When the Twins are knocking the ball around the field or driving it into the seats, they are, as their record shows, one of the best teams in baseball.
But when the games are close and the club needs to rely on its relievers to keep them in the game, it’s clear that they have a problem. The Twins can hit, hit with power, score runs and have a stable rotation. But if this team has any weakness, it’s the bullpen.
And that weakness showed up again Wednesday night.
Starter Jose Berrios cruised through six-plus innings and allowed only a run before turning the ball over to reliever, Mike Morin. After Berrios exited with two outs, Morin did his job and got that third out. But Trevor May gave up two runs, Blake Parker gave up three more runs (two earned), including a home run, and the Twins found themselves in a deeper hole.
Incredibly, the Twins rallied to tie the game at 6-6 and send it to the 10th inning, before the Seattle Mariners scored three more runs in extra innings to win 9-6.
Granted, this loss doesn’t fall entirely on the Twins bullpen because the Twins had a terrible night in the field with five errors, including two by Miguel Sano. But that’s the exception; meanwhile, we’ve seen this performance from the bullpen before.
The Twins go for the series win on Thursday. Michael Pineda gets the ball.
-The Twins are now 44-22.
-The home runs keep coming: Marwin Gonzalez hit his eighth, Byron Buxton his ninth and Max Kepler is closing in on team leader, Eddie Rosario, after he hit his 16th of the season.
-Who committed the five errors? C.J. Cron (fielding), Mitch Garver (throwing and a missed catch) and Sano (fielding and throwing). Ugh. Recall Willians Astudillo. He can play third base.
-With that kind of defense, you get this kind of pitching line: Tyler Duffey, who finally got hung with the loss, gave up one hit and three runs, but none of them were earned.
-The Mariners had no business winning on Wednesday. They left 11 men on base and were 1-for-17 with runners in scoring production.
Tonight is the Twins' first five-error game since June 4, 1994, when Pedro Munoz, Jeff Reboulet, Chip Hale and Dave McCarthy (2) were all charged with errors. Of course, the Twins beat Detroit anyway, 21-7 because Munoz and Hale, among others, also homered.
— Phil Miller (@MillerStrib) June 13, 2019