The Minnesota Twins got a big win in Cleveland on the back of young starting pitcher Jose Berrios. If he keeps it up, the Twins can make a run.
The Minnesota Twins have played the Cleveland Indians well their first two games, and pitching has been the biggest reason why. Ervin Santana shut down the Tribe in game one of the series, and was followed up nicely by Jose Berrios. It was the first MLB start for Berrios in 2017.
Berrios baffled Indians hitters all afternoon, pitching 7.2 dazzling innings. In those innings, Berrios gave up just one earned run on only two hits. He struck out four Indians hitters, as well. Berrios, who has been rolling in Triple A, had not pitched well in the majors up to this point.
Despite his previous MLB appearances, Berrios looked poised and ready for his big league opportunity to stick. The Twins’ rotation has had great performances by their top two starters, but has struggled at the back end of the rotation. Berrios has shown he can have a hand in changing that.
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While Berrios has more to prove, it is a positive sign for the Twins. With Santana and Hector Santiago rolling and Phil Hughes pitching somewhat solid, the Twins now could have four potential quality starters.
If Berrios pitches well in his next outing, the Twins rotation will be looking even better. They just need to find a starter to perform on the fifth day. That could propel them to new heights in the American League Central.
The Twins are showing they can compete.
With Berrios’ huge start in Cleveland, the Twins now sit atop the AL Central by two games. With their 19-14 record, they are taking control of a division that has tough squads like Cleveland and Detroit. If their pitching can keep pace, their team will be in good shape.
The Twins bats have been phenomenal up to this point. Mex Kepler hit a home run Saturday to push their steak of games with a home run to 14 straight. Their power has been spectacular and their pitching is rolling right along with it.
If Berrios shows he can pitch anywhere near the way he did Saturday consistently, the Twins are in for a playoff run. He did not look like the guy he had been in his previous big league starts, but instead like the guy who has been pitching down in Rochester all season.
If the Twins have found their third starter in Berrios, they will be playing deeper than previous years. It will be interesting to see how Berrios follows up this start his next time out. His next time out could be against a bit of a weaker lineup in the Kansas City Royals. If that’s the case, look for Berrios to amaze once again.