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Twins Game Recap (9/27): Twins Cruise Past Royals to Earn 100th win

In a rain-shortened game, the Twins didn’t have much trouble beating the Royals by 6-2 in Kansas City, opening their final series of the regular season. The AL Central champs won their fifth consecutive game and also made history tonight, as they have reached, only for the second time in club history, the 100-win mark.
Image courtesy of FanGraphs
Box Score
Berríos: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, 61.6% strikes (61 of 99 pitches)

Home Runs: Sanó (34), LaMarre (2)
Multi-Hit Games: Sanó (2-for-4, HR), Cruz (3-for-4, RBI), LaMarre (2-for-3, HR)

Top 3 WPA: Sanó .193, Cruz .117, Berríos .100
Bottom 3 WPA: Astudillo -.063, Cron -.059, Torreyes -.056

The Twins 100th win is not only remarkable for the club itself, but even more for Rocco Baldelli. The rookie manager has now become only the seventh manager in baseball history to win at least 100 games in their first season as a manager. Baldelli is a top candidate to win the AL Manager of the Year award, two years after Paul Molitor did the same with Minnesota.



With two games left, the Twins can still match the club record, held by the 1965 Twins, who won 102 games. They made it all the way to the World Season that year.

Bats take care of business early
Off to a great start, the Twins were able to put runs on the board very quickly. Before the Royals could record an out in the game, Minnesota’s top four batters reached on three singles and a walk. Nelson Cruz drove in his 107th RBI of the year, followed by and RBI-single by Eddie Rosario, driving in his 109th, giving the Twins a quick 2-0 lead.

After the Royals put their first run on the board, it was time for the Twins top of the order to be back in the box and they did more damage. Miguel Sanó got his second hit of the night, jumping on the second pitch of his at-bat, blasting a two-run home run into the fountains. This home run gave Sanó a new career high in RBI (79), breaking his former personal record (77) of 2017.



Ryan LaMarre made his contribution too. Royals starter Eric Skoglund had retired two batters, in what would have been his first scoreless inning of the night. But The Sire had other plans and took him deep with a two-run shot, making it 6-1 Twins. LaMarre’s dinger helped put an end to Skoglund’s night after only three innings.



Berríos achieves personal milestone
There was talk about José Berríos having his pitch count limited in this game. But that possibility vanished once he finished the fifth inning two outs away from reaching the 200-inning mark for the first time in his career. All it took him was five pitches, when he nearly induced a double play. He went on to strike out his last regular season batter and to display a lot of emotion by doing so.



Berríos’ final line could have been even better, if it wasn’t for a couple of errors in the outfield, which allowed the Royals to score twice. The rain interrupted the game in the middle of the seventh inning and therefore it was suspended, giving Berríos a complete game.

“La Makina” concludes his 2019 season going 14-8, with 200 1/3 innings pitched and a career best 3.68 ERA, while striking out 195 batters. Berríos became only the fourth Twins pitcher this decade to reach 200 innings in a season. Carl Pavano did it twice (2010 and 2011) and Phil Hughes (2014) and Ervin Santana (2017) each did it once.

Yankees ahead in the HR count
Sanó and LaMarre hit home runs numbers 302 and 303 on the year for the Twins, but the New York Yankees hit five dingers in their game against the Rangers and now have 304. Both teams still have two games to decide who will keep the record.

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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13 Comments

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terrydactyls1947
Sep 27 2019 09:44 PM

Yesterday was Friday, September 27.It was the 160th game of the year putting the Twins 99% of the way through the season.The Twins hit 2 home runs for a season total of 303 home runs.Unfortunately, the Yankees hit 6 home runs.The Twins are now 2 home run behind the Yankees for the new MLB single-season home run record.

    • Oldgoat_MN, bighat and JDubs like this
A lot of experts said they wouldn't win 100 games at the All-Star break and nobody is predicting they'll go all the way but with the reconstituted bullpen...I think they will.
    • twinssporto and SoDakTwinsFan4 like this

A team needs to be pretty darned good to win 100 games. Now try doing that while finishing the season with only 2 of the season's initial starting pitchers still performing well, while the other 3 are either sick, out of whack, or suspended. 

 

What's their secret? Nelson Cruz tipped us off early in the season when he said opposing pitchers were going to fear the Minnesota Twins. Indeed, even while getting surprisingly good performances from its starters, the Twins often buried their opponents under tons of runs. When you're ahead by four runs in the second inning, it's easy to attack the zone.

 

On the other hand, we must give full credit to the Twins pitching staff and the amazing coaches that re-formed, re-claimed, and resurrected some guys that surprised the league. Tyler Duffey and Trevor May both looked like they were about to become ex-Twins, before Wes Johnson taught them the mechanical magic tricks that nudged their heaters well over 95 mph.

 

In addition, both men reduced their repertoire of pitches, becoming two-pitch monster relievers. Who'd of thunk? Same deal with Zack Littell - a low-90's heater got boosted to mid-90's with a good slider. Another monster two-pitch reliever. Then there's That Dobnak Show. Unlike most magicians, Randy Dobnak appears to have pulled himself out of a hat, with the help of Wes and the boys. Together they have conjured a third starter, just before they needed one for the Tournament. 

 

Where'd that squirrel go? We need somebody low to the ground, for squeeze plays!

    • birdwatcher, Blake, DocBauer and 3 others like this
I know there was a storm approaching, but did anyone else think that the 4 pitch top of the 5th was funny? I'm sure it happens, but I've never seen batters want to make outs so quickly in order to qualify a game as official.
    • birdwatcher, Blake, Oldgoat_MN and 3 others like this

Great win and good to see Berrios have a nice outing and hit 200 innings.

I'm starting to wonder if Rosario needs soome Dobnak style glasses though. He is not tracking the ball well. I hope that is not a problem in the playoffs.

 

The agressiveness from the batters this season and the fact that it has not resulted in a high strike out team is the secret sauce. I know the Yankees have a similar ball club and that is why this series will be so fun. Whichever team catches fire.

    • tarheeltwinsfan likes this

Yesterday was Friday, September 27.It was the 160th game of the year putting the Twins 99% of the way through the season.The Twins hit 2 home runs for a season total of 303 home runs.Unfortunately, the Yankees hit 6 home runs.The Twins are now 2 home run behind the Yankees for the new MLB single-season home run record.


102 wins is meaningless for me at this point, as it just ties a Twins record. The only thing that matters until the playoffs is the season HR record. In 10 years, no one is going to remember that the Twins broke so many other HR records if they finish 2nd for the season record; the casual fan will just say “oh, the Yankees had the most HRs two years in a row”.
    • birdwatcher likes this

 

102 wins is meaningless for me at this point, as it just ties a Twins record. The only thing that matters until the playoffs is the season HR record. In 10 years, no one is going to remember that the Twins broke so many other HR records if they finish 2nd for the season record; the casual fan will just say “oh, the Yankees had the most HRs two years in a row”.

 

I really want the Twins to end up with the HR record. The Yankees ballpark is a joke, the Yankees suck, and I'm sick of the national media freakin' out anytime something happens in NY and ignoring everything that happens in MN. 

    • Riverbrian, Oldgoat_MN, DocBauer and 1 other like this
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terrydactyls1947
Sep 28 2019 07:13 AM
I live on the East Coast and as far as I can tell from the local news is that Minnesota is somewhere west of Philadelphia. Jlease is correct when he points out that nothing that happens in Minnesota makes the news (except really cold weather in International Falls).
    • Riverbrian, Oldgoat_MN and Sconnie like this

 

I live on the East Coast and as far as I can tell from the local news is that Minnesota is somewhere west of Philadelphia. Jlease is correct when he points out that nothing that happens in Minnesota makes the news (except really cold weather in International Falls).

 

Considering what tends to me in the news, I'm glad MN isn't in it much.

    • Riverbrian, USNMCPO, wabene and 1 other like this

102 wins is meaningless for me at this point, as it just ties a Twins record. The only thing that matters until the playoffs is the season HR record. In 10 years, no one is going to remember that the Twins broke so many other HR records if they finish 2nd for the season record; the casual fan will just say “oh, the Yankees had the most HRs two years in a row”.

I think what will be remembered 10 years from now is which team won the World Series.
    • SQUIRREL, Oldgoat_MN and Vanimal46 like this

For a good part of the game last night, it appeared to me that a number of guys on both teams were less than interested in playing that game. I can't say that I blame them, but.....

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stringer bell
Sep 28 2019 09:18 AM

If the Twins were to win the World Series, this has to be considered the best Twins team of all time. If not, well they have a lot of offensive records.

 

In order to win the World Series, the Twins will likely have to beat three 100-win teams and not have the home-field advantage in any series. 

    • ashbury and Danchat like this

I hate it when I am right about bad things. I said in the game thread that the Yanks would probably hit 6 and darn it all, they did. Its obscene . Of course the way we were hitting them when everyone was healthy probably was too.

 

What concerns me though is their lineup. We saw it all season...we couldn't stop them. I wouldn't be surprised to see double digit scores each game...unless miraculously our pitching was able to stop them. Our guys say, bring them on...which is what they are supposed to say. But to not be afraid of that hitting machine would be unwise.

 

But would I rather face the pitching machine known as Houston? Geez....what choices! Well, thats why they play the games.


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