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It always comes down to pitching [in October]

Posted by weneedjackmorris , 05 October 2019 · 580 views

So the playoffs between the Yankees and the Twins is essentially over. And just as it has in years past, the winning team sported (has) the better pitching. The Twins did an amazing job this year on offense. They broke the MLB record for most home runs by a team for a single season, and improved their team's offensive statistics in just about every category (but were a league low in SB?!). Yet, all of that meant nothing against the Yankees. This team is fun to watch at times (during the regular season). But they'll never beat the Yankees, or anyone else for that matter, in a playoff series if they don't improve their pitching from top to bottom. And I have no doubt that Rocco, like every other observant person, knows this so very well. So hats off to the Twins for a great season. Thanks for some great moments. My Christmas wish for 2020? A pitching staff that can beat the Yankees!




This is why I have struggled getting into all the excitement over the offensive success of the past season. While there are instances of hitting based teams winning in the playoffs, its not often they can sustain the offense all the way through three series against quality pitching. Hitting is hard, and it tends to be streaky, and it's not as easily repeatable as good pitching and good defense. Pitching has been the preemminent factor in all levels of baseball forever. And until someone completely changes the rules, or the shape of the field, it will continue to be so.

Yes, you need pitchers. And it all starts with a strong rotation. It is a plus if your 4th and 5th starters can also throw relief innings. The Twins were pretty gutsy going into the post-season with three rookies (Dobnak, Smeltzer, Stashak) not to mention rookie Littell. The rottion arms alone were sketchy, with Berrios being totally inconsistent the second half, and the ability to get five innings a dream with Odorizzi, Gibson, Perez.

 

Man, do miss Pineda.

 

 

 

 

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Kelly Vance
Oct 06 2019 10:22 AM

I don't like to go negative and most of the conflicts I have had with some of the TD faithful came about while Idefended Doze and Joe, and Buck and Sano. 

 

But.....

 

The attempt to go through this season with this rotation was incompetent ownership and management. Sure, there were not that many stud SPs available at the deadline.But why wait until the deadline? Last off season they did pretty well on Dollar Store signings (Cron, Schoop, Gonzalez) but that does not win the games in October. And it is pretty uninspiring. 

 

A couple years ago the Astros thought they had a chance if they only had one more stud pitcher. Enter Justin Verlander. Problem solved. 

 

You need great #1 and #2 starters to win the World Series.And a pretty good #3. And you need a good bullpen, not a couple or three good guys you don't use (that's on Rocco) and a couple unproven rookies.Why bother to have Rogers and May in the pen if you aren't going to use em? 

 

What Twins management did this year was bet that 2020 was the year, not this year. They needed to be good enough to contend. Then if the rookies panned out, they'd save a ton of dough on pitchers.But Romero failed and Buster is just now almost ready.Almost. 

 

Absolutely incompetent. And greedy. And disrespectful to the fans. 

 

Pitching costs money, and that is the problem. You need to pay $20-25 for a number 1. Ownership won't do that. Its a small market team they say.Well, yeah but attendance will be there if they put a Cole in the rotation, for example. But ownership wants to buy Fox North.... That is its priority. 

 

Look, I have been a Twins fan since 1960. Even Cal Griffith understood that you need a Pascual or Perry or Kaat level pitcher. Pohlad tries to look like a player, but he is a pretender. This year's team was a waste, and its on ownership and its on management. 

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weneedjackmorris
Oct 06 2019 06:26 PM

I can see the argument on this being about poor ownership decisions on how they spend (or don't spend!) their money.But I don't agree that Rocco is to blame. I have to believe that behind closed doors he probably put in a request for help in the bullpen and/or starter categories, knowing that what he had was not going to be enough down the stretch.And even if he didn't, that's not on him. I think it's pretty amazing that he did what he did with what he had, again knowing that it would be a stretch to get out of the playoffs and to a WS championship.Let's see what happens in the off season...

Heck, even the Rays signed Charlie Morton. 

Obviously, a lot to say about the pitching.I felt the pitching last night was at least respectable but the first two games were awful.You can't walk 8 batters in New York (see games 1 and 2) and expect the Yankees to not make you pay.I would be shocked if you could beat the Tigers walking 8 batters in a game.

 

The Twins were not lacking in opportunities to score.The offense let the team down as much as the pitching.We left 25 runners on base in the series.The Yankees only left 22 on base and it felt like they always had runners on.The difference is that the Yankee runners were crossing home plate to get off the bases while the Twins were not.3 for 28 with runners in scoring position.That is not going to cut it.It is hard to know how much injuries played a role in this diminished offense versus the Yankees simply being well prepared to throw a ton of sliders, changeups, and curve balls.

 

There are the negatives from this series.On a more positive note, I feel Odorizzi did a fine job last night.Not easy coming in down 0-2 against a team that has dominated you in the first two games.He is a free agent after this season so the Twins should probably be calling his agent to see if we can work something out.He is never going to be Verlander but I would be more than comfortable trotting Odorizzi out as the number 3 starter. 

 

Looking ahead, the Twins only have about $19.5M committed to payroll next season.This does not count the $12M option to Nelson Cruz which I would bet the Twins exercise.We also still have a good core of guys that are under team control for one, two, or three more seasons.That means that there is a ton of money in the bank (they had a payroll in the $130M range this year) to go out and get someone.