Twins Fall Flat in Meaningless Exhibition Game to Cubs


Minnesota Twins got to see something a little closer to actual baseball Wednesday night. The Twins lost to the Chicago Cubs 4-3 in their first and only exhibition game against another team. While it was a close loss to a team potentially on a path to win the NL Central, it still left a bitter taste for many.

The Twins trotted out their fifth starter, Homer Bailey, in their final warmup before the season starts on Friday. And boy did he live up to his name. Bailey surrendered three homers in three innings. This included a two-run blast from ailing Anthony Rizzo in the first inning…with no outs. Along with a Wilson Contreras no-doubter. Homer’s final line?

3.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, 3 HR, 2 BB, 3 K.


I knew there was a reason I traded him early in the season in my Out Of The Park simulation.


The Twins offense fell relatively flat in the game. Eddie Rosario’s double was the only extra-base hit registered by the Twins. In fact they only mustered four more hits total (all singles) from Rosario, Josh Donaldson, Ehire Adrianzam and Luis Arraez.

Although down in a 3-0 hole after the first inning, the Twins scrounged together some runs to make it interesting. The first two coming off two passed balls and a wild pitch. However, the power bats were silent. The top of the order in Mitch Garver and Nelson Cruz were mostly silent and Miguel Sano only reached base on a walk.

The Twins would make it a one-run game in the seventh thanks to a bases-loaded groundout from Jorge Polanco to make it 4-3. But starting pitching and a lack of offensive power doomed them from the start.


However, there were some silver linings from the exhibition loss. The bullpen was fantastic! Seemingly set to build off a fantastic 2019. Five relievers pitched one inning each and the pen allowed only one hit and a sole walk. Prospect Jorge Alcala was the brightest spot of the game. With a flaming 99-mph fastball and filthy breaking ball, the young gun highlighted what we can expect from him in the near future.

It is pretty evident that the offense will need some time to get up to speed. After becoming used to the aptly named Bombas of 2019 and the 2020 Summer Camp, the team failed to hit any Wednesday. They also scoring no runs off hits. But again, this game doesn’t count. Think of it as the first true warm-up before facing the White Sox on Friday night.


One thing to note: With the game against the Cubs being an exhibition, the team likely did not bring everyone who would make their initial 30-man Opening Day Roster.

This includes the likes of Byron Buxton, who was injured last week but could make the trip to Chicago for Opening Day.

Additionally, I believe it is unlikely we see Jorge Alcala and Caleb Thielbar make the initial roster too. Although they showed moxie in their outings on Wednesday, the team is too deep to bring on guys who would need additional rest out of the pen before Friday.

When considering that manager Rocco Baldelli likes to ensure bullpen arms do not pitch on consecutive days, the quick ramp up to the regular season could make him even more cautious. Even with the White Sox series beginning two days after the Cubs game.

As for the starting rotation, fans will have to brace themselves for a change. Jake Odorizzi will start the season on the injured-list due to upper back stiffness. I still expect him to only miss one turn through the rotation and be back for his second start. That could be the home opener against Cleveland. In the meantime, expect youngster Randy Dobnak to slot in if Baldelli decides to go with a five-man rotation.

Because this game didn’t count, my 60-0 prediction still stands and I am absolutely behind the Twins winning it all in 2020!

Jack Kewitsch | Minnesota Sports Fan

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