Could not have asked for a better first inning. In roughly 7 minutes of actual clock time, Slegers put down the Indians 1-2-3, using just 10 pitches.
That movement mentioned on the previous page came into play on the first hitter as he got Jason Kipnis to roll over the second pitch to shortstop on a moving fastball.
With Francisco Lindor, he stayed away for three pitches before coming down and low for pitch four, getting Lindor to foul off two of the first four pitches. He then returned to the outside, middle-up range on Lindor for two more pitches, one ball and one foul, before getting another foul on a another low ball up the middle. Lindor then lined another outside middle pitch to left field.
The sun came out strong between the first and second, and Slegers used his height to create good plane with the sky behind him, attacking the low zone against Encarnacion, getting him to pop up to Joe Mauer at first.
Slegers actually missed twice with Carlos Santana at the plate, and with his recent history against the Twins, that’s not what you want to do. He got ball one, and then missed his spot up and outside rather than low and outside, and Santana drove the ball well between Byron Buxton and Robbie Grossman, who collided as Buxton caught the ball in a bit of a scary moment.
Austin Jackson took a pair of pitches before getting poor wood on a well-thrown moving fastball, grounding it to the shortstop for a quick third out. Slegers had thrown just 19 pitches total in the first two innings.
Slegers opened Almonte with a pair of breaking pitches before attacking him with fastballs, the third of which had tremendous movement as Slegers dipped down to a 3/4 arm angle and froze Almonte on a pitch right at the belt.
Slegers was getting heavy movement to his arm side in the 3rd inning, and he missed three times inside to the right-handed Roberto Perez before coming back go get to 3-1, then missing again to his arm side for his first walk.
The first pitch to Giovanny Urshela after the walk was a well-placed sinker that generated a ground ball double play 4-6-3 that got Slegers out of the inning facing the minimum through three innings.
Next: Final innings of start