Game #8 Observations: Twins Beat Up Clevinger, Indians Offense Quiet in 4-1 Setback in Minnesota

Zach Shafron

The Cleveland Indians faced off against the Minnesota Twins in what was the second game of a four-game road series. RHP Mike Clevinger pitched for the Tribe and RHP Randy Dobnak started for the Twins.

There was a bit of a question about if the game was going to be played due to the COVID-19 issues with the team that resided in the away locker room before the Indians, the St. Louis Cardinals. However, the teams did square off.

The Tribe wasn’t able to do much on the offense side of the ball yet again, falling to the Twins at Target Field by a final 4-1.

Here’s some observations from the three-run setback:

Clevinger’s First Inning Struggle

Clevinger had 38 pitches in only the first inning alone, while giving up three runs on a Max Kepler solo home run and an Eddie Rosario two-run double. The Twins started the second inning with a home run by Alex Avila, too. The Indians found themselves down 4-0 in just the beginning of the affair.

“I think the biggest thing is I like to get after it, and you can’t do that right now,” Clevinger said. “You try to balance your workload, the result tonight was four runs and we’ll just go from there.”

It’s the second time in two games that Clevinger had some first inning struggles, as in the Royals game he allowed homers to both Jorge Soler and Salvador Perez.

Against the Twins and that lineup, not having his best stuff was fairly obvious, and Clevinger needs to work out better mechanics before his next start.

“They are stacked top to bottom, and they stacked lefties against me, and they played their cards against me right tonight,” Clevinger said.

In the third, the Indians threatened but were unable to put anything on the board. Clevinger went four innings allowing those four runs on six hits. The hard-thrower certainly did a nice job of not allowing even more runs to score early on in the game.

Maton’s Debut

Indians righty relief pitcher Phil Maton got his first action of the year in relief for the Tribe to start the fifth inning. The Twins stranded two runners and after five innings, the score remained 4-0 Minnesota on top.

Twins pitcher Randy Dobnak went five innings giving up three hits and zero runs.

Dobnak was good for the five innings he threw, and he walked a pair and struck out four. He turned it over to the pen, and they were able to keep the Tribe in check allowing just a run.

Four Twins relief pitchers kept the Indians in check, and Taylor Rogers pitched a five-pitch ninth inning for the save.

Still Searching for Offense

In the first seven games, the Indians only had two runs from the sixth inning on. Franmil Reyes topped a ball that got through the middle of the infield and it ended up scoring Jose Ramirez and making the score 4-1 Twins in the sixth.

Relief pitcher Oliver Perez finished the sixth inning with no runs allowed after runners made it to second and third. The Twins, as a whole, had six men left on base in those last three innings combined.

Next, RHP Cam Hill retired the side in order to end the seventh.

The Indians continue to struggle with the bottom of the order. None of the hitters 6-9 in the batting order got a hit the entire night against Minnesota pitching.

Minnesota had nine hits in total, the Indians only managed five in the contest. The next game between these two is at 7:10 on Saturday night. 

On the year, Minnesota is 5-2 and the Indians are 5-3. If the Indians want to contend, hitters in that batting order have to start producing.