Cleveland’s bats went AWOL and Zach McAllister struggled with his control Saturday in a very brief outing as the Twins beat the Tribe, 3-0 to even the four-game series at Target Field. The loss drops the Tribe to 59-80, 16.5 games behind the first-place White Sox in the AL Central with 23 games left to play.
The first two innings were fairly uneventful, though the Indians got two runners on in both frames. The trouble began in the bottom of the third. Ben Revere got things going with a one-out single and McAllister hit former Indian Jamey Carroll with a pitch; both then advanced on a double steal. A Joe Mauer RBI single and a Josh Willingham sacrifice fly put the Twins up 2-0. It took McAllister 49 pitches to get out of the inning—the final two batters, Justin Morneau and Ryan Doumit, combined to see 25 pitches—and he was removed from the game before the fourth.
Chris Seddon entered the game and kept the Twins’ bats at bay in the fourth but ran into trouble in the third; he gave up two hits and a walk before being removed from the game. Scott Maine came on to make his Indians debut and inherited a bases-loaded no-outs situation. He gave up a bases-loaded walk to Morneau to put Minnesota up 3-0.
That was all the scoring for Saturday. Frank Herrmann, Tony Sipp, and Scott Barnes kept Minnesota quiet in the sixth, seventh, and eighth, respectively. Meanwhile, Cole De Vries threw six shutout innings and Brian Duensing, Jared Burton, and Glen Perkins combined for three perfect frames of relief as the Twins won 3-0.
The Good: Shin-Soo Choo went 2-for-4. That’s all I got.
The Bad: Let’s start with McAllister. The Twins tagged him for two runs (both earned) in three innings pitched, but the story runs deeper than that. He gave four batters free trips to first base (three walks plus a hit-by-pitch) and took 87 pitches to get through three innings. That’s not a sustainable pace for success at any level.
Meanwhile, the Indians got shut out on four hits. And the first batter Scott Maine faced in a Cleveland uniform worked a bases-loaded walk. Ouch.
The “Huh?”: Cole DeVries is 27 years old and had never seen the major leagues until this year. He entered Saturday having given up about a homer every five innings, a FIP of 5.06, and a ZIPS rest-of-season projected 5.54 ERA. Yet he was able to completely shut down the Indians’ lineup. He’s not even left-handed!
Interesting Tidbit: Jamey Carroll entered Saturday with a .174 batting average against the Indians in his career and an equal slugging percentage. He’s faced all 30 teams in his 11-year MLB career, and both numbers are the worst he’s posted against any MLB team.