Twins 1, Rangers 2: Triple Play Turned, Buxton comes out in loss – Twins
The score of the box
SP: Sonny Gray: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K (69 throws, 47 strikes (68.1%))
Home runs: N/A
Top 3 WPAs: Jose Miranda (.210), Byron Buxton (.139), Gary Sanchez (.271), Gio Urshela (.103)
Last 3 WPAs: José Miranda (-.225), Luis Arraez (-.150), Max Kepler (-.145)
Win Probability Table (Going through FanGraphs)
As the Minnesota Twins worked through what was supposed to be an easy part of their schedule, they looked to even the series with the Rangers on Monday night. Continuing to sit in second place in the AL Central standings, Monday night’s game looked like a must-watch game for the Twins. If not essential, very important.
The struggle to strike with RISP continues
The Twins’ struggle to get hits with runners in scoring position has been well-documented. This struggle was highlighted early Monday night in almost identical fashion. In the first round, Carlos Correa and Byron Buxton reached base and went second-and-third with just one out in the inning. It looked like the Twins were taking an early lead. Instead, Jose Miranda struck out and Max Kepler continued his struggles by firing a pitch into a pitch to end the inning and the threat.
Once again, in the third inning, Correa again stood at third base and Buxton at second. This time it was with two outs after Jose Miranda relied on a defenseman’s pick to place the two Twins stars in those positions. Kepler’s overall batting struggles were highlighted once again as he couldn’t muster anything more than a steal to center field.
The twins achieve their second triple play of the season
The fourth inning started in a way that didn’t look favorable to the Twins. Starter Sonny Gray, who got off to a great start sending the first nine batters face down without incident, wasn’t so lucky when the lineup flipped. Marcus Semien broke through with a single for Grey’s first hit off on Monday night. Corey Seager followed by a walk putting the runners first and second without out.
Not only did Gray look like he was in trouble, but he looked like he was with the middle of Rangers training. With Nathaniel Lowe at home plate, Gray pushed the left-handed hitter to fire a one-liner directly at Miranda. Miranda was able to take first place for number two. Miranda then spun and shot until the second where Correa had to jump to hook the throw and was still able to get down and out Semien to complete the Twins’ second triple play of the season. The 17th in franchise history.
Nick Gordon perforated
To start the fourth inning, Gio Urshela gave the Twins their second starting triple after sending a pitch in the opposite direction on the first baseline. Nick Gordon came to home plate and nearly broke through to start the scoring with a real exclamation mark. Gordon sent a moonshot to the first base line which just caught a foul. It was called so live in the field and was later confirmed by a team leader’s review.
Gordon wouldn’t be completely denied. He came back and lined the ball up on the third base line to tag Urshela and add a brace to his resume. This double brings Gordon to 18 for the 2022 season.
Mid-inning throwing struggles
The Twins have apparently been tormented on several occasions by struggling starting pitchers in the mid-innings of games. That was the case again Monday night as Gray saw all the damage done against him in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
In fairness, Gray was able to mitigate the actual damage done, leaving the game with the Twins down 2-1. The solo home run of Adolis Garcia and Corey Seager’s RBI single carried much more weight as the Twins offense could only muster one round of support for Gray.
Buxton leaves after Round 6
Buxton had two significant instances where it was obvious his hip was bothering him again. After crossing a pitch on a 5th inning at bat, you could see on Buxton’s face that it was painful. Again, after attempting to dive for a fly ball, he was slow to get up.
It has been well documented that Buxton has worked extremely hard to get to the pitch every day he plays. That doesn’t remove the frustration present as the Twins’ best player is sidelined and sidelined in a game where they desperately needed offensive firepower.
The Twins will catch a late-night flight to Houston, where they’ll open a three-game series against the always tough Astros. It was already an important series, and it got even more important with Monday’s loss, as the Twins try to keep pace in powerhouse and compete against a playoff-caliber team. Currently, the probable composition of the starters is as follows:
Post match interview
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