2019 Recap: Game Forty-six


Date:  Sunday, May 19.

Batting stars:  Jorge Polanco was 4-for-5.  Luis Arraez was 1-for-2 with two walks.

Pitching star:  Mike Morin pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Edwin Encarnacion was 3-for-4 with a home run (his thirteenth) and a double, scoring twice and driving in three.  Daniel Vogelbach was 2-for-3 with a home run (his thirteenth) and a walk, scoring twice.  Domingo Santana was 2-for-4 with a double.  J. P. Crawford was 2-for-4 with a double.  Mitch Haniger was 1-for-3 with a two-run homers (his twelfth) and a walk, scoring twice.  Yusei Kikuchi struck out six in six innings, giving up three runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks.  Brandon Brennan struck out three in two perfect innings.

The game:  There was no real threat to score until the third inning.  Arraez had a one-out single, and with two down Polanco singled and Jonathan Schoop was hit by a pitch.  C. J. Cron fanned, however, and the inning ended.  The Mariners took a 1-0 lead in the fourth on back-to-back doubles by Encarnacion and Santana.

The Twins took the lead with three in the fifth.  Walks to Arraez and Byron Buxton opened the inning.  An infield single-plus-error by Polanco tied the score and put men on second and third.  A ground out gave the Twins the lead and an error made it 3-1 Minnesota.

The lead didn't last long.  Crawford led off the bottom of the fifth with a double.  The next two batters were retired, but back-to-back home runs by Haniger and Vogelbach put Seattle up 4-3.  It stayed there until the seventh.  With two out, reliever Trevor May walked Haniger and Vogelbach and Encarnacion delivered a three-run homer that effectively ended the game.

To the Twins' credit, they didn't quit.  In the ninth, Ehire Adrianza got a one-out single and Arraez walked.  Polanco got a two-out single to cut the lead to 7-4 and bring the tying run up to bat.  Schoop hit a long fly to right-center, but it was caught and that literally ended the game.

WP:  Kikuchi (3-1).  LP:  Kyle Gibson (4-2).  S:  None.

Notes:  Schoop was the DH, with Arraez making the first start of his major league career at second base.  Adrianza was in right field, with Max Kepler on the bench.  Willians Astudillo was the day's catcher.

Arraez is batting .500.  Polanco is up to .343.  Morin now has an ERA of 1.29.

In two games, Arraez is 2-for-4 with a double and two walks.  Two games don't mean much, but it's nice to see him get off to a good start.

The only reasons I can think of for why you'd put Adrianza in right field are a) you really want to give both Kepler and Marwin Gonzalez a day off b) you just want to see if Adrianza can play there.  I know Adrianza has been doing better lately, but I can't see any other reason why you'd put him in right field when he's never played there before.

Gibson pitched pretty well except for the fifth inning, which means he didn't pitch very well.  I don't mean to overstate that--he wasn't terrible--but still, his line was six innings, four runs, nine hits.  He didn't walk anyone and did strike out six.  It seems to me that every once in a while he simply loses command of his pitches, leading either to walks or pitches over the center of the plate.  I assume he slips into some sort of flaw in his delivery, although I have no idea what the flaw might be.

Part of me says the Twins let a winnable game get away yesterday.  Another part says, well, you can't win them all, and taking three out of four from the Mariners in Seattle is still pretty good.  As was pointed out in the game log, the Mariners are not as bad as the Twins made them look in the first three games of the series.  Plus, Kikuchi has been pitching pretty well.  The Twins aren't the first team he's shut down, and they probably won't be the last.  So, I think we just let this one go and move on.

Record:  The Twins are 30-16, first in the American League Central, 4.5 games ahead of Cleveland.

Projected record:  We'll just have to settle for 146-16!

Happy Birthday–May 20

Walt Burnham (1860)
Joe Harris (1891)
George Grantham (1900)
Pete Appleton (1904)
Hal Newhouser (1921)
Herman Wedemeyer (1924)
Tom Morgan (1930)
Ken Boyer (1931)
Sadaharu Oh (1940)
Bobby Murcer (1946)
Ralph Bryant (1961)
David Wells (1963)
Todd Stottlemyre (1965)
Ramon Hernandez (1976)
Jayson Werth (1979)
Austin Kearns (1980)
Adam Rosales (1983)

Walt Burham was a minor league manager from 1885-1907, winning 1,164 games.

Outfielder Herman Wedemeyer played for Class C Salt Lake City in 1950.  He was a star running back in the All-America Football Conference and later appeared in over 300 episodes of the original Hawaii Five-O, playing Sergeant Edward “Duke” Lukela.

Right-hander Tom Morgan was with Washington at the end of 1960, appearing in fourteen games with them.  On January 31, 1961, before the franchise played a game in Minnesota, he was sold to the Los Angeles Angels.

Sadaharu Oh hit 868 home runs in Japan.

Outfielder Ralph Bryant was drafted by Minnesota in the thirteenth round of the January draft in 1981, but he did not sign.

This is not connected to the Twins or baseball in any way we're aware of, but we'd like to wish a happy 92nd birthday to Bud Grant.

We would also like to wish a very happy birthday to hungry joe.

There do not appear to be any other major league players with connections to the Minnesota Twins born on this day.

2019 Game 46: Minnesota at Seattle

A complete team. I think that's what we're starting to see in this season's edition of the Twins. An offense that fires with the regularity and effectiveness of an artillery brigade. Starting pitching that turns opposing hitters' bats into Jell-O® sticks. And now the bullpen is getting into the act, with six current relievers sporting ERAs of 2.00 or less, though several of the remaining bullpen ERAs are well above the 2.00 mark. Still, as a team the Twins have a 3.82 ERA, fifth in the American League and good for a 117 ERA+. I just know it's been worth staying up late to watch these last few nights, even Pineda showed improved command of his pitches. I do hope that the FO takes note of the room for improvement in the bullpen, though, as we give up too many meaningless runs in routs of the Mariners in this series. Two more solid arms out there would go a long way toward making a deep playoff run a distinct possibility. Of course, I'm counting on Pineda settling in at the back of the rotation with a .500 record or so and an ERA around 5.00, and Gibson to continue being aggressive in the strike zone and getting his ERA down below 4.00, so I'm a crazy man. Gibson will get his most current chance to do the first and work on the second, and lead the team to a four-game sweep of the Mariners at T-Mobile Park Not Safeco Field®, as the Twins' starting pitcher today. Countering the right-hander for the Mariners is rookie southpaw from Morioka, Japan, Yusei Kikuchi (2-1, 3.64 ERA, 1.07 WHIP), the third left-handed starter that Seattle has trotted out in the series. A quarter of the way through the season and the Twins are one of the two best teams in the major leagues. Who'd a thunk it? Play ball!

Tom Morello, Scott Ian, Nuno Bettencourt, Brad Paisley, Dan Weiss, and Ramin Djawadi – Game Of Thrones Theme

Enjoy the show, you nerds.

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Happy Birthday–May 19

Goose Curry (1905)
Gil McDougald (1928)
Curt Simmons (1929)
Larry McCoy (1941)
Dan Ford (1952)
Rick Cerone (1954)
Ed Whitson (1955)
Luis Salazar (1956)
Eric Show (1956)
Turk Wendell (1967)
Brandon Inge (1977)
Brian Anderson (1993)

Outfielder Goose Curry was a star in the Negro Leagues, batting over .300 several times.

This author's first baseball glove was a Gil McDougald model.

Larry McCoy was an American League umpire from 1971-1999.

Eric Show was drafted by Minnesota in the 36th round in 1974, but did not sign.

Brian Anderson was drafted by Minnesota in the 20th round in 2011, but did not sign.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–May 19

Remodeled basement. Same half-baked taste.