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Game Thread: Twins @ KC 5:15 PM PST (7:15 PM CDT) 06/20/2019

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Last night, the Twins...never mind, that's all in the past, let's look to the future, the Twins playing KC at Kauffman Stadium.   Wh...
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Article: Taking a Deeper Dive into Miguel Sano's Plat...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:50 PM
Roughly a week ago the discussion surrounding Miguel Sano was in relation to his strikeouts. Now operating at a 39.2% strikeout rate, the...
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Non-Twins 2019 season news

Other Baseball Today, 01:27 PM
As the off-season is over, thought we might have this thread back for non-Twins, non-thread worthy news and tidbits.     Watchi...
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Article: Potential Twins Bullpen Target: Brad Hand, LHP,...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:27 PM
Taylor Rogers is currently the only left-handed pitcher in the Minnesota Twins bullpen. With the coaching staff embracing analytics and m...
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Article: What Version of Madison Bumgarner Would the Twin...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:08 PM
Over the weekend, reports surfaced about the Twins and Giants discussing a potential deal for Madison Bumgarner. The 29-year old pitcher...
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MIN 9, TOR 1: Twins Steamroll Toronto

The bats stayed hot and the pitching continued to dominate as the Minnesota Twins rolled through Trent Thornton, the bullpen, and the Toronto Blue Jays in the series finale. The offense got going and Kyle Gibson was dealing as the Twins picked up the series sweep.
Image courtesy of © Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Box Score
Gibson: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 K, 70.5% strikes (62 of 88 pitches)
Home Runs: Polanco (7), Cron (7), Schoop (6), Rosario (13)
Multi-Hit Games: Polanco (5-for-5, 2B, HR), Cron (4-for-5, HR), Kepler (2-for-5, BB), Rosario (2-for-4, HR), Schoop (2-for-5, HR)
WPA of +0.1: Polanco .274, Gibson .131, Cron .117
WPA of -0.1: None
Attached Image: Win58.png
(chart via FanGraphs)

The Twins have now scored in the first inning in three straight games against the Blue Jays to give their starting pitchers an early cushion. They were able to run Thornton out of the game after just two innings when he gave up seven hits and five runs.

After losing a home series to the Blue Jays earlier in the year, the team came together and combined for a totally opposite result.

Offense Runs Away
The bats got going right away in the first and continued into the third as seven different Twins’ batters combined for 11 hits, three home runs, and seven runs. Jorge Polanco and C.J. Cron led with three hits each in the first three innings including two of the Twins first three home runs.

Polanco has been the most consistent hitter for the Twins this season, and was able to add to his success tonight. He finished with five hits, which is the second time in his career doing this, and got his average up to .344. Polanco exited the game, a triple short of a cycle, after his fifth hit of the game when Ehire Adrianza pinch ran for him.

Cron was also able to have a night at the plate with a four-hit performance of his own, which was the sixth time of his career, to hopefully get him out of his hitting slump. Eddie Rosario was able to extend his American League lead in home runs with a two-run, sixth inning smack.

The Twins continued their impressively powerful season as they combined for 18 hits and four home runs tonight. They now have 64 home runs this season, which is the number they were at on June 7th of last season.

Pitching Dominates
Twins starting pitchers have been very hot of late, and that didn’t stop this series. Kyle Gibson got the start in tonight’s game and was feeling it. Through the first four innings, he had eight strikeouts and had thrown a first pitch strike to 11 out of his first 12 batters. By the fifth inning, Gibson had already tied his career high in strikeouts with 10.

Gibson was able to set a new record for himself, which wasn’t a surprise with how he was pitching tonight. He picked up his career high in strikeouts with 11, thanks to nine whiffs on his changeup and slider, as well as his third win of the season to improve to 3-1 with a 4.19 ERA.

Gibson showed a bit of his former self from the second half of last season tonight, and what Twins fans were looking for. Obviously asking this from Gibson every night is a little out of the question, but it is what is needed if the Twins want to make a deep run in the playoffs. They already have a solid top three pitchers in Berrios, Perez, and Odorizzi, but adding Gibson to this list will help separate the Twins from first and second round exit teams.

The bullpen came in after the sixth, with a huge cushion, to complete the series sweep and win 9-1. Ryne Harper made easy work in the seventh, Mike Morin came in for the eighth and Blake Parker was given the ninth. Here's the bullpen's combined line: 3 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 0 R, and 3 Ks.

The Twins picked up an easy sweep against the Blue Jays to extend their record to 23-12 as well as getting back into the top spot in the MLB standings. They finally go back to division play when they face the Detroit Tigers starting on Friday, after an offday on Thursday.

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: Bullpen58.png
Next Three Games
Thu OFF
Fri vs. DET, 7:10 pm CT (Odorizzi-Ross)
Sat vs. DET, 1:10 pm CT (TBD)
Sat vs. DET, 7:10 pm CT (TBD-Turnbull)

Last Game
MIN 3, TOR 0: Berrios Hurls Gem, Twins Get Second Straight Shutout

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52 Comments

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Yawn Gardenhose
May 08 2019 08:47 PM

Hard to be upset over this team right now, they're playing great. A couple things bugged me in this game, though: 

 

Why take Polanco out of the game after his fifth hit? He had a good chance at that point to either get the second cycle or a sixth hit (his turn in the order did end up coming around in the ninth). Off day tomorrow, just...why? 

 

And why did we need four pitchers to get through an 8-run win? Gibson had 88 pitches through 6 and was coasting along. Now it's "we need to get the bullpen work," where early in the year it's "we need to rest guys who pitched 1/3 of an inning in back-to-back games." I hope the analytics nerds will someday put the proper weight back on the starters; all we hear now is of how bad pitchers are when they face the order the third time, yada yada...The more bullpens are relied on, the less starters are used (look at the playoffs). Seems to me the best way to rest your bullpen, and hence maximize the utility of your bullpen, is to have your starters pitch deep into games. When you're up 8 runs and your starter has thrown 88 pitches, I don't know, have Gibson go out another inning or two. It strikes me as the perfect situation to stretch out a starter.

 

I realize this makes me sound like a fuddy-dud/Jack Morris type, so let me have it, but it just bugs me. 

    • Blake, Cap'n Piranha, h2oface and 4 others like this

I realize this makes me sound like a fuddy-dud/Jack Morris type

OK. :)

    • glunn, Blake, tarheeltwinsfan and 5 others like this
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Brock Beauchamp
May 08 2019 09:05 PM

On top of loads of other promising things, perhaps the most promising thing going into mid-May is the fact that Gibson has recovered from his E.coli illness and lowered his ERA from 7.36 on April 16th to 4.19 after tonight.

    • glunn, denarded, birdwatcher and 14 others like this
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Tom Froemming
May 08 2019 09:05 PM

 

Why take Polanco out of the game after his fifth hit? He had a good chance at that point to either get the second cycle or a sixth hit (his turn in the order did end up coming around in the ninth). Off day tomorrow, just...why? 

 

And why did we need four pitchers to get through an 8-run win? Gibson had 88 pitches through 6 and was coasting along. Now it's "we need to get the bullpen work," where early in the year it's "we need to rest guys who pitched 1/3 of an inning in back-to-back games." I hope the analytics nerds will someday put the proper weight back on the starters; all we hear now is of how bad pitchers are when they face the order the third time, yada yada...

What does it matter if Jorge Polanco gets a second cycle or a sixth hit or if Kyle Gibson pitches a complete game? You have them on your fantasy team?

 

When you have a massive lead, it makes all the sense in the world to get some guys work to stay fresh. Under different circumstances, I'm sure Gibson would have pitched another inning, but this bullpen has hardly been used of late. Kyle doesn't need to be stretched out, I'm sure --

 

Wait, why am I even discussing this!?!?!?

 

The Twins just got a sweep at Toronto in which they outscored the Blue Jays 20-1. The Twins are 23-12. The Twins have the best record in baseball!!!

 

If managerial decisions at the tail end of a blowout victory are the nitpicking points, then we're in a beautiful situation my friend. Might as well let King Midas push whatever buttons he wants from the dugout.

    • Carole Keller, USAFChief, luckylager and 34 others like this

After all the trouble the Jays gave us at home I thought we would be lucky to get two out of three.To Sweep is just awesome.Lets go get Detroit and keep things rolling.I am loving this team right now.

    • bighat, MN_ExPat, Original Whizzinator and 1 other like this
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Brock Beauchamp
May 08 2019 09:08 PM

 

What does it matter if Jorge Polanco gets a second cycle or a sixth hit or if Kyle Gibson pitches a complete game? You have them on your fantasy team?

 

When you have a massive lead, it makes all the sense in the world to get some guys work to stay fresh. Under different circumstances, I'm sure Gibson would have pitched another inning, but this bullpen has hardly been used of late. Kyle doesn't need to be stretched out, I'm sure --

 

Wait, why am I even discussing this!?!?!?

You're discussing it because people haven't picked up on the fact that this front office has prioritized player health: fewer BP reps, fewer drills, more mornings off, more days off, more late-inning replacements.

 

It's a good strategy in a game that plays 162 times a year, a game that works within the margins of the worst team winning 40% of its games and the best team winning 60% of its games.

    • Carole Keller, glunn, birdwatcher and 25 others like this

If I don't see at least a 30,000 average attendance per game over the home stand I'm going to be pissed at Twins fans

    • glunn and nokomismod like this
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Brock Beauchamp
May 08 2019 09:24 PM

 

If I don't see at least a 30,000 average attendance per game over the home stand I'm going to be pissed at Twins fans

That won't happen. It's still early May.

 

Give it time, they'll come around. It takes time to regain fan confidence, especially in a world where it takes $160 to buy decent tickets for a family of four and you haven't even gotten to the concession stand yet.

    • glunn, birdwatcher, Danchat and 12 others like this
Gibson, what a bum! Guy goes out and blows a chance for a 3rd straight shutout. Was he more concerned about another SO that he lost concentration? Sheesh! (Heehee) Just outstanding! We knew what we had in Berrios, and felt he'd only get better. I think we all knew what we had in Gibson...with some room to slightly improve...but he was slowed early due to his illness and weight/strength/endurance loss. Most of us, I'd say, were wishy-washy on Odorizzi. We knew his potential, saw flashes with TB, saw his late 2017 results, as a better 2nd half in 2018 than first half, but still felt uncertain about him. Except for one clunker, he's been good to excellent. I'd say a handful of people here actually thought the Perez signing was a good one. (I was not one of them). With Gibson looking more and more like his old/new self, the Twins are marching out a legitimate, quality SP 4 out of 5 days. Pineda's history, healthy, is very solid. He has shown flashes. A little more endurance, a little more "feel" coming back and we could have one of the deepest rotations in MLB.
    • h2oface, Dman, hybridbear and 3 others like this

Great win.Great start.Everything is awesome.  Seems rather premature and jinxy to start talking about playoffs in early May.

    • Dman, IAMNFan and KFEY93 like this

 

You're discussing it because people haven't picked up on the fact that this front office has prioritized player health: fewer BP reps, fewer drills, more mornings off, more days off, more late-inning replacements.

 

It's a good strategy in a game that plays 162 times a year, a game that works within the margins of the worst team winning 40% of its games and the best team winning 60% of its games.

Ladies and gentlemen, we may just have to face the possibility that Falvine know what they are doing!

    • birdwatcher, diehardtwinsfan, Cap'n Piranha and 15 others like this

 

You're discussing it because people haven't picked up on the fact that this front office has prioritized player health: fewer BP reps, fewer drills, more mornings off, more days off, more late-inning replacements.

 

I've heard rumors of a "nap room". i want one at my job

    • birdwatcher, Blake, adjacent and 7 others like this

 

 Why take Polanco out of the game after his fifth hit? He had a good chance at that point to either get the second cycle or a sixth hit (his turn in the order did end up coming around in the ninth). Off day tomorrow, just...why? 

 

occasionally at work i'll have a good day and make a few extra sales. then my boss offers to let me leave early and suddenly a good day turns into a great day. nothing pumps me up to come back to work more than a day like that

    • WLFINN, dbminn, bighat and 3 others like this

A game or two ago I tried to list in order which Twins starters were most dominant. 

 

Now, I'm getting confused. Four Twins starters have made it look easy in their past starts. Even Pineda, coming off a blown elbow and knee, is starting to look good. 

 

Gibson's performance today was sweet music, like Frank Viola. His arm was so loose, it was just a hinge transmitting energy from below. The ball was flowing from his hand to any spot he desired, with just the right spin to make the batter whiff clean. He was like a magician flicking cards to any spot in the audience. Magnificent.

 

What's interesting to me (and I could be wrong about this) is that I think I'm seeing similar improvements in all Twins pitchers. Their throwing mechanics seem to be improving. Is this the effect of Wes Johnson's coaching? If so, the guy should get a raise. This was in fact one of the theories on why the front office brought in Johnson - because he really does improve pitchers. If that is true, then the Twins could be in for an amazing season. 

    • luckylager, Blake, h2oface and 12 others like this
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Original Whizzinator
May 09 2019 02:29 AM
Well we've got Berrios locked up for three more years and that sweet Perez deal for one more (I wonder if the previous regime would have already extended that for three more ☺). It's going to be interesting how it all shakes out. The only deals signed so far are ridiculously team friendlies for Polanco and Kepler which leads me to believe the offers for Gibby and Berrios were on the low side. There is going to be pressure to develop starters payroll wise but that is going to be a while so they have to sign at least one of Odo or Gibby right? Does this happen during the season or are we looking a busy off season with lots of hand wringing? Can they talk Berrios or say Buxton or Perez (if they keep performing) into longer deals? Would they even do a long term deal if it isn't super team friendly? Kinda off topic.
    • birdwatcher, nokomismod, h2oface and 3 others like this

 

occasionally at work i'll have a good day and make a few extra sales. then my boss offers to let me leave early and suddenly a good day turns into a great day. nothing pumps me up to come back to work more than a day like that

Players like to exit the game this way also!

    • AceWrigley and Nine of twelve like this

Twins fans should be at the height of their 2019 high.Can this team keep it up?Probably not.But every time they have an ugly game, they come back stronger than before.Other than some fine tuning of the bullpen, what isn't there to like about this group.We just could be in for one heck of a summer!!!

 

As eluded to above, I also hope they get a couple extensions done during the season.Definitely Gibson for probably three years.Maybe Odorizzi on a similar deal.Rosario can wait until the off season, but then he and Buxton are must get it dones.

 

As for clearing the bench, count me among those who support the moves.Expect Cave was in because he is likely headed back to Rochester on Friday.Seems the team believes in Astudillo and will get him back on the 25-man now that he is eligible.With Castro banged up, almost guaranteed to happen.

    • blindeke, Don Walcott and Original Whizzinator like this
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MMMordabito
May 09 2019 06:20 AM
If the Twins continue to get these types of starts four out of five days, this division won't even be a contest. Who would have thought that it would be Minnesota, and not Cleveland, producing these starts. Speaking of Cleveland, Kluber and Clevinger are out, and now poor Trevor Bauer can't handle being trolled (open season on his timeline the night before his next start?). Can't wait for Odorizzi to get on the bump this Friday!
    • Nine of twelve likes this

Did anyone catch that moonshot Buxton hit that went just foul? 5th deck.

 

Cruz went 0-for-6 and this team still scored 9 runs. This team has so many quality hitters, and as long as 2-3 of them are hot any given night, they can carry a team. Last night it was Cron, Polanco, Rosario. Another night it might be Schoop, Cruz, Kepler or Garver. Buxton and Gonzales are the two weakest hitters and even they can do damage.

 

Throw in solid pitching like you saw during this series and this team can be very good. I think they are mentally tough as well. Best record in MLB on May 9, we'll take it. Hope we're in the same position on June 9.

    • jimbo92107, Dman, Hosken Bombo Disco and 5 others like this
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Carole Keller
May 09 2019 06:31 AM

I've heard rumors of a "nap room". i want one at my job


We have them at my work. They’re called ‘Quiet Rooms’ and there are several of them.
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yarnivek1972
May 09 2019 06:45 AM

That won't happen. It's still early May.

Give it time, they'll come around. It takes time to regain fan confidence, especially in a world where it takes $160 to buy decent tickets for a family of four and you haven't even gotten to the concession stand yet.


Or parked.

 

Did anyone catch that moonshot Buxton hit that went just foul? 5th deck.

 

Nope. It landed in some empty seats.

 

 

    • Brock Beauchamp, Cap'n Piranha, Puckett34 and 16 others like this

You have them on your fantasy team?


(Raises Hand)
    • USAFChief, Blake and MN_ExPat like this

We have them at my work. They’re called ‘Quiet Rooms’ and there are several of them.


Meeting rooms during staff meetings work just fine for me.
    • USAFChief, birdwatcher, Blake and 5 others like this
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lukeduke1980
May 09 2019 07:15 AM

I want to say Toronto is a 'bad team' but they did just take 3 of 4 from us.  


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