Twins 4, Phillies 3: Pelfrey, Thomas, Arcia Shine as Minnesota Takes Game 2

USA TODAY Sports

If you weren't able to watch tonight's game, you missed out on a really good one. Mike Pelfrey, who has been struggling much of the 2013 campaign, pitched a very solid 7 innings for Minnesota tonight, the longest he's lasted in a game all year. Pelfrey only gave up 5 hits (three in the first inning--only two after the first) in his 7 innings pitched, and walked 1 while giving up 3 earned runs. Seeing Pelfrey's numbers get better game after game is really encouraging, and tonight's limited walks and seven (!) strikeouts is even better news for the recovering pitcher.

Casey Fien came in to relieve Pelfrey and promptly gave up two hits and only got one out, so Brian Duensing was called in to relieve Fien. Duensing isn't always a great reliever, but tonight he was definitely on his game. He struck Jimmy Rollins out on a very slow breaking ball over the plate to end the eighth inning, and the Twins went into the bottom of the inning down 3-2. We'll cover the offense in a bit, but I'll just note that Glen Perkins came in in the top of the ninth and had a nice, quick 1-2-3 inning, as we've become mostly accustomed to. Tonight was Perk's second one-run save in a row.

Alright, it's definitely time to discuss the offense. Clete Thomas, the recent call up (again), had a career night tonight. He had 4 hits, two of them doubles, and 2 of the Twins' 4 RBI. He also scored one of the runs, in the bottom of the eighth inning, on a wild pitch from Justin De Fratus (though Antonio Bastardo was responsible for both the runs De Fratus gave up). Thomas' efforts were helped by top prospect Oswaldo Arcia, who went 3-for-4 this evening, with a double and the other three of the Twins' runs scored. Arcia was basically on base all night, which was great to see.

Side note: I'm not a big fan of bunting, but I will say that tonight, Eduardo Escobar performed probably the most perfect bunt I've ever seen in a game. He hit it just up the first base line, but the ball had some spin on it so it rolled back toward home plate, and Escobar made it safely to first base. It was really well executed, whether it was intentional for that spin or not, and it was, admittedly, a great call.

Overall, the Twins really didn't play that well -- the bottom half of the lineup really produced most of the offensive help, but the combination of solid pitching and decent-enough offense definitely got the job done.

Roll Call

# Commenter # Comments
1 kenzertz 92
2 DavidRF 59
3 d-mac 43
4 Sportsavenue 41
5 twinscrazy_german 30
6 SooFoo Fan 21
7 twinsgirl197 19
8 ColossusOfRhode 17
9 jere.johnson.37 17
10 less cowbell, more 'neau 8

Congrats, kenzzzzertz.


Win Expectancy Graph

Source: FanGraphs

Note those delightful pivotal Clete Thomas moments. Amazing.

Studs
1) Mike Pelfrey. A big congratulations on the improvements in pitching.
2) Clete Thomas. Holy cow, it's #Cletesanity!
3) Oswaldo Arcia. The prospect showed why he was ranked so high tonight.

Duds
No one. Winning is always fun!

Coming Up
Tomorrow night, the Twins look to sweep the series as they face off against Cliff Lee (no one said it would be easy...) at 7:10 pm at Target Field. Minnesota will be looking to Kevin Correia to secure the series sweep and keep the Twins' winning streak going. Make sure you check back tomorrow for all the latest game information!

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