After a nine-run fifth inning, including a grand slam, propelled the Twins to 12-8 win over the Cleveland Guardians on Friday, the Twins reverted to recent form and struggled to score at all, finally falling to the Guardians in the 10th inning by a score of 3-2 on Saturday.
The lack of scoring was somewhat understandable because the Twins had to face Cleveland ace Shane Bieber. Still, the Twins outhit the Guardians 10 to 7, which means only one thing: they struggled to score with runners in scoring position. And so they did, going 2-for-10 at the plate and left 12 runners on base.
Lefty Devin Smeltzer allowed one run over five innings, the bullpen pitched scoreless baseball for four innings, then rookie reliever Jharel Cotton got stuck with the loss on a call that sent Twins manager Rocco Baldelli to the showers.
In the top of the 10th, a Cleveland batter was awarded a double, the umpire claiming that Twins first baseman Jose Miranda obstructed his path on the bases. Baldelli countered that Miranda was trying to make a play on the ball, but was ejected for his efforts. In extra innings, each team gets to start a runner on second base, so awarding a double brought the base runner home to make it a 2-1 Cleveland lead. They added one more run in the 10th, the Twins countered with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning, but the rally fell short for a 3-2 loss.
Rocco got tossed, and he's not walking away without giving the umpires his money's worth for a long while.
I assume the gist of his argument was that Miranda was chasing the play and couldn't have avoided the collision, while Giménez could have, as the runner. https://t.co/nzQMCXcHX7
— Do-Hyoung Park (@dohyoungpark) May 15, 2022
Joe Ryan gets the ball Sunday.
-Byron Buxton was not in the lineup for Saturday’s tilt, but why not at least use him as a pinch-hitter in a close game? That was the thrust of the argument that played out on social media after the game.
Here's what Rocco Baldelli said about not using Byron Buxton off the bench as a pinch-hitter:
(Of note: Buxton has dealt with knee and hip injuries recently.) pic.twitter.com/neN1D0S8lW
— Aaron Gleeman (@AaronGleeman) May 15, 2022
-Old habits die hard. The Cleveland Guardians were known as the Cleveland Indians for a long time (106 years) so there’s bound to be an adjustment period for those who call the game. Former Twin Dan Gladden, who shares radio play-by-play duties with lead man Cory Provus, referred to them as the Indians a couple of times during Friday’s game.
-On May 15, 1969, The Twins’ Cesar Tovar broke up a no-hit bid by the Baltimore Orioles’ Dave McNally with a one out single in the ninth inning. McNally and the O’s went on to win anyway, 5-0.
“Harmon Killebrew and Allison always have hit me well,” said McNally to the Minneapolis Tribune. “And Oliva hits everybody. I’ve had good luck against Carew when I’ve been able to throw the ball where I want to. But the Twins have a lineup without a weak spot. You can’t coast against them.”
Source: Baseball-Reference.com, Newspapers.com