Minnesota Twins Top 2017 Moments: Ervin’s Big Start

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 15: Ervin Santana
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 15: Ervin Santana /

The Minnesota Twins had an incredible run to the playoffs in 2017. Let’s remember some of the best moments of the year!

The Minnesota Twins had an incredibly fun season to follow as a fan. To close out the calendar year of 2017, we will take a look back at some of the biggest moments of the season!

Our first moment was the one that really set the tone for the team’s success on the season – a steady hand at the front of the rotation.

Ervin Santana‘s 2017

Ervin Santana came out in 2017 firing, setting the tone for the Twins that they would have a steady leader at the front of their rotation in 2017. He finished the month with 5 starts, a 4-0 record, a paltry 0.77 ERA, a miniscule 0.66 WHIP, and a solid 10/26 BB/K ratio.

This article is going to focus in particular on the night he showed he was for real in 2017, April 15th against the Chicago White Sox.

The game

The Twins had come out of the gate well on the 2017 season, but came into the game 6-4 in their first 10 games. The White Sox had opened at nearly the same record, 5-4 entering the game. The Saturday matchup featured the Twins ace in Santana against the White Sox ace in Jose Quintana. For an April game in Minnesota, the weather wasn’t bad, at 65 degrees and while it was cloudy, they weren’t rain clouds.

The game was immediately in the Twins’ favor in the first inning. Santana mowed through the first inning on just 11 pitches, getting two strikeouts and a fly ball to left field. However, before the Twins got out of the first inning at the plate, they’d put 5 runs on the board against Quintana, tallying 4 straight hits to open the game and 6 in the inning as the team forced Quintana into 39 first-inning pitches.

Often a long inning like that is the bane of a pitcher as he gets out of his rhythm, but not with Santana on this day. Big Erv faced the minimum in the 2nd inning, one of seven innings he would do so on the day.

Ervin’s biggest “mess” was in the top of the 4th. He opened the inning with a walk to Avisail Garcia, then moved him over to second base on a 2-2 wild pitch with Jose Abreu at the plate. Abreu then sent a full count pitch to center field, missing a pitch that he certainly wanted back the moment he hit it. Santana struck out Todd Frazier and got Cody Asche to pop out to third, and that was the inning – the last inning he didn’t face the minimum the rest of the way.

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Santana on his day put up the following line:

  • 9 innings
  • 1 hit allowed (single to Omar Narvaez in the 3rd inning)
  • 1 walk
  • 8 strikeouts
  • 107 pitches
  • 72 strikes
  • 10 ground ball balls in play
  • 10 fly ball balls in play (including one hit)
  • 92 game score (highest on the season for a Minnesota Twins pitcher

The Twins won the game 6-0, and the efficient pitching of Santana throughout the day helped to a 2 hour, 26 minute game, meaning the 2 PM Central game start got fans home in time for supper, even with traffic!

Next: How offseason deals affect the Twins' plans

This is the first in our series of 2017 highlights. Which games or moments would you like to see us highlight next? Comment below!