Look, yesterday sucked. A blown lead in the ninth cost the Twins the game, as the ghost runner came home in extras. But its a very, very long season, and there were some positives to take away from the game
Kenta Maeda is still good
Maeda, making his first opening day start, didn’t have his best stuff yesterday. It didn’t really matter. He allowed two runs—only one earned, and pitched into the fifth. He also struck out five, and walked two. Not great, but passable. More than enough to keep the Twins in nearly every game they play. After coming from nearly nowhere last season, the Cy Young candidate needed to prove that he could repeat his 2020 performance. So far, he is making good.
The offense can still put up runs
Brandon Woodruff, throwing for Milwaukee, is one of the best in the game. The Twins tagged him for three runs on six hits, in only four innings. They added two more against Eric Yardley, who was a really good reliever in 2020. Max Kepler’s cold spring is officially over, as he missed a cycle by a home run. Byron Buxton, of all people, hit the first dong of the year for the Twins, and added a stolen base. Overall, they had ten hits and five runs against a very solid pitching staff—and its only April. The bats always warm up with the weather.
The bullpen actually didn’t allow an earned run
Alex Colome melted down, and essentially cost the Twins the game—but it almost wasn’t. If he had thrown to first instead of second, the game ends with the Twins ahead. Its really that simple. All three runs he surrendered were unearned. So was the bull-hockey run that Randy Dobnak gave up. That one should go on Rob Manfred’s ERA though. Otherwise, the Twins picked up Maeda after his fifth inning exit. Tyler Duffey got two huge outs to end the fifth. Cody Stashak and Taylor Rogers each pitched a scoreless inning with a strikeout, and Hansel Robles doubled their K number. It wasn’t nearly as bad of a day for the bullpen as first glance would suggest. Its a long season, and these guys are going to be just fine.
After 24 hours, are you panicking?
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