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Twins 3, White Sox 2: Pineda, Buxton Shine in Return to Roster

The Twins were in desperate need of a boost, and tonight they got one. Michael Pineda delivered a quality start in his first outing in nearly a year while Buxton robbed a homer and drove in the go-ahead run in his return from the Injured List.
Image courtesy of © Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Box Score
Pineda: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
Home Runs: None
Win Probability Chart (via Baseball Savant):
Attached Image: WinChart.png

Michael Pineda’s first start back from his seemingly never-ending suspension got off to a rocky beginning. After allowing a couple singles, Pineda gave up a two-out double to Eloy Jimenez, and before you know it the White Sox has a quick 2-0 lead. After that Pineda settled in nicely, as he faced the minimum over the next three innings. He got himself into a two-out jam in the fifth, as he loaded the bases after retiring the first two batters of the inning. Fortunately, Pineda was able to get the hottest hitter on the planet in Jose Abreu to hit a squibber to Miguel Sano at first to end the inning. Edwin Encarnacion got ahold of one to leadoff the sixth, but Byron Buxton was there to save the day with this incredible (for all human beings not named Byron Buxton) catch.



In total, Pineda had a strong return to the mound for the Twins. He went six strong innings, allowing just the two runs that he gave up in the first. He gave up six hits and a walk, while striking out four. While Pineda reportedly was ramped up to throw more pitches, Rocco Baldelli pulled him after just 81 pitches, though that was probably situational more than anything else.

The Twins' bats were silent through the early innings of the game. They got a two out rally together in the third, but failed to cash in on two-out hits from Jorge Polanco and Nelson Cruz. It took until the fifth for the Twins to finally break through, thanks in part to a drop from Jose Abreu at first, which if it had been caught would have likely been an inning ending double-play.

Rocco Baldelli pulled all the right strings in the sixth to help the Twins tie the game back up at two. After a Byron Buxton pop out to leadoff the inning, Baldelli had Jake Cave pinch-hit for Ildemaro Vargas, and Cave promptly rewarded that decision with a one-out triple. Baldelli went back into the well for the next at-bat, having Luis Arraez pinch-hit for Ryan Jeffers in the nine hole. On the first pitch of the at-bat Arraez drilled a ground ball down the first base line, past Jose Abreu, and into the outfield for a game-tying double.

Caleb Thielbar had another impressive relief appearance in the seventh inning for the Twins. After giving up a couple runs in the third inning of his return to the majors, Thielbar has had eight consecutive scoreless outings, including tonight. Thielbar has been dominate in those outings, striking out 12 while allowing just four hits and one walk across 8 and 1/3 innings.

After scoring single runs in the fifth and sixth innings, the Twins added another in the seventh to take a 3-2 lead. Nelson Cruz doubled to start the inning, which was Cruz’s third hit of the game and fourth time reaching base safely. Then, after a pitching change, Marwin Gonzalez drew a gritty walk to give the Twins first and second with nobody out. After Eddie Rosario and Ehire Adrianza both failed to advance the runners, it was Byron Buxton who came up clutch, in his return to the lineup, with a two-out single.



Sergio Romo had another 1-2-3 inning tonight, showing that he has put his blow-up outing in Cleveland in the rearview mirror. Romo had a minor injury scare in the inning, that was reminiscent of the leg issues he was going through at the end of last season. In the end, Romo appeared to be fine, as he stayed in the game and finished off the inning.

After much of the bullpen got used up in last night’s ballgame, it was Matt Wisler who was called upon to close the game out in the ninth. Much like he has been all season, Wisler was very impressive. Firs, he needed some help from his defense, as Ehire Andrianza made a diving play to take away a double from Eloy Jimenez, that was completed by a great pick from Miguel Sano at first. Then Wisler struck out both Luis Robert and Nomar Mazara with his trusty slider to finally put an end to the Twins
six-game losing streak.

Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
Attached Image: Bullpen.png

Postgame Pint
Immediately following the game, Nick Nelson, John Bonnes and David Youngs are joined by Twins Daily's virtual live audience to discuss the return of Michael Pineda and Byron Buxton and a Twins win.



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25 Comments

Photo
Andrew Thares
Sep 01 2020 09:33 PM

Twins Win Woo-Hoo!!!

    • GNess likes this

Buxton is a difference maker. (Stating the obvious, but big W for Twins and Buxton was right in the middle of it.)

    • wavedog, Otwins, mikelink45 and 4 others like this
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Patrick Wozniak
Sep 01 2020 09:46 PM

Who would have thought coming into the year that Thielbar would be getting the 7th in a tie game (and picking up the "W") with Wisler collecting the save?!

    • birdwatcher, wavedog, Danchat and 17 others like this

 

Who would have thought coming into the year that Thielbar would be getting the 7th in a tie game (and picking up the "W") with Wisler collecting the save?!

All of us, of course:)

I guess watching about 15 minutes of Kirby Puckett highlights payed off.

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twinbythebay
Sep 02 2020 12:29 AM
Buxton is the straw that stirs the drink... the Twins are just so much better when he's on the field.
    • adjacent, DocBauer, Alex Schieferdecker and 3 others like this
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TwinsFan268
Sep 02 2020 05:21 AM

Are we sure that it wasn't White Sox 3, Twins 2. Like a typo?!?!

    • ashbury, DocBauer and PDX Twin like this

Didn't someone once say that the Twins are a better team when Buxton is on the field? Much Better!

 

And what a great start by Pineda. Those runs in the first inning would not have scored had Sano not had a mental cramp and covered first base. Question, Seth. Is it possible that Pineda is the Twins best starting pitcher?

 

What a pleasant surprise the local kid, Thielbar, has been since his return. And Wisler just keeps pitching well, very well. Both doing what we hoped Littell and Stashak would be doing had they not been MIA. 

    • DocBauer, tarheeltwinsfan, Trov and 3 others like this

Just needed a hefty beefcake on the mound to stop the skid, all those thin lanky guys weren't getting it done. 

    • Hosken Bombo Disco, wabene, rdehring and 1 other like this

Love the win, the fielding and the pitching.It was great to see Arraez step up, but where are the bats?Of course having Adrianza and Vargas in the lineup together was not going to get the hitting started.But we have to start scoring more than 3 runs a game. 

    • tarheeltwinsfan, rdehring and Joey P like this
Donaldson still coming back today? Really need his bat to come back to normal, need guys on base!

Pineda looked good overall.The play by Sano in first was a miscue by him and had it been made maybe Pineda does not give up any runs, I never assume everything plays out the same after something is changed.I am not sure if Pineda hesitated running to first on that play assuming Sano would not run 60 feet from the base trying to get to a ball.However, you need to remember this was a RH hitter and many times now the second baseman is up the middle on those, so Sano may have reacted thinking he was only chance to get there.  

 

Overall, I am very impressed with what Sano has done at first.I was thinking it was going to be a train wreck, but he has scooped the ball very well, guess his time at 3rd helped with that.He has looked shaky at times with pop ups, but that is normal for him he always did at third too.His decisions to come off the base at times has been an issue, but that just take time and paying attention to who is running, and where are the fielders, and who is pitching.

 

Pineda is a large man that may not be too fast and Anderson will be him every time to first base, I do not know.Regardless, team won, they fought hard and hopefully we can start a win streak today. 

    • tarheeltwinsfan, wabene, rdehring and 2 others like this
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TouchEmAllGuy
Sep 02 2020 08:26 AM

I'm also of the belief that it will just take Sano time and in-game reps to learn which balls he goes for and which one he lets go. All is well after a very entertaining Twins win! That Cave triple and Arraez double got me out of my seat! Buxton showing a little clutch gene tonight.

    • tarheeltwinsfan, wabene and rdehring like this
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VivaBomboRivera!
Sep 02 2020 08:34 AM

Even if they brought him on as a project, the Twins could never have predicted Wisler's performance this year. His 1.080 WHIP over 16.67 innings is .300 lower than his career number, and .120 under his best 40-inning year in 2018.He has picked up right where he left off with in career-high last year with 11 SO/9 .Having given up 10 BB his 1.08 ERA ought to be higher but he's only surrendered 8 hits.

 

Anyone want to speculate why the left-handed outfielder who pinch-hit for Vargas was Cave and not Kepler?Did somebody get benched?

    • twinbythebay likes this

 

Donaldson still coming back today? Really need his bat to come back to normal, need guys on base!

 

Even if he struggles it's addition by subtraction, as there's one fewer utility players in the lineup daily.

 

I'm fine with Adrianza playing twice a week, but not 5-6 times.

    • wabene likes this

 

I'm also of the belief that it will just take Sano time and in-game reps to learn which balls he goes for and which one he lets go. All is well after a very entertaining Twins win! That Cave triple and Arraez double got me out of my seat! Buxton showing a little clutch gene tonight.

 

In previous years I thought the same of Buxton (he struggled when skipping rehab assignments). Fingers crossed that both get their groove.

    • rdehring and TouchEmAllGuy like this
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NapoleonComplex
Sep 02 2020 09:00 AM

 

Who would have thought coming into the year that Thielbar would be getting the 7th in a tie game (and picking up the "W") with Wisler collecting the save?!

 

It was not on my Twingo card.

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MMMordabito
Sep 02 2020 09:06 AM

 

Love the win, the fielding and the pitching.It was great to see Arraez step up, but where are the bats?Of course having Adrianza and Vargas in the lineup together was not going to get the hitting started.But we have to start scoring more than 3 runs a game. 

 

Hopefully, Donaldson coming back will remedy some of that, but Adrianza had a couple key moments late. First, he convinced Captain Helicopter to let him stay in the game and avoid a major wildcard situation with Eddie in the infield late. Then, he made a situation saving play at third in the top of the ninth (shout out to Sano on the assist there).

    • wabene and rdehring like this
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puckstopper1
Sep 02 2020 09:09 AM

The boys stepped up across the board - including the manager who made all the right moves (with maybe the exception of Sano batting leadoff) with the pinch hitters and the pitching moves.

 

Lets hope this is the start of a roll, with our (cough, cough) "ace" helping to build on the win.

    • wabene, rdehring, Melissa and 1 other like this
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twinbythebay
Sep 02 2020 09:36 AM

 

Anyone want to speculate why the left-handed outfielder who pinch-hit for Vargas was Cave and not Kepler?Did somebody get benched?

That's kinda what I was thinking... It might've been Rocco's way of sending a message. Of course, I'm sure if you asked Rocco, he'd say he just wanted to make sure he gave Kepler a full night of rest or something like that.

    • Danchat likes this

Ah, if ONLY Buxton could stay healthy. If that guy could stay in the lineup, lots of good things will happen. I'm betting though that one of his tools is probably going to go away...base-stealing. For him, its an injury just waiting to happen. Kepler...probably a combination of a 'benching' for lackadaisical play (he is a super outfielder most the time) and getting day off...his offense has not been good.

Sano--better at 1B than 3rd. He's doing all right. He still k's way too much, but he is always a threat. He is who he is (cliche)

I don't think Rogers should close anymore this short season. find a new role for him. Even with Kepler's error, a good closer gets out of that inning. rogers clearly doesn't have it this season.

Props to Jake..he's like the red-headed stepchild of the team. Loved his enthusiasm, as well as the whole team last night. Hopefully they can build on it.

    • Melissa likes this
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Alex Schieferdecker
Sep 02 2020 11:05 AM

I can't get enough of Wisler closing the game with fourteen straight sliders, ranging from 80-85 mph.

 

He and Thielbar are absolutely spinning the ball, and have been completely freed by the dictum that you throw your best pitch as much as possible and forget about throwing your bad pitches for variety.

    • twinbythebay likes this
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twinbythebay
Sep 02 2020 11:47 AM

 

I can't get enough of Wisler closing the game with fourteen straight sliders, ranging from 80-85 mph.

 

He and Thielbar are absolutely spinning the ball, and have been completely freed by the dictum that you throw your best pitch as much as possible and forget about throwing your bad pitches for variety.

It's absolutely amazing to me that it took professional baseball teams over a hundred years to come to such shocking realizations as "You should throw your best pitch as much as possible" and "You should put your fielders in the spots where the other team typically hits the ball"

    • Danchat and Melissa like this
Pre-game 3 rant, but wtf! Why is Buxton on the bench?
    • BBAM likes this

 

Pre-game 3 rant, but wtf! Why is Buxton on the bench?

I was wondering the same flipping thing!!!!!!


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