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Second-favorite team

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NYY 5, MIN 2: Tough Night For Berrios, Twins

The Twins led early but surrendered four unanswered runs and Jose Berrios lasted just 3.1 innings. Outside of Joe Mauer, this is an entirely different team than the one that endured so much heartbreak against the Yankees, yet the Twins continue to be snake bit. What gives?
Image courtesy of Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Snapshot (chart via Fangraphs)
Attached Image: Snapshot919.png
Jose Berrios didn’t have his best game tonight. I doubt he’ll make excuses, but I’ll offer some up on his behalf. First off, the Yankees are always a tough team to pitch against. They’re so patient. Second, this was Jose’s first time pitching in Yankee Stadium. That’s a pretty big moment for any ballplayer. Third, this was his first start since his wife gave birth to their third child. And fourth, Hurricane Maria was on the verge of hitting his home country of Puerto Rico as this game got underway.

That’s a whole lot for a 23-year-old to handle.

I would assume he was able to block most of that out while he was actually on the mound, or else he wouldn’t have even lasted as long as he did. But, those things had to have had an impact on his preparation for this start. And, as we all know thanks to Yogi Berra, baseball is 90 percent mental and the other half is physical, so that stuff is important.

Berrios only lasted 3.1 innings, but when he exited the game was tied 2-2. He gave up five hits, walked four and was charged with three earned runs. The Twins got hits from their first three batters of this game (more on that in a moment), but managed just five more hits the entire rest of the contest.

A couple of weird things happened in this one. Joe Mauer committed a fielding error. On the plus side Max Kepler hit a homer off a left-handed pitcher.


Dillon Gee only threw 19 pitches, but somehow home plate umpire Gabe Morales blew the call on four of them. Below is a chart from Baseball Savant that shows all the pitches that were called balls when Gee was on the mound.
Attached Image: GeeChart.png
That is just … wow. There were other bad calls for both teams, but Gee really got the worst of it.

OK, onto the nightly bunting segment of the recap ...

I’ve been quick to point out what I’ve thought were strategic missteps in concern to Paul Molitor deploying sacrifice bunts. But I gotta say, the Twins bunted twice in the first inning tonight … and it was genius. Credit to Molitor for taking advantage of an opponent’s weakness, I’m sure this was something he went over with his club prior to the game.

Earlier this month, the Red Sox bunted on Sabathia in the first inning. He was not pleased, to put it lightly. Here’s a link to a story about that game from the New York Daily News.

I don’t necessarily have a problem with bunting for a hit, especially if the defense is playing back. Giving up precious outs to advance somebody to second base? No thanks. But bunting to piss off your opponent? I love it.

After Brian Dozier opened the game with a single, the Twins got back-to-back bunt hits from Joe Mauer and Jorge Polanco, and I’m sure Sabathia was fuming. But the 17-year veteran managed to induce a double play and escaped the first inning having given up just one run.

Postgame With Molitor

AL Wild Card Standings
WC1: Yankees 84-67 (+6.0)
WC2: Twins 78-73
Angels 76-74 (-1.5)
Rangers 74-76 (-3.5)
Mariners 74-77 (-4.0)

Bullpen Usage
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Attached Image: Bullpen919.png
Looking Ahead
Wed: Twins (Bartolo Colon) at Yankees (Luis Severino), 12:08 pm CT
Thu: Twins (Adalberto Mejia) at Tigers (Jordan Zimmermann), 6:10 pm ET
Fri: Twins (Kyle Gibson) at Tigers (Matt Boyd), 6:10 pm ET

Looking Back
NYY 2, MIN 1: Garcia, Yankees Bullpen Dominate Twins
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


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34 Comments

As long as we're in excuse-giving mode, the ESPN boradcast mentioned that Yankee Stadium's infield, especially around first base (where they've had to repeatedly re-sod), has been particularly torn up by the soccer team that uses the ballpark as their home field (or pitch or what-the-hell-ever).

 

They had Mark Tiexiera in the studio and asked him about it: "Don't get be started," he said. Then went on to discuss how horrible the situation is.

 

I know, Mauer still should have found a way to smother the ball, but there's really no excuse for the Yankees allowing that situation to exist.

 

F'ing Yankees.

    • Seth Stohs, glunn, Mike Frasier Law and 4 others like this

Man. I know complaining about balls and strikes is futile but Gee really got hosed. Yes, Mauer should have fielded it but if the umpire does his job Mauer never even gets the grounder.  

Ok, my game plan called for lots of bunts against Estrada and Garcia and at least 8 bunt attempts against CC. Two for two in the first three batters and did we even attempt it again the rest of the game?  Genius to bunt. Pure idiocy to stop bunting. We know Sabbathia doesn't like it and why would he.  He is old slow and fat and it works.  I would have been fine with bunting every time the 3rd baseman wasn't on the grass except with bases loaded.  As far as the dominance of the Yankees this year. A. They are a better team and B  We are 2-3 with another game to play. Ok, not thinking Colon has a great chance but who knows?  Heck I would be happy if we lose tomorrow and end the season at 3-4 against them.

    • Mike Sixel and DelusionalTwinsFan like this

Garcia had an absurdly large strike zone last night and tonight we  get squeezed. It's hard enough to beat the Yankees, but the refs always help screw us over. I watched the entire game on dvr fast forward, it's the only way I can tolerate watching Twins games at Yankee stadium. 

    • Doomtints, PDX Twin, bighat and 1 other like this
CC didn't like bunting against him when he was young and, er, not svelte. He always was slow afoot and a lousy fielder. Also short tempered. Eventually you would get one in the ribs if you kept it up. Is that ok? It may not be, but your ribs won't care.
Nice to see Curtiss and Moya pitch in a game that was still winnable. Both held the line, it looks like.
    • Dantes929, Danchat and Doctor Wu like this

Well at least the Angels lost again, and not a single wild card contention team (other than the Yankees) has won 5 games in their last 10.

    • gunnarthor and bighat like this
Congratulations to Jose and his wife!
But 3 by age 23? It's not a race Jose!
    • Blake, Mike Sixel, Mike Frasier Law and 7 others like this

7 games against Detroit left. 7 games against Detroit left. Keep repeating that mantra.

 

That said, hasn't Detroit kind of battered the Twins this year? I know it would hurt to play a WC game in the Bronx....but can we please stop pretending that making the playoffs is just a bonus to a nice lil' year? 

 

Please Twins, don't blow this. Not now. Not after the white flag trade, the comeback, the Buxton emergence, and holding the WC lead for so darn long here.

 

Sneak out of NYC with a win today, and don't look back. A sweep at this time of year is just killer.

On a night when the bunt could have been a real weapon why did we not have Buxton bunting?Just wondering.With the team speed we could have executed at least a bunt an inning.Good initial strategy that was soon ignored despite its success. 

 

Pressley is such a puzzle.It reminds me of the starting pitcher (Alex Meyer) we traded for because he had so much stuff and then we traded him to the Angels.What is the missing ingredient?

 

Of all the teams we play, the patience that is part of the Yankee mystique would seem to be devastating to Colon.I hope I am wrong. 

    • Mike Sixel and Dantes929 like this

 

CC didn't like bunting against him when he was young and, er, not svelte. He always was slow afoot and a lousy fielder. Also short tempered. Eventually you would get one in the ribs if you kept it up. Is that ok? It may not be, but your ribs won't care.

I would hope that the umpires would be aware how he feels about the bunt and act accordingly and as always if he puts one in our ribs, we put one on Judge. Certainly the Twins shouldn't be bullied out of using a legitimate weapon. Here is an excerpt from the Red Sox earlier this month when Sabbathia got mad at Nunez.  

 

“I say, ‘I’m sorry,’ but I have to do it,” said Nunez, who was acquired by the Red Sox in late July. “It’s my game. We know he has a bad knee. I feel bad for him, but if I have to do it twice, I have to do it. It’s my game, it’s my job.

“And if I have to bunt four times in a row, I’ll do it. I don’t care if he’s mad or not, you know? That’s what it is. We have to compete, and he has to figure it out.”

 

If Mauer had a sore knee that buckled when a pitcher threw a curve ball do you think CC would stop throwing it?  Its absurd.   

    • gunnarthor and Danchat like this

Pitching kills the Twins all year, but when the games really count they can't hit.

 

What a sport.

 

Garcia had an absurdly large strike zone last night and tonight we  get squeezed. It's hard enough to beat the Yankees, but the refs always help screw us over. I watched the entire game on dvr fast forward, it's the only way I can tolerate watching Twins games at Yankee stadium. 

 

I'm not surprised.The umps at Yankees stadium always give them the hometown advantage...ALWAYS!

 

Pitching kills the Twins all year, but when the games really count they can't hit.

 

What a sport.

Its baseball is all. Plenty of games have really counted where we have hit. Rosario was maybe a sixteenth of an inch on the bat from hitting a grand slam and don't forget CC is just a good pitcher.

I don't think Kepler's HR would have made it out of TF or many other parks for that matter. Anyone know for sure?

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yarnivek1972
Sep 20 2017 08:06 AM

I'm not surprised. The umps at Yankees stadium always give them the hometown advantage...ALWAYS!


Yep. There's this giant conspiracy to have the Yankees win every year.


Really? Unless you have EVIDENCE, keep your conspiracy theories to yourself.


The Yankees have one title since 2000. Since then, the Red Sox and Giants have 3 each and the Cardinals have 2. Are those conspiracies too?
    • Mike Sixel likes this

 

Outside of Joe Mauer, this is an entirely different team than the one that endured so much heartbreak against the Yankees, yet the Twins continue to be snake bit. What gives?

I think the 2015 team had some real heartbreak against the Yankees -- didn't make the playoffs, but we lost 5 in a row to them in a pennant race, including a 3 game sweep in NY in mid-August. We held a lead in the 5th inning or later of all 5 losses; and at least a tie in the 6th inning or later.  In a season where we spent much of the last month about 1 game out of the wild card, those losses proved crucial.  "Highlights" from each of those losses:

 

- In Target Field in late July, Perkins blew a 9th inning save, capped off by a 3-run HR to JR Murphy

- The next afternoon, Gibson gave up a run to tie in the 5th, then combined with O'Rourke to give up a 6-spot in the 6th

- Moving to Yankee Stadium in mid-August, Gibson combined with Duensing to blow a 2-run lead in the 6th, but we held on tied until the 10th when Perkins lost it. With the bases loaded and nobody out in the bottom of the 10th, Eduardo Nunez fielded a tough grounder and threw to first base for a meaningless out while the game-ending run scored.

- Next night, the Twins managed to take a 4-1 lead in the top of the 7th, which Molitor inexplicably trusted to O'Rourke (versus two RHB, no less) and Rule 5 mop-up man JR Graham in the bottom of the inning.  They combined to give up 7 runs.

- Then in the season series finale, Ervin pitched pretty well and we took a lead in the 6th inning again, but a pair of 2 run HR to Greg Bird sunk us, 4-3.

 

In addition to Mauer, we still have Ervin, Dozier, Rosario, and Escobar from that team playing prominent roles. Duffey was on the team for the second of those series but didn't pitch. In our only win, our first game vs the Yankees that year, Sano hit a 2 run HR in the first inning and Phil Hughes pitched 7 shutout innings -- both are on the DL now.  Trevor May was effective in both of his relief appearances vs the Yankees that year, but is also on the DL now.(O'Rourke, not so much. :) )  Buxton, Vargas, Tonkin, and Pressly mercifully missed the Yankees series that year, but received regular playing time at other points of the 2015 MLB season.  Polanco and Kepler made token appearances at other points of 2015 too.

 

And of course Molitor, Allen, Glynn, Vavra, Guardado, and Rudy Hernandez are still holdovers from the 2015 coaching staff.

 

EDIT: And while he didn't make the 2009-2010 playoff rosters, Perkins gave up 6 runs in 2/3 of an inning to lose a regular season start against the Yankees in 2009, before his 2015 meltdowns. That's kind of a link to the past.  Only 1 run in 10 innings from 2011-2014, though, admittedly not in any kind of pennant race.

    • Tom Froemming likes this
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Tom Froemming
Sep 20 2017 08:08 AM

 

I don't think Kepler's HR would have made it out of TF or many other parks for that matter. Anyone know for sure?

According to ESPN's home run tracker that ball would've been out of all 30 parks. 

    • ChiTownTwinsFan, USAFChief, Mike Sixel and 7 others like this

Yep. There's this giant conspiracy to have the Yankees win every year.


Really? Unless you have EVIDENCE, keep your conspiracy theories to yourself.


The Yankees have one title since 2000. Since then, the Red Sox and Giants have 3 each and the Cardinals have 2. Are those conspiracies too?


He never said it was a conspiracy. And there's strong evidence across many professional sports that home field advantage is real, and it is largely attributable to officiating. In a raucous place like New York, why wouldn't you think that that would continue to hold true?

What he said was reasonable and supported by evidence. It doesn't have to be a conspiracy theory. And he doesn't need your permission to post even if it were.
    • ThejacKmp and Danchat like this

 

He never said it was a conspiracy. And there's strong evidence across many professional sports that home field advantage is real, and it is largely attributable to officiating. In a raucous place like New York, why wouldn't you think that that would continue to hold true?

What he said was reasonable and supported by evidence. It doesn't have to be a conspiracy theory. And he doesn't need your permission to post even if it were.

 

so, the Twins get the advantage at TF....what's the issue?

 

I think blaming the umpires/refs is tedious. The Twins didn't pitch all that well, and they scored all of 2 runs....that's on them.

 

And I don't get why they stopped trying to bunt for hits. I would have kept it up all night with my non-power hitters....until CC was out of the game.

 

It certainly appears that the Twins have a mental block in NY. 

    • Dantes929 likes this
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Hosken Bombo Disco
Sep 20 2017 08:19 AM

I think the 2015 team had some real heartbreak against the Yankees -- didn't make the playoffs, but we lost 5 in a row to them in a pennant race, including a 3 game sweep in NY in mid-August. We held a lead in the 5th inning or later of all 5 losses; and at least a tie in the 6th inning or later.  In a season where we spent much of the last month about 1 game out of the wild card, those losses proved crucial.  "Highlights" from each of those losses:
 
- In Target Field in late July, Perkins blew a 9th inning save, capped off by a 3-run HR to JR Murphy
- The next afternoon, Gibson gave up a run to tie in the 5th, then combined with O'Rourke to give up a 6-spot in the 6th
- Moving to Yankee Stadium in mid-August, Gibson combined with Duensing to blow a 2-run lead in the 6th, but we held on tied until the 10th when Perkins lost it. With the bases loaded and nobody out in the bottom of the 10th, Eduardo Nunez fielded a tough grounder and threw to first base for a meaningless out while the game-ending run scored.
- Next night, the Twins managed to take a 4-1 lead in the top of the 7th, which Molitor inexplicably trusted to O'Rourke (versus two RHB, no less) and Rule 5 mop-up man JR Graham in the bottom of the inning.  They combined to give up 7 runs.
- Then in the season series finale, Ervin pitched pretty well and we took a lead in the 6th inning again, but a pair of 2 run HR to Greg Bird sunk us, 4-3.
 
In addition to Mauer, we still have Ervin, Dozier, Rosario, and Escobar from that team playing prominent roles. Duffey was on the team for the second of those series but didn't pitch. In our only win, our first game vs the Yankees that year, Sano hit a 2 run HR in the first inning and Phil Hughes pitched 7 shutout innings -- both are on the DL now.  Trevor May was effective in both of his relief appearances vs the Yankees that year, but is also on the DL now.(O'Rourke, not so much. :) )  Buxton, Vargas, Tonkin, and Pressly mercifully missed the Yankees series that year, but received regular playing time at other points of the 2015 MLB season.  Polanco and Kepler made token appearances at other points of 2015 too.
 
And of course Molitor, Allen, Glynn, Vavra, Guardado, and Rudy Hernandez are still holdovers from the 2015 coaching staff.
 
EDIT: And while he didn't make the 2009-2010 playoff rosters, Perkins gave up 6 runs in 2/3 of an inning to lose a regular season start against the Yankees in 2009, before his 2015 meltdowns. That's kind of a link to the past.  Only 1 run in 10 innings from 2011-2014, though, admittedly not in any kind of pennant race.

Yes. I don't think Falvey and Levine can appreciate the mental block these guys have against the Yankees. For a fan, it's infuriating. (To me, anyway)

Also, a game ball to the home plate umpire last night, missing strike after strike when Berrios was pitching.
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Hosken Bombo Disco
Sep 20 2017 08:27 AM

I think blaming the umpires/refs is tedious.

I think so, too. However, last night it was egregious and slanted pretty much one way, against the Twins pitchers. At least two easy two-strike pitches over the plate called balls, extending at bats and innings. I don't know, man. I suppose the next game could be even worse and then it will look like we were complaining about nothing in this one.
    • Don Walcott likes this
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Hosken Bombo Disco
Sep 20 2017 08:31 AM
As I think about it, I think Molitor should have ran out for a discussion with the home plate ump when Gee didn't get that call. Show people that you are paying attention and care about what is happening .
    • Mike Sixel, gunnarthor, Dantes929 and 1 other like this

mod note:  let's keep away from personal attacks, and focus our smoldering fury on the real culprit...the damn Yankees.

    • ashburyjohn, Dantes929, twinsnorth49 and 2 others like this

 

Yes. I don't think Falvey and Levine can appreciate the mental block these guys have against the Yankees. For a fan, it's infuriating. (To me, anyway)

Agreed.  As much fun as 2015 and the return to relevance was, Molitor leading a Gardy-esque performance against the Yankees left me with a bit of a sour taste in my mouth and some extra pessimism about the future.

 

Molitor inexplicably trusted to O'Rourke (versus two RHB, no less) and Rule 5 mop-up man JR Graham in the bottom of the inning.They combined to give up 7 runs.

Oh yes, bringing in Graham (the rule 5 rookie) to face A-Rod with the bases loaded and a small lead. That was a great idea. How could you not see a grand slam coming?!

That one was the epitome of Molitor's terrible bullpen decisions.


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