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Front Page: Dealing with Wheeler Gets Minnesota an Ace

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This offseason the Minnesota Twins chief focus is going to be on acquiring impact pitching. The front office has suggested as much, and w...
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2019/20 Off-season Manager Openings

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With the season winding down, let's talk about what manager spots will be open this winter. Already open: Kansas City - Ned Yost retirin...
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Front Page: Twins Daily 2019 Awards: Most Valuable Player

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The 2019 Twins were propelled to 101 victories by a wide range of contributions, and that dynamic was reflected in our polling for team M...
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Front Page: Cody Stashak Was More than Just a Command Wiz...

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An unusual event occurred on Sept. 8. No, it wasn’t that the Vikings won their season opener. No, it wasn’t the fact that it was National...
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Front Page: Twins Daily 2019 Award: Pitcher of the Year

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For most of the past decade, the Minnesota Twins have had one of the worst pitching staffs in baseball. Pick a meaningful statistic for p...
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MIN 6, DET 3: Offense, Bullpen Come Through Late as Twins Take Opener

The Tigers didn’t sell this one for cheap, especially with Matthew Boyd on the mound, but everything eventually fell into place for the Twins. Michael Pineda had a decent return from the IL, the bullpen bounced back, Marwin Gonzalez had himself a night and Bombas were hit. It was a fun one in Detroit.
Image courtesy of © Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Box Score
Pineda: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 72.1% strikes (57 of 79 pitches)
Home Runs: Garver (10), Cron (14), Cruz (9)
Multi-Hit Games: Gonzalez (4-for-5, 2B, RBI), Garver (3-for-5, HR, RBI), Cron (2-for-4, HR), Buxton (2-for-4), Polanco (2-for-5)
WPA of +0.1: Gonzalez .200, Garver .200, Cruz .150, Cron .170
WPA of -0.1: Rosario -.110, Astudillo - .120, Pineda -.120, Schoop -.140

Attached Image: Win67.png
(chart via FanGraphs)

There were two opposite games at Comerica Park on Friday night. One while Boyd was out on the mound for the Tigers and a completely different one after he completed his great outing, as usual. Minnesota took advantage of Detroit’s bullpen, which came into this game with the third-worst ERA in the league since the start of May, at 5.60. It took the Twins offense only three pitches into the eighth inning to break the tie and take the lead for good.

Gonzalez maintained his great moment and had the fourth four-hit game of his career, the first one since Sept. 25, 2017, while still with the Astros. Mitch Garver also found his swing after a bad start since returning from the IL, hitting the first home run of the game, to go with two other hits. Overall, Minnesota managed to get 14 hits.

Michael Pineda was making his first start after 10 days in the IL due to a knee tendinitis. He didn’t pitch as well as in his previous four games, in which he got four consecutive quality starts, but he did deliver a good outing, completing five innings and allowing three earned runs with no walks. That was good enough and you probably couldn’t have hoped for much more than that. If he’s not been great so far, he’s proven to be a solid fifth starter.

The bullpen held the Tiger offense scoreless through four innings, bouncing back from a rather bad trip to Cleveland. The Twins improve to 42-20, maintaining the best record in the American League and a 10.5 game lead in the Central Division.

Story of the Game
Pineda struggled right away, as he loaded the bases in the first inning and saw Brandon Dixon score Christin Stewart on a one-out sac fly. Fortunately, he managed to hold the Tiger offense to that one run. In his 21-pitch effort, he gave up a walk and hit Nicholas Castellanos. In the end of the second, Byron Buxton made yet another fine defensive play in center field, robbing JaCoby Jones of an extra-base hit, to end the inning.

Minnesota took the lead in the top of the third. After Buxton snapped his 0-for-18 matchup against Matthew Boyd and advanced to third base on a balk (which got Ron Gardenhire ejected) Mitch Garver hit his first home run since coming back from the IL. That homer also ended his mini-slump since coming back from rehab assignment, as he had hit 2-for-15 in his previous four games. And he crushed that, too.


While things appeared to be stabilizing for Big Mike in the fourth, the Tigers had other ideas. They tied the game after Miguel Cabrera led off the inning with a double and was later brought home by a one-out double to left by Ronny Rodriguez. In the fifth, Pineda's struggles continued, as Detroit retook the lead on a Castellanos two-out single to left that scored old friend Niko Goodrum.

But just like that, the SotaPop offense was at it again, scoring right after being scored on. C.J. Cron destroyed a curveball from Boyd to hit his 14th homer of the year and tied the game once again.


Boyd finished yet another great start against Minnesota having dealt through seven innings. Then, in the third pitch of the eighth, with Joe Jimenez pitching, the tie was broken. Nelson Cruz hit a bomb to right field, making it 4-3 Minnesota. The eighth inning party, sponsored by the Tiger bullpen, continued. Cron doubled off Jimenez, just to be followed by Gonzalez’s fourth hit of the night, bringing him home.


Meanwhile, after being roughed up in Cleveland, the Twins bullpen did a superb job to hold on to the victory. Mike Morin and Ryne Harper combined for two flawless innings following Pineda’s departure. Both of them had identical performances of 13 pitches with nine strikes, giving up nothing but a hit. Harper truck out the side and earned his first MLB win. Tyler Duffey, on the other hand, didn’t pitch in the eighth as well as they had in the sixth and seventh. He allowed two runners to reach, and both advanced on a wild pitch, but he managed to deliver scoreless outing.

Another Twins insurance run was added in the top of the ninth. Buxton led off the inning with a double, his MLB-leading 21st and his second hit of the game. Then, he was scored by a Garver grounder to center, his third hit of the night, making it 6-3 Twins.


Blake Parker got his ninth save of the season, but he made it interesting. Detroit batters demanded 28 pitches from him and two runners reached on walks. But, in the end, Parker pushed through.

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: Pen67.png

Next Game
Sat at DET, 3:10 pm (Gibson-TBD)

Last Game
MIN 5, CLE 4: Max Power Against Bauer

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33 Comments

Amazed Parker wriggled out of it. It's hard to have any confidence in this group but if they continue to stay lucky...what's to complain about?
    • birdwatcher likes this
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terrydactyls1947
Jun 07 2019 09:46 PM

Yesterday was Friday, June 7 and it was the 62nd game of the year.The Twins are now 38%of the way through the season and have hit 120 home runs.Out of 59 years, the current team ranks 37th on the all-time list of Twins' home runs in one season and are on a pace to hit 314 home runs this season.

    • glunn and SwainZag like this
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railmarshalljon
Jun 07 2019 09:54 PM

 

If he’s not been great so far, he’s proven to be a solid fifth starter.

 

 

Had to work tonight so I missed the game. Thanks Thieres for the great write-up, it's like I was there! Couple of thoughts

 

1.) Though I largely agree with you, TD is gonna have a field day in regards to the above quote.

 

2.) Ryne Harper struck out the side in the seventh. Pretty neat. I think he's a good example of the fact that velocity isn't everything and I always think of him as like a bullpen version of Rich Hill with that curve of his.

 

3.) Buxton. That hit had no right to be a double. Nevertheless, he persisted. What a ballplayer.

    • birdwatcher and DocBauer like this

Good game. Parker is sooo cooked though. They can't keep using in the 8th/9th. I'd sooner re-sign Fernando Rodney or Belisle. 

    • mikelink45 likes this
"Buxton led off with a double" is only true in that he ended the AB on second. He led off with a single...

Fun to watch, and he seems to gain confidence and pitch recognition weekly.
    • birdwatcher, nicksaviking, DiscGolfer and 5 others like this
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TheLeviathan
Jun 07 2019 10:15 PM
4 shutout innings from the bullpen. If the last 72 hours taught me anything its to now conclude they will be perfect the rest of the year. Long term extensions for all!
    • 70charger and DiscGolfer like this

 

"Buxton led off with a double" is only true in that he ended the AB on second. He led off with a single...

Fun to watch, and he seems to gain confidence and pitch recognition weekly.

 

Holy crap that was the most Buxton double ever. I love that guy.

    • USAFChief, birdwatcher, 70charger and 5 others like this

With Parker's fastball maxing out at 91 today, I wonder if a stint on the IL might be a good idea? I'm starting to worry he's going down the Addison Reed path. Maybe some rest would do him some good.

 

Other than that, I can't remember the last time the Twins were able to crush bad teams like this more often than not. It feels like they've been near-perfect at that, at least since that series we lost to the Jays 3 of 4.

    • USAFChief likes this
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jorgenswest
Jun 07 2019 11:08 PM
There is reason to wonder both the velocity and location of Parker’s fastball. His average 4 seam fastball was his lowest of any game since 2014. He was averaging 93s his last two outings in May. Injury?
    • USAFChief likes this

Astudillo is going to be sent down to Rochester Saturday, per Dan Hayes https://twitter.com/...197691329503233

Per Hayes again, it sounds as though as reliever will be coming up. Rochester had a double-header Friday with essentially a bullpen game in the second game. Here's a look at the 40-man guys recently:

Hildy: Earned a 6 pitch save Friday, given up at least one run in 5/8 outings at Rochester, 8.38 ERA

Moya: Threw 32 pitches Friday, 8.44 ERA in 16 outings

Romero: Threw 33 pitches Friday, 5.70 ERA in 13 outings

Vasquez: Currently on the 7-day IL retroactive to June 4th, 6.14 ERA in 8 outings

Littel: Threw 37 pitches Friday, 3.97 ERA in 10 outings

Stewart: Threw 95 pitches Friday, 4.11 ERA in 10 outings

Thorpe: Last pitched Wednesday,  5.95 ERA in 11 outings

Smeltzer: Sent down Friday and therefore ineligible to come back up

Gonsalves: On IL, only pitched 2 innings this year

 

For the life of me I don't see any reliever worthy of returning/coming to the major league club, if i had to make my best guess it would be Littel due to a shortened "primary" outing Friday but he showed himself largely ineffective in relief earlier this season. Hayes doesn't make a report of Astudillo being DFA'd so the reliever coming up would have to be from this bunch. It's possible an arm is called up just to eat some innings for a day and then return to Rochester after Saturday or Sunday, that would seem like the most likely scenario.

    • birdwatcher, mikelink45 and Platoon like this
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Aerodeliria
Jun 08 2019 01:15 AM
The game was great fun until next the bottom of the 9th. Again, I haven't any confidence in Parker. That was about as frightening as a hitless inning can be (while holding a three run lead).

 

Astudillo is going to be sent down to Rochester Saturday, per Dan Hayes https://twitter.com/...197691329503233

Per Hayes again, it sounds as though as reliever will be coming up. Rochester had a double-header Friday with essentially a bullpen game in the second game. Here's a look at the 40-man guys recently:

Hildy: Earned a 6 pitch save Friday, given up at least one run in 5/8 outings at Rochester, 8.38 ERA

Moya: Threw 32 pitches Friday, 8.44 ERA in 16 outings

Romero: Threw 33 pitches Friday, 5.70 ERA in 13 outings

Vasquez: Currently on the 7-day IL retroactive to June 4th, 6.14 ERA in 8 outings

Littel: Threw 37 pitches Friday, 3.97 ERA in 10 outings

Stewart: Threw 95 pitches Friday, 4.11 ERA in 10 outings

Thorpe: Last pitched Wednesday,  5.95 ERA in 11 outings

Smeltzer: Sent down Friday and therefore ineligible to come back up

Gonsalves: On IL, only pitched 2 innings this year

 

For the life of me I don't see any reliever worthy of returning/coming to the major league club, if i had to make my best guess it would be Littel due to a shortened "primary" outing Friday but he showed himself largely ineffective in relief earlier this season. Hayes doesn't make a report of Astudillo being DFA'd so the reliever coming up would have to be from this bunch. It's possible an arm is called up just to eat some innings for a day and then return to Rochester after Saturday or Sunday, that would seem like the most likely scenario.

 

Littel would also be ineligible. Optioned 6 days ago. 

Photo
twinsfanstreif
Jun 08 2019 02:32 AM

Astudillo is going to be sent down to Rochester Saturday, per Dan Hayes 


Per Hayes again, it sounds as though as reliever will be coming up. Rochester had a double-header Friday with essentially a bullpen game in the second game. Here's a look at the 40-man guys recently:
Hildy: Earned a 6 pitch save Friday, given up at least one run in 5/8 outings at Rochester, 8.38 ERA
Moya: Threw 32 pitches Friday, 8.44 ERA in 16 outings
Romero: Threw 33 pitches Friday, 5.70 ERA in 13 outings
Vasquez: Currently on the 7-day IL retroactive to June 4th, 6.14 ERA in 8 outings
Littel: Threw 37 pitches Friday, 3.97 ERA in 10 outings
Stewart: Threw 95 pitches Friday, 4.11 ERA in 10 outings
Thorpe: Last pitched Wednesday,  5.95 ERA in 11 outings
Smeltzer: Sent down Friday and therefore ineligible to come back up
Gonsalves: On IL, only pitched 2 innings this year
 
For the life of me I don't see any reliever worthy of returning/coming to the major league club, if i had to make my best guess it would be Littel due to a shortened "primary" outing Friday but he showed himself largely ineffective in relief earlier this season. Hayes doesn't make a report of Astudillo being DFA'd so the reliever coming up would have to be from this bunch. It's possible an arm is called up just to eat some innings for a day and then return to Rochester after Saturday or Sunday, that would seem like the most likely scenario.


Could've been an Astudillo thing too, maybe they're just gonna replace him with Cave or something?
Photo
diehardtwinsfan
Jun 08 2019 03:57 AM

 

Amazed Parker wriggled out of it. It's hard to have any confidence in this group but if they continue to stay lucky...what's to complain about?

The WhiteSox got a WS staying lucky...

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diehardtwinsfan
Jun 08 2019 04:00 AM

 

Could've been an Astudillo thing too, maybe they're just gonna replace him with Cave or something?

 

I wouldn't rule out a AA guy and a 40 man add. 

The WhiteSox got a WS staying lucky...


Interesting comp! The 2005 White Sox certainly stayed lucky. Although it also doesn't look like there were any dominant teams standing in their way that year.
    • SQUIRREL likes this
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Old Twins Cap
Jun 08 2019 05:17 AM

We think of Harper as not having a good fastball and using all his curves (sic) to get it done.

 

But, last night, with Parker at 90-91, and Harper hitting 90, it's kind of like, "Welp, Harper throws as hard as our closer."

 

Activate an amber alert for a bullpen arm.

 

I'd sooner re-sign Fernando Rodney or Belisle. 

No. Just. No.

    • Dozier's Glorious Hair and railmarshalljon like this
Photo
tarheeltwinsfan
Jun 08 2019 05:24 AM

 

Astudillo is going to be sent down to Rochester Saturday, per Dan Hayes https://twitter.com/...197691329503233

Per Hayes again, it sounds as though as reliever will be coming up. Rochester had a double-header Friday with essentially a bullpen game in the second game. Here's a look at the 40-man guys recently:

Hildy: Earned a 6 pitch save Friday, given up at least one run in 5/8 outings at Rochester, 8.38 ERA

Moya: Threw 32 pitches Friday, 8.44 ERA in 16 outings

Romero: Threw 33 pitches Friday, 5.70 ERA in 13 outings

Vasquez: Currently on the 7-day IL retroactive to June 4th, 6.14 ERA in 8 outings

Littel: Threw 37 pitches Friday, 3.97 ERA in 10 outings

Stewart: Threw 95 pitches Friday, 4.11 ERA in 10 outings

Thorpe: Last pitched Wednesday,  5.95 ERA in 11 outings

Smeltzer: Sent down Friday and therefore ineligible to come back up

Gonsalves: On IL, only pitched 2 innings this year

 

For the life of me I don't see any reliever worthy of returning/coming to the major league club, if i had to make my best guess it would be Littel due to a shortened "primary" outing Friday but he showed himself largely ineffective in relief earlier this season. Hayes doesn't make a report of Astudillo being DFA'd so the reliever coming up would have to be from this bunch. It's possible an arm is called up just to eat some innings for a day and then return to Rochester after Saturday or Sunday, that would seem like the most likely scenario.

Could the Twins promote Jake Reed?

Also, this Byron Buxton guy is pretty good. Just an observation.

    • 70charger, Circus Boy and Dozier's Glorious Hair like this

That got a little scary at the end.But the other relievers all did ok.

 

Is Garver the best hitting catcher in baseball?Or at least second to that guy with the Yankees?He sure completes this lineup.

Astudillo is going to be sent down to Rochester Saturday, per Dan Hayes 


Per Hayes again, it sounds as though as reliever will be coming up. Rochester had a double-header Friday with essentially a bullpen game in the second game. Here's a look at the 40-man guys recently:
Hildy: Earned a 6 pitch save Friday, given up at least one run in 5/8 outings at Rochester, 8.38 ERA
Moya: Threw 32 pitches Friday, 8.44 ERA in 16 outings
Romero: Threw 33 pitches Friday, 5.70 ERA in 13 outings
Vasquez: Currently on the 7-day IL retroactive to June 4th, 6.14 ERA in 8 outings
Littel: Threw 37 pitches Friday, 3.97 ERA in 10 outings
Stewart: Threw 95 pitches Friday, 4.11 ERA in 10 outings
Thorpe: Last pitched Wednesday,  5.95 ERA in 11 outings
Smeltzer: Sent down Friday and therefore ineligible to come back up
Gonsalves: On IL, only pitched 2 innings this year
 
For the life of me I don't see any reliever worthy of returning/coming to the major league club, if i had to make my best guess it would be Littel due to a shortened "primary" outing Friday but he showed himself largely ineffective in relief earlier this season. Hayes doesn't make a report of Astudillo being DFA'd so the reliever coming up would have to be from this bunch. It's possible an arm is called up just to eat some innings for a day and then return to Rochester after Saturday or Sunday, that would seem like the most likely scenario.

The BP problem isn't simply the one that is currently here. It's the question of where is one going to get replacements. There doesn't seem a viable option at the time. No MiLB barn burner in the wings, and no FA left. That leaves trading prospects for a RP. That's somewhat dicey. but something has to be done. Miggy won't be hitting "pop ups" like the one last night all the time.
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diehardtwinsfan
Jun 08 2019 06:29 AM

 

Could the Twins promote Jake Reed?

 4.45 ERA... >4BB/9. Strike out rate is good at 10.38 k/9 , but he's sporting a whip of 1.38... Those aren't good numbers against AAA competition. Not sure MLB hitters will treat him better.

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jorgenswest
Jun 08 2019 06:53 AM
I am not sure what a Hildenberger needed. Was it a mechanical adjustment? If so maybe they have worked it out. We aren’t going to see that looking at results in AAA. Even if we could you might expect them to be bad early as he tried to make changes.
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diehardtwinsfan
Jun 08 2019 07:10 AM

 

I am not sure what a Hildenberger needed. Was it a mechanical adjustment? If so maybe they have worked it out. We aren’t going to see that looking at results in AAA. Even if we could you might expect them to be bad early as he tried to make changes.

 

Possibly... we don't really know what his instructions were. He could have been told to only throw x pitch... or whatever... 

 

That said, I don't like many of our high minors options right now.


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