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Twins Game Recap (8/9): Twins Set Home Run Record, Lose to Cleveland

Once again the Twins didn't get enough from their starter and couldn't sustain a rally and they fall to the Indians at Target Field, 6-2. Minnesota loses their fourth straight game for the first time in the year and are now tied with Cleveland for first place in the division, with a 70-46 record.
Image courtesy of FanGraphs
Box Score
Smeltzer: 4.1 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 60.4% strikes (49 of 81 pitches)
Bullpen: 4.2 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K

Home Runs: Castro (12), Rosario (25)
Multi-Hit Games: Polanco (2-for-4), Cave (2-for-4)

Bottom 3 WPA: Smeltzer -.191, Arráez -.085, Cron -.063

For the fourth consecutive game, the Twins didn’t get a good outing from their starting pitcher. Since Jake Odorizzi allowed only one run on Monday against the Braves, Twins starters have allowed a total of 28 runs, two of them unearned. Devin Smeltzer was off to a very good start, but he couldn’t get past Cleveland’s top of the order in the fifth.

Before the fifth inning meltdown, in which he gave up five earned runs on five hits, Smeltzer was able to hold Cleveland batters to just a one-run lead. With the exception of the second, he threw sixteen pitches or less in all other innings. He had also allowed only two hits before the fifth. Tyler Duffey took over, but couldn’t take care of the two inherited runners.

The Indians, on the other hand, were able to lock their second win of the series behind a fantastic start from All-Star Game MVP Shane Bieber. Like Clevinger on Thursday, Bieber went into distance, nearly reaching 110 pitches. He delivered seven innings, striking out a total of eleven Minnesota batters.

Twins set new single season home run record
Exactly like in the previous three games, the Twins offense had to catch up and tried to start a rally. And they did it in record-breaking fashion. Jason Castro homered off Bieber to lead off the fifth, tying the club’s single season home run record, at 225. In the sixth, Eddie Rosario jumped on the first pitch of the inning to hit the milestone dinger, break the club record and put the Twins back in the game. It was Eddie’s 25th of the year.



Welcome to the show, Dobnak!
A dream came true for former Uber driver Randy Dobnak tonight, as he made his major league debut. He couldn’t have asked for a better one too. The Pennsylvania native pitched four scoreless innings on 68 pitches, keeping the Twins within a swing of a bat. He did get a huge help from the defense too, when C.J. Cron threw home to get Yasiel Puig in the seventh and Luis Arráez started a double play in the eighth.



Tied atop of the division for the first time since April 20, these two times play again tomorrow, with Odorizzi taking on the mound to face Adam Plutko. First pitch scheduled to 6:10 C.T.

Postgame With Baldelli
Coming soon.

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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57 Comments

No worries....O'Rourke to the rescue!

 

Dumpster diving is what happens when you poorly construct your bullpen in the off season;....

....and wait until the last minute to try to obtain reinforcements at the deadline

....and fail to see alarm signs and/or work a physical into the terms of a trade...

 

....and not fully appreciate how dire the need is for another #3 starter or better

.... and overall think that you were not going to have to pay a premium at the trade deadline in an age when there are FOUR MLB wildcards to chase and and only one early trade deadline.

None of the above should be surprising and the disaster was anticipated in advance by numerous people on TD.

 

I actually think we have a GOOD FO, but they are young, a bit overconfident, and far too attached to their prospects.

 

I suspect this season will end up being a painful but excellent learning experience for them and I expect fast adjustments in the upcoming year.

 

They will improve and the Twins will improve...but as for this season....buckle up buttercups...

    • Highabove, jokin and Florida Loggerman like this

Didn't mean to sell things short...I forgot the AAA smorgasbord strategy to augment the dumpster diving....

Photo
VivaBomboRivera!
Aug 09 2019 10:11 PM

Buckle up, hell.Strap in and bring your reserve 'chute!It's a whole new season now. 

 

On the bright side:

  • Looks like Cave has finally found his major league stroke
  • Sano: 2K, 2BB
  • Cron's glove made up for his cold bat
  • Smeltzer has shown he can do better, deserves at least another turn;Cleveland hit well against the shift, if he hadn't given up two walks, those ground ball singles wouldn't have hurt so much...

That said, the developing pattern here has gotten very old.Jake has the chance to be a hero tomorrow.

    • Madisonsdad, jokin and D.C Twins like this

Broadcasters, such as Morneau, keep saying that Cleveland's schedule is going to get a lot tougher. With all due respect, Cleveland does not have to face those teams, those teams have to face Cleveland. 

    • Jerr, mikelink45, milldam and 9 others like this
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terrydactyls1947
Aug 09 2019 10:19 PM

Yesterday was Friday, August 9.It was the 116th game of the year putting the Twins 72% of the way through the season.The Twins hit 2 home runs giving them a total of 226 home runs for the season placing them first on the all-time list of home runs by a Twins' team in one season.They are now only 41 home runs behind the single-season MLB record.

Beginning to see why Randy Dobnak raced thru the Twins system to the majors. He is brave, he's got a live arm, he throws strikes, and he rolls with the punches. 

 

Dobby's stuff isn't amazing, but he can make the ball bend in various directions. He can pop the glove at about 94, but he changes speeds, and he throws strikes. Quick move home from the set, and he throws strikes. Holds runners well on first base, and he throws strikes. 

 

Clearly, his stuff is hittable, as Cleveland's guys revealed. However, Dobs did not appear to get ruffled by what seemed like every other guy rifling a ball to the outfield, and he got a little lucky with some ground balls. They got hits but no runs. Is this the 'comfortable collar?' Possibly, but the velocity of some of those hits is worrisome. 

 

Could be that Dobnak's biggest gift is that he doesn't walk anybody, and he keeps pouring strikes thru the zone. Let's hope he avoids the middle. Jim Kaat seemed to like the kid.

    • brvama, Madisonsdad, SwainZag and 6 others like this

Well, if we have so many prospects, why the dumpster diving in the last month of the season, and who do they replace on the 40-man (Twins just got speedster Ian Miller from Seattle). Of course, having Rooker, Raley and Gordon on the IL means we have no offense to call-up from Rochester. Wait, Willians is rehabbing!

 

And all these precious and priceless prospects...how many will the Twins try and cash out before September and what kind of smoke and mirrors do they play to keep them in the organization yet still off the 40-man, as many hed for their minor league free agent year.

 

Right now, I wouldn't bring back anyone from the rotation for 2020 except Berrios, and who knows how that contract extension into free agency will go.

 

And there is something fine about this mini losing streak. The veteran bullpen arms get little or no use, while the rotation of the rountrip from AAA eat up the bulk of the innings. That the Twins are still at x-amount of games over .500, same place they were months ago, is better than nothing, I guess. 

 

Two more games. Where will the Twins be before an off day on Monday!

    • Mike Sixel, mikelink45 and D.C Twins like this

ugh. This series is not going as I expected/hoped. Going to the lake tomorrow so won't have to watch the next two. Jeepers.

    • mikelink45 and Florida Loggerman like this
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mickeymental
Aug 10 2019 12:26 AM

hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

 

hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

Maybe for other states. In MN, it's assume the worst, prepare for the worst, be happy with anything else. 

    • Platoon and Florida Loggerman like this

Mentally, I feel that if the lead is lost, it's not coming back. Tomorrow is huge. Win that game and send Berrios to the mound Sunday to get a split. Lose, tomorrow and we can focus on the wild card race, IMO. 

 

No worries....O'Rourke to the rescue!

 

Dumpster diving is what happens when you poorly construct your bullpen in the off season;....

....and wait until the last minute to try to obtain reinforcements at the deadline

....and fail to see alarm signs and/or work a physical into the terms of a trade...

 

....and not fully appreciate how dire the need is for another #3 starter or better

.... and overall think that you were not going to have to pay a premium at the trade deadline in an age when there are FOUR MLB wildcards to chase and and only one early trade deadline.

None of the above should be surprising and the disaster was anticipated in advance by numerous people on TD.

 

I actually think we have a GOOD FO, but they are young, a bit overconfident, and far too attached to their prospects.

 

I suspect this season will end up being a painful but excellent learning experience for them and I expect fast adjustments in the upcoming year.

 

They will improve and the Twins will improve...but as for this season....buckle up buttercups...

 

In a nutshell, perfect summation. Kudos... As you mentioned, what many of us have been fearing about faulty roster construction -since the offseason!- is now being realized.

 

As much as the very real prospect of the Twins being swept by the Indians is a dreaded possibility, actually being forced to face the cold, hard reality and outcome of the FO's mis-steps leading to the current situation (starting in 2018 with the trading of Pressly), may improve the learning curve and lead to masterminding some solutions*** to both:

1) overcome the current adversity via philosophical adjustments, and further,

2) deal with the glaring holes in the roster, for the remainder of 2019, as well as going forward into the next decade.

 

*** (In the short term, with AHOD!... some magic mix of:

>a more open checkbook,

>demanding that the "player leaders" step up in the clubhouse,

>play for extended innings instead of the current focus on swinging for the fences,

> deal with games being lost by SPs on the 3rd time through the order

>waiver claims,

>FA signings and/or

>prospect promotions

 

all deigned together via some all-knowing ouija board?)

    • D.C Twins likes this

Broadcasters, such as Morneau, keep saying that Cleveland's schedule is going to get a lot tougher. With all due respect, Cleveland does not have to face those teams, those teams have to face Cleveland.


Totally agree. Hoping that the other team will lose is not the path to greatness. At some point the Twins need to believe that they are the better team, which extends to the FO and to the broadcasters. We’re not going to be gifted the division, so let’s just TAKE IT!
    • Hosken Bombo Disco, tarheeltwinsfan, D.C Twins and 1 other like this

In a game like this I was looking for Rocco to have a quick hook for the rookie starter, but he let it go too long, then when he brought in Duffy we saw the real weakness in the BP - inherited runners score too frequently.Our BP ERA does not tell the story, add in inherited runners scoring and we have a real picture.So we continue the story line from last winter - who will pitch for us when it counts?Roll the dice. 

    • In My La-Z-boy likes this
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Tom Froemming
Aug 10 2019 06:49 AM

Still frustrating to see Gibson struggle so much in the first game, but this one was a huge mismatch in terms of the starting pitching. Overall, Cleveland is 25-10 in games started by Clevinger and Bieber.

 

If the Twins can't win these Odorizzi vs. Plutko and Berrios vs. Civale games, that's big trouble. Not that those guys are gonna be pushovers, or that everything comes down to the starting pitching matchups, but right now you have to win these head-to-head games when your top guys are facing their bottom guys.

    • jimbo92107, brvama, SwainZag and 9 others like this
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VivaBomboRivera!
Aug 10 2019 07:21 AM

 

... but this one was a huge mismatch in terms of the starting pitching.

No "buts" here, please.Just because the opposing starters are better doesn't mean they get to be staked to six-run leads.

    • mikelink45 likes this
In the time our division lead has gone from 11.5 games to zero, our lead over the 2nd wild card has also dropped from 9.5 to 3.5 games.
    • ashbury, h2oface, mikelink45 and 2 others like this
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Aerodeliria
Aug 10 2019 08:01 AM
[quote name="Tom Froemming" timestamp="1565441354"]Still frustrating to see Gibson struggle so much in the first game, but this one was a huge mismatch in terms of the starting pitching. Overall, Cleveland is 25-10 in games started by Clevinger and Bieber.

Yes, I agree. I thought this one would be a tough game to win. This is one game I really have no complaints about.
    • tarheeltwinsfan likes this
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Hosken Bombo Disco
Aug 10 2019 08:05 AM
I’m mixed on Smeltzer getting another start. It wasn’t just the third time through the order. He was getting hit hard all night.
    • rghrbek, Vanimal46 and bighat like this
Seltzer or Dobnak, or Duffey need to go down, need a bat to be brought up. Bring up Larnach he can hang and better right fielder an Cave. Gotta have arm to play right field in this park.
    • mikelink45 and bighat like this
Seltzer or Dobnak, or Duffey need to go down, need a bat to be brought up. Bring up Larnach he can hang and better right fielder an Cave. Gotta have arm to play right field in this park.
Photo
Hosken Bombo Disco
Aug 10 2019 08:18 AM

Seltzer or Dobnak, or Duffey need to go down, need a bat to be brought up. Bring up Larnach he can hang and better right fielder an Cave. Gotta have arm to play right field in this park.

Disagree. The bullpen is plenty rested, so no one “needs” to be sent down for a fresh arm. And Larnach should post some good numbers in AA before even being considered. That probably means next season, not this season.
    • Mike Sixel, Puckett34, Danchat and 2 others like this
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Battle ur tail off
Aug 10 2019 08:20 AM

 

I’m mixed on Smeltzer getting another start. It wasn’t just the third time through the order. He was getting hit hard all night.

 

Doesn't take a genuis to see that he probably doesn't have what it takes to be a ML starter. His fastball sits at 89 mph. That just doesn't get it done unless you have pinpoint control. 

 

Sure wish the pitching staff would have been addressed. It is just a darn shame to waste the offense we have this year. But alas. Those expecting it to change are probably in for a rude awakening. 

 

People are buying tickets and spending money. That is, was, and probably always will be the #1 goal with this organization. Too bad really, we've had some pretty good chances on a few of these teams the last 15 years or so if they had only added those last few pieces. They would cost money or prospects though. Both of which we hate to give up because FA cost money, and letting go of prospects that we can control for a low dollar amount stings them to no end. 

    • Mike Sixel, Doomtints and D.C Twins like this
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lukeduke1980
Aug 10 2019 08:32 AM
More losses without Buxton. He's the straw.

I agree with jokin- these starting pitchers not named Berrios should be pulled after twice through the lineup. I'm not an opener advocate but let's try something different.
    • jokin, h2oface and mikelink45 like this
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tarheeltwinsfan
Aug 10 2019 08:40 AM

All is not lost. It is still early August and the Twins are tied for first place and are on pace to set a new MLB record for home runs. The Twins have the easiest remaining schedule of any of the major league contenders. There will be many victories over the Faded Sox, KC and the Sunshine Band and the Detroit Kittens. You must admit this is way more fun than last year.

    • Puckett34, TwinsCD, AceWrigley and 1 other like this

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