Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

The Forums

Potential rule change: require different DH for each pitcher

Other Baseball Today, 12:33 PM
I just read this potential rule change on Twitter and I am intrigued:   https://twitter.com/...4091739136?s=20     For th...
Full topic ›

White Sox make changes

Other Baseball Today, 12:21 PM
Both Manager Rick Rentaria and pitching coach Don Cooper were let go.     Was a bit surprised by this, because the White S...
Full topic ›

Nelson Cruz wants 2 years

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:31 AM
https://www.mlbtrade...-year-deal.html
Full topic ›

Target Field Tax Status

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:35 AM
Been reading about all the losses (alleged or not) that MLB has (and maybe will again) taken with the pandemic, and wondered how the tax...
Full topic ›

What to do with Lewis Thorpe?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:54 AM
Lewis Thorpe is out of options. The Twins either need to keep him on the MLB team as their 5th starter or as a reliever out of the bullpe...
Full topic ›

CIN 5, MIN 3: Twins Lose In Extras, Win Division

It came down to the final day of the regular season, the Twins didn’t even finish things off with a victory, but regardless, they are the 2020 American League Central champions. Bring on the Astros.
Image courtesy of Chart via FanGraphs
Box Score
Hill: 5 2/3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K
Home Runs: None
Bottom 3 WPA: Romo -.394, Cruz -.230, Rosario -.202

Chicago Drama
No matter what the Twins did, a White Sox loss guaranteed them the division. So when the Cubs took a 6-0 lead over the Sox in the second inning of their game this afternoon, it was starting to appear the Twins had things locked up. The Cubbies extended that lead to 10-1 by the middle of the seventh inning.

The White Sox stormed back to score five in the eighth and two in the bottom of the ninth inning. The tying run came to the plate, but Cubs pitcher Andrew Chafin managed to finish the job, giving the Twins back-to-back American League Central titles.

The loss coupled with a Cleveland win resulted in the White Sox finishing third in the division.

Staying Atop the Mountain
Rich Hill is going to have an opportunity to pitch a 17th major league season if he so chooses. He held the Reds scoreless for 5 2/3 innings today, though Matt Wisler allowed an inherited runner to score. Hill ended the regular season with a 3.03 ERA over 38 2/3 innings.

Hill gave up just a pair of hits, both singles. He issued three walks, two to Joey Votto, and struck out four batters.

Balk Talk
How’s this for manufacturing a run? Jake Cave led off the fifth inning with a walk, advanced to second on a groundout, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a balk.



The Reds appeared to have tried to argue that this shouldn’t have been considered a pitch because Sonny Gray stepped back off the rubber, but he had already started his delivery by then. There was some confusion, a delay and a review, but the original call was eventually upheld.

Arráez Rolling
After a successful return to the lineup in which he went 4-for-4 with three doubles, Luis Arráez had two of the Twins’ five hits on the day, one of them being another double. This brief but triumphant return boosted Arráez’s batting average from .288 to .321.

Romo’s Ugly Outing
Sergio Romo faced four batters in the top of the 10th inning and didn’t retire a single one of them. Curt Casali and Tucker Barnhart both singled before Nick Castellanos and Joey Votto both walked off Romo.

Romo really struggled to find the zone, throwing just seven of his 18 pitches for strikes. The Twins used seven pitchers today.

Playoff Picture Develops
Here’s how things ended up working out for the playoffs below. There will be plenty more discussion and analysis regarding the Twins Wild Card matchup against the Astros here at Twins Daily.


And the Twins are getting put in the afternoon time slot for both of their first two games.



Postgame Pint
Check out tonight’s episode of Twins Daily’s Postgame Pint live stream on YouTube or Facebook.

Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
Attached Image: Bullpen.png

  • ToddlerHarmon likes this

  • Share:
  • submit to reddit
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

29 Comments

Photo
Old Twins Cap
Sep 27 2020 05:11 PM

I think they maneuvered through that rather well.

 

They have a pretty damn good shot at beating the Astros in three games at Target Field.

    • nicksaviking, mikelink45, JoshDungan1 and 2 others like this
Photo
John Kelsey
Sep 27 2020 05:17 PM

Wouldn't have been a good day to try to get started on the write up early, I don't envy you, Tom. 

Perfect outcome. Bring on the astros
    • Dozier's Glorious Hair likes this
Oddly, the playoff bracket and first round opponent i was hoping for. Let's hope i don't end up regretting it.
    • JoshDungan1 and Dozier's Glorious Hair like this
Boy I hope to not see Cave in the playoffs. Congratulations to the Twins for surviving the fiasco that is the 2020 season.
    • jun likes this

Twins enter the playoffs at low tide. They are banged up and far too many hitters are in dreadful slumps. I wonder if Cruz is hurt. When he can't even get fly balls to the outfield anymore and he takes tentative swings, something is wrong. Sano is just plain out of confidence. It would be addition by subtraction if he sat out the first round. What would we lose? Simply 9 or 10 unproductive outs.

Garver can't hit a lick this season. Polanco suddenly looks terrible at the plate. Buxton was our sparkplug but before he was beaned he had fanned 7 of his last 12 AB's. Donaldson so far has not earned his big contract. He has good leather but his hitting has been inconsistent and his temper tamtrum maybe cost his team a win last week. The fact that he justifies what he did is more troublesome.

 

The bullpen has not been sharp. Romo and Rogers in particular really don't need to be pitching. Wisler had a bad week. The starters have saved the day for the most part. They have looked strong...save Berrios, who had a poor outing on Friday.

 

Its nice to be playing a different opponent in this short series, but I wouldn't be giving the Twins, right now, much of an advantage. They were going thru the motions today once they saw the 6-0 score in the Sox game. From that point, they were listless and not fun to watch. Can half of this slumbering offense flip the switch? As Twins fans, starved for a playoff win, we hope so. Will the k's stop? Will these guys recognize that often the best pitch they will get to hit is the first one, especially when pitchers know the hitters are swinging outside the zone.

 

Should the Twins be able to beat the cheaters from Houston? Of course. Will they? Not if they continue to ignore the fundamentals. Not if the bullpen can't pitch shutdown innings when it matters.

If they play like Saturday....different story. Is Rocco gutsy enough to bench some of his slump ridden players, even for one game? Put sentimentality aside. Give them the eye test. And then be brave.

    • mikelink45, rv78 and FritzDahmus like this
Not very optimistic going into the post season.
    • Dman, adorduan and wsnydes like this

The Houston Cheatos.

    • wabene likes this

182 pitches to get through 10 innings, wow.

The real take away for me is that Romo has been on a downward curve and does not seem to be ready for the playoffs.Which BP arms would you count on?Maybe the lesson is that BP games eventually take a toll. 

    • FritzDahmus likes this

I'm excited for a reset. As miserable as I have felt at various points this season, they played .600 ball in a much tougher division than predicted- 3 playoff teams and Detroit had a strong stretch there for a while. I've lived through a lot worse than this.

 

I hope everyone gets healthy fast- hey, there's a whole off-day! I hope I see a lot more Duffey and less Romo/Rogers. I hope whatever catcher plays can hit a few balls hard. I hope Nelson naps in that robe and comes out refreshed.

 

Go Twins!

    • mikelink45, Dman, DocBauer and 3 others like this

A lot of reasons to be excited for the playoffs

 

1. We are not playing the Yankees

2. Our starting pitching is really good and healthy

3. We are not playing the Yankees

4. If Buxton and Donaldson can play our hitters are pretty healthy

5. We are not playing the Yankees

    • big dog, mikelink45, DocBauer and 3 others like this

OK so after the Twins lost that series in Chicago I was kind of hoping they would give up and drop down for draft position.The way Chicago was playing it seemed like there was no way we would have a chance at the division.I mean Chicago was going to have to almost lose out for us to win it.  

 

I guess that is baseball, where the near impossible ends up being possible.This has been a frustrating season watching this offense regress to mediocrity or worse.The Bombas were still there but fewer with a ton of strike outs.While my confidence is low for the playoffs they are in the best spot they can be for the post season.Here's hoping for a some playoff wins to get that monkey off of our back.Go Twins.Thanks for never giving up and another division win.

Best outcome matchup wise for the twins, outside of maybe Toronto. However, the tortured minnesota fan in me sees a team under .500 qualify for the playoffs for the first time ever and gets awfully nervous. We haven’t been favored in a postseason in a while. Need to break the long losing streak. Thankfully avoided the yankees

Not a big deal in the scheme of things, but it sure seemed unjust to me to hang the loss on Thielbar.He faced 4 batters and got them all.A "perfect performance". How can that be a losing effort?It's not his fault that the rules put a runner on second to start the inning. In this situation, it seems to me that the pitcher who allows the runner to score should be responsible, since there was no pitcher that put the runner on base.

 

I'm sure he's not losing any sleep over it, though.:)

    • DocBauer, Dozier's Glorious Hair and FritzDahmus like this

Not a big deal in the scheme of things, but it sure seemed unjust to me to hang the loss on Thielbar. He faced 4 batters and got them all. A "perfect performance". How can that be a losing effort? It's not his fault that the rules put a runner on second to start the inning. In this situation, it seems to me that the pitcher who allows the runner to score should be responsible, since there was no pitcher that put the runner on base.

I'm sure he's not losing any sleep over it, though. :)


FWIW, it counts as an unearned run.

But if they want to continue this rule, this might be a worthy scoring tweak.
    • DocBauer, Dozier's Glorious Hair and FritzDahmus like this

Baseball is a game of cycles. White Sox have been terrible but maybe they are due to get hot. Who knows what sparks a team. I have always only wanted meaningful games in September.Playoffs are a bonus.I have always said the Twins had a decent shot in playoffs past and losing a record in a row does nothing to diminish that. The fact that they lost all those games does not mean that they could not have won them. Heck, we had the 2nd best reliever in baseball with the lead in a couple of those games.That said, I can live with losing the series to the Astros but getting swept would be a hard pill to swallow.Maeda our best shot for sure. Can we all just agree now that if the Twins win it all, it counts but if the Yankees or White Sox win it all, it is just exhibition?  

    • Dman and wabene like this
Photo
twinbythebay
Sep 28 2020 01:23 AM

 

Twins enter the playoffs at low tide. They are banged up and far too many hitters are in dreadful slumps. I wonder if Cruz is hurt. When he can't even get fly balls to the outfield anymore and he takes tentative swings, something is wrong. Sano is just plain out of confidence. It would be addition by subtraction if he sat out the first round. What would we lose? Simply 9 or 10 unproductive outs.

Garver can't hit a lick this season. Polanco suddenly looks terrible at the plate. Buxton was our sparkplug but before he was beaned he had fanned 7 of his last 12 AB's. Donaldson so far has not earned his big contract. He has good leather but his hitting has been inconsistent and his temper tamtrum maybe cost his team a win last week. The fact that he justifies what he did is more troublesome.

 

The bullpen has not been sharp. Romo and Rogers in particular really don't need to be pitching. Wisler had a bad week. The starters have saved the day for the most part. They have looked strong...save Berrios, who had a poor outing on Friday.

 

Its nice to be playing a different opponent in this short series, but I wouldn't be giving the Twins, right now, much of an advantage. They were going thru the motions today once they saw the 6-0 score in the Sox game. From that point, they were listless and not fun to watch. Can half of this slumbering offense flip the switch? As Twins fans, starved for a playoff win, we hope so. Will the k's stop? Will these guys recognize that often the best pitch they will get to hit is the first one, especially when pitchers know the hitters are swinging outside the zone.

 

Should the Twins be able to beat the cheaters from Houston? Of course. Will they? Not if they continue to ignore the fundamentals. Not if the bullpen can't pitch shutdown innings when it matters.

If they play like Saturday....different story. Is Rocco gutsy enough to bench some of his slump ridden players, even for one game? Put sentimentality aside. Give them the eye test. And then be brave.

Alternate view, from a lifelong Minnesota sports fan with a penchant for pessimism:

 

1. Today's outcome was the best possible outcome in my mind: winning the division, securing a home series, and playing the Astros, who finish the season below .500 and are without their ace starting pitcher and at least one of their best hitters.

 

2. Kepler, Arraez, and Rosario, three of our most important hitters, are all hot coming into the postseason. Sure, I'll admit, the recent performances of Sano and Cruz, along with Garver's season long slump, have me worried. As do Donaldon's and Buxton's injuries. But there's just as much reason for optimism as pessimism in the lineup in my mind. All that being said, I'm not a big believer in "momentum" in baseball. How many times have we seen Sano seemingly flick a switch and suddenly turn back into a baseball-mashing god? I'm not especially worried about the lineup, and Houston's pitching doesn't look too scary to me.

 

3. Are the Twins really entering the postseason at "low tide" just because they lost the last series of the season? They were 3-2 in their last week, 5-3 over the past three series, and 16-7 in the month of September, which is tied with the Dodgers for the best September record in MLB. They finished the season with 36 wins, which is more than Vegas, Fangraphs, or any other preseason projection that I saw predicted. What more did you want?

 

Look, it's entirely possible that the Twins lose their next two games and get swept out of the playoffs, but I wouldn't be that surprised if that happened to the Dodgers either. It's baseball, and it's a three game series. But is there any real basis for this level of pessimism, besides trying to ward off jinxes and appease the vengeful baseball gods? Maybe I'm an idiot, but I don't think things could have played out any better for the Twins today. Looking forward to the postseason!

    • Dantes929, big dog, Dman and 5 others like this

Alternate view, from a lifelong Minnesota sports fan with a penchant for pessimism:

1. Today's outcome was the best possible outcome in my mind: winning the division, securing a home series, and playing the Astros, who finish the season below .500 and are without their ace starting pitcher and at least one of their best hitters.

2. Kepler, Arraez, and Rosario, three of our most important hitters, are all hot coming into the postseason. Sure, I'll admit, the recent performances of Sano and Cruz, along with Garver's season long slump, have me worried. As do Donaldon's and Buxton's injuries. But there's just as much reason for optimism as pessimism in the lineup in my mind. All that being said, I'm not a big believer in "momentum" in baseball. How many times have we seen Sano seemingly flick a switch and suddenly turn back into a baseball-mashing god? I'm not especially worried about the lineup, and Houston's pitching doesn't look too scary to me.

3. Are the Twins really entering the postseason at "low tide" just because they lost the last series of the season? They were 3-2 in their last week, 5-3 over the past three series, and 16-7 in the month of September, which is tied with the Dodgers for the best September record in MLB. They finished the season with 36 wins, which is more than Vegas, Fangraphs, or any other preseason projection that I saw predicted. What more did you want?

Look, it's entirely possible that the Twins lose their next two games and get swept out of the playoffs, but I wouldn't be that surprised if that happened to the Dodgers either. It's baseball, and it's a three game series. But is there any real basis for this level of pessimism, besides trying to ward off jinxes and appease the vengeful baseball gods? Maybe I'm an idiot, but I don't think things could have played out any better for the Twins today. Looking forward to the postseason!

Thanks! I do not get the negativity, sorry but it's just ridiculous. 36 wins c'mon get over it. To be honest I do not like the mindset. What is the value of the thought process? Remember worry is a debt paid on a purchase not yet made. I came to this page wanting to celebrate a second consecutive division title. SMH. Anyway thanks again TBTB for trying to lighten this **** up.
    • Dantes929, Dman, DocBauer and 3 others like this

 

I'm excited for a reset. As miserable as I have felt at various points this season, they played .600 ball in a much tougher division than predicted- 3 playoff teams and Detroit had a strong stretch there for a while. I've lived through a lot worse than this.

 

I hope everyone gets healthy fast- hey, there's a whole off-day! I hope I see a lot more Duffey and less Romo/Rogers. I hope whatever catcher plays can hit a few balls hard. I hope Nelson naps in that robe and comes out refreshed.

 

Go Twins!

Add to four NL Central teams in the playoffs and our division was the best, no questions.

    • big dog and Dozier's Glorious Hair like this

Watched the game yesterday at my son's home in Columbus, Ohio. Was fun listening to the Cincinnati crew do the game. Found it interesting when they were raving about Arraez with comparison's to Pete Rose. Isn't it great that he ended the season hitting for a .321 average? I think this season confirms that he is going to be special for a long time.  

 

Had a feeling late in the game that Baldelli wasn't going all-in to get the win. 

 

As for the pessimism above, think a lot is based on the poor performance of several hitters who did unbelievably well last year. This year, not so good. Yet, as I look around the league many of the big name hitters are also doing poorly. Just look at the Cubs, Brewers, etc. Gotta believe the short summer training, schedule and conditions players are living with have a lot to do with it.

 

Now on to victory versus the Stro's.

    • Dantes929, stringer bell, Dman and 3 others like this
Worried about our bats going into the playoffs. Will we have Bux and Donaldson? Sano has been very cold of late and Cruz was quiet coming back from his injury. Wish Polanco was rolling and we could put him in front of Arraez.
Photo
stringer bell
Sep 28 2020 06:26 AM

 

 

 

As for the pessimism above, think a lot is based on the poor performance of several hitters who did unbelievably well last year. This year, not so good. Yet, as I look around the league many of the big name hitters are also doing poorly. Just look at the Cubs, Brewers, etc. Gotta believe the short summer training, schedule and conditions players are living with have a lot to do with it.

 

For whatever reason offense was way down in the regular season. Here's two good examples: Nelson Cruz had an OPS this year of .992 this year versus 1.031 last season. Eddie Rosario's OPS this year was .792 versus .802 last year and both actually had higher OPS+ numbers this year.

 

As a team, the Twins dipped from elite offensively to middle-of-the-road and were even more dependent on home runs to fuel their offense. Saturday's offensive performance was so different from the great majority of games--no homers, but steady pressure on the opponent, lots of doubles and good hitting with runners in scoring position. 

 

Run prevention improved almost as much as run production diminished and the Twins managed to win 60% of their games. They have a chance to advance deep in the playoffs, but some who were disappointing in the regular season need to be better.

 

The American League playoff is a tournament where all the participants have significant strengths and weaknesses. I truly believe anyone can win and anyone could lose in the first round. The Twins have a huge monkey on their backs and winning both a game and series is the minimum for saying that progress was made this year (IMHO).

    • Dman, DocBauer, Dozier's Glorious Hair and 4 others like this

Do we know if all trashcans are going to be removed from the visitor dugout?

    • DocBauer, Dozier's Glorious Hair and rdehring like this

 

Twins enter the playoffs at low tide. They are banged up and far too many hitters are in dreadful slumps. I wonder if Cruz is hurt. When he can't even get fly balls to the outfield anymore and he takes tentative swings, something is wrong. Sano is just plain out of confidence. It would be addition by subtraction if he sat out the first round. What would we lose? Simply 9 or 10 unproductive outs.

Garver can't hit a lick this season. Polanco suddenly looks terrible at the plate. Buxton was our sparkplug but before he was beaned he had fanned 7 of his last 12 AB's. Donaldson so far has not earned his big contract. He has good leather but his hitting has been inconsistent and his temper tamtrum maybe cost his team a win last week. The fact that he justifies what he did is more troublesome.

 

The bullpen has not been sharp. Romo and Rogers in particular really don't need to be pitching. Wisler had a bad week. The starters have saved the day for the most part. They have looked strong...save Berrios, who had a poor outing on Friday.

 

Its nice to be playing a different opponent in this short series, but I wouldn't be giving the Twins, right now, much of an advantage. They were going thru the motions today once they saw the 6-0 score in the Sox game. From that point, they were listless and not fun to watch. Can half of this slumbering offense flip the switch? As Twins fans, starved for a playoff win, we hope so. Will the k's stop? Will these guys recognize that often the best pitch they will get to hit is the first one, especially when pitchers know the hitters are swinging outside the zone.

 

Should the Twins be able to beat the cheaters from Houston? Of course. Will they? Not if they continue to ignore the fundamentals. Not if the bullpen can't pitch shutdown innings when it matters.

If they play like Saturday....different story. Is Rocco gutsy enough to bench some of his slump ridden players, even for one game? Put sentimentality aside. Give them the eye test. And then be brave.

Wow, may as well not tune in for the series then.

    • Dozier's Glorious Hair likes this