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Twins Game Recap (8/4): Twins Cap Off The Sweep - Smeltzer Style

The Twins were able to pull off a much needed series sweep against the Kansas City Royals. The pitching was outstanding from Devin Smeltzer and the newly improved bullpen and the offense did just enough for the win. The Twins topped the Royals 3-0 to win the series 3-0.
Image courtesy of Ben Ludeman-USA TODAY Sports
Box Score
Smeltzer: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 67.8% strikes (61 of 90 pitches)
Bullpen: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
Home Runs: Castro (11)
Multi-Hit Games: Arraez (2-for-3), Rosario (2-for-3)

Posted Image
Top 3 WPA: Smeltzer (0.30), Duffey (0.17), Arraez (0.10)
Bottom 3 WPA: Sano (-0.08), Adrianza (-0.07), Cruz (-0.06)

Pitchers duel between Smeltzer and Keller

This game started just like everyone predicted between a Twins AAA pitcher and literally anyone on the Royals pitching staff. Five quick shutout innings on both sides. Both Devin Smeltzer and Brad Keller were rolling and it was looking like the first team to score was going to win.

Ehire Adrianza also made a play that made us all say “No way he gets to that ball… wow! Well no way he throws out the runner… WOW!”

Luckily for the Twins, they were able to score a run on a 92 MPH single from Arraez, followed by a wild pitch, a productive groundout to move him to third and then a sacrifice fly from Rosario on a nice diving catch by Jorge Soler.

Smeltzer makes his case to stay in the big leagues

Twins starter Devin Smeltzer showed yet again that the Twins won the Brian Dozier trade last season with six shutout innings. These six innings helped to lower his ERA to just 2.28 in 28.2 career innings. He came up to fill in for Michael Pineda and he did exactly what the Twins needed from him. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him take Pineda’s next start against Cleveland as well.

Late offense is just enough for the Twins

After the sacrifice fly from Rosario in the sixth inning, Jason Castro homered in the seventh and then Rosario singled on a ball he thought was going 450 feet and he ended up getting caught in a rundown and then Nelson Cruz was thrown out at the plate. It was a very odd play, but the Twins were up 3-0 going into the ninth.

The Twins bullpen finishes off the game strong

After Devin Smeltzer was taken out in the seventh inning, Tyler Duffey was the first out of the bullpen and he did his job by throwing a clean 1-2-3 inning with a couple of strikeouts. In the eighth the Twins brought in new fan favorite reliever Sergio Romo and he did his job as well, throwing just six pitches (all strikes) and getting three outs. Taylor Rogers finished it off in the ninth with another 1-2-3 inning and that capped off a perfect game for the bullpen and a series sweep.

Twins finish off the sweep with a three game lead over Cleveland

The Twins won the game by a final score of 3-0 and there was really no doubt at any point despite it being a close game throughout. It looks like the Twins may have finally returned to the team we knew and loved in April and May. Tomorrow a great Atlanta Braves team comes to town with the Twins still leading the Central Division by three games.

Twins win!

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.

  • mikelink45, mickeymental, dbminn and 2 others like this

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Love these recaps! Thank you!

    • Blake, Jerr, mickeymental and 4 others like this
Aug 04 2019 03:42 PM

everybody happy?

    • SwainZag, Dman, JoshDungan1 and 2 others like this
Smeltzer has earned an extended look! He attacks the strike zone and gets weak contact.
    • mikelink45, mickeymental, dbminn and 8 others like this


Pitchers duel between Smeltzer and Duffy


Um, Smeltzer and Keller?

    • bighat likes this
Cooper Carlson
Aug 04 2019 03:47 PM

Um, Smeltzer and Keller?

My bad
    • dbminn and bighat like this
Aug 04 2019 03:58 PM

Today is Sunday, August 4.It was the 111th game of the year putting the Twins 69% of the way through the season. The Twins hit 1 home run giving them a total of 217 home runs for the season and on a pace to hit 317 home runs this season.  The 2019 Twins rank 3rd on the all-time list of Twins' home runs in one season. They are now only 8 home runs away from becoming the Twins single-season record holder and are only 50 home runs behind the single-season MLB record.The next Twins team to pass is the 1964 team that hit 221 home runs.

    • glunn, 70charger, IndianaTwin and 5 others like this

Just curious. Does anyone know why the Twins haven't used their home whites yet this homestand or at all in the last one?

    • 70charger likes this

Well that was fun! Smeltzer looked good but I don't get to excited because I have been told it takes a bit for teams to figure him out but hooray we got the win! Romos is going to be fun to watch too. Our last minute big name signing on the DL already? Is that just to give him some time? Settle the fans down?ButtheBPmowed them down today and yes it was only KC but last week it was the Marlins who took them to school. Here comes the roller coaster we have all been waiting for! I think we will be at the top for the most of it. Happy happy fan!



I really liked it.K's are not the only measure of a great pitcher and Arraez shows that singles also count. 

    • Dman, dbminn, Aerodeliria and 1 other like this
Alka-Smeltzer! Plop, plop-fizz, fizz!
    • Blake, Riverbrian, PseudoSABR and 1 other like this

I'm starting to wonder if Perez should move to the bullpen when Pineda comes off the IL. Smeltzer has out pitched him by a pretty wide margin over the last couple of months.

    • jz7233 likes this
Perez has a 7.56 era as a reliever this year giving up 7 earned runs in 8 innings pitched with a 2.4 WHIP. Be careful what you wish for.
    • blindeke and Doctor Wu like this

Perez has a 7.56 era as a reliever this year giving up 7 earned runs in 8 innings pitched with a 2.4 WHIP. Be careful what you wish for.

8 innings pitched is far too small of a sample to have any meaning.
    • Mike Sixel, Danchat, dbminn and 4 others like this
Our two most effective/efficient pitchers today had 88 mph fastballs. Maybe they won't figure Smeltzer out just like Romo.

8 innings pitched is far too small of a sample to have any meaning.

Maybe but he didn't look comfortable and once they started him he changed completely.

Great job by Smeltzer. I liked that Rocco took him out when he did and didn't let the big bats for the Royals get a another look at him.


I did not like how Rosario came out of the box on the ball off the wall. I don't care if guys admire their home runs, but it better leave the ballpark if they stand and look at it. It would have probably still been a close play at second, but run hard out of the box! I also didn't like when Polanco argued strike 3 the other day on a check swing when the ball got past the catcher. You have a better chance of getting to first running than you do arguing a check swing. That stuff needs to get cleaned up. 

    • denarded, tarheeltwinsfan, cjj td and 6 others like this

Smeltzer doesn't have a 9+ SO9 rate so give it a few weeks and people will be saying he's one of the worst pitchers on the team, regardless of his ERA, ERA+, or any other tangible results. "Smoke and mirrors" they will say, because he breaks the FIP formula.

    • puckstopper1 likes this

I really wish Dick Bremmer would drop the Smeltzer tear-jerker cancer survivor story. To me, it diminishes who and what Devin Smeltzer is today, at this moment. He's a good major league pitcher, period. Full stop. He doesn't get sympathy strike calls from umps, nor does he get sympathy whiffs from batters. 


Let's just call him a good pitcher, whose refined skills have earned a spot on this Twins roster. We have all seen pitchers that get by without a big fastball. Ryne Harper and Sergio Romo are doing it, so Smeltzer can, too. 


Looking forward, does Smeltzer take Pineda's fifth spot in the ro? Based on today's performance, heck yeah! Is Pineda sitting on a hard innings limit for this season? If so, then I pick Smeltzer for #5, with Thorpe and Stewart on deck. I'd even keep Thorpe in the bullpen. Long relief is valuable. 

    • 70charger and DannySD like this

There is only one way to find out what we have in Smeltzer. Keep giving him the ball. 


Going forward... The Twins shouldn't take him out of the rotation until he demonstrates that he should be taken out of the rotation. 

    • glunn, Blake, VATwinsFan and 3 others like this
Aug 04 2019 08:43 PM

The Polka-man delivers. Strike up the music and have a good time!

Aug 04 2019 08:46 PM

I love winning the low scoring games.

    • SQUIRREL and VivaBomboRivera! like this
Aug 04 2019 08:54 PM

...Looking forward, does Smeltzer take Pineda's fifth spot in the ro? Based on today's performance, heck yeah! Is Pineda sitting on a hard innings limit for this season? If so, then I pick Smeltzer for #5, with Thorpe and Stewart on deck. I'd even keep Thorpe in the bullpen. Long relief is valuable.

Assuming Pineda’s IL stint is short and just precautionary, no, Pineda doesn’t come out of the rotation. Ten of his last 14 starts were quality starts, and three of the remainder were three runs in 5 innings or more. He’s six outs from having 13 of 14 QS. He has a 3.48 ERA in that stretch and nearly a 5:1 k/bb rate.

Perez would probably be the odd man out if they do want to keep Smeltzer and no one is hurt. If Smeltzer throws well in his next start, I actually predict an IL stint for Perez once Pineda is back.
    • jokin, 70charger, Danchat and 6 others like this
Aug 04 2019 09:05 PM
Next up for Smeltzer is the Indians.

A quality start should earn him several more.
Aug 04 2019 09:07 PM
Note also that we’ve reached the point where there are only 25 more games until rosters expand and Smeltzer can stay up, even if they keep both Perez and Pineda in the rotation.
Smeltzer, Duffy, Romo, Rogers, a winning formula.
    • Roaddog likes this

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