Minnesota Twins: Bullpen Pitches Well In Win Over White Sox
The Minnesota Twins bullpen has been one of the worst in baseball in 2017. After a stellar performance Tuesday, is there hope for it to get better?
The bullpen has been a rough spot on the Minnesota Twins roster all season long. They currently sit last in Major League Baseball in bullpen earned run average with a bloated 5.25 mark. It has been nothing short of a mess. Fortunately, that was not the case Tuesday in the Twins’ 9-7 victory over the rival White Sox.
It was a strange game compared to the usual performances.
Usually starter Ervin Santana pitches well through the first six or seven innings, then Twins Territory holds their collective breath as the bullpen takes over. It was strangely backwards on Tuesday.
Santana pitched just five innings, giving up six earned runs on ten hits. He struck out six but walked two and gave up two home runs. He was relieved by Alan Busenitz and it seemed like Twins fans were in for another wild night of watching the bullpen get rocked. Busenitz gave up one run on three hits in 0.2 innings of work. His ERA would balloon to 6.75.
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He was replaced by Matt Belisle who recorded the final out of the inning and threw a scoreless seventh. He walked one and gave up just one hit in his outing, which dropped his ERA down to 7.18. Taylor Rogers pitched the eighth, giving up no runs and striking out one White Sox batter.
One bright spot in the bullpen, closer Brandon Kintzler, came in to finish the game in the ninth. He would notch his 18th save of the season by pitching a perfect inning. Kintzler is now 18 for 21 in save opportunities in 2017.
The bullpen needs to pitch well to make a run.
The bullpen has been nothing short of terrible in 2017 for the Minnesota Twins. The performance on Tuesday, however, showed there is hope that they can get past their season-long woes. The only problem with Tuesday’s win was the fact the starting pitcher struggled.
If the Twins can get the bullpen and starting pitching working together efficiently instead of one or the other, they would be playoff bound. The lineup takes picks up slack at the plate, put can only do so much. The Twins need to start clicking on all cylinders.
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They need improvement, which can come from trades, guys stepping up or minor league guys filling in productively. Unfortunately, if they are not able to find a fix for the problem the team will not sniff the playoffs this season. The only thing keeping them separated from the Indians is the incredible talent difference in their bullpen. The Twins need to find a way to plug the holes to keep the ship sailing.