Monday, April 15, 2019

Trevor Hildenberger, fireman

The bullpen gave the Twins a bumpy ride this weekend, but the late leads were held and the Twins got their chilly two-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers.

Blake Parker, who appears to be Rocco Baldelli's preferred ninth-inning arm, had consecutive appearances in which he lacked command of his preferred out pitch. He got through the first one on Saturday, but was pulled with one out and the bases loaded Sunday. Trevor Hildenberger threw seven pitches for two strikeouts and had a nice line postgame to discribe it:

Back in the day, before the term "closer" was invented, relief aces were known as "firemen." "Small kitchen fire. Baking soda," is evocative of that old bit of baseball lingo.

Hildenberger has now inherited 14 runners this young seasons. Only three have scored, all in that ugly meltdown inning against the Mets when Jake Odorizzi, Andrew Vasquez and Hildenberger couldn't throw strikes. 

For what it's worth, the Twins have five saves -- three for Parker, one for Taylor Rogers and now one for Hildenberger. Of Baldelli's four late-inning options (those three plus Trevor May), Parker is the one in whom I have the least faith. It may be that Parker just needs some warmer weather to rediscover his splitter. At any rate, the guys who got the Twins out of jams late were Rogers and Hildenberger. The roleless bullpen rolls on.

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