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Mariners 9, Twins 2: Randy Dobnak’s bad day (simulated)

He wasn’t the only one

Divisional Series - Minnesota Twins v New York Yankees - Game Two Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Today’s lineups:

MIN: Garver C, Polanco SS, Kepler RF, Donaldson 3B, Rosario LF, Sano 1B, Gonzalez DH, Adrianza 2B, Buxton CF, Dobnak P

SEA: Smith LF, Crawford SS, Long DH, Vogelbach 1B, Murphy C, Seager 3B, Gonzalez RF, Bishop CF, Gordon 2B, Edwards P

Randy Dobnak’s ERA is the ratio between the circumference and diameter of a given circle, even after his very bad day. That just reflects how good it was before.

Dobnak wasn’t the only Twins pitcher to have a tough day, to be clear. He did, however set the tone, and give up the bulk of the runs.

This game started, as they usually do, with the first inning. It was quite the first inning.

Mallex Smith led off with a single. These things happen. Smith moved to second when Ehire Adrianza committed an error, on a groundball that J.P. Crawford hit to the right of the Twins second baseman. That left Dobnak with two-on and one-out. It should have been, at-most one on, and at-least one out. That matters.

A walk by Shed Long Jr loaded the bases. Daniel Vogelbach came up, and hit into a classic 5-4-3 double play. If Adrianza had come up with that grounder, and gotten an out, the inning would have ended with no damage. Instead, a run scored, and the inning continued.

The next batter was Tom Murphy. He hit a line-drive double to right field, and sent Crawford scampering home. Kyle Seager worked a walk before Dobby was able to mercifully induce a third out.

Still, the Twins persevered. The momentum momentarily shifted. It was momentous—412 foot of dinger level momentous, leaving the bat of Mitch Garver for the classic Jacque Jones. A walk by Polanco made the moment look good, before three straight outs snuffed the hope from the Twins.

Things got farther away from Dobnak in the second. Dee Gordon, a show off we disapprove of, hit a triple. He never would have done that if he had been developed right. Like the way his brother has been. Now there is a ballplayer you can count on to not show you up. At any rate, Mallex Smith sent Gordon home with a ground ball to the shortstop, and traded the out for the run. The Twins did nothing offensive in the second. Or at least nothing on offense—they could have been making rude hand gestures behind my back. I’m not omniscient.

Dobnak really lost the thread in the third though. The inning started with two strikeouts, so things didn’t look so bad. Then bad things started happening. Kyle Seager drew another walk, then went first-to-third on a single. Two more singles, by Braden Bishop and Dee Gordon, scored two runs. Randy Dobnak, exit stage left. Zack Littell, enter stage right.

The score stayed five to one in favor of the bad guys through the fourth and fifth innings.

Littell’s night ended after Mallex Smith lead the sixth inning off with a double. Tyler Clippard allowed the inherited runner to score. Then he let two more runners score. He gave up, in order, a single, a double, a deep sac fly, another single, and a walk. Then he got out of the inning, but three total runs scored.

The Twins other run came in the bottom of the seventh, as the top of the order went all piranha with two outs. Garver single. Polanco single, Kepler single. Garver scores from second on Kepler’s hit. Seattle took it right back in the eighth, as Matt Wisler lost his control, walked two straight men, and gave up a 1-1 double to Kyle Seager. That was all she wrote on this one.


  • Mitch Garver had started the year in a slump, so today was important. It was his first home run, and although his batting average is just .191 still, he picked up three hits. He only needed a double to go for the cycle, with a homer in the first, a triple in the third, and a single in the seventh.
  • Dobnak gets the loss and goes to 3-1. Someone will be called up tomorrow to join the rotation.
  • Look at how ridiculously tight this division is so far. The top two, and three of the top five AL teams are in the AL Central.


Mitch Garver 3-5, HR
Max Kepler 2-3


Randy Dobnak: 2.2 IP, 5 runs, 3 ER, 3 BB
Tyler Clippard: 1 IP, 2 runs
Ehire Adrianza: 0-4, K, error.
Byron Buxton: 0-4, K

Tomorrow: Home against the Mariners, gametime 6:40 (look for the recap around 10)

MIN 14-9 —
CHW 14-9 —
CLE 14-10 1/2
KCR 10-12 3 1/2
DET 10-12 3 1/2