Minnesota Twins: 3 things the Twins must do to get back into the ALDS
By Chris Schad
Challenge the Yankees (but not right down the middle)
Throughout the first two games, the Twins have looked like they have forgotten all of the pitching coach Wes Johnson’s tutelage. While the right idea is to throw strikes, the Twins have channeled more of former pitching coach Rick Anderson‘s philosophy as the Twins have pitched to (3-2-1) contact.
As Twins Daily’s Parker Hageman showed on Twitter, the Twins have decided to challenge the Yankees, with a majority of their pitches in the strike zone. That is a good thing. The bad thing is that the Twins have decided to do it by throwing directly down the middle of the plate.
In Game 2 alone, the Twins threw a whopping 11 percent of their pitches in the middle of the strike zone and mixed in with all other pitches in the middle, Minnesota basically lobbed soft toss to the Yankees with a combined 25.8% of their pitches over the middle of the plate. Against a lineup that hit 307 home runs, that just doesn’t seem like a good idea.
Of course, that also runs the risk of nibbling too much. That’s what happened in Game 1 as the Yankees took their time and saw 193 pitches in the process of putting up 10 runs. As the Twins mulled and fretted with each pitch, the Yankees were able to mount rallies and wound up cashing in with every situation that presented itself.
As the Twins head into Game 3, making the Yankees have to work harder for their runs will have to be a priority.