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Angels 4, Twins 2: Bullpen blows ballgame by barfing big bombs

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Prince Night didn’t get promoted for this.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Minnesota Twins
Sadly, the bullpen’s ERA also got inflated.
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Your Minnesota Twins bullpen has given up more homers than any relief corps in baseball, and the Demon Dong struck again tonight. A two-out, two-strike hanging curve from Ryan Pressly was promptly souvenired by Ian Kinsler, giving Anaheim a lead they wouldn’t lose. (They’ll always be Anaheim to me, baby.) Addison Reed let Justin Upton go big fly soon after.

The first six innings were a pitching duel on Prince Night, and in this battle of bands it was the tambourine players who scored. Martin Maldonado singled in the game’s first run early, and Robbie Grossman (!) had a sixth-inning monster blast to put Minnesota ahead 2-1. Then, bullpen happened.

Aside from some struggles in the second, Lance Lynn continued his sharp post-April play, striking out seven and walking only two in six innings. (Getting out of that second was well-done; he had the bases loaded for Mike Trout with two outs.) Garrett Richards matched him guitar solo for solo, until Grossman did his thang.

As you may have guessed from the score, there wasn’t much in the way of Twins hitting going around. Miguel Sano’s second-inning, game-tying double probably should have been ruled an error, and Minnesota never really had any rallies going. At no point in the last seven innings did they have a runner in scoring position with under two outs.

Back to that bullpen. While Pressly has struggled lately, he isn’t the only one. Between him, Reed, Fernando Rodney, and Trevor Hildenberger, we’re talking 115 innings pitched, and 18 home runs. Too many from a team’s top relievers. Rodney has been solid since a rough start, so who else should Molitor use? Zach Duke and Taylor Rogers have the lowest FIP in the ‘pen; they are also left-handed. Most hitters are not left-handed.

Tyler Duffey, who pitched a scoreless ninth (but has given up his share of homers as well) was sent to Rochester after the game. Somebody will be up tomorrow.

Cleveland won tonight, so the Twins are now 5.5 games back in the division. Robot Roll Call:

Comment of the game thread: SooFoo Fan with “‘If I was an ump: I’d make up calls for pitches. Instead of balls I’d say “QUIXPY!” And instead of strikes I’d call out “VRAV!” and no one would like my calls either.’”

Thanks as always to everyone who joined in and, blessedly, didn’t feed the troll. Day game tomorrow at 1:10, if you dare!