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The Perfect Length of a Baseball Season?

Other Baseball Today, 01:43 AM
So Twitter got me thinking... What's the perfect length of baseball season? And then what's the perfect playoffs to be paired with that s...
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Twins postseason game times, TV

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 10:21 PM
Dust off that antenna, folks: the Twins 2020 postseason debut is over the air on ABC (albeit at 1 PM on a Tuesday, pre-empting some soap...
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My thoughts on Tyler Duffey..

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 08:38 PM
First of all, congratulations to the entire Twins organization, fans and friends for winning the AL Central!This was a tough division in...
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A (pretty accurate) look at the seedings

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 10:21 PM
Going into the final weekend of the season, the eight-team AL field is nearly set, though no team is locked into its seed. Here's what I...
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Game Thread: Twins vs Reds, 9/27/20, 2:10 CT

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 07:41 PM
Today is clinch day for one team in the ALC, and the Twins can make that happen multiple different ways today. The two simplest ways to s...
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Recent Blogs


CHW 3, MIN 1: Twins Leave 15 Runners On Base

The Twins combined for eight hits and 10 walks, but managed to scratch across just one run. They were 2-for-16 with runners in scoring position and left 15 runners on base. The White Sox, who left 12 men on themselves, but got to Taylor Rogers for two runs in the eighth.
Box Score
Berríos: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
Home Runs: None
Bottom 3 WPA: Cruz -.392, Rogers -.351, Astudillo -.196
Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs):
Attached Image: Winchart.png

It was early on that a theme developed to Monday night’s game. Stop me when you pick up on that theme.

1st inning: Lead off single, no runs.

2nd inning: Lead off double, no runs.

3rd inning: Lead off double, no runs.

4th inning: Lead off walk, no runs.

Four straight innings with the lead off batter reaching and nothing but a goose egg to show for it. Not exactly the start to a series against the team you are chasing for the division title who has an equally potent lineup to your own.

Berrios shaky, but still shuts down top offense

Meanwhile, Jose Berrios took the mound for the Twins. The results of Berrios’ start weren't bad, but it was the journey to that result that was nerve wracking. The second inning especially caused Twins Territory to worry about where the game was headed.

Berrios was able to get the White Sox to 2 outs relatively well with Yoan Moncada on second base. From there Berrios gave up a bloop single to Nick Madrigal which brought Moncada home to give the White Sox a 1-0 lead. From there Berrios gave up a line drive single to Tim Anderson and hit Yasmani Grandal with a pitch to load the bases. Nearly heroically, Berrios induced a grounder off the bat of MVP candidate Jose Abreu to end the inning.

Berrios would make it 5 innings for the Twins. It wasn’t the most dominant of starts for the right-hander, but the results put the Twins in a position to win the game after only allowing one run and issuing one walk. Maybe most impressively, Berrios ended his start with a 1-2-3 5th while facing the White Sox 3-4-5 batters.

The Theme Continues

As the Twins began the top of the 5th inning Ehire Adrianza took a walk. Five innings, five straight times the lead off batter reaches base. This time the Twins fortune would change. While the inning was one that should have netted a few more runs, Jorge Polanco came through with a bloop single that drove in Adrianza to tie the game 1-1.

6th inning, another lead off batter reached. This time it was a Jake Cave double. This time the Twins would eventually load the bases and with 2 outs bring Nelson Cruz to the plate. The exact guy they would want right? Maybe not, this time Cruz would strike out and bring the Twins left on base total to 11 through 6 innings.

Another loss with Rogers on the mound

Taylor Rogers came in to get the bottom of the White Sox lineup out and keep the score tied going into the 9th so the Twins could try to take the lead then. Instead, Rogers opened the inning by walking two batters and eventually giving up a single to Adam Engel through a vacated shortstop position due to a defensive shift to score a White Sox run. Tim Anderson then followed up with a well hit double off the wall to put the White Sox up 3-1.

That caused Rocco Baldelli to come out and pull Rogers from the game in favor of Jorge Alcala. It has been said many times before and I will say it again here. Rogers isn’t exactly getting dominated, but he is missing that shut down ability we became used to so the question has to be asked: What’s next with Rogers?

Tonight may have been set up for a struggle for the Twins from the get go. No Miguel Sano, no Marwin Gonzalez, no Eddie Rosario, and of course still no Luis Arraez. While a lot of firepower was missing, the team still put a lot of guys on base for the bats in the line up to do some damage. Ehire Adrianza alone reached base four times out of the nine hole and came around to score the team’s only run.

The Twins also battled Angel Hernandez behind home plate just as much as they battled the White Sox all night long. And somehow in the top of the 9th they were still in this game. Byron Buxton landed on second base after the most confusing reactions to a ground rule/inside the park on field reaction ever from Eloy Jimenez.

In the end, Jake Cave would strike out and Alex Colome closed out the win for the White Sox. Tough loss to start the series. It will be interesting to see how the team rebounds for the rest of the series.
Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
Attached Image: Bullpen.png

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72 Comments

Rogers needs to be moved to low leverage situations until the command comes back.We have many relievers and just need to give some of the other ones a chance.I like Duffy and Alacla and lots of other choices, maybe even flip Tielbar and Rogers for a while until he clears his head.  

Lots of relievers have off years and on years, that is why people like Rivera and Chapman and the like are so special.

    • mikelink45 and rdehring like this
Taylor Rogers is an interesting case this year. His underlying stats scream bad luck... His BABIP is .412 which is absurd, his FIP is right in line with previous seasons, and his K/BB ratio is great. Players aren’t hitting frozen ropes off his pitches. They’re simply finding holes in the shift.

You would think positive regression is coming, but unfortunately time is running out before the postseason. The next couple of weeks are going to be crucial to see if he can be the fireman for the postseason.
    • LA VIkes Fan and DocBauer like this

 

It is clear the number one focus is to be as healthy as possible when the playoffs start. While it may not include winning the central and a better seed (and it still might), it is a smart thing to do in this shortened season. That is why I wish we see no more bullpen games. With starters only going 5 mostly..... the bullpen gets plenty of work. The Twins have probably blown the division title by their performance against KC and Detroit. For this lineup tonight to be competitive was impressive. The folks that let us down were the highest paid on the team.... Donaldson and Cruz. The table was constantly set for them. Hopefully they can step up in October.

 

I will never understand how an umpire missing close pitches, the ones the pitchers or batters earn the most and deserve the most, and missing them for both sides makes it OK. To me, it just means he guessed more wrong, and that is even worse, and certainly always affects the at bat and the game. 

 

RBI always are important, and always will be. One can spout that one can't control the opportunities they get for RBI, and therefore it is not a good judge of the hitter, but today is a grand example of just how important those guys that can drive the runners in are. And walks rarely drive in runs, just ask Donaldson today.

 

I always am amazed that a batter will not guard the plate better, and watch a called third strike to end the game. Just stand there and watch it, especially since the swung at so many that were way out of the zone, and this pitch is right on the edge. You just can't stand there. You just can't.

 

The problem with RBIs is people use them to describe the wrong things. As an expression of a player's ability as a hitter...they're not very indicative. Other stats are far better and are more predictive of future success. RBIs simply don't do that. 

 

There's a fair theory that modern baseball is undervaluing contact as a skill, which plays to where the Twins were last night, at least a bit. Right now teams are valuing hitting the ball hard over hitting the ball (launch angle, hard-hit rate, etc) because what they're seeing is that having more players who do those things and get on base at a high rate leads to more big innings and more runs overall. But I think there's an argument that you can be even better off if those sluggers, those three true outcome artists are leavened with guys who get on base via a high batting average as part of a high on base percentage. Having guys with excellent contact skill does help...but having a bunch of guys who slap the ball a lot isn't going to help. you have to pick them carefully.

 

And no matter what you do, sometimes a guy is going to have a bad day. Cruz is having an awesome season at the plate, he's exactly the guy you want up to bat with the bases loaded...and it didn't happen. But I take that matchup every single time.

 

I'm a little concerned about Taylor Rogers. He's been much more hittable this year. But it's also only 16 innings. The k-rate is still excellent, he's not walking guys, his hr rate is right around the career average...so is he in trouble, or is this a fluke with small sample size? I'm a little worried, but it's not panic time.

    • birdwatcher and rdehring like this

Lol you guys are hilarious. Twins are on a 100 win pace even with all the injuries and you guys are in here whining and talking **** about the guy who won the Manager of the Year award last year and is in his 2nd season. Talk about overreactions. 

    • Shaitan likes this

there's a team in NY that's starting to heat up...whatever the twins have to do to avoid playing that team is what I want to see them do. division winner or not

    • bighat and rdehring like this
I'm with Chief and others on the RBI discussion. I fully understand RBI doesn't work as a tell all in regard to hitting ability. And opportunity...such as being put in a 3-5 spot in the order for a good team...only goes so far as an excuse for debate. Actually GETTING RBI is still clutch, still a moment, still a skill to actually come through when it matters.

We had nobody do that last night. That stinks and is unexpected just with the volume of opportunity. But I'm not blaming Cruz just because he had a bad game.

I love Rocco, but nights like last night do make me wonder why the Twins don't play just a little small ball. If you truly have a feel for the pulse of your team, which I think Rocco does, he should have felt it was an off night. Especially with so many guys out. It's would have been a good night, here and there, to try to manufacture a run or two, IMO.

Still just ONE game.
    • jun and rdehring like this
Angel Hernandez didn’t cost us the game. However he is a horrible umpire and everyone knows it.

Berrios throws more non competitive pitches than any other good pitcher I’ve seen. Last night there had to be 15-20 pitches that had no chance so you end up with 100 pitches to get 5 innings. I keep holding out hope that something will click and he find command but I think this is it. His stuff is so good he still pitched a good game.

Wade Jr needs to be the 4th outfielder next year. Better yet find a right handed version of him. Don’t need to see Cave anymore.
    • joefish, jun and rdehring like this
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VivaBomboRivera!
Sep 15 2020 08:28 AM

I was home! What happened? What the hell happened?

 

1608-WATCH-Buxton-strange-inside-the-par

Wow, what a difficult game to watch. Chicago tried to give us the game, but we didn't take it. Putting out an APB for the real Taylor Rogers.

    • bighat likes this

 

I was home! What happened? What the hell happened?

 

1608-WATCH-Buxton-strange-inside-the-par

that was White Sox home field gamesmanship that the umpires let them get away with.

Photo
twinbythebay
Sep 15 2020 08:51 AM

 

Berrios needs the coaches to work with him on his approach to big games.He came away with a good line, but his work was so erratic and it seems to get that way when he his hyped up about a game.

 

Do not rest your players in a key series.Do not experiment with Rogers in a key game when he has not shown any ability to get it done in the last month.I hate to see a player have such a difficult year, but the manager has to prevent the issue from being a team issue.If Rocco wants to experiment, let's see what Alcala does in a tough situation because he might become out closer.

The key series are coming in about two weeks. The Twins are in a very good position to secure home field advantage, and they should be using every game from now until the playoffs to get as many players right as possible.

 

Lol you guys are hilarious. Twins are on a 100 win pace even with all the injuries and you guys are in here whining and talking **** about the guy who won the Manager of the Year award last year and is in his 2nd season. Talk about overreactions. 

 

I didn't watch, but it's clear to me from this thread that the Twins would be a much better team if they got rid of Cruz, Berrios, and Rogers.

    • Cap'n Piranha, flatlanddad and twinbythebay like this

 

Some thoughts:

 

Angel Hernandez had very little to do with the outcome of tonight's ball game. That's just lazy excuse making, IYAM. He might have missed a vew close pitches, if you believe in the little box on the TV, but missed for both sides, and didn't seriously affect any ABs.

 

I agree, Chief. It's not as though Hernandez wasn't also behind the plate when the Sox were in the field. I'm certainly not going to argue that he's a good umpire, but this line of logic has the stench of losers lament. Both teams had to deal with it.

    • USAFChief likes this
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birdwatcher
Sep 15 2020 08:55 AM

That was easily the most painful game to watch for me in two years. My main issue with this lineup has been the paucity of "tough out" guys, which is why Arraez was such a breath of fresh air last year. I hope Falvey has a longer-term goal of building an everyday lineup that has smart OBP guys interspersed. The failure of one batter after another to even make contact in RISP situations drives me nuts. It's OK for Cruz to be Cruz, just give me two more Arraez types in the lineup each night instead of the Caves and the Rosarios one after another.

 

Another reason this was a hard game to see given away: if I was given the decision and was offered one win in the next three games to walk away, I'd take it, no hesitation at all. Hope I'm wrong of course.

    • USAFChief, denarded, big dog and 1 other like this

 

This should do the trick. From Baseball Savant.

 

Scroll down and click on "Jose Berrios", just below "Search Results".

Thanks. Never been to site before. There is A LOT going on there. He did have a lot of consecutive strikes, but didn't have a swinging strike/called strike back to back. Lots of fouls and balls hit into play. So the stats don't back up my thoughts which are always true

Obviously a tough result, but I thought this was a fun game! Maybe a little long/slow (I mostly listened on radio, which helps), but close, tense, meaningful -- one of the more entertaining Twins/White Sox matchups in years.

 

Hopefully games 2-4 keep it up (with improved results).

 

Thanks. Never been to site before. There is A LOT going on there. He did have a lot of consecutive strikes, but didn't have a swinging strike/called strike back to back. Lots of fouls and balls hit into play. So the stats don't back up my thoughts which are always true

Robert had a called strike and swinging strike consecutively in the 3rd inning. Mazara in the 4th. You can click on the counts in the play-by-play here:

https://www.baseball...202009140.shtml

 

That was easily the most painful game to watch for me in two years. My main issue with this lineup has been the paucity of "tough out" guys, which is why Arraez was such a breath of fresh air last year. I hope Falvey has a longer-term goal of building an everyday lineup that has smart OBP guys interspersed. The failure of one batter after another to even make contact in RISP situations drives me nuts. It's OK for Cruz to be Cruz, just give me two more Arraez types in the lineup each night instead of the Caves and the Rosarios one after another.

 

Another reason this was a hard game to see given away: if I was given the decision and was offered one win in the next three games to walk away, I'd take it, no hesitation at all. Hope I'm wrong of course.

I was thinking the same thing the past few days. Could you see a lineup with Arraez and Wade batting one after another somewhere in the order? Would drive pitchers nuts...and shorten the number of innings they could pitch.

 

By the way, I haven't been a huge Wade fan over the past few years. But I'll tell ya, he is growing on me. And he does such a nice job at first base having not played it much in the minors. Does anyone know how much he played there? Or was it back in college at Maryland?

    • bighat likes this

I agree wit the statement that the Sox tried to give the game away. But the Twins DID give the game away. The Sox have destroyed left handed pitching this year, so a close game with the team your fighting for first place with is not a good time to try to fix your left handed bullpen ace. The bats have been coming awake lately, but last night was tough. Who had odds on all 9 Twins batters struggling? Should be an anomaly, but who knows, this is 2020!! Go get 'em tonight boys.

 

Robert had a called strike and swinging strike consecutively in the 3rd inning. Mazara in the 4th. You can click on the counts in the play-by-play here:

https://www.baseball...202009140.shtml

You're right. I should have looked closer. Like I said, my thoughts as the game went on did not jive with the stats. I don't know wether I still have too high expectations for Berrios or need to accept him for what he is. How can I be mad with 1 run in 5ip



Berrios throws more non competitive pitches than any other good pitcher I’ve seen. Last night there had to be 15-20 pitches that had no chance so you end up with 100 pitches to get 5 innings. I keep holding out hope that something will click and he find command but I think this is it. His stuff is so good he still pitched a good game.

great post. The lack of command also means too many pitches end up middle middle.
    • bighat likes this
It's amazing that the White Sox took the lead with small ball. Adam Engal didn't really hit the ball through a shifted infield, he hit a slash bunt, because Engal tried to drop down a bunt in the first pitch and then he squared around, Donaldson charged and Polanco was wheeling over to cover 3rd and then Engal slashed and put the ball right where Polanco vacated. Nice example of small ball working. The Twins didn't really have a lot of chances for small ball yesterday. I mean Kepler came up with a guy on 2nd and he hit a grounder to the right side and moved the runner anyway. About the only time I think they should have bunted was with Astudillo up to bat with Cave on 2nd. Had Astudillo successfully bunted there Cave gets to 3rd and probably scores to put the Twins up 2 - 1. Who knows what happens from there? All of the sudden Cruz might hit his 17th bomb because bases wouldn't be loaded and the pitcher might pitch differently? Who knows.

Also I don't think Rogers was brought in to close. Rocco brought him in to face the bottom of the lineup in the 8th. I'm almost thinking that Rocco was planning on using Alcala to close it out had they taken the lead? JMO?

It was interesting on the mlb channel yesterday. Leiter, Pedro and the other guys were discussing the best playoff rotations. The Twins were brought up and Pedro said no way, he said that the Twins are a good example of having a guy who could win the Cy Young, (Maeda) but Pedro said he would not have him in his (playoff) starting rotation. Then someone brought up Berrios. Leiter then said that Berrios is also good, but to be a top playoff pitcher you have to go longer than 5 innings. Not saying that I completely agree or disagree. But these are the opinions of a hall of famer and a guy who pitched big games in the playoffs. Interesting take.

With respect to "tough guy" outs- I'm really tired of the Astudillo circus. Bases loaded, guys getting walked everywhere, so why not hack at the first pitch, six inches inside?Oops, inning over. He popped up on a terrible first pitch later in the game, too. Next time he's going to have to jump across the plate to swing at the first pitch, and he probably will.

 

There's a pretty thick line between aggressive and ridiculous. He's crossed way over it.

    • USAFChief, birdwatcher, h2oface and 2 others like this
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Cap'n Piranha
Sep 15 2020 11:12 AM

 

I often read that RBI are not a good measure of offensive contribution. I do not agree, and offer tonight as exhibit 1 million. OBP is worthless without someone bringing those runners home.

 

But putting a ball in play (barring the very rare case of an inside the park HR) with no one on base is also, by that standard, worthless.The problem with RBI as a stat is not that it's worthless--it's that it's completely devoid of context.

 

Let's say Eddie Rosario hits a routine ground ball to the second baseman with less than two outs.If Byron Buxton is on third, there's a good chance Rosario gets an RBI.If Nelson Cruz is on third, it's essentially a 0% chance Rosario gets an RBI.Exact same batted ball by Rosario, diametrically opposite RBI outcomes.The reason for that is because often a large part of the run being scored has absolutely nothing to do with the batter who gets credit for the RBI.Thus, absent an accompanying, context-providing stat, RBI is at best a crude metric, and at worst, a downright misleading one.

    • JLease and twinbythebay like this
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FritzDahmus
Sep 15 2020 11:18 AM

That wasn't a ground rule double. That was theft of a run by the White Sox Left Fielder.

 

The stupidest call ever [whether it was the right call or not].

 

The umpiring may have contributed just as much as the players....to the Twins loss.

    • bighat likes this