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Twins Game Recap (9/5): Eddie Rosario Throw Seals 2-1 Victory

On a night when the offense couldn’t catch a break the Twins were, somewhat surprisingly, carried by Martin Perez and the Polanco-less defense. Perez outshines Eovaldi, the defense saves the day, and the Twins win the rubber match 2-1 over the Red Sox.
Image courtesy of FanGraphs
Box Score
Perez: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 70.0% strikes (49 of 70 pitches)
Bullpen: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K

Home Runs: None
Multi-Hit Games: None
Top 3 WPA: Perez (.242), Rogers (.226), Duffey (.151)
Bottom 3 WPA: Cruz (-.172), Cron (-.161), Kepler (-.152)

Martin Perez starts strong in September, Bullpen holds the lead
Hopefully tonight was a sign of things to come for Perez. Through four innings Perez had a strike percentage of 82 percent and had induced just three hard hits as defined by Baseball Savant. If it wasn’t for a fluke home run by Mookie Betts, which had an xBA of .250, he would have pitched four perfect innings using fewer than than 40 pitches. Things started to unravel a bit in sixth inning when Perez lost control of the strike zone, allowed a rocket double to Betts off the Green Monster, followed by a Bogaerts walk and an errant pick-off attempt before escaping the inning without giving up a run. After just 70 pitches and six innings from Perez, the bullpen took over. As has been the case since the All-Star break, the bullpen was dominant, sending May and Duffey to shut down the seventh and eighth, respectively, followed by Romo and Rogers teaming up to close out the ninth.

Despite good contact, offense does just enough to reward Perez
Throughout the evening the Twins expected batting average was hovering right around the .300 mark, per Baseball Savant, but ultimately ended the night batting .077. That should tell you how well they actually hit the ball tonight but were just the victims of some bad luck. Loading the bases twice resulted in just two runs and they hit into four double plays, their seventh in the last two games, despite Cron’s batted balls having an xBA of .550 and .480. Per BaseballReference, this was the fourth time in Twins history and 11th time in franchise history they won a game with only two hits and zero homeruns.

Defense picks up offense, for a change
It’s no secret that the defense has been struggling for a while after looking great at the beginning of the year. Outside of the errant throw from Perez, which did not lead to a run, the Twins defense shined in a game the offense needed the “pick me up”. In the second and third innings, Sano made two plays at third base that could have easily been hits. Cron made a nice diving play on a ball that was awkwardly hit just short of first base and barely in foul territory. Jake Cave robbed an extra-base hit from Chirstian Vazquez in the seventh which had a catch probability of 25 percent, per the FSN broadcast. Everything was capped off on the final play of the game when Eddie Rosario threw out Rafael Devers, the tying run, after Martinez hit a ball high off the Green Monster.



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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70 Comments

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MMMordabito
Sep 05 2019 08:36 PM
Eddie, La Tortuga and Perez all delivering. It's a blast back to May. Reignite! Go Twins!
    • SQUIRREL, ashbury, nokomismod and 8 others like this

Awesome!!

    • ashbury, DocBauer and Bandit34 like this

Best defensive game of the year. 

 

Heck of a road trip. Outstanding, actually. 8-2, I believe.

 

Hats off all around.

 

Edit: per the STrib, it's the most wins on a road trip since the Twins went 9-4 on a 13 game road trip in 1996.

    • ashbury, glunn, Jerr and 15 others like this
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stringer bell
Sep 05 2019 08:48 PM
All five starters have reached 10 wins. None have been consistently good, but they’ve all had their moments.
    • ashbury, Jerr, brvama and 5 others like this

I can watch that video of The Throw again and again and again.

 

Wait, can? Have. And again.

    • SQUIRREL, Jerr, Dantes929 and 10 others like this

I can watch that video of The Throw again and again and again.
 
Wait, can? Have. And again.


Yup, me, too. And then again and again.
    • ashbury, Jerr, DocBauer and 3 others like this
What a play by Eddie. That guy always seems to get it done in huge late-inning situations.

I really liked the move by Baldelli with Tortuga and Schoop. Great move. I’m not sure a lot of managers make that move in the 7th with the top of the order coming up in the 8th.

Sano deserves some credit as well. He’s become a force.
    • SQUIRREL, nokomismod, Kelly Vance and 7 others like this

What a play by Eddie. That guy always seems to get it done in huge late-inning situations.
I really liked the move by Baldelli with Tortuga and Schoop. Great move. I’m not sure a lot of managers make that move in the 7th with the top of the order coming up in the 8th.
Sano deserves some credit as well. He’s become a force.


It was a great game all around and credit to many. But that ending ... Twins fans all know ... you don’t run on Eddie! :)
    • Kelly Vance, DocBauer, David HK and 5 others like this

It was a great game all around and credit to many. But that ending ... Twins fans all know ... you don’t run on Eddie! :)

They weren't really running "on" him. It was just baseball being played as it should be, on both sides, and Eddie met their move with the required counter.

 

One out would have been a different story.

    • SQUIRREL, USAFChief, stringer bell and 5 others like this

THAT WAS AWESOME!!!! And now I will proceed to watch the last play of the game at least 12 more times before I sleep! Good night all! GREAT ROAD TRIP! We have a chance to finish Cleveland! DO IT!

    • ashbury, birdwatcher and MN_ExPat like this
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stringer bell
Sep 05 2019 09:20 PM
Today’s win gives the Twins a chance for a knockout blow against Cleveland. I think two wins in the six games against the Indians the next two weekends is enough, but a series win or, better yet, a sweep might bury the Tribe.

Also, losing this series really hurts the defending champs. They trail Tampa and Oakland by 6.5 and Cleveland by 5.5 and would have to catch two out of those three to get a wild card.
    • ashbury, DocBauer, David HK and 3 others like this

3 walks from Sano.... LOVE IT! 

 

I was really down on him around the time of Parker's first breakdown of his swing but man he has really gotten his plate approach together...and he is the type of wildcard that we need if we are to get some upsets in the playoffs

    • ashbury, birdwatcher, Dman and 3 others like this

 

Today’s win gives the Twins a chance for a knockout blow against Cleveland. I think two wins in the six games against the Indians the next two weekends is enough, but a series win or, better yet, a sweep might bury the Tribe.

Also, losing this series really hurts the defending champs. They trail Tampa and Oakland by 6.5 and Cleveland by 5.5 and would have to catch two out of those three to get a wild card.

One thing is for certain: This series was no fluke! Boston desperately needed to have a blockbuster series and we may have put a fork in them for this season!

This was do or die for Boston and we beat them! I love beating those East Coast teams! I have always had great respect and admiration for the Orioles but I do not like the Yankees and Red Sox one bit!

    • ashbury, Jerr, DocBauer and 2 others like this
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Tom Froemming
Sep 05 2019 09:24 PM

What a game! Here's the Twins Pitch:

    • SQUIRREL, ashbury, denarded and 6 others like this
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VivaBomboRivera!
Sep 05 2019 09:26 PM

 

One thing is for certain: This series was no fluke! Boston desperately needed to have a blockbuster series and we may have put a fork in them for this season!

 

Hope the Men In Red Tights are good-n-mad when the Yankees show up in the Fens tomorrow night for 4 games.

    • birdwatcher, Jerr, MN_ExPat and 1 other like this
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Brock Beauchamp
Sep 05 2019 09:27 PM

Today’s win gives the Twins a chance for a knockout blow against Cleveland. I think two wins in the six games against the Indians the next two weekends is enough, but a series win or, better yet, a sweep might bury the Tribe.

Also, losing this series really hurts the defending champs. They trail Tampa and Oakland by 6.5 and Cleveland by 5.5 and would have to catch two out of those three to get a wild card.

A series win buries Cleveland. A sweep buries them extra deep.

It’s just too hard to gain 7.5-8.5 games with less than 20 to play, especially considering the two weeks of cupcake ball the Twins get to close the season.
    • ashbury, birdwatcher, Jerr and 8 others like this

Speaking of records this season: What is the record for most road wins in a season? We can't be that far off from that record.

 

Best defensive game of the year. 

 

Heck of a road trip. Outstanding, actually. 8-2, I believe.

 

Hats off all around.

 

Edit: per the STrib, it's the most wins on a road trip since the Twins went 9-4 on a 13 game road trip in 1996.

Really is nice to see defense win games.  I have missed that feeling this year... Obviously bunting not a factor in those situations but every time we got guys on 1st and 2nd or bases loaded the thought crossed my mind that Chief tells us double plays really only happen a small percentage of the time. Not contesting that position but man those were real rally killers tonight. Gotta give some credit to Boston game plan. Looked like they did not want to give the Twins any fastballs and were constantly throwing breaking balls on fastball counts. Though the fast ball to the Turtle was their undoing.  

    • ashbury, Dman and Hosken Bombo Disco like this

Anyone else watch Rosario jump for joy and crash onto Buxton's shoulder and wince a little bit?

    • birdwatcher, nokomismod, Riverbrian and 8 others like this

A series win buries Cleveland. A sweep buries them extra deep.

It’s just too hard to gain 7.5-8.5 games with less than 20 to play, especially considering the two weeks of cupcake ball the Twins get to close the season.


Even if the Twins can win 2 out of the 6 it does a lot of harm. Puts the magic number at 12 with the Twins having 10 games against the Royals/Tigers and 6 other games in there. Indians would need to play perfect

A series sweep of Cleveland would be the nail in their coffin 

    • David HK and Don Walcott like this

I am confused - it is like a mirror image where left is right and right is left.Perez wins a pitchers duel after Berrios continues to look like a back of the rotation starter.The turtle comes through like it is the beginning of the season!

 

Happy for the win.Got to think about the results. 

    • Dman, David HK, Don Walcott and 1 other like this
First, I am going to do something I don't normally do and be self-indulgent. I am going to quote myself from the game thread just because I liked It! LOL

"So this happened. And the baseball gods looked down and smiled and said; this was good!"

1] Despite a record setting offensive BOMBS squad, this team seems to be able to come through. I don't knkw season numbers, but it seems clutch hitting and 2 out hits have suddenly become a norm.

2] Is it just me, or has the defense really tightened up the past few games? I'm not just talking Eddie's throw at the end of this game, but I've seen a lot of really great plays of late, including in the loss Wednesday.

3] I ABSOLUTELY can't believe I'm saying this...because I again didn't like the signing initially...bht we might have a little something with Perez. He was lights out to begin the season. But even when he struggled, we saw SO and 1-2-3 innings mixed in with his struggles. Except for one horrible performance, he is suddenly looking much like the pitcher he was the first couple of months this season. Whoever called the pickoff play at 2B should be fined in the Kangaroo court! But I think the only reason Perez didn't come out for another inning was the long wait on the bench.

4] Can we all just finally admit that no RP will ever be perfect? That any RP will have a bad game here or There? And that Duffey and May are actually pretty damn good?

5] Our most talented SP is struggling with tip offs or delivery right now, and may need to skip a start to just reflect and work and relax, but we went in to the awkward bandbox in Boston and took 2 of 3 against a powerful and contending team with a "bullpen" game and a HUGE start from a guy suddenly finding himself again and getting some key performances from hitters, players, and the bullpen.

All is pretty much right in the Twins world right Now!

Bring on the next challenger!
    • Oldgoat_MN, Don Walcott, bighat and 3 others like this
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launchingthrees
Sep 05 2019 11:03 PM

 

Anyone else watch Rosario jump for joy and crash onto Buxton's shoulder and wince a little bit?

 

No even Buxton shied away.

Perez was terrific. Great move pinch-hitting *La Tortuga! Rosie the throw of the year.
    • David HK, Don Walcott and MN_ExPat like this

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