 0 38 Moran 0 0 0 36 0 36 Pagán 0 0 15 0 15 30 Duffey 0 19 0 0 0 19 Duran 0 0 0 15 0 15 Thielbar 0 0 14 0 0 14 Cotton 0 0 0 13 0 13
  10. In yet another inspired night by the offense, who had Byron Buxton homer twice, the Twins got a convincing win against the Rays to start the series. Devin Smeltzer had a quality start, despite not finishing it the way he wanted. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Devin Smeltzer, 6.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K (96 pitches, 61 strikes, 63.5%) Home Runs: Byron Buxton, 2 (17), Carlos Correa (5) Top 3 WPA: Byron Buxton (.198), Devin Smeltzer (.110), Jorge Polanco (.082) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Over the last seven days, the Twins offense has experienced a spike in productivity. Coming into this game, they had baseball’s second-best OPS in that span, at .945. The bats continued to impress at the beginning of this game. Despite capitalizing on only one run, five of the first eleven Minnesota batters reached safely. They quickly jumped to a 1-0 lead with a second-decker from Byron Buxton five pitches into the game. According to Aaron Gleeman, that home run raised Buxton’s SLG to .702 since May 26, when he snapped a 0-for-30 slump. It was Byron’s fifth homer in the past six games – only his second of the season as a designated hitter. Despite having several batters reach base, the Twins failed to bring them home. Through four innings, Minnesota went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and left five men on base. Fortunately for them, Devin Smeltzer put together another lovely outing. The Rays tied the game in the top of the second on an Isaac Paredes long solo home run. Smeltzer gave up a leadoff walk to start the third but then followed that up brilliantly: he retired nine consecutive batters on only 35 pitches. He completed five innings of one-run ball with only 70 pitches. All he needed at that moment was some run support. Twins explode for six runs in the fifth Tampa Bay starter Drew Rasmussen kept the Twins scoring on a leash during the first four innings, but his start was wrecked in the fifth inning. Minnesota crushed him scoring four runs on six hits, four of them for extra bases – not to mention a walk drawn by Trevor Larnach. Buxton led the way hitting his second solo home run of the night, smashing a low-hanging slider for a line drive that barely cleared the centerfield wall into the Twins bullpen. With that dinger, Buxton became only the fourth player in Twins history with back-to-back multi-homer games, joining Don Mincher, Kirby Puckett, and Eddie Rosario. Two more runs came in the following three at-bats when Carlos Correa hit a double to left, then was pushed across by Max Kepler, thanks to a fielding error. Kepler himself scored next, with Jorge Polanco hitting a double to left, making it 4-1 Minnesota. A mound visit didn’t help Rasmussen, as he gave up a walk to Trevor Larnach. Gary Sánchez then hit a grounder to left that third baseman Yandy Díaz couldn’t glove, allowing Polanco to score the fifth run and Larnach to go to third. That was the end of the night for Rasmussen, but not the end of the Twins' scoring spree. Now facing old friend Ralph Garza Jr., Nick Gordon got a two-out single off the end of the bat to bring home Sánchez. At this point, Luis Arráez was the only Twin not to reach base on the night. That, of course, would change as he followed Gordon’s RBI single with one of his own. He hit a liner to right that scored Gio Urshela from second, making 7-1 Twins. Smeltzer pitches into the seventh, departs after being roughed up After five brilliant innings, Smeltzer pitched yet another scoreless frame in the sixth inning. His streak of consecutive retired batters reached eleven before he gave up a two-out single to Harold Ramírez. He struck out Díaz to end the inning with a healthy 84-pitch count, which made the decision to bring him back for the seventh a no-brainer. Unfortunately for him, his almost impeccable start was stained, and he had to leave the game before he could record a single out in the inning. Randy Arozarena hit a long flyball to deep center that could’ve been gloved, but Gordon failed to. It took Kepler too long to get to the ball that bounced off the centerfield wall, which allowed Arozarena to score an inside-the-park home run. On the very next pitch, Vidal Bruján hit a bullet to deep left, out of Larnach’s reach, for another home run. Even after a mound visit, Smeltzer seemed a bit off, and after an eight-pitch at-bat, he gave up a walk to Paredes, prompting Rocco Baldelli to pull him from the game. Griffin Jax came into the game and, with three strikeouts, made sure the Rays didn’t score anymore. The Twins bullpen needed some damage control after Thursday’s meltdown against the Yankees. Jax striking out the side and preventing a Rays rally in the seventh was a good start. Then, in the eighth, Baldelli made the odd choice of bringing Joe Smith into the game (he tossed 26 pitches the night before). He had a blown save on Thursday night, giving up a game-tying two-run home run. Maybe one way to reason for bringing Smith into this game is that he could regain some confidence. Coming into tonight’s game, he had an awful 8.44 ERA in his previous seven appearances. He could use a good outing here. But he wasn’t off to a good start, giving up back-to-back singles to Manuel Margot and Ramírez. Margot would end up scoring on an Arozarena groundout, but Smith managed to keep the damage to the one run. Correa adds on some insurance Garza Jr. settled down and finished his outing by retiring seven out of eight batters, keeping the Twins offense scoreless in the sixth and the seventh innings. But once he departed the game, the Twins bats were back at scoring some more runs. Arráez hit a leadoff single to open the eighth and, a couple of at-bats later, Correa took reliever Calvin Faucher deep for his fifth home run of the year, breaking the game open once again. Then, it was up to Emilio Pagán, who had no trouble closing out the game with a perfect ninth, making it his fourth scoreless appearance in the last five games. What’s Next? Both teams are back on the field tomorrow, with the first pitch scheduled for 1:10 pm CDT. No starter has been officially determined by the Twins yet, while the Rays will turn to rookie righty Shane Baz, who will be making his season debut. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT Smith 0 0 0 26 24 50 Cano 0 33 0 13 0 46 Jax 0 0 27 0 14 41 Megill 0 38 0 0 0 38 Moran 0 0 0 36 0 36 Pagán 0 0 15 0 15 30 Duffey 0 19 0 0 0 19 Duran 0 0 0 15 0 15 Thielbar 0 0 14 0 0 14 Cotton 0 0 0 13 0 13 View full article
  11. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Chris Archer, 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 2 K (70 pitches, 42 strikes, 60.0%) Home Runs: Ryan Jeffers (4), Byron Buxton (13) Top 3 WPA: Chris Archer (.159), Gio Urshela (.147), Byron Buxton (.100) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Unlike last night, when the Yankees scored four early runs against starter Cole Sands, they were held scoreless through four tonight against Chris Archer and some excellent fielding. Coming off his best start of the season, Archer was still hungry. He pitched three clean innings on 41 pitches, not allowing a hit nor using more than 17 pitches in any of them. He had some trouble with his command in the second inning, allowing two walks, but the defense also provided a crucial double play. It felt like his good outing was doomed during the fourth inning. He gave up a leadoff walk to Aaron Judge, then Giancarlo Stanton reached on a throwing error by Nick Gordon and was followed by a Josh Donaldson one-out walk to load the bases. Facing Gleyber Torres, Archer was able to induce a stunning inning-ending double play. By the time Archer completed four no-hit innings for the Twins, Yankees starter Nestor Cortés had pitched three perfect innings to start the game. Things would change for him in the following two innings. Minnesota manufactured two runs in the home half of the fourth, taking its first lead in the series. Still struggling to find his mojo, Byron Buxton fought a hard battle with Cortés, hitting a leadoff single after nine pitches. Carlos Correa singled right after him, then Gio Urshela, a couple of at-bats later, scored Buxton from second with a deep single to deep right. Cortés couldn’t stop the bleeding, allowing another single, this time to José Miranda, on the very next at-bat, good enough to score Correa from second. Max Kepler nearly batted in another run for the Twins when he singled to center, but Aaron Hick’s arm was too strong for Urshela to score from second. Archer’s no-hit bid and shutout were both finished in the fifth when Hicks hit a leadoff single and later scored on a sac-fly. Fortunately, he was able to finish off the inning, and, for the first time this year, he has recorded back-to-back starts with at least five innings pitched. Have we reached the point in which Twins fans no longer need to doubt him? After Archer delivered five frames of one-run ball, it was time the offense added some insurance, and that didn’t take long to happen. Ryan Jeffers snapped an 0-for-21 slump by obliterating a cutter from Cortés into a 440 ft bomb to left, making it 3-1 Twins. Then, Buxton joined the party. Having hit only one home run since May 15, he took Cortés deep for the second time in the inning, making it 4-1 Twins and ending Cortés’ night. Since May 3, this is only the second multi-hit game for Buxton – but the second one in the last six days. The Twins put themselves in a great position to win the game in the following two innings. Now facing the Yankee bullpen, Urshela and Miranda opened the sixth inning with back-to-back doubles. Then, both of them were brought home on a Kepler groundout and a Trevor Larnach double. While Griffin Jax tossed two scoreless innings in relief of Archer, the offense continued to be productive. Buxton, Correa, and Jorge Polanco drew three consecutive walks to start the home seventh, allowing Miranda to bat in a couple more runs with his third hit of the night, making it 8-1 Twins. During the Bally Sports North broadcast, reporter Audra Martin brought up a fun story about Miranda. According to her, the Twins star prospect was approached by Correa in mid-May when he was struggling, batting only .094 for his first 14 games in the majors. Since the two infielders had that conversation during the Kansas City series, Miranda is batting .390. With a comfortable lead, Emilio Pagán and Caleb Thielbar had no trouble closing out the game. A fielding error by Miranda to start the ninth was erased by yet another double play turned by the Twins defense, their fourth of the night. What’s Next? The rubber game of the series is tomorrow, with the first pitch scheduled for 6:40 pm CDT. The Twins turn to Dylan Bundy (5.57 ERA) to try and secure another series win, while the Yankees will have ace Gerrit Cole (2.78 ERA) on the mound. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT Cano 39 0 0 33 0 72 Duffey 0 28 0 19 0 47 Megill 0 0 0 38 0 38 Jax 0 9 0 0 27 36 Pagán 0 0 0 0 15 15 Thielbar 0 0 0 0 14 14 Cotton 0 13 0 0 0 13 Smith 0 13 0 0 0 13 Duran 0 8 0 0 0 8 Moran 0 0 0 0 0 0
  12. Everything clicked for the Twins on Wednesday night. Chris Archer had yet another solid start, and the offense had one of its best performances of the season, helping Minnesota to even the series with a rout of the Yankees. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Chris Archer, 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 2 K (70 pitches, 42 strikes, 60.0%) Home Runs: Ryan Jeffers (4), Byron Buxton (13) Top 3 WPA: Chris Archer (.159), Gio Urshela (.147), Byron Buxton (.100) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Unlike last night, when the Yankees scored four early runs against starter Cole Sands, they were held scoreless through four tonight against Chris Archer and some excellent fielding. Coming off his best start of the season, Archer was still hungry. He pitched three clean innings on 41 pitches, not allowing a hit nor using more than 17 pitches in any of them. He had some trouble with his command in the second inning, allowing two walks, but the defense also provided a crucial double play. It felt like his good outing was doomed during the fourth inning. He gave up a leadoff walk to Aaron Judge, then Giancarlo Stanton reached on a throwing error by Nick Gordon and was followed by a Josh Donaldson one-out walk to load the bases. Facing Gleyber Torres, Archer was able to induce a stunning inning-ending double play. By the time Archer completed four no-hit innings for the Twins, Yankees starter Nestor Cortés had pitched three perfect innings to start the game. Things would change for him in the following two innings. Minnesota manufactured two runs in the home half of the fourth, taking its first lead in the series. Still struggling to find his mojo, Byron Buxton fought a hard battle with Cortés, hitting a leadoff single after nine pitches. Carlos Correa singled right after him, then Gio Urshela, a couple of at-bats later, scored Buxton from second with a deep single to deep right. Cortés couldn’t stop the bleeding, allowing another single, this time to José Miranda, on the very next at-bat, good enough to score Correa from second. Max Kepler nearly batted in another run for the Twins when he singled to center, but Aaron Hick’s arm was too strong for Urshela to score from second. Archer’s no-hit bid and shutout were both finished in the fifth when Hicks hit a leadoff single and later scored on a sac-fly. Fortunately, he was able to finish off the inning, and, for the first time this year, he has recorded back-to-back starts with at least five innings pitched. Have we reached the point in which Twins fans no longer need to doubt him? After Archer delivered five frames of one-run ball, it was time the offense added some insurance, and that didn’t take long to happen. Ryan Jeffers snapped an 0-for-21 slump by obliterating a cutter from Cortés into a 440 ft bomb to left, making it 3-1 Twins. Then, Buxton joined the party. Having hit only one home run since May 15, he took Cortés deep for the second time in the inning, making it 4-1 Twins and ending Cortés’ night. Since May 3, this is only the second multi-hit game for Buxton – but the second one in the last six days. The Twins put themselves in a great position to win the game in the following two innings. Now facing the Yankee bullpen, Urshela and Miranda opened the sixth inning with back-to-back doubles. Then, both of them were brought home on a Kepler groundout and a Trevor Larnach double. While Griffin Jax tossed two scoreless innings in relief of Archer, the offense continued to be productive. Buxton, Correa, and Jorge Polanco drew three consecutive walks to start the home seventh, allowing Miranda to bat in a couple more runs with his third hit of the night, making it 8-1 Twins. During the Bally Sports North broadcast, reporter Audra Martin brought up a fun story about Miranda. According to her, the Twins star prospect was approached by Correa in mid-May when he was struggling, batting only .094 for his first 14 games in the majors. Since the two infielders had that conversation during the Kansas City series, Miranda is batting .390. With a comfortable lead, Emilio Pagán and Caleb Thielbar had no trouble closing out the game. A fielding error by Miranda to start the ninth was erased by yet another double play turned by the Twins defense, their fourth of the night. What’s Next? The rubber game of the series is tomorrow, with the first pitch scheduled for 6:40 pm CDT. The Twins turn to Dylan Bundy (5.57 ERA) to try and secure another series win, while the Yankees will have ace Gerrit Cole (2.78 ERA) on the mound. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT Cano 39 0 0 33 0 72 Duffey 0 28 0 19 0 47 Megill 0 0 0 38 0 38 Jax 0 9 0 0 27 36 Pagán 0 0 0 0 15 15 Thielbar 0 0 0 0 14 14 Cotton 0 13 0 0 0 13 Smith 0 13 0 0 0 13 Duran 0 8 0 0 0 8 Moran 0 0 0 0 0 0 View full article
  13. For the second consecutive night, the Twins’ offense was utterly dominated by Detroit pitching. Tigers starter Tarik Skubal pitched a gem, with seven shutout innings, while Bailey Ober had a rough fifth inning, basically putting the game out of reach. Minnesota has its first series loss in three weeks. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Bailey Ober, 6.0 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 4 K (86 pitches, 65 strikes, 75.6%) Home Runs: none Bottom 3 WPA: Bailey Ober (-.173), Trevor Larnach (-.108), José Miranda (-.062) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) In the nightcap of Tuesday’s doubleheader, Minnesota’s offense was a no-show, making up for one of the team’s worst offensive displays of the season. Outside of Trevor Larnach, who hit a double and drew a walk, nothing worked for the Twins lineup, who got only three hits off Tigers pitching. Sadly, things didn’t look a lot different to start tonight’s game. Lefty Tarik Skubal dominated the Twins' offense, tossing five scoreless frames in which he gave up only two hits and a walk. One of the hits and the walk both came in the first inning before he went on to retire nine consecutive Minnesota batters, comprising a couple of 1-2-3 innings. The fifth inning was a divisive moment in this game, as until that point, Bailey Ober was having himself a very solid start and was giving the Twins a real chance to snatch the lead. He did have a shaky first inning, in which he gave up three hits, including a leadoff double. However, he did a fine job preventing Detroit from scoring more than a run. The Tiger lineup went 1-for-11 against Ober starting at the final out of the first and only had a one-run lead to start the fifth. That’s when things went downhill for the Twins’ righty. Detroit scored four runs on five hits in the inning, three of which were extra-base hits – a Jeimer Candelario leadoff triple and back-to-back RBI doubles by Harold Castro and Jonathan Schoop. Weirdly enough, Ober’s outing wasn’t a nightmare, despite the rough fifth innings. Through six innings of work, he threw 20 out of 26 first-pitch strikes and threw 75.6% strikes. Skubal continued to obliterate Twins hitting, now with tons of run support. After giving up a single to Gio Urshela in the fourth, he faced the minimum for the remainder of the game, retiring ten in a row to complete seven shutout innings. Trevor Megill threw two scoreless innings in relief of Ober, but the offense was still ineffective, even after Skubal left the game. Joe Jiménez retired the side on eleven pitches in the eighth, including two strikeouts, making it 13 consecutive Minnesota batters retired. Will Vest had no trouble closing out the game in the ninth, despite allowing a couple of runners to reach. What’s Next? The Twins remain in Detroit, where they close out the five-game series tomorrow, with the first pitch scheduled for 12:10 pm CDT. Minnesota brings Chris Archer (4.19 ERA) to the mound to duel righty Alex Faedo (3.00 ERA). Then, they head to Toronto, where they start a three-game series against the Blue Jays on Friday. Postgame interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT Minaya 31 0 0 26 0 57 Megill 0 0 34 0 20 54 Jax 0 20 0 33 0 53 Moran 34 0 0 12 0 46 Thielbar 0 22 0 11 0 33 Duffey 20 0 0 0 0 20 Smith 0 0 16 0 0 16 Pagán 0 12 0 0 0 12 Duran 0 0 0 0 0 0 View full article
  14. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Bailey Ober, 6.0 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 4 K (86 pitches, 65 strikes, 75.6%) Home Runs: none Bottom 3 WPA: Bailey Ober (-.173), Trevor Larnach (-.108), José Miranda (-.062) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) In the nightcap of Tuesday’s doubleheader, Minnesota’s offense was a no-show, making up for one of the team’s worst offensive displays of the season. Outside of Trevor Larnach, who hit a double and drew a walk, nothing worked for the Twins lineup, who got only three hits off Tigers pitching. Sadly, things didn’t look a lot different to start tonight’s game. Lefty Tarik Skubal dominated the Twins' offense, tossing five scoreless frames in which he gave up only two hits and a walk. One of the hits and the walk both came in the first inning before he went on to retire nine consecutive Minnesota batters, comprising a couple of 1-2-3 innings. The fifth inning was a divisive moment in this game, as until that point, Bailey Ober was having himself a very solid start and was giving the Twins a real chance to snatch the lead. He did have a shaky first inning, in which he gave up three hits, including a leadoff double. However, he did a fine job preventing Detroit from scoring more than a run. The Tiger lineup went 1-for-11 against Ober starting at the final out of the first and only had a one-run lead to start the fifth. That’s when things went downhill for the Twins’ righty. Detroit scored four runs on five hits in the inning, three of which were extra-base hits – a Jeimer Candelario leadoff triple and back-to-back RBI doubles by Harold Castro and Jonathan Schoop. Weirdly enough, Ober’s outing wasn’t a nightmare, despite the rough fifth innings. Through six innings of work, he threw 20 out of 26 first-pitch strikes and threw 75.6% strikes. Skubal continued to obliterate Twins hitting, now with tons of run support. After giving up a single to Gio Urshela in the fourth, he faced the minimum for the remainder of the game, retiring ten in a row to complete seven shutout innings. Trevor Megill threw two scoreless innings in relief of Ober, but the offense was still ineffective, even after Skubal left the game. Joe Jiménez retired the side on eleven pitches in the eighth, including two strikeouts, making it 13 consecutive Minnesota batters retired. Will Vest had no trouble closing out the game in the ninth, despite allowing a couple of runners to reach. What’s Next? The Twins remain in Detroit, where they close out the five-game series tomorrow, with the first pitch scheduled for 12:10 pm CDT. Minnesota brings Chris Archer (4.19 ERA) to the mound to duel righty Alex Faedo (3.00 ERA). Then, they head to Toronto, where they start a three-game series against the Blue Jays on Friday. Postgame interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT Minaya 31 0 0 26 0 57 Megill 0 0 34 0 20 54 Jax 0 20 0 33 0 53 Moran 34 0 0 12 0 46 Thielbar 0 22 0 11 0 33 Duffey 20 0 0 0 0 20 Smith 0 0 16 0 0 16 Pagán 0 12 0 0 0 12 Duran 0 0 0 0 0 0
  15. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Bailey Ober, 3.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K (61 pitches, 38 strikes, 62.2%) Home Runs: Jorge Polanco (5), Carlos Correa (3) Top 3 WPA: Trevor Megill (.298), Jorge Polanco (.181), Gio Urshela (.163) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Two important players made returns tonight. Since being activated from the injured list on May 21, Bailey Ober made his first start at Target Field, his first home start since April 28. Also, Jorge Polanco was back on the starting lineup after missing the last three games with some soreness in his right ankle. The latter was instrumental for the Twins’ early offensive outburst. After Ober delivered a scoreless top of the first, Minnesota put together a four-run performance in the home half. After a leadoff single by Luis Arráez, Polanco smashed a one-out, two-run home run to deep right, making it 2-0 Twins. This was Polanco’s first extra-base hit since May 13, his fifth homer of the season. That Arráez’s single drove his batting average to .352, which, according to Bally Sports North, is the second-highest average through May among any Twins infielder since 1983. The Twins scored two more runs in that same inning, with four consecutive Minnesota batters reaching safely with two outs. Gary Sánchez grounded to center, and Trevor Larnach drew a walk, allowing Gio Urshela to drive in his old Yankee buddy and send Larnach to third. Next, Nick Gordon singled to left to bring Larnach home. The inning could’ve been even better for Minnesota, for Ryan Jeffers drew a walk next, loading the bases for Arráez, but he struck out. Minnesota’s two-out productivity at the plate continued in the second inning. Although they couldn’t add on any more runs, the Twins loaded the bases with two outs again with a Max Kepler single, another Sánchez single, and a Larnach walk. This is the first time this season in which Sánchez has back-to-back multi-hit games. The Royals end Ober’s night, tie the game After pitching two scoreless innings on 30 pitches, including a 1-2-3 second, Ober struggled in the third, and his start was cut short. After striking out Emmanuel Rivera on three pitches to open the inning, he gave up back-to-back singles to Nicky Lopez and Whit Merrifield. He got the second out by striking out Andrew Benintendi but then saw Bobby Witt Jr. triple and Hunter Dozier single to score three runs. It took Ober 31 pitches to conclude the third, and he was done at only 61 total pitches. Another player returning from injury, Danny Coulombe, who was activated today, took over to pitch the fourth, making his first big-league appearance since May 10. Unfortunately for him, he also struggled, allowing the first three batters he faced to reach and the Royals to tie the game on a Lopez RBI single. Before being removed from the game, he retired only one batter, giving up two hits and two walks. Trevor Megill came in and induced an inning-ending double play on one pitch. Things could’ve been worse for the Twins in the fourth if it wasn’t for a pretty defensive play by Urshela. With one out and men on the corners, he caught a bullet from Merrifield for a lineout that would’ve scored Rivera from third and given the Royals the lead if it had been a base hit. Twins get back on top; bullpen, despite not being brilliant, shuts the door Minnesota didn’t take long to respond. Carlos Correa jumped on the first pitch he saw to hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the fourth, making it 5-4 Twins. The offense got some momentum off the Correa home run and followed it with a couple more hits, both singles. Larnach hit a sac-fly deep enough to score Polanco from third, giving the Twins a two-run lead. Both bullpens settled down and shut down the opposing offenses for the next couple of innings. Hats off to Megill, who took over for the struggling Coulombe in the fourth and pitched two more scoreless frames before handing the ball over to Joe Smith in the seventh. On the other hand, Smith didn’t have the best of outings. Failing to throw strikes, he couldn’t even finish an entire inning, which included a leadoff home run to Witt Jr. that brought the Royals within one. After that, he walked a couple of batters, something incredibly rare this season. Before tonight’s game, he had given up two total walks the entire season (17 appearances). Caleb Thielbar came in to get the inning’s final out. Jhoan Duran didn’t have a brilliant outing either, throwing less than 53% strikes and giving up a single and a walk, but he managed to close out the top of the eighth after a mound visit. To be fair, the home plate umpire took a called third strike away from him that maybe extended the inning more than it should. A one-run lead would be too dangerous for a group of relievers that has been struggling in high-leverage situations of late, so the offense once again came through and broke the game wide open. Facing reliever Joel Payamps, the bats scored four more runs in the bottom of the eighth, to provide some insurance. Kepler tripled to deep center in what could just as easily have been an inside-the-park home run, had the Royal defense not been quick enough. Payamps intentionally walked Larnach, and Urshela hit an RBI single next, scoring Kepler. Gordon hit a bases-clearing double to score Larnach and Urshela and scored himself on an Arráez two-out single moments later. A 10-5 lead should be more than enough for Yennier Cano to close out the game with no worries. However, he gave up a solo home run to M.J. Melendez, then a two-out RBI double to Rivera. Suddenly, the Twins’ lead was down to three and Rocco Baldelli didn’t want to risk it. Emilio Pagán was brought in to get the final out, in a save situation. He struck out Lopez on three pitches. What’s Next? Tomorrow at 1:10 pm CDT both teams will be back on the field for game 3. Chris Archer (3.86 ERA) takes on the mound for the Twins facing Brady Singer (1.83 ERA). Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT Jax 33 0 23 0 0 56 Pagán 28 0 21 0 3 52 Duffey 0 12 0 31 0 43 Coulombe 0 15 0 0 24 39 Smith 17 0 3 0 18 38 Megill 0 0 8 0 26 34 Thielbar 3 0 30 0 1 34 Duran 0 14 0 0 19 33 Cano 0 0 0 16 17 33
  16. Eight total pitches were needed and the Royals presented a threat until late in the ninth inning, but the Twins held on to win the game behind a great offensive performance. Gary Sánchez and Gio Urshela, both with three hits, were two of the six Minnesota batters with a multi-hit game. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Bailey Ober, 3.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K (61 pitches, 38 strikes, 62.2%) Home Runs: Jorge Polanco (5), Carlos Correa (3) Top 3 WPA: Trevor Megill (.298), Jorge Polanco (.181), Gio Urshela (.163) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Two important players made returns tonight. Since being activated from the injured list on May 21, Bailey Ober made his first start at Target Field, his first home start since April 28. Also, Jorge Polanco was back on the starting lineup after missing the last three games with some soreness in his right ankle. The latter was instrumental for the Twins’ early offensive outburst. After Ober delivered a scoreless top of the first, Minnesota put together a four-run performance in the home half. After a leadoff single by Luis Arráez, Polanco smashed a one-out, two-run home run to deep right, making it 2-0 Twins. This was Polanco’s first extra-base hit since May 13, his fifth homer of the season. That Arráez’s single drove his batting average to .352, which, according to Bally Sports North, is the second-highest average through May among any Twins infielder since 1983. The Twins scored two more runs in that same inning, with four consecutive Minnesota batters reaching safely with two outs. Gary Sánchez grounded to center, and Trevor Larnach drew a walk, allowing Gio Urshela to drive in his old Yankee buddy and send Larnach to third. Next, Nick Gordon singled to left to bring Larnach home. The inning could’ve been even better for Minnesota, for Ryan Jeffers drew a walk next, loading the bases for Arráez, but he struck out. Minnesota’s two-out productivity at the plate continued in the second inning. Although they couldn’t add on any more runs, the Twins loaded the bases with two outs again with a Max Kepler single, another Sánchez single, and a Larnach walk. This is the first time this season in which Sánchez has back-to-back multi-hit games. The Royals end Ober’s night, tie the game After pitching two scoreless innings on 30 pitches, including a 1-2-3 second, Ober struggled in the third, and his start was cut short. After striking out Emmanuel Rivera on three pitches to open the inning, he gave up back-to-back singles to Nicky Lopez and Whit Merrifield. He got the second out by striking out Andrew Benintendi but then saw Bobby Witt Jr. triple and Hunter Dozier single to score three runs. It took Ober 31 pitches to conclude the third, and he was done at only 61 total pitches. Another player returning from injury, Danny Coulombe, who was activated today, took over to pitch the fourth, making his first big-league appearance since May 10. Unfortunately for him, he also struggled, allowing the first three batters he faced to reach and the Royals to tie the game on a Lopez RBI single. Before being removed from the game, he retired only one batter, giving up two hits and two walks. Trevor Megill came in and induced an inning-ending double play on one pitch. Things could’ve been worse for the Twins in the fourth if it wasn’t for a pretty defensive play by Urshela. With one out and men on the corners, he caught a bullet from Merrifield for a lineout that would’ve scored Rivera from third and given the Royals the lead if it had been a base hit. Twins get back on top; bullpen, despite not being brilliant, shuts the door Minnesota didn’t take long to respond. Carlos Correa jumped on the first pitch he saw to hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the fourth, making it 5-4 Twins. The offense got some momentum off the Correa home run and followed it with a couple more hits, both singles. Larnach hit a sac-fly deep enough to score Polanco from third, giving the Twins a two-run lead. Both bullpens settled down and shut down the opposing offenses for the next couple of innings. Hats off to Megill, who took over for the struggling Coulombe in the fourth and pitched two more scoreless frames before handing the ball over to Joe Smith in the seventh. On the other hand, Smith didn’t have the best of outings. Failing to throw strikes, he couldn’t even finish an entire inning, which included a leadoff home run to Witt Jr. that brought the Royals within one. After that, he walked a couple of batters, something incredibly rare this season. Before tonight’s game, he had given up two total walks the entire season (17 appearances). Caleb Thielbar came in to get the inning’s final out. Jhoan Duran didn’t have a brilliant outing either, throwing less than 53% strikes and giving up a single and a walk, but he managed to close out the top of the eighth after a mound visit. To be fair, the home plate umpire took a called third strike away from him that maybe extended the inning more than it should. A one-run lead would be too dangerous for a group of relievers that has been struggling in high-leverage situations of late, so the offense once again came through and broke the game wide open. Facing reliever Joel Payamps, the bats scored four more runs in the bottom of the eighth, to provide some insurance. Kepler tripled to deep center in what could just as easily have been an inside-the-park home run, had the Royal defense not been quick enough. Payamps intentionally walked Larnach, and Urshela hit an RBI single next, scoring Kepler. Gordon hit a bases-clearing double to score Larnach and Urshela and scored himself on an Arráez two-out single moments later. A 10-5 lead should be more than enough for Yennier Cano to close out the game with no worries. However, he gave up a solo home run to M.J. Melendez, then a two-out RBI double to Rivera. Suddenly, the Twins’ lead was down to three and Rocco Baldelli didn’t want to risk it. Emilio Pagán was brought in to get the final out, in a save situation. He struck out Lopez on three pitches. What’s Next? Tomorrow at 1:10 pm CDT both teams will be back on the field for game 3. Chris Archer (3.86 ERA) takes on the mound for the Twins facing Brady Singer (1.83 ERA). Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT Jax 33 0 23 0 0 56 Pagán 28 0 21 0 3 52 Duffey 0 12 0 31 0 43 Coulombe 0 15 0 0 24 39 Smith 17 0 3 0 18 38 Megill 0 0 8 0 26 34 Thielbar 3 0 30 0 1 34 Duran 0 14 0 0 19 33 Cano 0 0 0 16 17 33 View full article
  17. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Dylan Bundy, 5.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K (85 pitches, 63 strikes, 74.1%) Home Runs: Trevor Larnach (1) Bottom 3 WPA: Trevor Megill (-.315), Gary Sánchez (-.265), Max Kepler (-.222) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Dylan Bundy and Rony García pitched really well to begin this game, shutting out both offenses for three innings. Making his second start since being reinstated from the injured list, Bundy gave up three hits in those three innings, but he had excellent command and never pitched himself into jams. The Twins caught a break in the third inning when Derek Hill tried to score from third on a pitch that got away from Gary Sánchez. Home plate umpire Charlie Ramos called him out and the Tigers challenged the play, but it was upheld. Was the tag really applied? The first runs of the game came in the bottom of the fourth inning. García was on a roll, having retired six Twins in a row. Then, Sánchez drew a walk against him and that came back to haunt García. On the next at-bat, Trevor Larnach obliterated a four-seamer, crushing it for a two-run home run, his first of the season. With such a mammoth shot, Larnach continues to feast on fastballs. Coming into this game, ha was slugging .459 against fastballs, with also a .500 xSLG, per Statcast. This home run came off his bat at 112.4 MPH, his hardest-hit ball of the season. Bundy, now with some run support, continued his solid effort, pitching into the sixth inning. He gave up a leadoff single in the fifth but went on to strike out the next three batters on 11 pitches. Returning for the sixth, he gave up a leadoff home run to Harold Castro, bringing the Tigers within one run. If it wasn’t for a fielding error that allowed Javier Báez to reach, Bundy would likely finish another inning and possibly complete a quality start, but after striking out Jeimer Candelario for his second punchout of the inning, Rocco Baldelli decided to bring take him out of the game at 85 pitches. After a couple of rough starts before hitting the IL, Bundy has given up one run through 8 2/3 innings since rejoining the team. A shaky bullpen allows Detroit to tie the game After Larnach’s home run in the fourth, the Twins offense went 2-for-13, failing to provide the bullpen some insurance runs. Griffin Jax and Joe Smith kept the shutout going until the end of the seventh, but then Emilio Pagán gave up a leadoff home run to the same Castro in the eighth, tying the game at 2-2. With a hit and a walk given up today, Pagán has now allowed hitters to reach safely against him in 11 of his last 12 outings. His season WHIP now sits at 1.47, a career-worst for him, despite the excellent 2.30 season ERA thus far, a career-best. Should we be at all worried about him? Caleb Thielbar came flew pitch the top of the ninth and he also struggled, despite facing the bottom of the Tiger lineup. After retiring the leadoff hitter, he allowed the next three batters to reach on a single and a couple of walks, loading the bases. Detroit brought in Miguel Cabrera to pinch-hit for Castro, but Thielbar caught a break when a ball four was called a strikeout for the second out of the inning. It was up for the cold offense to avoid extra innings and secure the sweep. Sánchez flied out to lead off the ninth, making it eight straight Twins retired in a row, but then things nearly shifted the Twins' way. Kyle Garlick, pinch-hitting for Larnach, got hit by a pitch and then reached third on a Nick Gordon two-out single. But Minnesota couldn’t capitalize, as Gilberto Celestino grounded out and the game headed for extras. Detroit snatches the lead in the 10th, Twins rally falls short Trevor Megill took the mound to pitch the 10th inning, with former Twin Jonathan Schoop as the ghost runner at second. After striking out Báez to lead off the inning, Megill hung a four-seamer in the heart of the plate, which got crushed by Candelario for a two-run homer. Celestino was inches away from robbing him of the dinger. But the Twins weren’t done. Hitless for his previous 23 at-bats, Byron Buxton reached safely for the first time in three games on a throwing error by shortstop Willi Castro. Luis Arráez followed that with a liner to center, loading the bases with no outs for Minnesota’s batters three, four, and five. Michael Fulmer struck out Carlos Correa, then A.J. Hinch brought in lefty Andrew Chafin to try and get the final two outs. He did so on eight pitches, striking out Max Kepler and getting Sánchez to pop out. What’s Next? The Twins remain home, where they start a four-game series tomorrow against the Kansas City Royals. The first game is scheduled for tomorrow at 6:40 pm CDT, and, up until now, Minnesota’s starting pitcher is still to be determined. The Royals will have lefty Daniel Lynch (4.01 ERA) on the mound. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT Jax 0 0 33 0 23 56 Thielbar 18 0 3 0 30 51 Pagán 0 0 28 0 21 49 Smith 21 0 17 0 3 41 Megill 0 31 0 0 8 39 Cano 0 38 0 0 0 38 Duran 0 17 0 14 0 31 Duffey 0 14 0 12 0 26 Stashak 18 0 0 0 0 18
  18. Minnesota got a solid start from Dylan Bundy, who pitched into the sixth. But lack of productivity from the offense and a shaky display by the bullpen cost the Twins the game and ended their winning streak. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Dylan Bundy, 5.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K (85 pitches, 63 strikes, 74.1%) Home Runs: Trevor Larnach (1) Bottom 3 WPA: Trevor Megill (-.315), Gary Sánchez (-.265), Max Kepler (-.222) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Dylan Bundy and Rony García pitched really well to begin this game, shutting out both offenses for three innings. Making his second start since being reinstated from the injured list, Bundy gave up three hits in those three innings, but he had excellent command and never pitched himself into jams. The Twins caught a break in the third inning when Derek Hill tried to score from third on a pitch that got away from Gary Sánchez. Home plate umpire Charlie Ramos called him out and the Tigers challenged the play, but it was upheld. Was the tag really applied? The first runs of the game came in the bottom of the fourth inning. García was on a roll, having retired six Twins in a row. Then, Sánchez drew a walk against him and that came back to haunt García. On the next at-bat, Trevor Larnach obliterated a four-seamer, crushing it for a two-run home run, his first of the season. With such a mammoth shot, Larnach continues to feast on fastballs. Coming into this game, ha was slugging .459 against fastballs, with also a .500 xSLG, per Statcast. This home run came off his bat at 112.4 MPH, his hardest-hit ball of the season. Bundy, now with some run support, continued his solid effort, pitching into the sixth inning. He gave up a leadoff single in the fifth but went on to strike out the next three batters on 11 pitches. Returning for the sixth, he gave up a leadoff home run to Harold Castro, bringing the Tigers within one run. If it wasn’t for a fielding error that allowed Javier Báez to reach, Bundy would likely finish another inning and possibly complete a quality start, but after striking out Jeimer Candelario for his second punchout of the inning, Rocco Baldelli decided to bring take him out of the game at 85 pitches. After a couple of rough starts before hitting the IL, Bundy has given up one run through 8 2/3 innings since rejoining the team. A shaky bullpen allows Detroit to tie the game After Larnach’s home run in the fourth, the Twins offense went 2-for-13, failing to provide the bullpen some insurance runs. Griffin Jax and Joe Smith kept the shutout going until the end of the seventh, but then Emilio Pagán gave up a leadoff home run to the same Castro in the eighth, tying the game at 2-2. With a hit and a walk given up today, Pagán has now allowed hitters to reach safely against him in 11 of his last 12 outings. His season WHIP now sits at 1.47, a career-worst for him, despite the excellent 2.30 season ERA thus far, a career-best. Should we be at all worried about him? Caleb Thielbar came flew pitch the top of the ninth and he also struggled, despite facing the bottom of the Tiger lineup. After retiring the leadoff hitter, he allowed the next three batters to reach on a single and a couple of walks, loading the bases. Detroit brought in Miguel Cabrera to pinch-hit for Castro, but Thielbar caught a break when a ball four was called a strikeout for the second out of the inning. It was up for the cold offense to avoid extra innings and secure the sweep. Sánchez flied out to lead off the ninth, making it eight straight Twins retired in a row, but then things nearly shifted the Twins' way. Kyle Garlick, pinch-hitting for Larnach, got hit by a pitch and then reached third on a Nick Gordon two-out single. But Minnesota couldn’t capitalize, as Gilberto Celestino grounded out and the game headed for extras. Detroit snatches the lead in the 10th, Twins rally falls short Trevor Megill took the mound to pitch the 10th inning, with former Twin Jonathan Schoop as the ghost runner at second. After striking out Báez to lead off the inning, Megill hung a four-seamer in the heart of the plate, which got crushed by Candelario for a two-run homer. Celestino was inches away from robbing him of the dinger. But the Twins weren’t done. Hitless for his previous 23 at-bats, Byron Buxton reached safely for the first time in three games on a throwing error by shortstop Willi Castro. Luis Arráez followed that with a liner to center, loading the bases with no outs for Minnesota’s batters three, four, and five. Michael Fulmer struck out Carlos Correa, then A.J. Hinch brought in lefty Andrew Chafin to try and get the final two outs. He did so on eight pitches, striking out Max Kepler and getting Sánchez to pop out. What’s Next? The Twins remain home, where they start a four-game series tomorrow against the Kansas City Royals. The first game is scheduled for tomorrow at 6:40 pm CDT, and, up until now, Minnesota’s starting pitcher is still to be determined. The Royals will have lefty Daniel Lynch (4.01 ERA) on the mound. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT Jax 0 0 33 0 23 56 Thielbar 18 0 3 0 30 51 Pagán 0 0 28 0 21 49 Smith 21 0 17 0 3 41 Megill 0 31 0 0 8 39 Cano 0 38 0 0 0 38 Duran 0 17 0 14 0 31 Duffey 0 14 0 12 0 26 Stashak 18 0 0 0 0 18 View full article
  19. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Devin Smeltzer, 5.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K (74 pitches, 47 strikes, 63.5%) Home Runs: none Top 3 WPA: Devin Smeltzer (.180), Jose Miranda (.180), Jhoan Duran (.170) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) After dropping two out of three in their last series against the Royals, the Twins were poised not to let that happen again this time. To try and accomplish that, they picked up where they left off in Oakland on Wednesday and put together a great offensive display early. Despite posting a solid 3.30 ERA for the year, Royals starter Daniel Lynch was over the place to begin this game. Only two of his thirteen pitches were strikes, allowing the first three Minnesota batters to reach. After Byron Buxton walked and Carlos Correa singled to lead off, Kyle Garlick grounded to left to easily score Buxton from second. One at-bat later, Gary Sánchez refused to slow down and hit yet another extra-base hit, making it four games in a row with at least one such hit. He doubled to left to score Correa. Then, Gio Urshela scored Garlick from third on a sac-fly, giving the Twins a 3-0 lead in the first inning. The Royals got one run back on three hits against Devin Smeltzer in the bottom of the first, but the Twins immediately responded in the second. Once again Lynch struggled with his command and three of the first four Minnesota batters reached, loading the bases for Garlick. Coming into this game, Garlick was posting a 1.187 OPS against lefties. Despite not getting a hit, he did get a good enough contact to score Jose Miranda from third on a sac-fly, making it 4-1 Twins. Smeltzer pitches into the sixth with the help of stellar defense behind him Smeltzer’s night could’ve gone downhill very early in this game, as he gave up three hits in the first inning. Fortunately, he was able to limit the damage to only the one run, stranding two runners. Then he would go on to toss 4 1/3 solid innings, with great help from his fielders. He retired the side on ten pitches in the second and pitched around a leadoff walk in the second. Jorge Polanco provided a great contribution when he started a lovely 4-3 double play on an Andrew Benintendi grounder. After another quick inning in the fourth, the Twins defense continued flashing the leather. The first two outs of the fifth inning came on a couple of great defensive plays. Polanco got Nicky Lopez on a beautiful throw to first and Gilberto Celestino caught Dairon Blanco trying to stretch a single into a double. Smeltzer came back to face only one batter in the sixth and he was removed from the game with only 74 pitches. He probably never looked more comfortable on the big league level than he does right now, with his ERA dropping to 1.74 after two starts. Is he here to stay? Do his low strikeouts numbers so far worry you at all? Royals get within one, but Miranda comes up clutch The bullpen looked shaky right from the get-go, with Griffin Jax giving up a walk against the first batter he saw and getting behind 2-0 in the count against the next one. He came around and ended up striking out both remaining batters to end the fifth, but the struggles continued in the next inning. Tyler Duffey had allowed only one run in his previous ten outings. Before this ten-game stretch, he had given up two runs in a game on April 19, against this same Royals team, also at Kauffman Stadium, in a blown save that eventually would represent the series loss for Minnesota. Two pitches into the game, Duffey gave up a leadoff home run to Carlos Santana to cut the Twins lead to one. Failing to get ahead on the counts, gave up a single to Emmanuel Rivera and a double to Kyle Isbel. Rocco Baldelli had enough and pulled him. Jhoan Duran came in in his relief inheriting two runners in scoring position. Whit Merrifield scored Rivera from third on a sac-fly before Duran could end the inning, making it a one-run game. Polanco and Sánchez were quickly retired to start the eighth inning, but the Twins offense still had some fight in them. Urshela and Max Kepler worked out crucial two-out walks against reliever Dylan Coleman, allowing Miranda to come up clutch. With his second-inning single, Miranda snapped an 0-for-20 slump, and this time he wanted more. He stepped up to the plate and jumped on the second pitch for a double, lining to center where Isbell couldn’t make the play, allowing both runners to score. It was up to Emilio Pagán in the ninth to try and secure the win. He had yet to allow an earned run this month and that happened on a Rivera one-out, solo home run to deep center. With already two outs, he allowed back-to-back singles, to Isbell and Merrifield, bringing the winning run to the plate. After a mound visit, he got behind in the count 3-0 against Benintendi, but beautifully came back to strike him out looking to end the ball game. What’s Next? Tomorrow at 6:10 pm CDT both teams will be back on the field for game 2. The Twins turn to Joe Ryan (2.39 ERA), who will face Brad Keller (2.89 ERA). Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT Winder 0 78 0 0 0 78 Cano 25 0 19 0 0 44 Jax 25 0 0 0 18 43 Duran 0 0 23 0 16 39 Duffey 20 0 0 0 18 38 Pagán 0 0 0 0 19 19 Thielbar 0 16 0 0 0 16 Stashak 0 0 13 0 0 13 Smith 0 0 0 0 0 0
  20. The Twins put together a good offensive performance early and survived a late rally from the Royals to take game one of the series in Kansas City. Devin Smeltzer had another convincing start and rookie Jose Miranda hit a clutch double late. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Devin Smeltzer, 5.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K (74 pitches, 47 strikes, 63.5%) Home Runs: none Top 3 WPA: Devin Smeltzer (.180), Jose Miranda (.180), Jhoan Duran (.170) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) After dropping two out of three in their last series against the Royals, the Twins were poised not to let that happen again this time. To try and accomplish that, they picked up where they left off in Oakland on Wednesday and put together a great offensive display early. Despite posting a solid 3.30 ERA for the year, Royals starter Daniel Lynch was over the place to begin this game. Only two of his thirteen pitches were strikes, allowing the first three Minnesota batters to reach. After Byron Buxton walked and Carlos Correa singled to lead off, Kyle Garlick grounded to left to easily score Buxton from second. One at-bat later, Gary Sánchez refused to slow down and hit yet another extra-base hit, making it four games in a row with at least one such hit. He doubled to left to score Correa. Then, Gio Urshela scored Garlick from third on a sac-fly, giving the Twins a 3-0 lead in the first inning. The Royals got one run back on three hits against Devin Smeltzer in the bottom of the first, but the Twins immediately responded in the second. Once again Lynch struggled with his command and three of the first four Minnesota batters reached, loading the bases for Garlick. Coming into this game, Garlick was posting a 1.187 OPS against lefties. Despite not getting a hit, he did get a good enough contact to score Jose Miranda from third on a sac-fly, making it 4-1 Twins. Smeltzer pitches into the sixth with the help of stellar defense behind him Smeltzer’s night could’ve gone downhill very early in this game, as he gave up three hits in the first inning. Fortunately, he was able to limit the damage to only the one run, stranding two runners. Then he would go on to toss 4 1/3 solid innings, with great help from his fielders. He retired the side on ten pitches in the second and pitched around a leadoff walk in the second. Jorge Polanco provided a great contribution when he started a lovely 4-3 double play on an Andrew Benintendi grounder. After another quick inning in the fourth, the Twins defense continued flashing the leather. The first two outs of the fifth inning came on a couple of great defensive plays. Polanco got Nicky Lopez on a beautiful throw to first and Gilberto Celestino caught Dairon Blanco trying to stretch a single into a double. Smeltzer came back to face only one batter in the sixth and he was removed from the game with only 74 pitches. He probably never looked more comfortable on the big league level than he does right now, with his ERA dropping to 1.74 after two starts. Is he here to stay? Do his low strikeouts numbers so far worry you at all? Royals get within one, but Miranda comes up clutch The bullpen looked shaky right from the get-go, with Griffin Jax giving up a walk against the first batter he saw and getting behind 2-0 in the count against the next one. He came around and ended up striking out both remaining batters to end the fifth, but the struggles continued in the next inning. Tyler Duffey had allowed only one run in his previous ten outings. Before this ten-game stretch, he had given up two runs in a game on April 19, against this same Royals team, also at Kauffman Stadium, in a blown save that eventually would represent the series loss for Minnesota. Two pitches into the game, Duffey gave up a leadoff home run to Carlos Santana to cut the Twins lead to one. Failing to get ahead on the counts, gave up a single to Emmanuel Rivera and a double to Kyle Isbel. Rocco Baldelli had enough and pulled him. Jhoan Duran came in in his relief inheriting two runners in scoring position. Whit Merrifield scored Rivera from third on a sac-fly before Duran could end the inning, making it a one-run game. Polanco and Sánchez were quickly retired to start the eighth inning, but the Twins offense still had some fight in them. Urshela and Max Kepler worked out crucial two-out walks against reliever Dylan Coleman, allowing Miranda to come up clutch. With his second-inning single, Miranda snapped an 0-for-20 slump, and this time he wanted more. He stepped up to the plate and jumped on the second pitch for a double, lining to center where Isbell couldn’t make the play, allowing both runners to score. It was up to Emilio Pagán in the ninth to try and secure the win. He had yet to allow an earned run this month and that happened on a Rivera one-out, solo home run to deep center. With already two outs, he allowed back-to-back singles, to Isbell and Merrifield, bringing the winning run to the plate. After a mound visit, he got behind in the count 3-0 against Benintendi, but beautifully came back to strike him out looking to end the ball game. What’s Next? Tomorrow at 6:10 pm CDT both teams will be back on the field for game 2. The Twins turn to Joe Ryan (2.39 ERA), who will face Brad Keller (2.89 ERA). Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT Winder 0 78 0 0 0 78 Cano 25 0 19 0 0 44 Jax 25 0 0 0 18 43 Duran 0 0 23 0 16 39 Duffey 20 0 0 0 18 38 Pagán 0 0 0 0 19 19 Thielbar 0 16 0 0 0 16 Stashak 0 0 13 0 0 13 Smith 0 0 0 0 0 0 View full article
  21. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Sonny Gray, 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K (84 pitches, 55 strikes, 65.4%) Home Runs: none Top 3 WPA: Gary Sánchez (.264), Luis Arráez (.125), Carlos Correa (.125) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Sánchez, Urshela remain hot, push across four runs The Twins were off to a great start offensively, with the pair of former Yankees pushing across four early runs for Minnesota. After Luis Arráez and Carlos Correa hit back-to-back singles and Max Kepler drew a two-out walk to load the bases, red-hot Gary Sánchez hit a slow liner to left to score two runs. In the next at-bat, Gio Urshela smacked an RBI single to right to bring home Kepler and make it 3-0 Minnesota. Sánchez has been living his best stretch as a Twin. Not only did he homer in the first two games of this series, but he carried into this game an OPS of .916 in his previous 15 games. That’s a relief for Twins fans, as he posted a .606 OPS in 12 games during the month of April. Urshela, who is also seeing some improvement as of late, now has at least one hit in five of his last seven games. Making his second start since being reinstated from the injured list, Sonny Gray struggled a bit to close out the innings early. After quickly getting two outs in the bottom of the first, he gave up back-to-back hits, and Oakland got a run back on a Seth Brown RBI single. Sánchez, again, provided him with some more run support in the third when he hit a two-out double to score Jorge Polanco from first. He now has four extra-base hits in the last four games. But Gray would go on to give up three more two-out hits in the next two innings, including an RBI single to Christian Bethancourt in the bottom of the third, to cut the Twins lead to two once again. Twins begin a hard-hit bonanza, score seven more runs Minnesota provided a quick response to Oakland’s potential rally. After Byron Buxton drew a two-out walk in the top of the fourth, the Twins hit back-to-back doubles to score two more runs. First, it was Arráez with a 96.5 MPH exit velocity fly ball to center to score Buxton, then it was Correa with a 105.6 MPH rocket to score Arráez. Speaking of Correa, what a great way to come back from the IL. This was the third time he made solid contact in the game, with his first-inning hit reaching 109.8 MPH coming off the bat. The offense kept putting men on base, as they loaded the bases (but didn’t cash in) in the fifth and had seven men reach in the sixth. Arráez and Correa drew walks against reliever Kirby Snead to lead off the inning, and they were both brought home by a Polanco single and a Kepler sac-fly, making it 8-2 Minnesota. Snead’s nightmare inning continued as he gave up a walk to Urshela, which put two men on, and the Twins made him pay. Ryan Jeffers hit a hard double to left (104.9 MPH exit velocity) to bring home both runners, then he himself scored on a Nick Gordon single. The entire Twins lineup had an at-bat in the sixth. Gray gets on a roll, retires ten in a row It wasn’t all just about the offense today. After giving up Oakland’s second run in the third inning, Gray went on to retire ten consecutive batters, including three consecutive 1-2-3 innings. This was a very encouraging outing for him, giving him a much-needed morale boost. He wasn’t very sharp in his last start last Friday against the Guardians. He threw only 56.1% strikes despite the season-high eight strikeouts and gave up four walks. Today, he seemed much more comfortable with his command, which enabled him to complete six innings with a similar pitch count as his last start, when he tossed only 4 1/3 innings. The Twins bullpen wasn’t nearly as sharp as Gray was. Yennier Cano took over for him in the seventh, and he loaded the bases before recording an out. Fortunately, after a mound visit, he was able to limit the damage to a minimum. The A’s got one run back on a Tony Kemp forceout, and that was it. In the eighth, Cody Stashak also allowed Oakland to score, when Chad Pinder doubled and scored on a Luis Barrera single. With outfielder Pinder pitching for the A's in the ninth, the bats got a couple more insurance runs with an RBI double by Arráez, his third hit of the afternoon, and an RBI single by Gilberto Celestino. That gave Jhoan Duran some more cushion to finish the game in the bottom of the inning (not that he needed it). What’s Next? The Twins have a day off on Thursday, and they remain on the road after that. They start a three-game series against the Royals in Kansas City on Friday, with the first game set to start at 7:10 pm CDT. Devin Smeltzer (1.80 ERA) is expected to make the start, facing Daniel Lynch (3.30 ERA). Postgame Interviews Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT Winder 0 0 0 78 0 78 Cano 0 0 25 0 19 44 Duran 12 0 0 0 23 35 Thielbar 15 2 0 16 0 33 Stashak 0 13 0 0 13 26 Duffey 5 0 20 0 0 25 Jax 0 0 25 0 0 25 Smith 15 9 0 0 0 24 Pagán 9 10 0 0 0 19
  22. With an incredible offensive outburst, the Twins needed only six innings to score eleven runs and blowout the Athletics in Oakland this afternoon. Sonny Gray was lights out as well, and Minnesota secured another series victory. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Sonny Gray, 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K (84 pitches, 55 strikes, 65.4%) Home Runs: none Top 3 WPA: Gary Sánchez (.264), Luis Arráez (.125), Carlos Correa (.125) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Sánchez, Urshela remain hot, push across four runs The Twins were off to a great start offensively, with the pair of former Yankees pushing across four early runs for Minnesota. After Luis Arráez and Carlos Correa hit back-to-back singles and Max Kepler drew a two-out walk to load the bases, red-hot Gary Sánchez hit a slow liner to left to score two runs. In the next at-bat, Gio Urshela smacked an RBI single to right to bring home Kepler and make it 3-0 Minnesota. Sánchez has been living his best stretch as a Twin. Not only did he homer in the first two games of this series, but he carried into this game an OPS of .916 in his previous 15 games. That’s a relief for Twins fans, as he posted a .606 OPS in 12 games during the month of April. Urshela, who is also seeing some improvement as of late, now has at least one hit in five of his last seven games. Making his second start since being reinstated from the injured list, Sonny Gray struggled a bit to close out the innings early. After quickly getting two outs in the bottom of the first, he gave up back-to-back hits, and Oakland got a run back on a Seth Brown RBI single. Sánchez, again, provided him with some more run support in the third when he hit a two-out double to score Jorge Polanco from first. He now has four extra-base hits in the last four games. But Gray would go on to give up three more two-out hits in the next two innings, including an RBI single to Christian Bethancourt in the bottom of the third, to cut the Twins lead to two once again. Twins begin a hard-hit bonanza, score seven more runs Minnesota provided a quick response to Oakland’s potential rally. After Byron Buxton drew a two-out walk in the top of the fourth, the Twins hit back-to-back doubles to score two more runs. First, it was Arráez with a 96.5 MPH exit velocity fly ball to center to score Buxton, then it was Correa with a 105.6 MPH rocket to score Arráez. Speaking of Correa, what a great way to come back from the IL. This was the third time he made solid contact in the game, with his first-inning hit reaching 109.8 MPH coming off the bat. The offense kept putting men on base, as they loaded the bases (but didn’t cash in) in the fifth and had seven men reach in the sixth. Arráez and Correa drew walks against reliever Kirby Snead to lead off the inning, and they were both brought home by a Polanco single and a Kepler sac-fly, making it 8-2 Minnesota. Snead’s nightmare inning continued as he gave up a walk to Urshela, which put two men on, and the Twins made him pay. Ryan Jeffers hit a hard double to left (104.9 MPH exit velocity) to bring home both runners, then he himself scored on a Nick Gordon single. The entire Twins lineup had an at-bat in the sixth. Gray gets on a roll, retires ten in a row It wasn’t all just about the offense today. After giving up Oakland’s second run in the third inning, Gray went on to retire ten consecutive batters, including three consecutive 1-2-3 innings. This was a very encouraging outing for him, giving him a much-needed morale boost. He wasn’t very sharp in his last start last Friday against the Guardians. He threw only 56.1% strikes despite the season-high eight strikeouts and gave up four walks. Today, he seemed much more comfortable with his command, which enabled him to complete six innings with a similar pitch count as his last start, when he tossed only 4 1/3 innings. The Twins bullpen wasn’t nearly as sharp as Gray was. Yennier Cano took over for him in the seventh, and he loaded the bases before recording an out. Fortunately, after a mound visit, he was able to limit the damage to a minimum. The A’s got one run back on a Tony Kemp forceout, and that was it. In the eighth, Cody Stashak also allowed Oakland to score, when Chad Pinder doubled and scored on a Luis Barrera single. With outfielder Pinder pitching for the A's in the ninth, the bats got a couple more insurance runs with an RBI double by Arráez, his third hit of the afternoon, and an RBI single by Gilberto Celestino. That gave Jhoan Duran some more cushion to finish the game in the bottom of the inning (not that he needed it). What’s Next? The Twins have a day off on Thursday, and they remain on the road after that. They start a three-game series against the Royals in Kansas City on Friday, with the first game set to start at 7:10 pm CDT. Devin Smeltzer (1.80 ERA) is expected to make the start, facing Daniel Lynch (3.30 ERA). Postgame Interviews Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT Winder 0 0 0 78 0 78 Cano 0 0 25 0 19 44 Duran 12 0 0 0 23 35 Thielbar 15 2 0 16 0 33 Stashak 0 13 0 0 13 26 Duffey 5 0 20 0 0 25 Jax 0 0 25 0 0 25 Smith 15 9 0 0 0 24 Pagán 9 10 0 0 0 19 View full article
  23. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Sonny Gray, 4.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 8 K (82 pitches, 46 strikes, 56.1%) Home Runs: Byron Buxton (10), Jorge Polanco (4), Gary Sánchez (2), Royce Lewis (1) Top 3 WPA: Gary Sánchez (.178), Royce Lewis (.155), Byron Buxton (.123) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Gray is off to a good start, but can't go to distance The big story of tonight’s game was whether or not the Twins would get a decent start from their starting pitcher. The last time a Twins starter threw more than four innings in a game was exactly a week ago when Josh Winder delivered six innings with no earned runs against the A’s. Would Sonny Gray be up for the task? But that wasn’t the only question mark regarding the Twins coming into this game. Minnesota’s offense, full of ups and downs this season, produced a grand total of three runs during the three games against Houston, being shut out in two of those games. Would they be able to turn things around? Despite facing Aaron Civale, who has a career 3.31 ERA against Minnesota, the offense managed to be productive from the get-go. Byron Buxton and Jorge Polanco hit a couple of solo shots in the bottom of first, giving the Twins an early two-run lead. Things could’ve been even better, as Max Kepler and Gary Sánchez got back-to-back hits and moved into scoring position, but Minnesota couldn’t add on. Gray pitched around a leadoff walk in the first, then pitched an easy, 12-pitch second, with two punch outs. However, he oddly had a troublesome third, loading the bases before recording an out, including a couple of walks. Fortunately, he was able to keep the damage to a minimum, with Cleveland scoring only the one run on a force out. Gray struck out a couple more batters in that inning. Civale settle down and started to dominate the Twins lineup. After the Sánchez double in the first, Minnesota’s batters went 0-for-11 and failed to provide Gray with some run support. After a scoreless fourth with a couple more strikeouts, Gray became the first Twin starter to pitch into the fifth in the past seven days. But he wouldn’t go to distance. He gave up a leadoff home run to Austin Hedges and shortly after that, a walk and a single, which was enough for Rocco Baldelli to pull him from the game. Griffin Jax came into the game and induced an inning-ending double play on two pitches, to end the threat. The offense gets back on track, turns the game into a blowout Another short start, a cold offense, and a tied ball game. All the ingredients that might have led Twins fans to brace themselves for the worst. Little did they know that they were in for a treat: the Twins lineup put together a nine-run fifth inning on seven pitches and put this game out of reach. First, Civale loaded the bases by giving up a leadoff single to Ryan Jeffers, a double to Royce Lewis, and a walk to Buxton. Minnesota scored two of those runners on a Luis Arráez groundout and a Max Kepler single to left. Polanco had drawn a walk in between and, with two men on, Civale’s night was done. With Kepler and Polanco on, and Bryan Shaw pitching, Sánchez definitely put the slump behind him by smashing a three-run home run to deep center, making it 7-2 Twins. But they were surely not done. The bases were once again loaded for the Twins, as Shaw gave up back-to-back singles, to Gio Urshela and Nick Gordon, and a walk to Jeffers. Still chasing his first big league home run, Lewis destroyed a cutter in the heart of the plate for a huge grand slam, making it 11-2 Minnesota. It was impressive to see how much the Twins improved with men in scoring position in this game, compared to the Houston series. They finished the game hitting 3-for-7 with RISP. Jax has his toughest outing so far, Smith bails him out When he was brought into this game, Jax hadn’t given up any runs in his previous six outings and was posting a stellar 1.35 ERA through eight appearances. After inducing an inning-ending double play to get out of an inherited jam, he simply wasn’t sharp in the following two innings. Franmil Reyes singled off him in the sixth, shortly before Oscar Mercado hit a two-out, two-run bomb to bring the Guardians within seven. In the seventh, things were even worse, as he struggled badly with his command, allowing Cleveland to score a couple more runs on a single by José Ramírez and a triple by Amed Rosario, making it 11-6. Jax gave up back-to-back walks to load the bases with two outs, causing Baldelli to remove him from the game. Joe Smith took over and struck out Mercado on four pitches, ending the threat. Smith has now stranded 11 inherited runners so far this season – every single one he’s inherited in the year. In the bottom of the eighth, Buxton drew a leadoff walk and the Twins managed to manufacture a run, with Kepler pushing Buxton across with a sac-fly. Emilio Pagán had a flashy six-run lead when he took the mound in the ninth, but he gave up a two-out, two-run home run to Andrés Giménez, before he struck out Mercado to avoid a Cleveland rally. What’s Next? Tomorrow at 6:10 pm CDT both teams are back on the field for game 2. Cleveland will have Shane Bieber (4.13 ERA) start for them, whereas the Twins will call up Devin Smeltzer to make his season debut. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT Cotton 0 58 0 0 0 58 Jax 0 0 0 0 50 50 Stashak 0 0 0 46 0 46 Cano 0 0 0 36 0 36 Duffey 0 0 0 33 0 33 Thielbar 0 3 0 23 0 26 Pagán 0 0 0 0 22 22 Duran 0 0 0 0 10 10 Smith 0 0 0 0 4 4
  24. After a slow start, the Twins offense exploded in the fifth inning and put the game out of reach. Minnesota scored more runs in this game than they did in their last six games and they snap a three-game losing streak. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Sonny Gray, 4.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 8 K (82 pitches, 46 strikes, 56.1%) Home Runs: Byron Buxton (10), Jorge Polanco (4), Gary Sánchez (2), Royce Lewis (1) Top 3 WPA: Gary Sánchez (.178), Royce Lewis (.155), Byron Buxton (.123) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Gray is off to a good start, but can't go to distance The big story of tonight’s game was whether or not the Twins would get a decent start from their starting pitcher. The last time a Twins starter threw more than four innings in a game was exactly a week ago when Josh Winder delivered six innings with no earned runs against the A’s. Would Sonny Gray be up for the task? But that wasn’t the only question mark regarding the Twins coming into this game. Minnesota’s offense, full of ups and downs this season, produced a grand total of three runs during the three games against Houston, being shut out in two of those games. Would they be able to turn things around? Despite facing Aaron Civale, who has a career 3.31 ERA against Minnesota, the offense managed to be productive from the get-go. Byron Buxton and Jorge Polanco hit a couple of solo shots in the bottom of first, giving the Twins an early two-run lead. Things could’ve been even better, as Max Kepler and Gary Sánchez got back-to-back hits and moved into scoring position, but Minnesota couldn’t add on. Gray pitched around a leadoff walk in the first, then pitched an easy, 12-pitch second, with two punch outs. However, he oddly had a troublesome third, loading the bases before recording an out, including a couple of walks. Fortunately, he was able to keep the damage to a minimum, with Cleveland scoring only the one run on a force out. Gray struck out a couple more batters in that inning. Civale settle down and started to dominate the Twins lineup. After the Sánchez double in the first, Minnesota’s batters went 0-for-11 and failed to provide Gray with some run support. After a scoreless fourth with a couple more strikeouts, Gray became the first Twin starter to pitch into the fifth in the past seven days. But he wouldn’t go to distance. He gave up a leadoff home run to Austin Hedges and shortly after that, a walk and a single, which was enough for Rocco Baldelli to pull him from the game. Griffin Jax came into the game and induced an inning-ending double play on two pitches, to end the threat. The offense gets back on track, turns the game into a blowout Another short start, a cold offense, and a tied ball game. All the ingredients that might have led Twins fans to brace themselves for the worst. Little did they know that they were in for a treat: the Twins lineup put together a nine-run fifth inning on seven pitches and put this game out of reach. First, Civale loaded the bases by giving up a leadoff single to Ryan Jeffers, a double to Royce Lewis, and a walk to Buxton. Minnesota scored two of those runners on a Luis Arráez groundout and a Max Kepler single to left. Polanco had drawn a walk in between and, with two men on, Civale’s night was done. With Kepler and Polanco on, and Bryan Shaw pitching, Sánchez definitely put the slump behind him by smashing a three-run home run to deep center, making it 7-2 Twins. But they were surely not done. The bases were once again loaded for the Twins, as Shaw gave up back-to-back singles, to Gio Urshela and Nick Gordon, and a walk to Jeffers. Still chasing his first big league home run, Lewis destroyed a cutter in the heart of the plate for a huge grand slam, making it 11-2 Minnesota. It was impressive to see how much the Twins improved with men in scoring position in this game, compared to the Houston series. They finished the game hitting 3-for-7 with RISP. Jax has his toughest outing so far, Smith bails him out When he was brought into this game, Jax hadn’t given up any runs in his previous six outings and was posting a stellar 1.35 ERA through eight appearances. After inducing an inning-ending double play to get out of an inherited jam, he simply wasn’t sharp in the following two innings. Franmil Reyes singled off him in the sixth, shortly before Oscar Mercado hit a two-out, two-run bomb to bring the Guardians within seven. In the seventh, things were even worse, as he struggled badly with his command, allowing Cleveland to score a couple more runs on a single by José Ramírez and a triple by Amed Rosario, making it 11-6. Jax gave up back-to-back walks to load the bases with two outs, causing Baldelli to remove him from the game. Joe Smith took over and struck out Mercado on four pitches, ending the threat. Smith has now stranded 11 inherited runners so far this season – every single one he’s inherited in the year. In the bottom of the eighth, Buxton drew a leadoff walk and the Twins managed to manufacture a run, with Kepler pushing Buxton across with a sac-fly. Emilio Pagán had a flashy six-run lead when he took the mound in the ninth, but he gave up a two-out, two-run home run to Andrés Giménez, before he struck out Mercado to avoid a Cleveland rally. What’s Next? Tomorrow at 6:10 pm CDT both teams are back on the field for game 2. Cleveland will have Shane Bieber (4.13 ERA) start for them, whereas the Twins will call up Devin Smeltzer to make his season debut. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT Cotton 0 58 0 0 0 58 Jax 0 0 0 0 50 50 Stashak 0 0 0 46 0 46 Cano 0 0 0 36 0 36 Duffey 0 0 0 33 0 33 Thielbar 0 3 0 23 0 26 Pagán 0 0 0 0 22 22 Duran 0 0 0 0 10 10 Smith 0 0 0 0 4 4 View full article
  25. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Chris Archer, 3.0 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K (75 pitches, 42 strikes, 56%) Home Runs: none Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Offense shows some encouraging signs early, but Archer can't come through Apparently, not having to face Justin Verlander makes a huge difference – who knew? Contrary to Tuesday night, when Minnesota’s first hit of the game came only in the eighth inning, the bats were off to a good start early. Max Kepler doubled to deep right in the Twins’ second at-bat of the game and scored moments later when Jorge Polanco hit a double to the right corner. Starting this game with a couple of good, extra-base hits was a relief for this offense. The Twins hadn’t scored a run since the third inning of the final game of the Oakland series. Polanco hit an RBI single on Sunday, and the Twins went on to hit .137 since. But the Twins needed their starting pitcher to pick up as well, and that didn’t come close to happening tonight. Making his sixth start of the season, Chris Archer hadn’t given up more than two runs in any of his previous five starts, but things were about to change. After a long 1-2-3 first inning, Archer struggled with his command and very quickly gave up the Twins' one-run lead. Yordan Álvarez and Yuli Gurriel hit back-to-back singles to open the second inning, and both of them scored later on, on a sac fly and a single. José Altuve hit a leadoff home run to right to open the third, and then things definitely spiraled out of control for Archer. He gave up back-to-back walks after the home run, then loaded the bases with a two-out walk to Kyle Tucker. Jeremy Peña hit a liner to right to score two more runs, making it 5-1 Houston. That concluded Archer’s night, making it the fourth consecutive game in which a Twins starter pitches four innings or less. A storm breaks out, and the game gets suspended, set to resume on Thursday A Royce Lewis single to lead off the bottom of the third brought some hope that the Twins could build some momentum offensively, with the top of the order coming next. But José Urquidy retired the side on 13 pitches to end the threat and… the night at Target Field. Before the fourth inning started, with Yennier Cano warming up to make his big league debut, a storm broke out, and the game went into a weather delay. Fans were evacuated from the stands into the concourses and had to wait until the announcement of the game suspension came, roughly one hour after the interruption of the game. Here we go again... After a 15-hour weather delay (aka, suspended game), the Twins and Astros resumed play at 12:10. Big-League Debuts Technically, Yennier Cano made his MLB debut on Wednesday night because he was announced. However, the reality is that he actually made his MLB debut when the game resumed on Thursday. Cano, who had all night to think about it, was impressive. He struck out the first batter he faced, catcher Martin Maldanado. Then he got Jose Altuve and Michael Brantley quickly. In the fifth inning, he got through Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez and Yuli Guerriel without breaking a sweat. He went out for a third inning. Kyle Tucker hit a high home run over the wall in right field to lead off the sixth frame. He got one out in that inning but after a couple of singles, Cody Stashak came on and allowed both inherited runners to score. So in his 2 1/3 innings, he was charged with three runs on three hits. That line is so much worse than how Cano performed. The Twins had a second player make his MLB debut in the game too. When play resumed, Gilberto Celestino had moved from left to center field. Mark Contreras took over in left field. Contreras came to the plate with runners on first and third and nobody out. He swung at the first pitch and hit a ball 105 mph to center. It was caught just in front of the warning track, but the run scored, so Contreras was awarded an RBI on the sacrifice fly. In his next at-bat, Contreras saw a handful of pitches before hitting a bounding grounder up the middle. Astros shortstop Jeremy Pena misplayed it for an error. Contreras later came around to score a run too. His final at-bat ended with a fielder's choice. The Twins are off to a very nice start to their season, but playing against a strong, veteran Astros team without Carlos Correa, and with young pitchers, was always going to be a bit of a reality check. Again, consider the amount of MLB time and at-bats that Alex Kirilloff, Jose Miranda, Gilberto Celestino, Royce Lewis, Mark Contreras, and even Ryan Jeffers have. Yet each of them contributed something in this game and are holding their own. So, you can say it's a reality check to see the Twins lose by a big margin, and that's fair. You can also be really excited about the future of this club, not only this year when Correa and Byron Buxton are back at full strength but for years to come. Along with the pitching pipeline that we are starting to see contribute to the Twins, there are hitters too. It's also OK to acknowledge both. Speaking of firsts... Nick Gordon has played all over the place since joining the Twins last summer. On Thursday, he made his pitching debut. The son of the former All-Star and long-time reliever Tom Gordon, Nick came in to face the Astros with the Twins down 11-3. And, he kept the score right there. For the most part, he lobbed in pitches at 70 mph or so. That said, he hit 87 with one pitch and 88 with another. He got a little help from Gio Urshela, but threw a scoreless frame. What’s Next? In approximately 30 minutes, Josh Winder (1.61 ERA) will try to snap the sequence of bad starts as he takes the mound for the third and final game of this series, facing Luis Garcia (3.45 ERA). Postgame Interview No postgame interviews due to the quick turn-around. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet SUN MON TUE WED THU TOT Stashak 34 0 0 0 46 80 Cotton 0 0 58 0 0 58 Cano 0 0 0 0 36 36 Coulombe 0 0 29 IL IL 29 Pagán 28 0 0 0 0 28 Thielbar 20 0 3 0 0 23 Smith 12 0 0 0 0 12 Duffey 9 0 0 0 0 9 Duran 0 0 0 0 0 0 Jax 0 0 0 0 0 0
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