Twins fire on all cylinders, take rubber match
Some days go well, and you score 10 runs and blow out the AL Central favorites. Other days, everything goes wrong at the beginning, and the game is essentially over after two innings.
That is what happened Sunday afternoon, as the Twins crushed the White Sox. 14-2, to win the first series of the season.
Reynaldo López got the start for the South Siders, and he retired the first two batters he faced. Unfortunately, that is as good as things got for the White Sox, as the wheels fell off shortly after that.
With two outs and nobody on base in the first, the next four Twins did this: walk, double, walk, grand slam. In the blink of an eye, the Twins had jumped out to a 4-0 lead due to a Jake Cave grand slam. López then allowed a single, and he left the game with an injury. Best wishes to López, and hopefully, this does not turn out to be a long-term injury.
After a 1-2-3 bottom of the first, things went from bad to worse in the top of the second. Gio González, who recorded the third out in the top of the first (wait, he actually threw a pitch for the White Sox after all these years? Let's go!), returned for the second.
Though González retired his first batter in a White Sox uniform with a strikeout, the second inning went poorly. By the end of it, the Twins led 9-0, and Eloy Jiménez was out of the game due to an injury after colliding with the wall. No need to go into further details. Just a horrible inning that put the game out of reach.
The Twins reached double digits when Nelson Cruz launched a home run (again?) in the fourth inning, as he continued to drill the White Sox. Cruz is a very difficult hitter to solve, and White Sox pitchers will need to throw out whatever scouting reports they have on him.
The highlight of this game occurred in the bottom of the fifth, when this happened:
It is still very early, but it is great to see Luis Robert crushing the ball right off the bat in the majors. Not many White Sox prospects have raced out of the gates to begin their careers like Robert did this series.
During the latter portion of the game, the White Sox provided an update on the status of the injuries.
Oh, yeah, and Cruz launched a three-run homer to make the score 13-2 in the eighth, because of course he did. I hate intentional walks, but if there was a time to issue one, I suppose that time would be when a White Sox pitcher is facing Cruz.
So, nearly everything that could go wrong went wrong during today's 14-2 loss. But, as Ken Harrelson has said, you're always going to win 60, and you're always going to lose 60. What you do with the other 42 is what really matters. The 2020 variation of that might be something like, "You're always going to win 18, and you're always going to lose 18. What you do with the other 24 is what really matters."
Well, there is no doubt that this game was one of those bad 18. Time to recover and take on Cleveland.