The Twins weren’t exactly upbeat, but they didn’t seem devastated by Wednesday’s 12-inning loss, either. The clubhouse mood was, we’ve got another game tomorrow. We’ll see how well they bounce back. Until then, here are a handful of notes from the postgame clubhouse:
Five Twins relievers pitched in their 12-inning loss on Wedneday, but Trevor May, so effective in his late-inning setup role for the past two months, notably wasn’t one of them. That’s partly because of the 25 pitches he threw on Tuesday, but there was another factor, too.
May developed some soreness in his right hip after that outing, Twins manager Paul Molitor said, and was not available on Wednesday.
“I think he kind of worked through some things today,” Molitor said, “but combined with the amount of pitches he threw last night, I wasn’t going to use him today.”
The injury doesn’t sound serious, and Molitor said “I’m optimistic” that May could pitch as soon as Thursday.
“I’m hoping I get a green light with him,” the manager said, “but we’ll see.”
If May is unavailable again, the Twins could be in a bind in a close game, given all the pitchers used in this one. Closer Kevin Jepsen threw 25 pitches in blowing his first save chance as a Twin, and Glen Perkins is not expected to be available after throwing in the bullpen Wednesday.
The Twins had a good night defensively, with several memorable plays. Brian Dozier made a couple of them, helping to turn three double plays behind Ervin Santana, one of them started with a diving stop.
Then there was Torii Hunter’s long running catch into the right-field corner, potentially keeping Santana from getting into a jam in the second inning. And Eddie Rosario contributed a diving catch in left-center field, a play made as he dove away from home plate.
“There were a lot of good things tonight,” Molitor said of his team’s effort, which included a pair of late-inning rallies. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a way to win the game in extra innings.”
There were some mistakes, too, notably a pair of costly misjudgments by outfielder Aaron Hicks.
The first one came in the sixth inning, with the Twins still trailing, 2-1. Hicks was on second base with one out when Brian Dozier sent a line drive screaming at left fielder Tyler Collins. Hicks appeared to believe the ball was going to drop, then suddenly reversed direction as the catch was made. The throw from Collins doubled Hicks off second base and ended the inning with Joe Mauer due up.
“It was a pretty obvious read from the dugout. The ball looked like it was going to be caught off the bat,” Molitor said. “He just got out there in no-mans land a little bit and couldn’t recover.”
Hicks’ other miscue hurt even more. With a runner on first and the Twins trying to hold their 3-2 lead in the ninth, Collins rifled a single to right, where Hicks had moved when Byron Buxton entered the game. He fielded the ball on a hop, then turned and unleashed a throw to third base, high over the cutoff man’s head, in an effort to throw out pinch-runner Steven Moya.
The throw was late, though, and the play wasn’t close. But when he saw Hicks fire across the diamond, Collins raced to second base, putting the go-ahead run in scoring position. He eventually came home on Jefry Marte’s single.
“You get hyped up in the outfield, [but] you’ve got to remember, the chances of throwing a guy out from that angle, when you’re going to your left,” are low, Molitor said. “And [Collins is] the go-ahead run. It’s just basic fundamental baseball.”
Still, Molitor said, “I don’t like to beat it into the ground.” Coach Butch Davis spoke to Hicks about the errors, but the manager didn’t want to pile on with criticism, given that Hicks has played so well in the season’s second half.
“He’s trying to counteract [mistakes] by playing good baseball,” Molitor said. “Those things can hurt you. He’s well aware of that.”