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Royals 6, Twins 2: Behind Santiago, Road Trip Ends in Disappointment

The Twins got their 11-game road trip off to such a great start, sweeping Cleveland to take back first place in the AL Central. After that, it appears the road magic may have been all used up. They dropped three of four at Boston, and after a loss Sunday, three of four at Kansas City to put them in a tie for second place in the division.
Image courtesy of Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
Royals 6, Twins 2
Box Score

Hector Santiago struggled, lasting just 3.1 innings while giving up four runs on four hits and a walk. Phil Hughes, who is likely still acclimating himself to coming out of the bullpen again, looked pretty bad too. He gave up two runs on six hits over 1.2 innings.

Those performances didn’t give the Twins much of a chance to win, but it’s not like the bats had a great day, either. The team had eight hits, two each from Miguel Sano and Eduardo Escobar, but all of them were singles. They were 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base.

Santiago pitched in relief in the Twins 15-inning loss to Tampa Bay on May 28 and hasn’t been the same since. In his ten games prior to that appearance, Santiago had a 4.07 ERA and five quality starts. Since then, he’s given up 19 earned runs over 15 innings pitched (11.40 ERA).

Santiago was never a guy who overpowered hitters with his velocity, but losing a couple ticks off a fastball isn’t going to help any pitcher. His readings have been steadily declining all season.
Attached Image: SantiagoGraph.jpeg
Hector didn’t even bother with his four-seam fastball Sunday, instead sticking primarily with his sinker. As a result, he failed to hit even 90 mph on the day.
Attached Image: SantiagoVelo.png
Looking from the outside in, trying to read between the lines, it looks to me like Santiago should go back on the DL until he gets right. At the very least, he probably could’ve benefitted from a longer rehab stint than one appearance.

Trevor Hildenberger was a bright spot. He pitched two scoreless innings and struck out three batters. The 26-year-old has started his major league career with five scoreless innings.

After their terrible 7-16 April, the Royals have gone 34-24 to put them a game above .500.

Postgame With Molitor

Bullpen Usage
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Attached Image: Pen72.png
Monday
Twins (Adalberto Mejia) vs. Angels (Alex Meyer), 7:10 pm CT

Welp, Alex Meyer has been pretty darn good for the Angels. In 11 starts he’s got a 3.74 ERA and is averaging 10.1 K/9. On the downside, however, his WHIP is 1.41 and he’s issuing 6.0 BB/9. In five starts away from The Big A, Meyer has a 6.75 ERA.

Mejia is coming off back-to-back scoreless starts on the road. That’s given the 24-year-old lefty some odd home-road splits. He now has a 2.31 ERA on the road and 6.11 mark at Target Field. Also curious: he’s got reverse platoon splits (.864 OPS vs. LHB, .795 OPS vs. RHB).

AL Central Standings
Cleveland 44-37
Twins 41-40 (-3)
Kansas City 41-40 (-3)
Detroit 36-45 (-8)
Chicago 35-45 (-8.5)


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22 Comments

The bullpen pitch numbers are deceptive.  If a guy throws three or four innings, pitch count isn't all that.  True, that pitchers needs 2-3 days rest--but everybody else just got a day of rest--or one spent and six rested--a fair trade in my opinion.

Hughes looked like he was contemplating his retirement on the bench after he was pulled. I don't blame him. 

 

I have a hard time not pulling for Alex Meyer, even against the Twins. But hey... we have Santiago (and not that I miss him, but Nolasco just pitched a complete game shutout last night against the Mariners, who bombed our pitching).

 

I fear this will be a long second half of the season. There sure are a lot of .250-ish hitters on this team. I wish Buxton could hit MLB pitching.

    • bighat likes this

Santiago needs a phantom trip to the DL - get him off this team, pronto. I'd rather watch guys who might have a future, like Jorge. Santiago is a washed-up has-been, a Mike Pelfrey type guy who gives the team absolute zero chance to win. It's clear the Angels jobbed the Twins on that trade but at this point Santiago's a sunk cost and if the Twins want to maintain respectability he's got to go. 

 

Sano lost his lead for the All Star Game and won't be starting. Not that Ramirez isn't having a good year, don't get me wrong. But gee whiz, gimme a break with this online voting system and the #Vote5TimesPerDay hastags and whatnot. The average fan doesn't want to see Ramirez starting at 3B. But he will because of the combined power of a hyper-local social media campaign. 'Member the Royals getting all the starters a couple years ago? Cripes. I work in technology and love it, but it's pretty embarrassing to watch MLB try and appear tech-savvy when it's clear they don't see how flawed this type of system is.  

 

The MLB doesn't seem to care about the integrity of the process.It's all about clicks and social media metrics - none of which truly measure...anything.

 

On the bright side, we've all got Tuesday off work and many of us aren't working Monday, either.I'm going to be planting some bamboo in my jardin down here and digging in the dirt. Big Minneapolis trip coming up in 10 days, looking forward to spending some time "back home" as well!

    • Hosken Bombo Disco and hybridbear like this
Integrity of voting for an all start game? Rameriaz had been the better okay for a year now

 

Integrity of voting for an all start game? Rameriaz had been the better okay for a year now

Ramirez has been better than Sano this year as well.  Offensively and defensively.

 

Ramirez is deservedly the starter.

    • HitInAPinch likes this
I like the "Meyer has been pretty good" and then you ripped off a bunch of ways he hasn't been good.
    • Mike Sixel, wsnydes and Tom Froemming like this
In the big picture, a 5-6 road trip to Cleveland, Boston and Kansas City isn't that bad.
    • ThejacKmp, h2oface and wsnydes like this
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yarnivek1972
Jul 02 2017 07:14 PM

In the big picture, a 5-6 road trip to Cleveland, Boston and Kansas City isn't that bad.


Until you couple it with a 4-7 homestand that immediately preceded it.

Until you couple it with a 4-7 homestand that immediately preceded it.


4-7 was not good. They'll need a good week here heading into the break.
    • Dozier's Glorious Hair likes this
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Tom Froemming
Jul 02 2017 07:28 PM

 

I like the "Meyer has been pretty good" and then you ripped off a bunch of ways he hasn't been good.

Yeah, the only compliments I can muster for him are of the backhanded variety at least for now. 

    • drjim likes this
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Tom Froemming
Jul 02 2017 07:42 PM

 

The bullpen pitch numbers are deceptive.

I get your point after this, but I'm not sure what you mean by saying the numbers are deceptive. Is it the color coding that is misleading? I chose those thresholds because I don't think you're going to see a guy throw 21+ pitches and be available the next night too often.

 

In the big picture, a 5-6 road trip to Cleveland, Boston and Kansas City isn't that bad.

I blame Jack Morris. Twins had a 5-1 lead in the 3rd inning  Saturday afternoon and Morris said something to the effect  "well, the Twins have this one pretty well wrapped up".  I am not overly superstitious but I do believe in the baseball Gods.  They do not like those comments.  I just groaned and said to my wife "it will be tied up by the 7th inning".  Morris should know better.

    • Dozier's Glorious Hair likes this

 

I get your point after this, but I'm not sure what you mean by saying the numbers are deceptive. Is it the color coding that is misleading? I chose those thresholds because I don't think you're going to see a guy throw 21+ pitches and be available the next night too often.

My point is that extending a RP to 3-4 (assuming he's effective!) innings and using 40+ pitches is not a bad thing. Sure, this pitcher needs rest for awhile, but the 2-3 guys who weren't used (due to the preference of 1 inning/ 1 pitcher) all received a day of rest.

Photo
Hosken Bombo Disco
Jul 03 2017 12:15 AM
There is a map floating around. Sano was the solid vote getter for the majority of the nation, except for Ohio. And I suspect it was all very last-minute voting. Like it or not, fans across the country voted for Sano.

In any case..........
    • HitInAPinch likes this
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Hosken Bombo Disco
Jul 03 2017 12:29 AM
It's nice to finally cheer for a team that's good but slumping, instead of a not-so-good team that has the occasional hot streak.
    • HitInAPinch and wsnydes like this
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HitInAPinch
Jul 03 2017 02:04 AM

 

It's nice to finally cheer for a team that's good but slumping, instead of a not-so-good team that has the occasional hot streak.

I'm hoping for a 2nd half surge from the Twins.  Something reminiscent of the '87 and '91 seasons would be great!! 

    • Hosken Bombo Disco likes this

I blame Jack Morris. Twins had a 5-1 lead in the 3rd inning Saturday afternoon and Morris said something to the effect "well, the Twins have this one pretty well wrapped up". I am not overly superstitious but I do believe in the baseball Gods. They do not like those comments. I just groaned and said to my wife "it will be tied up by the 7th inning". Morris should know better.


Had to say, I felt good up 5-1 with Berrios on the mound.
Photo
Tom Froemming
Jul 03 2017 06:18 AM

 

My point is that extending a RP to 3-4 (assuming he's effective!) innings and using 40+ pitches is not a bad thing. Sure, this pitcher needs rest for awhile, but the 2-3 guys who weren't used (due to the preference of 1 inning/ 1 pitcher) all received a day of rest.

Yeah, I get what you're saying there and I agree.

 

But the information in that bullpen usage report isn't intended to say what is good and what is bad usage, it's just showing what happened. The last thing I want is for that to be deceptive or misleading. It's not saying that if a guys throws 40+ pitches that's a bad thing. 

 

My intention with including that data is to provide a snapshot of how the bullpen has been used to give some insight into who may or may not be available for the next game.

    • Mike Sixel and ThejacKmp like this

 

Had to say, I felt good up 5-1 with Berrios on the mound.

Yes. So did I but I didn't count it as a win while still in the 3rd inning. Its like being even par after 4 holes and saying "Hey, I've got this game figured out". I don't even like when Dick or Bert assume a win with a 4 run lead in the 9th.  If there is one unwritten rule in baseball I follow that is it.

Sounds like Molitor is not happy. I wonder if this is a sign of bigger changes to come.
I haven't been a big Molitor fan, but I gotta give him credit for actually holding veterans responsible for their garbage. Hopefully they cut santiago.

 

There is a map floating around. Sano was the solid vote getter for the majority of the nation, except for Ohio. And I suspect it was all very last-minute voting. Like it or not, fans across the country voted for Sano.

In any case..........

 

Clearly the solution is an electoral college of All-Star voting.

    • USAFChief likes this

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