Twins starting pitchers Jose Berrios, Kenta Maeda, Matt Shoemaker, J.A. Happ and maybe Randy Dobnak or Lewis Thorpe, have pitched extremely well this spring. So well, in fact, that their collective performance has stood in sharp contrast to that produced by the relief corps.
(My apologies to Mr. Michael Pineda who is very much a part of the starting rotation. I knew I was forgetting someone!)
But that all changed Tuesday after Berrios got knocked around by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He allowed four runs on eight hits and exited the game after four innings. The Twins bullpen, meanwhile, was spot on and pitched five scoreless innings.
The Pirates were leading 4-0 when Berrios left the game, but Bucs pitching held the Twins in check. The Twins did little for most of the game until finally scoring two runs in the bottom of the ninth. They had six hits (Josh Donaldson had two of them), including two extra-base hits.
-Who manages the Pirates? Former Twins bench coach Derek Shelton, in case you’ve forgotten.
-Pirates pitcher Chad Kuhl got the start on Tuesday and then he was followed by Harvard man and ex-Twin, Sean Poppen. Poppen (Porcellian?) struck out three over two innings and allowed just one hit.
-Cleveland Indians pitcher and defending AL Cy Young award winner, Shane Bieber, had a weird outing on Tuesday. Bieber allowed nine runs on seven hits over three innings, but only one run was earned because the Tribe committed five errors, including three by the same player — two fielding errors and one botched throw. Bieber is now 0-2 with a 5.87 ERA. I bet he’s relieved this is happening during exhibition play and not during the season.
-The Twins are 6-8 through Tuesday.
-And then there was this:
Bob Allison & Harmon Killebrew. While the Killer's HRs were legendary, Allison was a underrated star & team leader, who avg'd 25 HRs & 129 OPs+ from 1959-68. His @sabr bio https://t.co/Hl5oSYfadG pic.twitter.com/XDvFybSXA6
— SABR BioProject (@SABRbioproject) March 17, 2021
"Twins fans remember the approaching (Metropolitan Stadium) before a game and catching the first glimpse of those uniquely huge light standards looming over what seemed like miles and miles of parking lot. As those lights got larger, so would our eyes." – Rick Prescott pic.twitter.com/L962jcgr55
— Lost Ballparks (@lost_ballparks) March 13, 2021