The Twins completed a three-game sweep against the Kansas City Royals with a 4-0 win this afternoon. In a time when the Twins were struggling, coming home and playing against the rookie-filled Royals was just what this squad needed.
The story of the game for the Twins was their pitching and defense. Starter Tyler Mahle went 2.1 innings before being lifted with what the team is dubbing “right shoulder fatigue.” Notably, his velocity dipped significantly in the innings he did throw, struggling to top 90 mph. Mahle missed two weeks earlier this season for right shoulder troubles, so hopefully fatigue is the only issue.
The injury bug has certainly come for Minnesota’s pitchers this year. Kenta Maeda, Chris Paddack, Bailey Ober, Randy Dobnak, Josh Winder, Jorge Alcala, Danny Coulombe, Cody Stashak, and Jhon Romero have each missed major time this year with injuries. And just last week, the Twins announced that top pitching prospect Matt Canterino needed Tommy John surgery and would miss most of next season. Maeda, Ober, Dobnak, and Winder should return this season, which may end up being more important than it seemed this morning.
Placed in a difficult situation, the bullpen stepped up and dominated KC the rest of the way. With an off day tomorrow, Rocco used just about everyone in the bullpen who was available. Emilio Pagán, Griffin Jax, Jhoan Duran, Michael Fulmer, and Trevor Megill combined to pitch 6.2 innings, allowing 6 hits, 1 walk, and striking out 7 batters. The reshuffled bullpen seems to be doing its job since the trade deadline acquisitions.
The Twins also got some stellar defensive work to help the pitchers out. Team MVP Nick Gordon did this:
And Gilberto Celestino did this:
On the offensive side for the Twins, Jose Miranda continued his breakout rookie season, going 2-4 with a big two-out, two-strike home run in the first inning to give the Twins an early lead. Since late May, Miranda is hitting .332 with 13 doubles, 11 home runs, 48 RBI, and just 47 strikeouts, numbers that pretty much align perfectly with his minor league breakout last year. Miranda hasn’t just been the Twins’ best hitter, he’s been one of the best hitters in baseball, with the 6th best wRC+ over that time. With all the injuries, the Twins needed someone to step up, and Miranda has done more than anyone could have ever expected.
- Twins pitching this whole series: 2 runs allowed, shutouts the last 2 games
- Jose Miranda: 2-4, HR, 2 RBI
- Twins win!! No duds as far as the eye can see
COTG goes to Rich’s Pitches for speaking what all of Twinkie Town was thinking when Pagán came in.