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Front Page: Getting Defensive

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Where are they now? Ex-Twins in 2019

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I had fun with the "Ex-Twins in the Box Scores" post last year. I know, it's too early for any games at this point in the year, but I hav...
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Twins Game Recap (8/11): Frustrating Loss Marred by Heartbreaking Moments

The Twins finished off this four game set with the Indians with a frustrating loss highlighted by a Marwin Gonzalez double with Ehire Adrianza being thrown out at home and Carlos Santana crushing a grand slam in extra innings. Cleveland will head home tied with the Twins atop the AL Central.
Box Score
Berrios: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 68.8% strikes (66 of 96 pitches)
Bullpen: 4 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
Home Runs: None
Multi-Hit Games: Rosario (2-for-4), Arraez (2-for-3), Cron (2-for-4)

Top 3 WPA: Gonzalez (0.21), Arraez (0.18), Rosario (0.14)
Bottom 3 WPA: Rogers (-0.48), Schoop (-0.22), Kepler (-0.18)

Berrios struggles out of the gate

This game started with the Twins ace Jose Berrios on the mound looking for redemption from his last time out. This start certainly didn’t begin the way Berrios wanted with a first inning home run from Greg Allen, followed by a walk and an RBI double from Yasiel Puig.

Berrios allowed another run in the third inning on a seeing eye RBI single from Carlos Santana to make it 3-1 Indians. Jose Berrios definitely did not have his best stuff yet again but was able to work through six solid innings.

Twins offense nowhere to be found

The Minnesota Twins came into this game with an advantage going up against Cleveland’s number five starter Aaron Civale who was making just his third career MLB start. The Twins just could not get the bats going. The only early run was from a Rosario double and then two sacrifice flyballs.

The Twins fight back to tie it but another frustrating ending occurs

After scoring just one run all day, the Twins fought back in the ninth inning against Brad Hand with a chance to walk it off. Eddie Rosario started the inning with a double, Arraez singled to make it 3-2 and then Cron singled to give Marwin a chance to end it. I’ll just let this tweet do the talking.



Gonzalez came up clutch with an RBI double but the momentum was immediately killed when third base coach Tony Diaz decided to send Adrianza and he was about by about a mile. The catcher would have had time to catch the ball, go fill his car with gas, stop for lunch and then come back to home plate and Adrianza still would have been out. It was the second time this series where there was a send from third and it was not a close play at all. You are all welcome to vent in the comments.

With the momentum back on the Indians side, the tenth inning went sideways for Minnesota. Rogers gave up a single, walked Lindor on four pitches and then a well- placed bunt single loaded the bases for Carlos Santana. You probably thought “hey it might be all right because Rogers is elite.” Well, Santana crushed a grand slam to give the Indians a 7-3 lead and crush our spirits.

Cleveland takes the series and leaves Minnesota with a first place tie.

The Twins desperately needed a split at the least in this series. Cleveland was coming at them like an avalanche but starting pitching struggles mixed with untimely hitting came at the worst possible time in the season. The Twins will head to Milwaukee for a two-game set while Cleveland will host Boston for three. The Twins now have to hope to take care of business until they meet up with Cleveland again.

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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101 Comments

 

Diaz: "I'll take that chance any day." Translation: We're not learning. 

Now here's the right thing to say: "I take responsibility for that poor play at home. I have no excuse. It was a mistake on my part." If Diaz had said that, I would feel at least a little better. I've got to believe that Rocco was secretly not happy about that. But he certainly did not yell at Diaz because the interview with Diaz would have showed a more conciliatory Diaz as opposed to: "I"ll take that chance any day." That right there tells me that he may not have been talked to about the play, unfortunately. 

    • Jerr, SF Twins Fan, Dozier's Glorious Hair and 2 others like this
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AlwaysinModeration
Aug 11 2019 07:19 PM
The toughest thing to stomach is that it would have been such a huge boost to walk off that game after being down two in the ninth against Hand. It’s almost like blowing a 9-3 lead to the Yankees.
    • jz7233, rkevin and Bandit34 like this

I hope the FO watched this game and made the right decision for the team. Diaz should not be 3rd base coach.

    • Dozier's Glorious Hair and Bandit34 like this

 

I hope the FO watched this game and made the right decision for the team. Diaz should not be 3rd base coach.

That's what is so scary about all of this. Everyone who is associated with the Twins thinks it was an acceptable decision. All I can say is they must be seeing something I did not see in that play. 

    • Dozier's Glorious Hair likes this

 

The toughest thing to stomach is that it would have been such a huge boost to walk off that game after being down two in the ninth against Hand. It’s almost like blowing a 9-3 lead to the Yankees.

My personal feeling is that this team does not have that 'spark' this year that great teams have. Fun team? Yes. But would I be surprised if we finished around 87 wins this year? I actually would not be surprised. As Morneau said earlier in the game, it doesn't really matter if your schedule gets easier, you still have to finish strong. 

    • Madisonsdad likes this

We have had at least 6 or 7 games where it could have turned the season completely around and we lost the game each and every time. I just doubt very much that this is our year. 

    • jz7233 likes this

EBuAH4mWwAICy0J.jpg

 

It's gonna be close ... too close to call ... probably the call's going to get challenged...

    • denarded, Riverbrian, Circus Boy and 3 others like this

A lot of people like to say, and I once said it as well, that: "Well the Twins have not played badly, it's just Cleveland is playing out of this world." While that is true, it's also true that if teams like Houston and the Yankees would go through a stretch of something like 30-28, there would be serious discussions of firing the manager. Am I wrong?

 

A lot of people like to say, and I once said it as well, that: "Well the Twins have not played badly, it's just Cleveland is playing out of this world." While that is true, it's also true that if teams like Houston and the Yankees would go through a stretch of something like 30-28, there would be serious discussions of firing the manager. Am I wrong?

And, no, I'm not saying Rocco should be fired. But I just wonder when our team is finally going to be held to a higher standard. 

    • rkevin likes this
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Hosken Bombo Disco
Aug 11 2019 08:01 PM
I can’t believe there aren’t more voices on Twins Daily simply saying, “enjoy the ride.” It’s almost like fans feel entitled to all the improbable come-from-behind victories, but the close losses are never acceptable.
    • Riverbrian, twinsnorth49, SwainZag and 2 others like this

 

That's what is so scary about all of this. Everyone who is associated with the Twins thinks it was an acceptable decision. All I can say is they must be seeing something I did not see in that play. 

 

I don't think they can say "Dumb move" within hours of the event, even if they think it was a dumb move - you just don't do that.

 

Let's see if he's still 3rd base coach next year.

    • Original Whizzinator likes this
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Hosken Bombo Disco
Aug 11 2019 08:16 PM

EBuAH4mWwAICy0J.jpg


I’ve seen... closer plays at the plate.
    • Riverbrian, twinsnorth49, Circus Boy and 2 others like this

 

EBuAH4mWwAICy0J.jpg

Here's the throw

Here's the play at the plate.

Holy cow, I think he's gonna make it...

    • Riverbrian and rkevin like this

 

Here's the throw

Here's the play at the plate.

Holy cow, I think he's gonna make it...

Maybe Pete Rose could have made it to home plate there with his superman slide. But...no, I think Rose would have been tagged out and he would have gotten up really angry and started walking toward the third base coach. 

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Nine of twelve
Aug 11 2019 08:33 PM

When there is one out with a tie score in the bottom of the ninth you send the runner only if it would take a perfect play to get him. If the runner would be out on an average play you hold. Holding the runner makes it second and third with one out. Many, if not most, visiting managers will order an IBB or order the pitcher not to throw strikes in case the batter swings at pitches that are difficult to hit. Then you've got bases loaded, the infield and outfield play in, maybe with five infielders, and your odds are good. It is easy to see in retrospect that it was a major mistake by Diaz to send. It requires a certain skill to be able to read that play correctly and it seems that he may not possess that skill.

    • Riverbrian, Dozier's Glorious Hair and jz7233 like this

Two age-old rules of thumb point in the same direction in this case:

  • Don't make the second out at home
  • Play for the tie at home, for the win on the road
    • Jerr, Madisonsdad, Platoon and 2 others like this

We have had at least 6 or 7 games where it could have turned the season completely around and we lost the game each and every time. I just doubt very much that this is our year.


Off the top of my head I can only think of two big games in the last month or so where the team trailed late and came back to win. One was the Sunday vs Oakland when they came back in the 9th to win, but that was after they allowed 4 runs in the final innings to fall behind. The other was the first game after the break in Cleveland where they trailed in the 7th and got a few clutch hits to win.

The come from ahead losses have been more frequent. A few when we just needed one more strike to win. The one game in the Oakland series and the one Yankees game. Both needed just one more out/strike. Then the inexplicable Miami loss. I’ll throw the late implosion against the Mets in there too. And then today, a great comback but couldn’t finish it. Every one of those 5 coulda shoulda been wins. Tough to give those away when the Indians never lose.
    • jz7233 likes this
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terrydactyls1947
Aug 11 2019 08:51 PM

Yesterday was Sunday, August 11.It was the 118th game of the year putting the Twins 73% of the way through the season.The Twins hit 0 home runs keeping their record-breaking season total at 228 home runs.They are now only 39 home runs behind the single-season MLB record.

    • Jerr, Riverbrian and Dozier's Glorious Hair like this
I just don’t the enfatuation with Baldelli anymore. The guy just isn’t a very good manager.

What happened to his coaching staff? Where is the Wes Johnson we were getting ready to build a statue for outside of Target field? Nobody is throwing the ball effectively on this team. His 3B coach has one job to do, and he apparently can’t do it. It’s time for Baldelli to stop getting the “yeah, but” from everyone and start taking some criticism. His gross mishandling of numerous situations in recent weeks has cost the Twins big time. I’m not far off from calling to give me Molitor back. Monitor wasn’t a great bullpen handler either, but at lest he displayed a modicum of aptitude for situational baseball from time to time. Baldelli, literally, botches nearly every decision in tight games. He looked like a genius when we were winning 12-3 every night, as anybody should.

That call to send the Adrianza from third in that game, in that situation, is fireable. It wasn’t even close. We’re always logging player WPA. What was the difference there between making that absolute bone-headed decision and taking 2nd and 3rd with 1 out and a reeling Brad Hand.

The division is over. We stand no chance against the Tribe the rest of the way. I could care less about a damn wildcard spot. This team can’t take care of business when it needs to, management can’t make the appropriate moves in game when it needs to, the FO can’t apparently can’t adequately assess a situation and get even respectable pitching to complement an all-world offense. We can’t even catch a break when we need one (two best players are injure during the biggest stretch of the season - cast-off Aaron Hicks stealing games st Target Field, seemingly every jettisoned relived in the last 5 years is lights out while we hung onto the garbage).

Just another year of being a Twins fan. Another gut punch. I honestly can’t decide, would I rather have a season like this one go down in flames in epic fashion, or have an average team from the jump without the buildup? Well, I can tell you I would’ve invested much less time and money, so I’m leaning with the matter at this point.

I’m sickened by this team right now. On to the Vikings to go through the same thing in a few months.
    • Dome Dogg, jz7233 and SpicyGarvSauce like this

Off the top of my head I can only think of two big games in the last month or so where the team trailed late and came back to win. One was the Sunday vs Oakland when they came back in the 9th to win, but that was after they allowed 4 runs in the final innings to fall behind. The other was the first game after the break in Cleveland where they trailed in the 7th and got a few clutch hits to win.

The come from ahead losses have been more frequent. A few when we just needed one more strike to win. The one game in the Oakland series and the one Yankees game. Both needed just one more out/strike. Then the inexplicable Miami loss. I’ll throw the late implosion against the Mets in there too. And then today, a great comback but couldn’t finish it. Every one of those 5 coulda shoulda been wins. Tough to give those away when the Indians never lose.

This is what’s so frustrating with being a fan of a cheapskate small-market club (and, yes, they could spend much, much more and be just fine financially). The wait and see approach with the roster every year. Instead of locking down solid bullpen/rostation peices, they threw things at the wall. The front office should never live down that they basically flushed a legit World Series contender this year with poor planning and inaction. When we get to end of the year, and we’re 3-4 out of the division, there will be dozens of losses you can point to.

This isn’t hindsight. I’m sure there is a record of me trumpeting this back in May.

This thing is over. Baledelli saying “the fight is still there,” says it all. The fact that he has to even say that gives away his confidence level.

 

EBuAH4mWwAICy0J.jpg

 

"Never tell me the odds"

"So you're telling me there's a chance"

    • Danchat, Platoon, wsnydes and 1 other like this

I figure the Twins had about a 50/50 chance of winning the game in the 9th if they hold the runner (20% chance Schoop comes through, 24% chance Kepler does if he fails, and 6% wild pitch/other). So if it would have been a bang/bang play fine. But seeing where he was when the ball hit the cutoff, it's inexcusable. 

    • Nine of twelve and jz7233 like this
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AlwaysinModeration
Aug 12 2019 03:15 AM

I figure the Twins had about a 50/50 chance of winning the game in the 9th if they hold the runner (20% chance Schoop comes through, 24% chance Kepler does if he fails, and 6% wild pitch/other). So if it would have been a bang/bang play fine. But seeing where he was when the ball hit the cutoff, it's inexcusable.


Actually it’s about 65-70% likely that they score a run with runners on second and third with one out. The average run expectancy with that situation is 1.4 runs.

One other thing...the lack of bullpen options bit the Twins again in this game.

Rogers pitched 2 innings the day before, and he hasn't been good when asked to come back the next day after a multi inning outing. In fact, ANY back to back situation has been a little dicey.

Small sample size, but still. His command wasn't good, and he wasn't hitting 97 like the day before.

    • Blake, SF Twins Fan, SpicyGarvSauce and 1 other like this

Wow, with one out you gamble when you've sent four baserunners on that laboring closer?Sac fly wins it.One out!

 

As a 3rd base coach, you need to know your player's capabilities and the situation.To see a guy thrown out by a mile in that scenario was embarrassing. 

 

And that was basically a two game swing since it was head-to-head.We win, we go up 2.Lose and we're tied.A big moment.It takes a lot to essentially gain two games on Cleveland at this point.That was a golden opportunity. 

    • Jerr and jz7233 like this