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Article: Do The Twins Need A Proven Closer?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:41 PM
Last week, the Minnesota Twins announced that they would not be activating the contract option for Glen Perkins, making him a free agent....
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T-Wolves Regular Season Thread

Minnesota Timberwolves Talk Today, 07:32 PM
Let's get this mother started.    
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Playoff Hate-watch

Other Baseball Today, 06:30 PM
Hi gang!     Had a whale of a busy August-September, so couldn't spend much time on the threads. But things now leveling o...
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Cubs Pitching Coach fired. Buddy of Molitor.

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:57 PM
Guess who was a Molitor teammate on the Brewers? Chris Bosio. He was just let go by the Cubs and Molitor looked at getting him on his sta...
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Article: Supplementing the Twins: Tyler Chatwood

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:34 PM
Continuing on with the Supplementing the Twins series, it’s time to take a look at another pitcher. Last week, the subject was Lance Lynn...
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TOR 10, MIN 9: Sloppy 8th Inning Costs Twins in Comeback Effort

The Twins lineup was incredibly pesky, continually cutting large deficits built by the Blue Jays, but every time they inched back Toronto answered. Max Kepler hit a grand slam and Joe Mauer had another three-hit game, but some sloppy play in the eighth inning led to two Toronto insurance runs that proved to be vital.
Image courtesy of Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Win Expectancy (via Fangraphs)
Attached Image: WinEx826.png
Top 3 Twins per WPA: Escobar .331 | Kepler .080 | Dozier .046

The Twins fell behind 2-0, but managed to tie it up in the top of the fifth thanks to an Eduardo Escobar two-run homer. Unfortunately, the Blue Jays busted out in the bottom of that inning for six runs. The Twins rallied back again, scoring five unanswered runs, with the big blow coming in the form of a Max Kepler grand slam in the top of the eighth inning.

But, once again, the Blue Jays answered. In the bottom of the eighth, John Curtiss walked leadoff man Ezequiel Carrera on four pitches. Carrera stole second base and took third on a throwing error by catcher Mitch Garver. Carrera scored on a bloop double that landed between Kennys Vargas, Brian Dozier and Max Kepler. A second run later scored on a Curtiss wild pitch. Those two runs proved to be massive.

The Twins mustered yet another comeback attempt in the ninth. Zack Granite hit a leadoff single and Eduardo Escobar reached on an error. Brian Dozier singled to score Granite, making the score 10-8 with still no outs in the inning. Joe Mauer hit into a double play, which scored Escobar, before Jorge Polanco grounded out to end the game.

The Twins had only lost when scoring nine or more runs once this season. It was too bad Mauer couldn’t deliver in the ninth, but he had his second straight three-hit game and it was the sixth time he’s accomplished that feat this month.

Gee was the starter and lasted only four innings. He gave up four runs on seven hits and a walk to go with five strikeouts. Tyler Duffey was the first man out of the pen, and was only able to retire one of the five batters he faced and was charged with four earned runs.

This was Duffey’s first appearance in Toronto since getting pummeled in his major league debut back in August of 2015. He was the starter that day, but lasted just two innings after giving up six runs.

Glen Perkins made his third appearance of the year, and didn’t give up any runs for the first time. He gave up a hit over 0.2 innings.

Postgame With Molitor

Twins W-L Record
Overall: 66-63
Last 10: 6-4
Last 20: 13-7

AL Central Standings
Cleveland 71-56
Minnesota 66-63 (-6.0)
Kansas City 64-63 (-7.0)

AL Wild Card Standings
WC1: Yankees 69-59 (+3.5)
WC2: Minnesota 66-63
Seattle 66-64 (-0.5)
Kansas City 64-63 (-1.0)
Angels 65-64 (-1.0)

Bullpen Usage
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Attached Image: Bullpen826.png
Looking Ahead
SUN: Twins (Kyle Gibson at Toronto (Joe Biagini), 12:07 pm CT
MON: OFF
Tue: Twins (TBD) vs. White Sox (TBD), 7:10 pm CT

Looking Back
FRI: MIN 6, TOR 1: Buxton, Bartolo Gets Twins Back to Winning Ways
THU: CWS 5, MIN 1: Twins Drop Ugly Game, Series to White Sox
WED: CWS 4, MIN 3: Twins Bullpen Blows Lead

Question of the Day
Which team do you think will be the Twins stiffest competition for the second wild card spot?


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27 Comments

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yarnivek1972
Aug 26 2017 04:32 PM

So, looking at the bullpen chart, I see 3 guys available tomorrow, maybe 4.  Belisle, Rogers and Busenitz should be good to go.  Duffey threw 19 today (ineffectively), but hadn't pitched since the Monday doubleheader before today.  He's the guy on the fence.  I suspect he'd be called upon if the game turns south to go an inning or two.

 

Hildenberger has worked 4 of the last 5 days (granted just 1 pitch yesterday).  He's out IMO. Pressly threw 25 today.  Out.  Perkins pitched today.  I highly doubt he ever pitches back to back again as a Twin. Out.  Curtiss has thrown almost 30 pitches in the last two days.  Out.

 

 

Good thing Monday is an off day. It's amazing.  Actually, it's sickening.  8 fricking relievers and it still isn't enough.   

 

13 pitchers.  6 or 7 that I have confidence in right now.  Not exactly a good ratio. :banghead:

    • twinssouth likes this

This loss was on Molitor for not using Hildenberger/Belisle after we got back within 1. 

    • bighat likes this

I don't need to see Duffey for the rest of the season. 

    • jun, Doomtints and twinssouth like this
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yarnivek1972
Aug 26 2017 05:50 PM

This loss was on Molitor for not using Hildenberger/Belisle after we got back within 1.


I'll agree on Hildenberger. But "The Book" says you don't use your closer on the road when you are trailing. If you use him to keep the game close, who do you use if you get the lead?

I'll agree on Hildenberger. But "The Book" says you don't use your closer on the road when you are trailing. If you use him to keep the game close, who do you use if you get the lead?


I wish Hildenberger were the closer. But either of them or Businitz would have been been a better option than putting Curtiss in that spot.

So, looking at the bullpen chart, I see 3 guys available tomorrow, maybe 4. Belisle, Rogers and Busenitz should be good to go. Duffey threw 19 today (ineffectively), but hadn't pitched since the Monday doubleheader before today. He's the guy on the fence. I suspect he'd be called upon if the game turns south to go an inning or two.

Hildenberger has worked 4 of the last 5 days (granted just 1 pitch yesterday). He's out IMO. Pressly threw 25 today. Out. Perkins pitched today. I highly doubt he ever pitches back to back again as a Twin. Out. Curtiss has thrown almost 30 pitches in the last two days. Out.


Good thing Monday is an off day. It's amazing. Actually, it's sickening. 8 fricking relievers and it still isn't enough.

13 pitchers. 6 or 7 that I have confidence in right now. Not exactly a good ratio. :banghead:


What are the odds Gibson gives us two good starts in a row? May as well call Slegers up to take Gee's spot in the rotation and send Curtiss back. Presumably Slegers could give you some innings tomorrow if necessary
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yarnivek1972
Aug 26 2017 06:32 PM

What are the odds Gibson gives us two good starts in a row? May as well call Slegers up to take Gee's spot in the rotation and send Curtiss back. Presumably Slegers could give you some innings tomorrow if necessary


Personally, I'd say very low. He was fortunate to only allow one run to a punchless Chicago lineup with all the traffic he allowed. Gee allowed two hits to the Sox and he got pummeled today. Playing on turf is never going to help a sinker ball pitcher like Gibson. Side note: what Scott Erickson did on the 1991 "superfast rug" is truly amazing. The Jays lineup also has multiple hitters that punish mistakes. Gibson makes his share.

I know it would only be a week, but does Duffey have options?

    • h2oface likes this
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yarnivek1972
Aug 26 2017 06:53 PM

I know it would only be a week, but does Duffey have options?


He's not listed as a player who is out of options, so I would assume he does. But who comes up? Slegers maybe if they think an arm for tomorrow is needed to back up Gibson (a very real concern IMO). Boshers would be eligible Tuesday, but he's a loogy, period. Using him against RHB hasn't ended well.

 

I wish Hildenberger were the closer. But either of them or Businitz would have been been a better option than putting Curtiss in that spot.

Would you have said that if Curtiss had put them down? He had a good performance the day before and has had a good minor league season. All they got was a bloop double off him.  Any one else think Kepler could have and should have gone hard after that blooper. If Mauer is in there maybe he just plays backup but it is so much easier for an outfielder to come in and make a play than an infielder going back.  Really looked like he was coasting when he should have been aggressive. Announcers made a good point that if Garver hadn't made that throwing error then that bloop gets caught pretty easily by Dozier because the infield wouldn't have been playing in. That's baseball but boy, a comeback win would have been awesome.

 

    • glunn, Hosken Bombo Disco, CUtomorrownight and 1 other like this

When you're mounting a huge comeback on the road in the thick of the playoff race late in the season, and John Curtiss is your best option in the 'pen...well, that's not good.

I know it would only be a week, but does Duffey have options?


Yes. Duffey has 2 option years left, the only one he used so far was 2016. (2015 he was optioned too, but for less than 20 days.)
    • Shaitan likes this
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Hosken Bombo Disco
Aug 26 2017 09:32 PM

So, looking at the bullpen chart, I see 3 guys available tomorrow, maybe 4.  Belisle, Rogers and Busenitz should be good to go.  Duffey threw 19 today (ineffectively), but hadn't pitched since the Monday doubleheader before today.  He's the guy on the fence.  I suspect he'd be called upon if the game turns south to go an inning or two.
 
Hildenberger has worked 4 of the last 5 days (granted just 1 pitch yesterday).  He's out IMO. Pressly threw 25 today.  Out.  Perkins pitched today.  I highly doubt he ever pitches back to back again as a Twin. Out.  Curtiss has thrown almost 30 pitches in the last two days.  Out.
 
 
Good thing Monday is an off day. It's amazing.  Actually, it's sickening.  8 fricking relievers and it still isn't enough.   
 
13 pitchers.  6 or 7 that I have confidence in right now.  Not exactly a good ratio. :banghead:

Hildenberger has been our best guy lately. Bringing him in trailing by three runs after he had pitched the day before was a really questionable move.
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Hosken Bombo Disco
Aug 26 2017 09:37 PM
Gibson pitches tomorrow?

Maybe Toronto will bench Donaldson, Batista, Smoak and Morales for the finale.
WHEN will Molitor and Guardado learn that you DO NOT bring Pressley with runners on base; he will cough up runs almost every time. He should ONLY be used to start an inning with the bases empty. I don't know his exact stats in this area or if they are even accumulated for the season, but his Inherited Runners Scored has got to be UGLY

WHEN will Molitor and Guardado learn that you DO NOT bring Pressley with runners on base; he will cough up runs almost every time. He should ONLY be used to start an inning with the bases empty. I don't know his exact stats in this area or if they are even accumulated for the season, but his Inherited Runners Scored has got to be UGLY


Scroll down to the Relief Pitching table here:

https://www.baseball...-pitching.shtml

After today, Pressly will be at 31% inherited runners scored. That's pretty much right in line with league average (30%).
    • glunn and dbminn like this

 

Would you have said that if Curtiss had put them down? He had a good performance the day before and has had a good minor league season. All they got was a bloop double off him.  Any one else think Kepler could have and should have gone hard after that blooper. If Mauer is in there maybe he just plays backup but it is so much easier for an outfielder to come in and make a play than an infielder going back.  Really looked like he was coasting when he should have been aggressive. Announcers made a good point that if Garver hadn't made that throwing error then that bloop gets caught pretty easily by Dozier because the infield wouldn't have been playing in. That's baseball but boy, a comeback win would have been awesome.

 

Agreed... we've been hearing so many people on this site and on Twitter and such talking about how Molitor wouldn't go to young players out of the bullpen in high-leverage spots (specifically Busenitz and Hildenberger). So today, he puts Curtiss into a fairly high leverage situation, and a blooper in between three fielders really hurt him, and now we say that Molitor shoudln't have used him there. 

 

I'm sure they don't want to play Mauer on the turf all three games, and I'm 100% fine with that, but yes, he probably makes that catch. Baseball's a weird game. A tough loss, but when you give up 10 runs, you don't really deserve to win. 

    • glunn, Kevin, h2oface and 3 others like this

 

He's not listed as a player who is out of options, so I would assume he does. But who comes up? Slegers maybe if they think an arm for tomorrow is needed to back up Gibson (a very real concern IMO). Boshers would be eligible Tuesday, but he's a loogy, period. Using him against RHB hasn't ended well.

 

No idea, but he clearly has issues to work out and Perkins and Rogers already has mop-up mode claimed.

 

I'll agree on Hildenberger. But "The Book" says you don't use your closer on the road when you are trailing. If you use him to keep the game close, who do you use if you get the lead?

 

The Twins don't have a closer. Belisle? Give me a break. Seriously. The Twins just don't have a closer. Haven't all year, really.

 

Would you have said that if Curtiss had put them down? He had a good performance the day before and has had a good minor league season. All they got was a bloop double off him.  Any one else think Kepler could have and should have gone hard after that blooper. If Mauer is in there maybe he just plays backup but it is so much easier for an outfielder to come in and make a play than an infielder going back.  Really looked like he was coasting when he should have been aggressive. Announcers made a good point that if Garver hadn't made that throwing error then that bloop gets caught pretty easily by Dozier because the infield wouldn't have been playing in. That's baseball but boy, a comeback win would have been awesome.

 

It was the 4 pitch walk to start the inning that spelled the dome. That certainly counts as something they got off Curtiss. No Garver throw without the 4 pitch walk, either. You come into the game and give up a 4 pitch walk............ there you go. It all leads to something. Vargas should have caught the pop up. 

    • Dantes929 likes this
Let's hope for a win heading in to the off day and a good homestead. The last two weeks have been rough in terms of games played, if not in strength of schedule. We've been lucky enough that everyone in our weight class seems to lose on the same days we do.
    • AlwaysinModeration, dbminn, Dozier's Glorious Hair and 1 other like this
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AlwaysinModeration
Aug 27 2017 04:31 AM
The Twins have played 12 games in 10 days, and after today will have played 13 games in 11 days. They've gone 7-5 in those games. Get a win today and they are 8-5 and have the wild card lead heading into an off day and a home stand. Come on Kyle!
    • USAFChief, Dantes929, Halsey Hall and 3 others like this
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ashburyjohn
Aug 27 2017 08:09 AM

WHEN will Molitor and Guardado learn that you DO NOT bring Pressley with runners on base; he will cough up runs almost every time. He should ONLY be used to start an inning with the bases empty. I don't know his exact stats in this area or if they are even accumulated for the season, but his Inherited Runners Scored has got to be UGLY

I couldn't put my hands on Inherited Runners with a quick search. But situational numbers exist. Baseball-reference.com has splits for everyone, and you can see Pressly's here:

 

https://www.baseball...1&year=2017&t=p

 

I like opponents' OPS for relievers more than things like ERA. Pressly's for the season is .721, which would seem OK - league-average or thereabout. However, his baserunner splits are astounding. Bases empty, opponents manage only .490 against him, built on a .165 batting average. However if anyone is on base, opponents OPS a Ruthian 1.017 against him.

 

You are definitely onto something there, this year.

 

Still, splitting the stats for relievers mean dealing with small sample sizes. In years past, this pattern hasn't been in evidence for Pressly. Indeed in 2014, it was exactly the opposite - every batter became Mike Trout when the bases were empty, batters turned into Stuart Turner once someone else got on base. So I don't really know for sure what to make of it all. Baseball's a funny game.

 

But I sure wouldn't put Pressly at the top of my list of options when the bases are occupied, until he gave me new reason to trust him better.

Yet another time Duffey's failure gets put on a different pitcher for the loss.

    • bighat likes this

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