Tag Archives: Adalberto Mejia

2019 Rewind: Game Twenty

MINNESOTA 9, HOUSTON 5 AT HOUSTON

Date:  Monday, April 22.

Batting stars:  Jorge Polanco was 4-for-5 with a home run (his fourth) and a double, scoring twice and driving in four.  Nelson Cruz was 2-for-5.  Jason Castro was 1-for-2 with a home run and two walks, scoring twice.

Pitching stars:  Jake Odorizzi pitched 5.2 innings, giving up two runs on eight hits and no walks and striking out two.  Adalberto Mejia pitched a scoreless inning, walking one and striking out one.  Blake Parker pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Josh Reddick was 3-for-4.  Tyler White was 2-for-2 with a double and two walks.  Michael Brantley was 2-for-5 with a home run (his fourth) and two runs.  Carlos Correa was 1-for-5 with a three-run homer, his fourth.

The game:  The Twins took the lead in the first inning, as two-out singles by Cruz and Eddie Rosario and a two-run double by C. J. Cron gave them a 2-0 lead.  Castro led off the second with a home run, making the score 3-0.  It stayed 3-0 until the fourth, when Brantley led off with a single, went to second on a ground out, and scored on Reddick's single to cut the lead to 3-1.

The Twins seemed to take control of the game in the sixth.  Jonathan Schoop doubled and Castro walked.  With two out, Max Kepler singled, Polanco had a single-plus-error, and Cruz singled.  Four runs scored, putting the Twins up 7-1.  Brantley led off the bottom of the sixth with a homer, making the score 7-2, but the Twins still seemed to have the game well in hand.

In the seventh, however, George Springer led off with an infield single and Alex Bregman drew a one-out walk.  Brantley lined out, but Correa hit a three-run homer, making the score 7-5 and putting the Astros right back into the game.

In the eighth, Polanco took them right back out of it.  With two out and none on, Kepler walked and Polanco hit a two-run homer, making the score 9-5.  Houston did not get a man past first base after that and the victory was secured.

WP:  Odorizzi (2-2).  LP:  Brad Peacock (1-2).  S:  None.

Notes:  Polanco is batting .392.  Cruz is batting .315.  Parker has an ERA of 1.23.  Harper gave up his first earned runs of the season and is has an ERA of 2.89.

Byron Buxton was caught stealing.  If I'm reading it right it's the first time he's truly been "caught stealing" in his career, in the sense of the catcher gunning him down rather than oversliding the bag.  I guess it had to come sometime.

Harper giving up runs had to come sometime, too.  Has his bubble burst, or was this just a blip?  Time will tell, but I'm hopeful.  It looks like the home run was the only ball hit hard off him.  And as great as his story has been, it wasn't realistic to think he was going to pitch all season with an ERA of zero.  I guess we'll see.

It was mentioned in the game log that perhaps Rocco is relying too heavily on Rogers and Hildenberger.  I don't think I agree.  Rogers has appeared in ten games and pitched 11.2 innings.  Hildenberger has appeared in eleven games and pitched 7.2 innings.  Given the number of off-days we've had, that doesn't seem like too much to me.  They've each pitched on consecutive days three times and never on three consecutive days.  I actually think Rocco has done a pretty good job of using his whole bullpen, including using Mejia in the eighth inning last night.  It's something to keep an eye on as the season progresses, but I really don't have a problem with it so far.

Someone said in the game log that, going into this series, they were simply hoping the Twins would take one of three.  I was pretty much in that same place.  Now, of course, we hope they will take at least two, if not more.  We'll see.

Record:  The Twins are 13-7, in first place in the American League Central, 1.5 games ahead of Cleveland.

Projected record:  We're still on track for 155-7!

2019 Recap: Game Fifteen

MINNESOTA 4, TORONTO 1 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Wednesday, April 17.

Batting stars:  Nelson Cruz was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and two RBIs.  Jorge Polanco was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and two runs.  Marwin Gonzalez was 2-for-3 with a walk.

Pitching stars:  Jake Odorizzi struck out six in 5.2 innings, giving up one run on six hits and a walk.  Adalberto Mejia pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up a hit.  Taylor Rogers struck out two in a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.  Blake Parker struck out two in a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Freddy Galvis was 2-for-4.  Javy Guerra pitched two shutout innings, giving up two hits and striking out one.

The game:  The Blue Jays got on the board in the first inning, as Galvis hit a one-out single, took second on a fly out, and scored on Justin Smoak's two-out single.  The Twins came right back with two in the bottom of the first.  Max Kepler led off with a double, Polanco walked, and Cruz singled, tying the score and putting men on first and third with none out.  It looked like it could be a big inning for the Twins, but Eddie Rosario hit into a double play, taking them out of the inning but still producing the go-ahead run.

The Twins added a run in the third.  Polanco and Cruz started the frame with back-to-back doubles, making it 3-1 Minnesota.  They got one more in the fifth.  Walks to Cruz and C. J. Cron put men on first and second with two out and Marwin Gonzalez delivered an RBI single, giving the Twins a 4-1 lead.

Meanwhile, Odorizzi was in control.  He gave up some singles, but did not allow a man past first base after the first inning.  He was still in control in the sixth, but his pitch count got up to 101, so he was removed from the game with two out.  Three relievers, listed above, came on and kept things in control, similarly not allowing a man past first base.  The Twins went on to take an uneventful (in a good way) 4-1 win.

WP:  Odorizzi (1-2).  LP:  Trent Thornton (0-2).  S:  Parker (4).

Notes:  Polanco raised his average to .429 with an OPS of 1.215.  He's obviously not going to keep that up all season, but he really has had a remarkable fifteen game stretch.  Cruz is batting .313 with an OPS of .976.  He probably won't keep that up, either, but the fall-off most likely will not be as great.  Rogers has an ERA of 1.04.  Parker has an ERA of 1.42.

This was Odorizzi's second solid start out of four, and one of the others was good until it suddenly wasn't.  He's not going to be an ace, but if he's just be a dependable pitcher who keeps the team in the game he's a valuable man for the Twins.  And looking at his record, there's no obvious reason he shouldn't be able to be that.

From the play-by-play (and from the game log), this looks like just a nice, comfortable win for the Twins.  It was only a three-run margin, but at the same time there does not appear to have been any point at which the lead was in serious jeopardy.  It seems to me that having games like this might be one of the hallmarks of a good team.  Dramatic wins are fun, pummeling the other team is fun, but just being comfortably in control all the way, even when you don't have a huge lead, strikes me as the type of game a good team has quite a number of.  Let's hope we see more of them with the Twins.

Record:  The Twins are 9-6, in second place in the American League Central, a half game behind Cleveland.  They are currently in position for a wild card spot, leading Texas by percentage points.

Projected record:  We're still on track for 156-6!

2019 Recap: Game Thirteen

TORONTO 5, MINNESOTA 3 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Monday, April 15.

Batting stars:  Jorge Polanco was 3-for-3.  C. J. Cron was 1-for-4 with a three-run homer, his second.

Pitching stars:  Martin Perez pitched six innings, giving up one run on seven hits and two walks and striking out five.  Ryne Harper struck out two in a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Teoscar Hernandez was 3-for-4 with a  three-run homer.  Randal Grichuk was 3-for-4 with two doubles.  Justin Smoak was 2-for-3 with a walk and a double.

The game:  The Blue Jays got a man to second with two out in the first and with none out in the second, but could not score.  They broke through in the fourth when Smoak doubled, Hernandez singled, and Alen Hanson hit a sacrifice fly.

The Twins came back in the bottom of the fourth.  Polanco led off with a single, Eddie Rosario drew a one-out walk, and Cron hit a three-run homer to put the Twins up 3-1.

It looked like that would be enough.  Perez cruised through the fifth and sixth, although he was helped in the sixth by a strange baserunning blunder (more on that in the notes).  Harper had a perfect seventh.  It appeared that this one would go into the win column for the Twins.

It wasn't to be.  Adalberto Mejia came in to pitch the eighth and the roof fell in (if there had been a roof).  Freddy Galvis singled and Grichuk doubled.  Smoak singled home a run to make it 3-2 and Hernandez followed with a three-run homer to put Toronto up 5-3.  The Twins could do nothing in the last two innings and the game was lost.

WP:  Sam Gaviglio (1-0).  LP:  Mejia (0-1).  S:  Joe Biagini (1).

Notes:  MItch Garver was moved to the leadoff spot in the batting order.  It didn't work in this game, as he went 0-for-4, but of course that doesn't mean it was a bad move.  He's still batting .423.  I like that Rocco seems to be willing to be creative and do some things that are unconventional.  They're not all going to work all the time, but going by the book doesn't work all the time, either.

Polanco raised his average to .420.

I was pretty skeptical about Perez, but he pitched a fine game last night.  One game does not a season make, but he got out of trouble a couple of times and didn't seem at all rattled when he was in trouble.  All in all, a good performance.

That baserunning play in the sixth.  I'm still recovering from illness, so I was no longer following the game at that point.  Hernandez was on first with one out.  The play-by-play then reads "Hernandez caught stealing first, pitcher to first", which is something I don't think I've ever seen before.  I gather what happened is that both the batter, Brandon Drury, and Hernandez thought that ball three to Drury was ball four.  Drury trotted to first, Hernandez started to go to second, and was tagged out.  As Tim Kurkjian says, every time you go to the park there's a chance you'll see something you've never seen before.

The decision to go to Mejia in the eighth was unfortunate, but it was really more a product of circumstances rather than a managerial blunder.  As socal and others have pointed out, there weren't a lot of good options for Rocco.  HildenbergerRogers, and Parker had each pitched in the last two games, and I can see not wanting to use them three days in a row, especially with no off days coming up for a while.  May did not pitch two games in a row, but he had pitched Sunday and had warmed up Saturday, so I can see not wanting to use him for two innings.  Perhaps he'd have pitched the ninth had the Twins remained in the lead, but we'll never know.  Given all that, the options were Mejia and Andrew Vasquez, and Mejia certainly seems to be the better choice.

Another option, of course, would've been to leave Harper in to pitch a second inning.  We'll never know how that might have worked.  But there may be another thing playing into this, too.  Rocco is still trying to find out what some of his players can and can't do.  He needs to know if Mejia is someone he can bring into a situation like this, or if he's simply a groundskeeper.  And it's not like he brought him into the game with the bases loaded--he came in to start the inning, leading by two.  That's an important situation, of course, but it doesn't seem like he was putting Mejia into a situation that was clearly too big for him.  Mejia just didn't get the job done.

Record:  The Twins are 8-5, in first place in the American League Central, a half game ahead of Cleveland.

Projected record:  We'll just have to settle for 157-5!

2019 Recap: Game Five

MINNESOTA 7, KANSAS CITY 6 IN KANSAS CITY

Date:  Wednesday, April 3.

Batting stars:  Mitch Garver was 3-for-4 with a double, two runs, and two RBIs.  Willians Astudillo was 3-for-5 with a double and two runs.  Eddie Rosario was 2-for-4 with a double and a walk.

Pitching stars:  Adalberto Mejia struck out three in 2.1 scoreless innings, giving up a walk.  Trevor May pitched 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up a hit.

Opposition stars:  Alex Gordon was 2-for-4 with a home run, a walk, and four RBIs.  Ryan O'Hearn was 2-for-4.  Adalberto Mondesi was 2-for-5 with a triple and two runs.

The game:  The Royals again got on the board in the first inning, as Mondesi hit a one-out triple and Gordon followed with an RBI single.  The Twins tied it in the second when Rosario led off with a double and Astudillo followed with an RBI single.

The Twins got a two-out double from Jorge Polanco in the third but could do nothing with it.  They took the lead in the fourth, however, as Astudillo singled and Jake Cave walked.  Garver put the Twins ahead with a run-scoring double, but Cave was thrown out at the plate.  Ehire Adrianza hit a sacrifice fly, though, and the Twins had a 3-1 lead.

The Royals missed a chance in the bottom of the fourth when Jorge Soler was thrown out trying to steal home as part of a double steal.  They came back big in the fifth, though.  The first two batters went out.  Billy Hamilton walked, stole second, and scored on a Whit Merrifield single.  Mondesi followed with an infield hit that Dazzle said Adrianza should have turned into the third out.  It cost the Twins, as Gordon followed with a three-run homer to put Kansas City up 5-3.  Kansas City wasn't done.  Soler reached on an error, O'Hearn singled, and Chris Owings singled to make the score 6-3.  It was not looking good for the visiting Twins.

They bounced right back, however.  In the sixth, Astudillo hit a one-out double and Garver delivered a two-out single to cut the margin to 6-4.  In the eighth, Garver hit a one-out single, Tyler Austin had a two-out double, and Max Kepler tied the score with a double.  Then, in the ninth, Nelson Cruz led off with a walk.  Pinch-runner Byron Buxton stole second and scored on Rosario's single to give the Twins a 7-6 advantage.  The Royals went down in order in the ninth.

WP:  May (1-0).  LP:  Wily Peralta (0-1).  S:  Blake Parker (2).

Notes:  Kyle Gibson started and pitched well for four innings.  His final line, however, is 4.2 innings, six runs (five earned), eight hits, two walks, and two strikeouts.  He was not helped by his defense in the fifth.  it also seems likely that, as he continues to gain strength after his bout with e coli, he tired as he tried to get five outs in the fifth inning.  Time will tell, but I don't see any reason to hold that inning against him.

As Buxton was used as a pinch-runner and stole a base, I assume there are no linger effects from his collision with the fence Tuesday night.

This was the third time Adalberto Mejia and Adalberto Mondesi appeared in the same game.  The other times were August 20, 2016 and May 21, 2017.  There has only been one other major league player named "Adalberto".  Right-hander Adalberto Mendez appeared in five games for Florida in 2010.  Thus, there has never been a major league player named "Adalberto" whose last name did not start with "M".

4-1 is obviously a good start.  We don't know how good yet, because we don't know how the teams are that the Twins have been playing.  Cleveland is supposed to be good, and maybe they will be, but they've had injuries and don't look like a very good team at the moment.  The Royals appear to have some talent, but every time they look like they're starting to put it together they do some things to remind you that they're the Royals.  This is not intended as criticism of the Twins--you can only play the teams on your schedule, and no matter who you play you still have to go out and beat them.  The only point, which is probably obvious, is that I don't know if we have a very good read on how good the Twins are going to be yet.

But on the other hand, we also don't have a very good read on how good they need to be.  Cleveland is supposed to be the class of the division, and it still may turn out that way.  But if it's not them, who is it?  Kansas City?  Detroit?  Chicago?  Any of those teams could turn out to be good, of course, but it's not looking like it right now.  You don't necessarily have to be a great team to win a division--you just have to be better than the other four teams in it.  It's entirely possible that the Twins will be able to do that.

Record:  The Twins are 4-1, in first place in the American League Central, one game ahead of Detroit.

Projected record:  We're still on track for 161-1!

Game 98: Twins at Blue Jays

As the old song says, when you hit rock bottom, you've got two ways to go:  straight up or sideways.  We'll see which way the Twins go tonight.  The Twins send Adalberto Mejia to the hill, which does not exactly inspire confidence.  He's pitched well in Rochester, but has yet to translate that to success in the majors.  The Blue Jays counter with Luis Santos, who is not a starting pitcher and who has not done well this season, although he did quite well in Buffalo and pitched well in ten games for the Jays in 2017.

We're obviously not going anywhere, but we still have sixty-five games to play.  Let's have some fun.  Go Twins!