Minnesota Twins: The debut of Jake Odorizzi

BALTIMORE, MD - MARCH 29: Starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi
BALTIMORE, MD - MARCH 29: Starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi /

The Minnesota Twins open the 2018 season with a road series against the Baltimore Orioles.

On the bump for the Minnesota Twins in the opener was Jake Odorizzi and he looked impressive. Odorizzi was acquired over the Winter from the Tampa Bay Rays on the cheap and definitely left his mark on the game.

The Orioles are a familiar foe for Odorizzi after spending the last five seasons pitching in the American League East. Odorizzi surrendered seven earned runs in four starts against Baltimore during 2017 and continued that success on Opening Day.

Breaking down his performance

Odorizzi showed Minnesota Twins fans what they were getting right away in the first inning. He was able to work around a one-out double from Manny Machado by striking out Jonathan Schoop and Adam Jones to end the threat. From that point forward, Odorizzi was downright dominant.

Odorizzi mixed in his curveball and slider well with his low 90’s fastball, helping keep hitters off-balance all afternoon. He also used his split-finger fastball and cutter effectively allowing only one more hit through his final five innings pitched.

The Minnesota Twins have high hopes for the 2018 season and Odorizzi got things started right. He exited in the seventh after throwing 93 pitches, 55 for strikes, with the game scoreless. On top of only allowing two hits over six innings, he also struck out seven while only walking two.

Today goes in the books as a successful debut for Odorizzi. Although he didn’t factor into the decision, Odorizzi gave Twins fans something to be excited about. Unfortunately, Fernando Rodney gave up a walk-off home run to Jones in the bottom of the 11th inning to lose the game by one run. However, there are still 161 more games to play in the 2018 season and if game number one was this exciting, this is going to be one hell of a year.

Next: Keys to the Twins success in 2018

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