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4th OF Discussion with Hamilton now DFA'd

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Front Page: 6 Reasons Why the Twins Will Win the AL Central

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We’ve got less than six full weeks left in the 2019 Major League Baseball regular season. The Minnesota Twins are looking for their first...
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Twins Game Recap (7/17): Mets Blow Out Twins, Complete Another Target Field Sweep

Things started out great for the Twins, who had the lead until the sixth inning, after yet another quality start by Martín Pérez. But terrible pitching by the bullpen and a horror show by the defense allowed the Mets to erupt late and complete the sweep of the Twins with a 14-4 blowout.
Image courtesy of FanGraphs
Box Score
Pérez: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 72.2% strikes (60 of 83 pitches)
Bullpen: 3.0 IP, 12 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 4 K

Home Runs: Cruz (18), Garver (15)
Multi-Hit Games: Garver (2-for-3, HR)

Top 3 WPA: Garver .144, Pérez .140, Cruz .070
Bottom 3 WPA: May -.461, Magill -.139, Arraez -.105

The Twins still have never beaten the Mets at Target Field. The only other time they have visited the Twins since the ballpark debut was in 2013, when the Mets also got the sweep. The last time Minnesota has won a home game against the Mets dates back to Jun. 2004.

Of the 14 runs scored by New York in the afternoon, only half of them were earned. The Twins defense was a mess all over the place. The one error that sparkled the Mets late came off the hands of Eddie Rosario in the eighth inning. He dropped a routine fly ball that would have ended the inning with no runs scored. Instead, two runs scored on that play and the Mets went on to score four other times. Jake Cave also made a diving mistake with Ehire Adrianza pitching in the ninth.

For the first time in the season, the Twins lost three consecutive games. They now own a 58-36 record, four and a half games ahead of the Indians. If Cleveland beats Detroit later today, that advantage will drop to four games, which would be their smallest lead since May 14th.

Offense shows signs of improvement early
The Twins offense was so good and dominant in the first portion of the season that a recent drop to no lower than tenth best in several metrics was enough to cause some overreaction among fans. For the first time this year, Twins bats started to be target of criticism by a few of them. That is especially true when the subject is runners in scoring position.

Despite still being one of the best teams in the majors with RISP, the Twins productivity has fallen considerably in that area in the past month and a half. Whereas they have the sixth highest OPS with RISP overall in the season (.824), they came into this game with the ninth worst in the majors (.734) since the start of June. In last night’s game, the Twins struggled again, going 1-for-9 with RISP, with a total of ten men left on base.

Things started to change a little bit when Max Kepler doubled off Jason Vargas in the second and was scored by Miguel Sanó on a single to left a couple of batters later. The Mets responded right away, with a one-out, solo home run by Amed Rosario in the top of the third, but the tied score didn’t last long. Nelson Cruz put the Twins back on top with his 18th homer of the year, a hanging one to the corner of the left field. He continued to make Vargas pay, hitting his sixth home run against him, the most he has against any MLB pitcher.



Pérez sharp in long-awaited start
With the All-Star break, Pérez didn’t pitch for eleven days, but that wasn’t a problem at all. Very economical and with a very sharp command, Pérez cruised through the first three innings, doing so with only 30 pitches, 25 of which were strikes. He also punched out four batters and gave up the one home run to Rosario.

He started to slip a little bit in the fourth, as he loaded the bases with no outs, including a hit-by-pitch against Robinson Canó. Pete Alonso reached to lead off the inning on a throwing error by Miguel Sanó. He scored when Todd Frazier grounded into a double play later on, so the run was unearned. Pérez sort of pitched himself into another jam in the fifth, eventually allowing two runners to reach, but he got out of it. Pérez concluded his seventh quality start of the year, the first since Jun. 27th.

Be careful, the Sauce is scorching
Mitch Garver continues hot. Already leading all MLB catchers in SLG (.653), OPS (1,037) and wRC+ (168) before this game, the “GarvSauce” went deep for the 15th time in the bottom of the fifth inning to break the tie once again. He becomes the sixth Twin to reach that many home runs this season, putting Minnesota very near the MLB record for most players with at least 15 home runs in a season (nine).



He also doubled in the eighth and scored afterwards. Garver continues to have one of the best seasons by a Twins catcher in club history. He’s now got higher SLG and ISO than 2009 Joe Mauer and is on pace to surpass his 23 home runs of that season, the most by any Twins catcher in history.

Mets erupt against bullpen, sloppy defense
Pérez was pulled after the sixth inning, even with a low pitch count. Trevor May took over and just like that, the Mets offense erupted. He gave up a couple of hits to start the inning and then, on a 0-2 count, he pitched an 81mph curve that was crushed for a three-run homer, giving New York the lead back.

Things, then seemed under control in the eighth, as Matt Magill struck out two batters after giving up a leadoff walk. On a routine fly to left, Eddie Rosario made a rare mistake, dropping the ball after catching it, allowing two runs to score. Then Magill gave up three hits in a row, including an Alonso two-run bomb to the second deck, to make it 11-3. Adrianza took over the mound to finish the game and gave up three more runs in the last inning.

Postgame With Baldelli


Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
Click here for a review of the number of pitches thrown by each member of the bullpen over the past five days.


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74 Comments

Falvey and Levine need to get on the phone and fix this mess, ASAP.

Can we stop coddling starting pitchers and not take them out when they're cruising through a game?
    • adorduan, CUtomorrownight, Carlos Figueroa and 2 others like this

I'm beginning to think there's some sort of curse on Twins bullpen pitchers that have a last name starting with M. I think Trevor and Matt should change their last names to Ray and Ragil if they don't want to end up like Morin.

    • jz7233 likes this
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MMMordabito
Jul 17 2019 03:41 PM
Baldelli: "80 is the new 100. You start to consider things like heat exhaustion on a day like today. Martin wanted to sit in front of a fan with his blanket, so I didn't want to upset him.
    • MNT1996 likes this
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Twinsoholic
Jul 17 2019 04:00 PM
So May has given up key homers 2 games in a row by throwing a curve ball when he has 2 strikes on the batters. Who is calling the pitches? Is May shaking off the catcher? Stick with the 97-98 mph fastballs.
    • Jerr, h2oface, Danchat and 5 others like this

Trevor May and Matt Magill are not that great.

Honestly, I worried about the team getting the big early lead and coasting through the later months of the year. I didn’t expect Cleveland to turn things around like this, and I thought if they did the twins would respond accordingly. Hasn’t happened so far. Been sort a sleep walk for a month and a half now and there’s a real danger they’ll fall out of first. I don’t think that’s just pessimistic at this point. It’s clearly possible. And I don’t believe the team can possibly sign/trade for as many parts as they need. None of the starters, while good at times, have been dominant recently, and we know what we have with the bullpen which is basically Rogers and maybe one other guy. No way can/will the ownership be able to get as much as they need. Conservatively, they need 2 relievers and a starter. But really like 3 relievers and 2 starters. It ain’t happening.
    • KFEY93 likes this

Time to DFA Magill. Bring up Stashak please.

    • Danchat and Vanimal46 like this

35wruj.jpg

    • USAFChief, Jerr, mikelink45 and 2 others like this
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yarnivek1972
Jul 17 2019 04:36 PM

So May has given up key homers 2 games in a row by throwing a curve ball when he has 2 strikes on the batters. Who is calling the pitches? Is May shaking off the catcher? Stick with the 97-98 mph fastballs.


That would have been a good question for a good reporter to ask in the postgame interview.
    • USAFChief, Jerr, tarheeltwinsfan and 5 others like this
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Major League Ready
Jul 17 2019 04:41 PM

 

Falvey and Levine need to get on the phone and fix this mess, ASAP.

Can we stop coddling starting pitchers and not take them out when they're cruising through a game?

 

How does a trade fix dropping a routine fly ball or booting a ground like Schoop did yesterday?

    • Danchat likes this
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yarnivek1972
Jul 17 2019 04:41 PM

Time to DFA Magill. Bring up Stashak please.


Before considering Stashak I would want to know what he is doing in AAA (ERA under 3) that he wasn’t in AA (ERA of 8).

How does a trade fix dropping a routine fly ball or booting a ground like Schoop did yesterday?


I would argue Trevor May's beach ball curve changed the course of the game but YMMV. Do you think this pitching staff is ready for a playoff run as it stands today?
    • Platoon likes this
With all the errors it is blatantly clear that Rocco is a weak manager. What exactly has he brought to the table? The shift?

The Twins are quickly heading into the direction of being sellers. The babying the team is not working and it shows by their piss poor attempts at the fundamentals of baseball like catching, bunting, and base running.

He is not the answer and the Twins do not have a playoff contending team without substantial upgrades to the team.
    • Carlos Figueroa and KFEY93 like this

The Dr Evil GIF or sounder from Austin Powers for Trevor May would seem about right now, the one that say's "Way to go A-hole" to the catcher. Now before anyone takes this too seriously, I'm not cracking on May or his curve ball. It should seem obvious by now to all Twins catcher's, do not put down the two fingers and call a curve ball when May is up 0-2 or even 1-2 right now. Fast ball away or high and tight or a slider would seem more appropriate right now. If he has it even a split finger would be better than that curve on a pitchers count.

When his curve is working May's curve is good. Right now it is catch far to much of the plate and ending up in the middle which is the whomping zone. Let's see the Twins getting back to playing good defense and having some timely hitting again. Those Twins are a lot more fun to watch then the version that played today or this last Sunday. 

    • glunn likes this
Screen Shot 2018 05 31 At 5.19.43 PM

 

 

I second the question as to who keeps calling the curveball when May is 0-2. Twice in the last week, and really curious as to who called for that pitch. It’d be great if anyone could get this information and share.
    • Jerr likes this
The defense on this team has been ghastly for a while. Yet, Baldelli hasn't organized any drills. He reminds me of when Willie Randolph managed the Mets and as they were falling apart - he did nothing.
    • Carlos Figueroa and KFEY93 like this
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Hosken Bombo Disco
Jul 17 2019 05:09 PM

Oh well. Rough patch.

    • denarded, twinsnorth49 and 70charger like this
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Little Potato
Jul 17 2019 05:28 PM

I agree with akmanak that Baldelli has proven himself to be a weak manager. He all too often makes bad in game decisions, bringing in the wrong pitcher or leaving someone in too long. Also I have seen several runs given up because hitters are getting hits through the shift. Harper has proven to be the guy you bring in when someone is in trouble or you really need to win the game as they did today and he responds. Today Harper should be in the 7th and Rogers for two innings. At least (since,admittedly he often uses May in the 7th) he should bring Harper in when May looked like he was struggling. He had that determination to change pitchers when they looked bad in the Indian series but not in the past two days. 

Twins lost a two game series at home without using their two best relievers. Should not happen.

    • akmanak and Carlos Figueroa like this
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Hosken Bombo Disco
Jul 17 2019 06:26 PM

 

I agree with akmanak that Baldelli has proven himself to be a weak manager. He all too often makes bad in game decisions, bringing in the wrong pitcher or leaving someone in too long. Also I have seen several runs given up because hitters are getting hits through the shift. Harper has proven to be the guy you bring in when someone is in trouble or you really need to win the game as they did today and he responds. Today Harper should be in the 7th and Rogers for two innings. At least (since,admittedly he often uses May in the 7th) he should bring Harper in when May looked like he was struggling. He had that determination to change pitchers when they looked bad in the Indian series but not in the past two days. 

Twins lost a two game series at home without using their two best relievers. Should not happen.

 

See bolded. If anything, he might have took Perez out too soon today. 

 

caveats: I didn't see the game, and according to the article Perez had a rough go in the 4th and 5th, but it looks like the 6th went well enough, and the bottom of the Mets order was due up in the 7th. 

 

Day to day, that's probably the toughest decision a manager has to make. Not always obviously, but day in, day out, is when to give your starter one more batter or one more inning. In general I lean towards "leave 'em in, let 'em work out of it" with the starter, myself. Though with limited catcher visits nowadays maybe that idea should change.

    • Carlos Figueroa likes this
Coming from a pitching coach's perspective...sometimes you know if a curve is thrown in the dirt, strike 3 will happen. Unfortunately, sometimes pitchers throw said curveball NOT in dirt.
    • 70charger and AceWrigley like this

I so hate to see any professional team just give up at any point in any game. It happens way too often. No need to man/fansplain to me why they do it. I get it. I still hate it. People pay to see professionals give it their all, not throw in the towel.

 

Baldelli, or any manager, can't make plays for their players. These errors are truly a lack of concentration, and not a "rough patch". These guys have been playing baseball for most of their life. They need focus, not drills. The know what to do.

 

This a team that has lost more games than they have won since June 15. That is not a patch. That is a habit. A habit that needs changed to have the focus and spirit that got them 25 games above .500 by June. 

    • Jerr and mikelink45 like this

Falvey and Levine need to get on the phone and fix this mess, ASAP.

Can we stop coddling starting pitchers and not take them out when they're cruising through a game?


That's kinda funny because in the game thread everyone was complaining that Perez was pitching like crap and getting lucky, and what was Baldelli waiting for to take him out.
    • Tomj14, AceWrigley and DannySD like this

 

The defense on this team has been ghastly for a while. Yet, Baldelli hasn't organized any drills. He reminds me of when Willie Randolph managed the Mets and as they were falling apart - he did nothing.

I'm not sure I buy this... it seems like everyone buys into the narrative that the bad defense is Baldelli's fault because pre-game warmups are now optional, but before, when our fielding was bad, it was just because the players were bad? 

For example, the Twins had a few bad fielding clubs under Paul Molitor (2016, 2018), but wasn't Molly doing the right thing by making practice mandatory? I don't see how it's the manager's fault if the players just aren't good at fielding.

 

I'll give you this - some players have been extra sloppy recently (Schoop, Rosario come to mind) so you could potentially put that on Baldelli, but Sano has been a straight-up butcher at 3B since coming off the IL. He's always been shaky on defense so I don't think more practice is going to make a difference.

    • 70charger and EPEZRider like this
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Tom Froemming
Jul 17 2019 07:35 PM

Here's some video from today's game. Went through that frustrating seventh inning in which May actually got ahead of two guys 0-2 who ended up getting hits. I did have some fun looking back at Adrianza's debut on the mound, so come have a laugh at that if you're in the mood.

    • glunn, 70charger, bighat and 2 others like this

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