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GAME THREAD: Twins @ Angels, 4/16/21, 9:38 PM CDT

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:24 PM
It’s always thrilling when your team snatches victory from the jaws of victory, as the Twins did yesterday afternoon at Target Field agai...
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Twins Minor League Report: Depth Camp Opportunites

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 03:15 PM
Spring Training 2021 certainly was different than most years, but one of the interesting parts was the implementation of the depth camp....
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Effects of the shift

Other Baseball Today, 02:20 PM
This was a discussion about the effects of defensive shifts in baseball, split from today's game thread. Feel free to join in below!...
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A rant

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:08 PM
I've been on about this for two years now, but Baldelli really needs to get over the idea that his best players need a game off every wee...
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Morneau

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:57 AM
I thought he was was really good last year. Maybe I'm on an opening day high (Not high) but he is so good.Who would have thought he would...
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MIN 8, MIL 2: Arráez Reaches 5 Times, Twins Take Series

New leadoff man Luis Arráez provided a spark that helped the Twins tally eight runs against the Brewers Sunday afternoon. Arráez was 3-for-3 with a pair of walks. Come read all about the game in today’s recap.
Image courtesy of © Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Box Score
Pineda: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
Home Runs: Garver (1), Sanó (1)
Top 3 WPA: Pineda .193, Arráez .166, Garver .160
Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs):
Attached Image: chart.png

Buxton Leaves Game Unexpectedly in the Third
Twins Daily own, Tom Froemming, speculated that it could possibly be a migraine being that nothing seemed to physically happen in the field.

I don’t know that a “non-COVID illness” eliminates the potential for a migraine, but Dan Hayes of The Athletic later added “... this isn’t serious, just unpleasant”. I would guess that with Buxton’s history of concussions a migraine might be considered more serious, so hopefully this just means Buxton is dealing with flu-like symptoms rather than anything that could linger for more than a few days.

Starting Pitchers Duel Early
It may not have been both starters pitching six no-hit innings like it was on Saturday night, but Adrian Houser and Michael Pineda were both efficient and effective through the first four innings of the game. Combined the righties allowed just five hits and two walks while striking out a combined five batters. Each pitcher allowed an early run as the Twins scored in the top of the first on a Kepler RBI groundout and the Brewers took advantage of a Polanco fielding error. Houser gave up an opposite field homerun to Mitch Garver, his first on the year, in the top of the fifth before being pulled for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the fifth.

For the Twins, Pineda also only lasted five innings despite just being at 81 pitches, but this was partially due to a 31-pitch fifth inning and the Twins offense scoring four runs in the top half of the sixth. When his day was done, Pineda allowed six baserunners and zero earned runs while striking out five, and Twins Daily own Matthew Taylor encapsulated his start perfectly.


Twins Offense Leaves 21 Runners on Base
The Twins leave Milwaukee 2-1, scoring 15 runs, and combining for 37 walks and hits throughout the series so it’s hard to complain. That said, the Twins also combined to leave 47 runners on base throughout the series, including 23 on Thursday afternoon. This isn’t a trend I would expect to continue as the Twins have the third best batting average with runners on base in the league since the start of the 2019 season but something to keep an eye on early on in the season.

Twins Bullpen Lights Out Again
Stashak allowed a solo homerun to Jackie Bradley Jr to start the sixth inning and appeared to be having troubles with his landing spot on the mound. After walking the next batter he made an adjustment and that represented the only real opportunity the Brewers had to give Houser a no-decision for his efforts. The bullpen finished their day retiring the last 11 Brewers batters.

With the exception of one inning on Thursday afternoon the Twins bullpen was very good this series allowing just 3+2+?? Walks and hits combined over 11 2/3 innings pitched in the series. Dick Brehmer of Bally Sports North noted that the Twins bullpen had seven 1-2-3 innings in the series, and ended with a total of eight after Alcala locked down the ninth inning. More importantly, Alex Colomé bounced back with a save on Saturday after that disastrous inning on Opening Day, although Tyler Duffey carried his spring into the start of the season allowing four baserunners during his two outings totaling 1 1/3 innings.

Postgame with Baldelli


Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
Attached Image: Screenshot 2021-04-04 at 4.43.31 PM.png


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30 Comments

Brewers are a good team, and the Twins handled them, despite a couple fluke injuries to arguably our two best players. Coulda shoulda had a sweep, but that's a pretty promising start to the season if you ask me. 

    • Danchat, Dman, DocBauer and 10 others like this

The team is looking more like the 2019 version with HR's up and down the lineup.Arraez getting onbase his fair share and guys hitting the ball hard.Saw good at bats today and it didn't always work out but nice to see guys willing to make the pitcher throw strikes.The one issue that reared its ugly head was bases loaded with no outs and we get no runs.Got to at least get that sac fly working there at a minimum.Anyway nice to see the bats might still be alive.

 

Pitching has been excellent so far.Other than the cave in that led to the only loss things have looked good.I am eating some humble pie as I felt Robles might be a weak link but he has been good so far.

 

Lets keep rolling like this and have another great season.

    • DocBauer and wabene like this

Nice sunday win. It feels weird to say it, but I really hope Buxton had the trots. That's unpleasant and kinda gross, but literally passes quickly. And having had one before I wouldn't wish a migraine on anyone ever.

 

Nice to see a few guys who had been scrabbling a bit to start the season get it going a little, and I loved what I saw out of Alcala. Him being able to lock the Brew Crew down like that was lovely and keeps the bullpen in good shape for monday.

 

Arraez is just a hitter. he'll do great hitting leadoff and made a couple of nice plays in the field at 3B today.

 

funny to hear Bremer & Morneau talk about the MKE radar gun being fast. Sure seemed that way to me too.

    • woolywoolhouse, DocBauer, dbminn and 3 others like this
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Nine of twelve
Apr 04 2021 04:49 PM

 

Brewers are a good team, and the Twins handled them, despite a couple fluke injuries to arguably our two best players. Coulda shoulda had a sweep, but that's a pretty promising start to the season if you ask me. 

This is exactly what I was going to post, except I woulda included a woulda.

    • Danchat, blindeke, JoshDungan1 and 1 other like this
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Nine of twelve
Apr 04 2021 04:54 PM

I know this won't last the whole season, but there can not be a better prototype leadoff man than Arraez when he is hot like this. Gotta have him in the lineup as much as all the other regulars. When Donaldson is off he plays third. When Simmons or Polanco is off he plays second. He can be in LF when an outfielder is off.

    • DocBauer, JoshDungan1, D.C Twins and 4 others like this
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Azviking101
Apr 04 2021 05:09 PM
Obviously it’s early and Donaldson is out but Arraez might take Polanco’s job as starter soon.
Gotta get Polanco out of the 2 spot also. It’s like he’s trying to erase Arraez’ hits and walks with double play grounders.
He just seems to have lost all the pop in his bat that he had in 2019.
He had great hitters counts all day and then swings at bad pitches and hits them weakly to 2nd.
    • denarded, jun and AdoreAdorno like this

If only Colome had gone to 1st in game 1....

    • ashbury, denarded, Twins33 and 4 others like this
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stringer bell
Apr 04 2021 05:51 PM

Arraez should be in the lineup almost every day. Great approach at the plate and he has performed decently in the field. 

    • jun, DocBauer, JoshDungan1 and 3 others like this
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Aerodeliria
Apr 04 2021 06:10 PM

Yes, it was a nice series, but please stop coughing up games in which Maeken pitches. This is a strange trend that goes back to last year. (We only get to watch the games that have a Japanese player playing.)

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Nine of twelve
Apr 04 2021 06:10 PM

To expand on what I was saying about Arraez, if Cruz needs a day off keep Donaldson and Sano at 3B and 1B and let Arraez DH.

    • jun, DocBauer, JoshDungan1 and 1 other like this
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strumdatjaguar
Apr 04 2021 06:14 PM
This is a great way to start the season, winning a series on the road to a division contender (albeit a weak division - NL Central). This probably would have been a sweep except for one misplay in the nonplay in the ninth of the opener. Looks like Buxton will be OK and Arraez at 3B is no problem. Life is good
    • JoshDungan1, CUtomorrownight, D.C Twins and 4 others like this
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Tom Froemming
Apr 04 2021 07:10 PM

Here's every pitch Luis Arraez saw today. Fun to watch.

    • USAFChief, PopRiveter, JoshDungan1 and 3 others like this

Impressive pitching pretty much the entire series. Very encouraging.

    • USAFChief, JoshDungan1, wabene and 1 other like this
Great series! Let's hope Donaldson sharting between 1St and 2nd base in game one and Buxton, who ate dinner with Donaldson Thursday and had a delayed reaction, both hit the fluids and are ready next series.

The team looked great today. Arraez comps better to a young Tony Gwynn than a Rod Carew. Have the Twins assembled Bomba 2.0? Garver sez yeah. Simmons sez, 'Hey, sprinkle some of them sparkles on this here baseball glove, too.'

 

Michael Pineda makes me feel sorry for all those little pitchers that need to perfect their mechanics. Pineda just leans his massive frame towards home, gives a little kick, and THWOP, another low-90's pitch zips in somewhere low around the zone. The big righty had the Brew Crew looking like they were playing whack-a-mole most of the five innings he pitched. Baldy did well to yank him after a long 5th. Long season ahead. Get those new relief arms some innings. Is Alcala for real? Sure looked real today!

 

Buxton out with some illness. Not covid. Chicken soup!

 

I think I will stop worrying about Kepler's hitting now. Now I worry about Polanco's bat.

 

Meanwhile, Akil Baddoo began His Storied History with a first career at-bat home run (Rosario 2.0?). Just as I glumly predicted, he's going to be a great one...for the Detroit Tigers. Next, Twins will DFA Nick Gordon, who will then pump iron for six months, pack on 30 pounds of muscle for a total of 160, then become Detroit's star SS for the next ten years. Gaaaaaa!

    • adjacent, Monkeypaws, Dman and 3 others like this

 

The big righty had the Brew Crew looking like they were playing whack-a-mole most of the five innings he pitched.

Haha, well said Jimbo.

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mefoolonhill
Apr 04 2021 09:28 PM

Cool Dobnak story...

 

The whole Buxton thing was irritating for a couple of reasons. Obviously seeing Buxton exit early gives lots of Twins fans PTSD. The other factor was that we were given zero updates, no news - let's get reporters and broadcast teams from both sides back into the stadiums, home & road.

 

Knowing Buxton, he's not going to be playing today in Detroit. We can all say this is no big deal but it really stinks to see Byron - yet again - have to leave the field in the midst of what was looking like a promising hot streak. If he misses a few games he may take a few weeks to warm back up again.

 

Great win, fun game to watch, looking forward to seeing this team take down the Motor City Kitties!

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Nine of twelve
Apr 05 2021 04:50 AM

 

The whole Buxton thing was irritating for a couple of reasons. Obviously seeing Buxton exit early gives lots of Twins fans PTSD. The other factor was that we were given zero updates, no news - let's get reporters and broadcast teams from both sides back into the stadiums, home & road.

 

Nick Nelson's week in review post from last night stated what I heard yesterday, that his removal from the game was due to a non-COVID illness. I also heard speculation that it was due to a migraine. Hope his recovery is quick.

 

Nick Nelson's week in review post from last night stated what I heard yesterday, that his removal from the game was due to a non-COVID illness. I also heard speculation that it was due to a migraine. Hope his recovery is quick.

Thanks - yeah I heard that too. I'm just saying it felt super vague, if this was Mike Trout we'd have known what was going on within 5 minutes.

I saw the game in bits and pieces. The offense looked really good. Could have been an even wider margin if they didn’t stand a bunch of runners. I didn’t see much of Pineda, but the box score looks just how it should.

In the end they took two of three from a good team on the road. Great way to start the season. I also didn’t realize how much I missed seeing real fans in the seats.
    • wabene likes this

 

Thanks - yeah I heard that too. I'm just saying it felt super vague, if this was Mike Trout we'd have known what was going on within 5 minutes.

I mean I believe it was due to the need for Covid testing and everything else. They don't want to say a guy is sick without knowing if he actually has Covid.

 

Thanks - yeah I heard that too. I'm just saying it felt super vague, if this was Mike Trout we'd have known what was going on within 5 minutes.

Not true in this case. They needed to test Buxton for COVID before disclosing the reason he left the game. Saying "left game with illness" without having that clarity would have created a lot of unnecessary drama. 

I know it is only 2 games but they are only 4 games into the season.They need to find some type of migraine medication that he cantake daily to prevent if they can.It is just getting annoying and missing 50% of the games the norm.Overreacting yes but when you think of it he is a softy. Old school, my leg is about to fall off would be laughing at him. I have never had a migraine and know that the pain is horrible but we don't even know if that was it.He can sit out with a tummy ache if he wants to.

 

I am not going to complain about runners left on, as long as runners are scoring.It is the games you are leaving a ton of runners on and lose by a run or two, which did happen Thursday, but runners left on was not the main reason for the loss.Brewers left a ton on too that day.  

 

The runner left on issue is only an issue if you are not scoring in those innings as well.Unless you clearing bases with HR, you have to leave runners on base any inning you score runs.You cannot expect every inning to end with a HR and then no more runners after it.The bigger issue is if you are not getting any runs in and leaving runners on in good scoring chances. 

    • ashbury likes this