A couple of notes following the Twins' 5-3 win over the White Sox on Monday:
Jose Berrios worked on all aspects of pitching while coming up through the Twins minor league system, was proud of fielding his position well and worked to hold runners on first base.
He also honed a pretty good pickoff move, which was on display in the sixth inning when he nabbed Yoan Moncada. The Twins were only up 3-2 at the time, the White Sox like to flaunt their speed, and Moncada had 10 steals in 13 attempts.
So, with Marwin Gonzalez at first base, Berrios went to work on Moncada. He threw three times to first during the sequence, and the third time was the charm, as he got Moncada by a hair before he got back to the bag.
Berrios believes his sequencing paid off there. Before the last pickoff throw, Berrios said he had not thrown to first base on consecutive times the entire game. The Twins were convinced Moncada was going to take off, and they worked their plan to perfection.
"We know the running game," Berrios said. "We thought he was going to run there. I picked it up and I did it again right away and we got him."
Berrios wheeled toward first and gave Gonzalez a perfect throw that allowed him to slap a tag on Moncada quickly.
"He's super quick," Gonzalez said, "and he throws to the base. Easy to tag."
Moncada was the second out of the inning. Berrios then struck out Eloy Jimenez to end the inning, and he pumped his fist as he left the field. The Twins got a two-run single from Luis Arraez in the bottom of the inning to take a 5-2 lead.
The play forced me to look up pickoff stats, which I probably haven't done since the 2006 World Cup. It was Berrios' third pickoff of the season and sixth of his career. The three pickoffs allowed him to move into a tie for 10th in Major League Baseball. I was stunned to find out that Cleveland's Zac Pleasac, who has made just 19 starts in the majors this season, leads the league with six pickoffs. And he's a righthander too. The next eight pitchers on the list are lefthanded.
Lucas Giolito is 2-2 with a 3.24 ERA against the Twins this season. That includes a complete game shutout of them on Aug. 21 at Target Field that was a signature performance. So everyone was curious how Giolito would do against the Twins on Tuesday.
The White Sox announced after Monday's game that Giolito has been shut down for the remainder of the season because of a lat strain. Surely, Chicago is going to protect their prized possession. Lefthander Ross Detwiler will start in Giolito's place. Detwiler is a 1-1 with a 6.43 ERA in four appearances (two starts) against the Twins this season. The Twins are batting a collective .349 against Detwiler in their careers. Nelson Cruz is 5-for-8 with three homers off of him. C.J. Cron is 6-for-13 against him. He might talk his way into the lineup.