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Game Thread: Twins vs. Rays 5:10 PM PST (7:10 PM CDT) 6/2...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:50 PM
It's Tuesday, no baseball yesterday, well, no baseball that counts, which means Monday was an off-day for the home town nine and, it give...
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Mistaken outside report: Willians Astudillo Optioned?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:47 PM
Willians Astudillo was optioned after Sunday's game. So far I've only seen scout report this, but it looks to be true. It was fun having...
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Article: Shoring Up Twins Bullpen Will Be a Mighty Challenge

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:39 PM
Are great relievers born? Made? Produced artificially in a laboratory somewhere deep in the Nevadan desert?We don't know the answer. If y...
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Where are they now? Ex-Twins in 2019

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:37 PM
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Twins Add 36 Year Old, Breathing Reliever

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PHI 2, MIN 1: Kepler Stays Hot, Hoskins Pops Deciding Homer

Sometimes you lose a game, sometimes you win a game and sometimes you just get beat. The Twins managed to check all three of those boxes in this series at Philadelphia.

The Twins couldn’t muster any more scoring outside of a leadoff home run while the Phillies hit a two-out, two-run homer and made an excellent play to nail a Twins runner at the plate.
Image courtesy of © Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Box Score
Berrios: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 65.3% strikes (64 of 98)
Home Runs: Kepler (3)
Multi-Hit Games: Kepler (2-for-4, HR), Gonzalez (2-for-4)
WPA of +0.1: Kepler .130
WPA of -0.1: Schoop -.120, Cron -.126
Attached Image: Win47.png
(chart via FanGraphs)

This game got off to a tremendous start for the Twins, as Kepler homered for the third straight game. This was Kepler’s eighth game of 2019, it took him 10 games last season to reach three homers, 32 games in 2017 and 33 in ‘16. So trending in the right direction.

It was also apparent early that Jose Berrios had his good stuff working once again. Berrios carried a shutout into the sixth inning, but it’s going to be tough for anybody to keep this Phillies lineup down for long.

Berrios walked Andrew McCutchen to lead off the sixth inning, managed to retire both Jean Segura and Bryce Harper, but gave up a two-run home run to Rhys Hoskins to give Philadelphia a 2-1 lead. It was a good pitch, a curveball down and away on the corner, and Hoskins didn’t even appear to put all that great of a swing on it, but that’s a strong dude.

Berrios leaned a bit more on his offspeed pitches in his first two starts of the year and really went curveball crazy this afternoon. He deployed that pitch 51 times today among the 98 pitches he threw. That’s pretty bonkers, considering Jose threw that curveball 30.4 percent of the time last season. It’ll be interesting to follow his use of that pitch going forward.

The Twins only had one other really strong scoring chance. Marwin Gonzalez hit a leadoff single in the fourth inning, advanced to second on a ground out and tried to score from there on an Ehire Adrianza single. McCutchen made a beautiful play, throwing a strike to home plate, and Gonzalez was tagged out by inches.

It’s too bad the Twins couldn’t muster any offense after the Kepler leadoff homer, but all in all I’d have to say this was an encouraging series for the Twins. Friday night was ugly, but they were able to hang tough against a formidable Phillies team otherwise. That bodes well for a team that gets to face the AL Central in nearly half of their games.

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: Bullpen47.png
Next Three Games
Tue at NYM, 6:10 pm CT (Gibson-deGrom)
Wed at NYM, 6:10 pm CT (Odorizzi-Syndergaard)
Fri vs. DET, 7:10 pm CT (TBD)

Last Game
MIN 6, PHI 2: Twins Find Power Stroke, Slug 3 Homers in Victory

More From Twins Daily
Twins Minor League Report (4/6): And on the Third Day, There Was Baseball
The 12 Stages of Willians Astudillo Fandom

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44 Comments

This wasn't the best lineup the Twins could have put out there. In a 2-1 game, the lineup matters.

    • Blake, Jerr, mikelink45 and 5 others like this
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mickeymental
Apr 07 2019 02:42 PM

well, it's not like they've got a .500 hitter on the bench.

    • glunn, Jerr, nicksaviking and 7 others like this

I'll have to go locate my 3-D glasses in order to properly view that Rob Friedman video. :)

    • glunn, Riverbrian, MN_ExPat and 2 others like this

Twins have matchups against de Grom and Syndegaard the next two games. Shoulda grabbed this game and ran. Instead they rolled over.

 

Berrios deserved better. If the Twins can't hit Zach Eflin, it's gonna be a long 2 games in New York to start the week.

    • glunn, h2oface, bluechipper and 3 others like this

Walk haunted and I would take my odds on that play at the plate.Definitely better than 50/50 but such is baseball. Yeah, de Grom and Syndegaard are tough but the Twins often have a tougher time against the soft tossers. Good sign that the only two times the Phillies have scored fewer than 5 runs were the last two.Forget Friday, you're not going to hold anyone down with 10 freebies and 3 errors. 

    • glunn, Dman and MN_ExPat like this
My main concerns going into the season were the bullpen and the all or nothing nature of the lineup at the plate. I’ve been surprised by the bullpen but today is an example of the pitfalls of having a lot of swing and miss guys. Eflin was begging to get smoked and they couldn’t put anything together
    • Dantes929 and caninatl04 like this
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The Mask of Zoilo
Apr 07 2019 04:44 PM
Eflin was helped a lot today by Twins swinging at pitches out of the strike zone. There was one Adrianza at bat where Elfin threw him 8 straight balls. He could have walked twice! I laughed when Adrianza singled at the end of the at bat.
    • glunn, 70charger and CUtomorrownight like this

 

Sure would be nice it these guys could get some hits. What do they say? Good teams find a way to win close games.....

I know we want to play all our players, but Polanco on the bench?Give me a break - don't give Philadelphia a break. Get our bats in the lineup.  

    • Jerr, bluechipper, caninatl04 and 3 others like this

You know what y'all? It's baseball, it happens. Yeah, they had their chances but came up short. It's baseball. Philly looks to be a pretty good team this year and the Twins showed well overall.  

 

It was a good, close game and I enjoyed watching it. Sucks that they lost, but now we move on to the next contest.

 

Man, I love this game :)

    • glunn, Jerr, Dantes929 and 7 others like this
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yarnivek1972
Apr 07 2019 05:40 PM

I know we want to play all our players, but Polanco on the bench? Give me a break - don't give Philadelphia a break. Get our bats in the lineup.


He’s been battling shoulder issues all spring. It’s pretty likely IMO that he will need to be rested more than would be typical for a starting shortstop.
    • glunn, gil4, Dman and 2 others like this
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tarheeltwinsfan
Apr 07 2019 05:50 PM

 

well, it's not like they've got a .500 hitter on the bench.

LOL

    • Jerr, gil4 and Original Whizzinator like this
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tarheeltwinsfan
Apr 07 2019 05:57 PM

The Twins did pretty well considering there was no place for Cruz to play except to pinch hit. The big question is how will the Twins solve this problem when playing at the National League park in the World Series this season?.

    • glunn, Jerr, Dantes929 and 7 others like this
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Nine of twelve
Apr 07 2019 06:47 PM

So we're 5-3. A lot of folks will say, "meh". Well, going 5-3 every 8 games allows you to meh your way to a 100-win season.

    • ashbury, Jerr, James and 8 others like this
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Old Twins Cap
Apr 07 2019 06:48 PM

Didn't see the game.Buxton have good ABs?

    • blindeke and whatyouknowtwinsfan like this
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Nine of twelve
Apr 07 2019 06:50 PM

 

I know we want to play all our players, but Polanco on the bench?Give me a break - don't give Philadelphia a break. Get our bats in the lineup.  

I know there are a lot of off-days here but we still need to rest people and give others a chance to play, if for no other reason than not to get rusty. If you're going to play your B lineup do it when Berrios is pitching. It still gives you a chance to win, as shown by today's game. We came up short but we were right there. Save your best lineup for when you've got someone else starting.

    • gbg and MN_ExPat like this
Photo
Taildragger8791
Apr 07 2019 08:23 PM

 

Didn't see the game.Buxton have good ABs?

 

First at-bat was ugly, with a first pitch pop out to the catcher on a slider in the zone with a runner on first and no outs. His second at-bat was good, stayed away from balls off the plate and stung a line drive 400 ft to center for an out. He did foul another slider in the zone though, so he probably needs to learn to spit on that pitch in hitter's counts. I didn't see the final at-bat but the play-by-play report looks decent.

    • blindeke, Hosken Bombo Disco, caninatl04 and 1 other like this

Couple of real close Berrios pitches that hit the corners but were called balls in key spots. This game was one of those coin toss situations... 

Photo
MMMordabito
Apr 08 2019 05:46 AM
Going 3-4 on an early season road trip against these teams was never going to be the end of the world. That's worst case scenario at this point.

Hopefully, they can steal one from the Mets and have a winning road trip.
    • Dman, Hosken Bombo Disco, dbminn and 2 others like this
Photo
Hosken Bombo Disco
Apr 08 2019 07:47 AM

I know there are a lot of off-days here but we still need to rest people and give others a chance to play, if for no other reason than not to get rusty. If you're going to play your B lineup do it when Berrios is pitching. It still gives you a chance to win, as shown by today's game. We came up short but we were right there. Save your best lineup for when you've got someone else starting.

By that reasoning of the B lineup, maybe Cruz should have been in the outfield, then? Not sure how you come down on that issue of Cruz not playing in NL parks.
Photo
terrydactyls1947
Apr 08 2019 07:49 AM

Couple of real close Berrios pitches that hit the corners but were called balls in key spots. This game was one of those coin toss situations...


It's too bad that the Twins don't have one of those pitch framing catchers to turn those close calls into strikes.
    • lukeduke1980, caninatl04 and DannySD like this
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terrydactyls1947
Apr 08 2019 07:53 AM
When Hoskins hit his homerun, my first thought was: "Grab that bat and see if it's corked." That was a one-handed swing on a low and away curve. It's a shame to get beat by that.
    • Dman likes this

 

So we're 5-3. A lot of folks will say, "meh". Well, going 5-3 every 8 games allows you to meh your way to a 100-win season.

meh.

    • James and Nine of twelve like this

 

Eflin was helped a lot today by Twins swinging at pitches out of the strike zone. There was one Adrianza at bat where Elfin threw him 8 straight balls. He could have walked twice! I laughed when Adrianza singled at the end of the at bat.

 

Considering how often the ump was giving Eflin K's 2-4 inches off the plate, I can't exactly blame any of the Twins for swinging more at stuff inside and outside the plate. Justin Morneau was getting so annoyed those strike calls that even Dick Bremer noticed, and Dick usually doesn't comment on umpiring.

Photo
Tom Froemming
Apr 08 2019 08:25 AM

 

It's too bad that the Twins don't have one of those pitch framing catchers to turn those close calls into strikes.

From yesterday. Looks pretty good to me.
47chart

 

    • jorgenswest, Mike Sixel and Tibs like this

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