The Minnesota Twins played host to the Boston Red Sox once again Tuesday night in the 2nd game of the 3 game series.
Michael Pineda would start on the bump for the Twins facing the always dangerous Red Sox lefty David Price. Another close game this one lasted just a bit longer than usual going a whopping 17 innings. Max Kepler came up clutch all night and did once more with the game on the line in the bottom of the 17th inning. A game-winning single would seal it as the Twins and Red Sox were both struggling to score runs.
Twin Takeaway – The good
The pitching was on point tonight. It was great to see Michael Pineda give the Twins 6 extremely well-pitched innings. Through 6, Pineda gave up 5 hits and allowed 1 earned-run while only walking 1 and striking out 5. Pineda, who had an ERA above 5.00 heading into the contest, lowered his ERA to 4.76 on the season. Though the Red Sox aren’t overwhelming teams at the plate this year, they still have a very dangerous line-up. It was great to see Big Mike go to work against a very solid team.
Throwing only 80 pitches with 59 of them being strikes, Pineda was extremely efficient while not giving up the dreaded “big inning”. Having a guy anchoring the back-end of the rotation such as Big Mike could pay handsomely down the road for this Minnesota Twins team.
The bullpen also performed extremely well when called upon tonight which was wonderful to see. The Twins used 8 out of the ‘pen, which means they may look to call up another arm to reinforce the depleted relief depth.
Twin Takeaway – The not-so-good
Mitch Garver had the base-running blunder of the season thus far getting picked off 3rd with nobody out in the bottom of the 6th. Though not known for his wheels, with the game tied 1-1, there is absolutely no reason for Garver to get thrown out in that situation. With the Red Sox going on to score in the top half of the 7th, it was a very large mistake for the up and coming catcher.
Whether it was Garver simply being unaware or taking an aggressive lead to score on a hard hit ground ball, it really cost the Twins a great opportunity. The Twins would tie the game thanks to Max Kepler in the bottom of the 8th but that run could’ve been the game winner, not the game tying run. An error that proved costly as the game would last much longer than anticipated.
All in all it was a hard-fought game but an exhausting one at that. The Twins look to keep the wins rolling with the final game of the series tomorrow afternoon.