This morning I explored some of the underlying factors that aided the Twins’ late summer collapse. When I wrote about them, I did not expect to see almost all of them in the game today, but that’s pretty much what happened this afternoon at Target Field.
Summary: Dylan Bundy goes short and the Twins don’t help him with sloppy defense and no clutch hitting. Mike Trout homers and scores 3 runs, Shohei Ohtani has two hits and two runs, the bottom of the Angels’ lineup goes 6-15 with 3 runs and 4 RBI, and the Twins’ bullpen makes this one a rout late.
Play-by-Play: With one out in the top of the first inning, Trout laced a ground-rule double to left, which was quickly followed by a 100.9-mph Ohtani single to center field. Because of how hard the ball was hit it was quickly fielded by Gilberto Celestino and Trout checked up at third base. But Celestino’s throw airmailed any semblance of a cut-off man, skipped passed catcher Caleb Hamilton, and allowed Trout to easily score.
With two outs, lefty-swinging Matt Thaiss served a shift-beating ground ball through the left side by slapping a Bundy changeup that was well off the plate the opposite way. Ohtani scored from second without a play. 2-0 Angels
Minnesota answered right back with a run of their own in the bottom of the first. Carlos Correa doubled to left field and was promptly driven in on a Gio Urshela RBI-single to center. Angels 2, Twins 1
The teams traded zeroes in the second inning without anything noteworthy occurring.
In the top of the 3rd, Trout golfed a one-out home run into the second-deck left field. It was his 37th homer of the season — in only 111 games — and serves as a reminder to us all that he’s a truly superlative, generational player.
Trout crushed it #GoHalos pic.twitter.com/rFjWj7gfbc— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) September 25, 2022
Bundy would wobble the rest of the way through the third, ultimately wiggling around a couple of two-out walks.
Minnesota again countered in the bottom half, pushing across José Miranda — who had led off with a single — thanks to two-out hits by Gary Sánchez and Nick Gordon. Gordon’s single was an inside-out shift-beater of his own and it scored Miranda from third. Angels 3, Twins 2
.@FlashGThe3rd beats the shift! #MNTwins x #GoHalos pic.twitter.com/9JEipM0nYf— Bally Sports North (@BallySportsNOR) September 25, 2022
In the fourth, the Angels' bottom of the order came up for the second time, and, on cue like they had been reading Twinkie Town, fired up a rally. Max Stassi, batting 7th in the L.A. lineup, led off with a single. Nine-hole hitter Michael Stefanic also singled, and both he and the runner advanced a base on a throwing error by Twins’ second-baseman Jermaine Palacios. Angels’ leadoff man Luis Rengifo drove both in with a ground ball single to left.
Trout, with a double and homer already on the day, was due next and Rocco Baldelli wisely turned to the Minnesota bullpen. Rookie right-hander Ronny Henriquez was summoned and successfully got out of the inning without further damage. The Twins went down in order in the bottom half. Angels 5, Twins 2
The two teams would trade scoreless frames from the fifth inning through the top of the eighth. Henriquez, working heavily with his slider and changeup, did a marvelous job giving the Twins a chance in relief. He worked 4.2 scoreless innings, allowed three hits, a walk, and struck out four.
On offense, Minnesota made multiple unsuccessful attempts at rallies. Correa doubled with one out in the fifth but was stranded. They had two on with one out in the sixth thanks to a Celestino single and Palacios walk, but both runners were left after a flyout and a strikeout. The Twins loaded the bases with one out in the seventh, but Gordon and Celestino both struck out swinging to end the threat.
Aside from Henriquez’s strong outing, one of the few other highlights of the day came in the bottom of the 8th. Rookie catcher Hamilton was 0-3 with three strikeouts on the day and 0-15 with nine punchouts for his career when he came to the plate for the fourth time. Those stats had earlier prompted game thread discussion rooting for Hamilton to get his first hit in a rare starting opportunity. He would do just that. Angels 5, Twins 3
Caleb Hamilton didn’t miss his shot!— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) September 25, 2022
1st pitch in the at-bat
1st MLB hit
1st MLB home run#MNTwins pic.twitter.com/ofNXYn2HFc
Right-hander Trevor Megill relieved Henriquez in the top of the ninth and quickly ended any hopes of a ninth-inning comeback. Trout and Ohtani teamed up for an insurance run with a double and a single. After an out, four Angels in a row reached on two singles and two doubles and it was very quickly 10-3, Los Angeles. The Twins went quietly in the bottom of the ninth, with Billy Hamilton and Matt Wallner pinch-hitting for Correa and Urshela. Angels 10, Twins 3 / Final
RHP Ronny Henriquez (4.2 IP, 0R, 3H, 1BB, 4K)
3B Gio Urshela (2-4, RBI and a beautiful defensive play to save a run in the 7th)
Twins’ hitting with RISP (2-12, 10 LOB)
Twins' sloppy defense that led to L.A. runs in 1st and 4th
RHP Dylan Bundy (3.1 IP, 7H, 5R, 4ER, 2BB, 2K)
RHP Trevor Megill (0.1 IP, 6H, 5R, 1K)
84 comments for a Sunday afternoon play-out-the-string game occurring mostly during a Vikings divisional game is pretty good! Thanks to James Fillmore, Sandwiches, BH-Baseball, Wannabe525, Inthebasenent, Brandon Brooks, and howieramone99 for some good discussion!
Minnesota is off on Monday before hosting Chicago for the final Target Field series of the season Tuesday-Thursday. RHP Bailey Ober is Minnesota’s probable starter for Tuesday.