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Game Thread: Twins vs. Detroit 8/17 @ 7:10 PM CT

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:32 PM
ANNND Welcome! To Minnesota Twins Whine Line: Christmas in August Edition! I am your host and gracious elf, Vanimal. Along with my trusty...
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TD Pre-Season Predictions RE-VISITED

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:17 PM
What seems like two season's ago the good readers of Twins Daily were asked to make the following predictions going into this fine season...
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Article: Getting the Twins Bullpen Right for 2019

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:59 PM
It wasn't so long ago that the Twins were flush with quality righties out of the bullpen. Even though the rest of his team was lagging ar...
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Article: Twins Minor League Report (8/16): Every Affiliat...

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 07:18 PM
Rochester and Chattanooga won laughers, Cedar Rapids split a double-header that included the suspended game from Wednesday night, Fort My...
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SEA 2, MIN 1: Paxton Outduels Romero

Fernando Romero was excellent once again, but he was dealt his first loss in five starts because the Mariners took advantage of their opportunities. Oh, and having James Paxton on the mound didn’t hurt, either. Max Kepler had a great game, but Paxton and the rest of the M’s staff held the lineup in check.
Image courtesy of © Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs)
Current record: 21-25
Fernando Romero: 69 Game Score, 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 K, 2 BB, 61.4% strikes
Bullpen: 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 K, 0 BB
Lineup: 0-for-0 w/RISP, 3 LOB
Top three per WPA: Kepler .145, Romero .054, Reed .030
Attached Image: WinEx525.png
The Mariners did an excellent job manufacturing their runs. Jean Segura hit a leadoff single in the first and stole second base. He came around to score on a two-out single from Nelson Cruz.

Romero retired the first two batters he faced in the sixth but then ran into some control issues. He walked Guillermo Heredia, whose life must have flashed before his eyes on ball four, a 96.5 mph fastball that was headed straight for his head. Luckily he ducked. Heredia advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on a single.

That was all the offense Seattle could muster, but Twins pitchers have to be basically perfect with the way their offense is playing right now. To be fair, Mariners starter James Paxton is among the better pitchers in baseball right now. He struck out 11 Twins batters over seven innings.

The star of the game for the Twins’ lineup was no doubt Max Kepler. He hit a home run (off Paxton, a lefty) and made an excellent throw to nail a runner at third base. He also got a single, meaning he accounted for two of the team’s four hits.



Romero was extremely efficient, completing seven innings for the first time of his big league career. Between Triple A and the majors, he’s logged 49 2/3 innings so far this season. That total already represents the third-most innings he’s thrown in a season.

Miguel Sano returned from the DL. He played first base. That was a good look for him, in my opinion. Unfortunately, he was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. Nobody outside of Kepler hit well for the Twins, but it’s disheartening to see Byron Buxton in particular continue to struggle. He was 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts, dropping is OPS on the year to .416

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: Bullpen525.png

Next Three Games
Sat at SEA, 9:10 pm CT
Sun at SEA, 3:10 pm CT
Mon at KC, 6:15 pm CT

Last Three Games
DET 4, MIN 1: Niko’s Revenge
MIN 6, DET 0: Lynn Shows Will to Win
MIN 4, DET 2: It’s All Coming Up Rosie

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41 Comments

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bluechipper
May 25 2018 10:53 PM

The Mariners were 2 for 3 with RISP with two well placed ground balls. That's frustrating, but at least Romero looked great again.

 

The Twins were 0 for 0 with RISP. I hate this lineup so much right now.

    • Jerr, FanFromPhilly, laloesch and 3 others like this

No Morrison, LaMarre and Petit are hitting...shouldn't they get at least an at bat?

 

Sano third? At least the K king didn't get a fifth at bat.

 

Line-up construction sucks, but what WOULD be the perfect lineup?

    • brvama, jun, mikelink45 and 1 other like this
Sano and Buxton simply have to hit for this team to be really good. I don’t blame Falvine for that.

But, that isn’t to say they can’t be held accountable for other issues. There is no bench, and there wasn’t much to start the season. And these are the lineups you get when you start the season with no bench, and precious little in AAA that can help.
    • Blake, Mike Sixel, brvama and 3 others like this

NO Sano NO Buxton NO PROBLEM.

0 for 7 with 5K tonight.

I think anyone can do that with eyes closed.

If this team wants to win now, Sano and Buxton should stay on the bench. Sano should be a pinch hitter, Buxton should be a pinch runner and defensive replacement. Adrianza and Wilson might be slightly better than those two offensively right now. That's just how pathetic they are at the plate.

    • mikelink45, PDX Twin and bighat like this
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launchingthrees
May 26 2018 12:34 AM

You can't keep putting Buxton in the lineup. He's one of the worst players in MLB this year. We're 30% through the year and in a pennant race. He can't be playing every day.

    • Jerr, laloesch and bighat like this
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Nine of twelve
May 26 2018 05:31 AM

Sano and Buxton simply have to hit for this team to be really good. I don’t blame Falvine for that.

But, that isn’t to say they can’t be held accountable for other issues. There is no bench, and there wasn’t much to start the season. And these are the lineups you get when you start the season with no bench, and precious little in AAA that can help.

Going into spring training Adrianza, Escobar, Garver and Grossman were expected to be the bench, and that's with a 12-man pitching staff. Subtracting Polanco, Castro and Mauer leave us with what we have. Would Falvine have been able to find better than the current bench during the offseason? Maybe, but I doubt it when 29 other teams were shopping for the same types of players.
    • bighat and DannySD like this

No matter how you slice it, the offense is bad. I saw the same thing again last night that I have seen all season. Hitters can't put the meat part of the bat on the ball when it is over the strike zone and they swing at way too many pitches out of the zone. Maybe it's time for the hitting coach to be held accountable? 

    • bluechipper, mikelink45 and bighat like this

 

You can't keep putting Buxton in the lineup. He's one of the worst players in MLB this year. We're 30% through the year and in a pennant race. He can't be playing every day.

 

I don't think he's going to start hitting until August again, but the the last thing the Twins want to do is start the AAA yo-yo.

 

It's an absolutely terrible situation for the Twins because you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

 

This team cannot hit. It's embarrassing to watch and very depressing.

    • bluechipper and sloopjont like this

It seems like a continual puzzle - Buxton and Sano - the first dialogue is when will they come up?Why aren't the here.  

 

Second dialogue - can you believe Sano's power.Yes he is big, but he makes our lineup so much better.

 

Third dialogue - Buxton has discovered his stroke.He is on the way.

 

Fourth dialogue - Can we afford a HR or nothing at bat.How many rallies arekilled by the big K?And can Sano stay healthy?Is it his weight, is he injury prone, is the air pressure from his big empty swing impacting his body?

 

Fifth dialogue - can we have a designated fielder?Forget Buxton's bat (what bat) - I think we are seeing an excellent defensive replacement.

 

Sixth dialogue.OK - Sano is back and its too bad it was not in MN, because the air movement from his three Ks could have worked as a fan to cool the MN fans on a hot day.And Buxton just flounders with hope that the pitcher can find his bat and hit it, otherwise he joins the big K.

 

Last dialogue.These two were our hope.We never planned on Escobar, Rosario, Kepler being the top of the list.These are our guys.Hanley Ramirez just got dumped for his pathetic month.We are waiting and hoping.We hope so much that we still think of Sano in is rookie year, and Buxton in is one good 1/2 year (similar I might say to the way to treat Polanco's 1/2 year).But where do we look to unlock the potential?There are too few bats in the lineup to allow us to fail at two positions. I would love it if the coaches could be really honest with us.Whatever they have tried is not working. 

 

But at least we have Romero and Berrios in the rotation that no longer looks like the bottom of the barrel and it is improvement from within, not the FA signings that have done it.I want to see Gonsalves now!

Byron the Bust. Rolls off the tongue easy. 

 

It's pretty depressing when you see other teams call up their top prospects and they do well. 

    • Jerr, laloesch and PDX Twin like this
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jorgenswest
May 26 2018 07:00 AM

Byron the Bust. Rolls off the tongue easy. 
 
It's pretty depressing when you see other teams call up their top prospects and they do well.


Still a chance to get a return for Buxton. Do you trade him for a major league catcher?
    • laloesch likes this
I to wonder if Buxton has any trade value. He looks like he cannot time up or square a fastball at all. At this point in his career Buxton should be improving at the plate not regressing. His at bats are depressing as a fan. Let's good pitches go by in the zone, chase high stuff out of the zone. Miguel Sano looks fluffy, like he weighs 330 pounds. He has really gotten huge in his legs. He moves well as a big guy but that extra weight is going to continue to cost him injuries. It is tough to see those two guy's struggle, you can see thet have a lot of natural athletic talent, but for whatever reason both are on the grind and really struggling. SANO SELLING HIS SOYL TO KILL THE BALL. He would improve if he stopped trying to hit everything in the air like a million miles. If he would start driving it to right field the home runs will cone. Buxton just needs to put the dang bat on the ball. Way to tentative and unsure. At some point Buxton is going to have to let quarter he is pinching in his butt go. He xan be an electrifying player when he is on base.
    • Jerr and PDX Twin like this

The good news was that I was able to stay up and watch the whole thing and I didn't doze off once. 

 

It's fair to point out that Paxton is really really good and right now he is even better than that. No shame in scoring one run against him. 

 

It's wonderful to point that Romero is also really really good. We might as well get used to him in the rotation for awhile. He is telling everybody that he plans on staying.

 

Even before Paxton hit the mound... the Twins have struggled all year stringing hits together and I'm gonna point to the right handed hitters as the culprit again like I've been doing for too long now. It seems like almost all of our run production has come from the long ball and we haven't been hitting a ton of long balls in comparison to other teams and with the right-handers spaced out equally in the lineup it makes it hard to string things together when they are doing what they are doing right now.  

 

It's been bad enough for long enough that the Twins would have to taking a flyer on someone like Chris Carter and It's been bad enough for long enough that the Twins may have to get real serious about making a run at a struggling decline phase player like Hanley Ramirez and figuring out how to wedge him into the lineup. 

 

He won't do it but I'd like to see Molitor shock Dozier by moving him down significantly in the lineup and telling him that he will have to hit his way back to where he was before. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tom Froemming
May 26 2018 08:11 AM

 

NO Sano NO Buxton NO PROBLEM.

0 for 7 with 5K tonight.

I think anyone can do that with eyes closed.

If this team wants to win now, Sano and Buxton should stay on the bench. Sano should be a pinch hitter, Buxton should be a pinch runner and defensive replacement. Adrianza and Wilson might be slightly better than those two offensively right now. That's just how pathetic they are at the plate.

Buxton has been extremely frustrating to watch, and you've gotta keep in mind this was Sano's first game back. This team's only hope at real success is for these guys to get back on track, and I don't see how they do that sitting on the bench.

 

I get that those two haven't contributed much of anything this season, but if you remove them form the lineup, this team's ceiling is probably .500. If those two catch fire, we've seen them carry this team to playing .650 ball for long periods.

 

You can't keep putting Buxton in the lineup. He's one of the worst players in MLB this year. We're 30% through the year and in a pennant race. He can't be playing every day.

It's clear at this point that it was foolish not to send him on a rehab assignment, but I'm not sure how they can get him back on track without letting him hit. Sure the Twins are technically in a pennant race, but they're also 21-25, and Buxton is a much too important a long-term piece to cast aside in favor of trying to make something of this season.

 

Byron the Bust. Rolls off the tongue easy. 

 

It's pretty depressing when you see other teams call up their top prospects and they do well. 

This is a pretty strange take to have when we've watched Fernando Romero pitch to a 1.88 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 9.1 K/9 over his first five major league starts.

 

There's a big, brilliant ray of sunshine blasting through if you're willing to look past the clouds.

    • ashburyjohn, USAFChief, DocBauer and 4 others like this
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puckstopper1
May 26 2018 08:12 AM

Darn unlucky those Twins hitters - had to face the reincarnation of Cy Young - AGAIN!

 

    • Riverbrian, SF Twins Fan and DannySD like this
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puckstopper1
May 26 2018 08:13 AM

Great to see Kepler's success continue against lefties.

 

Now if he could only do the same against RHP....

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Old Twins Cap
May 26 2018 08:16 AM

Lefty soft-tosser on the mound for Mariners tonight.

 

LeBlanc-ed the Twins last time.

 

RHs need to be patient and go the other way.

 

But, no real answers for Buxton and Sano at this point. Team stuck in neutral and no where to go unless those two get out and start pushing. Hard.

    • tarheeltwinsfan likes this
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diehardtwinsfan
May 26 2018 08:16 AM

 

Buxton has been extremely frustrating to watch, and you've gotta keep in mind this was Sano's first game back. This team's only hope at real success is for these guys to get back on track, and I don't see how they do that sitting on the bench.

 

I get that those two haven't contributed much of anything this season, but if you remove them form the lineup, this team's ceiling is probably .500. If those two catch fire, we've seen them carry this team to playing .650 ball for long periods.

 

It's clear at this point that it was foolish not to send him on a rehab assignment, but I'm not sure how they can get him back on track without letting him hit. Sure the Twins are technically in a pennant race, but they're also 21-25, and Buxton is a much too important a long-term piece to cast aside in favor of trying to make something of this season.

 

This is a pretty strange take to have when we've watched Fernando Romero pitch to a 1.88 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 9.1 K/9 over his first five major league starts.

 

There's a big, brilliant ray of sunshine blasting through if you're willing to look past the clouds.

I wonder at what point does it make sense to option both Buxton and Sano. I realize that neither have much to learn in AAA, but there's something they aren't figuring out at the ML level that they can be sent down to work on. Both are liabilities in the lineups right now, and this team needs some bats. If Sano's problem is attitude as many think, then some time doing the AAA bus tours might do him good. As for Buxton, he never had much time in the high minors, so I kind of wonder if it makes sense for him to spend some time there working on identifying (and laying off of) breaking pitches.

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Tom Froemming
May 26 2018 08:17 AM

 

Darn unlucky those Twins hitters - had to face the reincarnation of Cy Young - AGAIN!

James Paxton's rank among AL starting pitchers

WAR: 6th

ERA: 10th

WHIP: 8th

K/9: 3rd

FIP: 8th

SIERA: 4th

 

Safe to say he's pretty good. 

    • Riverbrian, Dozier's Glorious Hair and Nine of twelve like this
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lukeduke1980
May 26 2018 08:34 AM

I turned on the game and saw Adrianza at bat with (8) batting spot shown - it took me a solid 40 seconds to figure out who could possibly be bad enough to be batting behind Adrianza...subconscious denial I guess.

 

Rosario and Kepler continue to get better, Sano and Buxton do not.To me that seems like an indictment of the player more than the coaches.

 

It feels like Dozier has been on an island all year, like he's not engaged or something.  

 

Paxton's great but someone else needs to step up before some of the AA and AAA guys seem like better options.That might be July.

    • Jerr likes this
This lineup is absolutely frustrating to watch. And to think that a few months ago people were insisting that the Twins trade Rosario and Kepler for pitching. Now it's looking like they may have to trade some of that pitching for hitting. What could dealing Gibson, Lynn or Gonsalves net the team. If Sano and Buxton continue to not hit what do they do? The only players hitting right now are Kepler, Rosario and Escobar. That DOES NOT WORK PERIOD! Buxton, Adrianza and Sano should all go down to AAA and Grossman (cringes) should be long gone.

3 guys don't make a lineup. Rosario, Kepler and Escobar have been the only ones that have done anything worth mentioning. Mauer was Mauer for a brief instant and Morrison was starting to turn the corner but Molitor decided he didn't need to play against Paxton. Maybe a wise decision if he had anyone that could hit to give him a day off but there isn't anyone. Funny how we were overloaded with guys who could play 1B or DH but no one can really fill that role adequately. 

My question is.... How many times as a player do you have to strikeout swinging at the same dumb pitches before you realize you shouldn't be swinging at them? 

Yeah, losing 2-1 is a tough way to lose, but, much better than losing 10-1.

 

At least the Twins were in it all the way to the end.

 

Unlike some games in the past couple of years.

 

No matter how you slice and dice it, the Twins are getting the pitching they've desperately needed for the last several years. 

    • Riverbrian, Danchat, Hosken Bombo Disco and 4 others like this

 

Yeah, losing 2-1 is a tough way to lose, but, much better than losing 10-1.

 

At least the Twins were in it all the way to the end.

 

Unlike some games in the past couple of years.

 

No matter how you slice and dice it, the Twins are getting the pitching they've desperately needed for the last several years. 

That's the worst part of this - the starting pitching has been one of the strengths of this team, but now the offense has become unable to muster any support to this good pitching. Hopefully Sano and Buxton will figure things out and when Polanco/Mauer/better backup catch arrive, the offense won't be so bad... hopefully.

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Nine of twelve
May 26 2018 10:09 AM
The perspective of most people posting to this thread is what one would expect from Twins fans: Seattle scored only two runs because our pitchers were very good, not because their batters were very bad. We scored only one run because our batters were very bad, not because their pitchers were very good.
Seems to me it was a low scoring game because all the pitching was good. It's thought by most people knowledgeable about baseball that good pitching will keep good batting down. This game was actually what to expect from two good teams. It was disappointing to lose the game but not shameful in any way.
    • ashburyjohn, Blake, Riverbrian and 6 others like this

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