Rocco Baldelli was managing his way through another bullpen game and decided to deploy closer Taylor Rogers in the eighth inning to face the middle of Milwaukee’s lineup. The aggressive move didn’t work out, as Jedd Gyorko hit a go-ahead two-run homer that proved to be the difference in the game.
Home Runs: Polanco (2), Rosario 2 (6)
Bottom 3 WPA: Rogers -.310, May -200, Arráez -.079
Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs):
It was the long ball that set the tone early for the Twins offense again tonight. Jorge Polanco took Brewers starter Josh Lindblom deep in the second at-bat of the ballgame. It was Polanco’s second home run of the season and gave the Twins a quick 1-0 lead.
Eddie Rosario then answered Polanco’s home run with one of his own just a couple batters later, which was his second home run in as many nights. This home run clocked in with a launch angle of 41 degrees, which was just Rosario’s fifth career home run with a launch angle above 40 degrees.
That wasn’t the only noise Rosario made tonight, as in his very next at-bat he went deep again, this time it was a two-run home run that extended the Twins lead to 4-1. Unlike his first home run, that barely made it out, this one was an absolute no doubter right off the bat.
Again the story for the Twins bats was more of the same. A few runs early scored on home runs, but after that the bats seemed to all but disappear. Outside of Polanco and Rosario, the lone bright spot this evening offensivly for the Twins was Byron Buxton, who went 3-for-4 with a stolen base.
With the Twins starting rotation still not back to full strength, Rocco Baldelli put the game in the hands of the bullpen for the second time this season. Tyler Clippard started the game by giving up a leadoff home run to Avisail Garcia, but then retired the next three Brewers hitters that he faced. In the second, Baldelli turned to Cody Stashak, who had an excellent bounce back performance, striking out all three batters that he faced.
Matt Wisler got some extended work to try and eat up some innings to bridge the game over the back end of the bullpen. After two excellent innings in the 3rd and 4th, Wisler gave up a solo shot to Brewers catcher Manny Pina, which cut the Twins lead down to two. After giving up a two-out single, Trevor May came in to get the Twins out of the inning. May then returned to the mound to work the 6th inning, where he promptly gave up a two-run home run, again hit by Manny Pina, which erased the Twins lead.
Tyler Duffey came in to pitch the 7th and did what he has made a habit of, pitching a scoreless 1-2-3 inning. So far this year, Duffey has pitched 7 scoreless innings, while only allowing 2 hits with 0 walks and 10 strikeouts. Dating back to July 28th of last season, Duffey has had a scoreless outing in 33 of his 34 appearances.
With the heart of the Brewers order due up in the bottom of the 8th, Baldelli made the move to Taylor Rogers. Christian Yelich proceeded to doubled off of Rogers before Jedd Gyorko took him deep, giving the Brewers a 6-4 lead. While this move did not pan out, it is one I completely agree with, as the game was very much on the line with the heart of the Brewers order up, it just didn’t work out this time.
Josh Hader came in and closed the door for the Brewers in the 9th, and was his usual impressive self in doing so, getting a strikeout for all three of his outs. With the loss, the Twins record drops to 11-7, but they still maintained a 0.5 game lead in the AL Central, as the second place Detroit Tigers lost to the Chicago White Sox earlier this evening.
Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet