What should be a joyous run to the post-season for Twins baseball has suddenly become a sideshow of off-the-field distractions.
After the Twins lost starting pitcher Michael Pineda to a 60-game suspension, the team announced Tuesday that superstar outfielder and offensive spark plug, Byron Buxton, will have season-ending shoulder surgery. It’s just another in a long list of player-related problems that the Twins have had to navigate during the second half of the season, and yet they have withstood most of those challenges pretty well.
And they did it again Tuesday in Game 1 of a three-game set at home against the Washington Nationals. Jose Berrios pitched seven innings of shutout baseball and catcher Mitch Garver hit his 30th home run to propel the Twins to a 5-0 win.
The Twins finally got to Nationals starter and old friend, Anibal Sanchez, in the bottom of the seventh when Garver hit his two-run blast. The Twins added three more runs in the eighth and that was enough because Berrios and two relievers held the Nats to two hits. Berrios is now 12-8 with a 3.63 ERA. That matches his wins total from last season.
Martin Perez gets the ball Wednesday.
-Sanchez signed with the Twins during the 2018 offseason, but was released before the end of spring training.
-Cleveland also won Tuesday, so the Twins’ maintain a five-game lead in the American League Central.
-Berrios has made 19 quality starts this season.
-Tuesday’s shutout was the Twins’ ninth of the season.
-To fill Buxton’s shoes, the Twins have called up Ronald Torreyes from Triple-A Rochester.
According to MLB Trade Rumors:
He’s a .281/.310/.375 lifetime hitter in the majors. In 330 plate appearances this year at Triple-A, he has turned in only a .256/.289/.406 batting line.
-Sergio Romo pitched a scoreless inning in Tuesday’s game. I love how pumped up he seems after he gets that third out. He slaps his glove and comes hopping off the mound, spitting fire. It’s great to see.