CLEVELAND — Jake Odorizzi was upset about Friday’s game being cancelled. He had arrived around 6:45 pm on Thursday and was looking forward to starting against the Cleveland Indians. Now the 27 pitches he threw in a 2-2 game no longer exist, according to Major League Baseball.
“I think how it turned out is pretty shitty,” he said. “They have their two guys going the next two days regardless. They didn’t really care about that. We have a bullpen day and then José [Berrios] day. I’m not saying it was motivation, but it doesn’t really affect them as much as it would affect us.”
Cleveland has Mike Clevinger slated to pitch against Minnesota in game one and it’ll be a bullpen effort in the nightcap. It will be two bullpen games for the Twins, meaning a surprising strength for them late in the season is now going to be put to the test.
“This is a pretty unique experience,” said Baldelli. “I don’t know if I’ve seen the two bullpen days in one day but I think we have the personnel to make it work.”
It’s also an odd way to determine a pennant race. The Twins arrived in Northeast Ohio 3.5 games up on the Tribe. Now they’ll need to rely on their relievers to keep themselves ahead in the AL Central.
“Exactly, so if you can burn another team’s starter then go for it,” said Odorizzi out of frustration with the decision, which was made by a combination of the Twins, Indians, the umpires and MLB, but not the players. “I say that, who knows if that’s true or not. That’s just how it ends up playing out, it just sucks. Like I said, I’m frustrated because I wanted to pitch against these guys, and that opportunity is gone now.”
In many ways, the Twins were fortunate the Friday game got rained out. With the severe weather it seemed logical that Minnesota would rather push the game to Saturday, where they could play a doubleheader. It would allow them to get some rest, and give players who are close to returning from injury one more day to get well.
“There was certainly no perfect option,” said Baldelli. “This is Cleveland. No one knows anything about the weather and feels any confidence about it.”
The rain delay on Thursday forced the Minnesota Twins to start their final game against the Washington Nationals at 7:30 p.m. The game dragged on and ended around 11:15 p.m. The team got on the plane, crossed into the Eastern Time Zone and arrived in Cleveland after 5:00 a.m. for a crucial three-game series against the Indians. They could use the rest.
“There are definitely some positives and some negatives to both teams, certainly for us with this game being called,” said Baldelli. “Sitting here all night long and calling it at midnight would have been worse. Starting the game up again and putting one of our pitchers out there and getting pulled off the field due to rain that looked like it was coming, that would be significantly worse.
“Nobody wants that so I think getting back to the hotel as soon as possible and letting our guys get some rest is one of the most important factors here for us and we’ll show up ready to go tomorrow for two.”