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Game Thread: Twins @ Rays 4/22 @ 12:10 PM CT

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:49 PM
    ANNND Welcome back! To Minnesota Twins Whine Line: The Dating Game Edition! That game wasn't very fun yesterday! I'm going...
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Article: Twins Extend Phil Hughes

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 03:21 PM
Mark Feinsand from the New York Daily News is reporting this morning that the Twins and Phil Hughes have agreed to a three-year contract...
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Article: TB 8, MIN 7: Playing The Wrong Notes

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:24 PM
Chopin’s Etude Op. 25 No 5 is better known as the “Wrong Note” Etude. Not because it encourages the pianist to play the wrong notes, but...
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Next MLB stadium to be demolished?

Other Baseball Today, 02:13 PM
The stadium cycle has pretty much run through MLB. There are your last old gems in Fenway and Wrigley, a couple expansion era gems in Dod...
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Call Up Tyler Duffey

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 03:49 PM
4 appearances - 11 IP - 0.00 ERA - 14/1 K/BB - 3 hits allowed Call him up for Kinley or Hildenberger.
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MIN 3, SDP 1: Rosario Hits Walk-Off HR in 10th Inning

Eddie Rosario blasted a walk-off homer in the 10th inning to deliver a victory and put a happy end to what could have been a frustrating loss. Ervin Santana pitched 6.0 shutout innings and Matt Belisle threw the final 1.2 frames to pick up the win.
Image courtesy of Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Snapshot (chart via Fangraphs)
Attached Image: Snapshot913.png

We knew it was unlikely the Twins would explode for double-digit runs again, but one night after slugging seven homers they really struggled to scratch across runs. Their lone run prior to extras came in the second inning. Rosario hit a leadoff double. He scored, but it was thanks to a wild pitch followed by a throwing error.

The first inning ended with a strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out. Jorge Polanco, who had a full count, watched strike three go by and Joe Mauer was easily thrown out trying to steal. Polanco led off the fourth inning with a single, which was followed by an Eddie Rosario walk. But Byron Buxton, Max Kepler and Eduardo Escobar were retired in order.

The Twins got their lead off man aboard again in the sixth, as Mauer singled. Polanco bunted him over to second, but that’s as far as Mauer would go. Again, Polanco was the number three hitter tonight. He bunted. This is a regular thing now, I guess.

In the seventh, the Twins once again got their leadoff man on. Kepler singled, Escobar followed suit and Jason Castro was hit by a pitch to load the bases with nobody out. Robbie Grossman grounded into a double play and Brian Dozier struck out to end the threat.

In the eighth, Polanco hit a one-out single and Buxton dropped a bunt for a two-out hit. With a tough lefty in Brad Hand on the mound, Ehire Adrianza pinch hit for Kepler (.129/.198/.168 vs LHP this season), but could not deliver.

But this team, as it has all year, just kept fighting. As much fun as I like to poke at Paul Molitor for the ridiculous bunting, his club has clearly taken heart to his message of no retreat, no surrender. Mauer hit a one-out single in the 10th before Rosario ended it with two down.

Postgame With Rosario

Standings
The Yankees beat Tampa Bay, and remain 3.0 games in front of the Twins. At the time this published, the Twins held a 2.5 game advantage over the Angels, but they were beating the Astros 9-0.

Bullpen Usage
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Attached Image: Bullpen913.png
Looking Ahead
Thu: Twins (Jose Berrios) vs. Blue Jays (Brett Anderson), 7:10 pm CT
Fri: Twins (Bartolo Colon) vs. Blue Jays (J.A. Happ), 7:10 pm CT
Sat: Twins (Adalberto Mejia) vs. Blue Jays (Marco Estrada), 6:10 pm CT

Looking Back
MIN 16, SDP 0: Twins Hit 7 HRs, Set New Record
KC 11, MIN 3: Big Dud from Big Sexy & Co.
KC 5, MIN 2: Molitor Pushes All the Wrong Buttons in Loss

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44 Comments

Please please please I'm begging of Paul Molitor, no more bunting. Please. Especially from the middle of your lineup hitters early in a game. PLEASE. Just say no to bunting.

    • USAFChief, Mike Sixel, ThejacKmp and 4 others like this

 

There are losing teams and there are losing teams. The ones the Twins have played are those that are within a game or so of .500 and also playing for the WC spot and 7 of those were on the road.  Really not so bad when you consider the Twins are barely above .500 themselves.  Odds makers would probably have said we should win 6.5 of the games in September thus far.  We don't know what is imperative to close out the schedule. There is a very good chance that 8-9 will get it done but always the possibility of someone getting really hot and making 10-7 not good enough.  If I could bank 9-8 I would but like I said we don't know what it will take.  

 

Agreed. .500 is such an arbitrary number, like dividing a player up by months (what if they're really good from August 15 to Sept 15 but terrible before and after?) All of the coverage on ESPN etc. talks about above .500 and below .500 teams like that's a boundary that matters. Playing Toronto is really different than playing the Tigers or the Padres (God that Padres lineup was terrible - Myers was the only guy you were afraid of).

    • Mike Sixel and Dantes929 like this

 

Please please please I'm begging of Paul Molitor, no more bunting. Please. Especially from the middle of your lineup hitters early in a game. PLEASE. Just say no to bunting.

 

It's crazy, we should all be aboard the extend Molitor train and I get the feeling that we all would be if he would just stop with THE FREAKING BUNTING. There are some issues with handling the bullpen but given the pen he's working with, there really isn't a great decision much of the time. We think about Dozier hitting third but generally get that if it ain't broke, don't fix it and maybe it's what helps the rest of the guys. But the bunting . . . we just can't get past the bunting. It's so patently absurd.

 

Maybe it's time to start complaining about the FO? At this point, they are confederates in Molly's I'm-going-to-bunt-every-chance-I-get-no-matter-the-batter-or-situation conspiracy.

    • pbrezeasap likes this
Yeah Molitors obsession with bunting and his over using guys in the pen is frustrating. The twins are winning in spite of it IMO. Which is good,
    • USAFChief and rghrbek like this

 

Agree to a point. I think you need to understand who you are as a player.

 

Joe Mauer, Professional Hitter, is the guy he is because he treats every single at bat the same. He's not chasing or sitting on a pitch because it's the 9th - he's giving you the same at-bat every time. He's castigated for walking in big moments but that's who he is and that's what makes him good.

 

Eddie Rosario is a guy who swings and falls down, who steals 3B with two outs in the eighth. He's an energy, high-risk guy. He's a guy who needs to feel that adrenaline and use it in a constructive manner. Love that he's swinging for the fences there but wouldn't want Mauer to. Wouldn't work for Mauer.

That's not a strength of Mauer.  It's a weakness.

    • birdwatcher likes this

 

Please please please I'm begging of Paul Molitor, no more bunting. Please. Especially from the middle of your lineup hitters early in a game. PLEASE. Just say no to bunting.

 

Update:  10 times #3 hitters have sac bunted this year in MLB.  5 of those 10 times it was the Twins.  4 of those 10 times it was Polonco.  Baffling.

    • Steve Lein, USAFChief, Mike Sixel and 1 other like this

 

The Twins were off on Monday :)

Dang it, Mr. Froemming! I can't get nothin' past you.

 

That's not a strength of Mauer.  It's a weakness.

 

Really disagree on several fronts. Mauer not being clutch late has always been a pretty bogus argument.

 

  • 2 outs and RISP? .945 OPS.
  • Late and close? .822 OPS.
  • Tie game? .833 OPS.
  • High leverage? .823 OPS.

The issue has never been Mauer's performance late in games, it's been how we perceive it. Right or wrong, we see him as a guy not trying to make that big hit, to hit the big extra-base hit. I think that's wrong:

 

1.) How many times have you watched Twins players get themselves out in big situations trying to do everything all at once? That's typical of a young team but no less aggravating. Mauer is never going to take a bad at-bat late in a game. He may walk and leave it to the next guy but that gives the Twins a better position. He's the baseball equivalent of a guy making the extra pass to get a closer corner three instead of a three from the wing.

 

2) The Twins have never been in a worse position because Mauer draws a walk or hits a single instead of going for a home run. Putting a guy on always makes it more likely that the Twinkies will score.

 

3) To that tune, Mauer may not get the big hit very often but it's remarkable how often he's on base when that happens. There's value to getting a guy on base, making a pitcher think about a runner, having a first baseman move in to hold the runner etc.

 

4) Mauer's consistency is great as a teaching tool for young players. He never takes a bad at-bat - even if the Twins are up or down big. He's never up there guessing, he's never up there selling out for an inside fastball, he's never trying to knock the ball 500 feet. He takes every at bat the same and is a consummate professional. If we're going to give Torii Hunter credit for an indefinable leadership boost in 2015, I think it's only fair to do the same with Mauer in 2017. Rosario, Polanco and Buxton have all gotten more discerning and have cut down on those "that guy had no chance" at-bats. Obviously lots of factors but Mauer is without a doubt a great example.

    • pbrezeasap, 70charger, Dozier's Glorious Hair and 1 other like this

 

Agree to a point. I think you need to understand who you are as a player.

 

Joe Mauer, Professional Hitter, is the guy he is because he treats every single at bat the same. He's not chasing or sitting on a pitch because it's the 9th - he's giving you the same at-bat every time. He's castigated for walking in big moments but that's who he is and that's what makes him good.

 

Eddie Rosario is a guy who swings and falls down, who steals 3B with two outs in the eighth. He's an energy, high-risk guy. He's a guy who needs to feel that adrenaline and use it in a constructive manner. Love that he's swinging for the fences there but wouldn't want Mauer to. Wouldn't work for Mauer.

Eddie Rosario is a professional hitter as well. 

 

Really disagree on several fronts. Mauer not being clutch late has always been a pretty bogus argument.

 

  • 2 outs and RISP? .945 OPS.
  • Late and close? .822 OPS.
  • Tie game? .833 OPS.
  • High leverage? .823 OPS.

The issue has never been Mauer's performance late in games, it's been how we perceive it. Right or wrong, we see him as a guy not trying to make that big hit, to hit the big extra-base hit. I think that's wrong:

 

1.) How many times have you watched Twins players get themselves out in big situations trying to do everything all at once? That's typical of a young team but no less aggravating. Mauer is never going to take a bad at-bat late in a game. He may walk and leave it to the next guy but that gives the Twins a better position. He's the baseball equivalent of a guy making the extra pass to get a closer corner three instead of a three from the wing.

 

2) The Twins have never been in a worse position because Mauer draws a walk or hits a single instead of going for a home run. Putting a guy on always makes it more likely that the Twinkies will score.

 

3) To that tune, Mauer may not get the big hit very often but it's remarkable how often he's on base when that happens. There's value to getting a guy on base, making a pitcher think about a runner, having a first baseman move in to hold the runner etc.

 

4) Mauer's consistency is great as a teaching tool for young players. He never takes a bad at-bat - even if the Twins are up or down big. He's never up there guessing, he's never up there selling out for an inside fastball, he's never trying to knock the ball 500 feet. He takes every at bat the same and is a consummate professional. If we're going to give Torii Hunter credit for an indefinable leadership boost in 2015, I think it's only fair to do the same with Mauer in 2017. Rosario, Polanco and Buxton have all gotten more discerning and have cut down on those "that guy had no chance" at-bats. Obviously lots of factors but Mauer is without a doubt a great example.

#1.  It was a 2-0 pitch.  In a late situation where a HR wins the game.  This has nothing to do with a "bad at bat."  What's the worst that could happen?  He doesn't hit a HR?

 

It's bad baseball NOT to sit on a pitch and try to pull it over the fence. 

 

#2.  If Rosario walks in that situation, it's up to an obviously hurting Buxton, against a RH pitcher.  If Rosario ends up walking, after never getting a pitch to hit or fouling off the ones he gets, I have no problem with that.  But the Twins are NOT in a better position if Rosario walks.  And that exact situation applies to Mauer ABs as well.  Take a walk when it's the right thing to do?  No problem.  Take a walk when the next hitter(s) have a lesser chance of driving in a run?  I don't think that's smart baseball.

 

#3.  Nobody is saying there's no abstract value in getting on base.  I'm saying there are situations where it makes more sense to look for a pitch to hit.  Don't get it?  Fine.  But if you do?  You should be hacking, and hacking hard.

 

#4 Mauer never takes a bad AB?  C'mon.  BTW, "never changing" doesn't make him a "consummate professional."  It makes him someone who can't or won't adjust to the situation.  Running the ball, down 10 with 2 minutes left in a football game, just because you're good at it doesn't make you a professional, either.  It just means you don't understand the situation.

 

 

    • birdwatcher and Mike Sixel like this

While most everyone is fired up about Rosario, he made a really bad base running play in the bottom of the 2nd.  After leading off with a double, Buxton followed with a liner that sent the CF back and a bit to his left.  CF reached up and caught the ball, but Rosario was forced to go back to second base as he went half-way on the play.  Terrible base running.  Should have stayed on the base, or retreated back as soon as the CF appeared to possibly have a play on the ball.  If the ball is caught, you tag up and gain third base with one out.  If the ball gets over the CF, he still scores rather easily from second base.  Not good base running at all.

 

This is the type of stuff that makes Rosario frustrating at times.  Great talent, great tools, but never more than a second away from doing something, errrrr, less than intelligently.

    • ThejacKmp likes this

 

Eddie Rosario is a professional hitter as well. 

 

But is he Eddie Rosario, Professional Hitter? You have to earn those capital letters.

Here's the weird thing....most of the people saying the Twins should consider trading him think he has real value, and could possibly return a real pitcher and a prospect. It's the other side that says he's not worth that much.

Most of the people saying trade him, not all and not hte OP, are saying it because they think the Twins can get by better with Buxton, Kepler, FA/Wade/Granite and a legit SP, than they can with a FA SP or someone from the minors while keeping Eddie.

Because, if you want to get good value back, you have to give up good value.


I don't think people wanted to trade because they think he's a good player.

 

I don't think people wanted to trade because they think he's a good player.

 

then you weren't reading my comments, or others' comments, only some of them....

 

#1.  It was a 2-0 pitch.  In a late situation where a HR wins the game.  This has nothing to do with a "bad at bat."  What's the worst that could happen?  He doesn't hit a HR?

 

It's bad baseball NOT to sit on a pitch and try to pull it over the fence. 

 

#2.  If Rosario walks in that situation, it's up to an obviously hurting Buxton, against a RH pitcher.  If Rosario ends up walking, after never getting a pitch to hit or fouling off the ones he gets, I have no problem with that.  But the Twins are NOT in a better position if Rosario walks.  And that exact situation applies to Mauer ABs as well.  Take a walk when it's the right thing to do?  No problem.  Take a walk when the next hitter(s) have a lesser chance of driving in a run?  I don't think that's smart baseball.

 

#3.  Nobody is saying there's no abstract value in getting on base.  I'm saying there are situations where it makes more sense to look for a pitch to hit.  Don't get it?  Fine.  But if you do?  You should be hacking, and hacking hard.

 

#4 Mauer never takes a bad AB?  C'mon.  BTW, "never changing" doesn't make him a "consummate professional."  It makes him someone who can't or won't adjust to the situation.  Running the ball, down 10 with 2 minutes left in a football game, just because you're good at it doesn't make you a professional, either.  It just means you don't understand the situation.

 

#1: We're not talking about one at bat last night, we're talking about late-inning at bats in general. We can all remember Eddie taking some terrible at bats in that exact situation. Like last week. His approach last night was great - that's the player he is and he's never going to be Mauer. But Mauer isn't going to be Eddie and that isn't a problem either.

 

#2: No way that Buxton hits in that situation. They'd bring in Vargas/Granite etc. to hit lefty. And I think you've lost your mind when you say he shouldn't walk. It would be a way better situation - you'd move the runner into scoring position on a single. Let's look at it this way - if San Diego let Molly choose whether or not Rosario gets intentionally walked in that situation, he'd say yes every time. That should tell you about "smart baseball".

 

#4: I can't remember an at-bat where I was like, "Man, Mauer had a terrible approach and looked lost." He's been through slumps, he hits too many ground balls etc. - but he never looks lost up there. You never get that Torii/Buxton/Rosario feeling on an 0-2 where everyone knows the pitcher is going to throw a slider down and away and ______ is going to swing as hard as they can and miss it by six inches.

 

That's what I mean by Joe Mauer, Professional Hitter. He takes professional at bats. Always. And that is frustrating when you want him to swing for the fences late in a game but you have to step back and realize that's just not who he is and that what he is has incredible value.

 

While most everyone is fired up about Rosario, he made a really bad base running play in the bottom of the 2nd.  After leading off with a double, Buxton followed with a liner that sent the CF back and a bit to his left.  CF reached up and caught the ball, but Rosario was forced to go back to second base as he went half-way on the play.  Terrible base running.  Should have stayed on the base, or retreated back as soon as the CF appeared to possibly have a play on the ball.  If the ball is caught, you tag up and gain third base with one out.  If the ball gets over the CF, he still scores rather easily from second base.  Not good base running at all.

 

This is the type of stuff that makes Rosario frustrating at times.  Great talent, great tools, but never more than a second away from doing something, errrrr, less than intelligently.

 

Yeah, I went nuts in the upper deck about it. That stuff matters but that's Eddie - he plays super hard and sometimes that leads to mistakes. It also leads to the run in the second where he's hard nosed into third and forces a key error.

Photo
Brock Beauchamp
Sep 14 2017 02:42 PM

 

Agree to a point. I think you need to understand who you are as a player.

 

Joe Mauer, Professional Hitter, is the guy he is because he treats every single at bat the same. He's not chasing or sitting on a pitch because it's the 9th - he's giving you the same at-bat every time. He's castigated for walking in big moments but that's who he is and that's what makes him good.

 

Eddie Rosario is a guy who swings and falls down, who steals 3B with two outs in the eighth. He's an energy, high-risk guy. He's a guy who needs to feel that adrenaline and use it in a constructive manner. Love that he's swinging for the fences there but wouldn't want Mauer to. Wouldn't work for Mauer.

Was just going to say something similar. Guys who can grip a pitch and send it into the stands with regularity should do what Rosario did last night. Guys like Grossman and Mauer should stick to the approach that makes them successful.

    • Mike Sixel and dbminn like this
Photo
yarnivek1972
Sep 14 2017 03:26 PM

Update: 10 times #3 hitters have sac bunted this year in MLB. 5 of those 10 times it was the Twins. 4 of those 10 times it was Polonco. Baffling.


Just a hunch that in some of the others it was after a double switch or even an injury replacement.
    • rghrbek likes this

 

Actually I would assume a .500 record will get them in based on the teams chasing.  9-8 will be 85 wins.  outside of the Angels who have a horribly tough schedule coming up, the rest of the team will need to be about 12-5 to get to 84 wins.

 

Well, it may. Here's to hoping for continued win one lose one...... win one. 


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