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Twins ALDS Game 3 Recap: Twins Season Ends in Heartbreak

The long awaited postseason return to Target Field was met with some mixed emotions, as the Twins brought a 2-0 series deficit back from New York, and were suddenly on the brink of elimination. The Twins gave themselves plenty of chances to give this crowd a reason to erupt, but time and time again they came up short in the clutch, going a dreadful 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position. In the end, the Twins dropped their 16th consecutive postseason game by a score of 5-1, ending the season for the Bomba Squad.
Image courtesy of © David Berding-USA TODAY Sports
Box Score
Odorizzi: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 65.9% strikes (54 of 82 pitches)
Home Runs: Rosario (1)
Multi-Hit Games: Rosario (3-for-4, 2B, HR), Arraez (2-for-4, 2B)
WPA of +0.1: Rosario .110, Cron .104
WPA of -0.1: Sano -.165, Kepler -.139, Gonzalez -.118, Cruz -.112, Polanco -.108, Garver -.101

Here's A Look At Today's Win Probability Chart
Attached Image: vs Yankees 10-7-2019.PNG
(Chart via Fangraphs)

Despite being down in the series 2-0, Twins were amped at the start of the game, and Jake Odorizzi gave them something to cheer about in the top of the first. After striking out DJ LeMahieu to start the ballgame, Odorizzi appeared to get Aaron Judge to fly out to Eddie Rosario in right for two quick outs. However, Judge was awarded first base after catcher’s interference was called. That was no problem for Odorizzi, as he came back and got Brett Gardner to strike out and Edwin Encarnacion to fly out to end the inning.

Odorizzi wasn’t able to keep the Yankees off the board for long, however, as Gleyber Torres hit a fly ball that just cleared the wall, and Jake Cave’s glove, in left. Rocco Baldelli went out and asked the umpires to review the home run for fan interference, and while a fan did reach over the railing and made contact with the ball, it was clearly already over the fence, along with Cave’s glove, before the fan touched it. Luckily for the Twins, the home run came with nobody on base, which feels like a rare occurrence for the Yankees against the Twins of late.

The Twins gave themselves an excellent opportunity to get on the scoreboard themselves in the bottom of the second. Eddie Rosario drove a pitch about six inches above the zone deep off the top of the right-center field wall for a lead off double, narrowly missing a home run. After a Mitch Garver walk, and a Luis Arraez single, the Twins had the bases loaded and nobody out. However, as was the narrative all season long, the Twins failed to get the job done with the bases loaded, thanks to a Miguel Sano popup, and strikeouts from Marwin Gonzalez and Jake Cave.

Gio Urshela led off the Yankee third with a blopper that dropped in front a Jake Cave, who inexplicably laid out for the baseball, coming up a few feet short, and allowing the ball to get past him, turning a routine single into a lead off double for Urshela. Urshela was able to advance to third on a DJ LeMahieu ground out, and looked like he might be stranded there after Aaron Judge struck out. However, Brett Gardner came through with a two-out single that went right past a shifted Miguel Sano, giving the Yankees a 2-0 lead.

After singles from Jorge Polanco and Eddie Rosario, the Twins had another scoring chance with two on and two out, for Mitch Garver, in the bottom of the third. After getting ahead in the count 3-0, Garver took what was pretty clearly ball four high, however, umpire Gary Cederstrom didn’t see it that way, calling it a strike. After that, Luis Severino was able to battle back and strike out Garver to end the inning.

Jake Odorizzi did his job in the fourth and fifth innings, by keeping the Yankees off the board and working two pretty clean innings. Overall, for the night, Odorizzi earned a tip of the cap for doing his job by limiting the Yankees to just two runs across five innings, keeping the Twins in the game into the later innings.

Luis Arraez got yet another Twins rally attempt going in the bottom of the sixth, when he drilled a one-out double that split the gap in left-center field. Miguel Sano followed that up with good at-bat, working the count full before driving a ball that left the bat at 107.9 MPH, toward the wall in right, but Aaron Judge used all of his 6’8” frame to reach up and snare the ball out of midair. Marwin Gonzalez followed that up by driving a flyball high into the Minnesota sky, but that ball came up just shy of the fence, as Judge made the catch on the warning track to end the Twins sixth.

The Yankees added to their lead in the top of the seventh after yet another clutch hit off the bat of Didi Gregorius. Gleyber Torres started the inning with a ringing double off of Taylor Rogers. Then with one out, Gregorius ripped a single down the first base line, bringing around Torres to extend the Yankee lead to three.

It took a long, and I mean long, time but the Twins were finally able to get on the board thanks to this Eddie Rosario blast to lead off the bottom of the eighth.



The Yankees tacked on a couple more runs in the ninth to extend their lead to four in the top of the ninth. Cameron Maybin took Sergio Romo deep, with what looked like a lazy fly ball that just cleared the wall in left. They tacked on their fifth, and final, run of the game, thanks to, you guessed it, yet another RBI off the bat of Didi Gregorius.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Twins got themselves a little rally going in the bottom of the ninth, getting each of the first two hitters on to lead off the inning. However, the ninth ended in the same way as every other Twins rally of the ballgame. Max Kepler picked up the first out of the inning, by striking out three straight sliders from Aroldis Chapman. Jorge Polanco then lined a ball up the middle that appeared destined for a base hit until Didi Gregorius grabbed the ball, and with it the Twins hopes and dreams. The Twins season came to an end with Nelson Cruz at the plate looking at strike three right down the middle.

The Twins ended the game going just 3-for-9 on balls put in play over 100 MPH. Those nine batted balls had an average expected batting average of .612. Instead, the Twins got just over half of that, and of course all the ones that didn’t drop for a hit were the ones hit in the highest leverage spots, but hey that’s baseball.

Postgame with Baldelli:



Bullpen Usage
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:

Attached Image: 10-7-2019 vs Yankees.PNG

ALDS Game Recaps:
Twins ALDS Game 2 Recap: Nothing Works, Twins Lose 12th Straight To Yankees
Twins ALDS Game 1 Recap: Bad Defense, Questionable Management Leads to Loss

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110 Comments

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Brock Beauchamp
Oct 08 2019 12:45 AM

 

Not batting Arraez leadoff, bad.

Uh, but why? The guy is predetermined to bat leadoff literally once a game. It's not as if the Twins struggled to get people on base, they just flat-out failed to drive them home.

I want to face the Yankees in the postseason next year and every other year, and that the front office and the coaching staff need to focus more on building a team that can beat the Yankees.

 

I hope for better pitching, better situational hitting and better defense. And Buxton needs to be more careful when he is close to the wall. I think that a healthy Buxton would have helped a lot.

    • Platoon and wsnydes like this
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Michigan Twins Fan
Oct 08 2019 01:09 AM

 

coinciding with moving to the DC area, I’m just not sure I’m going to be investing this kind of time into this team. I probably read every minor league report this year and watched most games.

It’s one thing if we’re losing in games 4 or 5 of the ALDS every year. Competitive. A bounce here or there. A clearly high ball four to garver on a pitch four feet away from the target here or there. A Yankee not catching one of our 108 mph laser beams here or there.

But we get swept every year. It’s clear we only build to compete for the central. Never for the title. We don’t draft and develop pitching. We don’t trade for it. We don’t sign it.

Why bother.

Rant over. Have a good offseason. I’m off to become a nats fan I guess.

 

 

My brother and his wife lived in D.C. for a decade. I enjoy the Nats and consider them my NL team. If post-season futility is your bag, then by all means choose them. You'll feel right at home. 

    • LimestoneBaggy, mikelink45 and KidBro like this
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Michigan Twins Fan
Oct 08 2019 01:13 AM

One thing the Yankees have going for them is a relatively competitive division. It helps that their 104 wins came against decent teams (Baltimore aside). 

 

Also, sample size is a thing. We had a winning record against the Astros this year, but none of us would have realistically expected to beat them in a playoff series. Unfortunately we didn't have it for this series. 

    • birdwatcher and Platoon like this
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Brock Beauchamp
Oct 08 2019 01:19 AM

 

One thing the Yankees have going for them is a relatively competitive division. It helps that their 104 wins came against decent teams (Baltimore aside). 

 

Also, sample size is a thing. We had a winning record against the Astros this year, but none of us would have realistically expected to beat them in a playoff series. Unfortunately we didn't have it for this series. 

The ALE was barely more competitive than the ALC. If any season didn't really play to those tropes, it was this one.

 

The only real difference was the two Sox teams.

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Brock Beauchamp
Oct 08 2019 01:29 AM

Fun fact, the Twins winning percentage versus the AL divisions:

 

ALC: 66%

ALW: 68%

ALE: 63%

 

That seems pretty much like a team that just beat other teams.

    • Riverbrian, h2oface, dbminn and 2 others like this
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SoDakTwinsFan4
Oct 08 2019 01:34 AM

Had the Twins played (and been managed) this way for the first two games, we'd be looking at a game four.
 
Nevermind that I wouldn't be so effing angry right now.
 
I like Baldelli but he needs to be better next season. I glossed over some of his weaker points but he walked such a different game than he talked that SOMEONE needs to call it out and he needs to learn from the experience.


I thought, based on your comments after game 1, that you had no problem with how Baldelli managed. Change of heart?
    • birdwatcher likes this
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Brock Beauchamp
Oct 08 2019 01:39 AM

 

I thought, based on your comments after game 1, that you had no problem with how Baldelli managed. Change of heart?

I was extremely intoxicated at the time, take anything I said about game one with about fifty pounds of salt.

 

Once I sobered up, I just scratched my head and wondered what the hell I had witnessed.

 

What I remembered witnessing, anyway.

    • ashbury, dbminn and SoDakTwinsFan4 like this
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Michigan Twins Fan
Oct 08 2019 02:08 AM

 

Fun fact, the Twins winning percentage versus the AL divisions:

 

ALC: 66%

ALW: 68%

ALE: 63%

 

That seems pretty much like a team that just beat other teams.

 

But you're not playing all teams from the other divisions; you're playing the best. Our winning percentage against "winning" teams was below .500. 

 

And the Red Sox were a good team who are saddeled in a division with two great teams. If you traded the two Sox teams, I would wager that you would have seen more wins by the Red Sox and fewer by the White Sox. 

 

The numbers you've posted are interesting, but for this discussion who we did against divisions writ large is unimportant. How we did against playoff teams is, and the Yankees and Rays did a number on us while we got a series win against the 'Stros. 

 

I think there's a good analog to my college team, Villanova. The Big East is good competition, but it's not the Big 10 or the ACC. And 2016 and 2018 excepted, it shows in the tournament. 

    • laloesch likes this

I totally understand why so many fans feel just DONE with this team right now. I felt super ticked off last night - when they had the bases loaded and nobody out, didn't score...it was just sickening. That said - and I'm just speaking for myself - this sweep doesn't take away the fun I had this summer watching this team. There were some special moments. I refuse to let last night's sweep tarnish those fun moments we all had watching and commenting here on the game threads together.

  • Watching the Twins bash another opponent 14-5 or whatever. 
  • Watching Luis Arraez come out of nowhere to become a special player.
  • Seeing Miguel Sano click in the second half of the season. Mitch Garver's emergence.
  • Taylor Rogers turning into an elite reliever, mowing teams down.
  • Nelson Cruz and those 3-homer games.

 

That said, I'm not sure I'm even sure I have the stomach to summon hope again. This Twins team looked absolutely out-classed and out-matched by superior talent and coaching. It wasn't even close. Was this Yankees-Twins? Because it looked like Yankees-Orioles. Being exposed as frauds on the national stage was frankly embarrassing.

 

The Twins didn't look like one pitcher away from competing. They looked wayyyy farther away than that. Let's just hope it doesn't take this team 8 more years to even reach the playoffs again. The bad taste from this series won't go away for many fans until we make it right, advance in the playoffs. Pronto.

 

    • ashbury, birdwatcher, pbrezeasap and 2 others like this
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the_brute_squad
Oct 08 2019 05:21 AM

Top of the mind rant. I don't know how coherent this is but this sweep pisses me off.

The only team to get swept - The MN Twins

Record for most playoff losses in a row - The MN Twins

Team that allowed the Yankees to score 7 runs in one inning (a Yankee record) The MN Twins

This team was out pitched, out defensed, out coached, out everything.

101 wins and a HR record isn't acceptable. Fans must demand more than that. I'll take 90 wins and a World Series appearance.

This team needs to shore up its defense in a huge way and pick up one front line pitcher.

Graterol better not be seen as a bullpen pitcher or I'm done. The Astros have proven starters can throw 98mph and start a game.

Bring Odo back - he's worth it as a #2 or #3 pitcher.

Teams that win World Series don't settle for this result, the fan base certainly shouldn't either.

 

    • wavedog, LewFordLives, mikelink45 and 3 others like this

The ALE was barely more competitive than the ALC. If any season didn't really play to those tropes, it was this one.

The only real difference was the two Sox teams.

Except the East has only one of the 5 worst teams in baseball rather than two and it also had a second playoff team. I wouldn't call that the same division. The East wasn't as good as it usually is, but it's still quite a bit better than the Central.
    • USAFChief, Madisonsdad and KirbyDome89 like this
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Richard Swerdlick
Oct 08 2019 05:34 AM
Baseball to me is a celebration of the warm weather months. I greatly enjoyed the many hours of entertainment that the Twins and their minor league teams provided me. Next year I plan to subscribe to MILB TV to be able to watch some of those minor league games. Thank you to the TWins and the TWins Daily staff for a wonderful summer.
    • ashbury, denarded, birdwatcher and 6 others like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Oct 08 2019 05:51 AM

Look, they didn't perform, but this doom and gloom is a bit over the top... for now.

 

That streak sits at 16 games, and yes it's ugly. Most of the guys on this team had nothign to do with anything but this series... and a few more can back one more game. We'll see ALDS action over the next few years with this core of players.

 

Let's see how they handle the offseason. Let's see how they perform next year before we decide that they are nothing but a bunch of losers. 

    • denarded, birdwatcher, pbrezeasap and 4 others like this

The gloom is warranted...if you are a fan, and winning is important. If not, different story. Why SHOULDN'T fans be very disappointed at what we just saw, if winning in post season is important. Post season finishes off the regular season. Its what they all play for. Its harder to win in October than April for many reasons. Some organizations just do it a lot better than others.

 

Its good that you can't point a finger at just one player for this failure. Almost all of them contributed. Their bats turned to sawdust with runners on. The strikeouts mounted so fast you could barely keep track of them. The bullpen that was so terrific second half, all went to hell in a handbasket. Rogers, Romo, May, Duffey...they all failed when asked to hold the line. The stage was too big for Dobnak. The manager lifted Berrios way too soon. Littell's inexperience got the better of him. Kepler played hurt and looked awful...hitless. Garver suddenly stopped hitting. Sano fanned 8 of 12 times and hit a weak pop up in a spot that could have broken the game open early. He looked like Sano 2018. Even Cruz did not have the series we hoped he would have. They put Adrianza on the roster and kept Turtle off....and then never played Adrianza? Castro probably would have whiffed as many times as Garver.

 

No 100 win team should ever be embarrassed the way the Twins were. Some will argue this really isn't a 100 win team. Well it was, making the playoff failure feel even worse. But the time to 'feel happy', proud...etc about the regular season is not right now. Maybe in a few weeks. But not now. How our manager can say he's happy, right now, just doesn't make any sense.

    • wavedog, Madisonsdad, LewFordLives and 4 others like this

 

But you're not playing all teams from the other divisions; you're playing the best. Our winning percentage against "winning" teams was below .500. 

 

BINGO. Let's face it the Twins feasted on the cellar dwellers and struggled against decent competition. Until this team can consistently beat good teams (aka acquire some decent starting pitching for heavens sake), and find a manager (Maddon is available, go get him!) that is interested in running this team with some fire and spirit and not coddling these guys like it's a daycare / spa this will be the result. 

 

There is absolutely NO excuse for a 101 win team to play like this in three straight games and not come close to pulling off one win. I've been watching Twins baseball for a long long time and this was totally PATHETIC!

    • Madisonsdad likes this
The 2nd inning was so painful. Bases loaded, no outs, and came up empty. I was thinking about turning off the TV then because they had no chance to win after that deflating effort. Probably should have so I wouldn't be so tired today.
    • Danchat, mikelink45, twinssporto and 3 others like this

 

The 2nd inning was so painful. Bases loaded, no outs, and came up empty. I was thinking about turning off the TV then because they had no chance to win after that deflating effort. Probably should have so I wouldn't be so tired today.

 

I did turn it off then, and just watched via MLB GameCast while browsing YouTube videos of my favorite comedians. It was too painful to watch and it just seemed like I was punishing myself for no reason.

 

I've never felt worse about watching this team all season. Pretty sad that so many of us literally could not watch this game due to depression/anxiety/frustration.

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LewFordLives
Oct 08 2019 06:41 AM
I think Rocco and his players saw the weather forecast and decided it was time to end the season and get back to their winter homes down south. They embarrassed themselves and their fans. I have been through many ups and downs with this team over the decades and I don't remember a time where they just completely laid down like this during a playoff series. Pathetic!

I can't stand Rocco's press conferences. Say what you want about Gardy. At least he gave the impression he cared.
    • nokomismod and Madisonsdad like this
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LewFordLives
Oct 08 2019 06:41 AM
I think Rocco and his players saw the weather forecast and decided it was time to end the season and get back to their winter homes down south. They embarrassed themselves and their fans. I have been through many ups and downs with this team over the decades and I don't remember a time where they just completely laid down like this during a playoff series. Pathetic!

I can't stand Rocco's press conferences. Say what you want about Gardy. At least he gave the impression he cared.

 

 

Graterol better not be seen as a bullpen pitcher or I'm done.

 

I picked this out of your rant because I agree with you.Well, I won't be "done" but I certainly think Graterol should be seen as a potential starter for this team. Sure hope the Twins brass agrees.

 

We need a great player to come alive and spark this team. Right now we have lots of decent guys, but not a truly transcending player (aka: Acuna, Lindor, Scherzer, Bellinger, Verlander, etc). Buxton was supposed to be that guy, but he's not, and the Twins can't make the next step without a true winner on this team.

    • birdwatcher and mikelink45 like this

I hear the term around baseball playoffs being whichever team gets hot can win it all. Well getting hot means doing the right things to win and I am dissapointed because even though this team did not have great pitching, the defense and hitting really let the team down. Clean up the defense in game one and the questionable pitching changes and that one could have been a W.

This to me was the biggest stat:

RISP

Game 1: 1 for 9

Game 2: 1 for 7

Game 3 : 1 for 12

Not sure if it was being in love with home runs or just well executed pitches by the Yankees but the Twins failed to deliver with productive at bats when it mattered.

 

Anyway I loved the season and the community here. Will be following the offseason closely and Go Gophers!

    • Madisonsdad, mikelink45, KidBro and 2 others like this

Great season, bad post season. I picture all diehard Twins fans in Minnesota all walking around looking like the deer caught in the headlights this morning.

    • SwainZag and bighat like this

 

I hear the term around baseball playoffs being whichever team gets hot can win it all. Well getting hot means doing the right things to win and I am dissapointed because even though this team did not have great pitching, the defense and hitting really let the team down. Clean up the defense in game one and the questionable pitching changes and that one could have been a W.

This to me was the biggest stat:

RISP

Game 1: 1 for 9

Game 2: 1 for 7

Game 3 : 1 for 12

Not sure if it was being in love with home runs or just well executed pitches by the Yankees but the Twins failed to deliver with productive at bats when it mattered.

 

Anyway I loved the season and the community here. Will be following the offseason closely and Go Gophers!

And the "1" in the "1 for 12" in game three didn't produce a run. That was Arraez' soft single to left, to load the bases in the 2nd inning, 

 

 

    • nokomismod, Madisonsdad, Danchat and 3 others like this

 

16 straight losses. Let that sink in.

Take it back to the second game of the ALCS with the Angels in 2002 and the Twins have lost 23 out of 25 playoff games (including the 2017 WC game).

 

Isn't that just about statistically impossible?

    • denarded, mikelink45, Hosken Bombo Disco and 1 other like this

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