The sequel, people always say, is usually worse than the original.
Friday’s Twins game was a show that somewhat resembled the one the two teams put on the night before. But as sequels often are, Friday night’s 10-2 loss to the Yankees at Yankee Stadium was a little worse than the original — and the original wasn’t so great for the Twins, either.
The Twins gave up six early runs on Thursday night before scoring three in the sixth and adding a couple late. On Friday, the Twins fell behind by even more — seven runs, including four in the first inning — and scored in the sixth inning yet again, though this time it was two runs and would be all the Twins would get.
Both games also featured the 2021 Twins debut of a veteran pitcher who turned in a multi-inning performance to help keep other arms in the bullpen fresh. On Thursday, it was Andrew Albers. On Friday, it was Kyle Barraclough.
Yankee Stadium, a familiar House of Horror for the Twins (54-69), was again on Friday, beginning in the first inning. It’s a frame that could’ve been worse if the Yankees (71-52) hadn’t run themselves into the third out at the plate.
Starter Charlie Barnes, in his fifth career appearance, began the game by walking the first two batters he faced. After striking out Joey Gallo, Barnes hit Giancarlo Stanton with a pitch to load the bases.
Then, the Yankees pounced. A Luke Voit single provided the first two runs of the game. It was the first of three hits for the Yankees in the inning. Barnes also issued another walk, the third one coming with the bases loaded to force in a run. Barnes gave up five walks and hit two batters in his outing.
“I gave way too many free bases today,” Barnes said. “It’s just something that can’t happen and it’s unacceptable and (I was) just trying to battle through that and get into the strike zone and make pitches when I needed to, but the biggest thing is you just can’t give away those free passes like that.”
The rookie gave up two more runs — both coming on an Aaron Judge home run — in the second and one more in the fourth, but he did manage to make it through five innings, something which looked unlikely after a 37-pitch first inning.
“Recently we’ve the start where we got one inning and we had to cover all those innings. We were really going to have trouble going out there to get him and grabbing him early in the ballgame,” Baldelli said. “We kind of had to lean on Charlie even though … there was a score disparity. We all knew that. But getting as many pitches and as many outs as we could was very important.”
The Twins broke though ever so slightly in the sixth, collecting three of the four hits they would have all night in that inning. Yankees starter Nestor Cortes Jr. worked seven innings, and the only two runs he gave up came on Josh Donaldson’s 17th home run of the year.
After that, the Twins turned to Barraclough, who gave up three runs on two home runs in two-plus innings as the Yankees put a game that felt out of hand since Barnes’ first inning firmly out of reach late.
“We lost a game which we were out there to win, but he was able to keep pitching, keep competing and I patted him on the back for that,” Baldelli said of Barnes.