Flow Ryan was dealing today. With the wind in his hair and his arm slinging it like he just don’t care, our Easy Breezy Beautiful rookie starter was straight-up devastating. Nellie’s Final Gift went for 5 innings (much to the chagrin of the fanbase), giving up only 3 hits and no walks while striking out an eye-popping 9 batters. He did run into some trouble in his last inning, hitting two batsmen and giving up a run-scoring single for the only red mark on his project today.
The Twins offense was not as up to the task today as our well-coiffed faux turtleneck connoisseur, but they did just enough to get the win. The unlikely MVP: new Twin Sandy Leon, a catcher acquired from Cleveland, who brought his season hit total up from two to four with a two-hit game, including a two-RBI double in the 2nd that would prove to be the difference in the game. As for the third run, a rare Byron Buxton walk was followed by a wild pitch that moved him up to second, and then a Carlos Correa single (and classic Tommy Watkins send) scored the speedy centerfielder.
The previous paragraph was clearly written prior to the 8th inning, when two singles and a walk loaded the bases for a Gio Urshela sac fly, scoring Buxton. Nick Gordon did strike out to end the inning, but I can no longer in good faith keep the offense in the “did just enough to win” category, barring a 9th inning bullpen collapse. That never happens here, right?
As it turns out, the bullpen was also excellent today (how nice it is to write those words). New Twin Michael Fulmer twirled a scoreless 6th against the heart of his former team’s order, giving up 1 hit and striking out 1. Recently activated Meat Raffle, the Randolph Rocket Caleb Thielbar looked extra nasty in his clean 7th inning (featuring two strikeouts). Jhoan Duran did his usual Jhoan Duran thing and annihilated three batters (after walking one), and then New Twin Jorge Lopez pitched the fastest, most stress-free ninth inning of the Twins season, inducing two groundouts and one three-pitch strikeout. The Twins take game three and the series.
The New Guys
-Sandy Leon: 2-3, 2 RBI
-Michael Fulmer: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 K, 0 BB
-Jorge Lopez: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 1 K, 0 BB
Flow Ryan: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 HBP, 9 K, 0 BB
Jhoan Duran: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 1 K, 1 BB
Caleb Thielbar: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 2 K, 0 BB
Byron Buxton: 1-3, 1 BB, 2 R
Not today, my friend
Rich’s Pitches has the puns.
“Sandy “Kings of” Leon getting his first start donning the Tools of Ignorance for the Twins. No truth to the rumor that the Twins pegged him in a trade because with Jeffers out the team really needed to “Use Somebody” behind the plate.
I’ll be here all week. Try the veal...”