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Front Page: Who is the Twins Team MVP?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:04 AM
2019 has been a bit of a Hollywood season for the Minnesota Twins. After finishing 2018 with a record below .500, and losing a player who...
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VOTE NOW: Team captain nominations

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:04 AM
Surprised to discover that the Twins have not had a team captain since Harmon Killebrew. Leadership counts when a club is playing for the...
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Front Page: Twins Game Recap (9/15): Bad Defense Costs Tw...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:04 AM
The Twins lost the series finale to the Indians 7-5 after taking both games of the doubleheader the day before. Leaving Cleveland with a...
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Front Page: Will Minnesota Get Raided This Off-Season?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:39 AM
It can’t be argued that Minnesota is having one of their best seasons in the Target Field era. Rocco Baldelli and his coaching staff have...
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Are we done with Gibson? Once and for all

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:55 PM
I'm hoping this is one of last times we see Gibson. He has had one good year and every other year has been above 4 ERA. He actually broke...
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Twins Game Recap (8/23): Berríos, Bullpen Can’t Hold Baseball’s Worst Offense

Kicking off the Players Weekend, the Twins hosted the first of a three-game series against the team with the worst record and offense in baseball, while sending their ace, to the mound. But La Makina's August struggles persisted, allowing the Tigers to win the opener, 9-6.
Image courtesy of FanGraphs
Box Score
Berríos: 5.1 IP, 10 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 70.9% strikes (66 of 93 pitches)
Bullpen: 3.2 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K

Home Runs: Sanó, 2 (25), Cave, 2 (4)
Multi-Hit Games: Sanó (2-for-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI), Cave (2-for-2, 2 HR, 2 RBI, BB), Castro (2-for-4)

Top 3 WPA: Cave .134, Sanó .106, May .042
Bottom 3 WPA: Berríos -.357, Kepler -.122, Romo -.101

The Twins missed out on a great opportunity. They were facing the league’s least productive offense and somehow they were out-hit 17 to 9. The Tigers are also the seventh worst pitching staff in baseball in total strikeouts, but they managed to strike out Twins batters 14 times, including 11 for the starter Drew VerHagen. With the loss and the Cleveland win, the Twins lead atop of the Central now shrinks to two and a half games.

All Eyes on La Makina
Everybody is still looking for answers as to why José Berríos (La Makina, "The Machine") is having such an abysmal month of August. Earlier this week Ted Schwerzler put together a list of some weird numbers from his season, to help us investigate. The fact is, the version of Berríos we have witnessed in his previous three starts of the month just wasn't the real him. Tonight, he had the chance to shake off the worst month of his career since his rookie season.

However, things didn’t start as smoothly as one would think they would against the team with the worst record in baseball. In the first two innings of action, he gave up three hits and walked former Twin Niko Goodrum. He managed to strand all runners, though.

In support of their ace, the bats started working early. They manufactured the game’s first run in the first, after a single by Jorge Polanco (Chulo, “Pretty Boy”), followed by a Nelson Cruz (Boomstick) double, which was absolutely crushed: the ball left his bat at 115.1 mph--only his fifth hardest-hit ball of the season.

On the second pitch of the home half of the second, the ball was smoked again. Miguel Sanó (Boquetón, “Large Mouth”) clobbered a hanging slider from VerHagen, good for 109.9 mph. That was his 24th of the season.



Stay hot, Caveman!
While Berríos stabilized a bit, allowing only a couple of runners to reach in the following three innings, he got some more run support. Since being called up for the fourth time this year, to replace an injured Byron Buxton, Jake Cave (Caveman) is making the most of it. This month, he’s the only Twin not named Nelson Cruz to be hitting above .400. Before this game, he was averaging .405 since August 3, when he got called up. He crushed his third dinger of the year in the fifth, to make it 3-0 Twins.



Cave would also make his presence felt on defense later in the game, when he robbed Miguel Cabrera of an RBI-extra base hit in the eighth, with a beautiful leaping grab near the warning track.

‘August Berríos’ strikes again
Five shutout innings, which weren’t brilliant, of course, and we all thought José was finally getting rid of the funk. We were wrong. Three straight hits to open the sixth put Detroit on the board. After Berríos gave up a one-out walk that loaded the bases, Ronny Rodriguez made him pay, hitting a grand slam to give the Tigers their first lead of the night, 5-3.

With that home run, Berríos has now allowed 20 earned runs this August, which is already the second most he’s allowed in any month of his career. The only time he’s given up more than that, 21, was in (surprise, surprise) August 2016. It’s not time to jump to any conclusions, but if Wes Johnson and the coaching staff don’t figure out in the next few weeks what’s wrong with Berríos, this version of him is bound to be crushed in October.

Bullpen can’t stop the bleeding either
Detroit never actually stopped hitting and scoring. Tyler Duffey (The Doof) and Trevor May (IAMTREVORMAY) managed to keep the game within reach after taking over from Berríos in the sixth and the seventh. But the same thing didn’t happen in the final two innings. Sergio Romo (El Mechón, “The Frosted Tips” or “The Padlock”) and Ryne Harper (Harp) allowed three hits and two earned runs each.

Harper’s outing was even more harmful to the Twins, because Miguel Sanó hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth, making it a two-run game, 7-5. But Detroit responded immediately and made it a four-run game in the ninth. Just like Sanó, Cave also went on to record his first multi-HR game of the season, hitting a solo shot in the bottom of the ninth. With the four homers, the Twins now have 248 on the year, 20 short of the MLB record.

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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88 Comments

Does anyone else kind of have the feeling this year that the fun that we are supposed to be having in a pennant race is just not there? I don't know. It just isn't as fun as it supposed to be this year. I guess it has a lot to do with poor defense and bad baseball. I'm the kind of fan that likes to see my team play a nice crisp game. Doesn't it seem like we have had very few crisp, solid games this year? I know I enjoyed the teams in the 2000s a whole lot more even with far less homers. 

    • Highabove, Platoon, IndyTwinsFan and 4 others like this
Harper was a fun story at the start of the year. But the gig is up... He's been figured out. When is Littell's 10 day stint in Rochester over?

    • SQUIRREL, denarded, Blake and 7 others like this
He should have taken out Berrios once he loaded the bases. Lose 2 of 3 to the White Sox and now to Detroit, hapless,pathetic. Good for Sano and Cave, but...
    • IndyTwinsFan, David HK, 3balls2strikes and 4 others like this

 

He should have taken out Berrios once he loaded the bases. Lose 2 of 3 to the White Sox and now to Detroit, hapless,pathetic. Good for Sano and Cave, but...

I'm not going to criticize Baldelli's managing style but I will just go so far as to say that I do not understand it. That's all. 

    • 3balls2strikes, jz7233 and VivaBomboRivera! like this

I do honestly feel bad for the fans that have been going to the games at Target Field. Watching the game on my TV from Bismarck and being disappointed is a little bit different from a fan spending good money at the ballpark and not seeing decent baseball for a very long stretch. 

    • David HK and 3balls2strikes like this
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Aerodeliria
Aug 23 2019 10:17 PM
Rocco's confidence in Berrios to work himself out of jams after the 5th is mystifying. He gets burned yet again.
    • David HK, D.C Twins, 3balls2strikes and 2 others like this

I hate that he's not removing pitchers. Put two on, you are gone. Let someone else give up the homerun.

    • Heistyman, David HK and jz7233 like this
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Taildragger8791
Aug 23 2019 10:21 PM
The hitting displays are fun when things are going but even in this super ball era you still can’t out-hit mediocre pitching. If they limp into the playoffs as-is they’d get absolutely embarrassed with their one-dimensional sideshow. At least the long ball still sells tickets.
    • Highabove, Vanimal46, David HK and 3 others like this

I actually kind of feel for Baldelli a bit as well. If he's a competitive guy, and I'm sure he is as he has been in baseball most of his life, he has to be FURIOUS right now. He certainly controls himself quite admirably. 

    • tarheeltwinsfan likes this

To Whom it May Concern,

 

We are getting loose.....very loose....just thought you aught to know....We are not the experts, but we think we need more Pitching, Staring this off season.

 

Love,

Your Hubcaps

    • tarheeltwinsfan, Taildragger8791, David HK and 3 others like this
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IndyTwinsFan
Aug 23 2019 10:36 PM

I actually kind of feel for Baldelli a bit as well. If he's a competitive guy, and I'm sure he is as he has been in baseball most of his life, he has to be FURIOUS right now. He certainly controls himself quite admirably.

We all know he needs to retain a positive outlook and stay with a positive message. However, I have to wonder, realistically, how much he and the coaching staff can and are doing with the cards they were dealt.
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VivaBomboRivera!
Aug 23 2019 10:39 PM

It isn't a real lead until our staff has given it up.Disgraceful.Far worse than losing to Giolito and Abreu.

 

Go ahead, somebody try to tell us again that it is not pitching (or lack thereof) that wins games.Evidence to the contrary has been mounting since the extra-inning loss to the Yankees.

 

If Castro keeps his foot on the bag before Cave's first dinger, and today's pitchers give up just two fewer runs, the game is tied in the 9th on Cave's second jack.The team has the offense to make up two runs in any given inning.Berrios was done when the bases were loaded, and everybody knew it.Why Harper was left in to pitch the top of the 9th is difficult to comprehend.

 

Two takeaways: 

  • Twins pitchers do not deserve the offensive support they are receiving.Batters should be demanding better from them.
  • It is up to Baldelli and Johnson to get the most from this stable of arms.Thus far they are not.
    • David HK and rkevin like this

 

 

The hitting displays are fun when things are going but even in this super ball era you still can’t out-hit mediocre pitching. If they limp into the playoffs as-is they’d get absolutely embarrassed with their one-dimensional sideshow. At least the long ball still sells tickets.

.....This is what happens when you hold on to your precious prospects too tight and not get Minor at the deadline.

 

To expand...it is a fallacy to assume that we are entering some 3-7 year window of superiority in the central division just because we have a good young hitting core and Cleveland appears to be close to a reset......

 

The White Sox have some amazing young talent and there is absolutely a risk that they will slam our window shut abruptly starting the year after next. We should have started going for THIS PAST trade deadline.

 

But unfortunately the Twins model is to strive for extended stretches of above-average-ness to maximize the revenue to cost ratio....not win championships....this will not change unless fans speak through ticket sales.

 

For an example of how fans can take action....see Redskins, Washington

    • Highabove, Heistyman, OldTimeTwinkie and 3 others like this

I like Baldelli,I think he's done a pretty good job, but we're in the thick of a pennant race now, and things like game management have to be adjusted. It's not April or May anymore. This is the time for games we need to win, not lessons we need to learn.

 

Berrios should have been pulled after those first couple of runners got on. Period. Showing confidence, whatever, be damned. That's just bad management. It kind of goes along with the question of why 34 home runs and .333 OPB is in the leadoff spot, and 3 home runs and .405 OBP is hitting 5th in the order, at this late date. Those hitters need to be switched, like a month and a half ago.

 

The fact that this management team missed out on both Stroman and Minor at the deadline is coming back to bite us, hard. Good luck with all the 40-man decisions at the end of this season, and watch us lose some guys for nothing that we could have dealt for real help this year.

 

Or maybe I'm just being a little pessimistic...

 

    • Heistyman, mickeymental, 3balls2strikes and 3 others like this
If they have to take out their ace this early.....
    • David HK and D.C Twins like this

An unacceptable loss. Put Berrios on the IL and release Harper. Get Littell and Smeltzer up. And get Arreaz into the lead-off spot and Kepler to 4th immediately. Thsi should be a no-brainer. 

 

Ultimately the front office's trade deadline cowardice is their undoing. But there's always 2024. 

    • Dantes929, David HK, D.C Twins and 3 others like this
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3balls2strikes
Aug 24 2019 12:36 AM

This game was sooooooo frustrating and is like a warning light that illuminates on your dashboard telling you that there's a real problem. This team has been stumbling and bumbling for far too long. CLE, OAK and TB are better teams with strong momentum, which does not bode well for the Twins' playoff aspirations. 

 

This game was sooooooo frustrating and is like a warning light that illuminates on your dashboard telling you that there's a real problem.

It does seem that way to me too and it seems to be psychological more so than physical (injuries) or even skill. I noticed when Cleveland last came to town they had swagger and confidence almost to the point of a bully and what I mean is they just kinda let you know they are good and you are gonna have to knock them off their perch if you wanna beat them. The Twins just don't seem to show that same type of assertiveness and aggression. Lesser teams, the ChiSox and Tigers lately, seem to catch on to that quickly and often take charge of game situations. Makes it harder for the Twins to re-assert themselves. At least that is what I perceive.

    • 3balls2strikes and Bandit34 like this
Yes, I think that the consensus is that it’s time for Rocco and the FO to make some hard decisions about what we want to accomplish this year.
For instance, If we DFA’d all those relievers before the deadline, what is Harper still doing on this roster? We’ve plenty of guys who can give up 2 runs down in AAA.
Also, this babying of Berríos is equally mystifying. Here is a man who doesn’t want to be good; he wants to be the best, he has high expectations for himself. With that in mind, he needs a good kick in the rear and he needs to be told that doing the same thing is not working and he needs to change. All pitchers go through this; the great ones figure out how to change and then grow from it....but it won’t happen if we just pat him on the head and tell him he’s great.
The only good thing about the game is that it was in the middle of the night for me, so I couldn’t watch it! :-)

As often happens to guys with gimmicky approach it seems the league has figured out Harper. Guys without great stuff can find success for a while if they have an unusual pitch mix, but once opposing scouts find their weaknesses it can go bad in a hurry. I'm afraid the Harper isn't fooling anyone anymore.

    • tarheeltwinsfan, David HK, howieramone2 and 3 others like this
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theBOMisthebomb
Aug 24 2019 04:38 AM
The homestand where the Twins were going to make hay while the sun was shining has taken off to a 1-3 thud. When do they push the panic button on Berrios and make some tweaks?
    • David HK, bighat and 3balls2strikes like this
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Richard Swerdlick
Aug 24 2019 05:03 AM

I maintain that Berrios is worn out and needs a 10 IL reprise. His velocity is not as good as it was earlier in the year. Maybe they should focus on him becoming a 5 inning pitcher like Odo and just throw 94-95 instead of 91-93.

 

His command is off too. He was lucky to get out of the first 2 innings with no runs given up. He is giving up way too many hits.

 

As for Harper, I think he should be sent down for the rest of the year. It was fun while it lasted for him this year. 

    • Danchat, tarheeltwinsfan, David HK and 2 others like this
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tarheeltwinsfan
Aug 24 2019 05:48 AM

 

To Whom it May Concern,

 

We are getting loose.....very loose....just thought you aught to know....We are not the experts, but we think we need more Pitching, Staring this off season.

 

Love,

Your Hubcaps

The wheels on the bus go round and round.

    • D.C Twins likes this
Photo
tarheeltwinsfan
Aug 24 2019 05:54 AM

 

An unacceptable loss. Put Berrios on the IL and release Harper. Get Littell and Smeltzer up. And get Arreaz into the lead-off spot and Kepler to 4th immediately. Thsi should be a no-brainer. 

 

 

What he said.

    • LA VIkes Fan, David HK and 3balls2strikes like this

 

I do honestly feel bad for the fans that have been going to the games at Target Field. Watching the game on my TV from Bismarck and being disappointed is a little bit different from a fan spending good money at the ballpark and not seeing decent baseball for a very long stretch. 

 

That's one way to look at it....but I think many people would enjoy being outside on a Friday night in downtown Minneapolis at a ballgame, rather than on a couch in Bismark, ND. Not knocking your living room, just saying sometimes there's more to it. I went to one game last year. Twins lost to KC and Aaron Slegers was pitching. Overall it was bad baseball, but I still remember the night fondly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

    • ashbury, 70charger, SwainZag and 1 other like this

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