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MIN 12, DET 2: No Motown Blues for the Minnesota Twins

Today’s contest was the last of a long 10-game road trip and Minnesota was looking to finish strong, with a 6-4 record. They had the right guy on the mound in Jake Odorizzi, who has been nothing short of dominant all season, but even more so as of late. Over his last seven starts prior to today, Jake was 6-0 with a 0.65 ERA and 16 1/3 scoreless innings.
Image courtesy of © Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Box Score
Odorizzi: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 70.7% strikes (70 of 99 pitches)
Bullpen: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K

Home Runs: Cruz (11), Sano (6), Buxton (8), Rosario (19)
Multi-Hit Games: Cruz (3-for-6, HR), Rosario (3-for-6, HR), Cron (2-for-5, 2B), Sano (2-for-5, HR), Adrianza (2-for-3, 2B, BB), Buxton (2-for-5, HR)

WPA of +0.1: Cruz .125, Garver .111
WPA of -0.1: None
Attached Image: Win69.png
(chart via FanGraphs)

Scoring Comes Early
Early run support was one of the FSN broadcast keys to victory and Minnesota did exactly that. Jorge Polanco and Mitch Garver jumped on Detroit pitcher Ryan Carpenter before most fans had time to find their seats. A single from Polanco and a double from Garver scored the Twins first run on only the fourth pitch of the game. The first inning scoring did not stop there.

With Garver standing on second and nobody out, Nelson Cruz stepped into the box and quickly found himself in an 0-2 hole. He battled back to even the count at 2-2 before blasting a high fastball over the left field wall, giving Minnesota a 3-0 lead and marking the fourth consecutive game in which Nelson Cruz has homered.


The fourth inning would also prove to be advantageous for Minnesota. Miguel Sano led off the inning with a solo blast to right center. Adrianza followed with a single, then advanced to third when Buxton singled through a wide-open shifted infield. The table was set for Polanco, with runners on the corners and nobody out. Polanco lifted a sacrifice fly, scoring Adrianza. Mitch Garver walked, moving Buxton into scoring position. Now it was time for Eddie Rosario to join the fun and get his first knock of the series and he did exactly that, singling to center field and scoring Buxton.

The RBI single from Rosario was the end of the line for the Detroit starter. Our old pal Austin Adams was next in line to be abused by the red hot Minnesota offense. With two runners in scoring position and two outs, C.J. Cron doubled off the wall in right field, scoring both runners and giving the Twins a five-run fourth inning. By the time the fourth inning was over, every starter in the Twins lineup had recorded a hit.

The early offensive output should come as no surprise. Minnesota has entered the fifth inning with a lead 42 times and have trailed going into the fifth only 16 times. Another way of saying that is they have entered the fifth inning with a lead in 65% of their games. Minnesota has also crushed left-handed pitching to the tune of .300/.366/.506 and an .872 OPS, which makes them the best in the league when facing left-handed pitching.

Let The Good Times Roll
The Minnesota offense did not cool off after their early onslaught of runs. They added another run in the fifth, thanks to an RBI single from Nelson Cruz. In the sixth inning, Adrianza reached base for the third time, after being hit by a pitch. He would also cross home plate for the third time, following the two-run home run from Buxton - his eighth of the year. Eddie Rosario launched his 19th of the season with a solo blast in the seventh inning.

The home runs from Buxton and Rosario were the 124th and 125th of the season for Minnesota, tying the franchise record for home runs before the All-Star break.

Bold prediction: The 2019 Minnesota Twins will set a new franchise record for team home runs before the All-Star break. You can quote me on that.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered
Not even Stevie Wonder could stop Jake Odorizzi and the Minnesota Twins. The 12 runs scored by the offense would certainly be more than enough run support for the American League ERA leader, Jake Odorizzi.

Jake turned in another quality start and bolstered his case for being the AL starter in the All-Star Game as well as the front-runner for the AL Cy Young. His final line was: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K. He lowered his season ERA to 1.91.

Postgame With Baldelli


Bullpen Usage
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Attached Image: Pen69.png
Next Game
Tue vs. SEA, 7:10 pm CT (Perez-Leake)

Last Game
DET 9, MIN 3: Third Out Eludes Gibson, Eades Debuts

More from Twins Daily
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35 Comments

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RaymondLuxuryYacht
Jun 09 2019 02:49 PM

Now enjoy the home stand

    • Blake, Huffmental and Nine of twelve like this
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twinsfanstreif
Jun 09 2019 02:59 PM

 

Bold prediction: The 2019 Minnesota Twins will set a new franchise record for team home runs before the All Star break. You can quote me on that.

I would love to share your optimism on this but with 25 games left before the break they would have to hit 4 a game for 25 straight games to tie the franchise record. These guys are crazy good but not that good, I can't see this happening. Sorry

    • Nine of twelve and KFEY93 like this
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twinsfanstreif
Jun 09 2019 03:01 PM

 

I would love to share your optimism on this but with 25 games left before the break they would have to hit 4 a game for 25 straight games to tie the franchise record. These guys are crazy good but not that good, I can't see this happening. Sorry

I just re read your comment and I now get what you're saying, you sir are correct

    • glunn and MN_ExPat like this
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twinsfanstreif
Jun 09 2019 03:13 PM

I'm floored at the home runs these guys can hit! We are looking at shattering the record for home runs in a season with a current pace of 316 HRs on the season, that's absolutely mental!

    • MN_ExPat, Nine of twelve and MNT1996 like this

Currently in the American League Central Division there are 15 players with 10 or more home runs. The Twins have 7 of those players.

    • ashbury, Steve Lein, glunn and 14 others like this
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lukeduke1980
Jun 09 2019 03:27 PM
Odorizzi continues to astonish me. This is a Scott Erickson type run.
    • Dantes929, 70charger, Huffmental and 3 others like this

FWIW, I think I could strike out Stevie Wonder (assuming I could find the strike zone).

Not even Stevie Wonder could stop Jake Odorizzi and the Minnesota Twins.

FWIW, I think I could strike out Stevie Wonder (assuming I could find the strike zone).


Louisville Slugger did make him a braille baseball bat. That could make the difference.
CBOHB2lVIAIv-Zk.jpg
 
Stevie would probably tell you himself that he could also do some damage as an umpire.

    • DocBauer, ChrisKnutson, PDX Twin and 4 others like this
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terrydactyls1947
Jun 09 2019 03:38 PM
Today is Sunday, June 9 and it was the 64th game of the year. The Twins are now 40% of the way through the season. Out of 59 years, the current team ranks 33rd on the all-time list of Twins' home runs in one season and are on a pace to hit 316 home runs this season.
    • ashbury, glunn, Puckett34 and 2 others like this
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Andrew Gebo
Jun 09 2019 04:32 PM

I just re read your comment and I now get what you're saying, you sir are correct


Yeah I was making a joke because it’s not a bold prediction at all. It’s more so a matter of fact at this point haha. Thank you for reading!
    • ashbury, glunn and MN_ExPat like this

Adrianza is playing like it is Spring Training again. Impressive.

    • CUtomorrownight, Don Walcott and Nine of twelve like this
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Aerodeliria
Jun 09 2019 04:51 PM
As I sat in my bed rubbing my eyes, I said to myself, "I think the Twins won today's (yesterday's) game 8-2." I was happy to get it wrong.

 

I just re read your comment and I now get what you're saying, you sir are correct

It is kind of crazy, though, in that 4 per game for 25 games is not beyond the realm of possibility with this team.

    • SQUIRREL, glunn, Blake and 4 others like this
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AlwaysinModeration
Jun 09 2019 08:21 PM
Buxton was feeling the pressure after Sano homered—has to keep his lead. Those two guys will join the double-digit HR parade soon enough.
    • Don Walcott and Aerodeliria like this

Tyler Duffey needs to refine his command of his amped-up heater. He's a power pitcher now, with a great curve for finishing off hitters, if he can make them respect the heat. He needs those low corners to go with his high heat. 

 

The other thing Duffey should do is work on a straight change to go with his fast ball. If he can throw a change-up for strikes, then his 93- to 95 mph heat will have a chance to miss more bats. Doesn't even need to be a plus pitch, just something in the zone with 10 mph knocked off. Throw it once per at-bat, so they can't guess between just fast ball and curve. 

    • diehardtwinsfan, nokomismod and 70charger like this
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Aerodeliria
Jun 10 2019 12:54 AM

I think it was great that Cruz could take that much rest to heal his sore wrist. He is looking as fresh as he did in those first couple of weeks at the start of the season.

    • 70charger, oldguywithanitch and EPEZRider like this

"If you are annoyed with someone, you should first walk a mile in their shoes.  That way, you're a mile away from them.  And, you have their shoes."  --Jack Handey.

 

This kick-butt recap of a butt-kicking needed a bump!  And I'm here to bump.

 

After reading MadBum's comments about his little spat with Muncy and the homer trot, I'm not sure he'd fit in with this fun-loving crew.  He's got Cardinals or Yankees written all over him, should he get traded.  Still, I love the guy anyway.  

 

The whole thing reminded me of a Seinfeld, where George thought he had the ultimate comeback, so he flew to Cleveland or wherever just so he could zinged with the classic line:  "The ocean called, and they're all out of you."  

 

To which George furiously stammered, "I slept with your wife last night."

 

To which someone said, "George, his wife is in a coma."

 

What does any of this have to do with yesterday's game?  (Not a rhetorical question--I really don't know where I was going with any of this.  Just trying to bump a more relevant game thread to the top of my queue.)

    • SQUIRREL likes this
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Brock Beauchamp
Jun 10 2019 06:36 AM

 

Adrianza is playing like it is Spring Training again. Impressive.

He's been doing it for about a month now. He hit his low water mark on May 12th with a .433 OPS. It has been climbing steadily since.

    • Blake likes this
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Brock Beauchamp
Jun 10 2019 06:39 AM

 

I think it was great that Cruz could take that much rest to heal his sore wrist. He is looking as fresh as he did in those first couple of weeks at the start of the season.

It has been almost impossible to complain about player management this season. Baldelli is doing an outstanding job of making sure these players are in a position to succeed with the rest needed to get through a long season.

    • SQUIRREL, Blake, diehardtwinsfan and 4 others like this

Almost impossible to envision this team not playing in October. So it is very tempting to start considering what will need to be done to win series against Yankees, Red Sox and Astros and maybe a couple of other teams. Already done with Houston for the year and only 3 against Yankees at home and all 6 against Red Sox left including 3 this month. No one thinks they have enough pitching so grabbing an arm or two for the pen won't be easy but other than that if it ain't broke don't fix it. Dog days are approaching and Twins are in enviable position of being able to continue to juggle lineups and keep players fresh. Main thing...don't think ahead too far and just beat Seattle tomorrow.

 

Tyler Duffey needs to refine his command of his amped-up heater. He's a power pitcher now, with a great curve for finishing off hitters, if he can make them respect the heat. He needs those low corners to go with his high heat. 

 

The other thing Duffey should do is work on a straight change to go with his fast ball. If he can throw a change-up for strikes, then his 93- to 95 mph heat will have a chance to miss more bats. Doesn't even need to be a plus pitch, just something in the zone with 10 mph knocked off. Throw it once per at-bat, so they can't guess between just fast ball and curve. 

That 95mph heat will also look like 97-98 if he can throw a good change consistently. They compliment each other. 

    • Nine of twelve likes this

I'm starting to think Odorizzi has gone into "until opposing players prove they can hit his fastball, he's going to keep throwing it" mode.

 

 

The launch angle phenomenon has been a huge blessing for Odorizzi a fastball

 

Tyler Duffey needs to refine his command of his amped-up heater. He's a power pitcher now, with a great curve for finishing off hitters, if he can make them respect the heat. He needs those low corners to go with his high heat. 

 

One of the things Odorizzi has done so well this year is pitch effectively up in the zone with his fastball. Elevating his fastball makes his curveball more effective because of the hump a curveball has prior to breaking; the fastball up helps disguise the curveball a little better. Watching Duffey pitch, and the shape of his curveball, I actually think he should look to elevate his fastball more to help his curveball look more similar to his fastball. At 96+ MPH, it is tough to catch up to an elevated fastball. 

    • wabene likes this

Odorizzi just keeps on rolling. Except for one sequence where he kept gunning the fastball about a foot above the strike zone (except same spot in 5 pitches out of 7 or so) they made me go "what the hell happened to you?!?" he looked great. again.

 

Duffey looked pretty good, i thought. Maybe he's going to be that additional late-inning piece to go with Rogers, May, Harper, and Parker? (yes, I know Parker blew up the other night. No, I'm not terribly worried about him)

 

Of course, this is a win the Twin absolutely should have. Every spot in the lineup, we had a better hitter going: our worst hitter (Adrianza, a utility infielder) has a higher OPS than 2/3 of the Tigers lineup from yesterday. Detroit did have a single player with an OPS over .800 player yesterday, the Twins had EIGHT. And the bats spoke. Nearly half our hits were for extra bases, and I don't think anyone was surprised.

 

I was a little amused at how much Dick & Bert kept talking about the twins "going the other way" yesterday, though. It was like they missed getting to use that phrase from the Gardy days and were using it sorta like a tribute to Gardy since he was there and all. That said, it does say something about the Twins hitting approach this year, which seems to be based around some simple principles: 1. make hard contact with the ball. 2. be aggressive in swinging at a pitch you like. 3. lay off the pitches you can't make hard contact on.

    • wabene likes this

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