The Twins held the lead for over an hour today, so we’ve got that going for us, which is nice.
On the flip side, the Twins held a division lead for most of this season, but are now behind by a game, which is not nice.
Sonny Gray ran into some trouble early, but got out of the second having only surrendered two runs on a Max Muncy home run and a Cody Bellinger sac fly. The Twins struck back strongly and immediately with a 3-run shot by Jorge Polanco in the top of the third, giving the good guys the lead. Gray was able to hold the Dodgers quiet in the third and fourth, but after Gary Sanchez’s lead-off solo shot in the 5th, it was all Dodgers. Sanchez’s first home run since July 9th put the Twins up 4-2, but Minnesota left the bases loaded and a series of gappers in the bottom of the inning by the Dodgers offense sent Gray to the dugout in a tie game. A 6th inning solo dong by Chris Taylor (with two outs and an 0-2 count) off of Michael Fulmer gave the Dodgers the lead, and a 7th inning pinch-hit homer by the beleaguered Joey Gallo (also with two outs) drove in 3 and put the game away. At least Cole Sands put in another clean relief appearance before we were put out of our misery.
The Twins did put together a weird little rally in the 9th, as with two outs and none on, Luis Arraez ripped a double into the corner. Carlos Correa followed by grounding out weakly to the pitcher Craig Kimbrel, but it deflected off of Kimbrel and Correa reached. Arraez scored on a wild pitch before Jorge Polanco flew out to deep left to bring an end to the game.
The Dodgers punished mistakes today, and the Twins largely didn’t. 4 runs is not a bad showing by the offense, but is not really enough to win against a lineup as deep and deadly as the Dodgers. Leaving the bases loaded in the 5th rather than piling on would be Minnesota’s undoing, and really highlighted the pathetic depth the lineup has right now when Arraez, Polanco, and Miranda (occasionally) are the only guys hitting. Carlos Correa has been bad for a month, Gary Sanchez hits like a defensive catcher (which he is not), Max Kepler is oh for his last eighteen, Gilberto Celestino is punchless, Nick Gordon loves flying out to deep centerfield, and Jake Cave and Tim Beckham just don’t belong on a major league baseball team. The injuries to Royce Lewis, Trevor Larnach, Alex Kirilloff, Chris Paddack, Kenta Maeda, Jorge Alcala, Ryan Jeffers, and now Byron Buxton have pushed the depth to its breaking point.
Luis Arraez: 3-4, 1 BB, 1 R, 2 2B
Jose Miranda: 2-4
Cole Sands: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 K’s
Carlos Correa: 1-5, 2 K’s (very lucky 9th inning hit)
Max Kepler: 0-4
Slapping “Duds” on the rest of the lineup feels like piling on
Griffin Jax: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
James Fillmore dropping some knowledge on us:
“Well the Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers were named after pedestrians skilled at finding gaps between moving streetcars, so that works”