Twins Even Series vs Cleveland, Reclaim First Place Behind Dobnak and Bullpen
The Minnesota Twins got back on track (and back into first place) Friday night against the Cleveland Indians, after being shutout the night before. It was a 4-1 victory, and they did it in typical fashion: early Bombas, Randy Dobnak and their bullpen.
The Twins had plenty to deal with before the game even started. It was announced in the afternoon that the St. Louis Cardinals had 2 players test positive for COVID-19 BEFORE their Wednesday game with the Twins.
The Twins were cleared to play after a round of rapid testing found no positive results. The entire situation gave both teams a scare. This, after St. Louis saw their weekend series against Milwaukee pushed back to Saturday, at the earliest.
The #MNTwins completed rapid on-site testing of players and personnel after two Cardinals tested positive for COVID-19.— FOX Sports North (@fsnorth) July 31, 2020
Hear from Rocco Baldelli and Derek Falvey about the process. pic.twitter.com/2B1Zrpfe0B
Let’s talk baseball.
For the second night in a row, the Minnesota Twins had their work cutout for them. Last night it was Shane Bieber. Tonight, it was Mike Clevinger. Clevinger was 13-4 with a 2.71 ERA in 2019. The Twins made Clevinger uncomfortable right away with Max Kepler hitting his 8th career leadoff home run.
Eddie Rosario hit a 2 RBI double later in the inning bringing the Twins lead to 3-0. After Clevinger gave up three runs in the 1st he started to settle in…. except for that one pitch to Alex Avila (who we were told couldn’t hit).
Alex Avila can’t do that…— Minnesota Sports Fan (@realmnsportsfan) August 1, 2020
Clevinger barely got through 4 innings, with his final stat line showing 4.0 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 5 BB, and 88 total pitches. The most surprising thing from Clevinger’s outing was his lack of control, only 47 of his 88 pitches were thrown for strikes.
On the other hand, Twins SP Randy Dobnak was lights out and peppering the strike zone early and often. He only allowed 3 hits in 5 innings of work. Dobnak would have went further into the game if it weren’t for the Indians fouling EVERYTHING off, pushing Dobnak’s pitch count to 94 in just 5 innings.
The bullpen continues to shut things down. The combination of Tyler Clippard, Tyler Duffey, Sergio Romo, and Taylor Rogers allowed just 1 very fluky run in 4 innings. This is becoming a common occurrence, except for last Saturday against the White Sox. If the Bullpen can continue to perform at this level the Twins will be nearly unstoppable come October.
My personal favorite from the night came from Randy Dobnak, as he did the most Randy Dobnak thing ever.
That ugliness in the middle of the #MNTwins infield has officially been ruled an RBI double.— danhayesmlb (@DanHayesMLB) August 1, 2020
Randy Dobnak throwing warm-up pitches to “Take Me Home, Country Roads” is the most fitting thing I could possibly imagine— Do-Hyoung Park (@dohyoungpark) August 1, 2020
Twins 3B Josh Donaldson was pulled from the game in the 2nd inning due to tightness in his right calf. Donaldson is considered day-to-day and we will keep everyone updated as soon as we know more.
The Twins will face the Indians in game 3 of the series Saturday night at 6:10 CT. Kenta Maeda (1-0, 3.60 ERA) will square off against Carlos Carrasco (1-0, 3.00 ERA)
Cameron Thompson | Minnesota Sports Fan