The rest of Major League Baseball might have forgotten about the Minnesota Twins, but the American League Central certainly hasn't. The Twins are one of the hottest teams in baseball and proved it over the last week, winning six of seven to storm back into the postseason picture.One of the
The rest of Major League Baseball might have forgotten about the Minnesota Twins, but the American League Central certainly hasn't. The Twins are one of the hottest teams in baseball and proved it over the last week, winning six of seven to storm back into the postseason picture.
One of the biggest reasons for the Twins' recent resurgence has been the exemplary work of their relief pitchers, and that trend continued as Minnesota earned the honor of "MLB Bullpen of the Week presented by The Hartford."
As part of the MLB Prevailing Moments program, each Monday throughout the 2017 season, MLB.com is honoring the Bullpen of the Week. An industry-wide panel of MLB experts, including legendary stats guru Bill James, constructed a metric based on James' widely renowned game-score formula, to provide a weekly measurement of team-bullpen performance.
Here's how the Bullpen Rating System is compiled for each week. For reference, a weekly score of 100 is considered outstanding:
• Add 1.5 points for each out recorded
• Add 1.5 points for each strikeout
• Add 5 points for a save
• Subtract 2 points for each hit allowed
• Subtract 4 points for each earned run allowed
• Subtract 2 points for each unearned run allowed
• Subtract 1 point for each walk
• Subtract 5 points for a blown save
The Twins' bullpen scored a rating of 114 points by allowing seven earned runs and 24 hits in 30 2/3 innings. Relievers struck out 32 batters against four walks, and they earned three saves.
The Twins won the week by bending a bit but never breaking. Rookie Trevor Hildenberger pitched in four games and struck out six in 3 2/3 innings. And despite giving up a home run in the team's only loss of the week, a 12-11 defeat at Detroit on Saturday, Hildenberger bounced back Sunday with his first career save. Other standouts included Tyler Duffey, who appeared in four games and threw 5 2/3 innings with only one unearned run allowed and six strikeouts, and Alan Busenitz, who threw 3 2/3 scoreless innings over two games.
The unexpected: The Twins had high hopes for left-handed starter Dietrich Enns in his Major League debut on Thursday against the Brewers, and Enns was in good shape after Minnesota's offense spotted him a 3-0 lead in the second inning and a 6-1 lead in the third. But Enns didn't stick around for long, lasting only 2 1/3 innings and giving up two runs (one earned) on five hits.
How they prevailed: Minnesota pitched in to preserve a 7-2 victory in what ended up being something of a "bullpen game," with four relievers -- Busenitz, Thomas Pressly, Duffey and Player Page for Buddy Boshers -- combining to shut out the Brewers for the remaining 6 2/3 innings, striking out six and walking only one.
The Twins relievers combined to finish ahead of the Angels and Mets, who tied for second place at 93 points, and the Brewers, who finished fourth for the week with a rating of 81.5.
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB.