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Article: Believe in Byron Buxton

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:33 AM
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Article: Rundown: Mauer Being a Pain, Prospect Lists, Phi...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:19 AM
For as many words as there have been written and said about Joe Mauer, his legacy won’t truly be determined by what anybody outside the g...
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CLE 8, MIN 1: Where Did the Runs Go?

After an 8-1 loss at Cleveland, the Twins have failed to score more than two runs for the fourth-consecutive game. They’ve now tallied a total of six runs over their past four games. Cleveland had its stars shining in full light in what ended up being a convincing victory.
Image courtesy of © Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs)
Starting Pitcher: 39 Game Score, 5.1 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 4 K, 3 BB, 58.3% strikes (60 of 103 pitches)
Home Runs: Cave (7)
Multi-Hit Games: Mauer (2-for-4, 2B)
WPA of 0.1 or higher: None
WPA of -0.1 or lower: Rosario -.101, Gibson -.126
Attached Image: WinChart828.png
Kyle Gibson didn’t give up much loud contact, as all eight hits he surrendered were singles, but he also walked three batters and was consistently getting into trouble. But, as has been the case frequently of late, it didn’t matter much what the pitching staff does when you can’t get much offense going.

Carlos Carrasco gets overshadowed by Corey Kluber, but he’s a pretty incredible pitcher in his own right. He’s been among the best handful of starters in the American League over the past five seasons, and tonight he had his A game working. Carrasco held Minnesota scoreless over 7 2/3 innings and racked up 11 strikeouts.

When Cleveland’s first four hitters are rolling (Francisco Lindor, Michael Brantley, Jose Ramirez and Edwin Encarnacion), this is a very difficult team to beat. That quartet combined to go 11-for-17.

Joe Mauer had a nice game, going 2-for-4 with a double, and Jake Cave delivered the Twins’ only run with a home run with one out in the ninth inning. Tyler Austin was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.

Bullpen Usage
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Attached Image: Bullpen828.png
Next Three Games
Wed at CLE, 6:10 pm CT: Kohl Stewart vs. Adam Plutko
Thu at CLE, 12:10 pm CT: Jake Odorizzi vs. Mike Clevinger
Fri at TEX, 7:05 pm CT: TBD

Last Three Games
OAK 6, MIN 2: Austin Goes Deep Twice in Loss
OAK 6, MIN 2: Gonsalves Gets Burned on Mistake Pitch
OAK 7, MIN 1: Puckett 2,304, Mauer 2,086, Carew 2,085


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31 Comments

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Kelly Vance
Aug 28 2018 08:58 PM

OK, well our offense went AWOL tonight. But it didn't matter because our defense was not just bad but stupid. Defense includes pitching -- and strategy  -- or lack of same.

 

I think Molly owes an apology to Gibson.

 

I mean, someone explain to me the brilliance of putting on the shift to a lefty pull hitter, with only Eddie on the left side of the field and then pitching outside.

 

I couldn't believe it. Outside. Fine to do that in a regular defensive alignment, but with the shift on?  

 

And then, they did it again.

 

Alluvasudden we are down 3-0. Gibson looked confused and he should be. What he shoulda done is call Garver out and say, "I'm throwing in if we have the switch on, get it? Just set up outside and pretend it got away from me."

 

That's what I woulda done.  

 

Man, who encourages the batter to hit it towards an open side of the field? 

 

Or am I wrong?

 

    • h2oface likes this
This is a pretty disinterested looking bunch right now. Sadly I am talking about the players. The fans have been disinterested a lot longer. The defense has been horrible. All over the field. Never ever did I think at the end of the 2018 season would this be the product that the Twins put on the field. Ugh!
    • mikelink45 likes this

Magic Number Update:

 

Division: 46

 

Wild Card: 49

 

For the negative thinkers in the room

 

Cleveland Magic Number: 18

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theBOMisthebomb
Aug 29 2018 05:13 AM
Obviously, this club is just playing out the string and cashing a paycheck. Hopefully the September call ups will breath some life into the rest of the season.
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tarheeltwinsfan
Aug 29 2018 05:48 AM

We've been here before. Life is still good.

    • Vanimal46 likes this
Gibson had a rough month of August. 5 starts, 29 IP, 5.28 ERA, 21/15 K/BB.

 

OK, well our offense went AWOL tonight. But it didn't matter because our defense was not just bad but stupid. Defense includes pitching -- and strategy  -- or lack of same.

 

I think Molly owes an apology to Gibson.

 

I mean, someone explain to me the brilliance of putting on the shift to a lefty pull hitter, with only Eddie on the left side of the field and then pitching outside.

 

I couldn't believe it. Outside. Fine to do that in a regular defensive alignment, but with the shift on?  

 

And then, they did it again.

 

Alluvasudden we are down 3-0. Gibson looked confused and he should be. What he shoulda done is call Garver out and say, "I'm throwing in if we have the switch on, get it? Just set up outside and pretend it got away from me."

 

That's what I woulda done.  

 

Man, who encourages the batter to hit it towards an open side of the field? 

 

Or am I wrong?

I am starting to sound like a Molitor apologist, but lets talk about Pickler.He is our stats specialist on the coaching staff.Here is a key statement from the Pioneer Press introduction to Pickler:

"Pickler’s duties will include outfield instruction as well as advising all coaches and players on game preparation and strategy. Set to turn 41 in January, he also will coordinate communication between the major leagues and player development."

 

He is the conduit between FO and Manager.As the complaints about Molitor continue its time to start looking to specific responsibilities and individuals. 

 

Obviously, this club is just playing out the string and cashing a paycheck. Hopefully the September call ups will breath some life into the rest of the season.

I do not think this is the case.There are a lot of jobs on the line.What we have is a case of limited ability and some team confusion.The call ups are necessary and I know everyone will be excited that on Sunday Falvey's pregame interview said that Belisle is almost ready to come back.

    • Platoon likes this
There is no way we lose this game 8-1 if Belisle is healthy!
    • Kelly Vance, mikelink45, jimmer and 1 other like this

 

OK, well our offense went AWOL tonight. But it didn't matter because our defense was not just bad but stupid. Defense includes pitching -- and strategy  -- or lack of same.

 

I think Molly owes an apology to Gibson.

 

I mean, someone explain to me the brilliance of putting on the shift to a lefty pull hitter, with only Eddie on the left side of the field and then pitching outside.

 

I couldn't believe it. Outside. Fine to do that in a regular defensive alignment, but with the shift on?  

 

And then, they did it again.

 

Alluvasudden we are down 3-0. Gibson looked confused and he should be. What he shoulda done is call Garver out and say, "I'm throwing in if we have the switch on, get it? Just set up outside and pretend it got away from me."

 

That's what I woulda done.  

 

Man, who encourages the batter to hit it towards an open side of the field? 

 

Or am I wrong?

I think you are wrong but I am not sure.Batters have been consistently unable or unwilling to adjust their approach and go the other way figuring the occasional single isn't worth giving up home runs for.Sano and Dozier like the ball middle in but even if I put the shift on I am not going to pitch them middle in because history shows if I throw them outside breaking balls they will still try to pull the ball.If they happen to hit a single now and then the other way I am not going to change that approach. If they do it constantly I will.

    • Platoon and jimmer like this

 

There is no way we lose this game 8-1 if Belisle is healthy!

Haha, I know, right? Who knew Belisle was so important to this team's success? :-)

If you have the game recorded, go back and watch how many strikes Garver lost for Gibson.

Virtually every pitch at the knees, he would drag his glove down to the dirt as he caught the ball.

Pitch called "ball 1" instead of "strike 1."
    • Platoon likes this

 

If you have the game recorded, go back and watch how many strikes Garver lost for Gibson.

Virtually every pitch at the knees, he would drag his glove down to the dirt as he caught the ball.

Pitch called "ball 1" instead of "strike 1."

I agree that Garver had a bad game, but I think the umpire was really squeezing Gibson the whole game too. 

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Tom Froemming
Aug 29 2018 09:05 AM

 

If you have the game recorded, go back and watch how many strikes Garver lost for Gibson.

Virtually every pitch at the knees, he would drag his glove down to the dirt as he caught the ball.

Pitch called "ball 1" instead of "strike 1."

I thought Dick & Roy had a good discussion about umpires on the broadcast. They acknowledged that umpires get the calls right something like 95% of the time, which is pretty impressive if you think about it, but that still leaves an unsatisfying amount of room for the guy behind the plate to influence the game on bad calls.

 

I try not to get wrapped up into balls & strikes because 1) It is what it is, nothing we can do to change anything after the fact, and 2) You hope it goes both ways. And obviously the ump didn't factor in the outcome of a game that ended with a score of 8-1, but I still want to get into this a little deeper anyway.

 

Here are all the balls called on Gibby. You're right on the money, he was not getting the low strike.

chart (1)
And here are all the called strikes for Gibby. He was also getting a lot of calls outside the zone too.
chart

Garver absolutely has an impact on these results, and even beyond framing, maybe another catcher would have felt out the zone earlier and made the adjustment to give up on trying to get that low strike and call for more pitches in other locations instead.

 

A lot of people would make the argument that this "human element" between the pitcher, catcher and umpire is good for the game. Personally, it drives me nuts.

 

If we have the technology to implement an automated strike zone, it should be in place. Strikes should be strikes. Balls should be balls. That has more to do why my aversion to discussing balls and strikes than anything, I'm just so fed up with the way things are, even though I'll give the umps credit for being (for the most part) pretty darn good at what they do.

 

    • TheLeviathan, PDX Twin and jimmer like this
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LA VIkes Fan
Aug 29 2018 09:08 AM

Last night may show why we need Mauer next year. He really was the only one who looked like he had much of a chance against a very good pitcher like Carassco. The young guys just looked overmatched. It's no surprise that we're now not scoring runs. We're playing good teams with good pitching and the offense isn't good enough to deal with that. Almost makes you want Dozier back. Almost, but no. 

    • Platoon likes this

 

If you have the game recorded, go back and watch how many strikes Garver lost for Gibson.

Virtually every pitch at the knees, he would drag his glove down to the dirt as he caught the ball.

Pitch called "ball 1" instead of "strike 1."

 

I agree that Garver had a bad game, but I think the umpire was really squeezing Gibson the whole game too. 

I agree with both of you.I only saw a little bit of the game but while I was watching it sure seemed like Gibson was not getting calls on really good pitches.Ball 1 instead of strike 1 so often leads to guy on first and no one out rather than no one on and 1 out. HUGE difference.Not the difference in this gamebut usually when I notice a pitcher on our side getting squeezed it is Gibson. Ask him if it evens out. It doesn't. 

 

I'm not completely sold on the catcher framing thing but in Garver's case I agree.He must know what pitch is coming since he is calling it but sometimes appears not to know with the way he catches it.

 

 

I thought Dick & Roy had a good discussion about umpires on the broadcast. They acknowledged that umpires get the calls right something like 95% of the time, which is pretty impressive if you think about it, but that still leaves an unsatisfying amount of room for the guy behind the plate to influence the game on bad calls.

 

I try not to get wrapped up into balls & strikes because 1) It is what it is, nothing we can do to change anything after the fact, and 2) You hope it goes both ways. And obviously the ump didn't factor in the outcome of a game that ended with a score of 8-1, but I still want to get into this a little deeper anyway.

 

Here are all the balls called on Gibby. You're right on the money, he was not getting the low strike.

 
And here are all the called strikes for Gibby. He was also getting a lot of calls outside the zone too.
 

Garver absolutely has an impact on these results, and even beyond framing, maybe another catcher would have felt out the zone earlier and made the adjustment to give up on trying to get that low strike and call for more pitches in other locations instead.

 

A lot of people would make the argument that this "human element" between the pitcher, catcher and umpire is good for the game. Personally, it drives me nuts.

 

If we have the technology to implement an automated strike zone, it should be in place. Strikes should be strikes. Balls should be balls. That has more to do why my aversion to discussing balls and strikes than anything, I'm just so fed up with the way things are, even though I'll give the umps credit for being (for the most part) pretty darn good at what they do.

 

I'm with you in everything you said but maybe you can clarify.I have understood that if any part of the ball touches any part of the zone it is a strike. In that case the chart above shows either 7 or 8 strikes that were called balls and maybe one ball that was called a strike.If the majority of the ball has to be in the zone he was then on the bad side of 7 strikes that were called balls and 5 balls that were called strikes.Either way he wasn't in the 95% area.I counted less than fifty pitches.

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Tom Froemming
Aug 29 2018 09:44 AM

 

I'm with you in everything you said but maybe you can clarify.I have understood that if any part of the ball touches any part of the zone it is a strike. In that case the chart above shows either 7 or 8 strikes that were called balls and maybe one ball that was called a strike.If the majority of the ball has to be in the zone he was then on the bad side of 7 strikes that were called balls and 5 balls that were called strikes.Either way he wasn't in the 95% area.I counted less than fifty pitches.

The official rule is only part of the ball has to hit the strike zone, but another issue in this whole mess is that basically every umpire applies their own zone. That's not ideal, but also not a huge issue as long as the ump is consistent, which Jerry Meals was. Consistently wrong, but still ...

 

Another monkey wrench in all this mess, and my guess as to why we haven't seen automation is this:

 

"The official strike zone is the area over home plate from the midpoint between a batter's shoulders and the top of the uniform pants -- when the batter is in his stance and prepared to swing at a pitched ball -- and a point just below the kneecap. In order to get a strike call, part of the ball must cross over part of home plate while in the aforementioned area."

 

So ... the actual strike zone is dependent on how a guy wears his uniform? This explanation leads to all sorts of interpretation (what the hell does "a point just below the kneecap" even mean? Can't be more specific?), but the one thing that it's clear on is the zone depends on the hitter. I don't believe things like the graphics I pulled from Baseball Savant or the pitch tracker on MLB's Gameday take that into account. 

 

Also, if this is how the umpires are really instructed to use as the zone, every bad hitter in baseball should just dramatically alter their stance to make the zone as tiny as possible.

    • Platoon likes this
Several comments:
All sports involve adjusting to what an official accepts that day. And yes I know the strike zone is more defined than some rules are, but it is never the less called by a human. As are helmet to helmet hits, and touch fouls. Which technology would allow each and everyone to be reviewed. This isn't tennis, there is no visible line that a ball touches when it crosses the plate.

Garver really was a butcher last night. You can't catch the ball continuall going away from the zone in MLB. So many pitches are borderline at this level, you have to give the guy behind you a chance to call it a strike, and not look like a fool. And yes, if the low low strike isn't being called, try and move it up a notch.

I think Mauer leads the team in several offensive categories? And plays elite defense at first base. I remember many espousing RG when he was the king of the base on balls? And couldn't catch a cold in the OF? My personal take on Mauer is I wish he would retire for his health and family. But if he wants to come back, he should. Once the Twins solve all their other problems, lousy base running, mediocre defense, substandard catching, an inconsistent BP, and terrible hitting with RISP, then they can address Mauer, and have the luxury of an Austin type 3 outcomes defenseless hitter at 1B.
    • LA VIkes Fan and Vanimal46 like this

 

Several comments:
All sports involve adjusting to what an official accepts that day. And yes I know the strike zone is more defined than some rules are, but it is never the less called by a human. As are helmet to helmet hits, and touch fouls. Which technology would allow each and everyone to be reviewed. This isn't tennis, there is no visible line that a ball touches when it crosses the plate.

 

There may be no visible line the ball touches, but the technology is very well within our grasp to call correct balls and strikes with MUCH greater accuracy than the human eye. The tennis technology claims accuracy within 2.6mm, or 1/10th of an inch.I see no reason to think baseball would be less accurate - one could claim even more accurate.The strike zone is a well defined 3 dimensional solid that cameras can track.Yes, it's slightly different per batter, but it's not like that can't be adjusted for.

 

You're right, all sports to involve an adjustment to officials, but this particular issue can be cured.

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yarnivek1972
Aug 29 2018 11:33 AM

Gibson had a rough month of August. 5 starts, 29 IP, 5.28 ERA, 21/15 K/BB.


I think it was 6 starts in August. Because I posted some numbers in the game thread about Gibson going back to his final start in July. This thread hadn’t been posted yet. Suffice to say, not good. 7 starts worth, 1/4 of his season to date. That’s getting close to the line between SSS and trend IMO.

I think it was 6 starts in August. Because I posted some numbers in the game thread about Gibson going back to his final start in July. This thread hadn’t been posted yet. Suffice to say, not good. 7 starts worth, 1/4 of his season to date. That’s getting close to the line between SSS and trend IMO.


With his past history and the rough patch this season, I'm more entrenched in the decision to play things out with him. An extension this offseason feels like a big mistake.
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yarnivek1972
Aug 29 2018 11:54 AM

With his past history and the rough patch this season, I'm more entrenched in the decision to play things out with him. An extension this offseason feels like a big mistake.


Agree 130%.
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yarnivek1972
Aug 29 2018 11:59 AM
I just copied and pasted this from my post in the game thread.

Prior to his final start in July, Kyle was one of the best pitchers in the AL. In 21 starts he had logged 129 IP, 106 H, 49 ER, 50 BB, 126 K, 13 HR. That’s 6.14 IP/GS, 1.21 WHIP, 3.42 ERA, .9 HR/9, 3.49 BB/9 and 8.79 K/9. In the 7 starts since if I did math correctly, 35 IP, 42 H, 20 ER, 18 BB, 27 K, 5 HR. That is 5 IP/GS, 1.71 WHIP, 5.14 ERA, 1.29 HR/9, 4.62 BB/9, 6.94 K/9. We’re talking 7 starts, that’s 1/4 of his season to date. We’re approaching the boundary of SSS and trend IMO.

 

I just copied and pasted this from my post in the game thread.

Prior to his final start in July, Kyle was one of the best pitchers in the AL. In 21 starts he had logged 129 IP, 106 H, 49 ER, 50 BB, 126 K, 13 HR. That’s 6.14 IP/GS, 1.21 WHIP, 3.42 ERA, .9 HR/9, 3.49 BB/9 and 8.79 K/9. In the 7 starts since if I did math correctly, 35 IP, 42 H, 20 ER, 18 BB, 27 K, 5 HR. That is 5 IP/GS, 1.71 WHIP, 5.14 ERA, 1.29 HR/9, 4.62 BB/9, 6.94 K/9. We’re talking 7 starts, that’s 1/4 of his season to date. We’re approaching the boundary of SSS and trend IMO.

 

He's not as good after the Twins traded away a lot of players and gave up on the season. I am SHOCKED. 

 

 

    • Han Joelo likes this

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