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Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:51 AM
The Minnesota Twins are in store for a starting rotation overhaul this offseason with only Jose Berrios and Martin Perez under contract....
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JOB OPENING: TC Bear

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Which TD member is going to step up and wear the costume? Squirrel? Chief? North?
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2019/20 Off-season Manager Openings

Other Baseball Today, 12:11 AM
With the season winding down, let's talk about what manager spots will be open this winter. Already open: Kansas City - Ned Yost retirin...
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Front Page: Twins Daily 2019 Award: Pitcher of the Year

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:03 PM
For most of the past decade, the Minnesota Twins have had one of the worst pitching staffs in baseball. Pick a meaningful statistic for p...
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Front Page: Twins AFL Report - Week 4: Lewis Named Fall S...

Twins Minor League Talk Yesterday, 08:48 PM
Week four of the AFL season was likely the most interesting to the casual prospect follower, as it featured the circuit’s all-star showca...
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Twins at Risk of Sinking to New Low with October Woes

This was going to be different. So insisted everyone involved with these 2019 Twins, who entered the postseason looking to upend an October narrative that's haunted the franchise for 15 years.

So far, they're right. It has been different. It's been worse.
Image courtesy of Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Losing against the Yankees in the playoffs is a painfully familiar experience for Twins fans, but this is as bad as we've seen it. While Minnesota entered this ALDS on a 13-game postseason losing streak, none of those losses were as lopsided or all-around uninspiring as the two duds we just witnessed in the Bronx.

None of the Twins' 13 consecutive playoff losses dating back to 2004 were by a margin of more than five runs. Each of the first two drubbings in this ALDS have been by six. The Yankees have dismantled, outsmarted, and dominated at almost every turn. Few observers truly expected the Twins to win this series but for the club to be so woefully uncompetitive is beyond disheartening.

It starts with the pitching staff, of course. In two games at Yankee Stadium, the Twins gave up 18 runs on 18 hits and 16 walks. Previously reliable arms imploded. No one had any answers for the patience and power of New York's lineup. Multiple defensive mistakes contributed to the meltdown.

Bafflingly, the Twins allowed all of this damage without three of their best relievers even taking the mound. Trevor May and Sergio Romo didn't appear until Game 2 was already well out of hand. Taylor Rogers, Minnesota's most valuable reliever all year long, still hasn't pitched. Meanwhile, the Yankees have gone to their top guys in every important spot and it has paid off; their bullpen – which was arguably at a slight disadvantage on paper – has allowed only two runs on four hits over 8 1/3 innings.

And while it's always easy to second-guess managerial bullpen moves in retrospect, that's the nature of a playoff series, and rookie skipper Rocco Baldelli has made some especially questionable calls that have gone about as poorly as possible. He pulled strings as if operating in regular-season mode, saving bullets for late-game opportunities that never materialized.

Why was Zack Littell the first man out of the bullpen on Friday night, in the fifth inning of a 3-3 tie? As effective as Littell has been, he's a rookie who rarely threw in high-leverage spots all year. And on Saturday, why was Tyler Duffey called into an intensely stressful situation, one day after throwing 25 pitches in Game 1? Rogers, May and Romo were all completely fresh. Duffey had a 7.45 ERA and 1.56 WHIP when pitching on zero days rest this season, and he never once made such an appearance after throwing as many pitches as he did on Friday.

Baldelli has had a commendable first year at the helm but his decision-making in this series – and particularly those choices, with their utterly disastrous results – will be rightfully scrutinized for some time.

At the end of the day, though, the biggest letdown for the Twins in this heralded slugging showdown has been their largely absent offense. Six runs on 13 hits in 18 innings, against a vulnerable pitching staff in one of baseball's most hitter-friendly yards. Completely inadequate and underwhelming.

Now, the Twins return home with their backs against the wall. Win or it's over. Given the total breakdowns we've seen in every phase thus far, there's not much cause for confidence, but Monday is a new day, in a new ballpark, in front of a packed home crowd.

This team is almost out of chances to not just put an end to the longest stretch of postseason futility against a single opponent in MLB history, but to avoid imprinting 2019 as the new low point in this languishing legacy of losing when it matters most.

Coming home, down 0-2, with elimination feeling almost like a forgone conclusion. We've been here before. Will this time be different?

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146 Comments

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Battle ur tail off
Oct 07 2019 09:38 AM

I don't know what to think about this postseason so far. To me the #1 thing I and almost everyone else noticed, is that Rocco is getting schooled. And badly might I add. He really hasn't made a right decision yet. 

 

That said, our hitters have been as bad as the pitching has. The patience they displayed earlier on is gone. All of them, except Cruz, looked SCARED up there. Swinging at bad pitches, letting good pitches go, getting themselves out far too often. 

 

The pitching..... Uugh. It's been bad, real bad. Not playoff worthy in the least. 

    • Tomj14 and rdehring like this
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Hosken Bombo Disco
Oct 07 2019 09:40 AM

Dobnak wasn't even given a chance to work out of the jam


In his 28 innings? Personally, I think he left Dobnak in too long.


For the record, I don’t disagree with either of you.
    • Tomj14 and bighat like this

 

You're underrating Berrios. Do you realize just how good he was this season? The Yankees didn't have a single starter as good as he was this season.

 

Berrios, second starter? Yes, absolutely. But even if you pick up someone better than Berrios, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if he's better than what you picked up by season's end.

 

But aim, at the minimum, Berrios or better for a starting pitcher acquisition.

My guess is Berrios would be the 4th starter in Houston's post season rotation, the 3rd in NY's postseason rotation (4th if German doesn't get suspended), the 3rd or 4th in LA's postseason rotation, the 3rd in Washington's, the 3rd in Atlanta's, and the 2nd or 3rd in TB's.

 

 Again, what's the goal here? Win the ALC?

    • Mr. Brooks and Battle ur tail off like this
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Hosken Bombo Disco
Oct 07 2019 09:41 AM

I don't know what to think about this postseason so far. To me the #1 thing I and almost everyone else noticed, is that Rocco is getting schooled. And badly might I add. He really hasn't made a right decision yet. 
 
That said, our hitters have been as bad as the pitching has. The patience they displayed earlier on is gone. All of them, except Cruz, looked SCARED up there. Swinging at bad pitches, letting good pitches go, getting themselves out far too often. 
 
The pitching..... Uugh. It's been bad, real bad. Not playoff worthy in the least.

Give Polanco some credit too. Otherwise, yeah.
    • bighat likes this
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Battle ur tail off
Oct 07 2019 09:46 AM

Yep, Polanco has been great. He's tough as nails and not scared of anyone. He's been great this series. 

    • scottz, Hosken Bombo Disco and bighat like this

 

My guess is Berrios would be the 4th starter in Houston's post season rotation, the 3rd in NY's postseason rotation (4th if German doesn't get suspended), the 3rd or 4th in LA's postseason rotation, the 3rd in Washington's, the 3rd in Atlanta's, and the 2nd or 3rd in TB's.

 

 Again, what's the goal here? Win the ALC?

you could add that of the 8 starting pitchers on friday, he was someplace between 6 - 8th best.

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Battle ur tail off
Oct 07 2019 09:47 AM

 

 Again, what's the goal here? Win the ALC?

 

Yes, it is and always has been. Also selling tickets, T-shirts and 10 dollar beers. 

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Brock Beauchamp
Oct 07 2019 09:50 AM

 

My guess is Berrios would be the 4th starter in Houston's post season rotation, the 3rd in NY's postseason rotation (4th if German doesn't get suspended), the 3rd or 4th in LA's postseason rotation, the 3rd in Washington's, the 3rd in Atlanta's, and the 2nd or 3rd in TB's.

 

 Again, what's the goal here? Win the ALC?

I'd take Berrios over Paxton and Tanaka so YMMV on this argument.

 

And Houston has a historically good starting rotation so aiming for that kind of improvement in a single season just isn't going to happen.

    • Danchat, bighat and Aerodeliria like this
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Brock Beauchamp
Oct 07 2019 09:53 AM

 

Hmmm. Not sure if you watched game 1, but the lefthander they threw out there was much more composed, had much better command, and struck out all kinds of Twins hitters. 

I watched the game. I saw that almighty lefty give up a few homers and a bunch of Twins hitters flail away like they'd never seen a major league pitcher before. Whereas the Yankees spit on every Berrios pitch that was even close to being out of the zone.

 

It's more than just the pitcher. The hitters have a role to play here, too. And the Yankees hitters flat-out beat the Twins hitters, despite the Twins hitters getting a few good pitches to knock out of the park (but always with no one on base because other hitters were swinging out of their shoes on bad pitches).

 

And DESPITE THAT, Berrios gave up all of one earned run while Paxton gave up three. BTW, Berrios struck out six. Paxton struck out eight.

    • Twins33, 70charger, bighat and 1 other like this

 

Bringing in Rogers with the bases loaded and nobody out, in the 3rd inning, already down 2-0....is that really the best use of Rogers?

Game 2 was only 1-0 when Duffey entered.

 

While that's not the platonic ideal spot to use Rogers, it is probably better than using Duffey again less than 24 hours after he had to throw 25 high-stress pitches against the same Yankee hitters.

 

Heck, the first two batters due to face Duffey in that spot (Stanton and Torres) had walked and doubled against him the previous night. I really can't comprehend why we didn't go with a fresh arm there -- or just let Dobnak see if he can get another GIDP from Stanton.

    • markos, chpettit19, Tomj14 and 1 other like this
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Brock Beauchamp
Oct 07 2019 10:01 AM

 

Game 2 was only 1-0 when Duffey entered.

 

While that's not the platonic ideal spot to use Rogers, it is probably better than using Duffey again less than 24 hours after he had to throw 25 high-stress pitches against the same Yankee hitters.

 

Heck, the first two batters due to face Duffey in that spot (Stanton and Torres) had walked and doubled against him the previous night. I really can't comprehend why we didn't go with a fresh arm there -- or just let Dobnak see if he can get another GIDP from Stanton.

While I don't usually nit-pick Baldelli's decisions, he has not managed this series well. I would have gone to almost anyone in that situation, probably Graterol if you're that scared of burning your best pitchers early. More likely I would have gone to May as a middle ground.

 

The use of Arraez over Schoop in game one and the fact Rogers hasn't pitched at all is just straight-up bad management.

    • USAFChief, chpettit19, Tomj14 and 3 others like this

I'd take Berrios over Paxton and Tanaka so YMMV on this argument.

And Houston has a historically good starting rotation so aiming for that kind of improvement in a single season just isn't going to happen.


If only there had been an off season before this year, where they could have added a pitcher under control past this year that wasn't one of the worst pitchers in the game last year...
    • Sconnie and adorduan like this

One and done is not successful.Not winning at least one is embarassing.I don't know why they didn't leave Berrios in longer.Yes he was at 80+ pitches but I am pretty sure the outcome would have been different.What are you saving is arm for Spring Training? Not starting Odorizzi in game 2 unbelievable and Perez should be #3.Gibson coming in????????????Why did we get Romo if we aren't going to use him? Relying on Duffey??????  

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Brock Beauchamp
Oct 07 2019 10:05 AM

 

If only there had been an off season before this year, where they could have added a pitcher under control past this year that wasn't one of the worst pitchers in the game last year...

This argument is pretty tired, Mike. Most of us agree they didn't do close to enough this past offseason in regards to pitching, there's no need to keep hammering at the same point for 10 months.

    • 70charger, SwainZag and Sconnie like this

 

You mean like the 3inning with the base loaded?

I hope you realized I was being sarcastic when I made that statement.  

 

Although I didn't see much of Friday's game, I remain confident that Berrios can become that ACE type pitcher the Twins badly need.Like many, am disappointed he didn't dominate the Yankees Friday and pitch much deeper into the game.Don't know why he didn't, as I don't know why he slipped so badly in August.A true ACE can't do either.Maybe he will get there next year.  

 

Doesn't mean the Twins don't need to find another #1 or ACE level arm for next year.Where and how, not a clue, but that isn't my job.  

    • Tomj14 likes this

This argument is pretty tired, Mike. Most of us agree they didn't do close to enough this past offseason in regards to pitching, there's no need to keep hammering at the same point for 10 months.


Except that's why they can't fix the rotation in one year. They made this bed, I'm not going to let them off the hook for next year's rotation. Other people can say it can't be done, but it it can't be done, that's on them
    • Dome Dogg likes this

Looking at some comments here, I almost wonder if many Twins fans would have preferred an 82-82 season and missing the playoffs over a 101 win season and getting swept by the Yanks in embarrassing fashion? I'm not being sarcastic and don't judge anyone's personal opinion.

 

It's kinda like the prettiest girl at school accepting your invite to the prom (yay!) only to dump you immediately after the night is over (embarrassing!).Would you rather have just not gone to the dance at all? Or does the experience build character?

 

Of course....from a fan's perspective, we don't need any more "character building experiences". We've had plenty of those moments and it's been a long time since anything went our way.

 

For the record, I'd prefer to make the playoffs and get swept rather than finish in the doldrums.

 

The use of Arraez over Schoop in game one and the fact Rogers hasn't pitched at all is just straight-up bad management.

I don't know about Arraez -- Schoop's looked pretty bad in his PAs too. I'm willing to give some leeway there.

 

But going to some lengths to protect your 3 bullpen arms in game 1, then starting Dobnak and *still* ignoring those 3 pen guys and turning to a used Duffey first in game 2 -- that combination of moves is a real head-scratcher to me.

    • markos and Tomj14 like this
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Brock Beauchamp
Oct 07 2019 10:16 AM

I don't know about Arraez -- Schoop's looked pretty bad in his PAs too. I'm willing to give some leeway there.

But going to some lengths to protect your 3 bullpen arms in game 1, then starting Dobnak and *still* ignoring those 3 pen guys and turning to a used Duffey first in game 2 -- that combination of moves is a real head-scratcher to me.

Arraez may have cost them that game. While Cron SHOULD have caught that ball, Arraez’s throw was unnecessarily bad, probably because he stood on second flat-footed when he should have been moving.

And against a LHP, I go with Schoop 100% of the time. He mashes lefties and is a much better defender.

And if you don’t use Schoop in that game, why is he even on the roster? This team is supposed to be all about the numbers, yet they seem to make decisions that have nothing to do with numbers on a regular basis.
    • Twins33, markos, chpettit19 and 2 others like this

 

Their ace was suspended right before the playoffs on suspicion of domestic abuse. So, this conspiracy theory doesn't add up. 

Solid point.

    • Dome Dogg likes this
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nicksaviking
Oct 07 2019 10:19 AM

 

Except that's why they can't fix the rotation in one year. They made this bed, I'm not going to let them off the hook for next year's rotation. Other people can say it can't be done, but it it can't be done, that's on them

 

They need to get over this playoff funk obviously because my goal is to win the WS as I'm sure it is for everyone in the organization.

 

But they won 101 games this year while prioritizing hitting over pitching last off season, so it seems they're on the right track as far as improving the quality of the team goes. Baldelli made some questionable bullpen calls but the organization has hired front office and coaches that are versed in contemporary baseball strategy and eager to try new things to create advantages for the team.

 

I don't want to get swept by the Yankees, but I think an awful lot of people are blinded by two games and not seeing the giant and completely unexpected strides made this year.

    • SwainZag and chpettit19 like this

 

You can't say they are making calls to favor the Yanks. They have gotten healthy while we have gotten stupid (Pineda) and injured. The hotter and healthier team wins but making poor pitches to a guy who hadn't played in a month (Encarnacion) in game 1 and starting a rookie with 3 games of experience (game 2) is not a formula for winning- no matter how good or bad we hit. Now bat Arraz leadoff and let's get this party started tonight.

No, they are not making calls that favor the Yanks...but they do want them in the playoffs...I would too if I were them.It's a business and when the Yankees are in the playoffs, it's good for business.

 

I didn't like starting Arrias in game 1 and I thought it cost us 3 runs.Would have changed the game, but probably not the outcome.Tonight is throw everything but the kitchen sink at them.No sense saving Rogers to close out a game.We might need him in the 3rd inning.

Arraez may have cost them that game. While Cron SHOULD have caught that ball, Arraez’s throw was unnecessarily bad, probably because he stood on second flat-footed when he should have been moving.

And against a LHP, I go with Schoop 100% of the time. He mashes lefties and is a much better defender.

And if you don’t use Schoop in that game, why is he even on the roster? This team is supposed to be all about the numbers, yet they seem to make decisions that have nothing to do with numbers on a regular basis.


A very odd decision indeed. It made no sense at the time, and less as the game went on. Mind. Boggling.
    • chpettit19 likes this

They need to get over this playoff funk obviously because my goal is to win the WS as I'm sure it is for everyone in the organization.

But they won 101 games this year while prioritizing hitting over pitching last off season, so it seems they're on the right track as far as improving the quality of the team goes. Baldelli made some questionable bullpen calls but the organization has hired front office and coaches that are versed contemporary baseball strategy and eager to try new things to create advantages for the team.

I don't want to get swept by the Yankees, but I think an awful lot of people are blinded by two games and not seeing the giant and completely unexpected strides made this year.


I'm not sure what that means re my post. It's been a very good year. I was responding to a post that said pitching couldn't be fixed in one year.....I was pointing out that that was on their decision to bring in Perez instead of a good pitcher. If they keep the budget level, and don't sign Perez, they could have traded for or signeda pitcher, and still had these hitters. They choose not to. That's all that post said, nothing at all about the overall season.
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SpicyGarvSauce
Oct 07 2019 10:43 AM

Everyone wants to blame the roster, the players, the manager, coaching staff, etc...but this series/end result of this season, where everything was supposed to be different and the Twins were going to exercise all these demons...is 100% ON THE FRONT OFFICE.

 

You can put together another 5-10 page thread on this and on that, but the number one reason why this team is headed towards another disappointing postseason is on the Pohlads, Lavine, and Falvey for not going out and getting a legit starting pitcher(s) to help this team. Instead, they didn't want to mortgage the future (again). What future? What has the FUTURE gotten the Twins over the last 20 years? 15 straight postseason losses, and an embarrassing stretch of games. Non competitive games, games where you never feel that the Twins have a chance.

 

It is ridiculous, it is unacceptable, and it is downright negligent that this front office continues to have the mindset of "we cannot mortgage the future to help our team in the short term." Seriously, even Mark freaking Rosen was on the radio yesterday stating this...and how he 100% understands now and will agree with fans when/if they opt to not show up to Target Field in 2020, continue to rip the FO for their lack of moves, etc. Shame on this organization. Shame. On. Them.

    • Battle ur tail off likes this

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