Twins 9, Royals 1 – The Twins are fun again

Kansas City Royals v Minnesota Twins
Twins 9, Royals 1 - The Twins are fun again
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – APRIL 05: Hector Santiago #53 of the Minnesota Twins reacts to hitting Alex Gordon #4 of the Kansas City Royals with a pitch during the first inning of the game on April 5, 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Royals 9-1. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

The Moment: The 7th inning, where the Twins scored 6 runs and had a couple of big hits, was a lot of fun. That said, the Twins won by 8 runs and ultimately, the game winning run was scored in the 2nd inning. The Twins plated three runs, and it was the second, scored on this Eddie Rosario single, that was the moment that the Twins put their foot down for good. The pressure was off, so maybe that’s why the Twins did so well the rest of the game as wel.

The Hero: Hector Santiago only worked 5 innings, and was pulled after allowing a hit in the 6th, but he also only allowed just the one run with 4 walks and 4 hits. Paul Molitor should be credited with pulling Santiago before everything completely fell apart.

The Goat: Nate Karns used to be a starter, and when he was, he was generally regarded as a prospect with a bright future. On this day, he gave up a bases loaded triple to Miguel Sano. In that regard, there must be brighter days ahead.

The Soundtrack: Seriously, usually I’ll be listening to some jammin’ tunes, but today, I have BBC 5 on, talking about the turnaround of Leicester City after a rough start. Maybe the Twins will be a turnaround twice now as well.

The Story: Another big day for the Twins to start the season as they put some serious distance between themselves and the Royals late in the game this afternoon. Even before their later surge, they’d already earned a multi run lead with a 3 run 2nd inning. The big 7th inning was what everyone will be talking about, however.

The Twins had the bases loaded late in the game again, just like last night. Instead of a handful of walks, they got a Miguel Sano triple. I can speak from experience: It was terrific. Jason Castro took his 4th walk of the game and Eduardo Escobar clubbed a three run home run. Ultimately, the Twins tripled their run total, thanks to a couple swings of the bat.

It wasn’t the swinging that drove the offense for most of the game, though. I noted that Castro had 4 walks through the game. The team had 9 walks, one for every run the Twins scored. The Twins might not have many.300 hitters, but if they can keep walking at this pace, it might not matter. Even better than a few singles, the walks drive up pitch counts. It might not be too relevant at this time of year, but plate patience is going to be a key as the year wears on.

Paul Molitor decided to empty out the bullpen in this one. Initially, I thought this was some more bad management, akin to Monday’s bunt-a-thon in the 7th inning, but this time, there is some defense. The Twins used 6 pitchers, which is generally some pretty shoddy bullpen management for a team with an 8 run lead, but the Twins also hadn’t played much reacently. There are some guys that just needed to break in their 2017 season.

Let’s just hope it doesn’t happen again, otherwise Molitor is going to chew up his ‘pen by May.

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