Series Review: Twins take 2 of 3 from Red Sox
As we are nearly a quarter through the young season, fans are still trying to figure out this Twins ball club. They are like a seesaw: As soon as they climb the standings and toward the .500 mark, they go back down. A good sign, however, is the way the Twins played 2 out of 3 games against the Red Sox this week.
The Twins got off to an early jump on the Sox in game 1, scoring 5 runs in the bottom of 2nd with a home run from Eduardo Nunez and clutch hits from Brian Dozier and Joe Mauer. Ricky Nolasco pitched what is considered a quality start, tossing 6 innings and allowing 3 runs, including two solo home runs from slugger David Ortiz. While the bullpen allowed the Sox to tie it, the real heroics came in the bottom of the 9th as Chris Parmelee delivered a 2 run walk-off home run to give the Twins the win.
Game 2 was a bit different, as the Red Sox jumped out to an early lead off struggling starter Kevin Correia and they never really looked back. Ortiz had another huge game for Boston, hitting two more home runs, both off Correia. Joe Mauer came to the plate twice with bases loaded and less than 2 outs, but only able to produce 1 run- a sac fly. Trevor Plouffe blasted a two-run home run in the 9th, so there’s that.
Chris Parmelee was hot again in the third and final game of the series, launching a two-run home run in the bottom of the 2nd inning. Brian Dozier added an RBI with a sac fly. Phil Hughes, who has been the Twins best starter as of late, had another fantastic outing tossing 6 innings with 8 strikeouts and just 1 run allowed. Unfortunately, closer Glen Perkins blew a save and the win for Hughes in the 9th. The game turned to extra innings, before Aaron Hicks provided walk-off heroics to help the Twins seal the victory.
- David Ortiz, holy crap. After back-to-back multi-homer games to start the series, I really appreciated the scouting report on him for game 3. The first and foremost bullet point was, “Forget Current Scouting Report.” I had a nice laugh of that. And apparently it worked. But seriously, what a series for the guy.
- I was initially upset when the contract of Chris Parmelee was purchased. I was also upset when he was kept on the roster in favor of Oswaldo Arcia. I’ll probably be upset if/when the same thing with happens with Josh Willingham. Yes, Parmelee is tearing it up in Triple-A Rochester again. But he’s done that before and then struggles at the MLB level. However, his play throughout this series has been nice. If he can keep it up, good for him and I will be excited to see the player we were hoping for a few years ago. But I’m not buying into it yet.
- Eduardo Escobar is ROLLING! The fellas here at Puckett’s Pond have been on a #Eddie400 mission, in support of getting Escobar at least 400 at bats this season. While not as talented defensively as recently sent-down Pedro Florimon, Escobar has started to run away with the position as he had another 3 hits in the final game of the series raising his average to a solid .347 on the season. Good on ya, Eddie.
- It’s nice to see Brian Dozier have more than one hit in a game, as he had a two hit game on Wednesday night. He’s raised his avg from .225 to .243 over the last two weeks. Also, can we make #Brozier a thing? Let’s get it trending.
- Kevin Correia… sheesh. Will he ever get consistent? One more bad outing and I think he takes a seat for a bit. In other news, Mike Pelfrey starts his rehab stint this week. Does that worry you?
- I’m a Joe Mauer fan. I love watching him play. But his inning-ending double play with the bases loaded Wednesday night was frustrating. It happens. However, Mauer has reduced his strike out rate and has been playing more like himself in the month of May, even after missing some time with back spasms. He’s now over .300 on the season. Rest assured, he will have his share of clutch hits.
- Phil Hughes has been nothing short of fantastic for the Twins lately. Over his past 5 starts, Hughes is 4-0 and lowered his ERA from 7.20 to 3.61. It’s been amazing to watch.
- Glen Perkins has been great in his time as the Twins full time closer. He just had a bad game Thursday, I’m not worried about it.
- As frustrating as the blown save was, what a great moment for Aaron Hicks, who delivered the walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th inning. Hicks, who’s been struggling mightily, needed that clutch hit and hopefully should boost some confidence moving forward.
The Twins (19-20) try to get back to .500 when they host a 3 game set against the visiting Seattle Mariners (20-20).
Sam Deduno’s start on Saturday. While posting a 3.64 ERA, he still has yet to get a win.