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Game Thread Twins @ A's 8:05pm cdt 9/22/2018 ad

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Let your hair down Game Thread. So duck and don't get hit by the falling hair. I bring up the duck cause it already has down hair... Well...
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NBA Offseason 2018

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This is going to be an offseason that will be probably even more entertaining that the whole season of basketball that preceded it. So, w...
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Article: Twins Daily Roundtable: Biggest Off-Season Need

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Twins Daily Roundtable is a weekly series. As part of this series, a question will be posed to the site’s writers and they will respond i...
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Article: A Refreshing Shift in Twins Territory

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The Minnesota Twins will embark upon the 2019 major league baseball season with plenty of areas to improve. After a season in which expec...
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Twins Blogosphere


HOU 4, MIN 1: Astros Take Advantage of Pivotal Polanco Error

Bad teams fail to execute, good teams make you pay for mistakes.

Jorge Polanco committed an error on what could have been a double-play ball in the second inning and the Astros capitalized, scoring a pair of runs that frame. The Twins, on the other hand, had numerous scoring chances that they failed to follow through on. They actually out-hit Houston 8-4 in this one.
Image courtesy of © Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs)
Gibson: 53 Game Score, 7.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 5 K, 1 BB, 59.2% strikes (58 of 98 pitches)
Home Runs: None
Multi-Hit Games: Mauer (2-for-5)
WPA of 0.1 or higher: None
WPA of -0.1 or lower: Austin -.124, Polanco -.131, Gibson -.174
Attached Image: WinChart93.png
At the point where Houston went up 3-0 in the second inning, I thought “I wonder if Chris Gimenez can pitch back-to-back days?” Gibson settled in, however, and pitched very well from there forward. One thing that hurt Gibby was a horribly-timed error by Jorge Polanco.

With no outs in the second and a runner on first, Polanco could not handle a potential double-play ball. The Astros went on to score two runs that inning. It was Polanco’s 10th error in just his 53rd game this season.

Unfortunately, the Twins’ lineup could not emulate that bounce back from Gibby. The only run came in the sixth inning, but they had plenty of other scoring chances. They managed to leave the bases loaded in both the first and ninth innings.

The Twins combined to go 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position, left 11 men on base and racked up 13 strikeouts. In addition to the costly error, Polanco left six men on base.

During the game it was announced that the Twins would be adding John Curtiss, Chase De Jong and Gregorio Petit to their active roster now that Rochester’s season has concluded.

I typically don’t get into the broadcasts much in these recaps, mainly because I have audio muted quite a bit of the time, but I just wanted to say that I really enjoy LaTroy Hawkins as Dick Bremer’s analyst. He’s pretty sparse, leaving plenty of room for Dick to call the game, but when he chimes in it’s worth listening to.

Like a lot of the former players, Hawk has some great little anecdotes from his playing days and is also good for a one-liner here and there, but at the same time he never has the “well back in my day” tone that some of the other former players have. The thing I appreciate most is LaTroy will comment on a pitcher’s arsenal, how their pitches move and will detail what’s going on in the cat and mouse game between the pitcher and the hitter from time.

Bert Blyleven’s simply been at it for a long time, and he and Dick seem to have the dynamic of an old married couple at this point. Justin Moreau is good when they’ve used him as the third man with another analyst, but I don’t think he’s been strong on his own. Roy Smalley is pretty solid, but talks way too much. Torii Hunter is pretty fun, and is a really good storyteller, but I don’t think he’s as good at keeping the focus on the game as Hawkins is. On the other end, Jack Morris is a bit of a grump.

If FSN puts Dick in the booth with both Hawkins and Morneau, that would equate to must-listen baseball in my mind. But again, I’ve missed a ton of the broadcasts because I tend to put them on mute, so I’m interested in any opinions from the Twins Daily community.

Drumming up conversations about the broadcast … yup, it’s September of a losing season alright :)

FYI: Now that the rosters have expanded and the Twins aren’t playing meaningful games anyway, I won’t be including the bullpen usage chart going forward.

Next Three Games
Tue at HOU, 7:10 pm CT: TBD vs. Justin Verlander
Wed at HOU, 7:10 pm CT: Jake Odorizzi vs. Framber Valdez
Thu: Off
Fri vs. KC, 7:10 pm CT: TBD

Last Three Games
TEX 18, MIN 4: Speechless
TEX 7, MIN 4: Is Jose OK?
MIN 10, TEX 7: Tex-plosion!

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34 Comments

I think Morneau has been the best fill in for Bert.

    • Puckett34, curt1965, PDX Twin and 1 other like this

I agree. More Morneau and Hawkins. Less Smalley. I don't mind Morris. Hunter is ok. Smalley thinks he needs to analyze every play, hit, pitch, batter, swing, pitcher, throw, ball hop, twist, move, you name it. He earns the mute button from me when he's in the booth.

 

Do we have a good SS in the minor leagues that can be brought up to play SS so we can move Polanco to 2B?

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Winston Smith
Sep 03 2018 04:03 PM

Move Polanco to 2B and sign or trade for a good defensive SS this winter.

    • LA VIkes Fan and mikelink45 like this
I would tune in just to listen to Morneau! His knowledge and respect for the game is second to none, IMHO. He is very close to today’s players, having just retired in the last couple of years. Plus, he isn’t afraid to criticize a player if he thinks someone isn’t playing hard. More Justin, please!
    • tarheeltwinsfan and jimmer like this

My memory of Polanco last year is the he was defensively decent. From time to time a weak throw, but he was making the plays he was supposed to make. Lately he has been horrible. Not only him, but there are several that are playing like if the offseason can't come soon enough. The team seems to be mentally out.

    • tarheeltwinsfan likes this

 

I would tune in just to listen to Morneau! His knowledge and respect for the game is second to none, IMHO. He is very close to today’s players, having just retired in the last couple of years. Plus, he isn’t afraid to criticize a player if he thinks someone isn’t playing hard. More Justin, please!

All of this.

Polanco is not, nor ever was, in anyone's mind but MOY a MLB SS. Yes he can play SS, but only in this context: If your SS is Jorge Polanco, you do not have a good baseball team! I hope if he moves to second base, and has a little more time, and a little less stress on the throwing aspect, he can suffice. I think he will hit well enough. One other troubling aspect, which btw seems to inflict all Twins IF'ers, is the inability or lack of desire to battle a crappy throw to a base. They don't get an error, but they also don't get an out. Lots of matador attempts on that type of play.
    • mikelink45 likes this

Count me in as a Hawkins fan. He's been my favorite guest color-analyst this year. Morneau's good, but he's a bit too bland for my taste. Sorry. Hawkins seems to have the right balance of being both interesting and fun to listen to.

    • adorduan likes this

 

Count me in as a Hawkins fan. He's been my favorite guest color-analyst this year. Morneau's good, but he's a bit too bland for my taste. Sorry. Hawkins seems to have the right balance of being both interesting and fun to listen to.

See, to me, he isn't bland at all.Every time I've listened to him he's come up with all sorts of interesting stuff along with very detailed analysis.And he occasionally cracks me up.

 

I like Hawkins too, but he and Morneau, IMO, are the only good ones that have worked with Bremer (and that includes Bert) in a long time.

    • Nine of twelve likes this
I think all of the guest analysts are fine in small doses. I think all of them would quickly get old.

I guess Morneau has been the best, but he’s so soft spoken and monotone.
    • curt1965 likes this

Hawkins is the best of the bunch and Hunter is just about unbearable to listen to.I turn the sound off when he's on.

    • PDX Twin, Platoon and Dan Engebretson like this
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stringer bell
Sep 03 2018 06:34 PM
I like Hawkins, Cuddyer, Morneau, and Smalley in that order. I heard enough from Hunter in one series.

On the other topic, yes make Polanco a second baseman and sign a shortstop. Iglesias now of the Tigers would be a good fit.
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LA VIkes Fan
Sep 03 2018 07:06 PM

 

Move Polanco to 2B and sign or trade for a good defensive SS this winter.

Isn't Adrianza that good defensive shortstop? He actually hit around .250 when he got regulat palying itme. His bat does stink, but at least he plays good defense. Iglesias would be a good pickup for defense. He does have a 2.0 WAR this year, but only an 89 OPS+ and that's his highest in 3 years.Pick your poison - try to get a strong offensive 2B like Starlin Castro, Jed Lowrie or even Dozier back (bad choice, no longer a strong offensive player) or get a strong defensive SS like Iglesias (there are no strong offensive SS except Machado and he'llwind up in LA) and move Polanco to 2B as the strong offensive player. I like the second option better. how aobut you guys?

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IndianaTwin
Sep 03 2018 07:17 PM

Tom, is the bullpen usage chart a single Excel file? I'd be interested in seeing it in it's entirety for the season, just to get a sense of what things look like in a long-term sort of way. 

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tarheeltwinsfan
Sep 03 2018 07:36 PM

More Morneau. 

    • curt1965 likes this
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Tom Froemming
Sep 03 2018 07:43 PM

 

Tom, is the bullpen usage chart a single Excel file? I'd be interested in seeing it in it's entirety for the season, just to get a sense of what things look like in a long-term sort of way. 

It's not, but that's a really interesting idea. Maybe I'll try and make that happen next season.

    • glunn likes this

Polanco is a major disappointment.Do we have any stats that tell us how much offense is required to overcome a horrible defense?I loved the old days of players like Mark Belanger at SS who caught everything and help the infield together.Polanco is a real disappointment.He needs to be at 2B or out of the middle infield.His bat is not that good!

 

Of course none of the bats are that good.Sano 202, Austin 232, Field 194, Kepler 225.Not championship ball nor is the fact that in the HR era we have one player with more than 20 HRs - Rosario with 22. 

    • Channing1964 likes this
Got to feel bad for Dick Bremmer during the late stages of this season. It’s hard to pump life into a dying corpse. The season has been disappointing in terms of win-loss. Berrios and Gibson are at best middle of rotation pitchers. Oder is serviceable at the backend. Stewart and Gonslaves are headed back to AAA to start next season knowing what they need to do and not do at the majors. Our middle infielders should be used for trade chips in the off-season. We need upgrades at SS and 2B, along with pitching. The good news is Lewis and Kilrliloff should start at AA next season. Assuming they perform well, they will advance to AAA by mid year and make the September expanded roster by season’s end.

Polanco is a major disappointment.Do we have any stats that tell us how much offense is required to overcome a horrible defense?I loved the old days of players like Mark Belanger at SS who caught everything and help the infield together.Polanco is a real disappointment.He needs to be at 2B or out of the middle infield.His bat is not that good!
 
Of course none of the bats are that good.Sano 202, Austin 232, Field 194, Kepler 225.Not championship ball nor is the fact that in the HR era we have one player with more than 20 HRs - Rosario with 22.

I disagree about Polanco. I think he can be a consistent .280 type of hitter and ideal number 3 man in the order. As far as his defense goes, he’s been ok until the last 10 days when he checked out like the rest of the team, except for maybe Cave and the injured Rosario. Whoops- forgot to include Molitor who never really checked “in.” The Twins will be in a world of hurt if they bring Molitor and the other coaches back.
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theBOMisthebomb
Sep 04 2018 05:22 AM
If we could get rid of Bremer, I would be a happy man. Part-time color guys in order of likeability are Hawkins, Morneau, and Hunter and I think Hawkins is terrible. They all sound unprofessional a majority of the time. It makes you appreciate a true professional broadcaster and how much talent and time it takes to sound polished in the booth. I will admit that Hawkins, Morneau, and Hunter all have potential and each have likeable aspects to them.

Yes, Hawkins is good to listen to.Also really like Morneau.Like a lot of what Smalley does, but gets a bit too much at times.

 

After struggling thru watching some Twins this weekend, believe that their first two tasks for the winter are signing Gibby and Rosie to extensions.Then build a team beginning with them.

Yes, Hawkins is good to listen to. Also really like Morneau. Like a lot of what Smalley does, but gets a bit too much at times.

After struggling thru watching some Twins this weekend, believe that their first two tasks for the winter are signing Gibby and Rosie to extensions. Then build a team beginning with them.

sure you want to build around a 31 year old pitcher who has been decent this year after being horrible the previous two years?

 

sure you want to build around a 31 year old pitcher who has been decent this year after being horrible the previous two years?

Yes, sign Gibby. If you let him go, you would not be signing an 'Ace' free agent, you would be signing the Odorizzi's and Lynn's of the world to replace him. I much prefer Gibby. And having Gibson around will not be holding up any prospects development, he will be a solid contributor while youngsters develop in the 3-5 spots in the rotation.

    • rdehring likes this

Morneau is by far the best of the aforementioned bunch.

    • jimmer likes this

 

I disagree about Polanco. I think he can be a consistent .280 type of hitter and ideal number 3 man in the order. As far as his defense goes, he’s been ok until the last 10 days when he checked out like the rest of the team, except for maybe Cave and the injured Rosario. Whoops- forgot to include Molitor who never really checked “in.” The Twins will be in a world of hurt if they bring Molitor and the other coaches back.

No, his defense has been poor since the beginning.Look at my Shortstop Blog - his stats show he is a second baseman playing shortstop and that is not what a team that wants to succeed should have.SS is too important. 


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