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Twins Game Recap (8/13): Marwin Comes Up Clutch To Put the Twins Back in First Place

After a brutal weekend series against the Cleveland Indians, the Minnesota Twins needed an easy win, along with some help from the Boston Red Sox, to regain the division lead. For a while it looked like that would be the case, as the Twins held a 4-1 lead over the Brewers and the Red Sox, a 6-1 lead over the Indians in the later innings. However, easy would not even come close to describing how things went down to give the Twins back the lead in the AL Central.
Image courtesy of FanGraphs
Box Score
Perez: 6 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 61.4% strikes (54 of 88 pitches)
Home Runs: Garver (22), Gonzalez (14)
Multi-Hit Games: Rosario (2 for 4, BB), Gonzalez (2 for 4, HR)
WPA of +0.1: Gonzalez .593, Perez .252, Rosario .153, Garver .128,
WPA of -0.1: Harper -.670, Cron -.103

Martin Perez worked himself into a little bit of trouble in the first after allowing a couple of singles to Keston Hiura and Ryan Braun, though he was able to work out of it when Yasmani Grandal flew out to Eddie Rosario in left. The Twins were able to get a threat of their own going in the top of the second, thanks to a Luis Arraez base hit and a C.J. Cron hit-by-pitch, both coming with one out. However, with the game being played in a National League ballpark, the Twins' hopes of scoring in the inning relied almost entirely on the number eight hitter Marwin Gonzalez to come though with a hit. Once he flew out, Martin Perez, who has just one career hit, came to the plate and promptly struck out, ending the Twins threat.

The Twins were able to get the scoring going in the top of the third thanks to a Max Kepler leadoff walk, followed by Mitch Garver blasting his 22nd home run of the season. Garver is now just three home runs behind Gary Sanchez for the most home runs by a catcher in the American League, despite having roughly 90 fewer plate appearances.



After the Garver home run, the Twins bats were able to tack on another run. Eddie Rosario drew a rare walk, with one out in the inning, which was followed by a Miguel Sano groundball single, thanks to a lack of communication among the Brewers infielders. This set the table for Luis Arraez, who was able to bring Rosario in from third with an RBI-groundout.

In the bottom of the third, the Brewers put together a two-out rally after a Ryan Braun walk and a Yasmani Grandal single. This brought Mike Moustakas to the plate, who appeared to have an RBI-single, before Jorge Polanco made this spectacular play to end the inning.



After Martin Perez escaped unscathed through the first three innings, the Brewers were able to bring a run across the plate in the fourth. With one out, the Brewers number eight hitter, Hernan Perez singled, setting up an obvious bunt situation with Brewers pitcher Chase Anderson coming to the plate. Anderson was able to get the bunt down, and Martin Perez seemed to execute it perfectly, going to second to easily get the lead runner. However the throw from Perez sailed a bit and bounced off Jorge Polanco’s glove, and instead of a potential inning-ending double play, the Brewers had first and third with just one out. They were able to bring the run home on the next batter, when Lorenzo Cain just barely beat out the doubleplay relay throw.

The Twins were able to extend their lead back up to three in the top of the seventh. Marwin Gonzalez got the inning started with a leadoff single, then Ehrie Adrianza came through with a pinch-hit RBI double. Unfortunately, Adrianza was stranded on the bases, preventing what could have been a big inning that could have burst the game open.

That came back to haunt the Twins in the bottom of the inning, when Ryne Harper gave up four runs, without recording an out, capped off by this three-run home run by Yasmani Grandal.



To make matters worse, at that exact same moment, the Cleveland Indians came back from a 6-1 deficit to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth, thanks to a Francisco Lindor double. Fortunately for the Twins, the Red Sox were able to get out of the inning to force extras, where Jackie Bradley Jr. came up big with a go-ahead home run. In the bottom of the 10th, Andrew Cashner, of all people, came in and closed the door on the Indians loss.

Back in Milwaukee, things still looked bleak for the Twins in the top of the eighth. Despite a leadoff double from Eddie Rosario, which was followed by a Miguel Sano walk, Luis Arraez and C.J. Cron were unable to even advance them. This set the table for one of the biggest at-bats for the Twins all season. With two-outs, and the tying run on second, the Brewers turned to shutdown closer Josh Hader to face Marwin Gonzalez, and on the first pitch, Gonzalez took Hader deep to left-center field for a three-run home run, putting the Twins back up by a score of 7-5.



With Taylor Rogers apparently unavailable for tonight’s game, Rocco Baldelli had to turn to trade-deadline acquisitions Sam Dyson, who came back off the injured list tonight, and Sergio Romo, to close the door on the Twins victory. After Dyson went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the eighth, Romo was able to finish off the save in the ninth, giving the Twins one of their biggest wins of the season.



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

Next Three Games
Wed at MIL, 1:10 pm CT (Gibson-TBD)
Thu at TEX, 7:05 pm CT (TBD-Payano)
Fri at TEX, 7:05 pm CT (TBD-TBD)
Last Game
Twins Game Recap (8/11): Frustrating Loss Marred by Heartbreaking Moments


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46 Comments

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Aerodeliria
Aug 13 2019 10:16 PM

Biggest. Hit. 2019. Period.

 

Perez gave us the best start he's had in what seems like forever and a day.

 

Excellent use of the bullpen. Harper was NG but in these situations in the past, he has been decent. (I am worried that he has been trending in the wrong way, however.)

 

What might get passed over is that our two newbies shone brightly in this game. Dyson cleaned up ;-)

 

Some minor irritations:

Pull Harper when he's not getting swinging strikes.

Don't have a .352 guy bunting when he could just as easily drive in a runner.

Errors!

    • mikelink45, DocBauer and tarheeltwinsfan like this

 

Biggest. Hit. 2019. Period.

 

Perez gave us the best start he's had in what seems like forever and a day.

 

Excellent use of the bullpen. Harper was NG but in these situations in the past, he has been decent. (I am worried that he has been trending in the wrong way, however.)

 

What might get passed over is that our two newbies shone brightly in this game. Dyson cleaned up ;-)

 

Some minor irritations:

Pull Harper when he's not getting swinging strikes.

Don't have a .352 guy bunting when he could just as easily drive in a runner.

Errors!

Not trying to be Mr. Negative here and you hit on it at the bottom, but I thought it was fairly clear Harper didn't have his stuff tonight, and when that happens you have to get him out right away because he won't overpower you with it, and Rocco made the mistake of leaving him in which I'd consider poor bullpen management. Makes a little more sense now knowing Rogers was a no go but you still have Duffey and May who have performed similarly to Harper. Also I really hope Arraez was bunting on his own like Morneau suggested because it makes even less sense considering how amazing he has been in high leverage situations. And I'm with you, the performances of Romo and especially Dyson can't be overlooked.

    • glunn, birdwatcher, Dantes929 and 10 others like this

 

Not trying to be Mr. Negative here and you hit on it at the bottom, but I thought it was fairly clear Harper didn't have his stuff tonight, and when that happens you have to get him out right away because he won't overpower you with it, and Rocco made the mistake of leaving him in which I'd consider poor bullpen management. Makes a little more sense now knowing Rogers was a no go but you still have Duffey and May who have performed similarly to Harper. Also I really hope Arraez was bunting on his own like Morneau suggested because it makes even less sense considering how amazing he has been in high leverage situations. And I'm with you, the performances of Romo and especially Dyson can't be overlooked.

 

 

I agree with all of this.  Not sure what the bunting was about, weird.  Feel like Rocco has been out of sorts with his keeping starters in for way too long and not understanding when the bullpen guy just doesn't have it.  After a day off, you have so many arms available why ride Harper when his soft tossing schtick is not working.

 

Perez hit was mammoth and as big as we have had all year.  Let's hope we can figure out how to watch them tomorrow.

 

Our rookie manager needs to be better.

 

Big win.

    • mikelink45 likes this

BTW Dyson being effective is a huge story line IMO.  We are going to need him.

    • Steve Lein, nokomismod, Dantes929 and 16 others like this
Preseason I read somewhere that Astro fans said that Marwin was clutch. The last two games proved it. An 8th inning two out 3 run HR on the first pitch from Hader after the bullpen blew a 3 run lead is just enormous. Players like that are magic
    • Steve Lein, glunn, birdwatcher and 11 others like this
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Aerodeliria
Aug 13 2019 10:57 PM

 

BTW Dyson being effective is a huge story line IMO.  We are going to need him.

 

 Truth! We definitely will need this version of him.

    • tarheeltwinsfan and bighat like this

I hadn't seen Dyson pitch and thought he was on the Il and just kind of hoping he would help us after another week or so.Then I saw him come in and looked like all we hoped for. He really looked good. Romo looked great also aside from hitting the guy. That made me nervous cuz the next guy had a lot of really good cuts at the ball. Bullpen is definitely appears to benew and improved.

    • nokomismod, tarheeltwinsfan and Battle ur tail off like this
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LA_NorthStar
Aug 13 2019 11:04 PM

No matter the score, the Twins are never out of it. The problem is, the same applies to their opponent. 

 

It's must-see TV!

    • SQUIRREL, birdwatcher, JW24 and 7 others like this

As I was floating in my blimp above Miller Park, I saw a team in trouble, having a hard voyage, and isn't that what it's all about, the voyage? Lots of turbulence: it has been a bumpy ride. Yet, when I embarked on my voyage 5 months ago, I never expected that mid-August would reveal .600 baseball, and 1st place. Regardless of how this all unfolds, it certainly has been an interesting ride.

 

 

    • birdwatcher, jimbo92107, Dantes929 and 9 others like this

Knowing now that Rogers was unavailable (which after 2 innings on Saturday and a bunch more pitches on Sunday should have been obvious), it makes more sense to go to Harper to start the 7th. At that point, you know the ideal situation is Dyson in the 8th and Romo in the 9th. Harper's been fine, and having him start the 7th is fine. I thought it was pretty clear pretty quickly that he didn't have the break on the breaking ball. Ideally you go to Duffey a couple of batters sooner. 

 

 

    • Steve Lein, glunn, Dantes929 and 11 others like this
Twins aquire a win! A couple of weeks ago it was assumed it would be Romo in the eighth and Dyson for the ninth. It will be interesting to see if Dyson can make that a possibility.
    • bighat likes this

 

BTW Dyson being effective is a huge story line IMO.  We are going to need him.

 

Heck yeah, man. That 1-2-3 inning looked really, really nice. And Romo has looked like a good pickup. Super thrilled to see those 2 guys finish off a tight, BIG game in the 8th and 9th.

 

    • Dantes929, Sconnie, Dman and 6 others like this

We have watched Rocco let too many pitchers load the bases and put us in trouble.A quick hook is required in these situations.But to blame just Rocco is to overlook a Bench Coach that everyone raves about (why?) and a pitching coach.  

 

No one mentioned it yet, but Perez gave up no earned runs!Which is a bigger shock - that he did this based on his season to date or that he did it with all the runners and action that he allowed the Brewers throughout the game?

    • Dman and tarheeltwinsfan like this

Lots of baseball left in the season. I imagine that we'll see lots of Twins/Indians jumping back and forth atop the standings for the rest of the way. Buckle up and enjoy the ride of a division race! I, and many others I suspect, have waited quite a while for this.

    • wabene likes this

What an ugly QUALITY start for Perez.But the results were great.Dyson had to give his confidence a shot in the arm.Also built some confidence for the team in using him.

 

Isn't Gonzalez turning out to be a key part of this team.Wonderful late off-season signing.

    • Dantes929, tarheeltwinsfan, howieramone2 and 3 others like this
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tarheeltwinsfan
Aug 14 2019 06:31 AM

I really do enjoy watching this Twins team play baseball. Thanks FO, Rocco, the unsung coaches and the players and staff.

    • Seth Stohs, pbrezeasap, Dantes929 and 2 others like this

 

Biggest. Hit. 2019. Period.

 

Perez gave us the best start he's had in what seems like forever and a day.

 

Excellent use of the bullpen. Harper was NG but in these situations in the past, he has been decent. (I am worried that he has been trending in the wrong way, however.)

 

What might get passed over is that our two newbies shone brightly in this game. Dyson cleaned up ;-)

 

Some minor irritations:

Pull Harper when he's not getting swinging strikes.

Don't have a .352 guy bunting when he could just as easily drive in a runner.

Errors!

 

Excellent use of the bullpen? Did we watch the same game? He used his 5th or 6th best bullpen option in the 7th inning vs the heart of the Milwaukee order, who promptly gave up 4 runs and the lead. 

    • In My La-Z-boy likes this

 

 

 

No one mentioned it yet, but Perez gave up no earned runs!Which is a bigger shock - that he did this based on his season to date or that he did it with all the runners and action that he allowed the Brewers throughout the game?

 

I think Perez was kind of playing with fire all night. Certainly wasn't a sharp outing and he didn't look dominant. That said, it's hard to rain on his parade when he pitched a quality start. I think we'd all be happy if the guy managed 5+ innings and gave up 2-ish runs. We don't need him to be spectacular, just serviceable. He was indeed serviceable last night, can't say otherwise.

    • pbrezeasap, SF Twins Fan, wabene and 2 others like this

 

Knowing now that Rogers was unavailable (which after 2 innings on Saturday and a bunch more pitches on Sunday should have been obvious), it makes more sense to go to Harper to start the 7th. At that point, you know the ideal situation is Dyson in the 8th and Romo in the 9th. Harper's been fine, and having him start the 7th is fine. I thought it was pretty clear pretty quickly that he didn't have the break on the breaking ball. Ideally you go to Duffey a couple of batters sooner. 

 

It still doesnt make sense. It was the 2-4 spots in the Milwaukee lineup coming up, you use Romo, Dyson, Duffey. 

 

Is there a person here who didn't see that hanging curve ball to Grandal coming? Somehow the Manager didn't. 

    • howeda7, SF Twins Fan and In My La-Z-boy like this

If I don't have a coronary before the season is over I'll be amazed. Grandal's homer in the bottom of the 7th was crushing, just crushing. I'm sure Harper felt about an inch tall. Red Sox were up 6-1 on the Indians, who then claw back and tie it in the 9th.

 

Oh great, here comes being 1.5 games out. Then . . . SwissG to the rescue. Wow. The first pitch he saw from Hader and POW. It wasn't even a bad pitch. What a clutch hit. Bradley hits a homer in the 10th for the Red Sox and they hang on to win. We hang on to win. Back in first. Awesome.

 

Looks like the Bomba Squad vs the Scrappy-Do's for the rest of the season. Not looking forward to CLE getting Kluber and Carassco back; that will make it that much harder. Getting Buxton back will help. Go Twins.

 

 

    • Dman and In My La-Z-boy like this
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terrydactyls1947
Aug 14 2019 07:26 AM

Yesterday was Tuesday, August 13.It was the 119th game of the year putting the Twins 73% of the way through the season.The Twins hit 2 home runs upping their record-breaking season total to 230 home runs.They are now only 37 home runs behind the single-season MLB record.

    • big dog and Dozier's Glorious Hair like this

Is there any timeline for Buxton's (probably temporary) return to the lineup?Man, I love the guy, but geez.

 

I really think the Twins' radio spots should have Buxton doing the ad for the MRI, not Kepler.That doesn't make sense.Let Kepler sell the Sheboygan sausages.

    • nokomismod, wabene, EPEZRider and 2 others like this
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terrydactyls1947
Aug 14 2019 07:34 AM
I went to bed right feeling thoroughly disgusted right after Grandal's home run. I was very surprised and happy when I saw the headline of this article this morning. Maybe it's time for Harper to take a trip to the IL?
Right now I would have the Duffmaster and Mayday May ahead of Harper. That puts him at number six in the pecking order. We were up by three but if it was me I felt that was too important for number six. A guy like Harper is a bit gimmicky and you gotta pick your spots.

Dodged a bullet -- the Brewers were 1 for 12 w/RISP.

 

 

    • ashbury, nokomismod and Dman like this

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