Everything that went right for the Twins in Game 1 of the 2020 season went wrong on Saturday as the Twins lost to the South Siders, 10-3.
On Friday, outfielder Max Kepler hit two home runs, including one on the first pitch of the game, to pace an 11-hit attack for a 10-5 win. The bullpen did the rest, pitching scoreless baseball over five innings with seven strikeouts.
But on Saturday, the bullpen was awful, allowing five home runs after starter Randy Dobnak was lifted for a reliever. The Dobber allowed one earned run over four innings, yet was still spelled by Zack Littell after 70-plus pitches. It wasn’t immediately clear why that happened, although Twins beat writer Do-Hyoung Park had this to say on Twitter:
Gotta feel good to win a 13-pitch AB for Dobnak, but those long, early ABs hurt when everyone isn't fully stretched out in the starting rotation and Keuchel has been efficient.
— Do-Hyoung Park (@dohyoungpark) July 25, 2020
The Twins’ offense wasn’t nearly as potent on Saturday, mustering only six hits, although the ageless wonder, Nelson Cruz, did hit a three-run home run to keep the game close early.
Japanese pitcher, Kenta Maeda, acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers during the offseason, gets the ball Sunday in the rubber match.
-Starter Jose Berrios was not sharp in Friday’s win. Berrios allowed five runs, all earned, in four innings of work. He also had only one strikeout and served up a home run.
-In two games so far, Josh Donaldson, the so-called “bringer of rain,” has two walks and an infield hit. I bet there are a lot of guys in the Twins lineup who need to work off some serious rust.
-Kepler led the way with two home runs on Friday. The rest of the team followed him with nine singles.
-Major League Baseball’s version of “sudden death” was played out Friday night between the L.A. Angels and Oakland A’s. If extra innings are played this season, teams get to start the inning with a runner on second base. The Angels were unable to score in the top of the 10th, and in the home half of the inning for the A’s it didn’t matter because they loaded the bases. First baseman, Matt Olson, then stepped up to the plate and hit a walk-off grand slam on the first pitch to win the game, 7-3.