Buxton and Maeda Toy with Brewers; Twins Win Big
Trevor May said fans shouldn’t anticipate a ton of 10-run games from the Minnesota Twins just yet. Well, the team must have taken that as a slight because they just took game 3 vs Milwaukee Brewers, 12-2. Wednesday’s W gives the Twins a series win and a much needed rebound after blowing a 4-1 lead the game before.
The win came at a time the Twins needed it most. After dropping five of their last six, Detroit was able to climb to within a half game of the AL Central lead. This should keep them at bay… at least for now. The Twins gained a full game tonight and now sit 1.5 games up on the Tigers.
It didn’t take long for the Twins to score. They posted five runs in the second inning and seven more in innings three through six. The Bomba Squad has put up 52 runs this year, in the first three innings of games.
The scoring burst didn’t come from just a few guys, either. Each player in the starting lineup registered at least one hit. The most important ones came off the bats of Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton. Sano hit a mammoth solo shot in the second while Buxton recorded not one, but TWO, solo Bombas of his own. It’s only the second multi-homer game of his career.
It was exactly what was anticipated from the Twins against Brewer starter Eric Lauer, too. Lauer came into the game ranking below average in a plethora of pitching categories and really only utilizes two pitches (four-seam FB and cutter). Both pitches usually end up in the left side of the strike zone, which gave the Twins plenty to hone in on. And, hone-in they did.
— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) August 13, 2020
Buxton on Fire…
Buxton has been on fire as of late. He’s hit five home runs during the team’s eight-game road trip, while also scoring eight runs and batting in seven. Oh, and he has raised his average to .298 with a .944 OPS. He’s looked a lot more like the player the Twins have been anticipating he was for years.
Is this latest hot streak just another flash in the pan for Buxton, or a sign of progress? If it’s the latter, Buxton could be back on track to truly becoming a cornerstone of the Twin’s future…finally.
Maeda’s Been a Steal
With Tuesday’s game having been a bullpen game, intrigue surrounded how long Baldelli would keep Kenta Maeda on the mound. Six solid innings from Maeda would go a long way…
The Twins new pitcher delivered, and then some. Maeda cruised through the first five innings (going perfect through 3.2), retiring 17 of 18 to begin the game. His 6.2 innings make the longest outing by a Twins starter this year…. yikes.
Kenta Maeda pitch count by inning:— Do-Hyoung Park (@dohyoungpark) August 13, 2020
Looking back on the Maeda acquisition (for Brusdar Graterol), some had questions about his viability as a full-time starter. Remember, he had been relegated to the bullpen on numerous occasions with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He has proven doubters wrong, so far. His contract tops out at only $3 million/year through 2023. The Twins may have robbed the Dodgers, finding a high-end piece to add to their rotation for years to come.
It was clearly a frustrating road trip for the Twins, going 3-5 and losing winnable games. Thankfully, they are headed home to face a familiar opponent in the Kansas City Royals. After being swept by them in the previous series, they are hoping the recent offense outburst can carry over for some redemption.
#MNTwins probables for the upcoming series vs. KC:— Do-Hyoung Park (@dohyoungpark) August 12, 2020
8/14: Jake Odorizzi vs. Jakob Junis
8/15: José Berríos vs. Danny Duffy
8/16: Randy Dobnak vs. Brady Singer
8/17: TBD vs. Kris Bubic
The Minnesota Twins also get an off-day on Thursday. Baldelli mentioned the team is looking forward to a day off, giving them a chance to refresh before embarking on a stretch of 26 games in 27 days.
Jake Odorizzi (0-0, 6.00 ERA) faces off against Jakob Junis (0-0, 4.00 ERA) Friday night. After a less than stellar first start, Odorizzi is looking to be healthier and more prepared in start #2.
Jack Kewitsch | Minnesota Sports Fan