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Twins Game Recap (8/29): Break Out the Brooms on the South Side

The Minnesota Twins completed the three-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox and extended their road winning streak to a season-high seven games. Jose Berrios showed encouraging signs of getting back on track and the potent offense delivered again.
Image courtesy of FanGraphs
Box Score
Berrios: 6 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 62% strikes (63 of 101 pitches)
Bullpen: 3 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K

Home Runs: Jake Cave (2), C.J. Cron
Multi-Hit Games: Jorge Polanco (2-for-4), Nelson Cruz (2-for-4), Eddie Rosario (2-for-5), Jake Cave (2-for-5), C.J. Cron (3-for-5), Jonathan Schoop (3-for-4).

Top 3 WPA: Cron .139, Polanco .103, Cruz .098

Singles Day in Chicago
I cannot confirm nor deny the White Sox were having a singles day promotion but it would have been fitting given the way the Minnesota offense opened the game. Their first eight hits were all singles and the Twins scored six runs before recording their first extra-base hit.

That first extra-base hit came courtesy of Jake Cave when he led off the third inning with a solo home run. C.J. Cron followed suit and blasted another solo shot to give Minnesota back-to-back home runs to open the inning.

Jake Cave would later add a second home run to his afternoon and C.J. Cron would finish a triple shy of the cycle.

Quality Start for Berrios
Jose Berrios has pitched very well for the Twins this year but has struggled over his last four starts. He struggled with command throughout his start today but did a good job limiting the damage and earned only his second quality start over his last five outings.

With the postseason quickly approaching, it’s important that Berrios is able to get back on track.

Postgame With Baldelli


Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
Click here for a review of the number of pitches thrown by each member of the bullpen over the past five days.


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28 Comments

Nice that the only reliever they used was Dobnak, who pitched the final three innings. Everyone else got a rest.

    • glunn, Dman, tarheeltwinsfan and 5 others like this
Man, Polanco is really a butcher out there, now. Has to be a mental thing, right? Berrios, I thought was gonna blow the lead, all the wild pitches, but he didn't so that's something. Cave really proving his worth.
    • Dman and blindeke like this
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terrydactyls1947
Aug 29 2019 05:46 PM

Today is Thursday, August 29.It was the 133rd game of the year putting the Twins 82% of the way through the season.The Twins hit 3 home runs upping their record-breaking season total to 261 home runs.They are now only 7 home runs short of setting a new single-season MLB record.

    • glunn, 70charger, twinssporto and 2 others like this
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MVP Nick Punto
Aug 29 2019 05:51 PM

Cave really proving his worth.

1st half OPS .542 in 29 games
2nd half OPS 1.176 in 24 games

The man certainly remembered how to hit a baseball
    • glunn, railmarshalljon, DannySD and 2 others like this
I didn't see the game, so this comment on the four WP is a generality. I see Castro caught and I don't think he is as apt to get on one knee as Garver. But the one knee thing is silly. Looks like a slow pitch catcher. I beg anyone to tell me how you can side shift quickly either way whilst on one knee. I know it's an attempt to lower the strike zone, but the wild pitches escaping our catchers is getting a little out of hand. Pitchers need to be able to drop breaking stuff behind the plate with confidence. That would be a tough sell lately.
    • jz7233 likes this
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AlwaysinModeration
Aug 29 2019 07:04 PM
I just read the game thread after watching a decent bit of the game game. Neither the announcers or anyone in the gamethread noted that the almost all of the of the Twins hits went the opposite way. They went in against 99mph Cease with a plan and executed it to perfection. Cron doesn’t really do opposite field...so he hit the ball up the middle. Tons opposite field hits, including a Cave HR.
    • ashbury, glunn, 70charger and 8 others like this
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mickeymental
Aug 29 2019 07:17 PM

very disappointing. they should have swept better.

    • ashbury, denarded, scottz and 9 others like this
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IndianaTwin
Aug 29 2019 07:19 PM

Hmmm....

 

Dobnak went 53 pitches today. Logical to "send down" to Rochester in order to bring Brusdar up before Aug. 31, thus making the latter eligible for the playoffs? 

 

Do I have that right?

 

("Send down" is in quotes since I wouldn't bother to buy a ticket, since he can come back Sunday when rosters expand.)

 

(If so, let's make the Brusdar debut on Sunday, since I'm seven rows behind the Twins dugout in Detroit that day.)

 

 

    • Dantes929, bighat, Diesel and 1 other like this
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IndianaTwin
Aug 29 2019 07:20 PM

Also, the Twins are 20 wins ahead of where they were through 133 games last year. 

    • glunn likes this
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LA VIkes Fan
Aug 29 2019 07:33 PM
Dobnak went 3 innings, 53 pitches. Littel should come back so he's on the roster for 8/31 and playoff eligible. The man had a 1.15 ERA in his last 15 games, 3.60 overall. We know he can help us and might even be able to pitch late, high leverage innings.

Graterol? Maybe but bring him up in September and put him on the 40-man roster, and then he can be an injury replacement if we want him on the postseason roster. Let's get up a guy we know belongs in the bullpen of a contender - that's Littel.
    • glunn and wabene like this

SSS, i was at the game today and had seats behind theTwins dugout. Schoop and Cave both made real nice plays that I don't think I would have appreciated from TV. Lots of Twins fans for a small crowd, and fun fact: The players have to get a new skill set to toss balls to the crowd over the extended protective netting.

    • ashbury and glunn like this
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Brock Beauchamp
Aug 29 2019 07:38 PM

 

Hmmm....

 

Dobnak went 53 pitches today. Logical to "send down" to Rochester in order to bring Brusdar up before Aug. 31, thus making the latter eligible for the playoffs? 

 

Do I have that right?

 

("Send down" is in quotes since I wouldn't bother to buy a ticket, since he can come back Sunday when rosters expand.)

 

(If so, let's make the Brusdar debut on Sunday, since I'm seven rows behind the Twins dugout in Detroit that day.)

All they need to do is add Graterol to the 40-man roster by September to make him eligible for the postseason.

    • IndianaTwin, Platoon, Wizard11 and 4 others like this
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Tom Froemming
Aug 29 2019 07:39 PM

Jose Berrios is certainly pointed back in the right direction, but there are still some red flags from today's outing. More on that here:

    • glunn, bighat, Aerodeliria and 2 others like this
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Nate Palmer
Aug 29 2019 08:26 PM

 

Jose Berrios is certainly pointed back in the right direction, but there are still some red flags from today's outing. More on that here:

Ever since the Reusse retweet I have been wondering...how concerned should we be that a whole corner of the zone is untouched by Berrios?

    • VivaBomboRivera! likes this

Dobnak went 3 innings, 53 pitches. Littel should come back so he's on the roster for 8/31 and playoff eligible. The man had a 1.15 ERA in his last 15 games, 3.60 overall. We know he can help us and might even be able to pitch late, high leverage innings.

Graterol? Maybe but bring him up in September and put him on the 40-man roster, and then he can be an injury replacement if we want him on the postseason roster. Let's get up a guy we know belongs in the bullpen of a contender - that's Littel.


Littell is already eligible for the postseason roster, as he's on the 40 man roster.
    • In My La-Z-boy and Jeff_M like this
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railmarshalljon
Aug 29 2019 08:54 PM

I owe Cave a huge apology. I think hearing all the calls for Cave to play over Kepler put a bad taste in my mouth but man is he tearing the cover off the ball of late. Also, the first homerun he hit today is a testament to either the winds of Chicago or the ball being super juiced. That looked like a routine fly ball off the bat.

    • VivaBomboRivera! likes this
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Don Walcott
Aug 29 2019 08:57 PM

Jake Cave is improving his trade value for this off-season. Several people talking about trading Rosario. How about trading Cave? Might even get more for him, as he has more years of control, and he's definitely at his peak of performance right now. And for some reason, I just think Rosario is a better player. Definitely has much more of a sample size for his performance than does Cave.

 

But I'm also fine keeping Cave as our 4th outfielder. He looked good in center today. Has looked good in left, is very fast on the bases, and is showing that he can be a legitimate MLB hitter. Especially given our team's injury history, it makes sense to keep quality and depth at the outfield positions.

    • glunn, wabene and VivaBomboRivera! like this
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VivaBomboRivera!
Aug 29 2019 11:48 PM

 

Jake Cave is improving his trade value for this off-season. Several people talking about trading Rosario. How about trading Cave? Might even get more for him, as he has more years of control, and he's definitely at his peak of performance right now. And for some reason, I just think Rosario is a better player. Definitely has much more of a sample size for his performance than does Cave.

 

But I'm also fine keeping Cave as our 4th outfielder. He looked good in center today. Has looked good in left, is very fast on the bases, and is showing that he can be a legitimate MLB hitter. Especially given our team's injury history, it makes sense to keep quality and depth at the outfield positions.

 

Cave (.275 / .373 / .493) has barely 30% of Rosario's (.283 / .306 / .508) PAs this season, but it is safe to say that these two players are rapidly approaching parity both offensively and defensively.Assuming Buxton stays healthy (knock wood!), looks like four choices going into 2020:

  • Four-man platoon (i.e., do nothing)
  • In a three-man OF, keep Rosario if he develops more plate discipline and earns more walks
  • If Rosario does not improve, keep Cave assuming he develops better defensive awareness and judgement
  • Offload both for bigger talents (least likely for a host of reasons)
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VivaBomboRivera!
Aug 30 2019 12:16 AM

 

 

Jose Berrios is certainly pointed back in the right direction, but there are still some red flags from today's outing...

 

Encouraging, to be sure.The man was Jekyll and Hyde today.Showed in his facial expressions and body language all the way through.Confident, fast working when he was on, slow and uncertain when he was off.You could see him cringe after the ball came out of his hand on one of those WPs, and likewise it was clear when he was pleased that he hit his location.Though there are signs of progress he is still out of sorts.Wish him well - Winter is coming.

 

But compared to Cease?_That_ guy's a head case.

 

Running through my mind as I watched:

  • 90% of this game is half mental
  • Don't think, just throw
  • I wouldn't dig in if I were you

It's going to be a long stretch until the next off day on 9 Sep, great to see the bullpen rest being managed so well.Can only get better after the call-ups.

    • wabene likes this
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Aerodeliria
Aug 30 2019 12:43 AM

 

Jose Berrios is certainly pointed back in the right direction, but there are still some red flags from today's outing. More on that here:

Chicago looks to me like a fairly free-wheeling bunch of hitters, so they swung at many pitches out of the strike zone. The good thing is that he did get 15 out of 25 first pitch strikes; however, he still seems to be struggling a bit. When facing teams like the Yankees, everyone on this list knows that they will be very, very patient getting the counts in their favor. I hope that by playoff time he is able to get that strike percentage a bit higher and get that fastball back up a couple of ticks.

    • glunn and wabene like this
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Aerodeliria
Aug 30 2019 01:42 AM

PS-I know the score was 9-2 at that point and this is likely considered a pointless beef, but Cruz was safe on that deep ground ball down the third baseline...

    • blindeke likes this
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Tom Froemming
Aug 30 2019 05:28 AM

 

Ever since the Reusse retweet I have been wondering...how concerned should we be that a whole corner of the zone is untouched by Berrios?

Yeah, I found it really strange that it was completely empty -- didn't go there against righties or lefties. It seems like this would have been the perfect opportunity for him to experiment with working at the top of the zone more, but that's just not his thing, I guess.

 

I'm sure he's just trying to tunnel his fastball and curveball, which is a good thing, but it's too predictable. Hitters can basically eliminate the entire top half of the zone. You'd have to imagine he'd benefit from mixing things up, but a lot of pitchers are like this and like to live at the bottom of the zone. Not too many Jake Odorizzi's out there.

    • VivaBomboRivera! likes this
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puckstopper1
Aug 30 2019 05:57 AM

The 2019 Twins have hit 261 home runs so far this season. That ranks them 3rd on the all-time list of most home runs by a team in a season (and yes - it is still only August!!!).

 

Next ahead of them on the list are the 1997 Mariners who hit 264.

 

Also, the Twins are 11 ahead of the Yankees this season and still have 2 games in hand.

Jose Berrios with a quality start! Great news, right? "Nah, it's against the White Sox".

 

Bullpen throws 3 shutout innings against same White Sox: "Bullpen is good now! Tyler Duffey is better than Aroldis Chapman, why isn't anyone talking about him!??!"

 

Hmmmm.

 

I think Berrios did fine. Might be a sign of improvement, dude got a much needed win and hopefully this is the start of him turning the corner. You have to be encouraged.

Indians won't go away so Twins needed all 3 of these games. Now on to Detroit while Indians play Tampa so maybe pick up a game or 2. Maybe a 5 game lead when the run of games against Red Sox, Nationals and 6 against those Indians begins.


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