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KCR 4, MIN 2: Bad Day for Berríos, Bats

The downward trend continued for the Twins Sunday in Kansas City, as the Royals scored four runs off José Berríos and the Minnesota lineup left seven men on base. The Twins have now lost four straight games, all of them at the hands of a couple of the worst teams in baseball.
Image courtesy of © Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
Box Score
Berrios: 5.1 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 K
Home Runs: None
Bottom 3 WPA: Berríos -.161, Gonzalez -.150, Sanó -.114
Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs):
Attached Image: Winchart.png

The first inning of Sunday’s loss to the Kansas City Royals set the tone for what was another difficult day at the ballpark for the Minnesota Twins. Rather than racing out of the gates, the Twins started the top of the first inning in 1-2-3 fashion, the third straight game they have started in that manner. Kansas City followed that up with a tough bottom half of the inning where the Royals worked Berríos to the tune of 23 pitches, 3 hits and 2 runs.

The Minnesota Twins got on the scoreboard themselves in the 3rd inning where they went single-walk-double with Buxton, Avila and Kepler to mount their first rally of the game. Following a RBI groundout by Polonco, the Twins managed to give Berríos some support and tie the game at 2.



Berríos quickly gave the lead back to the Royals, though, when Kansas City pushed across another run in the 3rd with a sacrifice fly.

After struggling his way through a 22-pitch inning in the 5th, Rocco Baldelli made the curious decision to bring out Berríos again for the 6th inning. The decision quickly backfired, as Berríos served up a 414 foot bomb to Royals’ third baseman, Maikel Franco, to increase their lead to 4-2, which ultimately ended up being the final score.



Berríos Struggles Again
After taking a step forward in his last start against Pittsburgh, today was another step back for the Twins pitcher as Berríos struggled through 5⅓ innings today. In total, Berríos threw 96 pitches (62 strikes), allowing 8 hits, 3 walks, and 4 earned runs, while striking out 4. Berríos never seemed in control of the game, as he allowed a runner to reach at least second base in every inning except for the bottom of the 2nd. In particular, Berríos struggled mightily with his fastball today, against which the Royals produced an average exit velocity of 96.7 MPH. His velocity on the pitch was between 93-95 MPH all day, but he wasn’t commanding it the way he wanted, which impacted his ability to use the rest of his arsenal. Berríos will get his next shot at revenge next weekend though, when he’ll be lined up to face the Royals at Target Field.

Curious Decisions by Baldelli
Aside from the peculiar decision to bring back José Berríos for the 6th inning, Baldelli once again made some head scratching decisions with his bullpen management. In what was just a 2 run game in the bottom of the 7th inning, Rocco opted to go with newly promoted Cory Gearrin. Gearrin managed to get out of the inning without surrendering a run, however he did have a runner get to 3rd base.

What made the Gearrin move especially strange was that Baldelli had his full arsenal of bullpen arms at his disposal. Trevor May had only thrown 5 pitches in the past week, and Romo, Duffey and Rogers were all sporting multiple days of rest. Trusting Rocco is a must at this point, but his bullpen decisions as of late have certainly been eyebrow-raising.

Bats Stay Quiet
It was another tough day for the Minnesota Twins bats. After hitting multiple bombas on Saturday, Minnesota only hit one extra base hit today and didn’t get a runner past 1st base after the 5th inning. It was an abysmal series for Twins’ first baseman, Miguel Sanó, who went 0-for-4 today, and finished the 3-game set against the Royals 0-for-11 with 6 strikeouts. Sanó’s season-long batting average is now down to .111.

Overall it was a tough end to a tough series for the Minnesota Twins, who are now sporting a 4-game losing streak against two of the worst teams in baseball. The Twins won’t have any time to drown in their sorrows, though, as their next series begins Monday night against the Milwaukee Brewers. The Twins will trot out the red-hot Randy Dobnak to try and stop the bleeding against a similarly hot Brewers pitcher in Adrian Houser.

Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
Attached Image: Bullpen.png


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14 Comments

Remember last season where the Twins hardly ever lost more than two in a row!

    • mikelink45 and wabene like this

Not going to be knee-jerky, but my confidence in Berrios being a 2 starter is out the door. I'm not doing the dive, but how often does it feel the offense picks him up and he gives it right back. Frustrating series, but S happens even in a 60 game schedule. On to Milwaukee

    • mikelink45 and VivaBomboRivera! like this

Berrios ERA going into the game....... 4.80. After 5.31

Settling in as a 5.00 ERA pitcher?

I hope not.

    • mikelink45 likes this

Berrios is really disappointing.I personally give him credit for no good games - Pittsburgh?come on.He is not showing any improvement in a year when across the league the pitchers are ahead of the batters.  

 

Of course, even if the pitchers are ahead there is no excuse for the BA of Sano and Garver.And as a Rosario supporter/fan I am so disappointed in his fielding gaffs, let alone his hitting. 

 

And Rocco - boy is it good that you had such a wonderful year, but remember what happened to Molitor after he got MOY?That's right you got his job.Your idea of saving all the top relievers for ???? and giving us the lesser lights who have suddenly gotten much lesser is not the way to stop a streak.Nor is giving days off to your best hitters when the rest of your team is in a slump.  

 

Batting Garver first because you did it last year stunk yesterday.Bringing Berrios back today for the 6th was only good in theory and your batting order left/right alternates was great next year.Rethink it until the team gets back on track.  

 

Okay - Dobnak is next and Maeda is two games after him. We need someone to pitch that middle game - who?I do not trust Thorpe nor do I want to see Smeltzer start again.Hill is seemingly over the hilland is on a monthly rotation start.Oddorizzi cannot come back that quick.I am curious.

    • wabene and EPEZRider like this

I'm just going to guess that Littell comes back on Tuesday as a 2-inning opener. It's not really based on anything. Hunch, I guess. But before the game, Rocco hinted that he will likely use a variety of pitchers in that game in some order. Tells me it'll be an opener situations. 

 

Wouldn't be surprised if Smeltzer comes in next. Remember his MLB debut last year against the Brewers? Maybe there's a matchup there they can take advantage of. 

 

I'm just going to guess that Littell comes back on Tuesday as a 2-inning opener. It's not really based on anything. Hunch, I guess. But before the game, Rocco hinted that he will likely use a variety of pitchers in that game in some order. Tells me it'll be an opener situations. 

 

Wouldn't be surprised if Smeltzer comes in next. Remember his MLB debut last year against the Brewers? Maybe there's a matchup there they can take advantage of. 

this is really not exciting.For a team with our aspirations this is junk ball.suddenly we are short on both pitchers and hitters.  

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VivaBomboRivera!
Aug 09 2020 06:45 PM

These are the times that try fans souls...

    • Danchat likes this
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VivaBomboRivera!
Aug 09 2020 06:45 PM

 

Not going to be knee-jerky, but my confidence in Berrios being a 2 starter is out the door. I'm not doing the dive, but how often does it feel the offense picks him up and he gives it right back. Frustrating series, but S happens even in a 60 game schedule. On to Milwaukee

This suspicion is widely shared, but it needs data.

    • mikelink45 likes this

Let's change the headline - ANOTHER bad day...

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theBOMisthebomb
Aug 09 2020 07:32 PM
Is there a rule that says you can't pitch a successful member of your bullpen if the score is tied or your team is behind yet within striking distance? Rocco is using his bullpen inside out, overusing guys with no sustained track record of success while Romo, Rogers, Duffy, and May gather dust. Maybe Rocco is saving the high leverage arms for the 16 team postseason grind?
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Tom Froemming
Aug 09 2020 08:18 PM

This fact from Betsy absolutely BLEW MY MIND

WHAT!?!?!?!?

    • Dantes929, Danchat, Minny505 and 1 other like this

 

This fact from Betsy absolutely BLEW MY MIND

WHAT!?!?!?!?

What are the odds of that, one in a million? Lower? That's nuts!

Is there a rule that says you can't pitch a successful member of your bullpen if the score is tied or your team is behind yet within striking distance? Rocco is using his bullpen inside out, overusing guys with no sustained track record of success while Romo, Rogers, Duffy, and May gather dust. Maybe Rocco is saving the high leverage arms for the 16 team postseason grind?


This is actually what happened in the 2019 postseason. First reliever to come in was Littell in the 5th in a tied game 1, then Duffey to get out of the inning, followed by Stashak to begin the 6th inning behind by 1. (And finally Gibson in the 7th down by 3.)

Game 2, down 1 in the third, he went back to Duffey with disastrous results.

Didn’t use Rogers until facing elimination in game 3, and inexplicably tried to stretch Romo out to 2 innings near the end of the game with a fully rested pen otherwise, extending our deficit from 2 to 4 runs before our last at-bat.
Are the twins taking BP? Where is the hitting coach? Also Garver needs to change his approach to blocking pitches in the dirt!
    • mikelink45 likes this