Every ball a Minnesota bat has turned into a run in recent days, so when Brian Dozier led off the game with a home run it seemed like we were in for more of the same. Danny Salazar's mid 90's fastball came in high, and Dozier bounced it off the foul pole for a quick 1-0 Twins lead.
Look at that. Dozier was so ready for that pitch, he had to hold his swing for a split second. And then he demolished it.
Unfortunately that was as good as it would get for the Twins. Trevor May struggled in the first as the Indians tagged him for a couple of hard-hit balls. He escaped the first having allowed just one run, but it easily could have been a crooked number.
May did better over the next couple of innings, but he had set a precedent in the first inning that he just couldn't get away from: he threw too many pitches, because he was either missing the zone or couldn't put a hitter away.
It all got away in the fourth. In a 34-pitch frame, May retired two of the first three batters he faced. The next five batters reached, topped off by a Lonnie Chisenhall three-run homer. Minnesota wouldn't recover.
Danny Salazar was nigh-on-untouchable. After Dozier's homer to lead off the game he didn't allow another base runner. Not one. No hits. No walks. No errors or hit-by-pitches. Salazar chewed up and spit out every single Twins hitter he saw. He struck out the side in the fifth. And the sixth.
The Twins swung and missed at 17 Salazar pitches today. For reference, based on his swinging strike rate this year it would take Kyle Gibson roughly 243 pitches to get 17 swinging strikes. It took Salazar 102.
Joe Mauer singled up the middle to score Torii Hunter in the top of the ninth, but by then Cleveland had tacked on a couple more runs. Mauer's RBI brought the score to 8-2, and was Minnesota's second hit (yes, the first since Dozier's leadoff dong), and that as they say is that.
Amazingly, getting Salazar out of the game didn't help the Twins make contact. Zach McAllister and Cody Allen combined for six more swinging strikes. To be fair, three of them went to Chris Herrmann in the last at-bat of the game. Poor Doug Bernier was also called out on strikes twice; I feel like at least one of those should be an honorary swing and miss.
This wasn't a fun one. How the club responds in the next day or two will be interesting to note.
- The Twins struck out 16 times today. Holy cats.
- Eduardo Escobar, Eddie Rosario, Doug Bernier, Jordan Schafer, and Danny Santana combined to go 0-for-14 with 11 strikeouts and a walk. Those were Minnesota's 5 through 9 hitters, by the way.
- Every time Escobar, Bernier, and Schafer got themselves out today, it was on a strikeout.
- Chris Herrmann can't be long for the Twins team.
- Let's move on.
GAMETHREAD COMMENT OF THE GAME
SooFoo Fan: "Chris you are a terrible cleanup hitter."