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MIN 4, BOS 3: Twins Win in 17th Inning, Get First Walk-Off

For the first time this season the Twins win on a walk-off hit from (who else?) Max Kepler. It was the longest game of the season for both teams tonight and both bullpens were lights out, but one had to blow it. Kepler also hit a game-tying single in the eighth inning and a game-tying homer in the 13th.
Image courtesy of © Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Box Score
Pineda: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 73.8% strikes (59 of 80 pitches)
Bullpen: 11 IP, 12 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 12 K

Home Runs: Max Kepler (18)
Multi-Hit Games: Cron (2-5), Kepler (3-5 HR), Rosario (4-8, 3 2B), Schoop (2-7)

WPA of +0.1: Kepler .847, Littell .288, Magill .288, Duffey .288, Rosario .263, Pineda .235, Rogers .144, Parker .144
WPA of -0.1: Harper -.129, Schoop -.161, Cave -.165, Cron -.228, Garver -.240, Morin -.289, Polanco -.294, Sano -.433

Attached Image: Win619.png
(chart via FanGraphs)

Clutch Kepler
After not being in the starting lineup, Kepler pitch-hit for Gonzalez in the sixth inning. He drew a walk in his first plate appearance, then came up clutch in the eighth with a two-out single to tie the game at 2-2. In the 13th inning, with the game on the line, Kepler led off the inning with a solo shot, again to tie the game.



Who better to get the first walk-off hit for the Twins than the guy who tied the game twice earlier. With one out in the 17th inning, and bases loaded, Kepler delivered for the Twins to keep the streak going without losing three games in a row.



Bullpens Dominate
Both bullpens did an excellent job following the starters’ strong starts. David Price gave the Sox five innings and Michael Pineda gave the Twins six innings, and each allowed just one run. The bullpens came into work after that were very good through 12 innings. Ultimately, one of them was going to blow this game though.

The Twins’ bullpen was the first one to surrender a run, and it came off a leadoff home run in the seventh. Trevor May, Taylor Rogers, Tyler Duffey, and Blake Parker were able to keep the game going into the 12th with six shutout innings giving up only four hits with seven strikeouts.

The Sox bullpen had a little more work to do, but had the same results. They gave up the tying run in the eighth inning with a pair of walks and a two-out hit. They combined for seven innings giving up only five hits and striking out 11, but gave up four walks.

Both bullpens surrendered a run in the 13th inning which kept the game going. Both runs came from a lead-off home run. For the Sox it was Mookie Betts, and for the Twins, it was Kepler.

After the 14th inning, it was back to the stalemate. In the bottom of the 15th, Velazquez gave up a lead-off double, but C.J. Cron hit a hard line drive straight to first that ended in a double play when Eddie Rosario was caught drifting too far from second base. In the top of the 17th, Littell got out of a big jam with zero outs and a runner on third.

Familiar Foe
Pineda has faced the Red Sox 12 other times in his career and had a great outing tonight. In 12 games against the Sox, he is 5-5 and has a career 4.23 ERA and 1.2 WHIP in 66 innings. Pineda was with the Yankees for 11 of those starts and with Seattle for the other.

Coming off probably his best start of the season, Pineda followed up Berrios’ gem last night with a solid outing of his own, and arguably his best outing of the season. He faced 22 batters and got 15 first-pitch strikes. He faced the minimum number of batters in the first three innings thanks to a double play in the first. He had two double plays turned behind him tonight.

Unfortunately, the offenses failed to give these starters much aid and neither was able to pick up the win.

Here’s a great article on how Pineda has been a huge upgrade as the Twins’ fifth starter.

Postgame With Baldelli


Bullpen Usage
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Attached Image: Pen619.png

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125 Comments

These two games against the BoSox ... playoff baseball ... that's what that was.

I didn't notice the Red Sox broadcasters taking quite that POV. We're still the upstarts and are excited by being in contention.

 

My decision to go to bed after the eighth inning proved wise for my health and sanity. The east coast time zone has definite disadvantages. I figured, once Kepler entered the game, the outcome was no longer in doubt anyway.

    • diehardtwinsfan, Monkeypaws, Dman and 3 others like this

It obviously worked out, but why have Kepler hit for Gonzales when he could have subbed in for Sano?

Then on the center fielder's "catch", why did "Richard" keep saying he made such a great catch when it was obvious he bobbled it off the wall?It wasn't a catch at all!

    • jokin likes this
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Don't Feed the Greed Guy
Jun 19 2019 06:45 AM
Any video on Cora's "out-of-character" tirade after the game?

It obviously worked out, but why have Kepler hit for Gonzales when he could have subbed in for Sano?
Then on the center fielder's "catch", why did "Richard" keep saying he made such a great catch when it was obvious he bobbled it off the wall? It wasn't a catch at all!

I think his glove was always between the ball and the wall. Great catch.
    • ashbury, Steve Lein, Blake and 5 others like this

Now that was a baseball game. 487 pitches worth, whew. I'll be a zombie today (east coast time) but it was worth it.

    • ashbury likes this

 

My decision to go to bed after the eighth inning proved wise for my health and sanity. The east coast time zone has definite disadvantages. I figured, once Kepler entered the game, the outcome was no longer in doubt anyway.

I was at the game with my lovely bride, but we left after the 11th. She had to get up earlier than usual for work, and we had biked to the game. Got home and checked the score and Boston was up by one in the 13th.  Why tune in? Our clutch hitting has been pretty bad lately and I didn't need the disappointment.  What nice surprise this morning when I picked up the paper to read the re-cap.

    • ashbury likes this

 

Great Game, congrats to the Twins bullpen. Sano was an embarrassment at the plate last night.

Sano appears to have totally recaptured his tendencies at the plate from previous years. HE IS BECOMING A RALLY KILLER ONCE AGAIN.

    • PDX Twin likes this

 

Sano appears to have totally recaptured his tendencies at the plate from previous years. HE IS BECOMING A RALLY KILLER ONCE AGAIN.

I didn't realize I hit the caps lock button. Error on me.

    • ashbury and MN_ExPat like this
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TheRealCupOfJoe
Jun 19 2019 07:16 AM

According to the Boston Globe, David Price was removed from the game after 5 stellar innings and only 73 pitches, for "non-injury-related reasons". WTF? Does anyone have a clue why they would have pulled him? I was glad they did, but wow.

 

 

So I turn off the game when the Sox have runners on first and third with one out in the 10th thinking that not only will the hometown 9 lose, but that this will be the start of a rather dismal run of games that let's Cleveland climb back to within 5.

 

I guess I don't win anything, do I?

 

Der Schlagmeister is der Best!!!

 

 

    • ashbury and MN_ExPat like this

 

BTW, I finally got a chance to see some highlights. After Kepler's walk-off, the Boston manager and coaches were furious. They ran after the umpires and were yelling. Does anyone know why? Did they think Kepler's ball was foul or was it a balls and strikes thing?

 

Just sour grapes. The Sox lost the game by not capitalizing on opportunities (they had a lead in the 13th and also had a man on 3rd with no outs at some point in extras, I believe). For them to whine about Eddie's left foot touching the chalk on a bunt attempt is PATHETIC. That said, you can't blame 'em for being just super deflated losing that game.

 

Sano. We all saw it, it was talked about extensively in the game thread. Yeah it's bad and I'm guessing management is starting to worry about whether or not this guy is a liability. I wish so bad he'd just get it together.

 

Garver. As a poster earlier said, that just can't happen. The good news is that he's not broken and he'll be fine. He just made one mistake (a costly one) but that won't follow him to the plate the next time he plays.

 

Nice job by the 'pen - but they did give up 12 hits in 10 innings of work. Out of 8 relievers, only Rogers didn't give up a hit. They were tightroping it - Red Sox are a great hitting team though. Glad they got it done!

 

 

    • Dman likes this

Like many, I went to bed with the outcome in doubt.  Last year, I would have had little doubt that staying up would not be worth it.  This year, I felt there was an excellent chance I'd wake up to a recap of an exciting win.

 

The "no three-game" losing streaks is kind of a thing.  Man, if it ever finally happens, that might be bad for mojo.  If it doesn't, that would seem to bode well for a playoff series.

Apparently Eddie didn't actually break any rules on that bunt. Cora says he's sorry for whining

https://www.nbcsport...-it-wrong-after

 

 

 

    • scottz, pbrezeasap, 70charger and 4 others like this

According to the Boston Globe, David Price was removed from the game after 5 stellar innings and only 73 pitches, for "non-injury-related reasons". WTF? Does anyone have a clue why they would have pulled him? I was glad they did, but wow.

According to the Boston papers, they had decided beforehand to limit his innings and pitches. A "mutual decision." They're trying to maintain his health over the long season. He has a lot of innings and pitches on that arm over his career.
    • TheRealCupOfJoe, bighat and MN_ExPat like this
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IndianaTwin
Jun 19 2019 07:41 AM

Do the Twins get more arms for tomorrow? If so, who do they send down and who do they call up? Candidates to be sent down would be Littell and Duffey (both have had their option used this year and both pitched two innings in Tuesday's game). Who would be called up? Well, not Eades or Romero, since both were optioned less than 10 days ago.


My assumption was that they would need to call up someone, but as I look at it, I’m not sure they need to. Everyone pitched, but no one more than 30 innings. Parker is the only guy who pitched on the last two days, and that was only a total of 34 pitches. There’s really not anyone who isn’t available for at least a couple batters.

Now if several guys get used for a good number of pitches tonight...

Twins used 9 pitchers and 11 position players in this game. How does Buxton not get into a 17 inning game? (Maybe an obvious answer that I missed.) Catch by Bradley in center was a blind squirrel/acorn example. He had his head completely off the ball facing the wall and the ball found his glove. Amazing play.) OK..win the series today. Gibson needs to go at least 7 and hopefully complete game. Agree Sano needs to sit and verdict on him is still out. Don't want him in a key defensive situation or a clutch hitting situation. Random numbers do not equal winning baseball.

Said elsewhere I'm sure, but today the Twins brass look like geniuses for signing Polanco and Kepler to long term deals. In anyone's wildest dreams these two were not 3rd and 5th in AL OPS on the short sample size of June 19. 

    • scottz and Monkeypaws like this
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Brock Beauchamp
Jun 19 2019 07:58 AM

 

Twins used 9 pitchers and 11 position players in this game. How does Buxton not get into a 17 inning game?

He was moved to the IL a day or two ago.

Kepler was amazing and also demonstrated that sometimes is just not a night for hitters. The fact that he was the only hitter to really be on last night makes him a hero and he deserves great credit. Sometimes hitters convince one another that it's a bad night I may be at help the Kepler came off the bench and hadn't been parked of the price innings. On the other hand watching Sano was really painful. It was just obvious he was going to strike out in those key at bats. Kepler showed the value of contact with his single to tie the game.
syrio

 

    • USAFChief, Han Joelo, Blake and 7 others like this

 

Apparently Eddie didn't actually break any rules on that bunt. Cora says he's sorry for whining

https://www.nbcsport...-it-wrong-after

I was going to point out that Cora didn't complain when Schoop was called out on a pitch several inches outside on a key at bat but then I saw your link and I just say "Respect"

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Alex Schieferdecker
Jun 19 2019 08:15 AM

Twenty four hour moratorium on making fun of the bullpen.

 

Reliever trust ranking:

 

Trust

Rogers

 

Basically Trust

Harper

 

Somewhat Trust

Duffey, May

 

Don’t Trust, Has Been Good So Far

Morin

 

Don’t Trust, Has Been Iffy

Parker

 

Don’t Trust, Has Been Bad

Hildenberger, Magill, Mejia

 

Want To Trust, But Too New

Littell, Eades

 

Never Want To See Pitch Ever Again

De Jong, Vasquez

    • MN_ExPat and bunt_vs_the_shift like this

Sano with five strikeouts last night. One off the Major League record.

    • PDX Twin likes this
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tarheeltwinsfan
Jun 19 2019 08:23 AM

 

Do the Twins get more arms for tomorrow? If so, who do they send down and who do they call up? Candidates to be sent down would be Littell and Duffey (both have had their option used this year and both pitched two innings in Tuesday's game). Who would be called up? Well, not Eades or Romero, since both were optioned less than 10 days ago.

Jake Reed

    • VATwinsFan likes this

 

Sano with five strikeouts last night. One off the Major League record.

 

He'll get it one of these days. Just needed a couple more innings.

    • USAFChief likes this

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