Ever since Houston pitcher Framber Valdez pitched five innings of scoreless relief to beat the Twins in Game 1 of the 2020 American League Wild Card Series, the Twins seem to wilt in the presence of the Astros.
And the wilting continued Tuesday night after Justin Verlander and a reliever three-hit the Twins to win Game 1 of their three-game set at Target Field, 5-0.
Verlander was perfect through four innings before he walked Jorge Polanco in the fifth inning, then the no-hit bid was broken up in the bottom of the eighth by Gio Urshela.
Meanwhile, Twins pitching struggled to throw strikes, and I should add they got absolutely no help from home plate umpire Bill Welke. Twins starter Joe Ryan could not get a strike call on the outside portion of the plate, so instead of his usual command, Ryan walked five batters and tossed an inefficient 90 pitches in four innings. He took the loss to fall to 3-2 with a 2.56 ERA. Twins pitching issued nine base on balls.
Chris Archer gets the ball Wednesday.
-The Twins are 18-12.
-Urshela, Alex Kirilloff and Gilberto Celestino had the three hits for the Twins.
-Bad news on the injury front: Carlos Correa and pitcher Chris Paddack have been moved to the 10-day injured list, and in the case of Paddack, who left his last start early with right elbow inflammation, he could be facing a second round of Tommy John surgery.
-On May 10, 1962, Cleveland pitcher Jim Perry served up back-to-back home runs to the Twins to start the game, tying an American League record, according to Baseball-Reference.com.
Nine years later on May 1, 1971, Perry, now with the Twins, did it all over again, serving up back-to-back home runs to start the game against the Boston Red Sox. Although Perry gave up those early home runs, he would go on to win both games.
The 1962 Twins were very good, finishing in second place in the AL with a record of 91-71. That was not the case with the ’71 team which ended the season at 74-86.
Source: MLB.com, Baseball-Reference.com