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Orioles 11, Twins 5: Granite’s Great Catch Highlights Final Game of First Half

Kyle Gibson got clobbered for seven runs, posting his shortest start since returning from Rochester. The Twins will limp into the All-Star break having suffered two-straight losses, but what a first half it has been as a whole. The Twins are 45-43, just three games out of first place in the AL Central. Who saw that coming?
Image courtesy of Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Win Expectancy & Top 5 Plays Per WPA (via Fangraphs)
Attached Image: WinEx79.png
Attached Image: TopPlays79.png
Gibson gave up seven runs over just four innings. The Orioles got nine hits off him, drew two walks and struck out only once. We’ll get to more on him, but first you gotta see this catch Zack Granite made in his first Major League start:

I think Gibson said it perfectly: Wow. The Twins Twitter account provided the grab in GIF form, so you can watch it on a loop:

Gibby had an 8.20 ERA when he was sent to Rochester earlier this season. Upon his recall, he’s pitched much better, but still just barely good enough to hang on to a rotation spot. In his nine starts between returning from Rochester and today, Gibson had a 4.59 ERA and opponents were hitting .290/.362/.500 (.862 OPS) off him. It seems likely the Twins would rather not have to count on him every fifth day, but even with the addition of Bartolo Colon there aren’t tons of other options.

Max Kepler had a double, a triple and drove in a run. He’ll coast into the break with a .266 average and .788 OPS. Not too shabby. Robbie Grossman also had a pair of hits and Kennys Vargas hit a double. Those were the only five hits the Twins got on the afternoon.

The team managed to put up a four-spot in the second inning thanks in large part to Ubaldo Jimenez struggling to find the strike zone. He hit a batter and walked three more, including issuing a free pass to Brian Dozier with the bases loaded. Grossman singled, Kepler hit his double and all the sudden the Twins went from down 5-0 to trailing by just a run.

It felt like another game in which the Twins were going to rally back against Baltimore, but a big four-run fifth inning from the Orioles put things back out of reach.

Tyler Duffey surrendered two runs out of the bullpen. After getting off to a great start, Duffey has really struggled heading into the break. Over his last nine appearances, the Duff Man has given up 12 earned runs over 10.1 innings (10.45 ERA).

Ryan Pressly threw two perfect innings with a couple of strikeouts. Trevor Hildenberger gave up the first two runs of his big league career and Phil Hughes pitched a perfect inning and picked up a couple of K's.

Monday

The Twins are off for the next four days for the All-Star break (hence the lack of the bullpen usage info today). I don't think there's any way to put a negative spin on the first half, as any Twins fan would've happily taken this before the season started, but it's worth noting that the team's run differential dropped to -60 after today's loss. With the July 31 trade deadline looming, it will be fascinating to see how Derek Falvey and Thad Levine approach their first deadline with the Twins.

I’ve only been doing these recaps for a little over a month, but the positive response has been overwhelming. Thanks to Seth for letting me take a crack at these, and for filling in a few times. And, of course, thanks to all of you for reading and commenting.

The funnest part about doing these has been knowing that when I finish my article, that’s just the beginning of the conversation. As always, if you have any reflections from this game -- or even the entire first half of the season -- please share them in the comments.

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39 Comments

Great catch by Granite. And hey.... he can go 0-fer as well as Buxton! Seriously though, good luck to the kid. I hope your AAA performance can carry over.

 

I hope that in the future, "not too shabby" is used for hitters hitting over .300 and carrying an OPS in the .800s. I think standards have been lowered as no one on this roster is doing that, in both categories. May Dozier get hot, Sano keep doing but striking out half as much, Kepler keep growing, Buxton finally finding a rhythm and hitting well, and Gordon finally becoming a shortstop to brag about (because it isn't Polanco), and the Twins going 20 games over .500 in the second half. Oh...... and the pitching.......

So now that Zack Granite has made it to the big club, is it time to give him an alternative ego??

Like Super hero Zack Ganite, leaps tall building in a single bound to track down rogue fly balls?

Or

Private Detective Zack Ganite, no fly ball or stolen base can hide from him for long?

Or

Porn Star, Zack Ganite, hard as a rock, and only makes "out calls" while he is working in the field?

Just some jokes to go into the break with😀
Sure, nobody really expected them to be above .500, but I see more as a missed opportunity than anything else.

One or two affordable bullpen arms, and this team is in first place. The offense and defense are there. The season was basically punted away before it began in that regard.
    • h2oface and HitInAPinch like this

Great catch by Granite. And hey.... he can go 0-fer as well as Buxton! Seriously though, good luck to the kid. I hope your AAA performance can carry over.

I hope that in the future, "not too shabby" is used for hitters hitting over .300 and carrying an OPS in the .800s. I think standards have been lowered as no one on this roster is doing that, in both categories. May Dozier get hot, Sano keep doing but striking out half as much, Kepler keep growing, Buxton finally finding a rhythm and hitting well, and Gordon finally becoming a shortstop to brag about (because it isn't Polanco), and the Twins going 20 games over .500 in the second half. Oh...... and the pitching.......


How many hitters in all of baseball hit over .300?

I don't think a guy needs to be an elite hitter to be described as not too shabby.
    • ThejacKmp, spanman2 and Original Whizzinator like this
Thanks, Tom, for doing these recaps! Over here in the 'Eastern Division' I can enjoy the recap and banter on my bus ride to work. Nice to get the highlights, too!

Keep up the good work-- even tho it's already Monday morning here, so I already know what happened.... ;-)
    • ChiTownTwinsFan, HitInAPinch and Tom Froemming like this
The re-caps are awesome. Keep them up.
    • HitInAPinch and Tom Froemming like this

 

How many hitters in all of baseball hit over .300?

I don't think a guy needs to be an elite hitter to be described as not too shabby.

 

Tons at some point during a season. A lot for a season. Different standards, I guess. But OK, not too shabby. 

Do we know what's wrong with the Duff Man? I was pretty high on him coming into the year, but he has not rewarded my confidence. Any reason to think this is an anomaly? 

    • nmcowboy likes this
Nit pic: when the Twins finished their four run inning, they were down only one...5-4. Not 6-4.
    • HitInAPinch likes this
Photo
Tom Froemming
Jul 09 2017 07:23 PM

 

Nit pic: when the Twins finished their four run inning, they were down only one...5-4. Not 6-4.

Thank you! Fixed.

    • USAFChief and HitInAPinch like this

 

So now that Zack Granite has made it to the big club, is it time to give him an alternative ego??

Like Super hero Zack Ganite, leaps tall building in a single bound to track down rogue fly balls?

Or

Private Detective Zack Ganite, no fly ball or stolen base can hide from him for long?

Or

Porn Star, Zack Ganite, hard as a rock, and only makes "out calls" while he is working in the field?

Just some jokes to go into the break with

How 'bout Stone Cold Granite?

Tons at some point during a season. A lot for a season. Different standards, I guess. But OK, not too shabby.


Well there are only 32 guys in all of baseball that are at .300 or above right now.
Last season only 25 guys in all of baseball hit .300 or better.
That is pretty select company, and "not too shabby" is pretty faint praise.
    • ThejacKmp, spanman2, HitInAPinch and 2 others like this

Thank you! Fixed.


Your recaps are teh awesome.
    • HitInAPinch and Tom Froemming like this

 

Well there are only 32 guys in all of baseball that are at .300 or above right now.
Last season only 25 guys in all of baseball hit .300 or better.
That is pretty select company, and "not too shabby" is pretty faint praise.

I've always considered "not too shabby" to be a tongue in cheek way of saying that someone is the best (or among the best) at what they do. I'd describe Joe Mauer's MVP performance in 2009 as not too shabby. Different strokes for different folks.

    • ThejacKmp, h2oface, Hosken Bombo Disco and 3 others like this
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Tom Froemming
Jul 09 2017 10:02 PM

Boy, I didn't know there would be so much debate over when it's appropriate to use the phrase "not too shabby."

 

Dictionary.com gives the definition as quite good or highly acceptable. The league average OPS is .750, so I'd say .788 is not too shabby (especially for a 24-year-old), right?

    • ashburyjohn, ThejacKmp, Physics Guy and 4 others like this
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ScooterDance
Jul 09 2017 11:06 PM

Look at the bright side. With the shellacking the Jays took tonight, they have passed our hometown heroes for 3rd worst run differential in the AL!

    • hybridbear likes this
Photo
ScooterDance
Jul 09 2017 11:10 PM

Side note. I *finally* updated my time zone settings (after lurking here for years). No longer are posts listed as 6 hours ahead of time.

 

It's the small things in life...

    • Platoon likes this

Tom Froemming, you are an excellent writer. Please keep doing these recaps. They really are fun to read, and you put them together in a very professional way. It's almost like something from Sports Illustrated. 

    • Tom Froemming likes this
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twinsnorth49
Jul 09 2017 11:43 PM

Tom Froemming, you are an excellent writer. Please keep doing these recaps. They really are fun to read, and you put them together in a very professional way. It's almost like something from Sports Illustrated.


Concur, these are my go to's if I happen to not be able to catch a game.

Love them!
    • Tom Froemming likes this
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HitInAPinch
Jul 10 2017 01:00 AM

 

Boy, I didn't know there would be so much debate over when it's appropriate to use the phrase "not too shabby."

 

Dictionary.com gives the definition as quite good or highly acceptable. The league average OPS is .750, so I'd say .788 is not too shabby (especially for a 24-year-old), right?

SHABBY??  I thought people were saying Shaggy!

shaggy-rogers-scooby-doo-on-zombie-islan

 

Thanks for clearing that up.

    • USAFChief, ThejacKmp, h2oface and 1 other like this
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HitInAPinch
Jul 10 2017 01:06 AM

Great catch.  Watching the replays, Granite tracked the ball the entire way, including a second or 2 before hitting the wall.  That's what you're supposed to do. I don't think Buxton makes that catch.  He's still running on physical skills.

 

P.S. Are we done with Gibson yet? His 'moments' are becoming few and far between.

    • Jerr likes this

 

Tons at some point during a season. A lot for a season. Different standards, I guess. But OK, not too shabby. 

438 players last year has at least 100 PA. 39 of them hit .300 for a season. Rather limited in what is anotto shabby t hitter. . If a hot streak of 2 weeks is good enough to be not too shabby, Drew Butera hit 300 for a two week stretch in June

I thought Granites catch was "not too shabby". But that was about it. I find it hard to believe that Buxtons defense is being challenged by someone who managed to run back on a high fly ball and not drop it. Barring injury Buxton should be a fixture in CF for years. If Molitor starts jerking him around so he can play Granite, I would find it necessary to take up a Twitter, so I could tweet my displeasure in real time!
    • ThejacKmp likes this

 

I thought Granites catch was "not too shabby". But that was about it. I find it hard to believe that Buxtons defense is being challenged by someone who managed to run back on a high fly ball and not drop it. Barring injury Buxton should be a fixture in CF for years. If Molitor starts jerking him around so he can play Granite, I would find it necessary to take up a Twitter, so I could tweet my displeasure in real time!

 

This seems like discussing nothing. Granite is not likely to be on the Twins in the second half. When Mauer comes back from the DL, someone has to go down. Hard to see it not being Granite. I guess it could be Vargas but the Twins seem more likely to keep a switch-hitting DH than a left handed 5th OF.

 

Granite came up for depth for a few games. It's nice he got into a game and had some good memories. But he's back down to Rochester to prove the first half wasn't a fluke.

 

The real question is whether the Twins will drop Vargas or a reliever when they need a 5th starter on 7/19. I'd bet on Vargas unless he goes on a tear this first two weeks. Could be Adrianza too I imagine.

 

Boy, I didn't know there would be so much debate over when it's appropriate to use the phrase "not too shabby."

 

 

Seems easy enough.  When someone is less shabby than required, up through the perfect amount of shabby...well that, by definition is "not too shabby."

 

On the other hand, excess shabby would be, of course, too shabby.

    • Hosken Bombo Disco, Tom Froemming, snap4birds and 1 other like this

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