Mariners 6, Twins 4 - Ervin Santana is plummeting back to the mean

Mariners 6, Twins 4 - Ervin Santana is plummeting back to the mean

Twins

Mariners 6, Twins 4 - Ervin Santana is plummeting back to the mean

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JUNE 11: Byron Buxton #25 of the Minnesota Twins trots around the bases after hitting a solo home run against the San Francisco Giants in the top of the second inning at AT&T Park on June 11, 2017 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The Moment: Mike Zunino has been a real pest for the Twins, which is crazy, because Mike Zunino is not that good. Last night, Zunino hit a 3 run home run to turn the game from a somewhat manageable 2-0 affair to a 5-0 laugher. The game was not as close as it looked.

The Hero: This is going to be a bit of a surprise, or at least it was to me. The Twins were never in it, but there was one player who succeeded every time he came to the plate. Byron Buxton went 3-3 with a double, a home run and a walk. His never failing performance was enough to put him over the top as the hero of the game, despite never really getting to bat during a high pressure situation.

The Goat: This spot also belongs to a Twin. Ervin Santana only worked 5 innings, and was put behind the 8 Ball early, giving up a 2 run homer to the second batter of the game, Mitch Haniger, and then another 3 run blast to Zunino. Come back to us, superhero Santana.

The Soundtrack: The News. I’m listening to the news. Life was just too happy lately.

The Story: The Twins and Mariners have each had games in which they scored double digits to start the series, and when Mitch Haniger hit a two run blast as the 2nd batter in the game, it was easy to say “oh, here we go again”. Of course, it was made more tense when Mike Zunino hit his three run blast, and the Twins were down 5-0. And this was before the bullpen could even be tapped.

But, and this is crazy, the bullpen did fine. They worked 4 innings, allowing only one unearned run. Matt Belisle even came in to pitch, and was able to strike out two and get out of his inning unscathed. Santana, at one point, lost control of a fastball and plunked Zunino in the shoulder. Words were exchanged and warnings were given, but the Twins, I think, recognized that the issue was that Santana wasn’t himself that day. Fortunately, neither was the pen.

The Twins left two players out of the lineup in their big 20 run outburst on Tuesday, and both Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano tried to make up for it. Each had a home run with multiple hits. Eduardo Escobar, among the many players who couldn’t be contained Tuesday, also had a par of hits and an RBI on Wednesday. Don’t be surprised if he is in the lineup again today.

The Twins conclude their series with the Mariners this afternoon, and ERAs everywhere breathe a sigh of relief.

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