Kids could have been watching, Byron
The YouTube broadcast for today’s game interviewed professional ballhawk Zack Hample for 15 minutes prior to the game before releasing him into the video’s comment section with other safe baseball-adjacent brands to make astute observations like “Nice hit!” and “That’s a long single!”.
And then things somehow got worse.
Logan Allen, hoping to recover from a rough outing against the Yankees last weekend, allowed three of the first four batters to homer. The only one who didn’t hit one out of the park, Nelson Cruz, walked and was brought home by Jorge Planco anyway.
Simply put, Allen had nothing today in his 1.1 innings of work. He tried throwing a bit of everything with his 52 pitches, but he induced just three swinging strikes, compared to eight balls in play. Four of those left Twins bats at 105.6 mph or greater, and all of them were at least 88.4 mph. The first-inning home runs by Josh Donaldson and Jorge Polanco traveled 423 and 426 feet, respectively.
With today’s debacle on record, Allen hasn’t pitched past the third inning since April 11, and he’s allowed at least three earned runs in each of his last three starts. Today was by far his worst start, though — his final pitching line was 1.1 IP, 5 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO, 3 HR.
Time and upside are still on Allen’s side here, but he’s off to a rough start and would probably benefit from some time in the bullpen or in Columbus when the Triple-A season starts.
Even after Allen left the game, Byron Buxton terrorized every Cleveland pitcher he faced, finishing with five hits and a triple shy of the cycle. His lead-off homer was one of his weakest hits — a mere 97.7 mph. He also doubled twice and singled twice, including beating out an infield dribbler that Cesar Hernandez couldn’t get to first base in time.
I don’t know if Cleveland is going to take a break from Logan Allen for yet — it’s far too early to give up on him entirely — but if they do, they may have been giving one of his potential replacements a trial run today. Sam Hentges threw 53 pitches in relief, 10 of which were either called strikes or whiffs. That’s not domination by any stretch, but the Twins were clearly locked in today and it was encouraging that Hentges at least used all three of his pitches — a four-seamer, curveball, and slider — at least 10 times.
Cleveland’s offense — well, they were there. It felt a lot like the no-hitter against the White Sox, but somehow worse. At least then you could feel the rising pressure of history and a perfect game on the line. This time around, Cleveland got just enough hits to avoid history, but not enough to make it matter. It wasn’t even your typically bad Cleveland offensive game — there weren’t a ton of stranded runners, and they only struck out four times. They were just held to a bunch of hard-hit groundballs by J.A. Happ’s healthy dose of 92 mph fastballs, sliders, changeups, and sinkers.
Amed Rosario was the lone encouraging spot on the lineup, racking up two hits a home run, his first since April 16. Jake Bauers also had a hit in the ninth inning. Woo.
- Nice hit!
- Cool beans!
Mitch Gaver hit the dang Miller Lite sign. Normally if anything comes close to this it’s foul, but he managed to wrap a dinger around the pole. Impressive and depressing.
— Ted (@tlschwerz) April 28, 2021
Cleveland has an off-day tomorrow, then will look to start a new winning streak Friday against the White Sox. Shane Bieber and Dallas Keuchel are scheduled to square off at 8:10 p.m. ET.