The Twins were part of yet another five-plus hour day of baseball, but this time it wasn’t because of extra innings. Despite the White Sox ace being cut short due to a three-hour rain delay the Twins couldn’t take the Sunday rubber match losing just their seventh series on the season.
Thorpe: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 67.1% strikes (47 of 70 pitches)
Bullpen (Duffey, Morin, Magill) : 3.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
Home Runs: Nelson Cruz (16)
Multi-Hit Games: None
Top 3 WPA: Garver (.222), Magill (.073), Cruz (.042)
Bottom 3 WPA: Gonzalez (-.215), Buxton (-.136), Arraez (-.115)
Lewis Thorpe Debuts
Who knows what the final line for Lewis Thorpe would have looked like if it wasn’t for mother nature ending his debut after five spectacular innings and only 70 pitches. All afternoon Thorpe was dotting the edge of the strike zone with his fastball and slider to the tune of a 20.0% swinging strike rate on those two pitches, which accounted for strike three on six of his seven strikeouts.
Even on Moncada’s two-run home run he hit the spot Garver gave him, but unfortunately Moncada loves the ball low and away as a left handed hitter where he has slugged .571 in 2019, per Brooks Baseball. Other than that blip, which was really Garver’s blip, Thorpe was lights out showing a mastery of his pitches and allowing the defense to help him any time a runner reached base.
Offense Sputters Against All-Star Starter
Lucas Giolito, who has been one of the best pitchers in all of baseball, was effective and efficient against one of the most potent offenses in baseball allowing only one baserunner and striking out four over five innings. Of course it helped that the starting lineup was missing a few “non all-stars” like Eddie Rosario (IL) and Max Kepler (knee/rest) as well as Miguel Sano (though Sano did come in as a pinch hitter late in the game). Deservedly, Giolito was named an All-Star right as the game was getting back underway.
Twins Hit Bullpen Hard But Cannot Overcome Deficit
Many on Twitter viewed the rain delay as a good thing, as it meant the end of the road for Giolito and that proved to be true as the Twins came out hitting the ball hard. Nothing came to fruition in the top of the sixth despite three hard hits, but they were able to put three on the board in the seventh thanks to a Nelson Cruz two-run home run and a Sano pinch-hit RBI single.
Unfortunately, in the bottom half of the sixth inning Tyler Duffey got roughed up allowing four consecutive singles and two earned runs before being relieved by Mike Morin who got the last two outs of the innings while stranding two runners. Magill followed Morin in the bottom of the seventh and eighth, striking out three while only allowing one hit and hitting upper-90’s on the radar gun with his fastball, which is an interesting and possibly significantly development. The Twins continued to put good wood on the ball in the eighth and ninth, but were unable to score, specifically with Garver in scoring position with only one out in the final frame.
-Odorizzi was named an All-Star. He will join Jorge Polanco as the only Twins representatives ... for now.
-As mentioned above, Magill’s fastball topped out at 98 miles per hour multiple times today while it has an average velocity of 95.7 miles per hour.
-Buxton's highlight grab in the bottom of the fourth had a xBA (expected batting average) of .670 and a catch probability of five percent.