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Twins Game Recap (7/19): Twins Have No Answer To A’s pitching

The Twins took the lead early, couldn’t hold on to it and were shut out by Oakland pitchers for six straight innings, losing 5-3 at the end. Jake Odorizzi wasn't as sharp as he’s usually been and Ryne Harper suffered a rare loss, only his second of the year. With the Cleveland win against Kansas City, the Twins lead in the AL Central now drops to three games.
Image courtesy of FanGraphs
Box Score
Odorizzi: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 63.6% strikes (56 of 88 pitches)
Bullpen: 4.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K

Home Runs: Gonzalez (11)
Multi-Hit Games: Castro (2-for-2)

Top 3 WPA: Gonzalez .136, Cruz .090, Castro .054
Bottom 3 WPA: Harper -.234, Cron -.217, Rosario -.093

The Twins offense once again shows signs of irregularity. After scoring the three runs early, they were dominated by A’s starter Chris Bassitt and the bullpen. Former Twin Liam Hendriks came in to pitch a five-out save, including a six-pitch eighth. The only highlight for Minnesota bats in the night was Luis Arraez’ hitting streak remaining alive, as he hit an infield single in his last at-bat. He’s now had a hit in 12 consecutive games, the second longest streak in baseball.

Odorizzi had some unfinished business against the A’s. Last time he faced them, a blister on his right middle finger cut his start short, after only three innings. He gave up a season high five earned runs, four of which came off a grand slam. He was then put in the 10-day injured list, incidentally missing the first All-Star game of his career.

The A's jumped on Odorizzi early. Marcus Semien hit a leadoff home run on the third pitch of the game, a bullet to left field. A couple of batters later Khris Davis grounded to center to score Mark Canha, giving Oakland a two-run lead. After that, Odo went on to pitch three shutout innings, despite not being as sharp as he has usually been this season, striking out only one batter.

The offense made a good effort to back up their starter. Miguel Sanó drew a two-out walk in the second and on a Matt Olson fielding error near first base, after a Max Kepler ground ball, he was brought home to cut Oakland’s lead in half. On the following inning, Marwin Gonzalez hit a two-run bomb to give Minnesota the lead.



Odorizzi gave up a game-tying single in the fifth, which gave him a no-decision, as he didn’t come back to pitch the sixth. He remains unbeaten at home, where he is 6-0 in the year, now with a 2.56 ERA. He hasn’t lost a game at home since Aug. 24 of last year, against this same Oakland team.

The Sire is down
Uncharacteristically, Ryne Harper was punished by righties in his relief appearance. Before tonight’s game, right-handed hitters were being held by him to only .203 batting average. Facing the middle part of the A’s lineup, he gave up three hits, all against righties, that were enough to score a couple of runs. This was Harper’s 42nd game of the year, but only the third time he allowed more than one run in an outing.

In his relief, the rest of the bullpen did a fine job, pitching three scoreless innings, with Tyler Duffey, Blake Parker and Zack Littell. The latter managed to pitch his tenth consecutive scoreless outing, despite giving up a one-out triple to Semien. He had a little help from a 3-2-3, inning-ending double play.

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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41 Comments

Yeah, um, Oakland, THEY'RE GOOD! I would actually pick them as a real contender to win the World Series this year. Why? Because they play really well as a team. Reminds me of the 2015 KC Royals.

    • glunn, Jerr, mikelink45 and 1 other like this
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terrydactyls1947
Jul 19 2019 11:04 PM
Today is Friday, July 19, it was the 96th game of the year and the Twins hit 1 home run. The Twins are now 59% of the way through the season. Out of 59 years, the current team ranks 9th on the all-time list of Twins' home runs in one season and are on a pace to hit 300 home runs this season. They are now 89 home runs behind the single season MLB record. The next Twins team to pass is the 1962 team that hit 185 home runs.
    • glunn, Jerr and h2oface like this

Losing to Hendriks, Grossman and Herrmann.

 

It really sucks to be a .500 team again.

 

Definitely not a fan of Harper in high leverage situations. Some like the story. "....but only the third time he allowed more than one run in an outing." So convenient to ignore his inherited runners scoring stat. Harper is not an answer, and it will only get worse.

 

I want moves for solid relief. Time is a wasting......

    • mikelink45, bighat and D.C Twins like this

Yep. I rememebr the early part of the season where the Twins were really good, because they played like a team. But the bullpen makes you cringe. Moreso when starters can't do six innings. They need reliable arms! The projects of Parker, Harper, Magill and Morin were good news, but they jsut can't cut it! Weren't the Twins ahead of Cleveland by 11+ games once, not too long ago?

    • rkevin likes this
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theBOMisthebomb
Jul 20 2019 04:49 AM
Liam Hendriks unhittable and hitting 100 on the radar gun?! Now, Cleveland has cut the Twins division lead to 3 games. I guess scenarios like this make the game fun. These two really sting right now, though.
    • Nine of twelve likes this

Three game lead now!?!? I'm starting to have a bit of anxiety about the possibility of the Yankees coming to town and sweeping the Twins while the Indians overtake them in the division. That would be the worst...

 

BUT. You have to play the games. Twins win today and we're back in the groove.Let's be positive. Win today and tomorrow and we take the series. One game at a time. What happened to this juggernaut offense? How about an ole' fashioned 11-5 drubbing tonight to cure what ails us?

 

The front office can motivate the Twins by announcing a big trade today, I can feel it in my bones, they've got to be pulling the trigger on a deal any minute now.

    • Jerr, In My La-Z-boy and rkevin like this
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the_brute_squad
Jul 20 2019 06:16 AM

If I'm not mistaken I believe I heard Rosario's pinch hit 3 run bomb was the first 3 run HR since June 5th. If that's the case, that a worrisome stat as it shows the team is not:

1) Hitting well in with RISP

2) Getting multiple hit innings

Sure they've had some 4-5 HR games but it those are mostly solo shots.

On a positive note Marwin's HR was great. If you watched the highlight you can see he choked up on the bat to make solid contact with two strikes. He still hammered it while choking up. It would be nice to see if some of the others are doing the same thing.

    • h2oface, mikelink45 and In My La-Z-boy like this

Small ball plays well especially when you are not going crazy with the Home Runs. I was curious to look at our HR rate since July 1 and thanks to Garver's 4 HRs we hit 1.6 per game - down from the 1.9 per game up to July 1. I do not know if that is very significant.

 

For the month the following BA do have a big impact:

Buxton only 8 games but 161

Cron 7 games 172

Cruz 12 - 205

Kepler 13 - 203

Polanco 12 - 218

 

    • bighat likes this

Seeing Hendriks perform so well brings mixed emotions.Am happy for the young man.Am sad as I wanted him to do well for the Twins.Then disappointed when we lost him.

 

But he really points out how difficult it is to find, and keep, quality relievers.Someone correct me if I am wrong, but the A's released him last year before bringing him back?And now he is one of the best in the game.Finding a great reliever is almost like catching lightening.There just aren't many Rivera's or Nathan's out there...you know, guys that are great year after year after year. 

    • Nine of twelve, In My La-Z-boy and rkevin like this
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Nine of twelve
Jul 20 2019 07:40 AM

 

Seeing Hendriks perform so well brings mixed emotions.Am happy for the young man.Am sad as I wanted him to do well for the Twins.Then disappointed when we lost him.

 

But he really points out how difficult it is to find, and keep, quality relievers.Someone correct me if I am wrong, but the A's released him last year before bringing him back?And now he is one of the best in the game.Finding a great reliever is almost like catching lightening.There just aren't many Rivera's or Nathan's out there...you know, guys that are great year after year after year. 

Yes, the A's DFA'd him last year and nobody claimed him on waivers. So they kept him. 15 years ago we'd attribute his increase in velocity to performance enhancing pharmaceuticals. There's no reason to believe that's the case here so I guess we just have to assume he's a late bloomer. Every now and then that happens.

Someone needs to tell KC and Detroit they are allowed to beat Cleveland once in awhile.
    • ashbury, adorduan and ChrisKnutson like this

Someone needs to tell KC and Detroit they are allowed to beat Cleveland once in awhile.


Someone needs to tell the Twins front office they're allowed to improve the team during the season.
    • ashbury, Jerr, adorduan and 3 others like this

Someone needs to tell the Twins front office they're allowed to improve the team during the season.


That would also be nice.
    • ashbury likes this

Is anybody concerned that the front office will no longer make a big move at the deadline?

 

Falvine talked all offseason about waiting to make a move and spend money until they had a better understanding of what they had, personnel wise, etc.Wanting the young guys to all be on the same timeline.

 

I think it's become pretty clear that the team that came flying out of the gates the first two months of the season is simply not what this team is.It was a fun story, but the bats especially have really come back to the pack.The team we've seen the last 6+ weeks is more than likely the truer representation of this group than the team that was setting records, etc.

 

The FO has to know this.Is anyone else getting worried that instead of making a splash, they make some marginal move and more or less stand pat and keep prospects to continue "building" the team?

 

Viewing the first 2 months as more of a "pop" up scenario than a real chance to push all our chips in on a championship caliber team?

 

I'm literally just spitballing and I have no way of knowing one way or another.

Is anybody concerned that the front office will no longer make a big move at the deadline?

 

Falvine talked all offseason about waiting to make a move and spend money until they had a better understanding of what they had, personnel wise, etc.Wanting the young guys to all be on the same timeline.

 

I think it's become pretty clear that the team that came flying out of the gates the first two months of the season is simply not what this team is.It was a fun story, but the bats especially have really come back to the pack.The team we've seen the last 6+ weeks is more than likely the truer representation of this group than the team that was setting records, etc.

 

The FO has to know this.Is anyone else getting worried that instead of making a splash, they make some marginal move and more or less stand pat and keep prospects to continue "building" the team?

 

Viewing the first 2 months as more of a "pop" up scenario than a real chance to push all our chips in on a championship caliber team?

 

I'm literally just spitballing and I have no way of knowing one way or another.

I don't think that's a hawt taek, at all.

 

Perhaps any move made will be even more tilted toward long-term controllable talent, and no rentals for a 2019 push at all.

 

Or, if the FO is really pessimistic, only rentals, at minimal prospect cost.

 

I think I can reverse-engineer any deadline outcome, after the fact. :)

    • HawksNest likes this
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Tom Froemming
Jul 20 2019 08:39 AM

Kind of a blah game, but I found the postgame comments from both Odorizzi and Baldelli interesting. Here's some video from last night.

    • ashbury, Jerr and HawksNest like this

 

I don't think that's a hawt taek, at all.

 

Perhaps any move made will be even more tilted toward long-term controllable talent, and no rentals for a 2019 push at all.

 

Or, if the FO is really pessimistic, only rentals, at minimal prospect cost.

 

I think I can reverse-engineer any deadline outcome, after the fact. :)

 

I really think that's how things will play out.Which is fine!

 

I just think folks need to recalibrate their expectations considering the last 6+ weeks of mediocre play. Just my thoughts

To further illustrate the slide, Gleeman just tweeted these numbers:

 

Twins' overall OPS:
April/May — .849 (#1 in MLB)
June/July — .802 (#7 in MLB)

 

Twins' OPS with runners in scoring position:
April/May — .888 (#2 in MLB)
June/July — .733 (#24 in MLB)

 

Twins' OPS in high-leverage spots:
April/May — .897 (#3 in MLB)
June/July — .620 (#28 in MLB)

    • h2oface, Vanimal46 and D.C Twins like this

Kind of a blah game, but I found the postgame comments from both Odorizzi and Baldelli interesting.

Indeed. Jake toed the line just short of insubordination, which I think is just fine in any athlete who lives to compete. Leave me in, Coach, I'm ready to play! :)

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Tom Froemming
Jul 20 2019 09:28 AM

 

Indeed. Jake toed the line just short of insubordination, which I think is just fine in any athlete who lives to compete. Leave me in, Coach, I'm ready to play! :)

Yep, I'm having a hard time trying to decide what I think the right move was. Can see it either way. Made some sense for Rocco not to risk it, and it was starting to appear Odo's command was starting to go. On the other hand, it's not like Odorizzi was really getting crushed. I can see why Rocco is comfortable with the decision and, given the end result, why Jake is frustrated about it.

    • ashbury likes this


It really sucks to be a .500 team again.


We always were a .500 team playing well above projections. And it was fun. Maybe they’ll find that again, maybe we’ll get some help, but I think most thought we were a .500 before the season started.
    • Jerr and PDX Twin like this
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jorgenswest
Jul 20 2019 09:38 AM
Happy for Hendriks.

He has been DFA’d several times but it is still very frustrating how the Twins developed him.

He came up too early 22 and wasn’t ready. In his two main seasons with the Twins he started 24 games. Who was his main catcher? Ryan Doumit caught 11 of those starts. Josmil Pinto and Chris Herman caught 3 each. I am sure Gardenhire was thinking something like... “Hendriks has good control we can afford to start Doumit here.” He would then complain about him nibbling. The reality is a guy like Hendriks that can paint the black needs a catcher that can frame that pitch on the black. Instead with Doumit his pitches needed to catch more of the strike zone inside the black to be called a strike and we saw the results.

Last night Hendriks was nibbling in the high 90s painting the black for two innings, Herrman had someone teach him how to receive a ball and thankfully that era of Twin baseball is in the rear view mirror.

I am hopeful that the Twins will find some value in a talent like Littell. That would not have happened in 2012.
    • ashbury likes this

 

 


Twins' OPS with runners in scoring position:

April/May — .888 (#2 in MLB)
June/July — .733 (#24 in MLB)

 

Twins' OPS in high-leverage spots:
April/May — .897 (#3 in MLB)
June/July — .620 (#28 in MLB)

 

Those two are very telling about what has been going on. Pitching isn't the team's greatest strength. Those offensive numbers must get better to win the division.

    • h2oface likes this

Is anybody concerned that the front office will no longer make a big move at the deadline?

Falvine talked all offseason about waiting to make a move and spend money until they had a better understanding of what they had, personnel wise, etc. Wanting the young guys to all be on the same timeline.

I think it's become pretty clear that the team that came flying out of the gates the first two months of the season is simply not what this team is. It was a fun story, but the bats especially have really come back to the pack. The team we've seen the last 6+ weeks is more than likely the truer representation of this group than the team that was setting records, etc.

The FO has to know this. Is anyone else getting worried that instead of making a splash, they make some marginal move and more or less stand pat and keep prospects to continue "building" the team?

Viewing the first 2 months as more of a "pop" up scenario than a real chance to push all our chips in on a championship caliber team?

I'm literally just spitballing and I have no way of knowing one way or another.


Thats... if that happens, its cowardly in the extreme.
    • ashbury, adorduan, ChrisKnutson and 2 others like this

 

 

Twins' OPS with runners in scoring position:

April/May — .888 (#2 in MLB)
June/July — .733 (#24 in MLB)

 

Twins' OPS in high-leverage spots:
April/May — .897 (#3 in MLB)
June/July — .620 (#28 in MLB)

 

Those two are very telling about what has been going on. Pitching isn't the team's greatest strength. Those offensive numbers must get better to win the division.

 

You already did the leg work here, so let me ask: What are the analogous numbers for low-leverage and other situations?

 

Are they now just not hitting well, period?


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