Three thoughts from LEN3 following the Twins' 8-4, gut-punching loss to the Royals:
GET OFF OF HILDY: Got a lot of, "Trevor Hildenberger has been exposed," tweets after the game, which is the classic over-reaction. Hildenberger has to avoid moments like Friday's but he has a funky sinker, he throws 93, he working on throwing his pitches from different arm angles. But his best trait is that he's not afraid to go after hitters. The Twins saw this early in his minor league career. Doug Mientkiewicz lobbied for him to be promoted to the majors when he was at Class AA Chattanooga. I'm not sure if he's a bell cow closer. He can be a good set up man and an occasional closer, to me. But he's going to be an asset to the bullpen in the late innings. That pitch to Perez was right on the corner of the strike zone, and Perez went out and hammered it. The problem with that inning came down to the things that happened before the Perez at bat. Just looked at the RBI single by Whit Merrifield, and the ball was outside the strike zone. Merrifield went after it anyway. When that happens, Hildenberger might have to be a little more unpredictable with his pitch selection. But that's correctable.
BERRIOS WAS BETTER: Jose Berrios was in line to end a six-start winless streak before all the shenanigans took place in the ninth. He curveball was better. A couple were filthy. His fastball had good movement. And his changeup got better as the game went along. And he had good command on Friday. "I felt really good out there today," Berrios said. "At the begriming of the game it was very humid out there. I (had trouble) gripping the ball because of the humidity. After the fourth inning, everything felt better." That was during a streak in which Berrios retired nine straight batters. It could be a sign that the six-man rotation the Twins are using is working.
BIG RELAY FOR ROGERS: Thought we were witnessing the end of Taylor Rogers' scoreless streak in the eighth when Jorge Bonifacio doubled to left and Ryan O'Hearn took off from first, rounded second and was waved home. But Robbie Grossman got the ball to Jorge Polanco, who then relayed home to Willians Astudillo in time to tag O'Hearn out. Personally, I was surprised that A. O'Hearn was waived and B. O'Hearn was not lifted for a pinch runner before that. But Rogers' scoreless innings streak is alive at 20.2 innings. 

Older Post

Twins get rematch with Lopez six days after near perfect-game

Newer Post

Twins catcher Garver diagnosed with concussion