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Twins Blogosphere


MIN 7, KC 6: Twins Come Back From 3-Run Deficit

The Twins had some ugly moments in their first road series of the season, but you can’t argue with the results. After trailing 6-3 through the first five frames, Minnesota stormed back thanks to big run-scoring hits from Mitch Garver, Max Kepler and Eddie Rosario. The bullpen combined to turn in 4 1/3 scoreless innings.
Image courtesy of © Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs)
MIN 7, KC 6: Full Box Score

Gibson: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 57.2% strikes
Home Runs: None
Multi-Hit Games: Astudillo (3-for-5, 2B), Garver (3-for-4, 2B), Rosario (2-for-4, 2B, BB)
WPA of +0.1: May .269, Rosario .238, Garver .144, Cruz .113, Kepler .109
WPA of -0.1: Gibson -.469

Attached Image: Win43.png

Gibby Gets Started
Last April, Gibson averaged 92.2 mph on his four-seam fastball and gained a bit of velocity as the season progressed. With his illness putting him a little bit behind schedule, I was curious to see where he would be today. You could have certainly given him a pass if things were lagging behind a bit. No pass needed.

Gibson topped out at 95.1 mph, averaging 93.4 mph on that pitch. It’s just one outing, but that bout with E. coli really put a cloud over Gibson’s winter. Great to see him come out of the gates looking strong.

Gibson was cruising through the first 4 2/3 innings, but things completely fell apart from there. He walked Billy Hamilton, who stole second base and was driven in on a single. No error was charged, but Ehire Adrianza played what could have been an inning-ending ground out into a single, then Alex Gordon hit a three-run homer. The bleeding didn’t stop there.

Jorge Polanco, who had made a couple nifty defensive plays earlier in the game, committed a throwing error. Two more singles and another run later and Gibson’s day was done. He gave up just one run on three hits up until that big Royals rally, but that terrible turn of events put a very negative spin on his 2019 debut.

Mejia Holds Steady
Adalberto Mejia took over for Gibson and stopped the bleeding. He got the final out of that messy fifth inning and followed with two more clean innings. He’s opened the season with three no-hit innings and has struck out five batters.

Max Bests a Lefty
That performance by Mejia bought some time for the bats to fire back. Max Kepler delivered a game-tying, two-out, two-run double off southpaw Jake Diekman in the eighth inning.

Ninth-Inning Rally
Nelson Cruz drew a six-pitch walk to lead off the ninth inning. Byron Buxton, who was not in the starting lineup due to a back injury, pinch ran for him and stole second base. Eddie Rosario worked a full count, then delivered the go-ahead single to plate Buxton.

Big Bullpen Day
With Gibson having a bit of a short start and Taylor Rogers coming off a 29-pitch outing the night before, this was an opportunity to get a glimpse at how Baldelli may be inclined to manage his bullpen. After Mejia served admirably as the long man, Trevor May took over in the eighth. He held the bottom of Kansas City’s lineup scoreless, then returned for the ninth.

After retiring the first two batters of the ninth inning, May was taken out for Blake Parker. Parker induced a game-ending ground out from Alex Gordon to earn his second save of the season.

New-Look Lineup
Today marked the first starts for Tyler Austin (first base), Ehire Adrianza (second base) and Jake Cave (right field) this season. Also, Kepler played center field in place of Buxton, who was nursing a sore back after crashing into the wall. It’s interesting to see Rocco Baldelli go with Kepler in center over Cave. Paul Molitor went with that alignment nine times last season but had Cave in center field and Kepler in right 52 times.

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: Bullpen43.png

Next Three Games
Fri at PHI, 6:05 pm CT
Sat at PHI, 1:05 pm CT
Sun at PHI, 12:05 pm CT

Last Game
MIN 5, KC 4 (10 Innings): Cruz Steps Up

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70 Comments

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operation mindcrime
Apr 03 2019 03:12 PM
Go Twins! \m/
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wallyrichards
Apr 03 2019 03:30 PM

Its hard not getting excited about the way they've started there season. Starting pitching has been solid. I know Gibson had a rough 5th inning but it wasn't really his fault. If the team makes the plays behind him he could've gone deeper in the game. Arianza didn't make a couple of routine plays and it cost Gibson. Regardless the bats came alive and we tied it up in the eighth and won it in the 9th. Great early win considering we go on the road to play Philly and then go to New York to play the Mets. 

    • glunn, lsh, CUtomorrownight and 2 others like this
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Channing1964
Apr 03 2019 03:36 PM
Whats not to like about a 4-1 start and 4-1 in the division!!!
    • glunn, TheLeviathan, CUtomorrownight and 5 others like this

Your first place Minnesota Twins!....before you get too excited, Detroit is in 2nd place and the Orioles are leading the AL East.

    • glunn, woolywoolhouse, mikelink45 and 5 others like this
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MMMordabito
Apr 03 2019 03:39 PM

You lost me when Astudillo wasn't front and center of this entire recap.

 

J/K ... Thanks for doing these.

    • glunn, bluechipper, mikelink45 and 4 others like this
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MMMordabito
Apr 03 2019 03:42 PM

 

Your first place Minnesota Twins!....before you get too excited, Detroit is in 2nd place and the Orioles are leading the AL East.

 

Do I actually have to root for the Yankees today?  

 

Sorry, can't do it .... Twins will still be a game up on Detroit, if they win.

    • glunn, dbminn and bighat like this

4-1 record aside, Rocco is doing a lot with the lineups, in-game decisions, and bullpen management that look good to me so far. I haven't scratched my head much yet. This is the first time I've felt comfortable with the manager in many, many years.

    • glunn, PseudoSABR, D.C Twins and 3 others like this
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tarheeltwinsfan
Apr 03 2019 03:53 PM

This is fun. 

    • glunn, Jerr and caninatl04 like this
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theBOMisthebomb
Apr 03 2019 04:02 PM
Some bad luck for Gibby. He looked great and will be just fine this season. This Tortuga experience is getting interesting. Rocco needs to play him regularly to see if the magic is real. At least ride the hot hand for awhile.
    • glunn, Jerr, bluechipper and 8 others like this

I still wonder if the recovery is hurting Gibson a little on the stamina side? I'm not going to worry about Gibson yet. But we seem to be managing just fine with 11 pitchers. Day off tomorrow, so probably the only guy not available in game 1 against Philly is Mejia?

 

Bats are starting to get going a little too: 7 runs on 11 hits with 5 BBs? That's winning production. And boy oh boy, it's getting harder and harder to suggest that Astudillo is a fluke. Gotta love a guy who hits his way into the lineup.

 

I appreciate Baldelli putting Kepler in CF. He's got the ability to play there and I like the positional flexibility.

 

Good wins. Good test coming up against Philly.

    • glunn, Jerr, bluechipper and 5 others like this
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Pardon My Dinger
Apr 03 2019 04:44 PM

Whats not to like about a 4-1 start and 4-1 in the division!!!


The division part.

That was a fun game though.
All jokes aside I know we're all biased but Tortuga might seriously be a gold mine.
    • glunn, Jerr, bluechipper and 5 others like this

All jokes aside I know we're all biased but Tortuga might seriously be a gold mine.

La tortuga dorada.

 

27c2ec09-15d0-43c7-a649-f306272f9651.jpg

    • glunn, Puckett34, PseudoSABR and 15 others like this
The only quibble I had was that Gibson wasn't on some kind of pitch count after his delayed spring training. They did it earlier in the week, pulling the starter after 4. And, tomorrow is a day off so the bullpen could have been used more.

But, the box score line of the (albeit short) year so far has to be:

W. Astudillo3B-LF 5 2 3 1 0 0 .667 .636 1.000

3 for 5 with two runs scored. Zero walks, zero K's. I'm not sure how many pitches he actually saw! But, even more importantly, the 3B-LF part.
    • glunn likes this
Come late September the Twins are going to seriously regret that lone blemish on their almost perfect season that occurred last week. :). But after removing my tongue outa my cheek, I will say this team is looks more competitive than in many a year, including the WC year. I do think they have to clean up their defense somewhat, there's been some sloppy play, albeit cold sloppy play. The pitching staff isn't good enough to survive too many 4 out innings. I do think the offense has some promise, but I am not sure all the hopes for home runs will occur. Asking too many players to match some of their peak output is a recipe for disappointment. Viva La Tortugas! (Or however you would say it) :).
    • glunn likes this
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yarnivek1972
Apr 03 2019 05:17 PM

The only quibble I had was that Gibson wasn't on some kind of pitch count after his delayed spring training. They did it earlier in the week, pulling the starter after 4. And, tomorrow is a day off so the bullpen could have been used more.

But, the box score line of the (albeit short) year so far has to be:

W. Astudillo3B-LF 5 2 3 1 0 0 .667 .636 1.000

3 for 5 with two runs scored. Zero walks, zero K's. I'm not sure how many pitches he actually saw! But, even more importantly, the 3B-LF part.


How do you know he wasn’t on a count? Maybe he had not reached it when he was pulled. How many did he throw in his last ST outing?
    • Mike Sixel and Shaitan like this

I keep saying it, but Mejia is legit. He's going to provide a lot of value in the bullpen this year.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if Gibson has a rough April but eventually picks things up come May/June. 

    • Mike Sixel, jimbo92107, bluechipper and 10 others like this

 

I keep saying it, but Mejia is legit. He's going to provide a lot of value in the bullpen this year.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if Gibson has a rough April but eventually picks things up come May/June. 

 

Agreed on part 1 for sure. He's been quite good when healthy. 

    • bluechipper, tarheeltwinsfan, rghrbek and 2 others like this

Great start to the season for the Twins. I am a bit concerned about the next couple of series since there won't be a DH. Minnesota needs Cruz's bat in the lineup and I'm not sure he can hold up for many innings in the outfield.

    • glunn likes this

I didn't see the game and I'm of course happy with the victory and as long as they keep winning, Baldelli can do what he wants... but... I was personally disappointed to see a getaway day lineup. 

 

Not because I don't want to see Austin, Astudillo, Adrianaza in the lineup. I have no problem with anyone getting a chance to compete for playing time so I'll never complain about anyone getting playing time... but disappointment because I was just hoping for a manager who wouldn't hold these guys on the bench and then just play them all in one game once every 6 games... getaway day style. It's 2019... we don't need this style of deployment anymore.  

 

Anyway... we won and it's been a great start so I'll just mention it without lodging official complaint. I have no legs to stand on if the team is winning. 

    • glunn, Platoon and sloopjont like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Apr 03 2019 06:12 PM

 

I didn't see the game and I'm of course happy with the victory and as long as they keep winning, Baldelli can do what he wants... but... I was personally disappointed to see a getaway day lineup. 

 

Not because I don't want to see Austin, Astudillo, Adrianaza in the lineup. I have no problem with anyone getting a chance to compete for playing time so I'll never complain about anyone getting playing time... but disappointment because I was just hoping for a manager who wouldn't hold these guys on the bench and then just play them all in one game once every 6 games... getaway day style. It's 2019... we don't need this style of deployment anymore.  

 

Anyway... we won and it's been a great start so I'll just mention it without lodging official complaint. I have no legs to stand on if the team is winning. 

I'd say that's probably a bigger issue later in the season... at some point, he has to get them in... in Astrudillo's case, if he keeps hitting like this, I think we both agree he needs to see the lineup more. 

    • glunn, Riverbrian, mikelink45 and 1 other like this

 

Great start to the season for the Twins. I am a bit concerned about the next couple of series since there won't be a DH. Minnesota needs Cruz's bat in the lineup and I'm not sure he can hold up for many innings in the outfield.

He's going to need at least one day off to let the HBP bruises heal.

 

Does he crowd the plate or are other factors at play here?

    • glunn and Original Whizzinator like this

I was surprised and encouraged by what Garver did today with the bat.I think I under estimate his hitting sometimes.Although I know spring training doesn't mean anything he looked like he was struggling.Guess I was wrong.With the Turtle and Garver hitting like this we have great options off the bench.

 

Kepler sure seems to have a good eye at the plate but he has some of the worst luck getting hits I have ever seen.Here's hoping he can get hot and get more confident.

 

I love it when Rosario in on.He makes games fun.But he needs to let the game come to him.Several pitchers strategy seem to be getting him to chase pitches out of the zone which he happily does far too often.If he takes his walks they will start throwing him better pitches.

 

Can't say enough good things about Cruz.He really makes the lineup more dangerous.If he stays healthy that signing looks huge for this team.

 

Very happy with the start.Hoping we can steal a game or two from the Phillies.

    • glunn, jimbo92107, bluechipper and 5 others like this
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Channing1964
Apr 03 2019 06:57 PM
I can see Cruz in right field for a few innings in each of these interleague games. All I've heard from his spring training experiences were good reviews. He's a pro. He wants to win. He will be ready.
    • glunn, nicksaviking, woolywoolhouse and 5 others like this
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Pardon My Dinger
Apr 03 2019 07:01 PM
What was up with the pitching change in the ninth? A righty for a righty, one out left. May saw 3 hitters across two innings. IDK, just seemed like a weird Gardy sorta decision.
    • mikelink45, tarheeltwinsfan and ewen21 like this

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