Tag Archives: Jonathan Schoop

2019 Recap: Game Thirty-five


Date:  Wednesday, May 8.

Batting stars:  Jorge Polanco was 5-for-5 with a two-run homer (his seventh) and a double, scoring twice.  C. J. Cron was 4-for-5 with a two-run homer, his seventh.  Eddie Rosario was 2-for-4 with a home run (his thirteenth), two runs, and three RBIs.  Jonathan Schoop was 2-for-5 with a two-run homer, his sixth.  Max Kepler was 2-for-5 with a walk and two runs.

Pitching stars:  Kyle Gibson struck out eleven in six shutout innings, giving up two hits and one walk.  Ryne Harper pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.  Mike Morin pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.  Blake Parker pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Billy McKinney was 1-for-3 with a home run, his second.  Derek Law struck out four in two shutout innings, giving up one hit.

The game:  The Twins threatened to take a big lead in the first inning.  Singles by Kepler and Polanco put men on first and third with none out.  A popup and an Eddie Rosario sacrifice fly put them up 1-0.  Cron singled and Marwin Gonzalez walked to load the bases, but Mitch Garver popped up, leaving the score 1-0.

It didn't matter.  In the second, Kepler walked and Polanco homered, making the score 3-0.  In the third, Rosario singled and Cron homered, and later in the inning Gonzalez singled and Schoop homered, making the score 7-0.  McKinney got the Blue Jays on the board with a home run in the fifth, but in the sixth Polanco doubled and Rosario homered to put the Twins ahead 9-1.

Other than the home run, the only time the Blue Jays got a man as far as second was the ninth, on a walk and a fielder's choice.  It was total dominance by Gibson and three relief pitchers.

WP:  Gibson (3-1).  LP:  Trent Thornton (0-4).  S:  None.

Notes:  Garver was 1-for-5 and is batting .354.  Polanco is batting .344.  Harper has an ERA of 1.84.  Parker has an ERA of 1.54.  Morin's ERA is 3.00.

As you probably heard, Polanco is the first Twin to have more than one five-hit game in a season since Joe Mauer in 2010.

Four two-run homers in one game is probably not the record, but it would seem like it has to be at least within shouting distance of it.

Going into the Houston series a week and a half ago, I said that after the next ten games we'd have a better idea of how good the Twins are.  Well, they went 7-3 in those ten games.  Two of the losses were games started by Michael Pineda, and at that only one of them was a blowout--in the other, the Twins just ran into a really good pitcher they couldn't do much with, which happens to everybody sometimes.  It seems to me that we have to say this is a good baseball team.

That's not to say they're going to win the World Series.  I do think they're now the favorites to win the division, though.  They might not do it--it's a long season, and lots of things can happen (injuries, slumps, etc.).  But it's looking good now.  That's why I hope the front office is not willing to settle for just winning the division, and is looking for ways to improve the team so it can actually go somewhere in the playoffs.  Again, I say that not knowing what deals may be available to them.  I'm not advocating a move of the Ramos-for-Capps variety.  But I think they have a real chance this year, and you never know for sure how many of them you're going to get.  When you get one, I think you need to go for it.

Record:  The Twins are 23-12, first in the American League Central, four games ahead of Cleveland.

Projected record:  We're still on track for 150-12!

2019 Recap: Game Twenty-nine


Date:  Thursday, May 2.

Batting stars:  Marwin Gonzalez was 2-for-3 with a double and two runs.  Jorge Polanco was 2-for-3 with a triple and a double.  Jason Castro was 2-for-4 with a home run (his third) and a double, scoring twice and driving in four.  Jonathan Schoop was 2-for-4.

Pitching stars:  Jose Berrios pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and no walks and striking out five.  Ryne Harper pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and striking out one.  Trevor May pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.

Opposition stars:  Aledmys Diaz was 2-for-4.  Alex Bregman was 1-for-4 with a home run, his sixth.

The game:  Bregman homered with two out in the first to give the Astros a 1-0 lead.  Each team got a two-out double in the second but did not score.  In the third, singles by Tony Kemp and George Springer put men on first and second with none out, but a strikeout, a fly out, and another strikeout left them there.  Castro led off the bottom of the third with a home run to tie the score at 1-1.

The Twins took control in the fourth.  With one out, C. J. Cron walked and Marwin Gonzalez singled, putting men on first and third.  Schoop delivered an RBI single, Castro had a two-run double, Byron Buxton had a run-scoring triple, Max Kepler hit a sacrifice fly, Polanco doubled, and Nelson Cruz had an RBI double.  In all, six runs scored, putting the Twins up 7-1 and effectively ending the game right there.

They kept playing, of course.  The Twins added a run in the fifth when Gonzalez walked, went to third on a Schoop single, and scored on a fielder's choice.  Polanco hit a one-out triple in the sixth but did not score.  Houston threatened to get back into it in the seventh.  Singles by Yuli Gurriel, Josh Reddick, and Diaz loaded the bases with none out.  A strikeout, a sacrifice fly, and another fly out limited the damage to one run, making the score 8-2, and neither team threatened after that.

WP:  Berrios (5-1).  LP:  Brad Peacock (2-2).  S:  None.

Notes:  Polanco raised his average to .336.  Cruz was 1-for-4 with a double and is batting .302.

Even though it was a day game, Rocco did not go with any sort of B lineup.  The regulars played.  The Twins alternate their catchers quite a bit, so that's not really an issue, but there were no substitutes at any other position, either.

Eddie Rosario was 0-for-4 and is now riding an 0-for-24 streak.  He hit two balls hard, though.  I'm not too worried about him.

Berrios pitched a fine game.  It shows the difference expectations can make, though.  If Michael Pineda ever had a game like this, we'd be ecstatic.  When it's Berrios, we just kind of nod our heads.  We expect Berrios to have games like this every time out.  That's a compliment to him, but at the same time, it's something that shouldn't be taken for granted.

Since reaching a low point of .213 on April 17, Schoop has gone 17-for-50 and is now batting .278.

Entering this series, I said the next ten games would tell us a lot about how good the Twins are.  They're off to a good start, winning three of the first four.  Now, of course, we go to New York to play the Big Bad Yankees.  I have a feeling that this year things are going to be different.  I don't have a lot to back that feeling up--the pitching matchups aren't particularly favorable or anything.  But it's a new day, it's a new team, and I just think this is the year things change.  I guess we'll find out soon enough.

Record:  The Twins are 19-10, first in the American League Central, three games ahead of Cleveland.

2019 Recap: Game Twenty-eight


Date:  Wednesday, May 1.

Batting stars:  Nelson Cruz was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.  Jorge Polanco was 2-for-4 with a double.  Jonathan Schoop was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer, his fifth.

Pitching star:  Martin Perez pitched eight shutout innings, giving up four hits and two walks and striking out seven.

Opposition star:  Jose Altuve was 2-for-4 with a double.

The game:  The Astros opened the game with a walk and a single, but a fly out and a double play ended the threat.  The Twins broke through in the third.  Mitch Garver was hit by a pitch and Schoop followed with a two-run homer.  It did not kill the rally, as Byron Buxton singled, stole second, went to third on a ground out, and scored on an infield hit by Polanco.  The Twins led 3-0 through three.

It went to 4-0 in the fifth.  Max Kepler hit a one-out double and scored when Cruz delivered a two-out single.  Meanwhile, Houston never got more than one man on base in innings two through eight.  Jake Marisnick singled and got as far as second base in the third.  Altuve doubled and got as far as third base in the sixth.

The Twins added two more in the eighth.  Doubles by Polanco and Cruz made it 5-0.  A fly ball moved Cruz to third and a sacrifice fly made it 6-0.  The Astros spoiled the shutout in the ninth, as Carlos Correa hit a one-out double and scored on a two-out single by Aledmys Diaz.  Diaz took second on defensive indifference and scored on a Tyler White single.  It was 6-2, and that was where it ended.

WP:  Perez (4-0).  LP:  Collin McHugh (3-3).  S:  None.

Notes:  Garver was 0-for-2 with a hit-by-pitch and is batting .333.  Polanco is batting .327.  Cruz is batting. 305.

Perez obviously pitched an excellent game.  I'll be honest, I was not particularly thrilled when the Twins acquired him.  I saw a guy who had been mediocre to below since 2014, plus had injury problems, and I didn't see how he could help.  The Twins said they saw flaws they could fix.  I was very skeptical, because we've all heard that line or something similar many times.

It's only May, of course, and he's only made four starts.  But in those four starts, Perez has been everything you could hope for, if not more.  He's 3-0, 2.08, 1.08 WHIP.  He has 18 strikeouts and just 5 walks in 26 innings.  I don't expect him to do that all season, of course--he'd win the Cy Young Award easily if he did.  But if he can be a solid rotation starter all season, that's a big plus, and it looks like he can be.

With the Twins having the best record in the league, with a 2.5 game lead over Cleveland, with Corey Kluber fracturing his arm, with no one else in the division looking very good, I really think the Twins could be considered the favorite to win the division.  So the question becomes--is this a year the Twins should go for it?  Not make stupid moves that cripple the franchise for years, obviously.  But should they be aggressive?  Should they go out and try to acquire some players, even at the expense of giving up some possible minor league stars, in an attempt to win this year?

My answer is a qualified yes.  It's qualified by the fact that I have no idea what moves may be available to them and what the cost might actually be.  Yes, Keuchel and Kimbrel are still out there, but I have no idea what it would take to actually sign them.  I also have no idea who's available in trades and what the cost would be.  It's easy to say "Go trade for this guy and that guy", but as fans we really don't know whether this guy and that guy are even available, and if they are we don't know how much teams are demanding in order to get them.  I'm not advocating that we do a Ramos-for-Capps trade.  But I do think the Twins have a real chance, and you never know how many of them you're going to get.  I'd like to see them go for it.

Record:  The Twins are 18-10, first in the American League Central, 2.5 games ahead of Cleveland.

Projected record:  We're still on track for 152-10!

2019 Recap: Game Twenty-one


Date:  Tuesday, April 23.

Batting stars:  Jonathan Schoop was 2-for-4 with two doubles.  Eddie Rosario was 1-for-4 with a three-run homer, his tenth.

Pitching star:  Ryne Harper retired both batters he faced.

Opposition stars:  Tyler White was 2-for-2 with a walk and two runs.  George Springer was 2-for-3 with two walks, scoring twice and driving in two.  Carlos Correa was 2-for-4 with a double.  Josh Reddick was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs.  Jose Altuve was 1-for-4 with a three-run homer (his ninth) and a walk.  Wade Miley struck out seven in six innings, giving up three runs on three hits and a walk.

The game:  It looked good early.  Mitch Garver led off the game with a single, Nelson Cruz drew a one-out walk, and Rosario followed with a three-run homer, putting the Twins up 3-0.  The Astros got on the board in the third, as White walked, Max Stassi singled, and Springer had an RBI single, but a double play got the inning back under control and the Twins still led 3-1.  It was just a temporary reprieve, however.  In the fifth, Reddick doubled and White singled, putting men on first and third with none out.  Stassi flied out, but Springer had a run-scoring double and Alex Bregman delivered a two-out two-run single to put Houston ahead 4-3.

Meanwhile, the Twins had not had a baserunner since Schoop led off the second with a double.  They hit some balls hard--it's not like there were helpless up there--but still, Miley closed out his evening with fifteen consecutive batters retired.  Hector Rondon came in to start the seventh and retired the first two men he faced.  Then, however, Schoop doubled and Max Kepler came through with a single to tie the score 4-4.  The Twins got men to second and third with two out, but Garver's fly to deep left ended the inning.

And then things fell apart.  Trevor Hildenberger came in to start the seventh.  A single and two walks loaded the bases with one out.  Bregman's sacrifice fly gave the Astros a 5-4 lead.  Adalberto Mejia came in to give up a run-scoring single to Michael Brantley, making the score 6-4.

It didn't get better in the eighth.  Tyler Duffey had come on to get the last out of the seventh and remained in the game.  An error and a single put men on first and third, and another error scored a run.  A passed ball put men on second and third, still with none out.  Stassi and Springer struck out, giving hope that the Twins might at least have a small chance to come back in the ninth.  That hope was dashed as Altuve hit a three-run homer to put the game out of reach at 10-4.  The Twins went down in order in the ninth.

WP:  Rondon (2-0).  LP:  Hildenberger (2-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  With a lefty starting for Houston, Garver was moved to the leadoff spot, with Max Kepler batting eighth.

Garver was 1-for-4 and is batting .405.  Jorge Polanco was 0-for-4 and is batting .372.  Harper lowered his ERA to 2.70.  Hildenberger was charged with two runs on one hit and two walks in two-thirds of an inning, but his ERA is still 2.16.  All four runs off Duffey in 1.1 innings were unearned, so his ERA drops to 1.69.

Rosario's homer made him the first Twin to ever reach ten homers before May 1.  Of course, back in the day, the season didn't start until the middle of April.  Still, it's an achievement, and he deserves credit for it.

I feel like the Twins' bullpen has done fairly well overall, but when it goes south it seems to go clear to Antarctica.  Last night the relief pitchers combined to allow six runs in 2.2 innings.  Four of the runs were unearned, but that's still not good.  They walked three in that span, which obviously contributed to the troubles, especially in the seventh inning.

Twins batters did not have a lot of luck last night.  The play-by-play at b-r.com indicates five deep fly balls for outs, plus one line drive out.  That's not to say that the Twins deserved to win, but had just a couple of those hard-hit balls been hits, things might have gone differently.

It sounds like Kohl Stewart is coming up to make the start tonight against Justin Verlander.  That does not seem like a favorable matchup for the Twins, to put it mildly.  Still, it's baseball.  One never knows what might happen.

Record:  The Twins are 13-8, in first place in the American League Central, 1.5 games ahead of Cleveland and Detroit.

Projected record:  We'll just have to settle for 154-8!

2019 Recap: Game Ten


Date:  Wednesday, April 10.

Batting stars:  Jonathan Schoop was 3-for-4 with a double and two runs.  Mitch Garver was 2-for-4 with a home run (his third) and two runs.  Max Kepler was 2-for-4.

Pitching star:  Trevor May struck out two in a scoreless inning, giving up a walk.

Opposition stars:  Jeff McNeil was 2-for-4.  Michael Conforto was 1-for-3 with a walk and three RBIs.

The game:  It started out as a pitchers' duel.  Neither team even got a baserunner in the first two innings.  In the third, Schoop led off with an infield single, went to second on a sacrifice bunt, and scored on Kepler's two-out single to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.

It was still 1-0 going to the bottom of the fifth and Twins starter Jake Odorizzi appeared to be cruising.  Then, suddenly, the roof fell in.  With one out, McNeil singled and Amed Rosario and J. D. Davis both walked, loading the bases.  Odorizzi then threw one to the backstop, but McNeil was thrown out trying to score and it appeared the Twins might get out of the inning.  It was not to be.  Mets starter Noah Syndergaard walked to re-load the bases.  Odorizzi came out of the game, and Rocco Baldelli chose to bring in Andrew Vasquez, just up from AAA and the most recent fresh arm for the bullpen.  Vasquez hit Brandon Nimmo with a pitch, forcing in the tying run, and walked Pete Alonso and Robinson Cano, handing the Mets a 3-1 lead.  Trevor Hildenberger then came in and walked Conforto, forcing home another run, and gave up a two-run single to Wilson Ramos.  It was a six-run inning for the Mets in which they got just two hits, but it made the difference in the game.

The Mets added three more in the seventh, again aided by the base on balls.  Nimmo led off with a single, and again Alonso and Cano walked, loading the bases.  Conforto delivered a two-run single and McNeil singled home another run.  New York had a 9-1 lead and it appeared the game was over.

To the Twins' credit, though, they battled to get back into the game.  Garver led off the eighth with a single, went to second on a passed ball, and scored on a Schoop double.  Byron Buxton tripled and Jake Cave singled, making the score 9-4.  Kepler doubled and Jorge Polanco walked, loading the bases with still none out.  It looked like the Twins might make a game of it, but Willians Astudillo hit into a double play and Eddie Rosario grounded out, ending the inning with the Twins still trailing 9-5.

The Twins still weren't done.  Garver homered with one out in the ninth to cut the lead to 9-6 and Schoop followed with a single.  But Byron Buxton and pinch-hitter Ehire Adrianza each struck out and the game was over.

WP:  Syndergaard (1-1).  LP:  Odorizzi (0-2).  S:  None.

Notes:  We discussed the move to Vasquez extensively in the game log, and I see no reason to repeat that.  I did not hear the post-game press conference, so I don't know if Baldelli explained the decision or what his reasons might have been.  I assume he had reasons--despite our criticisms, managers rarely just make moves at random.  But at this time, it still makes no sense to me that you bring in the AAA guy with the game on the line.  I get saving guys for later in the game, but the plan was to use Martin Perez for multiple innings, so what are you saving those guys for?  Yes, many of them had pitched the game before, but most for less than an inning, so they surely could have pitched again.  If/when I hear what Baldelli's reasons were I'll consider them, but right now it still strikes me as a bad move.

I also don't understand sending Adrianza to bat to make the last out with Nelson Cruz on the bench.  Yes, it would've been nice to send Cruz up to represent the tying run, but that chance ended when Buxton struck out.  At this point you need at least two consecutive batters to come through to have a chance.  What's better:  Adrianza and then, if he gets on, Cruz, or Cruz and then, if he gets on, Kepler?  The latter seems better to me, and it doesn't seem all that close.  Again, if/when I hear Baldelli's reasons I'll consider them, but this just again seems like a clearly bad move.

Just for completeness, some stats:

Odorizzi pitched 4.2 innings, giving up three runs on one hit and four walks and striking out three.  Syndergaard pitched seven innings, giving up four runs on five hits and no walks and striking out seven.

Garver is batting .474.  Polanco was 0-for-3 and is batting .375.  Astudillo was 0-for-4 and is batting .348.  Schoop raised his average to .313.  Hildenberger and May continue to have ERAs of zero.

The Twins out-hit the Mets 9-5.  It is not easy to score nine runs on five hits, but the Twins allowed the Mets to do it.

Record:  The Twins are 6-4, in third place in the American League Central, one game behind Detroit.

Projected record:  We'll just have to settle for 158-4!

2019 Recap: Game Nine


Date:  Tuesday, April 9.

Batting stars:  Mitch Garver was 4-for-5 with two home runs and three runs.  Jorge Polanco was 3-for-5 with a home run (his second) and a triple, scoring twice and driving in two.  Eddie Rosario was 2-for-4 with a home run (his second), a double, and a walk, scoring twice and driving in two.  Jonathan Schoop was 2-for-5 with two home runs and four RBIs.  Byron Buxton was 2-for-5 with a double and a stolen base (his third), scoring twice.

Pitching star:  Trevor May pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.  Trevor Hildenberger retired the only man he faced, which would not normally get him star mention, but it was a very big out.

Opposition stars:  Amed Rosario was 3-for-5 with a double.  Michael Conforto was 2-for-3 with a home run (his third), a double, and two walks, scoring three times.  Brandon Nimmo was 2-for-4 with a home run, a double, and a walk, scoring twice.  Pete Alonso was 2-for-5 with two home runs (his fourth and fifth) and three RBIs.

The game:  Garver opened the second inning with a home run, giving the Twins a 1-0 lead.  It lasted until the bottom of the second, when Conforto doubled and scored on Rosario's double to tie it 1-1.  The Twins took the lead back with a four-run third.  Polanco tripled and scored on a wild pitch.  Willians Astudillo singled and Rosario and Garver hit back-to-back home runs to put the Twins up 5-1.  The Mets got two of the runs back in the bottom of the third, with home runs by Nimmo and Conforto cutting the margin to 5-3.

In the fourth, Buxton doubled and scored on a Max Kepler single to put the Twins up 6-3.  In the fifth, Nimmo led off with a double.  He was still on second with two out, but walks to Conforto and J. D. Davis loaded the bases.  Starter Kyle Gibson came out of the game, and Hildenberger came on to retire Jeff McNeil on a deep fly ball to keep the score 6-3.  Schoop homered in the sixth to increase the lead to 7-3.

Alonso homered in the seventh to make the score 7-4.  The Twins took control of the game in the eighth.  Buxton doubled and scored when Ehire Adrianza reached on an error.  Polanco then hit a two-run homer to make the score 10-4.  The Twins got some insurance in the ninth.  Rosario doubled, Garver singled, and Jason Castro hit a pinch-hit single.  Schoop followed with a three-run homer to make it 14-4.  The extra runs came in handy, as the Mets rallied for four in the bottom of the ninth.  Nimmo walked and Alonso hit a two-run homer.  A single, a walk, and another single loaded the bases with none out.  A walk to McNeil forced in a run and made the score 14-7, still with none out.  At that point, Chase De Jong pulled himself together and got a foul out, a force out, and a foul out to end the game.

WP:  Hildenberger (2-0).  LP:  Jacob deGrom (2-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Garver is batting .467.  Astudillo was 1-for-5 and is batting .421.  Polanco is batting .405.

HildenbergerMay, and Ryne Harper all have ERAs of zero.  Blake Parker has an ERA of 2.25.

Gibson pitched 4.2 innings, allowing three runs on six hits and three walks.  He did strike out six.  He was pulled one out shy of qualifying for a win, which shows that Rocco Baldelli is more concerned with team wins than pitcher wins.  It seems obvious that this is how it should be, but we can all think of Twins managers who did not seem to understand that point.

The Twins used six relievers, which is a lot, but none of them pitched more than one inning and four of them pitched less than one inning.  There's no reason all of them except De Jong couldn't pitch again tonight.

De Jong, of course, is the pitcher the Twins just had to have, couldn't get along without, was worth giving up Tyler Austin to have in the majors by Saturday.  This was the first time he's pitched, and quite frankly a position player probably could have done as well as he did.  It's not De Jong's fault that the Twins let Austin go, of course, and I have nothing against him.  I hope he gets another chance, and I hope he pitches well.  But it was still a really stupid thing for the Twins to do.

My guess would be that the number of people who expected the Twins to score fourteen runs in a game that Jacob de Grom started was approximately zero.

Record:  The Twins are 6-3, in second place in the American League Central, a half game behind Cleveland.

Projected record:  We're still on track for 159-3!

2019 Recap: Game Six


Date:  Friday, April 5.

Batting stars:  Jorge Polanco was 5-for-5 with a home run, a triple, and a double.  Jonathan Schoop was 2-for-4.  Max Kepler was 1-for-5 with a two-run homer.

Pitching stars:  Ryne Harper struck out two in 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up one hit.  Trevor Hildenberger struck out two in 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up two hits.  Trevor May pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Rhys Hoskins was 3-for-4 with a walk.  Odubel Herrera was 3-for-5.  Jean Segura was 2-for-5 with a double and two runs.

The game:  The Twins got a one-out triple from Polanco in the first but wasted it.  The Phillies then took control early, scoring five runs in the bottom of the first.  Andrew McCutchen walked and scored on Segura's double-plus-error.  With one out, Hoskins singled in the second run, J. T. Realmuto walked, and Cesar Hernandez drew a two-out walk to load the bases.  That brought a quick end to Jake Odorizzi's night, as Harper came in and gave up a bloop double-plus-error to Maikel Franco that cleared the bases.

The Twins tried to get back into it.  In the third Ehire Adrianza had a pinch-hit single and Kepler hit a two-run homer to cut the margin to 5-2.  Philadelphia got one of the runs back in the bottom of the third on a walk, an error, a single, and a sacrifice fly.  But the Twins kept fighting.  Polanco led off the fifth with a home run.  Eddie Rosario singled.  Martin Perez bunted into a force out, but an error put Perez on second base.  A ground out and Jake Cave's infield single cut the margin to 6-4.

That was as good as it would get.  The Phillies scored once in the bottom of the fifth, as Hernandez and Franco drew two-out walks and Aaron Altherr followed with a double.  They put it out of reach in the seventh with another two-out rally.  McCutchen walked, Segura singled, and Harper walked, loading the bases.  Hoskins then hit a three-run single, with Harper scoring all the way from first when Rosario took his time getting the ball back into the infield.  The score went to 10-4, and that was how it ended.

WP:  Nick Pivetta (0-1).  LP:  Jake Odorizzi (0-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Byron Buxton was again out of the lineup.  He said he could have played; perhaps Baldelli was just being cautious, especially on a wet field.  We hope he'll be back today.

Cory Provus mentioned that Odorizzi was upset when he was taken out.  I don't know if he was upset with the manager or with himself.  I hope it was the latter.  Yes, he had given up just two runs, and you could argue that it was somewhat of a quick hook.  But he wasn't getting much accomplished out there.  I'm not holding it against him--it's one game, and most pitchers will have a stink bomb or two over the course of a season.  It's only when it becomes a trend that it's worrisome.

The Twins just had an overall sloppy game.  I wonder if they expected the game to get rained out and just weren't mentally ready to play.  That's pure speculation, but they issued nine walks, made three errors, and had other mistakes as well.  Again, it happens to everybody once in a while.  It just better not happen very often.

The Twins had brought Harper in to pitch in the first and pulled him for a pinch-hitter in the top of the third, meaning he pitched just 1.1 innings.  I said at the time that I would not have done it that way, and the fact that pinch-hitter Adrianza got a hit and Kepler followed with a two-run homer doesn't change my mind.  I understand why you do it.  He was leading off the inning, and you're trying to score some runs and get back into the game.  The downside of it, though, is what ultimately happened--the Twins went through five relief pitchers in a game they wouldn't win anyway.  Baldelli didn't know that they wouldn't win it, of course, and you don't want to give up on a game in the third inning.  But when you're down 5-0 you know the odds are against you, and I'd argue that letting Harper bat would not have been giving up on the game.  It would just have been giving up one out in the third inning.  Don't get me wrong--I'm not arguing that pinch-hitting was a blatantly stupid move.  I just wouldn't have done it that way.

As it happens, the Twins don't have a long reliever to use today if Michael Pineda falters early.  It's true that, other than Perez, nobody pitched more than 1.1 innings, and so (again other than Perez) they could probably all pitch again today.  But you're not going to use any of them for three or four innings, so if you do get a short start you're going to have to run through them all again.  That would really put the pressure on Jose Berrios to go seven or so on Sunday.  Not that he can't do it, but it's still not an ideal situation.

Record:  The Twins are 4-2, in first place in the American League Central, leading Detroit by percentage points.

Projected record:  We'll just have to settle for 160-2!