Thus far this season, the Twins have had 2 stars in their pitching rotation and 2 stars in their lineup. Thus far, they’ve compiled a 7-4 record, which is tied with the Indians for first in the AL Central. On the night that Joe Mauer became the third player to collect 2,000 hits with the Minnesota Twins, Jose Berrios pitched 7 shutout innings while tying his career high in strikeouts with 11. Along with Byron Buxton, they were tonight’s stars.

Berrios had all of his pitches working tonight. His fastball sat at 94 most of the night with good movement. That’s difficult enough to hit on a night like tonight. It’s virtually unhittable when he’s spotting it wherever he wants to put it. Berrios still isn’t 24 years old but he’s looking like a polished veteran this season.

The Twins’ rotation has another workhorse in Jake Odorizzi. Thus far, he’s shown the ability to mystify hitters, throwing his fastball where he wants. That sets up the hitter for his curve. Tuesday night, Odorizzi outdueled and outlasted former AL Cy Young award winner Dallas Keuchel. Thus far, Berrios leads the Twins starters with a 2.18 ERA, with Odorizzi trailing with a 2.20 ERA.

Still, the night belonged to Joe Mauer. In addition to collecting his 2,000th hit, Mauer also drove in 3 runs while going 2-for-2 with runners in scoring position. Watch Mauer’s 2,000th hit in this video:

Then compare that with Mauer’s first hit in the majors:

The hits come on opposites sides of 2nd base but they’re virtually identical in terms of Joe’s swing. The only difference between Joe’s first hit and Joe’s 2,000th hit was the location of the pitches. With all of the fireworks, this might mean the most to manager Paul Molitor:

This winter, I spoke with a friend who follows minor league baseball closely. This friend said that the Twins have a ton of minor league arms to put together a strong bullpen for years to come. Thus far this year, Ryan Pressly hasn’t allowed an earned run while striking out 7 hitters in 6.1 innings. Tonight, Pressly’s fastball topped out at 98 mph and his curve was diving. He isn’t a dominant pitcher like Aroldis Chapman or Andrew Miller but he’s got quite the arm.

This time last year, Gabriel Moya was part of the Diamondback’s AA team. This season, he earned a spot in the Twins bullpen. He’ll need some experience but he’s got the stuff to become a reliable middle reliever. His changeup is special.

The way the weather forecast looks, this might’ve been the only game they’ll play in this series. Still, the Twins have to feel good about their start.

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