Bailey Ober kinda-sorta replaced Matt Shoemaker in the rotation, with Kenta Maeda due to return on Monday and Randy Dobnak struggling in his recent starts. But Ober was pulled after allowing two runs in five innings, despite a reasonable pitch count, insuring more time at the end for... well, Matt Shoemaker. Would you like to guess how that went? Did you see the headline? Inning-by-inning notes:
1: Gladden says that the decision to start Bailey Ober instead of Matt Shoemaker “must have been a tough call.” No disrespect to Mr. Shoemaker (who was classy about the news), but no. Maybe difficult to tell someone, but not a tricky decision. Shoemaker was just awful. Ober isn’t Nolan Ryan here, allowing two sharp hits, but neither of them make us sad.
“Another missile from the boomstick” is how Provus describes a Nelson Cruz home run. Do sticks shoot missiles? If this is Provus’s attempt at coining a catchy signature phrase, he should stop it. Twins 1-0
2: Miguel Sanó boosts his BA five whole points to .185 with dinger number 13. Over a full season, this projects to 33 homers and an average of, well, .185. Twins 2-1
3: Moar solid contact off Ober results in a Houston point; still no homers and five strikeouts, though. Ober’s previous two starts went four innings each; he’s at 47 pitches through three, here.
Radio informs us that Gilberto Celestino was part of the Ryan Pressly trade. Crap. Remind me of that trade, why dontcha? The Twins also got Jorge Alcala on the deal, and he might end up being good... but Pressly has been better than any Twins relief pitcher since his departure.
Josh Donaldson’s Stick Missile makes it Twins 3-1
4: With one out and one on, Ober gets a double-play ball that actually results in a... double play? It does. This just feels weird given the 7-6-5 error tally from Simmons-Polanco-Donaldson. (One of these three was not touted as a defensive stalwart.) 7-6-5 is not, just to be clear, how this double play was scored. 7-6-5 sounds like a baserunning blunder the Twins might pull.
5: OK, so now Ober gives up a homer, to cheater supreme Jose Altuve. The Twins fulfill my Words Of Prophecy from last inning by failing to turn what should have been an inning-ending DP here, but Ober Ks his way out.
6: After 73 pitches, Ober is yanked because... four innings by the Twins bullpen is preferable to three? Like, whatever, man. Jorge Alcala promptly proves this decision a wise one by serving up a leadoff gopher ball to Yuli Gurriel.
Alex Kirilloff almost hits a home run, which itself isn’t significant, but he did get pulled from last night’s game after crashing into the outfield wall, so it’s good that he’s playing + (almost) hitting. Tied 3-3
7: Tyler Duffey slows this game (and the comments) to the pace of slug slime, getting his first batter before going walk, HBP, wild pitch, and groundout to score one run and waste approximately 22 hours on an equal number of pitches. Astros 4-3
8: New bullpen guy Matt Shoemaker comes in and throws the same two pitches (sinker/splitter) he did as a starter. It works.
Josh Donaldson hits the game’s sixth solo homer. Is it hot enough for ya outside? Is it? IS IT? Tied 4-4
9: Here comes Moar Shoemaker. A Myles James Noble Straw (real name) single and Ryan Jeffers passed ball makes this Manfredball early, runner on second with no outs. Martin Maldonado tries to bunt, fails, decides “why am I bunting against Matt Shoemaker” and hits a double instead. A fan throws an inflatable trash can on the field, commenting both on the Astros’ cheating history and (probably unintentionally) the Twins’ pitching.
The aforementioned Pressly had blown two saves in 11 chances this year; he doesn’t tonight. Twins loooooooze. Robot Roll Call:
COTG goes to TwinBob, responding to Blog Pope TJ’s tweet that Bailey Ober has the best Twins hair since Brian Dozier: “Ryan LaMarre would have something to say about that.” (Checks this photo to remind myself who LaMarre is; yeah, we’ll take it.)
Join us tomorrow at 6:15 for a La Makina sighting!