Jhoan Duran Shifts Blame to Coaches When Asked About Pitch That Walked Off Twins

Jhoan Duran - Minnesota Twins at Cleveland Guardians
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Jhoan Duran is one of the most dominant bullpen arms in Major League Baseball. But on Sunday afternoon, the Minnesota Twins high powered closer gave up a walkoff homerun in the bottom of the 9th inning, with the game tied 2-2.

So what happened? Well, let’s start with the pitch selection: a 0-0 83 MPH curveball that 26-year-old right fielder Will Brennan snuck over the right field fence at Progressive Field. It certainly wasn’t a terrible pitch and the location was solid. Sometimes, the hitter is just better.

But after the game, Duran was asked why he threw so many offspeed pitches on Sunday, when he has a 103 MPH heater in his back pocket. According to ESPN, Jhoan threw eight offspeed pitches vs just five fastballs.

Jhoan Duran points finger at Minnesota Twins coaches after walk off home run

His answer was eyebrow raising, at the least. Instead of going with the generic, ‘yeah, you try to make the right pitch and sometimes the batter is just better’, the Minnesota Twins’ flamethrower pointed his finger at the coaching staff, opting for the ‘I’m just an employee, the coaches tell me what to do’ answer.

Adding to the intrigue, Duran took the blame for an offspeed pitch that was smacked by Jose Ramirez on Friday night, during the first game of this 3-game series. It’s also important to note that pitching coach Pete Maki initiated a mound visit with Duran and Jeffers, just before that final Will Brennan at-bat got started.

After Duran received a mound visit from pitching coach Pete Maki, his first-pitch curveball was drilled over the right field wall.

“The first time, [the curveball] was on my own,” said Duran, referring to a go-ahead home run he allowed to José Ramírez on Friday. “This time, it’s not my decision. I thought [Brennan] wasn’t good with fastballs. I’m an employee here, so whatever I need to throw, I need to throw it.”

Star Tribune

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Clearly, Jhoan Duran was not planning on throwing a curveball to Will Brennan, to start that at-bat. He wanted to bring the heat, Pete Maki must’ve convinced him to go with the spinner. He hit his spot, and Brennan still banged it over the fence. Thus, Duran was not happy when doing this interview postgame.

Is this just a heat of the moment vent session for Jhoan Duran or something bigger? I guess we will find that out in due time.

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