The Moment: In the first inning, the Twins got to Derek Holland. Well, he got to himself, and then Jose Abreu got to his own pitcher by missing a throw, but THEN the Twins got to him. After Joe Mauer drove in a run, Eduardo Escobar crushed a Holland pitch for three runs and an early 4-0 lead. It sure would be tough for Chicago to come back from that, right?! Huh?
The Hero: Chicago area baseball fans invested a lot for this game. They had to get to the South Side, pay for tickets and parking, give up their evening, cheer for the lesser team when the Cubs are right there, and suffer through a team that has been in the doldrums just as long as the Twins. It is perhaps a sense of charity that the Twins pitching staff and management felt in allowing them to get to a point where Brandon Kintzler had to come in and work a 5 pitch out to secure the victory. At least the Twins let Sox fans see a good game.
The Goat: Derek Holland won’t get pinned with all the runs as earned because of Abreu’s whiff, but come on. He gave up a three run dinger. Those runs were earned and we all know it.
The Soundtrack: Pop Culture Happy Hour – You can try all as you might to find a way to get away from it all, but then you get to an otherwise cheery podcast talking about some dismal post apocalyptic TV show.
The Story: The Twins and White Sox don’t make many trades with one another, but they made one really good one for Twins fans a few years ago, when they dealt Francisco Liriano to Chicago for Eduardo Escobar and Pedro Hernandez. This has worked out well for the Twins. Escobar’s performance today alone might have made the deal worth it. He started his game off by hitting a three run homer, nearly back to the Twin Cities. It was a rather monumental blast.
The Twins tacked on some additional runs, thanks in part to Brian Dozier and Miguel Sano cranking out some big flies. Then, believe it or not, Escobar stepped up again and hit an RBI double. Escobar was acquired as a potential middle infielder, but he was the DH today. He was projected to have single digit homers this year, but he already has 4. When people speak of the offense, I don’t think many people were considering Escobar.
Escobar now has collected half a win of WAR already just this season. That’s as much as Liriano accrued in his time with the White Sox. This was a good trade. It’s hard to believe the Twins were ever in a position where they could trade away pitching, isn’t it? The work against the White Sox was solid for Phil Hughes at the beginning of the game, but it broke down in the middle innings. Tyler Duffey and Matt Belisle almost gave it away before Brandon Kintzler came in to save the day.
Speaking of pitching, the Twins will be calling up Jose Berrios to start on Saturday. Here’s hoping that he can play up to his expectations, and not so much at the level of last season. That would be good.