The Twins hit eight more home runs Thursday afternoon, giving them 98 on the year. Wow. The lineup jumped all over Matt Harvey, scoring eight runs in less than three innings en route to wrapping up the series sweep. Martin Perez improved to 7-1 on the season.
Perez: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 58.0% strikes (51 of 88 pitches)
Home Runs: Schoop 2 (10), Polanco (9), Cron (13), Sano 2 (4), Kepler (10), Rosario (14)
Multi-Hit Games: Cron (5-for-6, 2 2B, HR), Kepler (3-for-5, 2B, HR, BB), Rosario (3-for-6, HR), Polanco (2-for-3, 2B, HR, BB), Sano (2-for-4, 2 HR, BB), Schoop (2-for-5, HR)
WPA of +0.1: Schoop .198
WPA of -0.1: None
(chart via FanGraphs)
Bringing The Rain in Southern California
Mother Nature may have brought the rain on Wednesday, postponing the game until today. This afternoon, however, the Twins were the bringers of rain. They made sure to shower the outfield bleachers with home run balls, early and often. The Dark Knight, otherwise known as Matt Harvey, likely wanted a mulligan after surrendering four home runs in only 2 2/3 innings.
New Day, New Lineup, Same Result
Today’s contest was the 49th game of the year for the Twins and the 37th different lineup that Rocco Baldelli has used. That stat is a product of many factors, such as injuries, positional versatility, and perhaps most significantly, Baldelli’s emphasis on not over-using players. Whatever the reason may be it doesn’t seem to matter, this team hits taters, regardless of who’s in the lineup.
Making Tater Tot Hotdishes
The greatest quote of the year still belongs to Max Kepler, when he said, “we’re going to hit a lot of taters”. If anyone has his phone number it might be wise to ask him for lottery numbers because he was spot on with that prediction. After their third inning home run barrage, today marked their league-leading 24th multi-home run game. In the seventh inning Sano and Schoop went back-to-back, each hitting their second of the game. Max Kepler joined the party as well, launching his 10th of the year. Eddie Rosario finally snapped his streak of tater-less games (that is a word, go along with it), blasting his 14th of the year — his first since May 8. Entering the game they had 90 home runs, before it was over, they were at 98. That is certainly more than enough taters needed to make a hot dish.
If you have watched this team long enough then you have likely become accustomed to Eddie Rosario being a very aggressive player. His aggression is part of what makes him such a special and entertaining player. One play early in the game that really stood out was when Rosario scored on a sac fly hit to the shortstop. The ensuing four home runs that same inning made this play a relatively minor detail in the box score, but at the time it was anything but that.
Martin Perez had just wiggled out of a first inning jam. The score was tied 0-0, with runners on second and third and nobody out. Luis Arraez hit a blooper into shallow left field. Angels shortstop, Zack Cozart, caught the shallow pop-up while drifting back on his heels. Eddie, being Eddie, saw this as an opportunity to steal a run and he did just that. When watching this play I couldn’t help but think of how the injury to Andrelton Simmons affected the outcome. It’s certainly hard to argue that Simmons is anything but the best defensive shortstop in the game. Had he been in the lineup today and playing shortstop it is likely fair to think Eddie would not have tagged up in that situation. Again, this play became an irrelevant footnote, but nonetheless, it is still an interesting baseball play worth mentioning.
Today’s contest featured a handful of interesting tidbits. Hopefully these fun facts can provide you with a few conversation starters at your next cocktail party:
- Yesterday was only the second rainout in Anaheim in nearly 25 years.
- This 2019 season is the first time in franchise history the Twins have enjoyed a 6+ game lead in the division before June 1st.
- So far this season, no other team in the league has hit six or more home runs in one game, the Twins have done it four times.
- Their eight home runs today ties the franchise record for team home runs in a single game.
- Twins have 208 extra-base hits, no other team has yet to hit 200.
- Their 18 road wins is the most of any team in the league.
- Today was World Turtle Day and Willians Astudillo struck out and walked in the same game (that’s more rare than rain in Southern California).
Postgame With Baldelli
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Fri vs. CHW, 7:10 pm CT (Berrios-Lopez)