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MIN 11, MIL 4: Twins Slug 5 Home Runs

Brian Dozier hit the first grand slam of the season for the Twins and both Max Kepler and Eddie Rosario hit two homers in an impressive display of power at Target Field.

Unfortunately, Adalberto Mejia was forced to leave this game early due to an injury, but Dillon Gee was outstanding out of the bullpen, earning his first career save for pitching the final four frames.
Image courtesy of Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Win Expectancy (via Fangraphs)
Attached Image: WinEx88.png
The Brewers took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on a squeeze bunt. How adorable. After Kepler’s two-run homer, Milwaukee took back the lead in the top of the fourth, rallying for three runs. The Twins responded by scoring six runs in the bottom of that inning and never looked back.

Rosario had a three-homer game this June, but tonight was the first two-homer game of his career. Kepler had really been struggling coming into tonight, posting a .162/.213/.344 (.469 OPS) line over his previous 80 plate appearances. Here’s hoping this gets him rolling. Speaking of guys on a roll, Dozier already has four homers in August, which is as many as he had in all of July.


Mejia lasted just three innings, as he was forced out of the game due to what the Twins are calling left lateral upper arm pain. That’s somehow the most specifically vague description of an injury I’ve ever heard. Mejia gave up three runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out three batters.

Tyler Duffey, making his first appearance this month, gave up an unearned run over two innings. Gee came on to make his second appearance as a Twin and was terrific. He threw the final 4.0 innings to earn his first professional save on any level. He held the Brewers scoreless while giving up just three hits. He struck out five and didn’t walk anybody, giving him eight K's in 7.0 innings of work for the Twins.

Dozier, Kepler and Rosario all had three hits each. Jorge Polanco was 2-for-3 with a triple and a walk. Byron Buxton stole a base, improving to 19-for-20 in stolen base attempts this season. That total of 19 doesn’t really seem like a ton, but the AL leader coming into tonight had just 27 steals. Joe Mauer also stole a base, his second of the season. Miguel Sano returned to the lineup and went 1-for-5 with three strikeouts.

Postgame With Dozier

Twins W-L Record
Overall: 55-56 (.495)
Last 10: 5-5 (.500)
Last 20: 9-11 (.450)
Last 40: 18-22 (.450)
Last 80: 38-42 (.475)

Defensive Lineups
Here’s a look at the starting lineups from the past seven games:
Attached Image: Lineups88.png
Bullpen Usage
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Attached Image: Pen88.png
Looking Ahead
Wednesday: Twins (Bartolo Colon) at Milwaukee (Brandon Woodruff), 7:10 pm CT

Woodfuff, 24, will be making just his second career start. The right-hander pitched 6.1 scoreless innings against Tampa Bay while striking out six. He had a 5.45 ERA in 15 Triple-A starts this year, but that was in the PCL with his home park being Colorado Springs.

Colon will be making his 518th career start. Last time out, he threw his first complete game since 2015. Ryan Braun is 5-for-12 with a pair of home runs and a 1.333 OPS off Colon. Hernan Perez is 5-for-6 with a couple of doubles off him.

Thursday: Twins (Kyle Gibson) at Milwaukee (Zach Davies), 7:10 pm CT
Friday: Twins (TBD) at Detroit (Anibal Sanchez), 6:10 pm CT
Saturday: Twins (TBD) at Detroit (Jordan Zimmermann), 5:10 pm CT
Sunday: Twins (TBD) at Detroit (Matthew Boyd), 12:10 pm CT

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77 Comments

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IndianaTwin
Aug 08 2017 10:11 PM
If Mejia can't go Sunday, I hope Gee gets the start.
    • glunn, James, Dozier's Glorious Hair and 1 other like this
Given that the Twins actually have a decent record, it doesn't seem like there have been that many fun wins like this one, where several of the young core all have good games at the same time. Good stuff. Creeping back up the standings...
    • glunn, bluechipper, the blade and 3 others like this

Let's hear it for Dillon. Between him and Belisle the Twins are step at closer.

 

Why is Busenitz up here if you aren't going to use him. Suddenly have that extra Granite bat would look pretty good, especially when you had a weak bench when Sano was down.

    • glunn, Mike Sixel, bluechipper and 3 others like this
With this win are we buyers again?????

Get on the bus....get off the bus... get on the bus....
    • glunn and the blade like this
1.5 games back in the wild card. Selling was a blunder considering the returns.
    • USAFChief likes this

 

If Mejia can't go Sunday, I hope Gee gets the start.

 

I wholeheartedly concur. I worry about "you-know-who" getting a start as he's back in the dugout, but I think Gee's earned this one.

 

Another win! Let's keep the streak going tonight fellas!

    • LA VIkes Fan and CUtomorrownight like this

 

I wholeheartedly concur. I worry about "you-know-who" getting a start as he's back in the dugout, but I think Gee's earned this one.

 

Another win! Let's keep the streak going tonight fellas!

Actually, I don't know who.There are too many "you-know-who's" on the 40-man. 

    • ashburyjohn, rghrbek and bighat like this
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Tommygun921
Aug 09 2017 06:23 AM
I 100% agree with Rosterman. Why is Molitor so scared to use Busenitz. Seems like a wasted roster spot and not doing him any good sitting on the bench.
    • blindeke and rghrbek like this
You know who has to be Gibson.
    • gil4 likes this

 

1.5 games back in the wild card. Selling was a blunder considering the returns.

 

Only a blunder if you consider Brandon Kintzler irreplaceable. I do not. Hell, Belisle has replaced him. Jaime Garcia basically doesn't count as he was barely on the team.

 

This is why you don't trade Santana and Dozier. You get to go for it and prepare for the future.

    • LA VIkes Fan, the blade, CUtomorrownight and 3 others like this

After the "Season that shall not be named" that was one less than 2017, I'm ok with the fact that the FO "sold" a little bit this season to add depth to the organization. They needed it, and the ML club is still hanging in there despite it.

 

Do I believe that they make the post season... probably not, but at least I can turn on the game and actually believe that they have a legitimate chance to compete and sometimes even win.  

 

They may not have the sexy record of LA or Houston, but that's not why I love this game and watch Twins (Ok, we may have to all have a little bit of a masochistic tendency to keep following through the lean times, but we're nowhere near to Cubs fans :) 

 

Oh yeah, and I have to leave this one last kernel of wisdom...

 

I like turtles

 

    • James, Dantes929, bighat and 1 other like this
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puckstopper1
Aug 09 2017 06:43 AM

I'm conflicted on letting Gee start in Mejia's place if needed.  The Twins have needed, but have not had, a solid long reliever all season, and have finally found one!  Gee has significantly saved the bullpen twice since he has been called up. There is much value in that in my opinion.

    • bluechipper, bighat, Original Whizzinator and 1 other like this
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Old Twins Cap
Aug 09 2017 06:48 AM

It doesn't matter if Twins make Wild Card or not.They won't go anywhere in playoffs.

 

But, believing they are in it, and believing they are playing crucial games in August and September -- that's priceless for the young players.

 

Maybe they take a step forward. 

 

And, still waiting on Buxton to become the XBasehit monster Twins need.SO rate must be down recently.

    • LA VIkes Fan, bighat and MN_ExPat like this

 

After the "Season that shall not be named" that was one less than 2017, I'm ok with the fact that the FO "sold" a little bit this season to add depth to the organization. They needed it, and the ML club is still hanging in there despite it.

 

Do I believe that they make the post season... probably not, but at least I can turn on the game and actually believe that they have a legitimate chance to compete and sometimes even win.  

 

They may not have the sexy record of LA or Houston, but that's not why I love this game and watch Twins (Ok, we may have to all have a little bit of a masochistic tendency to keep following through the lean times, but we're nowhere near to Cubs fans :)

 

Oh yeah, and I have to leave this one last kernel of wisdom...

 

I like turtles

Just an aside, but my sense is neither team wins it all. Heck, they may very well not win their leagues. Superior talent, but all their W's have come early and way too easy. Will they respond when they come up against a truly hot team in the postseason?

    • Dantes929, Hosken Bombo Disco, PDX Twin and 2 others like this

Several will uproar about the Twins unloading Garcia and Kintzler now that the Twins are 1.5 back in the Wild Card.  I say: The Twins unloaded Garcia and Kintzler and are still only 1.5 back in the Wild Card; that's great!  If we can stay in the thick of things and also have those extra pitching prospects for the future, then things worked out just dandy.

    • Mike Sixel, James, ThejacKmp and 11 others like this
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Tom Froemming
Aug 09 2017 07:11 AM

Check out the current wild card standings.

1st WC: NYY 59-52

2nd WC: KCR 57-55, SEA 58-56, TBR 58-56 (all tied)

 

BAL 56-57 (-1.5)

MIN 55-56 (-1.5)

LAA 56-58 (-2.0)

    • bluechipper and bighat like this

 

Only a blunder if you consider Brandon Kintzler irreplaceable. I do not. Hell, Belisle has replaced him. Jaime Garcia basically doesn't count as he was barely on the team.

 

This is why you don't trade Santana and Dozier. You get to go for it and prepare for the future.

 

Kintzler himself is not irreplaceable, but they are still short in the pen. Trading away one of the more effective arms isn't going to help with that situation.

 

Would be something if they turned around and added another arm or two.

    • USAFChief and Hosken Bombo Disco like this

 

Kintzler himself is not irreplaceable, but they are still short in the pen. Trading away one of the more effective arms isn't going to help with that situation.

 

Would be something if they turned around and added another arm or two.

 

Let's see if they can hold on until September 1.  With the roster expansion, they have several decent bullpen arms (Baxendale, Rucinski, Wimmers, Melotakis) as well as AAA starters which can come out of the MLB bullpen, depending on who's put on the 40-man roster.  Honestly if Gee can pitch decently, I'm not too concerned about our bullpen the rest of the year.  I'm fairly concerned about our starting rotation. If Mejia goes on the DL, and Colon and Gibson stink it up, we're screwed.  

    • bighat likes this
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Taildragger8791
Aug 09 2017 08:09 AM

 

You know who has to be Gibson.

 

I assumed he meant Colon.

    • scottz likes this

 

Let's see if they can hold on until September 1.  With the roster expansion, they have several decent bullpen arms (Baxendale, Rucinski, Wimmers, Melotakis) as well as AAA starters which can come out of the MLB bullpen, depending on who's put on the 40-man roster.  Honestly if Gee can pitch decently, I'm not too concerned about our bullpen the rest of the year.  I'm fairly concerned about our starting rotation. If Mejia goes on the DL, and Colon and Gibson stink it up, we're screwed.  

 

This just in: I just realized Mejia already went on the DL.  So, Gee likely to get a start or two, and we have a glut of decent AAA starters who can fill in as long reliever for Gee.  Enns, Jorge (AA), and Turley would be the leading options as they're currently on the 40-man.

 

This just in: I just realized Mejia already went on the DL.  So, Gee likely to get a start or two, and we have a glut of decent AAA starters who can fill in as long reliever for Gee.  Enns, Jorge (AA), and Turley would be the leading options as they're currently on the 40-man.

 

Santiago......

    • pbrezeasap, bluechipper and Tomj14 like this

 

Let's see if they can hold on until September 1.  With the roster expansion, they have several decent bullpen arms (Baxendale, Rucinski, Wimmers, Melotakis) as well as AAA starters which can come out of the MLB bullpen, depending on who's put on the 40-man roster.  Honestly if Gee can pitch decently, I'm not too concerned about our bullpen the rest of the year.  I'm fairly concerned about our starting rotation. If Mejia goes on the DL, and Colon and Gibson stink it up, we're screwed.  

 

None of those arms mentioned do anything for me.

 

The one guy who could be interesting in an expanded bullpen is Romero, but I'm not sure what they have planned for him. And I think Turley could bring something too. Beyond that, would need to go outside the org.

 

Santiago......

 

Ah yes.  But , at this point, would you rather take Santiago over the alternatives?  ERA ~ 8 since the beginning of May.

 

None of those arms mentioned do anything for me.

 

The one guy who could be interesting in an expanded bullpen is Romero, but I'm not sure what they have planned for him. And I think Turley could bring something too. Beyond that, would need to go outside the org.

 

Curtiss and Reed

    • bluechipper, dbminn and Original Whizzinator like this

It seems like Gee had to finish the game last night. After Gee comes Aitch, and we don't have him on the active roster. :)

    • Hosken Bombo Disco and hugelycat like this

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