It’s a good thing Brandon Marsh is living up to the hype, continuing to rake while playing great defense in center field. If he wasn’t, the Starling Marte for Steve Cishek deal would be looking even worse than it already does. About the only other thing worth hanging a hat on in that deal is that Marte is riding the pine in Chicago,
It’s easy to place the blame for this loss at the feet of Steve Cishek. After all, he is the one who allowed three runs in the ninth inning, while only being asked to record two outs. As it turned out, those runs were indeed the difference in the game. Add to that the fact that Cishek is piling up the meltdowns, and it simply becomes a knee-jerk reaction to hang the losses on him. However, Cishek was not alone tonight.
Arizona’s offense continues to sputter. Despite another strong performance by Marsh at the top of the order, the Diamondbacks simply could not score in this game. Some of that was due to solid work by the Twins’ starter, Matt Wisler. Still, it wasn’t like he was exactly fooling anyone. The two strikeouts in seven innings of work only give some indication of just how fortunate Wisler was in this game. There is a reason he is usually a reliever. His three-pitch mix spent most of the evening being hit hard by various Arizona batters. Unfortunately for the Diamondbacks, these hard hits were right at opposing defenders or simply ill-timed.
Madison Bumgarner had a decent enough outing. The veteran lefty pitched his way into the seventh inning before his tank simply ran out of gas. A 28-pitch fourth inning played a big part in Bumgarner not having the bullets to finish the seventh. Nick Ahmed taking a bad hop on a 100.8 mph grounder by Jorge Polanco did not help matters in that frame.
The Diamondbacks made the score closer than the game truly was when Daulton Varsho finally broke up the combined shutout bid by Minnesota. With one out and runners on first and second, Varsho was called on to pinch hit. He wasted no time, lacing the first pitch he saw into left center field for a double, scoring Carson Kelly on the play. Still, Arizona’s comeback bid wound up being too little too late.
Final Score: MIN 6 – AZ 3
Matt Wisler took home player of the game honors. Pitching seven shutout innings, he was primarily responsible for helping the Twins to cruise to a relatively easy victory. Tomorrow, a showdown between Jose Berrios and Zach Eflin will decide the series.