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Hypothetical rule change: remove DH when pitcher is removed

Other Baseball Today, 02:51 PM
I just read this potential rule change on Twitter and I am intrigued:   https://twitter.com/...4091739136?s=20     For th...
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Fangraphs Top 50 Free Agents

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:23 AM
Here is the link to their Top 50 Free Agent List with player write ups, community estimated contracts and Fangraphs estimated contracts....
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White Sox make changes

Other Baseball Today, 02:51 PM
Both Manager Rick Rentaria and pitching coach Don Cooper were let go.     Was a bit surprised by this, because the White S...
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What can Morton be had for?

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 08:55 PM
https://www.thescore...lb/news/2045846
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What to do with Lewis Thorpe?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:51 PM
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...
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MIN 4, CHC 0: Twins Down Darvish, Shutout Cubs

The Twins beat one of the leading candidates for the National League Cy Young Award in their first Sunday Night Baseball appearance in 10 years. José Berríos pitched six shutout innings and the Twins lineup became the first team to score four runs off Yu Darvish this season.
Image courtesy of Chart via FanGraphs
Box Score
Berríos: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
Home Runs: Kepler (8)
Top 3 WPA: Berríos .369, Kepler .122, Donaldson .078

Twins Get to Darvish Early ...
The Twins recorded three hits off Yu Darvish in the first inning, which is more than he’s given up in an entire outing in four of his prior 10 starts this year. They only came away with one run in the first inning, driven in on an Eddie Rosario single, as the bases were left loaded.

The Twins added another run the second inning, becoming the first team to score in each of the first two innings against Darvish all season. He entered tonight fourth in ERA and third in fWAR among qualified starters, firmly in the conversation for NL Cy Young.

Darvish returned to form and allowed just two baserunners to reach for the next four innings.

… and Late
Since Darvish had been on a roll, the Cubs sent him back out to start the seventh inning. Marwin Gonzalez led things off with a double to center field before Max Kepler blasted his 100th career home run to put the Twins up 4-0. Tonight marks the first time all season Darvish has given up four runs in an outing.



This was Kepler’s first home run since Aug. 26. Since then, he’s had a .309 OPS over 43 plate appearances. Max needed that, badly.

José Berríos is Rolling
Berríos had a 5.92 ERA through his first five starts of the season, but has steadily been improving. Over his most recent five starts coming into tonight, Berríos posted a 2.60 ERA. It’s basically the complete opposite from what we’re used to seeing from him.

Berríos outdueled Darvish, providing six shutout innings while giving up four hits and walking one batter. He struck out four batters and had nine swinging strikes on his 85 pitches. The Cubs also had nine balls hit in excess of 95 mph, so this was far from the most dominant we’ve seen Berríos, but there’s no arguing with the results.

The Cubs lineup has been struggling, but this was still a tough matchup on a national stage. It was great to see Berríos deliver.

Rogers Before Romo
Taylor Rogers pitched the eighth inning tonight. Rogers also entered in the eighth inning his previous outing on Sept. 14, but gave up a pair of runs while recording just one out.

On the one hand, there were a couple of lefties and a switch hitter who doesn’t fare nearly as well versus southpaws due up. On the other hand, Kris Bryant was the next batter in the lineup after that.

Bryant is having a nightmare season, entering tonight’s game with a .591 OPS. Still, he’s a career .302/.412/.579 (.991 OPS) hitter against lefties and though it was only 30 plate appearances, he also had a .901 OPS against lefties so far in 2020.

Rogers retired José Martinez, who pinch hit for lefty Jason Kipnis, before issuing a five-pitch walk to Ian Happ. He then struck out lefty Anthony Rizzo. That brought Bryant to the plate.

Rogers got Bryant to line out to end the inning. So was Rocco Baldelli playing matchups? Or is Rogers no longer the closer? Let me know what your best guess is down in the comments.

Sergio Romo took over in the ninth inning, inheriting a 4-0 lead. Wilson Contreras reached after a passed ball on strike three, Jason Heyward was hit by a pitch and Victor Caratini walked to bring the tying run to the plate with two outs.

Romo prevailed, striking out pinch hitter Nico Hoerner to end the game. Sergio has now delivered a scoreless outing in 17 of his 21 appearances this season.

Aggressive Play
The Twins ran into a couple outs in their 7-1 win over the Cubs Friday night, and continued an aggressive approach tonight.

Jake Cave took a gamble by stretching a leadoff double into a triple, barely beating the throw from left fielder Kyle Schwarber. He later scored on a ground out.



Kepler took a chance in the field that didn’t pay off, but luckily Berríos managed to pitch around it.

With one out, Kepler tried to nail a baserunner going first-to-third. The play was nowhere close, and the throw allowed the hitter to advance to second base, both putting two runners in scoring position and eliminating the potential for a double play.


Along with the bullpen situation, it'll be interesting to follow any other trends as the Twins ramp up for the playoffs.

Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
Attached Image: Bullpen.png


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38 Comments

Very encouraging two victories. Great pitching. Just what you want to see now.
    • rdehring likes this
This win was HUGE as there are so many implications involved the next week and a half.

I HATE the 60 game season but love baseball and have clung to every crumb of this season that I could. If you truly love baseball, as frustrated as you may be, this is proving to be a September to remember for the post season, no matter how you feel about expanded playoffs.

The Twins return home now with 5 games left they CAN win and maybe NEED to win. Things are not neat and tidy right now. There are a few things to play for, and let the chips fall where they may.

I was beyond disappointed by the Sox series. And PO'd when they lost that first game to the Cubs. But the pitching is THERE. The Defense is solid. Can the bats step forward? Boy, they sure did so the last 2 games. Is this team peaking at the right time? There are signs that they are. I sure hope so.

Cautiously optimistic, let's go home and win the next 5 and finish strong!
    • jbissell, Otwins, Dman and 3 others like this
1) Nelly is so important to this team/lineup
2) Berrios is peaking at the right time
3) Glad they mentioned 10 year Sunday night baseball gap. Made ESPN look bad. Little frickers.
    • GNess likes this

Hopefully we can add some Garv sauce to the batting stew. C'mon buddy, burn that lot of no-hit bats somebody snuck in on ya and find some sweet swingin' lumber this last week.

    • DocBauer, rdehring and TouchEmAllGuy like this

Maybe there's just something about August that throws Berrios off. Now that we're in September he seems to be mostly back to his usual self.

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stringer bell
Sep 20 2020 09:19 PM
Did Berríos just beat both Cy Young Award winners in succession?
    • denarded, Dantes929, Danchat and 3 others like this

Next week the White Sox play four games at Cleveland and three games at home with the Cubs.We're only two back.With the Tigers and Reds coming to town, we can win this thing.

    • DocBauer, tarheeltwinsfan, JoshDungan1 and 1 other like this

Win out, avoid the yanks 

    • JoshDungan1, AceWrigley, bighat and 1 other like this

I was not expecting the Cubs to look that lifeless this series

    • Danchat likes this

 

1) Nelly is so important to this team/lineup

 

I agree with this point, but the Twins also did win both games in this series without Cruz. When everything is clicking, the Twins have great depth. 

Sure would be nice if what we're seeing is the Twins offense finally starting to click. But there's no question that Berrios has found his groove, which is very exciting. Playoff rotation of Maeda, Berrios, & Pineda definitely feels better than Berrios, Dobnak, Odorizzi from last year.

 

Let's get Cruz and Arraez ready to go, rest the bullpen, line up the rotation and go kick some butt.

    • DocBauer and wabene like this

Next week the White Sox play four games at Cleveland and three games at home with the Cubs. We're only two back. With the Tigers and Reds coming to town, we can win this thing.


White Sox have the tiebreaker advantage, so we are effectively 3 games back of them.

If we win out, White Sox would only need to go 4-3 this week to win the division.

Also, the Tigers are more or less eliminated, but the Reds are very much still in the NL race. They might be pretty motivated next weekend.
    • Danchat and Aichiman like this
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lukeduke1980
Sep 21 2020 07:17 AM

Hopefully just an off night for Sano.  

 

1) Nelly is so important to this team/lineup
2) Berrios is peaking at the right time
3) Glad they mentioned 10 year Sunday night baseball gap. Made ESPN look bad. Little frickers.

To be fair, aside from last season the team has been garbage this past decade so...I dont blame them for not having us on. 

    • wabene likes this
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Alex Schieferdecker
Sep 21 2020 07:24 AM

I've been most encouraged by Trevor May. He looks unhittable again.

    • stringer bell, DocBauer, JoshDungan1 and 3 others like this
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Brock Beauchamp
Sep 21 2020 07:28 AM

 

Win out, avoid the yanks 

Almost impossible. The Twins tie the first tiebreaker with the Sox and lose the second, so the Twins have to win the division outright.

 

Laying an egg in that final Sox game really hurt, as they'd be in a good position to win the division (one game back and the tie would go to the Twins).

    • stringer bell, Danchat and wabene like this

Feel so much better after these last two games.

 

Kepler is shaking off the rust and Garver is back. Although Garver needs a lot of work behind the plate and with the bat. Is Jeffers the Twins best catcher today? Will he even be on the playoff roster? And they really need Arraez back this week to get some AB's before the playoffs.

 

Great seeing Berrios settle in. Will he be the opening day starter?

 

If it is to be the Yankees, looking at both teams home/away splits they have to win out and play those games at Target Field.

    • LA VIkes Fan and wabene like this
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Brock Beauchamp
Sep 21 2020 07:30 AM

 

To be fair, aside from last season the team has been garbage this past decade so...I dont blame them for not having us on. 

Eh, it's still an oversight. In 2015, the Twins were in the WC race until the final weekend. In 2017, they won the second WC spot. You'd think that would have gotten them at least one game on ESPN.

    • SQUIRREL, denarded, Danchat and 3 others like this
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Tom Froemming
Sep 21 2020 07:36 AM

 

I've been most encouraged by Trevor May. He looks unhittable again.

Yep. May's last five outings:

 

5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K

    • JoshDungan1, wabene and rdehring like this

Eh, it's still an oversight. In 2015, the Twins were in the WC race until the final weekend. In 2017, they won the second WC spot. You'd think that would have gotten them at least one game on ESPN.


And if the Twins weren’t playing the Cubs, there’d have been more oversight. The Cubs were on ESPN Sunday Night baseball and we just happened to be the Cubs’ opponent.
    • ashbury, USAFChief, JoshDungan1 and 1 other like this

 

Hopefully just an off night for Sano.  

 

I don't know. It's hard to defend a guy who puts such ugly bats together. 4ks on 14 pitches? Pathetic. I'm all for Sano, but hitting a solo HR every 12AB and striking out in 10 of the others is no way to go through life (or the playoffs) IMHO

 

    • puckstopper1 likes this

ESPN has ZERO Twins love, the original game was supposed to be Yankees - Red Sox for the 1,000,000th time. If the Sox didn't suck, we'd be waiting another 10 years to see the Twins on Sunday night, which is fine with me because I cannot stand A-Rod in the booth. He always has to turn the conversation to himself.

 

    • JoshDungan1 and rdehring like this

 

Eh, it's still an oversight. In 2015, the Twins were in the WC race until the final weekend. In 2017, they won the second WC spot. You'd think that would have gotten them at least one game on ESPN.

While the Twins were in the wild card race late those two seasons, so were a bunch of other teams. And those Twins teams weren't particularly distinguished -- the 2015 club was propped up by a flukey May and mediocre otherwise, and the 2017 club was middling (and a seller at the deadline) and really only separated itself from the pack at the very end of the season. They never looked like a particularly safe bet to stay relevant through some future date.

 

And to be fair, ESPN Sunday Night Baseball serves *both* leagues, and the schedule is usually set reasonably far in advance. There are also other considerations like travel -- maybe the Twins were under strong consideration at some point those seasons but other factors won out.

 

I won't deny that ESPN prefers to air games involving bigger media markets, which counts against the Twins twice because we're mid-market ourselves and with the unbalanced schedule, the Twins play the bulk of their games vs small/mid-markets CHW, CLE, DET, and KCR. But even so, it's not surprising we didn't play on Sunday night from 2011-2019.

    • rdehring likes this
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Brock Beauchamp
Sep 21 2020 09:01 AM

 

While the Twins were in the wild card race late those two seasons, so were a bunch of other teams. And those Twins teams weren't particularly distinguished -- the 2015 club was propped up by a flukey May and mediocre otherwise, and the 2017 club was middling (and a seller at the deadline) and really only separated itself from the pack at the very end of the season. They never looked like a particularly safe bet to stay relevant through some future date.

 

And to be fair, ESPN Sunday Night Baseball serves *both* leagues, and the schedule is usually set reasonably far in advance. There are also other considerations like travel -- maybe the Twins were under strong consideration at some point those seasons but other factors won out.

 

I won't deny that ESPN prefers to air games involving bigger media markets, which counts against the Twins twice because we're mid-market ourselves and with the unbalanced schedule, the Twins play the bulk of their games vs small/mid-markets CHW, CLE, DET, and KCR. But even so, it's not surprising we didn't play on Sunday night from 2011-2019.

To be completely clear, I don't really care whether the Twins get national TV time, especially on ESPN. I've come to dislike pretty much everything about ESPN over the years. While I can't speak definitively on their coverage of other sports, their baseball commentary is almost 100% cheap, lazy, bad takes that barely skim the surface of the sport.

    • JoshDungan1 and twinbythebay like this

I personally think Rocco is doing what he planned to all along with the pen.Use the guys in where they match up best regardless of inning.Last year, he started out using Roders in 8th at times and 9th other times.Until he eventually became only 9th inning guy, becoming "the closer."Now that seems to have changed back to matchups again.I am all for this.If his 8th will be easier than a 9th, why send out romo in the 8th to face a bunch of lefties, to then send Rodgers out in the 9th against the righties?This is what Rocco stood for when he first came over, which I was a huge fan of.I hate "the closer" title for any pitcher.  

    • JoshDungan1, wabene, rdehring and 1 other like this