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Twins ALDS Game 1 Recap: Bad Defense, Questionable Management Leads to Loss

All the excitement of AL Central Division championship and 101 wins seemed to disappear quickly in New York Friday night. Some unfortunate events in the field and some unfamiliar bullpen results left the Twins once again losers to the Yankees in a postseason game.
Image courtesy of © Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Box Score
Starter: Jose Berrios 4.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 61.4% strikes (54 of 88 pitches)
Bullpen: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 7 ER, 5 BB, 6 K

Home Runs: Jorge Polanco (1), Nelson Cruz (1), Miguel Sano (1)
Multi-Hit Games: Jorge Polanco (2-for-4), Marwin Gonzalez (2-for-4)

Top 3 WPA: Jorge Polanco (.248), Nelson Cruz(.105), Miguel Sano (.062)
Bottom 3 WPA: Cody Stashak (-.151), Mitch Garver (-.123), Eddie Rosario (-.122)

Attached Image: WinChartALDS1.png

Bomba SZN starts early

It didn’t take us long to find out who would hit the first postseason home run for the Twins in 2019. After a Mitch Garver strikeout, Jorge Polanco took James Paxton deep to put the Twins up 1-0 in the first inning.



Then as the Twins got into the third inning, Nelson Cruz did what he has done all season to left-handed pitchers. Cruz took a ball to right field and took full advantage of that short wall in Yankee Stadium to put the Twins up 2-0.

Berrios looked up for the task, until undone by errors

As Berrios took the mound it looked like we were going to get a few innings of the energetic, strike-throwing Berrios we have been looking for. As fastball after fastball registered 95 mph on the gun things were going well.

The one concern was the pitch count which was already at 48 pitches after two innings of work. So while far from perfect, Berrios was getting the job done. Then in the third inning Luis Arraez, who may have bumped into an umpire, looked unsteady as he headed for a short pop up and missed it as it fell to the outfield grass.

That was the first of two missed opportunities to put an out on the scoreboard. It was followed by Twin-killer Edwin Encarnacion hitting his second double of the game to drive in DJ LeMahieu.

Arraez was involved in the second missed opportunity as the relay from second to first during a double play did not connect. The second play looked to be more on C.J. Cron than on Arraez even though the throw was by no means perfect.

Arraez redeemed himself as he would double in the fifth inning. Allowing Polanco to come back to the plate and collect his second hit of the evening and drive Arraez in to tie the game up 3-3.

Bullpen wasn't quite the same

The most questionable move of the night may have came at the beginning of the fifth inning. Berrios had just been taken out of the game after going four innings and giving up four hits, three walks, and one earned run. After Tyler Duffey had been warming up earlier, Baldelli turned to Zack Littell to face the heart of the Yankees lineup.

Duffey came in after Littell walked Judge and hit Gardner with a pitch. By that time it gave Duffey little wiggle room and he eventually gave up a bases-loaded double to Torres off of Sano’s glove.

The second questionable bullpen move came when Cody Stashak was put in the game and gave up two home runs to let the Yankees go up 7-4 in the sixth. It seems especially strange at this stage to have Stashak in against the top of the Yankee lineup when Taylor Rogers, Sergio Romo, and Trevor May are all sitting out in the bullpen.

After Stashak, Baldelli turned to Kyle Gibson to likely save some of the other arms in the pen. LeMahieu continued to have a good night as he hit a bases-clearing double to go with a home run, two runs, and leaving him 3-for-5 on the night.

This wasn’t a good start in an attempt to “slay the dragon” as the Twins droped the game 10-4. Thankfully we don’t even need to wait 24 hours before we will see how the Twins rebound from their Game 1 loss.

Postgame With Baldelli


Pitching Staff Spreadsheet
Here's a look at the pitching staff usage:
Attached Image: PitchingStaff.png

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136 Comments

A train wreck in NY. The Yankees shredded the Twins in the game. Harold Reynolds and the boys shredded the Twins in the postgame. I hope the Twins can figure out how to come back and win this series and shut the Yankee-loving talking heads big yaps.

    • Piranyas likes this

Ugh... it's just more of the same. Hitters needed to step up and they didn't, defense was poor, pitching was poor. Trying to get through the game with Stashak and Gibson just made no sense to me... yuck.

 

I did predict the Yankees would win this series in four games, so I suppose this is what I expected, but I was hoping for a 12-10 game... not a 10-4 one.

    • mikelink45, D.C Twins and jz7233 like this
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VivaBomboRivera!
Oct 04 2019 09:58 PM

In a word, alarming.These are not decisions that lead to winning a ball game and establishing primacy over an opponent.

 

Takeaways:

  • Lying to the fans and the press that players on the roster are "100%" is wrong. It is understandable to want Arraez' bat (proven today), but not at the expense of the manager's honor.Please stop before credibility is completely lost.
  • The better call would have been to start Schoop and PH Arraez when the situation called for it.Keep the other guy guessing about what is really in your hand.
  • The leash is STILL not short enough when pitchers are showing they don't have their stuff.
  • Stashak may belong on the roster, but he does not belong in a 1-run game in Yankee Stadium against the meat of their order.
  • The dogs in the street know that Gibson is too ill to pitch effectively, and today proves it yet again.He should be watching while receiving treatment/therapy.Shame on management for continuing to run him out; shame on him for not blowing the whistle.
  • Why waste an outing from Graterol once a decision is taken to throw in the towel by leaving Gibson on the mound to give away 3 runs?He is not a garbage time pitcher - why treat him that way?!?!
  • What message does leaving Gibson out send to the team's hitters when there are still 6 outs left?

The Twins have given up initiative in this series and the only way to get it back is to win tomorrow.Going home with backs against the wall almost guarantees and early end to October. Manager of the year?Not based on this performance.

    • Jerr, wavedog, Longdistancetwins and 11 others like this

DJ LeMahieu was so clearly the second baseman to sign. Cost nothing but $. No draft pick. 24 million for 2 years. Perfect. Somehow, this front office thought it was Schoop.

 

Letting the Yankees see Graterol in a game like this to get used to him. WTF.

 

14 and counting. New guys. New team. But I saw them last night on the dance floor.........., and nothing had changed.

    • denarded, Jerr, wavedog and 4 others like this

#postseasonexperiencematters

 

#willneed10runspergametowinmaybe

    • Battle ur tail off likes this
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GetToKnowEm
Oct 04 2019 10:08 PM
Not a great start. Fortunately tomorrow’s game starts fresh at 0-0. Whether they lose 5-4 or 20-4 today, tomorrow’s game is tomorrow’s. GO TWINS!
    • SQUIRREL, SwainZag, Sconnie and 4 others like this

As Sun Tsu once said, "If your enemy wants help with a selfie, be sure to cut off his head." 

 

Now, during the game I admittedly lost my cool, and there's really never a good time to do that. With regards to pitchers throwing their first pitch at the head of a Yankee batter, I hope nobody took this seriously. I meant it as a metaphor for the general practice of using violence in sports. 

 

That said, none other than Uncle Bert has often advocated "pitching inside," which assumes a certain risk of going a little too far inside. If guys like Stashak and Littell and Graterol and Duffey pitch inside to the Yankees, it might reduce the size of their smug grins as these hitters lean out over the plate, ready to extend their arms for yet another home run. 

 

On such occasions I ask nobody deliberately to harm a fellow baseball player. All I ask Twins pitchers is to consider what really good pitchers have done about such things in the past. What would Bob Gibson do? 

    • 3balls2strikes likes this
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Brock Beauchamp
Oct 04 2019 10:11 PM

The Yankees swung through Berrios' low pitches in the first inning and then laid off them the rest of his outing. He only threw his offspeed stuff low and well out of the zone and lived off his fastball.

 

He didn't adjust. Combined with the defensive errors, that's what lost the game.

    • SQUIRREL, twinssouth, tarheeltwinsfan and 8 others like this

The game was a mess pure and simple. Pock marked with crazy decisions and some very unfortunate lack of plate discipline especially with 3-2 counts. And the bullpen...ugh. Really ugh. The 'd'...not so good. Starting Arraez....nice thought...bad decision. Leaving the Turtle off the roster. Bad decision (many don't agree...but at least he is healthy) Cron...terrible game. Garver...terrible game. And so on down the list.

 

Would be nice to say....put this one aside and get them tomorrow. Except Twins now own the M:LB record for consecutive losses in post season. they can spin this all they want. Its in their heads. Rarely during the season did they play this poorly.

 When these two teams meet, Yankees are always the better team....no what year, what roster, what field....doesn't matter.

 

They have exactly one game to fix this. Lose tomorrow and it will be a 3 game sweep.

    • Jerr, mikelink45, Piranyas and 3 others like this
The walks, the errors, this was an embarrassment. I didn't understand the Littell/Stashak moves either and the less said about Gibson the better.
    • tarheeltwinsfan, Dave The Dastardly, 3balls2strikes and 2 others like this
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VivaBomboRivera!
Oct 04 2019 10:16 PM

 

The Yankees swung through Berrios' low pitches in the first inning and then laid off them the rest of his outing. He only threw his offspeed stuff low and well out of the zone and lived off his fastball.

 

He didn't adjust. Combined with the defensive errors, that's what lost the game.

 

While your assessment of Berrios' performance is accurate (he may have adjusted in the bottom of the 4th...?), a greater share of the blame belongs farther up the food chain.We managed to lose this game.

    • USAFChief, Jerr, 3balls2strikes and 1 other like this
The series isnt over, but as has been true in the past, the Twins appear built to compete in the ALCentral.

The Yankees are built to win the WS.

We're starting Randy Dobnak in game 2 of the NLDS. Littell and Stashak asked to pitch in Yankee Stadium. Compare that to the other team.
    • Jerr, Danchat, Mr. Brooks and 7 others like this

 

As Sun Tsu once said, "If your enemy wants help with a selfie, be sure to cut off his head." 

 

Now, during the game I admittedly lost my cool, and there's really never a good time to do that. With regards to pitchers throwing their first pitch at the head of a Yankee batter, I hope nobody took this seriously. I meant it as a metaphor for the general practice of using violence in sports. 

 

That said, none other than Uncle Bert has often advocated "pitching inside," which assumes a certain risk of going a little too far inside. If guys like Stashak and Littell and Graterol and Duffey pitch inside to the Yankees, it might reduce the size of their smug grins as these hitters lean out over the plate, ready to extend their arms for yet another home run. 

 

On such occasions I ask nobody deliberately to harm a fellow baseball player. All I ask Twins pitchers is to consider what really good pitchers have done about such things in the past. What would Bob Gibson do? 

 

What would you call what Nuke Littell did?

 

Bob Gibson had the control to do that, even if it was always cowardly. He was good enough not to need it, even. If you don't have the stuff to actually get batters out, just try to not throw at them but try to but not really but kinda but if you do hit them claim you didn't mean to and it just got away? Hard to dress that skat up. Being a really good pitcher might be what is missing here. To consider what really good pitchers have done, and replicate them, means you have to be a really good pitcher to start with, eh?

Photo
Brock Beauchamp
Oct 04 2019 10:23 PM

 

While your assessment of Berrios' performance is accurate (he may have adjusted in the bottom of the 4th...?), a great share of the blame belongs farther up the food chain.We managed to lose this game.

How so? What did Baldelli do to lose this game? I agree that Schoop should have started but it's not as if Arraez blew the game wide open through incompetence.

 

Berrios wasn't locating his pitches and was out early. I'm not sure what is controversial about that.

    • SQUIRREL, dbminn and bighat like this

 

The Yankees swung through Berrios' low pitches in the first inning and then laid off them the rest of his outing. He only threw his offspeed stuff low and well out of the zone and lived off his fastball.

 

He didn't adjust. Combined with the defensive errors, that's what lost the game.

 

If it was just Berrios, and earned runs...... the game isn't lost and would have been 4-1. I don't disagree that Berrios struggled for the out pitch, but even with the unearned runs....... leaving the game in a tie has never been why any team loses a game.

    • DannySD and VivaBomboRivera! like this

How so? What did Baldelli do to lose this game? I agree that Schoop should have started but it's not as if Arraez blew the game wide open through incompetence.

Berrios wasn't locating his pitches and was out early. I'm not sure what is controversial about that.

Arraez had a pretty big role in turning a 2-0 lead into a 3-2 deficit.
    • ashbury, gil4, nokomismod and 5 others like this
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VivaBomboRivera!
Oct 04 2019 10:26 PM

 

We're starting Randy Dobnak in game 2 of the NLDS. Littell and Stashak asked to pitch in Yankee Stadium. Compare that to the other team.

 

Personally I am not that distressed about Dobnak.We'll see if everyone's hopes in him are rewarded.I want the man to have the best October cancelled honeymoon evah!

 

Mildly surprised at Big Red's butterflies.Hope he gets a chance to show he can shake them off.

 

Stashak just had a character-building experience that is not his fault.Hope his boss learned something from it.

    • Han Joelo and Original Whizzinator like this
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Brock Beauchamp
Oct 04 2019 10:27 PM

 

Arraez had a pretty big role in turning a 2-0 lead into a 3-2 deficit.

I agree, but he also had a big hit that brought back a run in his favor.

 

But also, Cron should have ****ing caught that ball. It was basically a gimme.

    • SQUIRREL, gil4, SwainZag and 4 others like this

Personally I am not that distressed about Dobnak. We'll see if everyone's hopes in him are rewarded. I want the man to have the best October cancelled honeymoon evah!

Mildly surprised at Big Red's butterflies. Hope he gets a chance to show he can shake them off.

Stashak just had a character-building experience that is not his fault. Hope his boss learned something from it.

Maybe Dobnak goes 6 strong tomorrow, but that's not really my point.

You wouldnt build your team counting on that. Nor would you count on your minor leagues providing a huge part of your October bullpen.
    • ashbury, Jerr, h2oface and 4 others like this
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VivaBomboRivera!
Oct 04 2019 10:32 PM

 

Berrios wasn't locating his pitches and was out early. I'm not sure what is controversial about that.

 

We could dispute whether Berrios should have had a chance in the 5th to show if he learned anything.You may be right that he didn't, and you are certainly right that his second time through the order was a big contributing factor to the loss.

 

The list of homework items for Mr. Baldelli, his staff and his bosses is found in comment #4.Hope they review it carefully. 

 

8^p

Cron catches the throw to first. Sano catches the hot shot to third by Torres that bounced off his glove and turns a double play..... big game changers. 

    • Han Joelo, brvama and Original Whizzinator like this

I think the counting of consecutive losses is silly. Now if this was the same team that lost all those games, it would be worth mentioning but for most of the players on this team, they have only lost 1 or 2 straight playoff games, going back to 2017. 

    • brvama, stringer bell and JDubs like this

The Twins pitching just looked over matched in this game, its disheartening to be at deja vu.When was the last good playoff performance from a Twins starter? Santana? 

 

The Yankees are not that much better a team but their players are calm and ready for the moment because they have been there before, they thrive by abusing the other teams inexpierence.This staff needs some arms that have already handled the pressure. 

 

Berrios didn't have his curve so I had no problem with him getting pulled.Going Littel/ Stashak/ Duffey with all of zero playoff innings between them was not a smart move. 

 

I am really not sold on this pen, everyone keeps citing the 2nd half numbers but I think that is a lot of small sample size mixed with playing some bad teams well into their tank. 

 

Rodgers is legit, albeit not playoff seasoned, and Romo is a well seasoned vet in his twilight run but outside of that I don't really trust any of them vs NY in the playoffs.Gibson and Stashak should be no where near this roster, Littel and Smeltzer are mop up guys, May and Duffey are middle to 7th inning guys with little to no playoff xp, Graterol throws 100 and has potential but has zero mlb xp.

 

Dobnak better bring his good **** tomorrow because the series is hanging on him eating some innings which is another major issue.He has been great for the couple months hes been up and may well step up, but the Twins year is hanging largely on a former non prospect who started the year in A ball and has 28 innings of Mlb experience.Any game they win in this post season is seems like they will need to hope to get 2 innings out of Rodgers and 1 out of Romo.

 

 

 

 

    • tarheeltwinsfan, 3balls2strikes and SoDakTwinsFan4 like this

 

Cron catches the throw to first. Sano catches the hot shot to third by Torres that bounced off his glove and turns a double play..... big game changers. 

 

Rocco was still going to use the pitchers that he did even if the things you said did happen. Stashak would've still given up those HRs and Gibson would've still been Gibson.

The Twins chances are based on getting big leads early...which by definition means a starter going at least 5 innings in a somewhat effective manner. Our best starter didn’t really come close to doing that. That’s probably the most disappointing thing to me in a disappointing game.
    • tarheeltwinsfan likes this

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