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Article: Expansion Could Alter MLB's Landscape

Other Baseball Yesterday, 11:29 PM
The winds of change are in the air. Major League Baseball could be nearing an expansion to 32 teams which would signal a large shift in t...
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Go get Verlander

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:29 PM
http://www.espn.com/...astros-audition   Best possible combination of help in 2017 and help in the next couple years, right where th...
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Article: Diving Into The Offseason: A Buxton Extension?

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 10:17 PM
Last week, I considered what a potential long-term extension might look like for All Star Brian Dozier. Today, I want to do a little digg...
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Article: Supplementing the Twins: Lance Lynn

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 09:54 PM
The Minnesota Twins are now well underway into creating their offseason blueprint. Coming off a season in which the greatest turnaround i...
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IMO, this is why you acquire SP from outside

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 09:54 PM
I keep reading that a team shouldn't sign FA pitchers, because they don't always work out. Or, that a team shouldn't trade "real" prospec...
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NYY 2, MIN 1: Garcia, Yankees Bullpen Dominate Twins

The Twins pitching staff, led by starter Ervin Santana, had a solid game Monday night at Yankee Stadium, but the bats were uncharacteristically quiet. The Twins have had the best offense in the American League in the second half, but could only muster four hits and struck out 13 times tonight.
Image courtesy of Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Snapshot (chart via Fangraphs)
Attached Image: CorrectedSnap.png
Old friend Jaime Garcia … wait, can we even call him that? I mean, it was really just a one-night stand, right? Anyway, the guy the Twins traded for and then traded away after just one start absolutely killed them tonight.

Since the trade, Garcia had struggled to find his footing with the Yankees. Over six starts he had a 4.60 ERA. There were no such struggles tonight. The veteran lefty gave up one unearned run over 5.2 innings and struck out nine batters. Below is a breakdown of Garcia's pitches on the evening via Baseball Savant. While he may have gotten a couple of generous called strikes, Twins hitters swung through a ton of pitches outside the zone.
Attached Image: JaimeGarcia.png
The Twins got a leadoff double from Jorge Polanco in the second inning, but failed to score. They got their first two batters on in the fifth. Eddie Rosario had gone first-to-third on an Eduardo Escobar single, with an error being charged to Aaron Judge. The Twins managed to scratch across a run that inning on a Robbie Grossman fielder’s choice.

The Twins went down in order in both the sixth and seventh innings. The dominant Dellin Betances came in for the eighth inning and led things off by hitting Grossman with a pitch. Luckily it was an 84 mph curve and not a 100 mph fastball.

Now one thing to note about Betances is that while he has been just as overpowering as ever, his control has been all over the place. After averaging 3.5 BB/9 last season, that number has spiked to 6.6 this year.

Jason Castro was due up next, but Paul Molitor opted to bring in Zack Granite to bunt. The first pitch was high, but Granite got the bunt down on the second pitch of the at bat. Per Fangraphs, the Yankees’ win probability actually increased from 65.9 percent to an even 70 percent as the result of that bunt.

Max Kepler pinch hit and was walked on four pitches to turn over the lineup. With Brian Dozier batting, Betances threw a wild pitch that advanced both runners. Dozier ended up walking after a nice eight-pitch battle.

Betances exited, leaving the bases loaded. Just six of the 17 pitches he threw went for strikes and the only out he recorded was on the Granite sac bunt. Aroldis Chapman came in and struck out Joe Mauer on three pitches and got Byron Buxton to fly out to end the threat. Chapman pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for the save.

It was a shame, too, because the Twins pitched pretty well tonight. Ervin gave up a pair of runs over 5.2 innings, but Trevor Hildenberger and Taylor Rogers pitched out of jams they inherited and Tyler Duffey had a scoreless appearance.

The Yankees got their first run on Judge’s 44th homer of the year. In the sixth, they had back-to-back one-out singles. Santana threw a wild pitch that allowed the runners to move up to second and third. After intentionally walking the next batter in hopes of setting up a double play, Todd Frazier hit a sac fly to score what went down as the game-winning run.

AL Wild Card Standings
WC1: Yankees 83-67 (+5.0)
WC2: Twins 78-72
Angeles 76-73 (-1.5)
Mariners 74-76 (-4.0)

Postgame With Molitor

Bullpen Usage
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Attached Image: Bullpen918.png
Looking Ahead
Tue: Twins (Jose Berrios) at Yankees (CC Sabathia), 6:05 pm CT
Wed: Twins (Bartolo Colon) at Yankees (Masahiro Tanaka), 12:08 pm CT
Thu: Twins (Adalberto Mejia) at Tigers (Myles Jaye), 6:10 pm ET

Looking Back
MIN 13, TOR 7: Mauer Grand Slam Among 4 Twins Homers In Comeback Victory
TOR 7, MIN 2: Pub Crawlers Have Best Night Ever Despite Twins Loss
TOR 4, MIN 3: Pressley Fails To Pounce, Is Victim Of A Bad Bounce

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47 Comments

Last pitch by Chapman 104 mph.What the...?  CC tomorrow is going to look like soft toss compared to this guy.

    • glunn, Jerr, Riverbrian and 2 others like this

Last pitch by Chapman 104 mph.What the...?  CC tomorrow is going to look like soft toss compared to this guy.


I chalk up 104 to another Juiced Ball era.
    • glunn, mickeymental, Platoon and 1 other like this
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Old Twins Cap
Sep 18 2017 10:31 PM

Guy asked me in another thread after I wrote, "Twins need to play well" to win in the playoffs, what the hell that meant.

 

I offer tonight's game as an example.

 

1.Don't swing at pitches out of the zone.

2.Advance runners and build innings by getting key hits.

3.Make good pitches when you have to.

4.Don't let runners advance through poor fielding plays, including pitches.

5.Make good defensive plays, including good throws to bases.

6.Run the bases aggressively and don't give outs away.

 

Not analytics exactly, not stat-cast exactly, but pretty much the deciding factors when you add them all up.

 

And, in those areas and others, Twins just didn't play well.

 

Even if Mauer hits a flyball, they likely lose the game in an inning or two.

 

    • DelusionalTwinsFan likes this
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Hosken Bombo Disco
Sep 18 2017 11:29 PM
I thought Buxton made a really weak throw, but then I remembered he is still having hand issues. Even if it was his glove hand that was injured, that could affect the catch and throw.
    • Tom Froemming likes this
Let's say Garcia threw around 90 pitches. I see two called strikes off the corner, and one that clipped the corner. I see one strike called a ball. During the GT there were a few comments about the very large strike zone employed last night? Not as large as advertised? The difference in the game was Chapman. His stuff is ridiculous. A question on the "win probability"? Does that drop in percentage soley relate to the chance to win? Or the chance to tie? Or both. There's an old baseball axiom, play to win on the road and tie at home. We played to tie.
    • Tom Froemming likes this
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diehardtwinsfan
Sep 19 2017 05:37 AM

I'm surprised no none is crying about the Granite bunt in the 8th inning (though in his defense, the call was defensible)... 

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AlwaysinModeration
Sep 19 2017 06:03 AM
Does this game mean we can stop talking about Garcia's win in Oakland? He's done the team as much harm as good this year.

I'm not crying over the Granite bunt...but I didn't like it. You've got 9 outs left and a pitcher who has a hard time finding the strike zone. Don't give away one of those outs. (Plus, it would have been a cool story if Granite had gotten a big hit in New York. I liked his chances, with his short, choppy swing, and motivations...and the infield drawn in.)
    • Tom Froemming likes this
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LewFordLives
Sep 19 2017 06:09 AM
Was anyone besides me confused as to why we paid an opposing pitcher $4 million to beat us last night?
    • jun and Hosken Bombo Disco like this

I'm surprised no none is crying about the Granite bunt in the 8th inning (though in his defense, the call was defensible)...

I'm your huckleberry. I am not a proponent of giving away 1 of your 6 remaining outs in the interest of, if all the stars align, tying the game. I'd be much more open to that line of thinking as the home team, in which case you'd have the same amount of outs left as your opponent after tying the game.

I believe Betances threw 6 strikes on 17 pitches before exiting with the bases loaded. The one out he got was handed to him with a bunt.
    • Steve Lein, USAFChief, birdwatcher and 4 others like this
Should have pinch ran Granite, get the steal. (There's your sac bunt).

Glad to see the young bullpen not wilt under the pressure. Best part of the game.
    • birdwatcher, Mike Sixel, gunnarthor and 1 other like this

It's too risky to let the Yankees have a lead with that bullpen. 

 

This game became problematic when Garcia struck out 9 after 4 innings which meant we would have to navigate the bullpen in order to comeback.  

 

We were too aggressive and swung at too much crap. 

 

 

 

 

    • USAFChief, birdwatcher, adorduan and 4 others like this

It's too risky to let the Yankees have a lead with that bullpen.

This game became problematic when Garcia struck out 9 after 4 innings which meant we would have to navigate the bullpen in order to comeback.

We were too aggressive and swung at too much crap.

Not to mention our manager felt the need to play offense one inning with only two outs instead of three.

Yet again.
    • birdwatcher, Mike Sixel, Loosey and 6 others like this
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puckstopper1
Sep 19 2017 07:02 AM

I was longing for Josh Willingham to pinch hit last night, fondly remembering that bomb he hit off of Chapman several years ago in Cincinnati.

 

 

    • gunnarthor likes this

Our best pitcher versus their worst starter and we loss.Those bats better be ready to step up the next two games - the Angels are drooling. After all these years I feel like there is some kind of curse that the Yankees have put on the Twins.

 

I normally do not engage in bunt discussion, but the way that Betances was throwing it did not seem like good strategy and as it turned out the bunt - which Granite did a good job on - did nothing for us and just gave them a worthless out. The pitcher throwing and the pitcher in the pen need to be considered with bunts unless it is a bunt for a hit. 

    • Platoon and Tom Froemming like this
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Tom Froemming
Sep 19 2017 07:19 AM

 

A question on the "win probability"? Does that drop in percentage soley relate to the chance to win? Or the chance to tie? Or both. There's an old baseball axiom, play to win on the road and tie at home. We played to tie.

Here's a link to Tom Tango's run expectancy matrix. I believe this is the same information that's in Keith Law's book Smart Baseball. 

 

If you look at the middle table, that is giving the odds that your team scores at least one run in an inning in any give scenario. With a runner on first base and nobody out, you have a 41.6% chance of scoring a run. With a runner on second and one out, you have a 39.7% chance of scoring a run. So bunting a guy to second to record the first out decreases your likelihood of tying the game.

 

But lets breakdown what we're looking at here. This is big data. These tables are generated off actual game situations from 2010-15. Like, every inning of every game. In a way that's great, because the sample size is huge, but on the other hand it fails to account for the specific situation in the particular game you're watching. 

 

But here are a couple numbers that make it seem like the bunt was an even worse call in this particular scenario: 

-Dellin Betances has walked 17.3% of the batters he's faced this year. So there's a chance he could've just walked Castro/Granite and advanced the tying tun to second base anyway without recording an out.

-One of the better reasons to bunt is to try and avoid the double play, but Betances is terrible at inducing them. He's gotten 10 DPs in 199 career opportunities. That's 5%, league average is 11%.

 

So it was over three times as likely that Betances simply walks the tying run to second base than it was that he was going to get a double play. I know those aren't the only two possible outcomes, and the scales are always tipped in favor of the pitcher recording an out, but given both the big data and the specific data in this case, there is very little to support bunting in that situation.

 

The other problem with bunting there is it also greatly reduced the chance the Twins would score multiple runs and take the lead. That's the top table at the link I provided. With a runner at first a no outs, you're going to score .859 runs that inning on average. With a runner on second and one out, that drops to .664.

 

    • Steve Lein, USAFChief, LimestoneBaggy and 5 others like this

Think of it this way:  If the roles were reversed and the Twins allowed a lead-off batter to get on in the top of the 8th with a one-run lead, I'd be plenty happy to be handed the first out of the inning in exchange for giving the runner 2nd base.  Even if they score that run before we record two more outs, the game is only tied, and we live to fight another inning.  And we have 6 remaining outs to use, they'd only have 3.

    • Steve Lein, USAFChief, Mike Sixel and 6 others like this

At least they pitched well.

    • Mike Sixel likes this
Thanks.
I don't have the time right now to peruse the whole thing, but I would like to say this: I don't expect any manager to be able to delve completely into all the stats involving all the scenarios between every pitch or batter. But I would expect a manager to show some semblance of recognition of score, pitcher, situation, game location, BP, etc. Not just simply bunt endlessly. Given a late opportunity however slight against a dominant pen, to get ahead, you better go for the kill. The future in the 8th and 9th innings (Chapman) ain't bright! Add your own pens likely inability to hold the other team in check, and it's actually dismal.
    • Oldgoat_MN, jun, wsnydes and 1 other like this

According to B-Ref, the Twins have now attempted 51 sacrifice bunts on the season. Only the White Sox have attempted more bunts for AL teams. AL League average: 30 attempts. The Twins are successful 51% of the time on their bunt attempts. AL League average: 58%

 

https://www.baseball...l-batting.shtml

 

#neverbunt
 

    • USAFChief, gunnarthor, Oldgoat_MN and 4 others like this

One thing I like about Target Field:  No cheap homers.  Gotta hit it to git it.  Not at all a fan of short fences & tons of dingers.

    • gunnarthor and Dantes929 like this

 

I'm surprised no none is crying about the Granite bunt in the 8th inning (though in his defense, the call was defensible)... 

 

Teams bunt 98% of the time in that situation, even the analytical teams would bunt in that situation with a weak-hitting catcher at bat (I know they pinch hit for him with a good bunter). 

 

Edit to add: Not that I'm saying I agree with bunting, but in this situation, even Joe Maddon would ask for a bunt if a sub-.220 hitter was coming up. 

    • SwainZag and MN_ExPat like this
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Tom Froemming
Sep 19 2017 08:16 AM

One more thing to add regarding Betances, after he has fallen behind 1-0 (as he did to Granite), opposing hitters have a .466 OBP and 31.1 BB% this season.

    • Steve Lein, USAFChief, Mike Sixel and 5 others like this

 

Teams bunt 98% of the time in that situation, even the analytical teams would bunt in that situation with a weak-hitting catcher at bat (I know they pinch hit for him with a good bunter). 

link?

    • Mike Sixel and NDTimIrish like this

 

Teams bunt 98% of the time in that situation, even the analytical teams would bunt in that situation with a weak-hitting catcher at bat (I know they pinch hit for him with a good bunter). 

I would be very surprised if the actual percentage was anywhere near that high.  Would also be surprised if road teams would bunt in that spot nearly as often as home teams.  There's gotta be data on that split somewhere.

    • Steve Lein, Oldgoat_MN and Vanimal46 like this
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Tom Froemming
Sep 19 2017 08:23 AM

 

Teams bunt 98% of the time in that situation, even the analytical teams would bunt in that situation with a weak-hitting catcher at bat (I know they pinch hit for him with a good bunter). 

... Jason Castro's OBP is exactly league average ... 

    • Oldgoat_MN likes this

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