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MIN 5, TB 3: Twins Rally, Top Rays Late

The Twins had no trouble rallying with two outs against the Rays Friday night, scoring four of their five runs with their backs against the wall, down to their final out. The big blow came from Eddie Rosario, who delivered a go-ahead two-run single with two outs in the top of the ninth inning.
Image courtesy of © Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Box Score
Berrios: 6.2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 8 K, 64.6% strikes (64 of 99 pitches)
Home Runs: None
Multi-Hit Games: Polanco (2-for-4, 2 2B, BB), Astudillo (2-for-4, HBP), Gonzalez (2-for-4), Schoop (2-for-2, BB, HBP)
WPA of +0.1: Rosario .263, Astudillo .219, Rogers .212, Schoop .184, Polanco .126
WPA of -0.1: Sano -.132, Buxton -.166, Kepler -.187
Attached Image: Win53`.png
(chart via FanGraphs)

Coming Out Swinging
After a beat down on Thursday night, the Twins were aggressive in the first inning. Max Kepler, hitting lead off, swung at the first pitch of the game and nearly hit the ceiling in the Trop. Jorge Polanco’s at-bat did not last much longer. He swung at the second pitch and laced a one-out double. Astudillo then drove him home with a single early in the count. The Twins possibly could have scored another run had Astudillo not hesitated rounding third when C.J. Cron hit one off the wall in right center.

Berrios responded with a quick shut-down bottom of the first inning. It took him less than 10 pitches to retire the side in order — not surprising for a pitcher who’s strike percentage is fourth best in the league.

Rays Respond
After a stellar first inning, Berrios struggled with his command at times in the second and third inning. In the second inning, he issued his first walk of the game and that runner crossed the plate on a Kevin Kiermaier home run, which gave the Rays a 2-1 lead.

Berrios issued another walk in the third inning and once again that runner came across the plate. With runners on first and third, the Rays called for a double steal and ended up stealing a run from the Twins. The run may not have scored had Astudillo held onto the ball, however. A strong throw home from Schoop may have been good enough to beat the runner but Astudillo tried to tag the runner before catching the ball and the runner scored easily.

Two-Out Rallies are Awesome
Schoop drew a walk to lead off the fifth inning. He advanced to second on what should have been a double play if not for the Rays having shifted defensive positioning. He ended up standing on second with two away in the inning. Down by two, this was a scoring opportunity the Twins needed to capitalize on and that looked to be in jeopardy with two gone.

That was until Jorge Polanco stepped up and did what he’s done all year - hit the darn ball. He ripped a one-run double, making the score 3-2. Then it was La Toruga’s opportunity to pick himself up after dropping the ball that allowed the Rays to score their third run. He did not disappoint, singling to left and driving in his second run of the game. Back-to-back two out knocks tied the game at 3-3.

They did it again in the ninth. They got the bases loaded with two outs essentially for free. Rays pitcher, Diego Castillo, hit Schoop, Polanco was issued an intentional walk following a sacrifice bunt from Buxton. Astudillo fell behind 0-2 but was drilled by a slider and awarded first base, loading them up for Eddie Rosario.

The Rays went to their bullpen — again — and brought in lefty Adam Kolarek to face to the left-handed hitting Rosario. The move would prove ineffective as Rosario went opposite field and hit a two-run single past the third base bag and gave the Twins a 5-3 lead.


Quality Start for Berrios
After battling command issues in the second and third innings Berrios was able to settle in nicely and give the Twins another quality start. His final line was 6 2/3 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 8 K. That is what aces do, they give you a chance to win against other really good teams.

Rogers Dominates
Taylor Rogers took over for Berrios with two-out in the sixth inning and the game still tied. His night finished with 2 1/3 IP, 1 H, 1 K, 0 ER.

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: Pen531.png
Next Game
Sat at TB, 12:10 pm CT (Gibson-TBD)

Last Game
TB 14, MIN 3: Well … That Just Happened

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41 Comments

Really nice bounce-back win.

Watching Sano’s possible 2 run HR bounce off a speaker into a dedender’s glove must have introduced a little doubt. Really impressive to bear down and manufacture some runs.

2.1 innings in 27 pitches from Rogers to lock things down is pretty phenomenal.
    • glunn, Jerr, Dman and 4 others like this
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TheLeviathan
May 31 2019 08:44 PM

That Sano hit was ridiculous, Tampa should be ashamed of that park.

 

Helluva win though.This team has serious fight to it, something I'm not sure I could say about a Twins team in a very long time.The emotional leaders of this team have an edge to them and I love it.

    • glunn, Jerr, Dman and 5 others like this
This has been a fun week of baseball. Games that feel as if they matter, and the Twins are showing they can play with the big boys.
    • glunn, Jerr, twinsnorth49 and 6 others like this

And Anotha One...

    • glunn likes this
Win a game against a good team when things aren’t necessarily breaking your way. Nice. Good Jose showed up in the nick of time, and the offense scrapped and did just enough. Sano’s been robbed here before...he’ll have to figure out a way to get even.
    • glunn likes this
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Aerodeliria
May 31 2019 10:10 PM
That was a nice win. What a difference a year makes. That 9th inning scene was eerily similar to a game last year that we lost to the Rays--bases loaded one out and Rosie up. After just seeing the Ray's pitcher walk the bases loaded on four pitches, Rosie tried to hit the first pitch he saw 900 feet--an ankle high slider grounding into the inning ending doubleplay. Rosie is maturing. That was a beautiful display of the fact.

Tampa not only has a terrible field but the fan support is alarmingly weak. If they can't draw fans when they're playing like this, I can only imagine how bad it must be in an off year.
    • glunn, Danchat, DocBauer and 2 others like this
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MMMordabito
May 31 2019 10:53 PM
Not to beat a dead horse, but I really hate the Trop
    • glunn, Jerr, DocBauer and 1 other like this
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Aerodeliria
Jun 01 2019 01:03 AM
I'd rather win the 5-3 game and lose the 14-3 game if I had to choose between the two.

These last four games have had a postseason feel to them and the Twins are holding their own.

Another dead horse to beat, but are there any signs of a Cruz return?
    • denarded and bighat like this

anyone who complains about an april snowout at target field should be condemned to an eternity of watching games at the trop

    • ashbury, Jerr, PDX Twin and 3 others like this
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psturnbloom
Jun 01 2019 03:41 AM

"Blow up this place!"

    • Jerr likes this
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AlwaysinModeration
Jun 01 2019 05:08 AM
Aside from the fact that the ball was going to be a home run — his second home run at that field Sano has not gotten credit for! — how in the world can they allow the ball to be catchable after it hits a speaker? You can’t catch a ball off the wall and record an out. At a minimum it shouldn’t be an out. What would make more sense is a ground rule double...or even a ground rule triple. Dumb place, dumb rule. I’d like to see the projected distance of that one. (The one a few years back was mammoth.)
    • Jerr, bluechipper, DocBauer and 1 other like this
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Old Twins Cap
Jun 01 2019 05:20 AM

Worst atmosphere in MLB. Hate watching games in Tampa Bay. Not even baseball.

 

On the other hand, Dick and Bert spent the bottom of the ninth marveling at Rogers' 2+ inning "save".

 

These are the best baseball minds in Minnesota?

This may just be me conflating my wishes into reality but for some reason I was under the impression that if the ball hit the roof in the trop it was considered a dead ball. Would it have been a hit if Adames didn't catch it?

Photo
AlwaysinModeration
Jun 01 2019 05:31 AM

On the other hand, Dick and Bert spent the bottom of the ninth marveling at Rogers' 2+ inning "save".

These are the best baseball minds in Minnesota?


I don’t think anyone ever said that. Or even thought that.
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AlwaysinModeration
Jun 01 2019 05:33 AM

This may just be me conflating my wishes into reality but for some reason I was under the impression that if the ball hit the roof in the trop it was considered a dead ball. Would it have been a hit if Adames didn't catch it?


If it hits the roof in fair territory, it’s a live ball. If it hits in foul territory, it’s foul. Of course, you could make an argument for everything in that place being foul, I suppose...
    • MN_ExPat and DannySD like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Jun 01 2019 05:34 AM

 

This may just be me conflating my wishes into reality but for some reason I was under the impression that if the ball hit the roof in the trop it was considered a dead ball. Would it have been a hit if Adames didn't catch it?

 Weren't there similar rules at the metrodome? I seem to remember that the lights on the roof were considered in play.

 

If it hits the roof in fair territory, it’s a live ball. If it hits in foul territory, it’s foul. Of course, you could make an argument for everything in that place being foul, I suppose...

Well... that's just absurd I suppose

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twinsfanstreif
Jun 01 2019 05:36 AM
I'm concerned that Sano might sneak in at night and burn that place down, honestly I wouldn't even blame him. The Trop is the WORST! I kind of hope TB loses their franchise over that crap.......sorry, I'm mad (not sorry)
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twinsfanstreif
Jun 01 2019 05:36 AM
I'm concerned that Sano might sneak in at night and burn that place down, honestly I wouldn't even blame him. The Trop is the WORST! I kind of hope TB loses their franchise over that crap.......sorry, I'm mad (not sorry)

 

 Weren't there similar rules at the metrodome? I seem to remember that the lights on the roof were considered in play.

Possibly. I never got to see a Twins game at the metrodome (grew up in NC). Caught Vikings games there twice when visiting, which was fun, but I'm not really certain how the park played for baseball

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theBOMisthebomb
Jun 01 2019 05:54 AM

Aside from the fact that the ball was going to be a home run — his second home run at that field Sano has not gotten credit for! — how in the world can they allow the ball to be catchable after it hits a speaker? You can’t catch a ball off the wall and record an out. At a minimum it shouldn’t be an out. What would make more sense is a ground rule double...or even a ground rule triple. Dumb place, dumb rule. I’d like to see the projected distance of that one. (The one a few years back was mammoth.)

Baseball Savant says this Sano's speaker shot:

EV LA Dist Vel xBA
97.8 46 325 88.9 .020

What a joke. Good thing it didn't cost the Twins the victory. I still feel Twins fans cannot complain too much as our old stadium had the same issues.

 


Another dead horse to beat, but are there any signs of a Cruz return?

 

ESPN's Marly Rivera reported yesterday: "Nelson Cruz (wrist) told me that he felt "the best" he has felt after hitting in the cage at Tropicana Field (Thursday). Cruz also said he'll take regular batting practice on Friday, and depending on how he feels, the team will make a decision as to whether he'll be activated off the IL."

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ScooterDance
Jun 01 2019 06:38 AM
Ball was definitely live in the dome. That iconic Eddie guardado catch off the speaker comes to mind.

how in the world can they allow the ball to be catchable after it hits a speaker? You can’t catch a ball off the wall and record an out.


I think the theory is that it would be hard to tell whether something was hit by the roof -- this one was pretty obvious, but others can be more subtle. And players and managers would be arguing for a lot more if they knew it was a judgment call that would change the result of the play.
Really nice performance and win by the good guys! Sure glad I didn't panic after Thursday's game.
    • Dman, MN_ExPat and rdehring like this

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