Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

The Forums

Baseball Bat Post Winter Meetings Top Free Agents Availab...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:17 PM
Don’t worry Twins Fans. Almost every upper echelon Free Agent is yet to sign. Here is my list of the Top Remaining Free Agents at each po...
Full topic ›

Article: Twins Sending Relief Messages

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:35 PM
As the Winter Meetings came to an end, the Minnesota Twins found themselves mentioned often and making just a few waves. In signing Micha...
Full topic ›

Treading Water while the MLB trend points toward disparity

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:09 PM
In the ESPN article below, MLB has begun a trend back towards disparity. Teams have begun taking a more clearly defined rebuild/push to W...
Full topic ›

T-Wolves Regular Season Thread

Minnesota Timberwolves Talk Today, 07:07 PM
Let's get this mother started.    
Full topic ›

2017-18 MLB Off-Season Transactions Thread

Other Baseball Today, 06:29 PM
I thought I'd get this going now (and pin it), even though we still have a few weeks to go. Please use this thread to track MLB NON-TWINS...
Full topic ›

MIN 4, CWS 1: Gibson Great, Twins Hit 3 More Homers

Kyle Gibson got off to a rocky start Tuesday, but managed to pitch out of trouble before finding a groove in the middle innings. That gave the bats enough time to heat up, as Jorge Polanco, Kennys Vargas and Eddie Rosario all homered and the bullpen locked down the victory.
Image courtesy of David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Win Expectancy (via Fangraphs)
Attached Image: WinEx822.png
Top 3 Twins per WPA: Gibson .282 | Vargas .119 | Polanco .075

Let’s talk about bunting, shall we? The White Sox opened up this game by getting hits in three of their first six at-bats. They held a 1-0 lead in the second inning. They had runners on first and second with nobody out. They were facing Kyle Gibson. And they decided it was a good time to attempt a sacrifice bunt.

They paid for that decision. Jason Castro managed to nail the lead runner at third base, gifting Gibby an out. Chicago managed to load the bases with one out, but could not score. They also loaded the bases with nobody out in the third and could not score.

Jorge Polanco homered in his third-straight game to tie it up at 1-1 in the fourth inning before a Kennys Vargas solo blast put the Twins ahead in the fifth. Joe Mauer led off the sixth with a misplayed double and I’m sure the Twins lineup was smelling blood.

The Twins were already up a run. Mauer was in scoring position with no outs. Polanco was up. He bunted.

Yes, Jorge Polanco, the guy who has been on fire this month. The guy who homered in three-straight games. The guy who you have to watch hit through those goofy eclipse glasses otherwise his hotness will burn out the back of your eyeballs. That guy bunted.

Luckily, Eddie Rosario was able to make a laughing matter out of all this madness by crushing a two-run homer on literally the very next pitch. Thank goodness Mauer only had to trot in from third base. Hopefully Paul Molitor learned a lesson, but I doubt it.

Again, Gibson got off to a dreadful start, but he was incredible after he got going. He struck out the side with the bases juiced in the third before setting down the Sox 1-2-3 in both the fourth and fifth innings. He gave up a one-out single in the sixth before inducing an inning-ending double play from the next batter. He closed out his night with a 1-2-3 seventh, striking out the final two batters he faced. Over 7.0 innings he gave up one run, which was scored on a wild pitch, and struck out a season-high eight batters.

Trevor Hildenberger pitched a perfect eight before Matt Belisle delivered a scoreless ninth to earn his fourth save. Max Kepler was out for the second-straight game with an illness. Ehire Adrianza started in left while Rosario manned right field.

Postgame With Molitor

Twins W-L Record
Overall: 65-60
Last 10: 7-3
Last 20: 14-6
Last 40: 21-19
Last 80: 39-41

AL Central Standings
Cleveland 69-55
Minnesota 65-60 (-4.5)
Kansas City 63-61 (-6.0)

AL Wild Card Standings
WC1: Yankees 67-57 (+2.5)
WC2: Minnesota 65-60
Angels 64-61 (-1.0)
Kansas City 63-61 (-1.5)
Seattle 64-63 (-2.0)

Bullpen Usage
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Attached Image: Bullpen822.png
***UPDATE: Tim Melville has been DFA’d and Dillon Gee will start Saturday. John Curtiss will be called up from Rochester to join the bullpen.
Looking Ahead
WED: Twins (Ervin Santana) at White Sox (James Shields), 7:10 pm CT
THU: Twins (Jose Berrios) at White Sox (Derek Holland), 7:10 pm CT
FRI: Twins (TBD) at Toronto (TBD), 6:07 pm CT

Question of the Day
Bunting: Why?


  • Share:
  • submit to reddit
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

38 Comments

I didn't mind the bunt that much.  Almost made it a hit and advanced Mauer to third. Three scenarios. 1. What did happen 2.  Mauer advances to third by the 2nd batter making an out,  Rosario hits a medium deep fly ball and Mauer scores a big run.  3.. Polanco doesn't advance Mauer, Rosario hits medium deep fly ball that now doesn't advance or score Mauer and third guy makes an out. #3 happens a lot so I was happy to see the runs score and Rosario scoring also was frosting on the cake. I would not have been disappointed if Polanco had swung away but their 3rd base man made a great play to keep Polanco from getting a hit and Mauer advances. I'm ok with that. i think Lombardozzi hit 3 dingers in 3 games once.  Didn't make him a power hitter.

    • PDX Twin and MN_ExPat like this

Gibson's doing this just to piss me off. Every time I'm ready to throw in the towel for him, he comes out and pitches like Cy Young. Okay Gibson, I'm throwing in the towel for the rest of the season on you. Prove me wrong some more!

    • 70charger, SwainZag, Danchat and 10 others like this
Photo
Hosken Bombo Disco
Aug 22 2017 10:21 PM
For the record, Dan Gladden predicted Gibson would go seven strong innings and get the win.
    • Monkeypaws, bluechipper and gheggs42 like this

Great game by Gibson but what it should have done is give him one more game.  Even before tonight he has done better against the White Sox than any other team and even more so at Chicago where he is 4-0 with a 1.78 ERA before tonight. I hope he does well next time but he should still be on a short leash.

    • bluechipper likes this

Why is Friday TBD? Is Colon not able to pitch? Too many slow curves? Seems like the Twins are settling into Santana, Berrios, Colon, Gee and Gibson for now. It'll be interesting to see what happens when Mejia is ready to come back - gotta think Gee and Gibson are start to start and Colon is a few bad ones away from being replaced.

 

I know Slegers had a good start but I don't see him replacing anyone for now. Nice to have Mejia and Slegers who you're at least a bit excited to see if they get an opportunity.

    • Dantes929, SF Twins Fan and Dozier's Glorious Hair like this
Photo
Tommygun921
Aug 23 2017 04:46 AM
Thing that bothered me about the bunt was that Mauer was on 2nd. So chances of Polanco hitting into a double play were pretty low....and Polanco and Rosario hitting behind him are two of the hottest hitters.
Photo
Tom Froemming
Aug 23 2017 05:52 AM

 

Why is Friday TBD? Is Colon not able to pitch?

I just put in whatever's officially listed on MLB.com. At the time it was TBD, but it has since been updated to Colon.

 

Given the timing of the transactions, I get the vibe Gibson may have been demoted if this start had gone poorly. Why else did they wait until after last night's game to DFA Melville? If that had been the case, it's possible they may have called somebody up to start Friday and given Colon extra rest, but that's probably looking way too far into it.

    • bluechipper, dbminn and MN_ExPat like this

Gibson...what the heck was that??  I think winning Powerball was more likely than getting out of the second and third with no runs.

 

 I argued to DFA him during his last start.  Now we should trade him, right now, I mean by noon.  Pretend we're throwing in the towel, say we're cutting next year's payroll, do whatever it takes.  Get something now before Bad Gibby takes the mound again.

 

Good thing I didn't order that Melville jersey.  Now a Curtiss jersey...

    • ashburyjohn, Circus Boy, Taildragger8791 and 1 other like this

Last year the Twins hit 200 home runs (and a lot of good they did), the first time they hit that mark since 1964 (and the only other year was 1963).  The 1987 team hit 196 and the 2004 version got 191.

 

This year they are on pace to hit 195, but since I'm guessing September gets more homers than April, they ought to be able to do it.  If the pace of the last week keeps up they might get there by Labor Day.

 

The franchise low was 4 HRs, done a couple of times.  In 1917, the team had 4 HRs and 70 triples.  The home field was National Stadium, later Griffith Stadium, where the left field corner was over 400 feet from home plate.  

    • ThejacKmp, Craig Arko, bluechipper and 3 others like this
Photo
ashburyjohn
Aug 23 2017 06:30 AM

Gibson's doing this just to piss me off. Every time I'm ready to throw in the towel for him, he comes out and pitches like Cy Young.

This was the White Sox. He's not the only guy they've made look like Smokey Joe Williams this season.

    • jimbo92107, bluechipper, Circus Boy and 2 others like this
Photo
FunnyPenguin
Aug 23 2017 06:37 AM

Can't wait for Gibson's next start!

I think we saw Gibson benefit from facing a young White Sox team that hasn't learned to lay off of breaking balls. Innings 1 and 2 were the Gibson we've come to expect - but then the White Sox's young bats got over eager and started chasing anything and everything near the zone. 

 

Thankfully, this Twins team has become one of those teams you don't want to let hang around in a game. The White Sox could have (should have), put this game away by the end of the 2nd. They didn't - and the Twins' bats made them pay for it. It's nice to be on the other side of that equation for a change. 

    • ashburyjohn, birdwatcher, Dantes929 and 3 others like this

 

Last year the Twins hit 200 home runs (and a lot of good they did), the first time they hit that mark since 1964 (and the only other year was 1963).  The 1987 team hit 196 and the 2004 version got 191.

 

This year they are on pace to hit 195, but since I'm guessing September gets more homers than April, they ought to be able to do it.  If the pace of the last week keeps up they might get there by Labor Day.

 

The franchise low was 4 HRs, done a couple of times.  In 1917, the team had 4 HRs and 70 triples.  The home field was National Stadium, later Griffith Stadium, where the left field corner was over 400 feet from home plate.  

OBP is .332 vs .316 last year.  We are on pace to score 53 more runs than last year. Once year Twins hit 111 home runs, had an OBP of .340 and scored 829 runs. Home runs are great but they are better with guys on base.

    • bluechipper likes this
Photo
puckstopper1
Aug 23 2017 07:44 AM

Great to see Trevor Hildenberger getting higher leverage opportunities and succeeding.  The Twins need him to be another solid option late in games.

    • USAFChief, birdwatcher, bluechipper and 3 others like this

Is that a 9-man bullpen now?

Photo
VirginSturgeon
Aug 23 2017 07:57 AM
Why do we think Polanco bunted to sacrifice Mauer to 3rd? His whole approach signaled that he was bunting for a hit. Did Molitor state that Polanco was instructed to sacrifice bunt Mauer over? The White Sox using the bunt that early is extremely laughable considering Gibson was on the mound. Nice win though against a bad team. Hopefully we can take 4 out of 5 with Santana and Berrios going the next 2 games.

Gibson's ERA now under 6. Another three or four starts like last night and he'll cross the pitcher's Mendoza line under 5.

    • bluechipper likes this

Nice to know that good Gibby can show up every once in a while. It's still too little too late for me.... 

    • USAFChief, birdwatcher, twinsnorth49 and 2 others like this

 

Nice to know that good Gibby can show up every once in a while. It's still too little too late for me.... 

Concur, but I wouldn't be upset by a 2 month run of competency.  

    • twinsnorth49, Dozier's Glorious Hair and MN_ExPat like this
Photo
Tom Froemming
Aug 23 2017 08:34 AM

 

Is that a 9-man bullpen now?

Nope, Gee has graduated to the rotation.

 

Why do we think Polanco bunted to sacrifice Mauer to 3rd? His whole approach signaled that he was bunting for a hit. Did Molitor state that Polanco was instructed to sacrifice bunt Mauer over? 

I just went back and re-watched it. I still think that was a sacrifice called by the manager, but who knows.

 

Regardless of whose idea it was, I don't think a guy who is hitting .382/.417/.647 over his last 75 PAs and who homered off the guy on the mound earlier in the game should be laying down a bunt in that situation. It was beautifully executed though. 

    • rghrbek and MN_ExPat like this

Gibby's off speed was stuff was crisp last night.

    • birdwatcher and Dantes929 like this

 

Nope, Gee has graduated to the rotation.

 

I just went back and re-watched it. I still think that was a sacrifice called by the manager, but who knows.

 

Regardless of whose idea it was, I don't think a guy who is hitting .382/.417/.647 over his last 75 PAs and who homered off the guy on the mound earlier in the game should be laying down a bunt in that situation. It was beautifully executed though. 

I agree it was mostly done to get the base runner over or at least looked that way because if he had done it while starting out of the box he would have beat the throw easily.  If he had bunted just a little softer he would have beat it also.  Mauer's run just seemed very important to me at the time and getting him home from third with one out seemed at least as good a chance as getting him home from second with no outs.  I admit to hindsight and hypocrisy here. The important thing to me on this play wasn't the strategy but the execution.  As you said, he laid down a really good bunt. If he had bunted back to the pitcher and Mauer either got thrown out or did didn't advance, or Polanco popped out then I would probably have a whole different outlook on the play. Lets also not just assume that if Polanco didn't bunt and had made an out and Mauer didn't advance that Rosario would still have hit the home run.

    • Tom Froemming and MN_ExPat like this

 

Gibby's off speed was stuff was crisp last night.

I agree.  His slider or curve ball that struck out Abreu was a thing of beauty.  Some games it seems like he hardly even uses his off speed stuff.

Twins played nine games in eight days and the bullpen is still in good shape. 

    • birdwatcher, cmoss84 and Tom Froemming like this
Photo
nicksaviking
Aug 23 2017 09:31 AM

I've done the math, and if Gibson gets seven more starts, averages 6 1/3 innings and only averages 2 ER per game, he can get his ERA under 5.00. That might make him tradable this off season!

 

Go get 'em Kyle!


Similar Articles


by Ted Schwerzler , Yesterday, 11:12 AM
Photo


by Seth Stohs , 04 Dec 2017
Photo


by Tom Froemming , 14 Nov 2017
Photo


by John Bonnes , 30 Oct 2017
Photo


by Seth Stohs , 25 Oct 2017
Photo