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Twins ALDS Game 2 Recap: Nothing Works, Twins Lose 12th Straight To Yankees

Absolutely nothing worked out for the Twins in Game 2 of the ALDS in the Bronx and Minnesota got crushed by the Yankees, 8-2. The offense was completely dominated, while starting pitcher Randy Dobnak couldn’t pitch past the third inning. The Twins get closer to a negative postseason milestone.
Image courtesy of © Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Box Score
Dobnak: 2.0 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 53.4% strikes (23 of 43 pitches)
Bullpen: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 6 BB, 6 K

Home Runs: None
Multi-Hit Games: Garver (2-for-4, RBI), Arráez (2-for-4, RBI)

Bottom 3 WPA: Duffey -.165, Dobnak -.141, Rosario -.077

Attached Image: WinChart1005.png
With yet another loss to the Yankees in the postseason, Minnesota has now been defeated in its last 15 postseason games. The last time the Twins won in the playoffs was exactly fifteen years ago, Game 1 of the 2004 ALDS against the Yankees. If they can’t win Game 3 at Target Field Monday, they will match the worst playoff win drought in professional sports, now held by the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks. Between 1975 and 1979, they lost sixteen consecutive playoff games.

Dobnak done after two innings
I can’t even begin to understand what was going through Dobnak’s mind when he took over the mound at Yankee Stadium this afternoon. I don’t think you can get a more nerve-wrecking situation than starting a postseason game less than a year after signing you first $2,000-dollar minor league contract.

Judging by his first inning, you can tell how nervous he might have been. Yankees hitters cornered him early. DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge, the top two men in the Yankee lineup, both reached safely to begin the game. Edwin Encarnación would later hit a one-out RBI single to left. Immediately afterwards, Dobnak induced an inning-ending ground ball double play against Giancarlo Stanton, finishing a 22-pitch effort from him in the bottom of the first.

Dobnak actually had a rather smooth second inning, which he concluded with only 12 pitches, nine being strikes. Then his command started to elude him during the third inning and he loaded the bases before recording an out. Rocco Baldelli decided to pull the plug on him after only nine pitches in the inning.

Bullpen can’t put out the fire
Tyler Duffey took over in relief and he couldn’t get the job done. Two runs scored right away on a sac-fly by Stanton, followed by an RBI-single by Gleyber Torres. Duffey then hit Gary Sánchez after getting ahead on the count, 0-2, reloading the bases. After getting ahead 0-2 against Didi Gregorius, he gave up a grand slam. It was Gregorius' third career grand slam against Minnesota.

Duffey was lifted from the game after getting two outs and was replaced by Devin Smeltzer. The rookie was also ambushed, giving up a couple of hits while allowing his inherited runner to score. That made for a seven-run inning for New York.

Bats get completely dominated
After hitting three home runs on seven hits on Friday night, the Twins couldn’t find the power in Game 2. Yankee starter Masahiro Tanaka held the Minnesota lineup to one hit in the first four innings he pitched. It was only after staying out during the long bottom of the third that he started to give Twins batters a chance.

After Jorge Polanco flied out to start the fourth inning, Nelson Cruz drew a walk and was later scored after back-to-back singles, coming off the bats of Eddie Rosario and Mitch Garver. Tanaka and the Yankee bullpen went on to retire sixteen of the seventeen batters that stepped up to the box after Garver’s RBI.

They managed to manufacture another run late in the ninth, when the same Garver hit a two-out single and was scored by a Luís Arráez RBI double.

Postgame With Baldelli


Pitching Staff Spreadsheet
Here's a look at the pitching staff usage:
Attached Image: PitchingStaff1005.png


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159 Comments

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Taildragger8791
Oct 05 2019 11:44 PM
The home runs and big offensive displays were fun this year, and the players are certainly likeable. But we all knew this pitching staff was threadbare and too much of the team got by and smoke and mirrors and matchups. Unfortunately those favorable matchups disappear in the playoffs and now it’s just an embarrassing massacre. They need to replace 2/3 of the pitching next year get an adequate backup for Buxton.
    • dgwills, Platoon and D.C Twins like this
Lying down in the playoffs embarrasses the team by proving they dont belong there and us as fans for ever thinking they did. Either the team is average at best or they quit. There is no third option. We all know the Yankees are not as good as the Twins have made them appear to be.
    • mdonaghue likes this

 

Lying down in the playoffs embarrasses the team by proving they dont belong there and us as fans for ever thinking they did. Either the team is average at best or they quit. There is no third option. We all know the Yankees are not as good as the Twins have made them appear to be.

 

If the Yankees aren't as good as the Twins have made them appear to be than what does that make the Twins? 

I was listening to Baseball tonite after work and the Yankees can be so proud of their fans chanting Uber at Randy Dobnak. Kinda like someone still calling you Fat A$$ after you lost 100 lbs. This is why I want another team to get a chance to win. I hope everyone of those jerks lose their jobs.....
    • dgwills likes this
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Crackedfungo
Oct 06 2019 12:39 AM
What still shocks me, is that they didn't play Kepler before the playoffs, they rolled the dice on Arraez ankle, they completely out-smarted themselves by saving their second best starter and 2 of 3 best relievers for elimination game. They also have had opportunities to pull pitchers before the 'wheels flew off', and waited one batter too long (Gibson, Duffey, Stashak). We should be disappointed with our hitters swinging at **** pitches on 3rd strike from Pax and Tanaka - Pax's bounced in front of the plate, but plate discipline has never been a strength (we should have scouted better and given all our K-victims take signals). Our ridiculous number of walks is mind-boggling against a team of free-swingers (which the Yankees are), and shows a gutless approach to challenging hitters. That is the game in a nutshell.

Dobnak and the rest of the guys can say that they didn't have nerves these last 2 games, but I don't believe them in the slightest. Especially the guys that haven't been in a postseason atmosphere before. I 100% believe this is psychological, and the Twins just don't have enough guys on their roster that are mentally tough enough to deal with the pressure right now in order to win. Twins NEED to bring in at least 1 starter and a couple more relievers in the offseason that have had big time postseason pressure put on them before. 

    • tarheeltwinsfan and Platoon like this
The Yankees had very good advanced scouting and executed a plan accordingly for game 1. Twins coaching staff/hitters made no adjustments for game 2 and made it easy on their pitchers. Yankees approach seemed simple.. fastball up or off the plate, breaking ball over for strikes, and of course the slider/splitter in the dirt, which somehow the Twins are thinking is a hittable pitch this post season.
    • birdwatcher and D.C Twins like this
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ScrapTheNickname
Oct 06 2019 01:32 AM

 

This is confirmed.Yankee Stadium smells like the armpit of the older brother who never let you win.

Bravo!

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ScrapTheNickname
Oct 06 2019 02:07 AM

 

Fire the manager until we get a playoff manager who actually reads scouting reports.Baldelli, thus far, is as incompetent as Gardenhire was.Solid in the regular season, then his brains turn into water for the playoffs.How do you not play healthy guys, fail to scout the other team's pitching, fail to scout the other team's hitting, and fail to show up prepared to play?In the civilian world Baldelli would be fired.

 

At least when Molitor and Kelly were around the teams showed up to play, regardless of the talent level.

 

12 in a row - why didn't we just forfeit as soon as we saw it was the Yankees?  

I guess you would rather have seen Lamonte Wade than Kepler. Sometimes the decisions you have to make aren't good ones.

    • SQUIRREL, brvama, dgwills and 2 others like this

 

Okay, let's start talking about 2020. Dobnak, Littell, Duffey and the boys should burn this drubbing into their memories. Don't forget the bitterness, the embarrassment, the humiliation, etc. Instead, use those awful feelings to bolster your resolve to become far tougher next year. It is time to murder, dismember and bury all the emotional vulnerabilities you brought to this humiliating mismatch. Time to get tougher than rawhide. Time to chew nails and spit out carpet tacks. 

 

I don't care if next year's team sets a record for home runs. What I don't want to see is a Twins squad that can't field their positions. I don't want to see Twins pitchers throwing meatballs down the middle, or issuing free passes to hitters. I also don't want to see enemy hitters leaning out over the plate without getting a 95 mph reminder why you don't do that to Twins pitchers. 

 

Enough Minnesota Nice. Time for the baseball world to find out what Minnesota Mean looks like. 

 

This is what we all said the last time the Twins got crushed by the Yankees in the playoffs. And the time before that also. If you haven't seen the movie before, here's what happens next: we miss the playoffs for 7-8 straight years and the nightmare repeats a generation later.

 

It's not about being nice or mean. None of these players are from Minnesota, it's not a cultural war between the Midwest and the East Coast.It's simply one team having resources and spending money vs. another team that doesn't have as much resources and doesn't spend as much money. It's the Waldorf Astoria vs. Extended Stay America.

    • SQUIRREL likes this

Serious question: have we all given up on this team already?

 

There's still hope the Twins can nab a game at home on Monday, you know.

 

Oh yeah, these first two games have been a gut punch. Couldn't have gone worse, really. Frustrating. But they just need to win 3 straight. One game at a time. If they can take a game on Monday, this series becomes interesting again.

 

But remember that double-header sweep in Cleveland? We need that mojo back. Is it too late?

    • SQUIRREL, glunn, brvama and 3 others like this
Same old garbage. Twins obviously fold under any pressure in the playoffs. Yet again they looked completely lost.
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theBOMisthebomb
Oct 06 2019 05:21 AM

Serious question: have we all given up on this team already?
 
There's still hope the Twins can nab a game at home on Monday, you know.
 
Oh yeah, these first two games have been a gut punch. Couldn't have gone worse, really. Frustrating. But they just need to win 3 straight. One game at a time. If they can take a game on Monday, this series becomes interesting again.
 
But remember that double-header sweep in Cleveland? We need that mojo back. Is it too late?

From a logical standpoint, this 5 game series is where it should be after 2 games. The Yankees held serve at home for 2 games, as they should. Now, the Twins have to return the favor and answer with 2 victories at Target Field. Then, it's a winner take all anything goes crapshoot for game 5. That's my belief in this team right now, that they will force a game 5. The Bomba Squad has been special all season and I won't back down from the claim they have some magic left in them. I still have the delusion they can pull off the remarkable comeback against the Yankees and storm off with a head of steam against the Astros in the ALCS.
    • glunn, denarded, brvama and 2 others like this
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AlwaysinModeration
Oct 06 2019 05:42 AM
ATTENTION downtrodden Twins Daily regulars!

I’m leaving the country.

I didn’t think it would have to come to this, but it has. For Monday’s game, I will literally be on an airplane leaving the United States. I won’t get back into the country until the series is over. It’s a work trip. You are welcome. You are welcome in advance for the change in the Twin’s fortunes, and you are welcome for the thrilling come-from-behind/oblivion series win. It’s a sacrifice of great proportion on my part, and frankly one that I am not that happy to make, this being the Twins first division title in ten years, but what has to be done, has to done.

Baseball history is full of long-suffering fandoms, unbreakable curses, and seemingly insurmountable odds. The long suffering ends, the curses get broken, and the odds are overcome. There is no clock in baseball. Games don’t end until the 27th out is recorded. Series aren’t over until one team closes out the final victory.

I refer you to the long history between the Red Sox and Yankees leading up to the ninth inning of Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS, when unanimously elected Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera had the lead. For a more recent example, I note the Chicago Cubs’ franchise history and century of being the (real) lovable losers. We don’t even need to go back further than Tuesday night, when the Nats, who hadn’t won a post-season series of any kind since moving to DC from Montreal, trailed the Brewers with Josh Hader on the mound.

Remember when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? It’s always darkest before the dawn.
    • glunn, Dantes929 and IndianaTwin like this
I agree that to be down to games without getting your best pitcher off the bench is troubling. Was there a more important time in the series than bases loaded in the third? Why not use Rogers then? To save him for a potential save station makes no sense. That inning cost them the game and probably the series. Rogers was their best chance of getting out of that jam.
    • glunn and Dantes929 like this
Two games, not to games
    • VivaBomboRivera! likes this
The Yankees live in that environment all year long. There seems far more pressure there than occurs in other places, such as Target Tield. Yankees fans expect to get to the playoffs every year. Twins fans hope to. There is a difference. I assume fly ball v ground ball rate was at the heart of the Twins inexplicable decision to start a Dobnak in that high pressure venue. But the single biggest difference overall was plate discipline. Berrios lives off that little breaking ball sliding off the outside corner. I think it was Garver who said they like to start that pitch as a strike and let them chase, but they didn't. Nor did they chase Dobnaks low stuff. And when a sinker ball pitcher has to bring it up, it never ends up well. The Twins somewhat faced the same situation. But they did not lay off the stuff off the plate. While they notoriously feasted on FB all year, they never forced the Yankees to throw them any. Just kept swinging. Sano was the most visible of the bunch, but not at all alone in that regard. The strike zone didn't cost the Twins either game. There were pitches missed for both teams. When fans call for Robo umps, and still complain when a pitch is obviously out of the box, it tells me Robo umps won't stop the whining at all. If you have questionable pitching, and surround it with questionable glove work nothing good will come of it. Every play is magnified, and every out is precious. Remarkably I can see a way for the Twins to get back to NY. It's slim, Ordorizzi would have to become Big Jake. (Google it) Berrios would have to throw at least seven innings on short rest. And Severino would have to misplace his talent. While I wont take bets it's doable.
    • birdwatcher, brvama, wsnydes and 2 others like this

From a logical standpoint, this 5 game series is where it should be after 2 games. The Yankees held serve at home for 2 games, as they should. Now, the Twins have to return the favor and answer with 2 victories at Target Field. Then, it's a winner take all anything goes crapshoot for game 5. That's my belief in this team right now, that they will force a game 5. The Bomba Squad has been special all season and I won't back down from the claim they have some magic left in them. I still have the delusion they can pull off the remarkable comeback against the Yankees and storm off with a head of steam against the Astros in the ALCS.


The Twins are significantly better on the road than at home.
They needed to split the first 2 to have any shot.
    • Danchat likes this

The Yankees live in that environment all year long. There seems far more pressure there than occurs in other places, such as Target Tield. Yankees fans expect to get to the playoffs every year. Twins fans hope to. There is a difference. I assume fly ball v ground ball rate was at the heart of the Twins inexplicable decision to start a Dobnak in that high pressure venue. But the single biggest difference overall was plate discipline. Berrios lives off that little breaking ball sliding off the outside corner. I think it was Garver who said they like to start that pitch as a strike and let them chase, but they didn't. Nor did they chase Dobnaks low stuff. And when a sinker ball pitcher has to bring it up, it never ends up well. The Twins somewhat faced the same situation. But they did not lay off the stuff off the plate. While they notoriously feasted on FB all year, they never forced the Yankees to throw them any. Just kept swinging. Sano was the most visible of the bunch, but not at all alone in that regard.The strike zone didn't cost the Twins either game. There were pitches missed for both teams. When fans call for Robo umps, and still complain when a pitch is obviously out of the box, it tells me Robo umps won't stop the whining at all. If you have questionable pitching, and surround it with questionable glove work nothing good will come of it. Every play is magnified, and every out is precious. Remarkably I can see a way for the Twins to get back to NY. It's slim, Ordorizzi would have to become Big Jake. (Google it) Berrios would have to throw at least seven innings on short rest. And Severino would have to misplace his talent. While I wont take bets it's doable.


It blows my mind that Garver and the pitchers seem surprised that the strategy of trying to get them to chase those isn't working.
How are they this unprepared for their opponent? Laying off those pitches has been the Yankees MO for as long as Cashman has been in charge. It's why Yankees games take 4 hours, they don't swing at junk. How are they just now realizing that?
    • birdwatcher, brvama, twinsnorth49 and 1 other like this
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Hosken Bombo Disco
Oct 06 2019 06:27 AM

The Yankees live in that environment all year long. There seems far more pressure there than occurs in other places, such as Target Tield. Yankees fans expect to get to the playoffs every year. Twins fans hope to. There is a difference.

I assume fly ball v ground ball rate was at the heart of the Twins inexplicable decision to start a Dobnak in that high pressure venue. But the single biggest difference overall was plate discipline. Berrios lives off that little breaking ball sliding off the outside corner. I think it was Garver who said they like to start that pitch as a strike and let them chase, but they didn't. Nor did they chase Dobnaks low stuff. And when a sinker ball pitcher has to bring it up, it never ends up well.

The Twins somewhat faced the same situation. But they did not lay off the stuff off the plate. While they notoriously feasted on FB all year, they never forced the Yankees to throw them any. Just kept swinging. Sano was the most visible of the bunch, but not at all alone in that regard.

The strike zone didn't cost the Twins either game. There were pitches missed for both teams. When fans call for Robo umps, and still complain when a pitch is obviously out of the box, it tells me Robo umps won't stop the whining at all.

If you have questionable pitching, and surround it with questionable glove work nothing good will come of it. Every play is magnified, and every out is precious.

Remarkably I can see a way for the Twins to get back to NY. It's slim, Ordorizzi would have to become Big Jake. (Google it) Berrios would have to throw at least seven innings on short rest. And Severino would have to misplace his talent. While I wont take bets it's doable.

And then when the Twins get back to NY for game five, we turn to... Dobnak? :)

It unfortunately looks like the Twins out-thought themselves this series, or were way too overconfident behind the scenes. Or something. They were certainly “out-analyticed” up in the front office.
    • birdwatcher and D.C Twins like this

 

It blows my mind that Garver and the pitchers seem surprised that the strategy of trying to get them to chase those isn't working.
How are they this unprepared for their opponent? Laying off those pitches has been the Yankees MO for as long as Cashman has been in charge. It's why Yankees games take 4 hours, they don't swing at junk. How are they just now realizing that?

I'd say that it's more about the pitcher's inability to get guys out without relying on hitters chasing than it is surprise.

 

They Yankees, and other legitimate contenders, have lineups full of guys that simply don't chase and don't get themselves out very often. They wear out opposing pitching staffs. That's how they have to win in the regular season and that's the recipe for success in the postseason. That's also not a thing the Twins have done a good job of all year on either side of the ball. They can be free swingers in the AL Central and get away with it. They can throw stuff in the opposite batters box and get away with it in the AL Central. 

 

In my opinion, level of season-long competition plays a huge role in preparing a team for the playoffs. The AL Central has been bad for most if not all of its existence. That's not the end all since there have been WS winners that have come out of the Central, but they're more of the exception in my opinion. This team was built to beat up on the AL Central, not to be a true contender. There are plenty of people on these boards that have been saying that all year. It sucks, but that's the unfortunate reality.

    • birdwatcher, Danchat, Taildragger8791 and 2 others like this
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stringer bell
Oct 06 2019 06:29 AM
OK. This series isn’t over. The Twins played and pitched two bad games in a row. They have on occasion put together three “A” games and if they do, they have a chance.

I think the 10% number quoted above is about right. I also think that it is far more likely to see a Yankee sweep than anything else, but a win on Monday just might change everything.

This has been the most resilient team I’ve ever seen. I won’t give up on them until the final out.
    • glunn, birdwatcher, Dantes929 and 1 other like this
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LewFordLives
Oct 06 2019 06:50 AM
Here's the difference between the Twins and the Yankees. To the Yankees and their fans, anything less than the world series is considered a failure, whereas most Twins players and fans appear content with a participation certificate. I'm sorry but it's true.

It's not about talent. Position for position the Twins have just as much talent as the Yankees. Yes the Twins have some issues with their pitching, but so do the Yankees. This Yankees team was not on par with the the dynasty in the late 90's.

Look no further than Saturdays game. After Berrios got pulled after a less than stellar outing everyone was hugging and smiling and patting him on the back as if he had pitched a 2 hit complete game shutout. Until the attitude and expectations of this organization change from the top down we will continue to witness playoff futility.
    • Bandit34 likes this

And then when the Twins get back to NY for game five, we turn to... Dobnak? :)
It unfortunately looks like the Twins out-thought themselves this series, or were way too overconfident behind the scenes. Or something. They were certainly “out-analyticed” up in the front office.

Speaking of out analyzed? This WAPO piece is semi snarky, but addresses that issue.

https://www.washingt...82d2_story.html

I'd say that it's more about the pitcher's inability to get guys out without relying on hitters chasing than it is surprise.


Garver and the pitchers have been quoted after both games saying that this was their strategy but that the Yankees haven't cooperated.

Cody Stashak: “These guys, they weren’t biting at anything. They weren’t chasing, they’re just sitting on strikes.”

Mitch Garver: “We were trying to get his breaking ball to start [as] a strike, and early on they weren’t swinging too much,” said catcher Mitch Garver. “Credit to them for taking good at-bats.”
    • birdwatcher and Platoon like this

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