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2019/20 Off-season Manager Openings

Other Baseball Today, 09:29 AM
With the season winding down, let's talk about what manager spots will be open this winter. Already open: Kansas City - Ned Yost retirin...
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Front Page: Twins Daily 2019 Awards: Most Improved Player

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:29 AM
When the life blood of an organization with a strong belief in player development, it is crucial that players continue to develop, contin...
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Front Page: Twins Trade Targets: 4 Potential Starting Pit...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:29 AM
The Minnesota Twins are in store for a starting rotation overhaul this offseason with only Jose Berrios and Martin Perez under contract....
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Front Page: Can the Twins Become the New Astros? Part 1

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:29 AM
After recently reading both Ben Reiter’s Astroball and The MVP Machine by Ben Lindbergh and Travis Shawchik, both highly recommended, I f...
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JOB OPENING: TC Bear

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:55 AM
Which TD member is going to step up and wear the costume? Squirrel? Chief? North?
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BOS 2, MIN 0: Offense Squanders Berrios’ Gem

Tonight’s game featured incredible starts by Jose Berrios and Boston’s Rick Procello. The only runs of the game came in the first inning and the last. Boston never put more than one runner on the bases at a time, but were able to still plate the only two runs of the game. A frustrating night for the offense, but encouraging stuff from Berrios.
Image courtesy of © Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Box Score
Starter: 8 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 K, 76.1% strikes (83 of 109 pitches)
Bullpen: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
Home Runs: None
Multi-Hit Games: Cron (2-4, 2B)

WPA of +0.1: Berrios .328
WPA of -0.1: Castro -.158, Gonzalez -.176, Rosario -.222, Cruz -.304
Attached Image: Win617.png
(chart via FanGraphs)

Starting Pitchers Duel
Jose Berrios started the game by giving up three singles and a Red Sox run. After that run scored, Berrios sat down 19 men in a row. Berrios was dealing all night, but was on the short-end of tonight’s decision.

Red Sox starter Rick Porcello was also on the top of his game, and did not allow a run through seven innings. He also struck out five in a row from the second out in the second through the last out of the third. Porcello surrendered the first walk of the game with two outs in the seventh inning.

It’s not often in today’s game that you see two starters go seven-plus innings, but tonight’s game was very much a throwback in how it was played. Porcello and Berrios were both working ahead, trusting their defenses, and getting strikeouts. Jack Morris and Dick Bremer were beside themselves with glee with how tonight’s game went.

An Ineffective Offense
The Twins have one of the best lineups in the MLB, but tonight they were unable to come up when it mattered most. C.J. Cron was able to get to second base with one out in the seventh, but fly outs from Marwin Gonzalez and Jason Castro ended the threat.

In the eighth, the Twins got a leadoff single from Jonathon Schoop, which was followed by a Max Kepler walk. With two men on and no outs, Jorge Polanco laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners. Schoop ran himself into an out on a nubber by Nelson Cruz, but Kepler compounded the mistake by running back to second when he could have had third base. Of course Kepler’s mistake didn’t make a bit of difference because Eddie Rosario chopped out to first base to end the inning.




Streaking Sox
The Boston Red Sox entered tonight’s game having won five straight games, and seven straight road games. Since the Red Sox last loss, they have outscored their opponents 39-19. Even with the hot streak, Boston entered tonight’s game 5.5 games behind the AL East-leading New York Yankees. It would have been nice to upset the streak, but Boston is very much a playoff contender.

Postgame With Baldelli


Bullpen Usage
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Attached Image: Pen617.png

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81 Comments

Cruz never gets it done when they really need him to. They talk about his leadership but he doesn't lead by example.

Somebody please tell Polanco that he is one of the best hitters in the American League and to stop sacrificing his at bats in key situations at the end of the game. He has a much better chance of getting a hit than anyone else on the team. Paul Molitor is not the coach anymore, swing away!

    • Steve Lein, Oldgoat_MN, spanman2 and 8 others like this
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Aerodeliria
Jun 17 2019 09:25 PM

Welcome Twins to the bitter taste of reality!

 

This is what the playoffs feel like. Time to buckle down. Forget about how the start of the season went for Boston; we're now playing the real Red Sox who take no prisoners.

    • KFEY93 and In My La-Z-boy like this
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AlwaysinModeration
Jun 17 2019 09:42 PM
I disagree about Cruz—I’d want him up in that situation every time.

I do agree that Polanco should have been hitting away. They finally got a new pitcher, a guy who walks guys—-take your cracks at him! Hopefully Rocco learns a lesson from that.
    • Blake, blindeke, rghrbek and 7 others like this

 

Cruz never gets it done when they really need him to. They talk about his leadership but he doesn't lead by example.

I guess he leads in salary. That's what they talk about his leadership. At least Mauer is pretty good when RISP.

    • blindeke and Minny505 like this

Polanco bunting in that situation was such a bad decision. That easily was the play that lost us the game. You call for the best hitter in the league to bunt with runners on 1st and 2nd and no out? Bonehead management.

Before you guys fire Baldelli you may want to re-listen to the post game show.Polanco bunted on his own.It was not called from the bench

    • birdwatcher, Jerr, pbrezeasap and 12 others like this

I think these write-ups are almost TOO good.  They've certainly attracted a bunch of, umm, interesting comments lately.  I'll resist any temptation to go further, but Mods, please preserve the sanity (tried to type sanctity but autocorrect had other ideas) of this site.

 

I'm pretty thrilled that Berrios mustered up this kind of performance.  That's a pretty big notch to put in his belt.

 

The bats were cold.  That will happen, I guess.  This team keeps bouncing back, though, so the dread I had earlier in the year has subsided pretty much--none of that, "oh, this is the real Twins team" feeling.  Except for the bullpen part.

    • SQUIRREL, Sconnie, Minny505 and 2 others like this

Cruz never gets it done when they really need him to. They talk about his leadership but he doesn't lead by example.

Ahh... That's the good stuff! I love me a strong hawt taek!

.997 OPS in high leverage situations...

Attached Image: Screenshot_20190617-232642.png
    • Brock Beauchamp, Steve Lein, USAFChief and 24 others like this

Polanco, Odorizzi, Berrios are the only Twins who deserve to be elected to the all star game.

I kind of wish we could turn back the clock and have Polanco hit away and ground into a double play just to see how many on here would moan that the Twins didn't advance the runners when only down one run late.I'm not saying bunting was the right play but we have seen Cruz hit sacrifice flies in that situation as well as 2 run base hits in that situation.Its almost like every day is different and sometimes guys come through and sometimes they don't.  

    • birdwatcher, Jerr, pbrezeasap and 14 others like this
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Aerodeliria
Jun 17 2019 11:50 PM

I always like Rocco's perspective. Tomorrow is another day, and the Red Sox are much better than their record.

    • Blake, Jerr and tarheeltwinsfan like this
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Aerodeliria
Jun 17 2019 11:55 PM

 

I disagree about Cruz—I’d want him up in that situation every time.

I do agree that Polanco should have been hitting away. They finally got a new pitcher, a guy who walks guys—-take your cracks at him! Hopefully Rocco learns a lesson from that.

Me too--I mean the part about Cruz hitting. As for the bunting, I'll let Polanco decide that on his own.

 

I did want to mention that on a contact play like that, Schoop has to keep running. He starts hitting the brakes as soon as the pitcher fields it. The play with an underhand shovel is going to be much-much closer than he probably realizes. Once he started hitting the brakes of course, he was dead in the water.

    • Blake, Minny505, bighat and 1 other like this
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terrydactyls1947
Jun 18 2019 01:23 AM

Yesterday was Monday, June 17 and it was the 71st game of the year.The Twins are now 44%of the way through the season.Out of 59 years, the current team ranks 28th on the all-time list of Twins' home runs in one season and are on a pace to hit 313 home runs this season.

    • glunn, Blake and Riverbrian like this

Cruz didn't come through, but I'll still take him in a big spot. Sano on the other hand, I have zero faith can even make contact in a key spot. And get Blake Parker to the IL and off this team already. He can re-hab during the All-Star break and give it another try before 7/31.

    • USAFChief, Blake, Danchat and 5 others like this
"An Ineffective Offense"? Picking nits here a little, but just a couple points. Good. Pitching. Beats. Good. Hitting. This wasn't as much a case of an ineffective offense, as it was a case of an excellent pitching performance by Porcello. As it was by Berrios. Much more a case of effective pitching! And a much more interesting game to watch. Dick and Jack made a valid point. Games like this each pitch counts, vs just waiting for the next three run bomb.
    • SQUIRREL, Steve Lein, Dantes929 and 2 others like this

I kind of wish we could turn back the clock and have Polanco hit away and ground into a double play just to see how many on here would moan that the Twins didn't advance the runners when only down one run late. I'm not saying bunting was the right play but we have seen Cruz hit sacrifice flies in that situation as well as 2 run base hits in that situation. Its almost like every day is different and sometimes guys come through and sometimes they don't.

a couple points about the bunt:

If it had been more a try for a bunt hit, I wouldn't mind as much.

IMO, intentional outs do more to relieve pressure off the pitcher than anything else. In this case, I felt that's exactly what it accomplished. I was watching Boston's broadcast, they were both surprised to see Polanco square off there.

A sacrifice reduces the chance of multiple runs. With the Twins bullpen, I'm not so sure playing for a tie there is good strategy.

And finally, I can only speak for myself...but I will never second guess a decision not to sac bunt. There might be times late in games where I don't hate them, but I will never question not using them. You only get 3 outs per inning. Giving away one of them intentionally just doesn't appeal to me.

I'm way more concerned about the bullpen than last night's offense anyway.

    • Brock Beauchamp, Steve Lein, Blake and 11 others like this

Cruz never gets it done when they really need him to. They talk about his leadership but he doesn't lead by example.

In addition to the other responses...

 

Win Probability Added is a context-defined stat - giving more credit for a plate appearance when the game hangs in the balance than when the outcome is all but decided. Nelson's doing just fine by that measure, trailing Polanco and Buxton who have missed less time.

 

It's true that the majority of his homers have been solo. On the other hand, his batting average has been higher with men on base than when empty. Slicing and dicing the numbers this early in the season always risks Small Sample Size anomalies, of course.

 

I don't trust any stat by itself, but when WPA lines up with the overall production numbers it suggests to me that there's nothing there to discuss in terms of situational hitting.

 

https://www.baseball...ability_batting

    • Brock Beauchamp, Steve Lein, USAFChief and 2 others like this

Makes me sick to see guys here piling on Polanco. Dude actually did his job - something most Twins hitters didn't do!

 

A normal grounder to the right side by Cruz, a sac fly by Cruz - pretty much anything aside from a nubber to the mound and we're tied.

 

Criticizing Polanco is like criticizing Berrios for giving up that 1 run. There are lots of hitters to blame for last night's loss, none of them are named Polanco.

 

There are lots of games left, I know losing 2 in a row makes everyone grumpy but these things happen. The Twins coaches will have to start coaching and getting guys to make adjustments pretty soon but this team should be fine.

    • Steve Lein, Blake, Jerr and 8 others like this
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theBOMisthebomb
Jun 18 2019 05:37 AM

I kind of wish we could turn back the clock and have Polanco hit away and ground into a double play just to see how many on here would moan that the Twins didn't advance the runners when only down one run late.I'm not saying bunting was the right play but we have seen Cruz hit sacrifice flies in that situation as well as 2 run base hits in that situation.Its almost like every day is different and sometimes guys come through and sometimes they don't.

Amen, brother. Amen. Polanco was bunting for a hit. Rocco did not call for the sacrifice, Polanco made his own decision. 1-0 pitcher's duel against a good team and that entire side of the infield open makes it a defensible decision to bunt. To say that play lost the game is a head scratcher. That person must have assumed that Polanco would have had a base hit instead of moving up the runners. Then, conveniently point to Cruz hitting a nubber as evidence hunting is bad.
    • Dantes929, Sssuperdave, SwainZag and 3 others like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Jun 18 2019 05:54 AM

I'm guessing Polanco was ordered to do that... Personally, all I was thinking about in that situation was avoiding the double play. The sac bunt did that and put two runners in scoring position, and with Cruze and Rosario coming up, that was a reasonable bet to see one or both of them come home. 

 

You're in a situation where you need that run, so I get it. I do agree that it would have been nice if he was bunting for a base hit... perhaps he was (I didn't see it since I was watching on gameday) and just didn't execute well enough... that is a problem with bunts. 

    • Dantes929 and PDX Twin like this
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bunt_vs_the_shift
Jun 18 2019 06:02 AM

Good game, tough loss, some good talkers. 

 

First, the bunt. Like several others have stated, I don't love the bunt when our best hitter is up with 2 on in a clutch spot. That said, Polanco put it in play, made a close play of it and was about the first guy in 2 games to advance the runners with a productive out. He gave Cruz a chance to tie the game with another productive out. These last 2 games I've been screaming at my TV to advance the runners with guys in scoring position and he did. I would rather have had him swing away, but Polanco was not the reason we lost.

 

The other thing I'd like to comment on is Parker in the 9th... I don't need to see him anymore in that spot, hope Rocco doesn't either. You can't throw Rogers every night so I'd like to see Harper get more of those looks if Rogers can't go. Other than that, maybe May, but I'm not completely sold on him either. Not many options to throw out there in high leverage spots that are currently on the team. 

    • PDX Twin likes this

I'm guessing Polanco was ordered to do that...

Rocco discussed that, at about the 1:55 mark in the post-game video in the article. He said Polanco has the latitude to make those decisions. It wasn't called from the bench.

 

I'll read between the lines and guess that Rocco didn't like the choice very much at all. But he's smart enough not to micro-manage his best players, either.

    • SQUIRREL, USAFChief, Jerr and 5 others like this

Polanco made the decision to bunt. Rocco did not make the decision but he supported the decision.

 

The decision was completely justifiable in that situation.

 

Polanco is our best hitter but are we going to lose our minds because he gets on base 4 times out of 10 AB's compared to the other guy who gets on base 3 times out of 10. 

 

We were down a run in the 8th. The bunt moves two runners into scoring position with Nelson Cruz at the plate. 

 

Schoop was out at home on a contact play. He stopped because he was going to be out and a rundown allowed others to advance. 

 

Kepler did not advance... therefore Cruz did not advance. Kepler made the tough to explain mistake but this can be good because the Manager gets to talk with Kepler about it and hopefully Kepler gets better as a result. 

 

In the end, Kepler's mistake didn't matter because Rosario is awfully cold right now.  

 

Tomorrow is another day!!! 

    • Blake, Jerr, twinsnorth49 and 4 others like this

Win some, lose some. Go get 'em today. 

 

Never like bunting with the Twins best hitter, even if the situation may have called for it.

 

Thought Parker looked better than he had recently. Still not all that good, but better. That said, kinda want to start seeing Harper and Parker switch roles. 


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