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Article: Do The Twins Need A Proven Closer?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:02 PM
Last week, the Minnesota Twins announced that they would not be activating the contract option for Glen Perkins, making him a free agent....
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Potential Free Agent Idea

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:04 PM
How about Ichiro to platoon with Kepler?   I know he's left handed, but he hits lefties better than righties. Wouldn't need much pla...
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T-Wolves Regular Season Thread

Minnesota Timberwolves Talk Today, 05:04 PM
Let's get this mother started.    
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Go get Verlander

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:48 PM
http://www.espn.com/...astros-audition   Best possible combination of help in 2017 and help in the next couple years, right where th...
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Twins to hire John Manuel

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 04:05 PM
Didn't see that coming.
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Recapping The Recaps: Looking Back At The Top-10 Moments & More

And so it ends. We saw the 2017 Minnesota Twins put together the greatest bounce-back season in team history, but just because this team would never say die didn’t mean it could live forever. As a way to look back on what was an unforgettable season, here is every game recap published at Twins Daily this season all in one place. I’ve also highlighted my personal top-10 moments and added some brief notes.
Image courtesy of David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
There were obviously some great moments prior to when I started the recaps, probably the most memorable for me was Joe Mauer’s first career walkoff homer to beat the Red Sox in early May.

JUNE

6 | Seattle 12, Twins 3: Santiago Still Struggling, Dozier Still Slugging
7 | Seattle 6, Twins 5: Kintzler Can’t Close it Out, Zunino Blasts Walk-Off HR
8 | Twins 2, Seattle 1: Pitching, Defense and a Castro Blast
9 | Twins 4, San Francisco 0: Superman Santana

Ervin pitched a Maddux and hit a bases-clearing double. Eat your heart out, Madison Bumgarner. Maybe the Twins should’ve DHed Ervin in the Wild Card game.

10 | Twins 3, San Francisco 2: Dozier, Vargas Power Twins Behind Solid Start From Berrios
11 | Giants 13, Twins 8: Bullpen Vets Lead Twins To Loss
12 | Mariners 14, Twins 3: Mejia Crushed, Gimenez Pitches Again
13 | Twins 20, Mariners 7: Twins Set Franchise Record With 28 Hits
14 | Mariners 6, Twins 4: Buxton’s Big Night
15 | Twins 6, Mariners 2: Berrios Cruises, Gimenez Bruises
16 | Cleveland 8, Twins 1: AL Central Lead Dwindles
17 | Recap: Doubleheader Sweep Puts Cleveland Atop Division
18 | Cleveland 5, Twins 2: Encarnaci-Owned
19 | OFF
20 | Twins 9, White Sox 7: Vargas Hits One To Venus
21 | Twins 4, White Sox 2: The Machine Set To Attack Mode
22 | White Sox 9, Twins 0: Another Gimenez Game
23 | Twins 5, Cleveland 0: Mejia Battles Through, Hildenberger Debuts
24 | Twins 4, Cleveland 2: Skeleton Crew Beats Kluber, Allen

The Twins beat Corey Kluber on a day in which their corner outfielders were Gimenez and Grossman. There was no Sano, no Rosario and no Kepler and the team beat arguably the best pitcher in baseball. The game ended on a fabulous diving catch by Buxton. The Twins completed their sweep at Cleveland the next day.

25 | Twins 4, Cleveland 0: What a Difference a Week Makes
26 | Red Sox 4, Twins 1: Sale Outduels Berrios
27 | Twins 2, Red Sox 9: Rain, Defense Put Damper On Soggy Night (by Seth Stohs)
28 | Twins 4, Red Sox 1: Mejia Shines, Kepler Powers Twins To Fenway Win (by Seth Stohs)
29 | Red Sox 6, Twins 3: Series of Unfortunate Events
30 | Royals 8, Twins 1: Another Fielding Blunder Leads to Another Ugly Inning

JULY

1 | Recap: Sano Homers Twice, Jorge Impresses as Twins Split
2 | Royals 6, Twins 2: Behind Santiago, Road Trip Ends in Disappointment
3 | Twins 9, Angels 5: Mejia, Mauer, Max Lead Twins to Victory
4 | Twins 5, Angels 4: Buxton Busts Out as Gibson Glides
5 | Angels 2, Twins 1: Angels Steal a Victory, Spoil Santana’s CG
6 | Twins 6, Orioles 4: Twins Use Big Inning To Top Orioles (by Seth Stohs)
7 | Twins 9, Orioles 6: Twins Rally Back From 6-Run Deficit

This game left quite an impression on me. One of the earlier showings of this team’s determination, this was the team’s biggest comeback victory of the year. Hildenberger earned his first MLB victory. Oh, and Buxton scored from first base on a ground ball hit to the shortstop.

8 | Orioles 5, Twins 1: Sano Homers, Twins Leave 11 Men On Base
9 | Orioles 11, Twins 5: Granite’s Great Catch Highlights Final Game of First Half
10 | OFF
11 | OFF
12 | OFF
13 | OFF
14 | Astros 10, Twins 5: Berrios Bombs
15 | Twins 4, Astros 2: Reliable Rogers Escapes Bases-Loaded Jam
16 | Astros 5, Twins 3: Defensive Shortcomings Spoil Solid Start From Gibson
17 | Twins 4, Yankees 2: Pitching, Defense, Timely Hitting Lead to Victory
18 | Yankees 6, Twins 3: Bartolopalooza Ends in Defeat
19 | Twins 6, Yankees 1: Berrios, Sano Lift Twins to Series Victory
20 | OFF
21 | Tigers 6, Twins 3: Bad Santana
22 | Twins 6, Tigers 5: Twins Hold Off Tigers
23 | DET 9, MIN 6: Twins Drop to Third in Division, 2.5 Games Back
24 | LAD 6, MIN 4: Rogers Gives Up Bellinger Blast, Blows Lead
25 | Twins 2, Dodgers 6: Twins Fall Below .500 (by Seth Stohs)
26 | LAD 6, MIN 5: Uff Da
27 | OFF
28 | Twins 6, A's 3: Garcia Wins First (Last?) Twins Start (by Seth Stohs)
29 | OAK 5, MIN 4: Rogers Gives Up Walk-Off HR
30 | OAK 6, MIN 5: Deja Vu
31 | OFF

AUGUST

1 | SDP 3, MIN 0: Don’t Need a Closer if You Can’t Score
2 | MIN 5, SDP 2: Don’t Need a Closer When You’ve Got Erv
3 | TEX 4, MIN 1: Twins Muster Just 3 Hits in Loss
4 | MIN 8, TEX 4: Colon Pitches a Complete Game (Yes, Really)

Colon pitched a complete game at 44-years-old. I’m still not sure that’s sunk in yet for me. Unbelievable. Following the disappointment of the trade deadline things could’ve turned ugly, but this game seemed to loosen things up again.

5 | TEX 4, MIN 1: Twins Struggle to Score Without Sano, Mauer
6 | MIN 6, TEX 5: Belisle Earns First Post-Kintzler Save
7 | MIN 5, MIL 4: Rosario Scores Go-Ahead Run on Balk, Polanco Collects 4 Hits
8 | MIN 11, MIL 4: Twins Slug 5 Home Runs
9 | MIN 4, MIL 0: Big Sexy With 7 Scoreless Lifts Twins Back to .500
10 | MIN 7, MIL 2: 5 Alive!
11 | MIN 9, DET 4: WE COMIN’!!!

If you couldn’t tell by the headline, I was pretty excited about this one. This win put the Twins in a tie with Seattle for the second wild card spot. Buxton made a great diving catch at the warning track. Torii Hunter, who was in the booth for that game, put it best: “Oh my goodness … REALLY!?!?!?” Max also made a great grab that he and Dozier turned into a double play.

12 | DET 12, MIN 11: Twins Lose Crazy Game On Walk-Off HR
13 | MIN 6, DET 4: Twins Match 2016 Win Total With 46 Games Left to Play
14 | OFF
15 | CLE 8, MIN 1: Salazar Dominates, Cleveland Hits 5 HRs
16 | POSTPONED
17 | Recap: Slegers Shines in Debut, Twins Split Doubleheader
18 | MIN 10, ARI 3: Buxton Inside-the-Parker Highlights 6 HR Game for Twins

The fastest man in baseball put on a show. Buxton tripled and hit an inside-the-park homer, plus the Twins clubbed five more bombs over the fence, including two from Sano.

19 | MIN 5, ARI 0: Berri-0s
20 | MIN 12, ARI 5: Twins Sweep Arizona, Have Won 11 of Last 14
21 | Recap: Polanco Homers Twice as Twins Split Doubleheader
22 | MIN 4, CWS 1: Gibson Great, Twins Hit 3 More Homers
23 | CWS 4, MIN 3: Twins Bullpen Blows Lead
24 | CWS 5, MIN 1: Twins Drop Ugly Game, Series to White Sox
25 | MIN 6, TOR 1: Buxton, Bartolo Get Twins Back to Winning Ways
26 | TOR 10, MIN 9: Sloppy 8th Inning Costs Twins in Comeback Effort
27 | MIN 7, TOR 2: Buxton Hits 3 Homers, Twins Win Series at Toronto

Buxton already had a signature game displaying his speed, this was where he showcased his power. For a big chunk of the season, people were calling for Buxton to just hit the ball on the ground. This three-homer game shut most of those people up.

28 | OFF
29 | MIN 6, CHW 4: Polanco Does it All
30 | MIN 11, CHW 1: Rosario Hits 2 HRs, Buxton Exits With Injury
31 | MIN 5, CHW 4: Twins Win on Walk-Off HBP

SEPTEMBER

1 | KC 7, MIN 6: Oh, So Close
2 | MIN 17, KC 0: What Negative Run Differential?
3 | KC 5, MIN 4: What Even Is A Swing, Anyway?
4 | TB 11, MIN 4: Bullpen Lets Game Get Out Of Hand
5 | TB 2, MIN 1: Too Little, Too Late
6 | MIN 10, TB 6: Twins Prevail Thanks to Big Error
7 | MIN 4, KC 2: Comeback Complete
8 | MIN 8, KC 5: Rosario Drives in 4, Hildenberger Holds it Together
9 | KC 5, MIN 2: Molitor Pushes All the Wrong Buttons in Loss
10 | KC 11, MIN 3: Big Dud from Big Sexy & Co.
11 | OFF
12 | MIN 16, SDP 0: Twins Hit 7 HRs, Set New Record

This was the first time in MLB history a team hit a home run in each of the first seven innings of a game. That’s a lot of games. Seven homers. Seven! Also, Goodrum got his first-career hit and Moya made his Major League debut. Plus (yes, there’s more) both Buxton and Granite made great catches.

13 | MIN 3, SDP 1: Rosario Hits Walk-Off HR in 10th Inning
14 | MIN 3, TOR 2: Buxton Blasts Walk-Off HR

What’s better than a walk-off homer? Walk-off homers in back-to-back games! After Rosario sent everybody home happy the night before, and Buxton stepped up in this one. What an incredible three-game stretch of awesomeness we were treated to here.

15 | TOR 4, MIN 3: Pressley Fails To Pounce, Is Victim Of A Bad Bounce
16 | TOR 7, MIN 2: Pub Crawlers Have Best Night Ever Despite Twins Loss
17 | MIN 13, TOR 7: Mauer Grand Slam Among 4 Twins Homers In Comeback Victory
18 | NYY 2, MIN 1: Garcia, Yankees Bullpen Dominate Twins
19 | NYY 5, MIN 2: Tough Night For Berrios, Twins
20 | NYY 11, MIN 3: Twins Crumble At Yankee Stadium (Again)
21 | MIN 12, DET 1: Once Again, The Twins Bounce Back
22 | MIN 7, DET 3: Gibson, Offense Keep Rolling
23 | MIN 10, DET 4: Twins Blow Out Tigers Bullpen
24 | MIN 10, DET 4: Deja Vu All Over Again
25 | OFF
26 | MIN 8, CLE 6: Twins Use Team Record 10 Pitchers In Victory

They did it again, another comeback. Trailing Cleveland 6-4 in the eighth inning, Dozier clobbered a three-run oppo taco. Buxton also made another insane catch in a key situation. All this on a day in which their starter lasted just one inning due to illness.

27 | CLE 4, MIN 2: Twins Lose, Clinch Postseason Berth Anyway
28 | CLE 5, MIN 2: Ervin Caps Banner Year With 5 Shutout Innings
29 | MIN 6, DET 3: Dozier, Escobar Lead Offense To Victory
30 | DET 3, MIN 2: Twins Lose In Romine Sideshow Game

OCTOBER

1 | MIN 5, DET 1: Behind Castro, Colon Twins Cap Off Regular Season With Victory
2 | OFF
3 | NYY 8, MIN 4: It’s Over

And that does it. You’ll have to let me know what your personal favorites were.

I jumped headfirst into these recaps, but from the get-go I was as skeptical as anyone about my ability to keep up. This was a challenge of mental endurance more than anything. I had the time, it was all about staying motivated. These recaps are really fun, but nobody wants to eat their favorite meal every night for dinner.

Seth Stohs chipped in on a handful of nights between June and July, but I did 101 of these things. This is significant for me because I started writing in 2004 and up until this point the only thing that was consistent about the effort in my writing was that it was inconsistent. I could never see anything through to the finish. This was tough to do night in and night out for this long and I’m damn proud to have made it to the finish line. It probably looks super tacky for me to be patting myself on the back like this, but I don’t even care.

I’d like to thank some people. First and foremost, I want to thank my wife and our one-year-old daughter. They’re the best. I want to thank Seth for the opportunity and all the founders/contributors/moderators/community members who built this place up so I could just waltz in five years later and write on the best Twins destination on the Internet. The real strength of these recaps is they’re sort of a collage, so I want to make sure to thank all the places that made these possible: FOX Sports North, Fangraphs, Baseball-Reference, Baseball Savant, Brooks Baseball, the Twins and all the beat writers.

I also want to thank everybody who read these things. You folks helped point out errors, suggested new ideas and added tons of interesting insights in the comments section. Honestly, I couldn’t have kept going without you. The bottom line was always to make these recaps valuable to the reader. I sincerely hope they contributed to your enjoyment of the 2017 season.

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13 Comments

When Tom pitched this idea to me, I had just one comment for him. I told him it needed to be something different than what they can get elsewhere.It needed to provide information to the Twins Daily readers that they don't get elsewhere. Tom took it from there. 

 

I like the tweets being added with highlights. I really liked the play-by-play win probability chart. And I found the bullpen usage piece really, really valuable... 

    • Steve Lein, glunn, Mike Sixel and 9 others like this
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Tom Froemming
Oct 04 2017 09:22 PM

 

When Tom pitched this idea to me, I had just one comment for him. I told him it needed to be something different than what they can get elsewhere.It needed to provide information to the Twins Daily readers that they don't get elsewhere. Tom took it from there. 

 

I like the tweets being added with highlights. I really liked the play-by-play win probability chart. And I found the bullpen usage piece really, really valuable... 

The fun part is there are still a lot of things I would love to include in these things, but just didn't quite find the right way to do them. That constant evolution of the format is another thing that kept these fresh and fun for me.

 

The win expectancy charts are like my favorite thing ever, but I'd also love to somehow include a traditional box score and have it look good. I'd also love to do more with video, but it's time consuming to throw stuff together and MLB doesn't make it very easy to share their stuff. The big thing for me with video is I don't want to have to direct people to an external site to watch or make them sit through ads, so that stubbornness puts a limitation on things.

 

If anybody else has any other ideas to improve these I'm all ears. I can't make any promises that I'll be able to implement those ideas, time is a factor and a lot of stuff isn't even available right when a game ends (I'm looking at you, baseball-reference), but I will definitely look into it.

    • Seth Stohs, Steve Lein, glunn and 3 others like this

I just wanted a recap on this site and something that would let us know when the next game or two (turned out to be 3) was going to be and who was pitching without having to go to MLB and sift through their stuff.I wanted to be able to discuss the game on a post dedicated to it without having to sift through all the pages of the game day thread. You really filled a major void on this site Tom.Thank you.Don't know how we got along without it. Sad to have to go 6 months before seeing it again.

    • Steve Lein, glunn, Mike Sixel and 4 others like this
Adding a well deserved pat on the back to help Tom out here.
    • glunn, Riverbrian, snepp and 1 other like this
Great work, Tom. Hope you're back next year.
    • glunn, Riverbrian, snepp and 1 other like this

 

The fun part is there are still a lot of things I would love to include in these things, but just didn't quite find the right way to do them. That constant evolution of the format is another thing that kept these fresh and fun for me.

 

The win expectancy charts are like my favorite thing ever, but I'd also love to somehow include a traditional box score and have it look good. I'd also love to do more with video, but it's time consuming to throw stuff together and MLB doesn't make it very easy to share their stuff. The big thing for me with video is I don't want to have to direct people to an external site to watch or make them sit through ads, so that stubbornness puts a limitation on things.

 

If anybody else has any other ideas to improve these I'm all ears. I can't make any promises that I'll be able to implement those ideas, time is a factor and a lot of stuff isn't even available right when a game ends (I'm looking at you, baseball-reference), but I will definitely look into it.

Love the idea of the Box Score, very old school. Think that is something that we can all relate to. Great job on the writing and stories this season, really enjoyed it all.

    • glunn, Riverbrian, Dantes929 and 2 others like this

I like this, but where are the Top 10 Moments?

    • glunn and Tom Froemming like this
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Tom Froemming
Oct 05 2017 10:52 AM

 

I like this, but where are the Top 10 Moments?

In the list of games. The 10 are in bold and have a couple indented sentences under them explaining why those games were special.

    • glunn likes this

One of the newest, favoritest, parts of the site for me! thank you.

    • glunn, BigSkyTwinsFan, Riverbrian and 2 others like this
This definitely became a must read for me. I liked the win probability chart, but my favorite part was the bullpen use table. I thought that was a very unique way to help think about tomorrow's game while still reviewing today's. Thanks for your work!
    • glunn, Riverbrian, snepp and 1 other like this

I loved reading this every day. You provided recaps that were better than what I could find anywhere else.

 

The writing was crisp and relevant. The clips were well chosen, and the other features were informative and apt.

 

This obviously took a ton of work, and I am grateful.

    • ashburyjohn, Riverbrian, Dantes929 and 2 others like this
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tarheeltwinsfan
Oct 07 2017 05:46 PM

Outstanding writing Tom. Thank you for the time, effort, knowledge and skill.

    • glunn, Riverbrian, Dantes929 and 2 others like this

May you gather as much stamina as you can Tom because many of us have become addicted.:)

 

I'll never take these things for granted.

 

Daily content like you provide is VERY HARD to do. Each blank page is a project. 

 

It makes your impressiveness more impressive. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    • glunn, Dantes929, snepp and 1 other like this

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