A look at Aaron Slegers Spot Start for the Minnesota Twins
After getting Kipnis to roll over on a pitch in his first plate appearance, Slegers attacked the corners on him in his second at bat and got his second strikeout of the game.
His first pitch to Lindor was low and in the middle, drawing a foul into a sensitive spot of catcher Chris Gimenez. He returned to his strategy on Lindor, pounding the outside corner with fastballs before then coming low middle again with a change that drew a swing and miss. Lindor fouled three more balls off before again flying out to left fielder Eddie Rosario.
Against Jay Bruce, Slegers attacked high in the count with precision, but when he then came back down, he struggled to put the ball where he wanted exactly, missing his spots twice before missing toward the plate on a ball that was to be on the outside corner. Bruce deposited the ball in the right field seats for a solo home run, the first hit off of Slegers in the ball game.
Slegers continued to struggle with hitting his spot, and his arm slot was notably between his typical high 3/4 and a typical 3/4, sitting in a weird arm slot where he wasn’t getting the movement he was used to nor his typical pinpoint command. That led to a four-pitch walk of Encarnacion after the Bruce home run.
Catcher Gimenez came out to talk with Slegers as Encarnacion took his base, and the results were immediate. Slegers missed to “the pitcher’s side” on his location misses after that talk and jumped out in front of Carlos Santana with a first-pitch strike, allowing him to attempt to get Santana to chase a few pitcher’s pitches before Santana rolled over a heavy sinker to Mauer to end the inning.
Slegers worked the high part of the zone on Jackson after getting a quick ground out on his first at bat. After a few foul balls, Jackson drove the ball right at Buxton for a first out.
Slegers got a perfect ground ball to Almonte that he grounded in a difficult spot, out of the extended reach of Slegers, but Brian Dozier made an INCREDIBLE play on, scooping it with his glove and flipping the ball with his glove to Mauer for the out by a half of a step.
Perez then smacked the first pitch he saw on a sharp ground ball to Miguel Sano, who grabbed the ball and set before firing across the infield for the out.
After attacking Urshela with two well-placed fastballs (even though one was a ball, it was placed where the catcher wanted it), he got him to roll over on arguably his best slider of the night for a grounder to Dozier for the first out of the inning.
He attacked the top of the zone on Kipnis, and on a fastball with tremendous movement, he got a foul pop out that catcher Gimenez made an excellent play to get up the third base line and catch for out #2.
His sequencing with Lindor once again worked well, going low middle and then pounding the outside corner, as Lindor drove an 0-2 outside fastball to center fielder Byron Buxton in shallow center field.
His sequence with Jay Bruce to open the seventh was tremendous, going away with all of his pitches before coming straight low with a 91 MPH fastball to get his third strikeout of the game.
Encarnacion was locked on his fastball in his at bat, fouling off the first pitch strong before lacing the second pitch to left field on a sure single. Slegers was pulled after that hit.