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GAME THREAD 8/9/2020: Minnesota Twins @ Kansas City Royal...

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 08:34 PM
Is it time to panic yet?   Of course not! Honestly, after the last three games, I am just as confident in this team being a contende...
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2020 Twins Transactions

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 03:16 PM
There haven't been many yet, but I'll start this today...   The Twins just announced that Zack Littell (hamstring) has been placed o...
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Where are they now? Ex-Twins in 2020

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 03:16 PM
I said in the 2019 thread that I would start this forum thread...    Let's start populating it. How many former Twins are on ro...
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Option C(astellanos)

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 02:33 PM
We missed out on our big money aces. A big impact 3B will either cost age/money (Donaldson) or top prospects and money (Arenado/Bryant)....
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Future Roster Transactions

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 09:41 AM
Jake Odorizzi gets activated today to face the Royals, filling out the 28-man active roster which will include 16 (!) pitchers. The way t...
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Twins 3, Cleveland 0: Miguel Sanó Hits Pair of Bombas, Kenta Maeda Pitches 6 Shutout Innings

Miguel Sanó entered tonight’s game 1-for-17 with eight strikeouts and no walks. He hit a home run in each of his first two trips to the plate in support of a great start by Kenta Maeda, as the Twins beat Cleveland 3-0.
Image courtesy of © Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Box Score
Maeda: 6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
Home Runs: Sanó 2 (2), Rosario (2)
Top 3 WPA: Maeda .344, Sanó .172, Rosadio .088
Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs):
Attached Image: Winchart.png

King Kenta
Kenta Maeda continues to make Twins fans forget who they gave up to receive him (Brusdar who?). His six innings of work took just 83 pitches in total. Maeda’s off-speed offerings stole the show as he was able to get 14/59 total swinging strikes combined between his changeup and slider. The slider was an especially deadly weapon as when hitters actually did put it in play, they averaged just 78.5 MPH off the bat against it. Maeda likely could have gone deeper into the game but manager Rocco Baldelli opted to give the bullpen more work.

The first two innings were a bit shaky for Maeda as he struggled with command and had to rely purely on batted balls for his outs. The third inning proved to be pivotal for Maeda’s start as he punched out the side and showed better command until the end of his outing.



Miguel Sanó Finds His Groove
Sanó was one of the handful of Twins hitters who have struggled to find their timing to begin the season. The already strikeout-prone slugger was whiffing at an astounding 47.1% clip coming into the night and had a batting average that would make any pitcher embarrassed. Parker Hageman broke down some of the mechanical issues he had in his swing a few days ago.

Something was evidently different on Saturday as Sanó launched two absolute rockets out of left field against Carlos Carrasco.





The Twins offense so far this year has been strangely inconsistent. They had two monster games against the White Sox with a handful of passable performances since against St. Louis and Cleveland. A more consistent Sanó would help alleviate these problems going forward.

Eddie Rosario didn’t want to let just one person have all the fun as he launched his own bomba in the 4th inning.



The Bullpen Remains Strong
The bullpen continued to be incredibly reliable to begin the season as Trevor May, Cody Stashak, and Taylor Rogers combined for three scoreless innings to finish off the game. Both May and Stashak saw some minor traffic in their innings of work but no runs came of it. Rogers has yet to allow a baserunner through his first three outings.

Stashak being utilized in the 8th inning may point towards the Twins believing in him more as a late inning guy capable of getting clutch outs late. He could join the long list of reliable Twins relievers whom Baldelli may call on at any time he needs. Although, Stashak did walk his second ever batter, so the wheels might be coming off for him.

Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
Attached Image: Bullpen.png

Postgame Pint
Immediately following the 3-0 win over Cleveland, Nick Nelson, Matthew Trueblood and Renabanena discussed Kenta Maeda's stellar outing and Miguel Sano's two-HR night. Watch below, or download the audio-only podcast.



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9 Comments

Maeda paying dividends early. More good work from the pen.
    • rdehring, TouchEmAllGuy and JDubs like this
Photo
IndianaTwin
Aug 01 2020 08:50 PM

I’m sure Rocco would rather not use Rogers in three straight days, but only throwing 18 pitches in the two games would tempt me into using him if needed on Sunday, particularly with four games coming up against the Pirates. 

 

(Better, of course, would be an 8-0 win.)

    • DocBauer, JoshDungan1, MN_ExPat and 2 others like this

"Strangely inconsistent?"  Perhaps pretty good starting pitching on the other team?

LOVE the defense Marwin played the night before at 1B! Because he's not an offensive force, I think a lot of people undervalue what he brings. (And he's still solid offensively). And I fully appreciate Rocco giving time off when needed, and to preserve the season. And to let guys feel their way. But you also have to let guys play. And Sano is ready and getting dialed in.

You can disagree with me, but I'm really liking Sano at 1B. I see good play and potential. He missed a close play tonight where his foot was off the bag on a close call, but a week from now, I bet his foot is on the bag. He's a work in progress, but you have to like what you're seeing, IF you're paying attention. Offensively, just pencil him in because he's settling in.

Marwin may have to play 3B for a few days due to a Donaldson hamstring tweak. GREAT to have this kind of depth.

Maeda, may not be Carrasco's equal to some. But who pitched better?

Cleveland has a great rotation and some live young arms in the pen. But so far, Twins are UP!
    • big dog, mikelink45, Dozier's Glorious Hair and 4 others like this

Gotta tell ya what, boys:

 

Looks like the only thing this team has to worry about is the Coronavirus, 'cause there isn't another team in this whole Central League/Division that's going to give the Twins too much trouble this season.

 

Playoffs is another story. But yep, they are who we thought they were.

    • Dozier's Glorious Hair, MN_ExPat, rdehring and 1 other like this

Agreed, Doc, Sano has looked like a competent first baseman. Taking the throw up the line and getting the swipe tag last night- that was a good play. He missed the bag on an earlier play when the sequence was a little messed up, but he'll get that fixed.

    • MN_ExPat and rdehring like this

Loving Maeda, but I haven't exactly gotten to the "Brusdar who?" phase. I liked the deal, but it was expensive.

    • Dantes929 and mikelink45 like this

Brusdar 5 games, 0.692 whip, 2.08 ERA, 4 Inn, 4 Ks.Not ready to who is Brusdar, but I do like Maeda.My question is - why not let him pitch another inning or two.Do we really need to give our BP work?  

 

Great win, but the offense still does not look right - it seems like we have timely eruptions from different portions of our lineup, but nothing consistent through the entire group.

    • big dog likes this

Home runs are great but we need to get back to getting those hits with runners in scoring position. Glad to see the pitching do well throughout the Cleveland series so far. 

    • mikelink45 likes this