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Article: BOS 2, MIN 0: Offense Squanders Berrios’ Gem

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Tom's Baseball Savant Tutorials

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Article: Wahoos Weigh-In (6/17): Six All Stars for Pensacola

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Article: Potential Twins Bullpen Trade Target: Robert Ste...

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MIN 7, SEA 1: Venezuelan Night in Seattle

It was all about Venezuelans for Minnesota at T-Mobile Park on Friday night. Martín Pérez pitched yet another great game, Ehire Adrianza and Marwin Gonzalez both had multi-hit nights and, of course, Willians Astudillo chipped in too. The Twins win their fourth consecutive game, hold the second best record in baseball and now have a five and a half game lead in the AL Central.
Image courtesy of © Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
Box Score
Pérez: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 7 K, 62.1% strikes (64 of 104 pitches)
Home Runs: Adrianza (3)
Multi-Hit Games: Gonzalez (2-for-5), Kepler (2-for-4, 3 RBI), Adrianza (2-for-3, HR, 2 RBI)
WPA of +0.1: Pérez .230, Adrianza .140, Kepler .111
WPA of -0.1: None
Attached Image: Win517.png
(chart via FanGraphs)

Minnesota came into this game with the third-highest batting average (.278) and OPS (.847) against lefties. The Mariners brought in southpaw Marco Gonzales to face them. You can imagine what happened. Twins hitters feasted on the opposing starter, scoring six runs against him (five earned) on eight hits.

Martín Pérez looked very sharp in his first game after taking a line drive off the foot against Detroit. He pitched his fifth quality start and keeps making his case to win the Comeback Player of the Year. His ERA now drops to 2.89 overall and 1.35 in the month of May. Fellow Venezuelan Marwin Gonzalez had a two-hit night, also maintaining great numbers in May. He’s now batting .339 this month. Ehire Adrianza had himself a night with his second multi-hit, multi-RBI game of the year. He is now batting .368 in the last eight games.

Story of the Game
After Gonzales retired all batters in the top of the first inning, Pérez got into trouble early. He gave up a walk to right fielder Mitch Haniger, followed by a ground-rule double to DH Edwin Encarnación, but he went on to strike out the next two opponents. Both starters pitched perfect innings in the second, with Pérez striking out other two batters, totaling four punch outs.

The Twins struck first in the top of the third, with Ehire Adrianza smashing the first pitch he saw and hitting his third home run of the year. That extended the Twins homer streak to twelve games. Jorge Polanco drew a walk later on, but he was stranded. Two Mariner hitters reached base in the bottom of the third — a single by Dee Gordon and a walk by Encarnación — but neither of them was able to score.



The Twins kept hitting the ball hard in the fourth, loading the bases immediately with three consecutive singles. They came from the bats of Gonzalez, C.J. Cron and Willians Astudillo. Max Kepler hit yet another single, the fourth consecutive, to bring home “Margo” and to make it 2-0 Twins. Another run came in later on with Adrianza hitting a sac fly to earn his second RBI of the night and to extend the Twins lead to three. In the bottom part, Pérez had no problems in pitching another 1-2-3 inning, including his fifth strikeout.

The slug fest continued, as Polanco led off the fifth with a single and Gonzalez got his second one (continuing his incredible month of May performance). Cron followed them with a walk to load the bases again and Astudillo plated another run, hitting a sac fly. Domingo Santana's throw actually beat Polanco at the plate, but the catcher Tom Murphy couldn’t hold on to the ball. Kepler blew the game wide open with a sharp single, scoring two more runs and making it 6-0 Minnesota.

Pérez had a promising start of his fifth inning, striking out the first two batters he faced. But then he allowed three runners to reach, with a single from Gordon and a walk from Haniger, followed by an RBI-single from Encarnación, scoring Seattle’s first run of the night.

The Mariners activated their bullpen in the top of the sixth, bringing in their Austin Adams version and the rookie struck out the side in sixteen pitches. It was the first time since the second inning that Minnesota had no base runners. But Pérez was still red hot, getting three ground ball outs to end the inning quickly, earning him another quality start.

The Mariners’ Adams had another 1-2-3 inning in the top of the seventh, including another strikeout. Pérez came back to pitch the bottom part with 94 pitches. He gave up a lead off walk to Mallex Smith and saw Gordon make good contact in the following at-bat, but that ended in a double play with Gordon slipping out of the batter’s box. Pérez was taken out of the game, replaced by Matt Magill, who walked Haniger, but struck out Encarnación to end the inning.

Righty Matt Festa retired all batters in the top of the eight, including a strikeout against Miguel Sanó, which kept him hitless on the night. Magill did the same in eight pitches. In the ninth, Adrianza completed his great night by leading off the inning with a single and scoring the Twins’ seventh run of the night, after a double from Jonathan Schoop, who was having a quiet night until that moment. Mike Morin pitched a 1-2-3 ninth with only six pitches to end the game.

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: Pen517.png
Next Three Games
Sat at SEA, 9:10 pm CT (Berrios-LeBlanc)
Sun at SEA, 3:10 pm CT (Gibson-Kikuchi)
Mon at LAA, 9:07 pm CT (TBD)

Last Game
MIN 11, SEA 6: Total System Failure (for the Other Guys)

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25 Comments

Hopefully Berrios and Gibby can go deep in their games so we can give the bullpen some extra rest for what will probably be another set of very competitive games against the Angels

    • glunn, Dman, bighat and 1 other like this

I know he's not stupid, and he still has tremendous potential, but how many AB's does Sano need to figure out he is not going to see one single fastball over the plate with guys on base.  On this team where the next guy is just as likely to hit a home run.

 

Rant over.

    • glunn, beckmt, mikelink45 and 5 others like this

Still believe in Sano, but when he is checking his swings all the time, it shows me is just not ready pitch recognition wise.  It's always been a deal with  him.  When he is doing it a lot, he typically is striking out more and not barreling the ball up.

 

We will see.  Nice win.

    • glunn, Dman, DocBauer and 2 others like this

 

I know he's not stupid, and he still has tremendous potential, but how many AB's does Sano need to figure out he is not going to see one single fastball over the plate with guys on base.  On this team where the next guy is just as likely to hit a home run.

 

Couple of guys commenting on Sano here and I'll add my .02.

 

The good news: Twins can now afford bad nights like this from Sano. Or any other player. Schoop was struggling Thursday night. Buxton had a bad night last night at the plate, too. In the past if Sano went 0-5, the Twins likely lost or maybe just squeaked one out. Right now we can afford to let guys play their way out of slumps and I think it's an ideal situation for Sano to get his feet under him. While I agree those check-swings hit a sore spot last night, don't forget he did hit 2 doubles the other night!

 

James Rowson and Rocco Baldelli and Tony Diaz are chilling out and Sano will start to get used to how they manage. It might relax him a bit. And Nelson Cruz is watching first hand. I personally can't wait until Nelson Cruz gets back in this lineup WITH Sano. He might just be the guy that can help the most (even though it's not his job).

    • KFEY93 likes this

Maybe the Twins can trade for Austin Adams at the deadline and have 2 Austin Adamses in the bullpen!That dude for Seattle looked NASTY.

    • Danchat, Monkeypaws and KFEY93 like this
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diehardtwinsfan
May 18 2019 07:07 AM

 

Still believe in Sano, but when he is checking his swings all the time, it shows me is just not ready pitch recognition wise.  It's always been a deal with  him.  When he is doing it a lot, he typically is striking out more and not barreling the ball up.

 

We will see.  Nice win.

I'd say the concern here is a bit too soon. He had a short rehab stint and this is his second game facing ML pitching. He's also always going to be a high K guy anyways.. if he's putting up a ton of games like this in two weeks, then it's probably time to be concerned. But as it is, he two doubles yesterday, so I think it's more or less him still needing to knock some rust off.

    • TheLeviathan, LA VIkes Fan, rghrbek and 3 others like this

Perez continues to roll. The change in approach certainly seems to be sustainable. I wish he'd walk fewer guys, but as long as he's getting Ks like this, it's erasable.

 

I don't love the roster alignment right now; despite the couple of games against the angels, I'm not convinced that we need 8 guys in the bullpen, but maybe this is a more temporary arrangement?

 

 

    • birdwatcher and DocBauer like this
Sano hasnt changed his approach at all when it comes to chasing pitches. The nice thing is that it wont take management long to recognize that he is a pile of crap in about 2 weeks when he is hitting below .200 because he chases everything.
    • 3balls2strikes likes this
Photo
MMMordabito
May 18 2019 07:41 AM
Love the title of this recap, since I think it needs to be recognized. Luis Arraez was also called up yesterday, even though he didn't play. 20% of the roster is from Venezuela.
    • Thieres Rabelo and bighat like this
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TheLeviathan
May 18 2019 07:50 AM

 

I'd say the concern here is a bit too soon. He had a short rehab stint and this is his second game facing ML pitching. He's also always going to be a high K guy anyways.. if he's putting up a ton of games like this in two weeks, then it's probably time to be concerned. But as it is, he two doubles yesterday, so I think it's more or less him still needing to knock some rust off.

 

This is essentially spring training for him.In a few weeks let's see where he stands.

    • birdwatcher, diehardtwinsfan, Halsey Hall and 3 others like this

Have been waiting for Arraez to come up.Hope he gets a chance to play up here.

Now win one of two and take another 4 game series.Hell, win'em both and guarantee a winning road trip.

    • Dman and Original Whizzinator like this

 

Perez continues to roll. The change in approach certainly seems to be sustainable. I wish he'd walk fewer guys, but as long as he's getting Ks like this, it's erasable.

 

I don't love the roster alignment right now; despite the couple of games against the angels, I'm not convinced that we need 8 guys in the bullpen, but maybe this is a more temporary arrangement?

Last night was the first time he had really any walk issues in any of his starts I believe. Not too worried. Seattle has a good offense, regardless of their terrible pitching and defense and he went through 6 2/3 only giving up one run and it was close to being caught for the 3rd out. 

    • bighat likes this
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LA VIkes Fan
May 18 2019 09:19 AM
Too early to rant on Sano. This is his Spring Training. Let’s not forget, he would still be in the minors if Garver hadn’t gotten hurt. It took Gonzalez about four weeks to get his bat started. I think we need to give Sano at least 2 to 3 weeks before we can make any judgments.
    • Don Walcott and bighat like this
Not worried about Sano. It’s not unreasonable to expect some re-acclimation the major league pitching. He’ll be fine. He just had two XBHs 24 hours prior, as well.

If management can find a way to unlock him and bring back 2015-2017 Sano (if it’s still in there), we’re talking about a pretty incredible/historic lineup.
    • Don Walcott, bighat, Original Whizzinator and 1 other like this

Sano hasnt changed his approach at all when it comes to chasing pitches. The nice thing is that it wont take management long to recognize that he is a pile of crap in about 2 weeks when he is hitting below .200 because he chases everything.


It’s baseball. Getting that ramped up about this will only lead to a Heart attack or mild stroke. Plus it’s an unfair assessment of the player and team.
    • 70charger, Bickle19, Don Walcott and 2 others like this
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railmarshalljon
May 18 2019 10:43 AM

Whew, for a second I was worried there wouldn't be any knee jerk reactions about Sano in this thread. 

    • 70charger, crapforks, Bickle19 and 4 others like this
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Alex Schieferdecker
May 18 2019 11:43 AM

The thing that convinces me so far that the Twins are "for real," is that they are succeeding in a completely normal way. They are trading blows with good teams, and absolutely destroying bad teams. 

 

Contrast this with the Wild, who had a great record against the best teams in the league, but you knew they weren't legit because they would collapse against teams that could barely lace up a pair of skates. 

    • Bickle19, 3balls2strikes and EPEZRider like this

 

I'd say the concern here is a bit too soon. He had a short rehab stint and this is his second game facing ML pitching. He's also always going to be a high K guy anyways.. if he's putting up a ton of games like this in two weeks, then it's probably time to be concerned. But as it is, he two doubles yesterday, so I think it's more or less him still needing to knock some rust off.

 

It, isn't that I don't believe in him, or that I don't understand that he has had a short stint to start his season.  It is very early for him and he will get better.  More it was an observation, that when he is checking his swing on almost every pitch taken, he's not ready to contribute at the level we hope (despite his 2 hits Thursday).  It's something that I expect to see lessen, the more at bats he gets.  This is season 4 of big league action, so hopefully a light bulb goes on, once he gets up to speed and we see the better pitch recognition that we saw his rookie season, or the first month of his all star season.

 

 

    • 3balls2strikes likes this
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yarnivek1972
May 18 2019 12:20 PM
If Sano wasn’t “up to speed”, he shouldn’t have bern activated.

Days of coddling need to come to an end. He (as well as everyone else) needs to contribute or risk being replaced.
    • Original Whizzinator and 3balls2strikes like this
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IndianaTwin
May 18 2019 01:06 PM

 

Whew, for a second I was worried there wouldn't be any knee jerk reactions about Sano in this thread. 

 

 

Comments on Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes, and Joe Mauer's contract set to begin soon...

    • Bickle19, Don Walcott and railmarshalljon like this

 

If Sano wasn’t “up to speed”, he shouldn’t have bern activated.

Days of coddling need to come to an end. He (as well as everyone else) needs to contribute or risk being replaced.

Who are they going to replace him with? He still has the most potential of any bat in our system at the major league level right now and he has shown it. Like bighat said earlier, we have the offense right now to be able to do this. Let him get comfortable and spend some time around Cruz and with the major league staff. 

    • 70charger and Don Walcott like this
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Original Whizzinator
May 18 2019 02:22 PM

Not worried about Sano. It’s not unreasonable to expect some re-acclimation the major league pitching. He’ll be fine. He just had two XBHs 24 hours prior, as well.
If management can find a way to unlock him and bring back 2015-2017 Sano (if it’s still in there), we’re talking about a pretty incredible/historic lineup.

1.5 extra base hits but yeah
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3balls2strikes
May 18 2019 03:35 PM

Buxton seems to have finally turned the corner. No doubt the injuries delayed his emergence. You can see he has the enthusiasm, passion and mental capability. This may not be popular, but Sano just isn't what we hoped he would be. The potential is there, but he's lacking the fire, passion and mental focus to put it all together. This does not diminish him as a person in any way. I'm sure he's a wonderful human being. But for those hoping he will become a great or even good MLB baseball player, it just doesn't look very likely. Maybe one day I'll have to eat my words on Sano. I hope so. 

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Don Walcott
May 18 2019 04:24 PM

Nice to see Kepler hit a lefty. If he can get his bat going against lefties, his overall numbers will look really good. OBP .333 and OPS of .846 against righties right now. But .244 and .533 v. lefties -- generally from the #6 spot in the order.


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