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Front Page: Randy Dobnak Is Better Than You Think

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Front Page: Official Twins Winter Meetings Day 3 Thread

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Front Page: The Twins Should be Dealing With the Marlins

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Front Page: Absorbing Risk Is Twins Next Decision

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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

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


WPA tells a very different story. And baserunnung and defense. No one said he was the biggest disappointment. I didn't say cut him. I said they need the money next year and shouldn't bring him back.
    • wavedog, beckmt, Danchat and 1 other like this
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IndianaTwin
Sep 15 2019 08:07 PM

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.


The 1973 Braves had Darrell Evans, Davey Johnson, and Hank Aaron each hit 40+.
    • ScrapTheNickname, Nine of twelve and VivaBomboRivera! like this

 

WPA tells a very different story. And baserunnung and defense. No one said he was the biggest disappointment. I didn't say cut him. I said they need the money next year and shouldn't bring him back.

 

I was just thinking about the difference between last year and this year. 

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ToddlerHarmon
Sep 15 2019 08:22 PM

I'm guessing that Romero's and Gibson's appearances were because we don't get any more chances to evaluate them against good lineups fighting for their lives.So this may have been to see if Romero can be considered for the playoff roster, and if Gibson could be a bullpen option.

 

    • SQUIRREL, spycake, wabene and 2 others like this

Do not see Gibson as being an option for anything.Put back on the IL and cut the cord at the end of the year.

    • Oldgoat_MN, bighat and jz7233 like this
Our Twins just took 2 out of 3 from Cleveland on the road with our bullpen exclusively. Calm down!!
    • Oldgoat_MN, Lunger, SF Twins Fan and 4 others like this

 

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???

Schoop has 14 errors this season. Sano has 15. Schoop has 0 hit 0 walk and plenty of strikeouts when bases are loaded. Schoop is pretty much an automatic out in crucial situation. Schoop has no plate discipline. Schoop's line: 20 walks 107 strikeouts Sano's line: 50 walks 144 strikeouts.

Schoop has 14 errors this season. Sano has 15. Schoop has 0 hit 0 walk and plenty of strikeouts when bases are loaded. Schoop is pretty much an automatic out in crucial situation. Schoop has no plate discipline. Schoop's line: 20 walks 107 strikeouts Sano's line: 50 walks 144 strikeouts.

Schoop started the game winning rally in game 2 Saturday, and made 2 really nice defensive plays that were pretty important in that game.

Schoop isnt a great player, and Mike's probably right about spending his money elsewhere next year, but he's contributed many times to this year's team.
    • SQUIRREL, denarded, birdwatcher and 16 others like this

I'm guessing that Romero's and Gibson's appearances were because we don't get any more chances to evaluate them against good lineups fighting for their lives. So this may have been to see if Romero can be considered for the playoff roster, and if Gibson could be a bullpen option.

I doubt there was or is any consideration of Romero for the post season roster. Nor would a good outing today have changed that.
    • SF Twins Fan, Don Walcott and bighat like this
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ScrapTheNickname
Sep 15 2019 09:48 PM

Schoop doesn't rhyme with poop ... Schoop rhymes with nope (as in next year he won't be a Twin but this year he'll continue to contribute in spot situations).

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stringer bell
Sep 15 2019 09:49 PM

 

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.

I'm far from a huge Schoop fan and he had a bad game today, but he is a competent major league second baseman. His contribution has gone up as of late with more playing time because of all the injuries. He quite likely will get plate appearances in the (hoped for) playoffs and is an injury away from playing every day.

 

I kind of scoffed when the commentators were giving him so much credit for his fielding yesterday and today he showed his downside. He has made a lot of errors and his quickness and leg speed is marginal. 

    • railmarshalljon likes this
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Pius Jefferson
Sep 15 2019 11:33 PM

It may have ended the same way but why not have Gibson start the 6th inning. He's a starter so he's not use to coming in mid-inning.  

 

Sunday's game gave you that feeling after you eat Pizza. Good overall (the series) but it ends with you needing TUMS. My hope is a game like this keeps them focused on finishing the job. 

    • Dantes929, SF Twins Fan and bighat like this

Of course there is some hindsight here but maybe Berrios would have been a good guy to pitch the 6th through the 9th.A two run lead and just 4 innings to get through.A win today against our closest rivals would have been worth more than a win Monday.  

    • denarded, Don Walcott and Aerodeliria like this
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Aerodeliria
Sep 15 2019 11:47 PM

 

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.

The Twins may get the record for 30+ guys, but they won't get or tie the record for 40+ guys because record is three not two. The Rockies in 1997 did it and finished 3rd in their division. The Braves did it 1973 as well...they finished second to last!

    • Dantes929 and IndianaTwin like this
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Aerodeliria
Sep 15 2019 11:50 PM

 

Schoop started the game winning rally in game 2 Saturday, and made 2 really nice defensive plays that were pretty important in that game.

Schoop isnt a great player, and Mike's probably right about spending his money elsewhere next year, but he's contributed many times to this year's team.

Well-said.

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SoDakTwinsFan4
Sep 16 2019 12:20 AM

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



I sure would have liked to see Rosario take a better route on that ball in left off the bat of Kipnis. What percentage of left fielders make that catch? Eddie comes up big with the bat, but it always seems to be a double edged sword with him.
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VivaBomboRivera!
Sep 16 2019 12:39 AM

Twins got just about everything they wanted from this series, in spite of letting the third game slip away.Without wallowing too deeply in the loss, we should not forget that the score might have been different if Sano had not been careless on the base paths after his first inning hit.The guy needs to stay focused even when he's playing hot.

 

Gibson is too ill to contribute and should be convalescing.The remainder of his career depends on him getting well.

 

Net is the Twins faced three of the league's best starters and were able to take the upper hand.Assuming management has learned from the results of the bullpen experiment they are likely rebuilding the rotation for the remainder of the month and beyond.As of the 14th, Twins are 8th in the Majors in ERA (4.17) and 5th in FIP (3.67).Take Pineda and Gibson out and that doesn't change much.Knocking down Cleveland takes out one of those better pitching teams.If we're really lucky, Tampa Bay will find a way to do our dirty work for us so we can crush them in the ALCS the same way we did during the season.

 

Personally I took a running leap and boarded the Bomba Bus in early June after the brakes had already been cut.Will be at Target Field for two games of the KC series. The Twins aren't likely to clinch by then unless the Motor City Kitties and the Phils stick it to Cleveland, but I'm riding this rickety crate into October, where I fully expect them to smack down the Yankees. That is all.

    • Oldgoat_MN, wabene, railmarshalljon and 1 other like this
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MMMordabito
Sep 16 2019 05:29 AM
At least we're learning good things about Randy Dobnak and Brusdar Graterol.

If the season ended today (won't need an 'if' for too long), my playoff rotation is Berrios, Odorizzi, Dobnak, Perez. Smeltzer is the long guy. Rogers, Duffey, Romo, May, Littell and Graterol are in the bullpen. That leaves one bullpen spot up for grabs. Will Dyson get healthy? Is Gibby an option?(experiment #1 = fail) Could the Twins be so fortunate as to have a double K-Rod late addition scenario with Alcala joining Graterol? I guess we have two weeks to find out.
    • Mike Sixel, beckmt and wabene like this

 

At least we're learning good things about Randy Dobnak and Brusdar Graterol.

If the season ended today (won't need an 'if' for too long), my playoff rotation is Berrios, Odorizzi, Dobnak, Perez. Smeltzer is the long guy. Rogers, Duffey, Romo, May, Littell and Graterol are in the bullpen. That leaves one bullpen spot up for grabs. Will Dyson get healthy? Is Gibby an option?(experiment #1 = fail) Could the Twins be so fortunate as to have a double K-Rod late addition scenario with Alcala joining Graterol? I guess we have two weeks to find out.

I'm also excited to see more of Dobnak and Graterol. I wouldn't start Perez though. He's an automatic loss against a decent team and I rather take my chances with someone who has some gas on his fb and other weapons. Perez is a one trick pony and one dimensional which is why teams have figured him out again. Smeltzer is turning me into a believer and i think the reason he is successful so far is his diverse offering of pitches.

    • wabene likes this

 

Of course there is some hindsight here but maybe Berrios would have been a good guy to pitch the 6th through the 9th.A two run lead and just 4 innings to get through.A win today against our closest rivals would have been worth more than a win Monday.  

 

I'm not sure why Rocco turned to Gibby? 

 

My only assumption is after nearly every bullpen arm throwing the day before... he looked at his options and said "I trust Gibby the most". 

 

Future questions to be answered. 

 

Is Gibby still in the rotation?

With his illness.. Are they going to try to manage his innings? 

 

Do we still have a rotation?:)

 

 

 

 

 

 

    • SF Twins Fan, Tom Froemming, Tomj14 and 1 other like this

 

It may have ended the same way but why not have Gibson start the 6th inning. He's a starter so he's not use to coming in mid-inning.  

 

Sunday's game gave you that feeling after you eat Pizza. Good overall (the series) but it ends with you needing TUMS. My hope is a game like this keeps them focused on finishing the job. 

 

What kind of pizza are you eating? 

    • Dantes929 likes this

Didn't see much of the game as I was watching the Pack vs. Vikings.Was a bit shocked when I flipped over and saw Dobnak still pitching in the 5th inning.One hell of a performance by that young man.Also saw some of Romero putting guys on base.Don't know what is going to happen to that young man over the coming year.

 

Yes, we lost yesterday in a game that we didn't put our best team out there.But all those pitchers who pitched Saturday got a days rest.If anyone had told us last Friday morning the team would be flying home with a 4.5 game lead we all would have been more than happy.Bring on the White Sox.

    • beckmt likes this
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Old Twins Cap
Sep 16 2019 06:30 AM

Looked to me like the Twins may have had a late night after the double-header sweep on Saturday.

 

Might have been a few bottles clinking around on the Twins' bus on the way to the stadium.

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IndianaTwin
Sep 16 2019 06:50 AM

 

What kind of pizza are you eating? 

 

Barbecue chicken, at least on Saturday. 

 

 https://www.google.c...568724705643263

 

    • Riverbrian likes this

 

What kind of pizza are you eating? 

Pizza in the morning, pizza in the evening, pizza at suppertime...

 

    • Riverbrian, Dantes929, Tom Froemming and 1 other like this