The Minnesota Twins, owner of the worst record in the American League and on pace to lose 100 games this season, walked into Progressive Field on Friday night and flat out embarrassed a Cleveland team that couldn’t have looked less competitive in a 10-0 loss.
It was a complete disaster, and Triston McKenzie was the catalyst. Aside from one start against the Royals, McKenzie has been abysmal in the month of May and this Friday night start was his pièce de résistance. He surrendered a solo shot to Rob Refsnyder in the third inning before coming completely unglued in the fourth. McKenzie had no feel whatsoever for the strike zone, regardless of what pitch he was throwing, and ended up walking four in the fourth inning alone.
He walked Gabe Kepler to start the inning and then loaded the bases with a single by Alex Kirilloff and a walk to Miguel Sanó. The next at-bat, Cleveland had a chance to turn a 3-6-1 double play on a sharp grounder to Jake Bauers, but the throw from Amed Rosario was low and McKenzie, covering first base, couldn’t get a glove on it. Two runs scored on the play to make it 3-0 in favor of the Twins before McKenzie promptly loaded the bases again with a pair of walks.
Terry Francona had seen enough and came out to collect him with one out.
Phil Maton entered with the bases loaded and made sure to bring a can of gasoline with him from the bullpen. He gave up four hits, including two doubles, and a walk, recording only one out while allowing seven runs to score. Though to his credit, he was only responsible for four of them. Jean Carlos Mejía made his big league debut with two outs and managed to record the elusive third out of the inning by striking out Trevor Larnach, but the damage was done and it was catastrophic.
Our guys crossed home plate in the 4th. pic.twitter.com/rWrnoHmA29— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) May 22, 2021
Erasing a 10-0 deficit is no small feat for any lineup, but it is an especially laughable ask of Cleveland’s feast-or-famine lineup. They couldn’t score a single run off Twins starter Randy Dobnak, who had been optioned to Triple-A St. Paul at the start of May after carrying a bloated 8.16 ERA through the first month of the season. Dobnak pitched a season-high six scoreless innings, giving up three hits and two walks while recording five strikeouts. Cleveland simply had no answer for the sinker and slider he relied on almost exclusively.
The team finished the night with five hits.
The lone highlight was the debut of Mejía. He pitched 2.1 scoreless innings, only allowing an infield single en route to racking up five strikeouts. Mejía recorded a 39% CSW% with his two-seam fastball, and complemented it well with his four other pitches.