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Twins 7, Cleveland 5: Twins Complete Sweep, Shift Focus to White Sox

The Twins completed a three-game sweep of Cleveland Sunday at Target Field, putting Minnesota three and a half games up in the standings with two weeks left to play. Up next is a four-game road series against the first-place Chicago White Sox.
Image courtesy of © Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
Box Score
Pineda: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K
Home Runs: Gonzalez (5), Cruz (16), Jeffers (3), Donaldson (4)
Top 3 WPA: Jeffers .192, Gonzalez .118, Wade Jr. .116
Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs):
Attached Image: Winchart.png

Mas Bombas
After slugging five home runs yesterday, the Bomba Squad was back at it again today. Marwin Gonzalez, Nelson Cruz, Ryan Jeffers and Josh Donaldson all went deep, continuing a power surge for the Twins.



Gonzalez has now homered in back-to-back games, Cruz is currently tied for the league lead with 16 home runs, Donaldson has hit three home runs in 11 games since returning from the IL and Jeffers has three bombas in his last four starts. The Twins have now slugged 18 bombas in their last six games.

Big Mike’s Uneven Day
On one hand, Cleveland had a ton of traffic on the bases against Michael Pineda. On the other hand, it’s not like they were squaring him up. Pineda gave up eight hits, but just one extra-base knock, a double to José Ramirez.

Big Mike also struck out eight batters for the second straight start, and has 20 Ks in 17 2/3 innings so far this season. All those hits and strikeouts resulted in a lot of pitches, and Pineda lasted just 4 2/3 innings this afternoon. He threw 66 of his 98 pitches for strikes.

May, Rosario Exit With Injuries
Trevor May was removed from the seventh inning of today’s game with what the Twins are calling mild back cramping. Eddie Rosario collided with Byron Buxton and suffered what’s being reported as a left-elbow contusion. Both May and Rosario are listed as day-to-day.



Romo Secures the Save
With Taylor Rogers having pitched yesterday, Rocco Baldelli turned to Sergio Romo in the ninth inning. Cleveland had the go-ahead run at the plate in slugger Franmil Reyes with one out, but Romo eviscerated him with an 86 mph fastball.

That might not seem like something a pitcher can do in 2020, with all the eye-popping velocity out there, but Romo set him up brilliantly by opening the at-bat with three mid-70s sliders. Made that fastball look like it was about 100 mph, and it completely froze Reyes for a gigantic strikeout.

Division Picture Developing
What once was a three-team standoff appears to have boiled down to a two-team showdown in the American League Central. Today’s loss was Cleveland’s sixth straight. The Twins will turn the page to Chicago, who has won eight of their nine games since they last played Minnesota.

Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet


Attached Image: Bullpen.png

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22 Comments

No more injuries please.

    • Danchat, DocBauer, JoshDungan1 and 6 others like this

Now can we get to Chicago? The pitching staff better not be giving up 13 hits in 9 innings to Chicago. This is exciting!

 

While I hope Eddie is OK, it could be an opening, finally, for another spark from the farm.... like Kirilloff (one r, two L's, and two f's)! This type of collision in the outfield now is really frustrating. I mean, it's not like there is too much noise to hear someone calling for the ball, and if they aren't calling for it...... WHY NOT!

    • mikelink45, PDX Twin, JoshDungan1 and 5 others like this
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railmarshalljon
Sep 13 2020 04:13 PM

What a sweep. Are there any Marwin doubters still out there or have y'all come to your senses?

What a sweep. Are there any Marwin doubters still out there or have y'all come to your senses?


Yeah... I still doubt... he's been pretty terrible this season.
    • Danchat, flpmagikat, John Kelsey and 2 others like this
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Nine of twelve
Sep 13 2020 04:47 PM

Phil Miller mentions in his Strib game summary that we have hit 25 dingers this month. In 12 games. SSS, but that is a rate of 337 in a 162-game season.

    • Joey P likes this

I always worry about those day to day injuries because we seem to limp along with inadequate coverage until suddenly we go to the IL.  

 

Questions that are not meant to take away from the wonderful sweep.

  • Is Kepler really the right person for the leadoff?Especially after his injury time.
  • Will we ever actually see the official scorer give the victory to the pitcher who deserves the win?Thielbar has been great, but to win today is a farce. 
  • Can Wade go through a season with walk, HBP, and never actually record an AB?
    • Joey P likes this

 

What a sweep. Are there any Marwin doubters still out there or have y'all come to your senses?

I'm still a doubter. He's the most over-rated player on the team only because he can play multiple positions. So he produced 2 games in a row. What about the 15 in a row when he doesn't? 

 

5 players that need to go bye bye to make this team better: Marwin, Cave, Adrianza, Wade, and Rosario.

    • jun likes this

Looking at this series before it started I never expected a sweep.All those Shiny one point ERA's or 2 point ERA's and a very good Indians bullpen made it appear they would\should be in every game.Yeah they haven't been hitting the ball all that well but the heart of their lineup can still do some damage.  

 

Baseball is a strange game as somehow someway the Twins won all three and the revived Home Run Bomba bats did the damage.They even got HR's with guys on base.With the offense struggling so badly this year it has felt like this team just isn't that good and yet they currently are one of the top teams in baseball. 

 

If the bats truly are back I think this team can do some damage in the playoffs because the starting pitching is much improved and the pen can hold it own.Let's grab some wins in Chicago and see what happens.

    • wabene likes this
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stringer bell
Sep 13 2020 05:39 PM

Cleveland looks like they'll be the wild card almost for sure. They Twins are 3.5 ahead and have a tiebreaker advantage. It's pretty hard to make up 4.5 games in only 13 games. They trail Chicago by 4.5, but get to host the White Sox later this month.

 

Now the Twins get the White Sox in Chicago. A split gives the Twins the tiebreaker advantage and three of four gives them the division lead and a tiebreaker advantage. It should be fun!

    • spycake, DocBauer and wabene like this
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twinbythebay
Sep 13 2020 06:02 PM

 

What a sweep. Are there any Marwin doubters still out there or have y'all come to your senses?

How about we wait at least until he's OPSing over .600 before we make any declarations of Marwin's greatness.

    • Danchat, JoshDungan1 and AceWrigley like this
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VivaBomboRivera!
Sep 13 2020 06:21 PM

 

... He's the most over-rated player on the team only because he can play multiple positions.

Ummm, some folks consider this an asset.Are their dugouts full of players that can do this?

 

"5 players that need to go bye bye to make this team better: Marwin, Cave, Adrianza, Wade, and Rosario."

 

We'll get back to you when there's an opening in the Personnel Department. ;-)

    • denarded, birdwatcher, DocBauer and 2 others like this

Great series sweep, now the big series is next. Chicago looks good, hitters up/down the lineup. I like Marwin, but don't know if he would be in my plans for Twins next year. 

I don't know what it means but find it interesting the White Sox are 18-2 against KC and Detroit.Means they are 12-14 against everyone else . Twins didn't do so well against those teams but have winning records against the White Sox, Cleveland and St. Louis. 

 

    • DocBauer, bighat and GNess like this

If the Twins take 3 of 4 in series in Chicago they set themselves up for a potential Top 2-3 seed.

    • wabene likes this

How about we wait at least until he's OPSing over .600 before we make any declarations of Marwin's greatness.


Marwin is actually up to .619 after the game today. :)
    • wabene, twinbythebay and Joey P like this
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JoshDungan1
Sep 13 2020 08:10 PM

 

5 players that need to go bye bye to make this team better: Marwin, Cave, Adrianza, Wade, and Rosario.

 

Why Wade? He's got one of the best eyes on the team, can play all three outfield positions at least decently and does have a little pop. Definitely a better fourth outfield option than Jake Cave, if maybe with a little less power but much more contact.

    • Danchat, AceWrigley and bighat like this

Count me in as a Wade Jr. fan. One thing I'm impressed with is how well prepared the rookies have looked when called up. Really a bummer about Rooker breaking his forearm; he just didn't get out of the way of the pitch enough.

    • denarded, birdwatcher, JoshDungan1 and 2 others like this

And checkout the MLB highlights of Saturday's homers by Marwin, Turtle and the Bandito; those fake outfield fans . . . very freaky.

    • JoshDungan1 and bighat like this

Count me in as a Lamont Wade fan. He takes solid ABs in nearly every plate appearance.Right now, no way should Kepler be leading off.Even before he was injured he wasn't going much with average in .220 range and not drawing walks.Needing somebody to leadoff, my vote would be Polanco as he's marginally better there.He's not a 3-hole hitter.Maybe moving Kepler down into 4-hole behind Cruz could help.Nice to see Gonzalez's bat awaken the last couple of days.Looking like he'll be starting at 2B with Arraez out (again).Sure hoping that Baldelli plays his BEST lineup these next 4 games vs. Sox as we'll need to score 4+ runs to win.I don't see any pitcher duels developing.Losing Rooker is a blow.Sure wish we'd bring up a hitter--Blankenhorn, Kiriloff or Larnach for extra bench bat this week.No reason to be carrying 15 pitchers at this point.

    • JoshDungan1, bighat and wabene like this
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Richard Swerdlick
Sep 14 2020 01:30 AM
With Eddie now slightly? injured, it would seem a good time to put him on the IL and see what Mr. Kiriloff or Larnach can do.
    • JoshDungan1 likes this

I hope Blankenhorn gets a shot. His positional flexibility would be helpful with Arraez out since he could fill in at 2B or in one of the corner OF spots as needed (and even drop in at 3B if Donaldson needs a day off). Time to find out if he can hit MLB pitching, but I think his power will play.

 

Not a great outing for Pineda, but he wasn't terrible either. I think he's still going to slot in as the 3rd starter for the Twin in the playoffs, behind Maeda & Berrios.

 

Odd game: at one point the Twins had 4 hits...and all were home runs.

    • JoshDungan1 and bighat like this

 

Odd game: at one point the Twins had 4 hits...and all were home runs.

Those are Bombas baby.