Graterol, Twins’ bullpen heating up
Brusdar Graterol, Twins pitcher (↑ UP)
The Twins committed to their bullpen during a critical doubleheader with the Cleveland Indians on Saturday. Multiple pitchers delivered en route to a pair of wins, including the 21-year-old flamethrower. Graterol retired all six batters he faced, striking out three to pick up his first win as a major leaguer while reaching triple digits on the gun seven times.
Tyler Duffey, Twins pitcher (↑ UP)
Duffey has been light’s out in recent weeks. He struck out all three batters he faced Tuesday during the Twins’ win over the Chicago White Sox, and hasn’t allowed a run since July 23. He has 33 strikeouts against just five walks over those 19 2/3 innings, and hasn’t walked a batter since Aug. 23.
Trevor May, Twins pitcher (↓ DOWN)
May allowed back-to-back home runs in the sixth Tuesday with the Twins nursing a 5-3 lead. The offense ultimately came through in the 12th inning, but it was a disconcerting performance from May, who’d been sharp in September. He’d gone five innings and four appearances without allowing a hit or an earned run, and has a 1.69 ERA with 26 strikeouts and four walks since the beginning of August, a string of 18 appearances and 21 1/3 innings.
Jose Berrios, Twins pitcher (↑ UP)
Berrios looked like a different pitcher in August, posting an 8.07 ERA in six starts from Aug. 6-Sept. 4, before bouncing back last Tuesday. He was solid again Monday, allowing five hits and two earned runs in 7 1/3 innings with eight strikeouts in a win over the White Sox.
Kirk Cousins, Vikings quarterback (↓ DOWN)
Cousins didn’t have much to do in Week 1, but the Minnesota Vikings needed more out of their $84 million quarterback after falling behind early in Week 2 against the Green Bay Packers. He wasn’t up to the task, completing just 14 passes on 32 attempts for 230 yards, two interceptions and a touchdown for a 52.9 passer rating, his third-worst as a starter. He attempted a baffling throw to the end zone with the Vikings poised to take the lead on first-and-goal late in the fourth quarter, tossing an interception from more than 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage that all but ended the game.
Dalvin Cook, Vikings running back (↑ UP)
Cook’s huge opener was no fluke. The Vikings went with a more balanced game plan against the Packers after attempting just 10 passes in Week 1, but Cook still got his, rushing 20 times for 154 yards and a touchdown. He added three catches for 37 yards, and is now up to 311 yards from scrimmage through two games, more than a third of his 11-game production from last season.
Napheesa Collier, Lynx forward (↑ UP)
The WNBA made it official Monday, a few days after the Associated Press made their pick, naming Collier rookie of the year. The first Lynx player to win the award since Maya Moore in 2011 and the fourth overall, Collier did it all during her first season, averaging 13.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.9 steals and 0.9 blocks per game, while shooting 49% from the field and 36.1% from 3-point range.
Ronald Torreyes, Twins infielder (↑ UP)
Signed last winter following stints with the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees, Torreyes made his most significant contribution to date Tuesday: Being hit by a pitch. White Sox pitcher Jose Ruiz plunked Torreyes with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 12th, handing the Twins a 9-8 win.