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Front Page: Absorbing Risk Is Twins Next Decision

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101 wins, an AL Central Division crown, and a trip to the postseason. That’s what the Minnesota Twins accomplished under first-year manag...
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Front Page: Official Twins Winter Meetings Day 4 Thread

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The big news yesterday was superstar third baseman Anthony Rendon agreed to a deal with the Angels, but we also heard Eddie Rosario’s nam...
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Per MLB Trade Rumors:   We’re closing in on the one-year anniversary of these memorable words from Twins GM Thad Levine: “The best m...
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Front Page: Randy Dobnak Is Better Than You Think

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Among the group of Twins internal starters without a firm place for 2020, but with a clear chance to assert themselves, one name stands o...
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Twins Game Recap (9/15): Bad Defense Costs Twins in Series Finale

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 4.5-game lead in the division was the goal and that is exactly what was done. In a game with Randy Dobnak starting, Kyle Gibson coming from the bullpen and a better lineup sitting on the bench, the Twins did a fine job.
Image courtesy of FanGraphs
Box Score
Donnak: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 61% strikes (45 of 74 pitches)
Bullpen: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K

Home Runs: Sano (29), Rosario (30, 31), Wade jr (1)
Multi-Hit Games: Sano (2-for-5), Cave (2-for-5), Rosario (3-for-5)

Top 3 WPA: Rosario (.207), Wade Jr.. (.182), Harper (.060)
Bottom 3 WPA: Gibson (-.402), Romero (-.245), Sano (-.099)

Randy Dobnak out duels Shane Bieber

The Twins pulled Jose Berrios and replaced him with Randy Dobnak to pitch the third game of this extremely important series ... and it worked! Dobnak went five innings and gave up two runs (one earned) while Bieber went 5 2/3 innings giving up four runs.

This was the third straight game for the Twins that was started by someone who shouldn’t be starting important potential season-deciding games in September but here we are with a strong division lead. Rocco also decided to roll out the strangest lineup because what the hell, the division is locked up.

Twins and Indians exchange offensive blows

The Indians started the game off rolling by loading the bases and running a Kipnis grounder into a fielders choice that scored two runs. This was largely due to a throwing error by Ronald Torreyes. Who woulda thought we’d be missing Polanco on defense, am I right?

The Twins would answer with three home runs to no one’s surprise. A solid shot from Sano and a solo from Rosario was followed by a two-run bomb from LaMonte Wade Jr. for his first career home run. He ditched his usually patient approach and jumped early on Bieber for the bomb.


The Indians answered in the sixth with a three-run home run off the bat of Roberto Perez. For some reason this was off of starting pitcher Kyle Gibson. He came in to replace Fernando Romero after he let a couple guys on, so obviously the Twins did not intend on using their best weapons. The Twins were down 6-4 heading to the seventh inning.

Eddie Rosario didn’t like that so he hit another home run to cut the lead to one and he certainly is heating up after taking a lot of heat from the fans. Hopefully he is entering one of his hot streaks heading into October.


The jabs continued as Mike Freeman pushed the lead to 7-5 on an RBI single against Kyle Gibson. It is safe to say the Gibson bullpen experiment did not work today.

Indians bullpen finishes off the game

After the dust settled it was the Indians who came out on top after many offensive hits from each team in the middle innings of the game. James Hoyt had a clean eighth inning and then Hoyt came back out for the ninth. He started with a walk to Luis Arraez, but he was able to strike out Sano and Cave swinging. The lefty Oliver Perez came in to face Eddie Rosario for the final out and got him to pop out.

Twins lead falls to 4.5 games over the Indians

The Twins basically just had to go 3-3 over these last six against the Nationals and Indians and they did exactly that. Now moving on to thirteen games against the White Sox, Royals and Tigers, a 4.5-game lead looks like the division has been won (don’t kill me in the comments). The Twins stepped up this series despite a loss in the final game. Leaving Cleveland after helping end the Indians' season was a lot of fun.

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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76 Comments

I'm done with Schoop after the year. They need the money anyway.
    • blindeke, D.C Twins, Aerodeliria and 2 others like this

I'm not sure the reasoning behind bringing in Gibson. I guess he is not a bullpen artist...yet. I was sad that Romero got out of synch so fast, as his shortened stride seemed to be working. But a whole different game without that 3-run shot. Of course, the bad fielding didn't help much, either.

 

I liked Polanco coming in. Was hoping we would see Garver's bat, and even Cruz, before the game finished. 

 

Sometimes I do want to see some ruthlessness on the field. The Twins just seem too nice, letting bats speak for themselves at times.

 

Sigh.

 

I wonder who would've pitched the ninth!

    • SF Twins Fan likes this
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Cooper Carlson
Sep 15 2019 02:43 PM

I'm not sure the reasoning behind bringing in Gibson. I guess he is not a bullpen artist...yet. I was sad that Romero got out of synch so fast, as his shortened stride seemed to be working. But a whole different game without that 3-run shot. Of course, the bad fielding didn't help much, either.
 
I liked Polanco coming in. Was hoping we would see Garver's bat, and even Cruz, before the game finished. 
 
Sometimes I do want to see some ruthlessness on the field. The Twins just seem too nice, letting bats speak for themselves at times.
 
Sigh.
 
I wonder who would've pitched the ninth!


Tortuga
    • Oldgoat_MN, Huskertwin and VivaBomboRivera! like this

Why not let Garver play 1B?

I would like to see Arraez, Polanco, Cruz, Kepler, Garver, Rosario, Sano, Cave in the lineup everyday in playoff. Garver can take over 1B. Schoop needs to be off the roster. Cron needs to be a bench player along with Adrianza, Castro, Astudillo and Gonzalez.

Can't blame Dobniak. Can't have middle infield defense like that. Start tomorrow off with a win.
    • Nine of twelve likes this
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Only Here in Negative
Sep 15 2019 02:55 PM

I'm done with Schoop after the year. They need the money anyway.


That's why they signed schoop for one year. They knew they were likely a year away from middle infield solutions like arraez and Gordon and lewis.

People looking to ditch schoop are shortsighted. He's an excellent b at against lefties. He and arraez will platoon the playoffs. Both will make excellent bench bats.
    • birdwatcher, SF Twins Fan, bighat and 5 others like this

 

Can't blame Dobniak. Can't have middle infield defense like that. Start tomorrow off with a win.

In order to fix the problem, Schoop needs to be released. He usually does little offensively when it matters anyway. Schoop can take his meaningless homers and errors elsewhere next season.

    • Bandit34 likes this

 

That's why they signed schoop for one year. They knew they were likely a year away from middle infield solutions like arraez and Gordon and lewis. People looking to ditch schoop are shortsighted. He's an excellent b at against lefties. He and arraez will platoon the playoffs. Both will make excellent bench bats.

I have little faith in Schoop especially in playoff. He has proven time and again that he is a negative force in crucial situation.

    • D.C Twins and Bandit34 like this

Twins took back the lead in HR record

    • glunn, Jerr, beckmt and 4 others like this

Schoop is a decent ballplayer. Why so hard on him today? (guess same could be said for those of us who have been hard on Sano's k's....do we release him too?

What really cost us today was Gibson....again. Whatever he did while being on the IL sure didn't do much good. Like Dyson, when there is something really wrong with you, you can't hide it very long and right now Gibson's not right.

We make up the GIH tomorrow and would be nice to park in the 'W; column. A 5 game lead with 12 to play is a good place to be. (magic # would be 8) Problem is we have had major issues with the ChiSox this season...AND we are home...which sadly is a negative.They still have to earn their title.

Twins have the record for most 20 HR players in a season (8); they may still out homer the Yankees..its very close. The record for most 30+ HR players is 4 and it is held by many teams. Twins are one homer (Sano) away from breaking that record...they already have Kepler, Cruz, Garver and Rosario. Record for 40+ is two. Twins might tie that record but with Keplers nagging injury, he may not play enough to get 4 more. Cruz could do it.

As homeruns go, it has been quite a year for the Twins, juiced ball or not.

    • glunn, Oldgoat_MN, 70charger and 4 others like this

Schoop is a decent ballplayer. Why so hard on him today? (guess same could be said for those of us who have been hard on Sano's k's....do we release him too?
What really cost us today was Gibson....again. Whatever he did while being on the IL sure didn't do much good. Like Dyson, when there is something really wrong with you, you can't hide it very long and right now Gibson's not right.
We make up the GIH tomorrow and would be nice to park in the 'W; column. A 5 game lead with 12 to play is a good place to be. (magic # would be 8) Problem is we have had major issues with the ChiSox this season...AND we are home...which sadly is a negative.They still have to earn their title.


You are comparing strike outs and errors? Also, my opinion of Schoop is based on his low impact year, not just one game. Keep him to platoon in the playoffs? Sure. But don't bring him back next year
    • SQUIRREL, SF Twins Fan and railmarshalljon like this
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tarheeltwinsfan
Sep 15 2019 03:59 PM

Mas Bombas !

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Nine of twelve
Sep 15 2019 04:09 PM

I think Rocco took the long view today. This team has a very, very high likelihood of winning the AL Central and advancing to the postseason in that position. (538 has them at 99% to win the division.) His primary objective right now is to have his team as ready as possible to do well against either the Astros or the Yankees in their first series. I'm assuming that giving Berrios another day of rest was a higher priority to him than winning today's game. The same thinking applies to position players. We have numerous players for whom rest is highly desired, and this all factors in.

I'm not necessarily defending his managing today and I'm not necessarily agreeing with his philosophy of how he wants to use players. But I think this is probably how he's looking at his decisions.

    • glunn, stringer bell, beckmt and 1 other like this
You still gotta win the games. Assuming anything is won playoffs wise is dumb. It's not lije season has ended, and White Sox, Royals, Tigers will roll over and hand wins to Twins.
    • denarded and bighat like this
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terrydactyls1947
Sep 15 2019 04:28 PM

Today is Sunday, September 15.It was the 149th game of the year putting the Twins 92% of the way through the season.The Twins hit 4 home runs for a season total of 287 home runs.The Twins are now 1 home run ahead of the Yankees for the new MLB single-season home run record.

    • glunn, Oldgoat_MN, 70charger and 2 others like this

Why not play to clinch the division as quickly as possible and then rest players? Sounds like a better plan. Baldelli's approach is very curious. 

    • glunn, denarded, 70charger and 4 others like this

Strange to grab a 2-run lead late, only for Rocco to send out the wild Romero followed by the ineffective Gibson to try and close it out. Almost couldn't have picked two worse arms if you tried. Gibby's out of gas and I hope the Twins can keep him off the field as long as possible.

 

Sure hope the Twins take care of business against Chicago. These games aren't gimmes.

    • glunn, Don Walcott and D.C Twins like this

 

Why not play to clinch the division as quickly as possible and then rest players? Sounds like a better plan. Baldelli's approach is very curious. 

I couldn't agree more with this, especially today when a win gives us a 6.5 game lead instead of 4.5. Then Cleveland limps off and we can start resting players again Monday. 

 

Rocco didn't care if we won this game and I think that unfortunately rubbed off on the players as shown in the lackluster defense. It's a shame Dobnak didn't get a welldeserved win and Wade's homer wasn't as important as it could have been a game winner, if not for the relief pitching moves.

    • Don Walcott and bighat like this
Do people really think he didn't care if they won? Really? Also, I'm 100% sure the FO helps with the lineup, and that they are in constant communication about bullpen usage.
    • SQUIRREL, glunn, IndianaTwin and 2 others like this

 

You are comparing strike outs and errors? Also, my opinion of Schoop is based on his low impact year, not just one game. Keep him to platoon in the playoffs? Sure. But don't bring him back next year

It is a fans perspective of how they view 'failure' . An error in a key spot in a game could cost the team a win. A strikeout with RISP in a key spot in the game does the same. I guess I don't see Schoop as the big liability you think he is. But that too can be a factor of whether you 'like' a player or not too. I don't have the time or energy to actually try and see how many games Schoop has 'lost' for us with poor defense. I do know I've seem him make some extraordinary plays as well.

I think ultimately, the discussion is probably moot, because I don't think the Twins will bring him back...with the emergence of Arraez, and the good play of Adrianza. Also Gordon may still be in the mix. Schoop is probably expendable.

 

Baseball gives you many dirrerent ways to succeed in a game, as well as fail. Whether an error, a strikeout, a HR, or a diving catch...all could, and have been game changers. I guess thats why we deal with the ebbs and flows of the game. I'm the impatient sort that wants to win 162 of them and I hate all losses. But then, what real fan likes losses anyway???

    • Oldgoat_MN likes this

 

 

Strange to grab a 2-run lead late, only for Rocco to send out the wild Romero followed by the ineffective Gibson to try and close it out. Almost couldn't have picked two worse arms if you tried. Gibby's out of gas and I hope the Twins can keep him off the field as long as possible.

 

Sure hope the Twins take care of business against Chicago. These games aren't gimmes.

I concur with this. Romero has had a terrible year. He was maybe one of the worst pitchers in Rochester, although his final couple of outings were OK...his body of work was unacceptable. Gibson does look like he's gassed. It was indeed an odd choice of pitchers right after grabbing the lead.

I don't think beating Chisox will be that easy, but I am in the camp that hopes Twins play to wrap things up ASAP.

    • Danchat, bighat and Huskertwin like this
At what point do the Twins put Gibson on the Injured list and just tell him he's done for the season? He's obviously not well. With Dobnak and Smeltzer starting decent games he's not needed now.
    • Danchat, bighat, D.C Twins and 2 others like this

 

You are comparing strike outs and errors? Also, my opinion of Schoop is based on his low impact year, not just one game. Keep him to platoon in the playoffs? Sure. But don't bring him back next year

 

Schoop stats this year would have been our third best hitter last year. 

 

It's an illustration of progress when a player producing an OPS+of 108 becomes our biggest disappointment.:D

    • birdwatcher, Dantes929, Oldgoat_MN and 4 others like this
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Tom Froemming
Sep 15 2019 07:50 PM

It was an ugly game with an experiment gone awry. Here's the Twins Pitch:

 

    • bighat, wabene and VivaBomboRivera! like this