Two shortstops, no walks: Twins infield duo refuses to draw a free pass this season

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One question facing the Twins coming into the season was whether they’d stick with Eduardo Escobar at shortstop or go with Danny Santana there after he thrived as a rookie playing out of position in center field. First-year manager Paul Molitor decided on Santana and has used Escobar in a super-utility role in both the infield and outfield.

And neither guy has drawn a walk all season.

Here’s a list of the MLB hitters with the most plate appearances without drawing a walk this year:

94 – Danny Santana, Twins
62 – Eduardo Escobar, Twins
30 – Geovany Soto, White Sox

They’re lapping the field.

Santana’s last walk came on September 20 of last season, which was 122 plate appearances ago. Escobar’s last walk came on September 3 of last season, which was 111 plate appearances ago. Together during those 233 combined plate appearances Santana and Escobar have totaled 60 strikeouts and zero walks (and a .625 OPS).

And as Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press notes, Escobar also failed to draw a walk in 61 spring training plate appearances and Santana drew a grand total of one walk in 59 spring training plate appearances. Add it all up and they’ve drawn one walk in their last 353 plate appearances.

To put that in some context: Bryce Harper has already drawn 24 walks in just 113 plate appearances this season. Their teammate, Joe Mauer, leads the Twins with 13 walks in 110 plate appearances. Across baseball 55 different hitters have drawn at least 10 walks this year. And there are 19 different pitchers who’ve drawn walks as hitters this season.

Santana and Escobar? They keep hacking.

Video: Cubs score run on Pirates’ appeal throw

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2019 has been one long nightmare for the Pirates. They’re in last place in the NL Central, have had multiple clubhouse fights, and can’t stop getting into bench-clearing incidents. The embarrassment continued on Sunday as the club lost 16-6 to the Cubs, suffering a three-game series sweep in Chicago.

One of those 16 runs the Pirates allowed was particularly noteworthy. In the bottom of the third inning, with the game tied at 5-5, the Cubs had runners on first and second with two outs. Tony Kemp hit a triple to right field, allowing both Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward to score to make it 7-5. The Pirates thought one of the Cubs’ base runners didn’t touch third base on their way home. Reliever Michael Feliz attempted to make an appeal throw to third base, but it was way too high for Erik González to catch, so Kemp scored easily on the error.

The Pirates lost Friday’s game to the Cubs 17-8 and Saturday’s game 14-1. They were outscored 47-15 in the three-game series. According to Baseball Reference, since 1908, the Pirates never allowed 14+ runs in three consecutive games and only did it two games in a row twice before this series, in 1949 and in 1950. The Cubs scored 14+ in three consecutive games just one other time, in 1930.