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How high would you go for Cole?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:40 AM
Let’s say Cole would sign if we gave him enough money. How high would you be willing to go? What if we could get him for 8 years, 300 mil...
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Heyman: Twins "Heavy on Bumgarner"

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:39 AM
Minnesota's interest in Madison Bumgarner is very real, based on what Jon Heyman is hearing at the Winter Meetings. However, he adds that...
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Front Page: Official Twins Winter Meetings Day 2 Thread

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:37 AM
Day 1 of the Winter Meetings came and went. There was a major signing. Stephen Strasburg returned to the Nationals. But for the Twins and...
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Front Page: Absorbing Risk Is Twins Next Decision

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:29 AM
101 wins, an AL Central Division crown, and a trip to the postseason. That’s what the Minnesota Twins accomplished under first-year manag...
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2019 2020 (non-Twins) off season

Other Baseball Today, 08:23 AM
My first prediction is that WA signs their two big possible FAs to extensions.   My next is that Cole goes to LAA.   The White...
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TEX 4, MIN 1: Quiet Bats Can’t Back Up Great Pitching

A stellar pitching performance - which included using Kyle Gibson as the opener - was derailed by an unusual off game by the offense. After holding Texas offense to only one run through ten innings, Twins bats never showed up and a three-run homer off the bat of Rougned Odor in the 11th prevented the Twins from sweeping the Rangers.
Image courtesy of FanGraphs
Box Score
Smeltzer: 4.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 64.6% strikes (42 of 59 pitches)
Rest of Staff: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 12 K

Home Runs: None
Multi-Hit Games: Garver (2-5), Sanó (2-3, R)

Top 3 WPA: May .288, Harper .170, Smeltzer .117
Bottom 3 WPA: Mejia -.462, Kepler -.194, Gonzalez -.169

After scoring a total of 23 runs in the first two games of this series, the Twins really struggled to put runs on the board Sunday, before a crowd of 35,495. They were unable to score more than one run against a Ranger pitching staff which didn’t have a single pitcher with more than three innings of work in the game. Texas out-hit Minnesota 10-8 and the Twins went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

The Openers and Smeltzer
Gibson pitched only one inning and didn't have the smoothest of starts. He had a long, 26-pitch inning (only 14 strikes), struggling with his command. He pitched to the top five Rangers batters, as Shin-Soo Choo and Joey Gallo reached safely, but he managed to strand both. José Leclerc, the Rangers opener, also allowed to men to reach, but he managed to close the inning with 15 pitches. He came back to pitch the second, but didn’t last long.

Smeltzer took advantage of Gibson’s outing and cruised past the bottom half of the Texas lineup in the second with only twelve pitches. He went on to have an uneventful game, pitching into the sixth. He never pitched himself into any jams, as the Rangers never had more than one man on at any point of his outing. They did tie the game in the fourth, with Joey Gallo leading off the inning with a double and then being scored by former Twin Danny Santana a couple of batters later.

Sanó, Buxton Definitely Back on Track
Not too long ago we were all discussing what was wrong with Miguel Sanó, as he was slumping really hard. He then he decided he was through with that and decided to catch on fire. He came into this game slashing .348/.423/.739 (1.162) in the past seven games and he did not slow down. After smacking a single in the second inning he scored the first run of the game, crossing the plate on a Byron Buxtton triple



Similar to Miggy, Buxton went through a rough funk since coming back from the IL. In the first five games back he went 1-for-16. But he started to regain confidence in the first game of this Texas series and came into the game hitting 3-for-9 with three runs batted in. He started this game reaching safely twice, once with the RBI-triple in the second and one on a fielder’s choice in the fourth. On that play, he nearly scored Sanó again after Miggy had walked to reach for the second time, but he (Sano) was thrown out at home.

The Twins bullpen continued its impressive recent stretch, in spite of the loss. Adalberto Mejía gave up the winning home run to Odor in the 11th, but Minnesota relievers still hold a 3.08 ERA since June 14, which ranks third best in the majors. That is, of course, considering that technically all innings pitched after Gibson’s departure will count as bullpen stats.

The Twins get to the All-Star break with a 56-33 record. That’s the most wins the Twins have gotten before the All-Star break since 1969. They now hold a five-and-a- half game lead over Cleveland in the AL Central, but the Indians won their sixth in a row today, as they swept the Reds, reaching the 50-win mark.

Postgame With Baldelli

Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
Click here for a review of the number of pitches thrown by each member of the bullpen over the past five days.


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52 Comments

 

Ok, I concede that saying it was a 20% chance of a wild throw (which includes, mostly, deflecting off of Buxton; it almost happened on that play) is probably too high. But I still think there was 10% or less chance that he is thrown out. Gallo threw the ball 94.7mph, it bounced once and was caught literally on Buxton’s side, and even with all that, he still was out by only a fraction. (To me, if the ump calls him safe, there isn’t enough evidence to overturn it.) That was a highly unlikely out.

I agree the risk of ending the inning was a huge downside, and I also agree that the advantage gained was small.

But let’s say that the throw is six inches to the left, hits Buxton’s shoulder, he scores, and they go up 3-1, and go on to win the game.

It was the same decision. Would you be harping about his awful decision then, or would you be applauding his aggressive play?

I’m still not arguing he made the right decision. I’m just saying it wasn’t as clearcut as you contend.

Let's say he doesn't try to tag, and they go up 2-1, and go on to win the game.

 

 

Ok, I concede that saying it was a 20% chance of a wild throw (which includes, mostly, deflecting off of Buxton; it almost happened on that play) is probably too high. But I still think there was 10% or less chance that he is thrown out. Gallo threw the ball 94.7mph, it bounced once and was caught literally on Buxton’s side, and even with all that, he still was out by only a fraction. (To me, if the ump calls him safe, there isn’t enough evidence to overturn it.) That was a highly unlikely out.

I agree the risk of ending the inning was a huge downside, and I also agree that the advantage gained was small.

But let’s say that the throw is six inches to the left, hits Buxton’s shoulder, he scores, and they go up 3-1, and go on to win the game.

It was the same decision. Would you be harping about his awful decision then, or would you be applauding his aggressive play?

I’m still not arguing he made the right decision. I’m just saying it wasn’t as clearcut as you contend.

I have said more than once, it was the wrong decision no matter the result. I'm 99 percent positive Buxton would say the same thing.

 

This play was unusual, for a reason. I don't remember the last time I saw it. And I doubt I will see it again any time soon...because it's simply not done. Both teams were surprised he would do that, and both teams instantly viewed it as a clear, unequivocal clearcut baserunning gaffe. 

 

I'm all in favor of aggressive baserunning, particularly from someone like Buxton. I love him turning a single into a double, for example, particularly when there are already 2 outs in an inning. I absolutely hate third base coaches not sending runners when there's any chance they score on a hit to the outfield, again particularly with 2 outs. 

 

But this wasn't aggressive, it was dumb. The cost/benefit analysis was done about 2 days after baseball was invented, and it hasn't changed. Nobody does this, and for good reason.

    • Mr. Brooks likes this

Ok, I concede that saying it was a 20% chance of a wild throw (which includes, mostly, deflecting off of Buxton; it almost happened on that play) is probably too high. But I still think there was 10% or less chance that he is thrown out. Gallo threw the ball 94.7mph, it bounced once and was caught literally on Buxton’s side, and even with all that, he still was out by only a fraction. (To me, if the ump calls him safe, there isn’t enough evidence to overturn it.) That was a highly unlikely out.

I agree the risk of ending the inning was a huge downside, and I also agree that the advantage gained was small.

But let’s say that the throw is six inches to the left, hits Buxton’s shoulder, he scores, and they go up 3-1, and go on to win the game.

It was the same decision. Would you be harping about his awful decision then, or would you be applauding his aggressive play?

I’m still not arguing he made the right decision. I’m just saying it wasn’t as clearcut as you contend.


Gallo prob isn't really a true CF, prob more like a firstbaseman playing in the OF, sorry Gallo, but that's just my opinion, anyway, he was moving towards the play, so in reality he probably gets thrown out more often on that play, not less. If Jackie Bradley, or one of those dudes made that play, Buck is still out. It was prob a 30 to 40 percent chance he gets gunned down if you consider that most CFers are better than Gallo, hell Buck would have thrown Buck out. Also the problem wasn't that Buck was faster than School, it's the fact that the ball was faster to 3rd than School, even if Cron is running the only way School scores is if the throw beats Cron by so much that he is able to stop and get caught up in a run down. Either way you look at it it was a bad play, because of 2 factors. Because 3rd base is not that important with 2 outs already, ground ball or sac fly doesn't do anything for you. Base hit scores Buck from 2nd and the one thing that no one is talking about is that it was a tie game. Had the Twins been up by 5 or 6 runs then it doesn't really matter, but it does matter in a tie game. Buck has been playing great baseball, he is one of the reasons the Twins are in first place. But that one was just a bad play, a mistake, it happens. You just hope he learns from it for a really important game like in the playoffs.

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