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2020 MLB (non-Twins) Postseason Discussion Thread

Other Baseball Today, 09:08 AM
Feel free to chime in here about any of the (non-Twins) 2020 MLB postseason games!
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Nelson Cruz wants 2 years

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:12 AM
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MLB.com report on instructional league prospects

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 07:30 AM
In case you haven't seen it, mlb.com has published an article on the prospects at instructional league camp and their progress.   ht...
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MLB Sees Local TV And Streaming Viewership Up Over 4% For...

Other Baseball Yesterday, 09:08 PM
Twins local viewership up 9%.   Link to the article at Forbes:   https://www.forbes.c...0/#36bd03b33dac
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Re-Load vs. Re-Tool vs. Re-Build for 2021

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 08:14 AM
The Twins certainly have options this winter now that the core has been here long enough to make some tough calls. Which is the best rout...
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Recent Blogs

CHC 1, MIN 0: The Professor Schools Twins

Rich Hill delivered his best start as a Twin, but Kyle Hendricks was even better. The Professor schooled the Twins’ lineup, allowing just three singles over eight shutout innings while striking out 10 batters. Jeremy Jeffress finished things off as the Twins were shutout for the second time this season.
Image courtesy of Chart via FanGraphs
Box Score
Hill: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
Home Runs: None
Bottom 3 WPA: Donaldson -.269, Rosario -.134 Sanó -.093

Twins fans’ confidence in Rich Hill as a reliable postseason starter took a minor hit after his lengthy first inning. Before recording the third out at 27 pitches, he walked the first two batters and gave up an RBI-single to Wilson Contreras. However, he settled in after allowing the run, retiring nine of the next ten batters, eight consecutive. The only baserunner he allowed in that span came on a bunt single in the third. He caught a break when home plate umpire Ángel Hernández made a terrible call on a clear hit by pitch, saying Kyle Schwarber leaned into the pitch.

The problem was that Kyle Hendricks was pitching just as brilliantly, shutting out the Twins lineup for six innings in a little over 80 pitches. A leadoff single from Byron Buxton in the first posed a threat, as he ended up reaching third on a groundout and a wild pitch. Eddie Rosario worked out an unlikely walk to put men on the corners, but the Twins never capitalized. The first Minnesota hit after the second inning came in the sixth, when Josh Donaldson hit a bloop single that came off the bat at 74.5 MPH and had a .090 expected batting average, per Statcast.

Hill continued to impress, pitching four more shutout innings. This was the first time he managed to pitch more than five innings in a Twin uniform, making it his best start in Minnesota, with a season high in pitches thrown (95). His season ERA has now dropped almost a full run in his last three starts. If injuries don’t get in his way, his progression may point out to the fact that he can be a real contributor in the postseason.

Hendricks completed eight innings of shutout, so the Twins’ only hope to win it came against reliever Jeremy Jeffress in the ninth. Things then got interesting. Buxton drew his second walk of the season with a nice eight-pitch at bat, to leadoff the inning.

Buxton is 61-for-70 in stolen base attempts over his career (.871 success rate) and Jeffress has a 56.9 GB% this year, 24th among the 177 qualified relievers this season. It's easy to look back and wonder why Rocco Baldelli didn't have Buxton running in that situation.

Instead, Jeffress induced a double play against Donaldson. Nelson Cruz drew a walk, Rosario started out the next at bat nicely, getting ahead 3-0 in the count, but struck out to end the game.

Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
Attached Image: Bullpen.png

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Yankees are going to pass the Twins in the standings. I can't think of a worse first round scenario for the Twins than to face the Yankees in their home stadium the way they're swinging the bats right now. Rocco, if you're listening, tank the rest of the way. Face the Sox, Rays or A's.  

    • mikelink45 and bighat like this

Blue jays in free fall mode, they won’t pass the Yankees. Boston blows a late 4 run lead over NY and is now in extras. Cleveland won and is two back of us. Never been ok with our team losing out but you’d be a fool to want anything else at this point

    • bighat and MNT1996 like this

Just another pathetic offensive performance tonight.Come to expect it from Polanco, Kepler, Gonzalez,Rosario and others, but the slump Cruz is in...3-18 (.167) over his last 5 games with 0 RBI is a major concern.Nice to see Hill recover from a rocky 1st inning to pitch his best game all season.Really getting sick of and hating being in Chicago.Saying that, Im sure Rocco's soft/everybody relax and "trust the process" postgame comments is exactly (NOT) whats needed right now.A very SOFT team mentally that will pull ANOTHER early playoff exit (if we make it in).

    • mikelink45, bighat, rdehring and 2 others like this


Yankees are going to pass the Twins in the standings. I can't think of a worse first round scenario for the Twins than to face the Yankees in their home stadium the way they're swinging the bats right now. Rocco, if you're listening, tank the rest of the way. Face the Sox, Rays or A's.  

Already done. We're now in 5th. The season will be over in 12 days. This team is going nowhere. Cruz suddenly looks his age. Sano is in strikeout every other at bat mode. Eddie's not hitting. Donaldson never was. And the bullpen has it's own issues. 

    • jun, mikelink45, bighat and 1 other like this

Cubs has a catcher who can really hit and throw in the lineup. That's the only difference in this game. Garver might want to retire soon.

    • bighat likes this

Rocco rarely calls for steal. Under his leadership, this team hardly plays small ball.

    • mikelink45, bighat and heresthething like this
Sep 19 2020 05:33 AM
I hung in just long enough to watch Garver's first plate appearance, after which I became very ill.
    • bighat likes this
stringer bell
Sep 19 2020 05:44 AM

The Twins only need one more win to clinch the postseason, or losses from Detroit and Seattle. Tough to imagine that they will catch the White Sox, who still lead by three games plus have the tiebreaker. Houston is below .500, so also tough to imagine them falling behind them. Cleveland trails the Twins by two games plus the tiebreaker. Looks like a fifth seed and a trip to the Bronx.

    • bighat likes this

no excuse to not run Buxton in the 9th...statistics be damned. He is your fastest runner; the team desperately needed one run and Donaldson was a huge threat to do what he did...GIDP. I can't imagine toomany managers that wouldn't have said...Bux...go on the first pitch. It was simply stupid...but they will spin it otherwise I'm sure. The slumps of Sano, Rosario, Cruz, Kepler couldn't come at a worse time in a short season. Twins hitters looked disinterested last night...again. Thats at least 5 straight games where they haven't strung 2 hits together. Time is running out to right the ship....or the playoffs will be 2 and out...no matter who they play.

    • denarded, mikelink45 and rdehring like this

Start spreading the news.....this Twins team can't hit and has corkscrewed themselves into a 1st round exit in New York, New Yooooorrrrkk.....

    • rdehring likes this

Maybe someone can send videos of Whitey Herzog's Cardinals or any team that Billy Martin managed or the Go Go White sox of Aparicio and Fox, or the Dodgers of Maury Wills, or Rickey Henderson.  


Rocco a stolen base is not a terrible thing.A hit and run can work.Especially when you have Buxton on base.This station to station wait for the HR is just not working right now.By the way, the Yankees have 21 Stolen Bases this year to go with 89 HRs. 


I do have one thank you - Rocco moving Buxton to leadoff was wonderful. 

    • DocBauer and rdehring like this

I'm baffled by the collapse of the Twins offense this season. Was last year that much of a fluke? Did the change in the ball really torpedo them that much? Is it all the strangeness of the pandemic and the messed up spring training? Is it the injuries? 


So many guys took a big step back. We finally get some pitching put together and there's so little run support to back them up...

    • Danchat, mikelink45, DocBauer and 1 other like this
Sep 19 2020 07:57 AM
I see opposing pitching pounding low and away. Occasionally then going in or up tying up the hitters. Hendricks was diligent. No one can hit a ball the other way, no adjustments.
    • rdehring likes this

The DP that erased Buxton was hard to take.


Still, there is the old rule of thumb, "play for the tie at home, play to win on the road." Selecting a strategy to get Buxton to second at all costs cuts against that. Bunting for sure decreases your chances of scoring more than one run. Going instead for the steal doesn't greatly help the goal of scoring twice, and carries some risk. I wish Buxton was more of a sure thing to steal at will, but when calling strategy you have to go with what you've got.


It's true that if we don't score one run, the game doesn't keep going. A run would be big. But the aim isn't to keep going, it's to win, and a tie gives the home team their chance to end it with just a run, and so on with extra innings. Moreover the multi-run strategies still have a chance of plating the one run as a consolation prize - I'm not saying one run is worthless.


But being down by a run in the top of the ninth is an odds-against situation, and the previous 8 innings are more the cause of this loss than the tactics after Buxton's walk. Hendricks is a good pitcher. Guess what, there will be good pitchers when we play the post-season. The hitters have to figure out some answers.

    • stringer bell, mikelink45 and DocBauer like this
Before last season I was very worried that our lineup construction was way too much feast or famine. Then they crushed it and I assumed I was just wrong. Maybe not.....
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Ouch! That was a tough one.


Was ready to look for something to do after Hill walking the first two followed by the single and first run. But he got out of that inning down 1-0, great job.


Can't believe the big time pitching performance he put up after those first few hitters. Maybe he can carry that thru to the playoffs?


Also can't believe how pathetic nearly every hitter has become. Buxton continues to do well, but after him there is nobody. When will Arraez be returning?

    • mikelink45 and GNess like this

Frustration with the Twins this week and in general are understandable given the lofty expectations for a team coming off 100+ win season that added some good pieces.


But the postseason will be a chance for the Twins to do something special. The first round is best 2 out of 3 so any team in the tournament could advance including the Twins.


Many teams in all major sports have over performed their regular season results (87 Twins) in the postseason, and I see that possibility with the 2020 Twins:


1. 3-4 Starting Pitchers who can shut down an opponent (Maeda, Hill, Pineda, Berrios)


2. A deep bullpen


3. Some big veteran bats who can change game with one swing (Cruz, Donaldson, Rosario, Sano)


4. Byron Buxton!!



Another bad baseball game.
They are piling up.

It's hard to win when your entire offense is the solo home run. The Twins have had very few big innings and very few (none?) comebacks this year. Not much verve there.