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Twins Game Recap (9/2): Late Labor Day Offense Propels Twins

It wasn’t that the Twins offense was completely on vacation with most of the rest of Twins Territory for most of their Labor Day finale against the Tigers, but it certainly wasn’t finishing the job either. Finally, in the eighth inning the winning run crossed the plate Monday afternoon for the team's 85th win. A total that matches the 2017 playoff team's win total.
Image courtesy of FanGraphs
Box Score
Starter Jake Odorizzi: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 69.2% strikes (63 of 91 pitches)
Bullpen: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K

Home Runs: Ehire Adrianza (5)
Multi-Hit Games: Max Kepler (2-for-5), Jorge Polanco (3-for-5), Nelson Cruz (2-for-5), Luis Arraez (3-for-4), Ehire Adrianza (2-for-4)

Top 3 WPA: Kepler (.368), Arraez (.227), Adrianza (.204)
Bottom 3 WPA: Cron (-.247), Cave (-.246), Rosario (-.128)

Miguel Cabrera struck first for the Tigers with a solo shot off Jake Odorizzi in the first inning. The Twins quickly answered, with Ehire Adrianza playing third for Miguel Sano and doing his best impression of the big man. Adrianza went ahead and launched a two-run shot to deep right-center field.

The Tigers added two more runs to retake the lead in the fifth inning, making the score 3-2. After Jake Cave bobbled a grounder in the sixth inning it looked like the Tigers might extend their lead, but Tyler Duffey was able to strike out two batters, which stranded runners on second and third. The solid appearance comes off of a good August where Duffey put up a stat line of 10.2 IP, 0 ER, 17/5 K/BB and a 0.00 ERA.

Kepler comes up clutch once again.

Max Kepler gave the Twins the lead in the eighth inning with a two-out, bases-loaded single to score LaMonte Wade and Luis Arraez. Once again the lefty showed off just how important he is to this team.



Garver leaves game early

After getting hit in the mask, Mitch Garver was removed from the game in favor of Willians Astudillo. Thankfully according to all reports coming mid-game Garver doesn’t seem to have any concussion symptoms. Instead he was removed because of a sore jaw.

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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40 Comments

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railmarshalljon
Sep 03 2019 01:11 AM

 

Here's some talk about today's pitching performance, a look ahead at the Boston series and some additional context into just how good Randy Dobnak was in the high minors this season.

 

 

Hadn't realized how good of a year Dobnaks had. He seems to have a real... handle on hitters. But loving Twins Pitch so far keep it up! It's especially great for days I have to work. Keep up the good work Tom!

    • stringer bell and Tom Froemming like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Sep 03 2019 06:02 AM

Got to say that I'm thrilled with a 5.5 game lead... need to hold it coming into that Cleveland series. They still have enough games with us to make it close again.

    • laloesch, howieramone2, wabene and 1 other like this
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Channing1964
Sep 03 2019 06:36 AM
i really like all these comments but i hope Rocco is listening when i say this. In a 5 game LDS those first 2 games at home is a Huge advantage. Let us not forget we have time to get that #2 seed. And, we would hold the tiebreaker over the Stros based on our 4-3 season series win.
    • VivaBomboRivera! likes this

i really like all these comments but i hope Rocco is listening when i say this. In a 5 game LDS those first 2 games at home is a Huge advantage. Let us not forget we have time to get that #2 seed. And, we would hold the tiebreaker over the Stros based on our 4-3 season series win.


The Twins are a much better team on the road than at home though.
    • Bandit34 likes this
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Brock Beauchamp
Sep 03 2019 07:37 AM

Great clutch hit from Kep, really nice win.

However...Adrianza's decision to go 1st to 3rd on that hit was really, really bad. Terrible. He made it, but close enough that he never should have went. That could have cost the Twins the go ahead run.

I was wondering about that. I saw him trying to stretch to third and said “WHY?!?!!!” It was not a smart move, though he’s slow enough the run may have scored anyway.

Still though, very little point in taking that risk just to reach third base.
    • wabene likes this
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Brock Beauchamp
Sep 03 2019 07:39 AM

Got to say that I'm thrilled with a 5.5 game lead... need to hold it coming into that Cleveland series. They still have enough games with us to make it close again.

The good thing about this lead is just going 3-3 against Cleveland basically buries them.
    • howieramone2, wabene, rdehring and 1 other like this

 

i really like all these comments but i hope Rocco is listening when i say this. In a 5 game LDS those first 2 games at home is a Huge advantage. Let us not forget we have time to get that #2 seed. And, we would hold the tiebreaker over the Stros based on our 4-3 season series win.

That's what I thought going into the 2006 ALDS against the Oakland A's. Instead we played terribly the first two games at home. I think we split the first two games in Houston. We are an elite team on the road. 

    • wabene and Channing1964 like this
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VivaBomboRivera!
Sep 03 2019 10:05 AM

 

Here's some talk about today's pitching performance, a look ahead at the Boston series and some additional context into just how good Randy Dobnak was in the high minors this season...

 

Overlooked the fact that there were _no_ walks today.Cannot take that for granted.

    • wabene likes this

 

i really like all these comments but i hope Rocco is listening when i say this. In a 5 game LDS those first 2 games at home is a Huge advantage. Let us not forget we have time to get that #2 seed. And, we would hold the tiebreaker over the Stros based on our 4-3 season series win.

Priorities...1, win division. Lost of games left with Cleveland. Next 12 are Cleveland, the Red Sox, who we never seem to play well against, and the Nationals, who have about the best record in baseball over the last 3+ months (58-28 since May 23).

2, rest key starters, leverage relievers, and even certain position players (i.e., Polanco), and dinged-up guys.

3, get playing time for key guys coming off injuries (Buxton, Gonzalez).

 

If I were Rocco, getting the #2 seed wouldn't even register in my consciousness at this point. If it happens, it happens. Win a game on the road.

    • 70charger and Channing1964 like this
One thing about the game was another sub par fielding day. Odo got in trouble after Cron missed the foul pop followed by Areaz not getting a glove on two grounders within his reach. I believe Cave had another blinger as well. They have to play better in the field
    • wabene likes this
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IndianaTwin
Sep 03 2019 10:42 AM

 

Priorities...1, win division. Lost of games left with Cleveland. Next 12 are Cleveland, the Red Sox, who we never seem to play well against, and the Nationals, who have about the best record in baseball over the last 3+ months (58-28 since May 23).

2, rest key starters, leverage relievers, and even certain position players (i.e., Polanco), and dinged-up guys.

3, get playing time for key guys coming off injuries (Buxton, Gonzalez).

 

If I were Rocco, getting the #2 seed wouldn't even register in my consciousness at this point. If it happens, it happens. Win a game on the road.

 

You missed one. Priority 1 is always "Beat the White Sox." With their loss last evening, we have now clinched at least a tie. A Twins win tonight or a Sox loss will mathematically eliminate them.

 

Then we can move to your list, which I think otherwise is right on target. 

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IndianaTwin
Sep 03 2019 10:44 AM

 

The good thing about this lead is just going 3-3 against Cleveland basically buries them.

 

Frankly, even going just 2-4 against them means that they still have to make up four games in the loss column in the other 18 (Cle) or 19 (Min) games. Not impossible by any means, but still a tough task. 

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Channing1964
Sep 03 2019 06:44 PM

Priorities...1, win division. Lost of games left with Cleveland. Next 12 are Cleveland, the Red Sox, who we never seem to play well against, and the Nationals, who have about the best record in baseball over the last 3+ months (58-28 since May 23).
2, rest key starters, leverage relievers, and even certain position players (i.e., Polanco), and dinged-up guys.
3, get playing time for key guys coming off injuries (Buxton, Gonzalez).
 
If I were Rocco, getting the #2 seed wouldn't even register in my consciousness at this point. If it happens, it happens. Win a game on the road.

You know four people responded to my post and all of you make great points. When i really think about it what i am afraid of is that they lose their edge. A friend of mine and I were trying to name a wild card team thats ever won a World Series. We started it out because we talked about how hard it would be to go on the road after game #162...win one game, then fly out to the #1 seed and start the LDS. We came to find out that several titles have been won by wild card teams including both Marlin's ones and the 04' Red Sox. When i think back to 2010, the Twins clinched so early that i feel they lost their competitive edge. I just don't wanna see that happen to this years team.

You know four people responded to my post and all of you make great points. When i really think about it what i am afraid of is that they lose their edge. A friend of mine and I were trying to name a wild card team thats ever won a World Series. We started it out because we talked about how hard it would be to go on the road after game #162...win one game, then fly out to the #1 seed and start the LDS. We came to find out that several titles have been won by wild card teams including both Marlin's ones and the 04' Red Sox. When i think back to 2010, the Twins clinched so early that i feel they lost their competitive edge. I just don't wanna see that happen to this years team.


You don’t want the wild card. That path is much tougher since they added the second wild-card and the ‘play-in’ game. Now, even if you survive that, you’ve typically burned your best starter. You absolutely want to win the division. But, I don’t think there’s that much value difference between the 2 and 3 seed...or even the 1 and 3 seed.
    • Channing1964 likes this
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Channing1964
Sep 04 2019 02:19 AM
well im pretty sure i didnt mean i want them to be the wild card. That was just the topic of discussions that refreshed my memory of a 2010 team that acted like it hadn't ever seen a playoff series before.(and a certain manager too)

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