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Jake Odorizzi just can’t catch a break this season.
Nearly a month after Odorizzi’s last start was cut short when he was hit by a comebacker that sent him to the injured list, the Twins right-hander’s first outing off the IL also met an early end on Wednesday night against
Nearly a month after Odorizzi’s last start was cut short when he was hit by a comebacker that sent him to the injured list, the Twins right-hander’s first outing off the IL also met an early end on Wednesday night against the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field, when he exited during the fourth inning of an effective start with an apparent issue affecting his right middle finger.
As has been the case throughout the season, the Twins’ depth rose to the occasion. This time, it was rookie Cody Stashak who entered the game cold against one of the best offenses in baseball and delivered 2 1/3 perfect innings of relief. Minnesota got home runs from Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton and Miguel Sanó, and that was more than enough as Odorizzi, Stashak and the Twins’ bullpen held the Sox to two hits in a 5-1 win.
Minnesota now trails Chicago by two games in the American League Central.
With time ticking down toward the end of the regular season, the Twins were counting on a healthy and effective Odorizzi to show his readiness for the postseason. He looked to be firmly on the right track before this latest setback.
Odorizzi got six swing-and-misses through 3 2/3 innings as he held the White Sox to only a José Abreu solo homer and Tim Anderson single alongside a walk and catcher’s interference. His fastball averaged 93 mph, per Statcast, which was in line with his 2019 All-Star season, and he had three strikeouts. He generated the contact in the air typically indicative of his strong performances until the issue with his pitching hand appeared to flare up during the third.
With a 2-1 count to James McCann with two outs in the fourth inning, Odorizzi’s issue appeared to escalate to the point where he needed a mound visit from head athletic trainer Michael Salazar, and he was removed from the game after throwing 66 pitches, including 40 strikes.
It was only Odorizzi’s fourth start of the season due to an assortment of maladies, starting with the intercostal strain at the end of Summer Camp that sidelined him for the first two weeks of the regular season. He made three starts in mid-August before he was hit by an Alex Gordon batted ball on Aug. 21 that sent him to the IL for another three weeks with a chest contusion.