Take better at-bats
You may ask me to start off with the pitching and we will certainly get to that. But as prolific as the Bomba Squad was over the regular season, they didn’t see the same results at Yankee Stadium despite hitting three home runs in the opener of this series. The big difference? The Yankees are getting guys on base when they hit the big blast.
During the regular season, the Twins did not look like blindfolded children at a pinata party at the plate. In fact, in most ways, they had a lineup that was superior to what the Yankees are trotting out. While the Twins didn’t set the world on fire by drawing walks (their 525 walks finished 18th in Major League Baseball), they were able to see success by waiting for the right pitch, ranking sixth in MLB in strikeouts (1,334) and second in average (.270) and OPS (.494).
In the first two games, the Twins have been eager to make up multiple runs with one swing of the bat and it’s been to their detriment. With every hitter seemingly expanding the strike zone, the strikeouts have gone up as the Yankees have punched out 27 batters over the first two games. That’s a Gerrit Cole level of dominance.
With at-bats such as this gem from Eddie Rosario (via Twins Daily’s Ted Schwerzler on Twitter), the Twins are simply trying too hard to hit a ball 500 feet. While they shouldn’t try to completely change their game and start bunting, being more selective at the plate could make a big difference.