I guess it serves me right for taking potshots at Griffin Jax before the game — well, really, it serves all of us right. I did Twins Territory proud this evening, by antagonizing tonight’s starting pitcher and sufficiently motivating him to turn in his best start in weeks.
As we all know by now, Griffin Jax is a religious reader of Twinkie Town and other SB Nation affiliates, going so far as to check our gamethreads for the lineups prior to first pitch, so he knows exactly who he will be facing.
Armed with the knowledge that I considered his pitching a little lacking in the dominance department (and in retrospect, you have to ask just how bad a -1.4 bWAR and 6.68 FIP even is, or if you’re just nitpicking) Jax turned in five shutout innings, allowing just one Royal hit and limiting hard contact to the best of his ability.
Meanwhile, Kansas City starter Kris Bubic approached the game as though he had just been signed to an incentive-laden contact whereupon he earned million-dollar bonuses for each ball he let the opposition barrel up. The linescore won’t reflect it, but Twins hitters were largely smoking it tonight, scoring their four runs on the back of solid, consistent contact.
Just an example - Willians Astudillo went 0-for-4 with all four outs coming on balls with exit velocities right on either side of 100 mph.
Other Twins were less unlucky. Josh Donaldson opened the scoring with a long ball in the first; Luis Arraez would add two RBIs throughout the game. Miguel Sano and Jake Cave each had a pair of hits, and the team tallied nine total knocks to just one walk.
Caleb Thielbar gave up the second-to-last Royal hit; the third and final one came off Alex Colome in the ninth. Despite a little traffic, the two combined with Tyler Duffey to shut down the Kansas City offense for the remainder of the contest; add in the effort from Jax, and the result was nine shutout innings and just three hits for the home team.
The game ended on a 6-4-3 double play with one out and a man at second. Yes, that’s right.
That brings our team record to 72-89, with one game left to go. Only six other teams have lost 90 or more games this season — let’s keep it that way.
3B Josh Donaldson (1-for-3, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB)
DH Miguel Sano (2-for-4, R, 2B)
2B Luis Arraez (2-for-3, 2 RBI)
SP Griffin Jax (5.0 IP, H, 2 BB, 3 K)
Duds? YOU FOOL
ROBOT ROLL CALL:
COMMENT OF THE GAMETHREAD:
Incredibly, it is a six-way tie, with a half-dozen individual commenters equally contributing to tonight’s discussion. Thanks for coming, and enjoy the game tomorrow.