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Twins Game Recap (8/6): Berrios Bad Night Leads to Braves Blowout

The night after the Minnesota Twins got their first walk-off home run of the season, they sent their ace to the mound to try and clinch the series against the National League East leading Atlanta Braves. That wasn't meant to be, as Jose Berrios had perhaps the worst night of his career, helping the Braves tie up the series at a game apiece with their 12 to 7 victory over the Twins.
Image courtesy of FanGraphs
Box Score
Berrios: 5.2 IP, 9 H, 9 ER, 4 BB, 7 K, 64.9% strikes (63 of 97 pitches)
Home Runs: Cruz 2 (32), Garver (21), Rosario (24)
Multi-Hit Games: Cruz (4 for 5, 2 HR), Rosario (2 for 5, HR)
WPA of +0.1: None
WPA of -0.1: Berrios -.271

It didn’t take long for the Braves to respond to last night's walk-off home run, with a home run of their own. On the first pitch of the game, Ronald Acuna Jr. took Jose Berrios deep to give the Braves a quick 1-0 lead. I guess this is what Acuna was jogging in for last night while Miguel Sano’s home run was still in the air.

The Braves were able to get to Berrios again in the top of the third. After an Acuna walk, and an Ozzie Albies single, Freddie Freeman went deep for the second time in this series. However, unlike the one last night that needed every inch to get over the wall in left, this one was crushed well over the center field wall.

After adding another run in the fifth, the Braves blew the game open with six runs in the top of the sixth. The innings looked like it wasn’t going to amount to anything, as two of the first three Braves to come to the plate in the inning struck out. However, that was followed by the Braves going single, single, triple, single, double, single, before Adam Duvall struck out for the second time in the inning. When all was said and done, the Braves had an 11-0 lead, with nine earned runs charged to Jose Berrios. That is the most earned runs Berrios has allowed in his entire professional career.

The bats finally woke up for the Twins in the bottom of the sixth inning. Nelson Cruz got the scoring going with this blast.



After an Eddie Rosario single, Mitch Garver followed with a no-doubter of his own, trimming the Braves lead all the way down to… well 11-3.



The Twins threatened with a couple of two-out walks later in the inning but were unable to tack on any more runs. However, the Twins weren’t done scoring quite yet. In the bottom of the seventh, Max Kepler and Jake Cave led off with a couple of singles, setting the stage for Nelson Cruz to hit his second home run of the night, and 16th home run since the All-Star Break.



The Braves tacked on another run in the top of the eighth, thanks to three more hits from the middle of the Brave order. In the bottom of the ninth, Eddie Rosario took new Braves closer Shane Greene deep to the opposite field for the Twins fourth home run of the night.



Bullpen Usage
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:

Next Three Games
Wed vs ATL, 12:10 pm CT (Fried-Perez)
Thu vs CLE, 7:10 pm CT (TBD-TBD)
Fri vs CLE, 7:10 pm CT (TBD-TBD)
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Twins Game Recap (8/5): May Throws Fire, Sano Launches a Walk-Off Bomb in Twins Win

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24 Comments

Twins now 3-7 in Berrios’s last 10 starts. The wins coming against the Royals, White Sox, and Marlins.
    • glunn, h2oface, Dman and 2 others like this
Baldelli should have taken out Berrios after the Freeman HR.
    • h2oface, Dakota15 and jz7233 like this
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VivaBomboRivera!
Aug 06 2019 11:02 PM

Four wasted dingers.They're pretty but they don't mean a thing if the team can't get opposing batters out.

 

The contrast between the two starters was stark.Folty-whatzit, who is _not_ a world beater, threw strikes and worked fast.Bottom of the 5th was impressive - Margo and Cron K'd on three pitches each, then he got Kepler to pop-up on a 2-2 count.Only eleven pitches needed to bag three 'savages.' And he was zipping them in there:Strike, back to the rubber, another strike, ball back to the mound and immediately in the windup. One after the other, not giving batters time to think.

 

Foltynewicz actually threw slightly fewer pitches for strikes (64/101, 63.4%) than Berrios, but he faced 6 fewer batters (2 of those due to the difference in BB).Just watching Berrios labor through the top of the 5th and 6th was tiring.He plodded through long counts fueled by first-pitch balls.Batters continued to lay off his curveball (which he throws 30% of the time).An achingly slow delivery that allowed runners and batters to anticipate added to the agony.

 

Those last two issues apply to the entire staff.Compared to top-tier hurlers past and present they are taking _forever_ on the mound.This is a drag on the fielders (cools the bats, too) while opposing batters feast on it.Please leave the "first-pitch strike" broken record on the turntable until we see signs that someone is listening.

    • Madisonsdad, h2oface and jz7233 like this

 

great stat post jkcarew!Berrios planlly spoken, has sucked in his last 10 starts, and he is one of the pitchers that has failed to do his dang job as supposedly the Twins best young arm??? 3-7 in the last 10, horrible at best!wonder why the red hot Indian's are runnng up our butts, Berrios, losing 7 games by himself, and no way, can Perez and his sorry last month or better also,this pitching staff is fluttering now, and we are about to face the Indian's for what, 4 straight games, the Twins had better for a pitching God miracle, becuas as of the past month and a half, other than Pineda, none of the Twins starters have been good, and the rest of the roster, woofffdddaaa? 

Seriously? Berrios last 10 starts were 5 starts in June with an ERA of 2.06 and 5 starts in July with an ERA of 2.43.Game 1 gave up 1 earned run in an 8.2 win over Cleveland.Game 2gave up 1 run in 7 innings to Seattle. Game 3 gave up 1 run in 8 innings in a 2-0 loss to Boston. Game 4gave up 2 runs in 7 innings to KCGame 5gave up 3 runs in 7+ innings to Chicago.His next 2 outings were so so and in his last 14 innings before tonight he gave up 2 runs.The record reflects either the Twins not scoring or the bullpen giving up runs after he left. He had a bad outing tonight.So what? He has pitched great for us.Saying he lost 7 games himself is absurd.

    • luckylager, pbrezeasap, 70charger and 12 others like this
Man. These are some takes!
    • 70charger, Mr. Brooks and BBAM like this

 

somebody tell me by Roco didn'[t get berrios of that mound ASAP, didn't he see the film on the first pitch, good Lord man, that ball was so phat, in the middle of the plate, and his facial look showed as if he didn't care at all??? this is non mgr move was stupid, never gave this power house offense a dang shame for sure, we still scored 7 runs, which if Berrios had been jerked off that mound around inning #3, who knows, a good come back was still there in the numbers, but leaving him to continue to get hammered, walks, balks for runs, terrible managing by the kid roco no excuse for this kind of non decision making. 

Berrios has not been terrible his last 10 starts, that's ridiculous. He had a bad night. Rocco probably left him in too long, but I don't think it mattered. At least he didn't burn any of the the top 4 guys in the bullpen in a futile effort. 

 

Hopefully Berrios will re-group for Sunday and you will try out some punctuation. 

    • luckylager, SwainZag, Minny505 and 4 others like this
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the_brute_squad
Aug 07 2019 05:17 AM

That was not an "ace" performance by Berrios. It shows that he isn't truly and ace, yet. I'm in the camp that he has the talent to become one but he's not there yet. There's plenty of evidence that puts him on the second tier of #1 pitchers.

The one thing an ace is supposed to do is instill confidence that your team is going to win. I haven't had that confidence in Berrios and I haven't really had it since Liriano and Santana were on the club.

    • Madisonsdad and DannySD like this
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Tom Froemming
Aug 07 2019 06:36 AM

I chatted a bit about how I'm not worried about Berrios, but also pointed out some things in regard to his curveball in particular that had me a little curious. Check it out:

    • denarded, In My La-Z-boy and VivaBomboRivera! like this

Was anyone else concerned that Berrios' fastball was sitting at 90-91?

 

Maybe it's nothing - Rocco and Wes didn't seem to worry about it. Was it normal fluctuation? A faulty radar gun?

 

We're Twins fans and worrying is what we do best. I can't be the only one concerned about this, can I?

    • ashbury, Madisonsdad and In My La-Z-boy like this
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terrydactyls1947
Aug 07 2019 06:58 AM

Yesterday was Tuesday, August 6.It was the 113rd game of the year putting the Twins 70% of the way through the season. The Twins hit 4 home runs giving them a total of 223 home runs for the season and on a pace to hit 320 home runs this season.  The 2019 Twins rank 2nd on the all-time list of Twins' home runs in one season. They are now only 3 home runs away from becoming the Twins single-season record holder and are only 44 home runs behind the single-season MLB record.The next Twins team to pass is the 1963 team that hit 225 home runs.

    • Jerr and In My La-Z-boy like this

Berrios gave up 9 earned runs in 5.2 innings....his ERA after that outing? 3.24. The guy's elite. Let 'em be.

 

I'm shaking in my boots with Perez on the hill tonight. In the back of his head, he's got to see the writing on the wall with Smelzer lurking and Pineda coming back soon. He might just be pitching to save his spot in the rotation.

 

The Twins will supplant veterans, as Arraez has clearly (somewhat quietly?) replaced Schoop in the lineup. Jonathan now only getting at-bats once the game got out of hand.

    • Dantes929, 70charger, DannySD and 2 others like this
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In My La-Z-boy
Aug 07 2019 07:03 AM

Nice walk through the stats. Looks to me like its the same problem Trevor had. No fastball command right now. Jose can't seem to put the fastball where he wants it. Now Trevor couldn't drop a curve for a strike, so they sat on the fastball and crushed it. Trevor fixed that problem, creating a new problem. Opponents started crushing his curve when he started dropping it for strikes. This is what looks like is happening with Jose. No fastball command - and they are waiting on him to drop a curve for a strike, and smashing it. On the surface it seems to be a curveball problem. I think its a fastball command problem. Last night he also had a fastball velocity problem. Tired arm time? 

    • Madisonsdad likes this
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Tom Froemming
Aug 07 2019 07:08 AM

Make sure to check back in a little later this morning, as we'll be publishing an illuminating piece from Cooper that really does a deep dive into Berrios' arsenal this season.

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Cap'n Piranha
Aug 07 2019 10:01 AM

I put this loss on Rocco.When he sent Berrios out for the 6th inning despite Jose already having allowed 6 hits, 3 walks, and 5 runs, to me Rocco was signalling saving the bullpen was more important than winning the game.If Stashak is given a clean 6th, and Littell a clean 7th, perhaps this game is more like 7-6 or 8-6 going into the 8th.

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SpicyGarvSauce
Aug 07 2019 10:02 AM

 

I put this loss on Rocco.When he sent Berrios out for the 6th inning despite Jose already having allowed 6 hits, 3 walks, and 5 runs, to me Rocco was signalling saving the bullpen was more important than winning the game.If Stashak is given a clean 6th, and Littell a clean 7th, perhaps this game is more like 7-6 or 8-6 going into the 8th.

 

He ran him out there with his pitch count rising, but then pulled him last week against the Marlins when his pitch count was in much better position and he was dominating.

 

Perplexing management of the bullpen/staff.

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yarnivek1972
Aug 07 2019 10:07 AM

I put this loss on Rocco. When he sent Berrios out for the 6th inning despite Jose already having allowed 6 hits, 3 walks, and 5 runs, to me Rocco was signalling saving the bullpen was more important than winning the game. If Stashak is given a clean 6th, and Littell a clean 7th, perhaps this game is more like 7-6 or 8-6 going into the 8th.


Or maybe the Braves use their bullpen differently with a 5-0 lead as opposed to 11-0.
    • ashbury, SwainZag, Danchat and 2 others like this

Was anyone else concerned that Berrios' fastball was sitting at 90-91?

Maybe it's nothing - Rocco and Wes didn't seem to worry about it. Was it normal fluctuation? A faulty radar gun?

We're Twins fans and worrying is what we do best. I can't be the only one concerned about this, can I?

Maybe Berrios could use a quick trip to the IL for maintenance.

 

Twins now 3-7 in Berrios’s last 10 starts. The wins coming against the Royals, White Sox, and Marlins.

Interesting responses to this. IMO, Berrios has been neither horrible or particularly good (by number 1 standards) in this stretch. The stretch includes one or two 'great' starts along with this clunker. He hasn't given up a ton of runs in this stretch, but nor has he done a great job of consistently pitching efficiently and deep in a manner that would shut down great lineups and/or protect our weak bullpen. I'm simply stating that, in games where our best pitcher pitches, (and often faces the opposition's better pitchers), the Twins are 3-7 in their last 10 games...only beating very weak opponents. My opinion...it will be a challenge in the post-season...and the Twins should be aggressive in trading (in the off-season, since the trade deadline is gone) for more top-of-rotation pitching.

 

I put this loss on Rocco.When he sent Berrios out for the 6th inning despite Jose already having allowed 6 hits, 3 walks, and 5 runs, to me Rocco was signalling saving the bullpen was more important than winning the game.If Stashak is given a clean 6th, and Littell a clean 7th, perhaps this game is more like 7-6 or 8-6 going into the 8th.

 

Jose finished off the 5th strong and then struck 2 of the 3 batters out in the 6th, I don't have a problem with Rocco letting Berrios trying to finish off the inning, especially in a 5-0 game.Now pulling him after the balk and Acuna single....that's another story.

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MMMordabito
Aug 07 2019 10:58 AM

Man. These are some takes!


No kidding. Paging Ann-Margret!
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Cap'n Piranha
Aug 07 2019 11:08 AM

 

Or maybe the Braves use their bullpen differently with a 5-0 lead as opposed to 11-0.

 

First 3 runs came against the starter.Next 3 came against two guys who rank 3rd and 4th by FIP and 1st and 4th by xFIP in the Atlanta pen.They also have 87 IP between them, so it's not like it's SSS (at least for relievers).I think it's quite likely the Braves would've handled their pitching largely the same regardless of how many runs they had.

    • pbrezeasap likes this
Tough game, but it happens to everyone. I hope they come back strong today.
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VivaBomboRivera!
Aug 07 2019 05:30 PM

 

I chatted a bit about how I'm not worried about Berrios, but also pointed out some things in regard to his curveball in particular that had me a little curious.

Way to track down the Chase-Miss stat.I had been looking for some validation of what I thought I had been seeing.Batters are not waving at it like they used to do.

Berrios gave up 9 earned runs in 5.2 innings....his ERA after that outing? 3.24. The guy's elite. Let 'em be.


Berrios is still very good, but one does wonder if he is really kicking his performance into a higher gear quite yet. His ERA looks good this year but his FIP/xFIP still lag behind:

ERA/FIP/xFIP
2017: 3.89/3.84/4.51
2018: 3.84/3.90/3.89
2019: 3.24/3.76/4.34