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  1. Twins Game Recap (9/24): Odorizzi's Gem Cuts the Twins Magic Number to 2

    Box Score
    Odorizzi: 6 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 64.5% strikes (60 of 93 pitches)
    Home Runs: None
    Multi-Hit Games: Cave (2 for 4), Wade (2 for 3, 2B)
    WPA of +0.1: Wade .207, Odorizzi .180, Rosario .160, Astudillo .108
    WPA of -0.1: Sano -.179, Polanco -.157

    Jake Odorizzi did an excellent job keeping the Twins in the ballgame, as the bats struggled to come through in the early innings. After a Detroit double and single led to a run in the first inning, Odorizzi allowed just one more baserunner, on a walk, while striking out six more hitters. He did come back out to pitch in the bottom of the seventh, but was pulled during his warmups when Rocco Baldelli noticed something was off. The report was Odorizzi was lifted with hamstring tightness, so hopefully this shouldn’t be much of an issue for him as we move into postseason play.

    It took a while, but the Twins bats finally woke up in the seventh inning against Spencer Turnbull. Jake Cave led off the inning with a sharply pulled single into right field. LaMonte Wade Jr. followed that up with an excellent at-bat that resulted in a double down the third base line, and suddenly the Twins were in business with runners on second and third, with nobody out. This prompted Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire to go get Turnbull, and bring in David McKay to face Willians Astudillo. This proved favorable for the Twins, as Astudillo came through with a base hit up the middle to give the Twins their first runs of the game.

    After a Jason Castro hit-by-pitch and a Nelson Cruz intentional walk, Eddie Rosario came to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs, and he came through with a ringing double that made its way to the wall in left, scoring Astudillo and Castro, giving the Twins a 4-1 lead.

    Following Jake Odorizzi's six innings, Kyle Gibson came into the game to try to protect the Twins three-run lead. Gibson gave up a couple of singles in the inning, but struck out the other three batters he faced, popping as high as 96 MPH on the radar gun. He came back out in the eighth, and after the Tigers cut the lead down to two, thanks to a couple of doubles, things suddenly looked very interesting. However, after a visit to the mound, Gibson settled in to get the final two outs of the inning. Taylor Rogers came on in the bottom of the ninth and pitched an easy 1-2-3 inning, picking up his 29th save of the season.

    Bullpen Usage
    Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:

    Next Three Games
    Wed at DET, 5:40 pm CT (TBD-Norris)
    Thu at DET, 12:10 pm CT (TBD-Zimmermann)
    Fri at KC, 7:15 pm CT (TBD-TBD)

    Last Game
    Twins Game Recap (9/22): Twins Offense Erupts for Twelve Runs Over Royals

    • Sep 24 2019 08:37 PM
    • by Andrew Thares
  2. Twins Game Recap (9/17): Twins Win Wild Game on a Walk Off Hit-By-Pitch

    Box Score
    Perez: 4.2 IP, 10 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 70.3% strikes (45 of 64 pitches)
    Home Runs: LaMarre (1), Sano (30)
    Multi-Hit Games: Rosario (3 for 6, 2 2B), Gonzalez (3 for 6), Arraez (3 for 6, 2B)
    WPA of +0.1: Gonzalez .359, Rosario .307, Wade .254, Torreyes .164, Rogers .144, LaMarre .122, Romo .111, Cruz .102,
    WPA of -0.1: Harper -.402, Sano -.214, Littell -.145, May -.143, Polanco -.114, Schoop -.100

    After the Twins failed to hit a home run in their 5-3 win over the White Sox last night, it was Ryan LaMarre of all people who hit the Twins first home run of the series, leading off the bottom of the third inning. It was just LaMarre’s third home run of his major league career. The homer drew this great reaction from Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Ryan Saunders.

    Later in the third inning, Miguel Sano helped the Twins make more major league history, when he belted his 30th home run of the season, making the 2019 Minnesota Twins the first team to ever have five different 30-home run hitters in the same season. Sano’s home run traveled 482 feet, and became the second longest home run in Target Field history, behind only Jim Thome’s 490 foot blast back in 2011.

    Unfortunately for the Twins, the pitching staff was unable to hold the 5-0 lead they were given. Martin Perez was hit all over the yard tonight, giving up 10 hits in just 4- 2/3 innings. Somehow, he managed to give up just three runs. In the top of the sixth, Trevor May gave up home runs to Zack Collings and Adam Engel on back-to-back pitches, and just like that the game was tied.

    Tyler Duffey had another excellent outing tonight, striking out the White Sox' 3-4-5 hitters in the top of the seventh inning. Duffey has now worked 22 consecutive scoreless outings, dating back to July 28th. Over that time, Duffey has 33 strikeouts to just five walks in 19 2/3 innings pitched and has lowered his ERA from 3.82 down to 2.39.

    It was Sergio Romo’s turn in the top of the eighth inning to keep the score tied at five. Which is just what he did, getting a couple of big strikeouts with a runner on first to end the inning. However, he did so with an obvious limp after every pitch. The Twins came out to chat with him about it, be he insisted he was fine and stayed in the game to get the final two hitters. It will be worth monitoring this situation in the coming days to make sure nothing comes from it.

    Both Taylor Rogers and Zack Littell had to work out of jams in the top of the ninth and the top of the tenth respectively, to give the Twins hitters extra chances to try to win the game. The first two batters reached against Rogers via an error by Jorge Polanco, and a fielder’s choice by Rogers, when he tried to make the play at second after fielding a comebacker but was late with the throw. However, he was able to battle back by inducing a double play and getting Eloy Jimenez to strike out. In the tenth, Littell gave up two singles to lead off the inning. Then, after a sac bunt, Rocco Baldelli decided to load the bases with an intentional walk. That moved paid off, as Littell got a pop out and a flyout to get out of the jam.

    The Twins weren’t as fortunate in the 11th inning as they had been in the innings prior, as Tim Anderson led off the inning with a no-doubter off Zack Littell. Littell did a nice job not surrendering any more runs in the inning, keeping the White Sox lead at just one run. This played out huge for the Twins in the bottom of the inning, when Jonathan Schoop led off the inning with a single. He got pinch run for by LaMonte Wade Jr., who advanced to second on a C.J. Cron ground out, and to third on a wild pitch that barely got away from the White Sox catcher. This aggressive base running kept the Twins alive, as Mitch Garver came through with a sac fly to tie the game back up at six.

    In the 12th inning, Rocco Baldelli turned to Ryne Harper to get three outs, and the Twins bats back up with a chance to win the game. Harper did get those three outs However, that wasn’t until after he had surrendered a two-run home run to Ryan Cordell, giving the White Sox a 8-6 lead. Harper nearly gave up a few more runs, as the White Sox had first and third with two outs, but Harper got Eloy Jimenez to ground out to end the inning.

    The Twins may have been down but they certainly weren’t out of it, with the middle of their order due up in the bottom of the 12th. Nelson Cruz got the rally started with a lead off single, which was immediately followed by a double from Eddie Rosario, and just like that the Twins were in business. Then Miguel Sano came to the plate, and was immediately set down on three pitches. After Sano came Marwin Gonzalez, who after falling behind in the count, came through with a base hit to bring both Cruz and Rosario around to score, tying the game at eight. However, the Twins weren’t done quite yet. Luis Arraez followed up Gonzalez’s single with one of his own, Arraez’s third hit of the game. That brought LaMonte Wade Jr. up to the plate and he smacked a line-drive single up the middle. Fortunately for the Twins, Tony Diaz has learned from his mistakes earlier in the season, and held Gonzalez at third on a throw that would have had him out by 30 feet. This loaded the bases for Ronald Torreyes, who came in as a defensive replacement for C.J. Cron in the top of the 12th, and this happened.

    Postgame With Baldelli

    Bullpen Usage
    Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:

    Next Three Games
    Wed vs CHW, 6:40 pm CT (Cover-Odorizzi)
    Thu vs KCR, 6:40 pm CT (Montgomery-TBD)
    Fri vs KCR, 7:10 pm CT (TBD-TBD)

    Last Game
    Twins Game Recap (9/16): Berrios tosses a strong 7.1 innings

    • Sep 18 2019 04:37 AM
    • by Andrew Thares
  3. Twins Game Recap (9/11): Depleted Twins Fail to Match Up With Strasburg and Nationals

    Box Score
    Perez: 5 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 65.6% strikes (59 of 90 pitches)
    Home Runs: Polanco (21)
    Multi-Hit Games: Arraez (3 for 5), Polanco (2 for 5, HR), Castro (2 for 4)
    WPA of +0.1: Cruz .101
    WPA of -0.1: Perez -.220, Rosario -.161, Astudillo -.159, Adrianza -.105

    The Nationals jumped all over Martin Perez, from the get-go. After retiring Trea Turner for the first out of the game, Perez gave up a double to Adam Eaton, walked Anthony Rendon, a single to Juan Soto and a single to Ryan Zimmerman. By the time the Twins even sent their first hitter to the plate, they already trailed by a score of 2-0.

    The top of the third started off like a pretty harmless inning. Martin Perez retired Adam Eaton and Anthony Rendon to get two quick outs, but after a walk to Juan Soto things got interesting. Perez got Howie Kendrick down 0-2 and delivered a quality slider down below the zone that Kendrick lifted into right field for what looked like a routine fly out. However, with Eddie Rosario, nothing has been routine for him in the outfield this year, and that was the case with this fly ball, as he let it sail over his head for an RBI-double. Just two pitches later, Ryan Zimmerman made the Twins pay dearly for this mistake, as he took Perez deep to give the Nationals a 5-0 lead.

    The Twins were able to answer back with a couple of runs in the bottom of the inning, thanks to a Luis Arraez one-out single, and Jorge Polanco taking Stephen Strasburg deep to cut the deficit down to three. Polanco’s homer was the Twins 277th of the season and gave the Twins the lead in the home run race over the New York Yankees.

    During the middle innings the bats for both teams stayed quiet. The Twins relievers, Zack Littell, Brusdar Graterol and Fernando Romero, all pitched scoreless innings to keep the Twins in the game. Unfortunately, the Twins were unable to take advantage of that. They put up a two-out threat in the fourth, thanks to a LaMonte Wade walk, and a Jonathan Schoop double, but Jason Castro was rung up on strikes to nullify that threat. In the bottom of the eighth, the Twins had yet another chance. The Nationals made a questionable move to bring former Twin Fernando Rodney, and his 5.54 ERA into the game to face Polanco, Cruz and Rosario. The inning started off strong for the Twins, as Polanco reached on an infield hit, and Cruz drew a walk, but then Rosario, Astudillo and Adrianza all hit lazy fly balls to the outfield, killing the Twins' chances. All this was done, by the way, with Mitch Garver waiting in the dugout with his helmet and batting gloves on but was never called upon to take an at-bat that could have tied the ballgame.

    Randy Dobnak came in to pitch for the Twins in the top of the ninth, and promptly gave up a solo home run to Trea Turner, to extend the Nationals lead to 6-2, which would be the final score of the ballgame, as the Twins got a couple of runners on but failed to score in the bottom of the ninth.

    Bullpen Usage
    Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:

    Next Three Games
    Thu vs WSH, 6:40 pm CT (Corbin-Gibson)
    Fri at CLE, 6:10 pm CT (Odorizzi-Civale)
    Sat at CLE, 6:10 pm CT (TBD-TBD)

    Last Game
    Twins Game Recap (9/10): Berrios Bounces Back in Twins Win

    • Sep 12 2019 04:27 AM
    • by Andrew Thares
  4. Twins Game Recap (9/10): Berrios Bounces Back in Twins Win

    Box Score
    Berrios: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 67.0% strikes (63 of 94 pitches)
    Home Runs: Garver (30)
    Multi-Hit Games: Arraez (2 for 4, 2B)
    WPA of +0.1: Berrios .455, Garver .143
    WPA of -0.1: None

    The story of tonight was unquestionably the bounce back performance from Jose Berrios. After posting an 8.07 ERA over his last six starts, Berrios gave the Twins seven scoreless innings tonight against the Nationals. Berrios had a perfect game going into the fifth inning, until Howie Kendrick singled on a line drive to Eddie Rosario in right.

    The Twins got their first real scoring chance of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning, after Luis Arraez drove a one out double over the left fielder’s head, setting the table for Jorge Polanco and Nelson Cruz to drive in the first run of the game. However, neither was able to come through with a clutch hit, and the game went to the seventh inning scoreless.

    In the bottom of the seventh the Twins finally broke the scoreless tie, thanks to Mitch Garver blasting his 30th home run of the season.

    The Twins were able to add one three more insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth, effectively blowing the game wide open. The inning started with a Jonathan Schoop hit by pitch, followed by a Luis Arraez single. Then after a wild pitch from Nationals pitcher Tanner Rainey, Jorge Polanco came through with a two-run double. The bases were reloaded thanks to walks from Eddie Rosario and Mitch Garver, leading to an Ehrie Adrianza sac-fly for the Twins fifth and final run of the game.

    Those insurance runs were important, as Taylor Rogers was up and warming in the pen to get the save, but instead he was able to get the night off, as Trevor May came in and sent the Nationals down 1-2-3 to finish off the Twins win.

    Bullpen Usage
    Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:

    Next Three Games
    Wed vs WSH, 6:40 pm CT (Strasburg-Perez)
    Thu vs WSH, 6:40 pm CT (Corbin-Gibson)
    Fri at CLE, 6:10 pm CT (TBD-TBD)

    Last Game
    Twins Game Recap (9/8) Clevinger Shuts Down the Scuffling Twins Offense

    • Sep 10 2019 09:01 PM
    • by Andrew Thares
  5. Twins Game Recap (8/6): Berrios Bad Night Leads to Braves Blowout

    Box Score
    Berrios: 5.2 IP, 9 H, 9 ER, 4 BB, 7 K, 64.9% strikes (63 of 97 pitches)
    Home Runs: Cruz 2 (32), Garver (21), Rosario (24)
    Multi-Hit Games: Cruz (4 for 5, 2 HR), Rosario (2 for 5, HR)
    WPA of +0.1: None
    WPA of -0.1: Berrios -.271

    It didn’t take long for the Braves to respond to last night's walk-off home run, with a home run of their own. On the first pitch of the game, Ronald Acuna Jr. took Jose Berrios deep to give the Braves a quick 1-0 lead. I guess this is what Acuna was jogging in for last night while Miguel Sano’s home run was still in the air.

    The Braves were able to get to Berrios again in the top of the third. After an Acuna walk, and an Ozzie Albies single, Freddie Freeman went deep for the second time in this series. However, unlike the one last night that needed every inch to get over the wall in left, this one was crushed well over the center field wall.

    After adding another run in the fifth, the Braves blew the game open with six runs in the top of the sixth. The innings looked like it wasn’t going to amount to anything, as two of the first three Braves to come to the plate in the inning struck out. However, that was followed by the Braves going single, single, triple, single, double, single, before Adam Duvall struck out for the second time in the inning. When all was said and done, the Braves had an 11-0 lead, with nine earned runs charged to Jose Berrios. That is the most earned runs Berrios has allowed in his entire professional career.

    The bats finally woke up for the Twins in the bottom of the sixth inning. Nelson Cruz got the scoring going with this blast.

    After an Eddie Rosario single, Mitch Garver followed with a no-doubter of his own, trimming the Braves lead all the way down to… well 11-3.

    The Twins threatened with a couple of two-out walks later in the inning but were unable to tack on any more runs. However, the Twins weren’t done scoring quite yet. In the bottom of the seventh, Max Kepler and Jake Cave led off with a couple of singles, setting the stage for Nelson Cruz to hit his second home run of the night, and 16th home run since the All-Star Break.

    The Braves tacked on another run in the top of the eighth, thanks to three more hits from the middle of the Brave order. In the bottom of the ninth, Eddie Rosario took new Braves closer Shane Greene deep to the opposite field for the Twins fourth home run of the night.

    Bullpen Usage
    Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:

    Next Three Games
    Wed vs ATL, 12:10 pm CT (Fried-Perez)
    Thu vs CLE, 7:10 pm CT (TBD-TBD)
    Fri vs CLE, 7:10 pm CT (TBD-TBD)
    Last Game
    Twins Game Recap (8/5): May Throws Fire, Sano Launches a Walk-Off Bomb in Twins Win

    • Aug 07 2019 04:31 AM
    • by Andrew Thares
  6. Twins Game Recap (7/30): Pitchers Stifle Marlins Bats, Twins Come Out on Top

    Box Score
    Odorizzi: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 66.0% strikes (68 of 103 pitches)
    Home Runs: Buxton (10)
    Multi-Hit Games: None
    WPA of +0.1: Odorizzi .200, Rogers .176, Duffey .141, Romo .129, Sano .114
    WPA of -0.1: None

    There wasn’t a lot of action through the first couple innings of the game. Neither team was able to reach base during the first inning, and the first baserunner of the game was Miguel Sano who drew a one-out walk. He wouldn’t make it far, however, as he was thrown out on an inning-ending strike him out, thrown him out double play.

    The bottom of the second was going smoothly for Jake Odorizzi until Curtis Granderson hit a line drive into the left-centerfield gap. It appeared as though Eddie Rosario would have a play throw Granderson out at second, but he inexplicable misplayed the ball, allowing it to get past him and Granderson to advance to third on the error. Odorizzi was able to pick up Rosario by getting Harold Ramirez to fly out to end the inning.

    Byron Buxton got the scoring going in the top of the third when he hit a towering flyball over the fence in left-centerfield to give the Twins an early 1-0 lead.

    The Twins were able to add to their lead in the top of the fourth inning. Jorge Polanco started the inning with a leadoff walk, and looked for a second like the Twins might not be able to turn that walk into a run. Mitch Garver followed Polanco’s walk with a strikeout, and Edie Rosario proceeded to ground into a force out. Then on a 2-1 count, Miguel Sano drilled a double out to centerfield, bringing Rosario around to score from first.

    The bottom of the fourth was sailing along for Jake Odorizzi, like the rest of the game had up until that point. He got each of the first two hitters to flyout, before Starlin Castro stepped to the plate and roped a two-out single to the opposite field, setting the table for Curtis Granderson who pulled a double down the line that got all the way to the wall. The relay from Kepler to Arraez to Garver was a hair late and a hair offline, allowing Castro to slide in safely, cutting the Twins lead down to one.

    Jake Odorizzi was cruising along through five innings and into the sixth, and it appeared as though he was going complete six innings for the first time since June 15. However, that wasn’t meant to be, as with two outs in the sixth he walked Neil Walker, ending his night. Tyler Duffey came in and shut the door in the sixth by striking out Starlin Castro. He then followed that up with a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh inning.

    Sergio Romo made his Twins debut in the bottom of the eighth against the team that just traded him away. Romo got both Cesar Puello and Miguel Rojas to flyout to begin the inning before he hit Brian Anderson on the first pitch of the plate appearance. Anderson was able to advance to second on a stolen base during the next at-bat but didn’t go any further as Romo ended the inning by getting Martin Prado to strikeout on a check swing that he couldn’t quite hold up on. The often animated Romo showed that he was pumped up to pitch for a competitive ball club again.

    After a much-needed week off, Taylor Rogers looked fresh in the ninth inning, going 1-2-3 to complete his 16th save of the season. With the Indians losing to Justin Verlander and the Houston Astros tonight, the Twins lead is back up to three games.

    During the game, it was announced that the Cleveland Indians had traded away Trevor Bauer as part of a three-team trade with the Cincinnati Reds and San Diego Padres. In return they received outfielders Yasiel Puig and Franmil Reyes. If you are unfamiliar with Reyes, he is one of the bright young stars in the game. In 185 career games, Reyes has already hit 43 home runs and has a wRC+ of 122. At just 24 years of age, Reyes might be a nemesis for the Twins in the years to come.

    Bullpen Usage
    Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:

    Next Three Games
    Wed at MIA, 6:10 pm CT (Berrios-Alcantara)
    Thu at MIA, 11:10 am CT (Pineda-Yamamoto)
    Fri vs KC, 7:10 pm CT (Sparkman-Perez)

    Last Game
    Twins Game Recap (7/28): Bats Bounce Back Behind Gibson’s Strong Outing

    • Aug 01 2019 12:54 PM
    • by Andrew Thares
  7. Twins Game Recap (7/16): Tough Luck Loss for the Twins

    Box Score
    Pineda: 6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 65.8% strikes (50 of 76 pitches)
    Home Runs: Schoop (15)
    Multi-Hit Games: Gonzalez (2 for 5); Rosario (2 for 4); Cron (2 for 4, 2 2B)
    WPA of +0.1: None
    WPA of -0.1: Cruz -.367; Sano -.175; Polanco -.167; Kepler -.134

    [attachment=12820:vs Mets 7-16-2019.PNG]
    (Chart via Fangraphs)

    The Mets got off to quick start in the top of the first to begin this short two-game series when outfielders Jeff McNeil and Michael Conforto got a couple of singles to lead off the inning. Michael Pineda was able to battle back by striking out Home Run Derby champion Pete Alonso. Then after a wild pitch, Robinson Cano hit a short fly ball to center field setting up Max Kepler for a chance to throw McNeil out at home, but a misfire out of his hand didn’t give the throw a chance. The inning about came to an end with just one run allowed, but Jonathan Schoop booted a groundball off the bat of Wilson Ramos, allowing Conforto to score the second run of the inning.

    The early innings were filled with a bunch of tough luck outs for the Twins hitters. In the first inning Jorge Polanco had a bid for a leadoff single, but it was snared out of the air by Mets second baseman Robinson Cano. Per Statcast, Polanco’s lineout had an expected batting average of .890. In the second inning, both Eddie Rosario and Max Kepler also had bids for a hit but were denied. The expected batting average on their two lineouts were .640 and .550 respectively.

    The Twins were final able to get a run on the scoreboard when Jonathan Schoop led off the inning with a solo home run to right-center field. With two-outs in the inning, the Twins put together a good chance to score but came up short when Mets center-fielder Michel Conforto made a great catch at the wall to rob Nelson Cruz of what would have been a game-tying double. Again, some misfortune for a Twins hitter, as the expected batting average on this Cruz flyout was .760.

    Eddie Rosario and C.J. Cron got a rally started in the fourth when they went single, double to begin the inning. Max Kepler then came through with an RBI-groundout to tie the game, and advance Cron to third with just one out. A Miguel Sano strikeout and Jonathan Schoop intentional-walk put runners on the corners with two outs for Jason Castro. Inexplicably, however, Castro wasn’t given the opportunity to drive in the go-ahead run as a botched double steal attempt ended the inning.

    The Mets were able to take the lead back in the top of the fifth, when Amed Rosario scored from third on a two-out base-hit from Michael Conforto. Rosario got on base with a one out double, and advanced to third thanks to a wild pitch from Michael Pineda in the next at-bat.

    It was more tough luck for the Twins in the bottom of the fifth. Robert Gsellman came into the game to replace Steven Matz to begin the inning and immediately walked Jason Castro and hit Jorge Polanco. Marwin Gonzalez then appeared to come up with a big line drive base-hit, but unfortunately it was lined right at Mets first baseman Pete Alonso who immediately doubled-off Jorge Polanco, effectively ending the Twins threat before it even started.

    Blake Parker worked himself into a bit of a jam in the top of the eighth but got out of it on this conventional 1-5-2-5 double-play to keep it a one run game.

    Things got very interesting in the bottom of the ninth inning. Against Mets closer Edwin Diaz, Miguel Sano struck out looking to lead off the inning, but took two strike calls, including strike three, that appeared to be outside the strike zone. Jonathan Schoop then came up and got into a quick 0-2 hole, before leaving with an apparent injury. Luis Arraez then came into a very difficult situation and fought all the way back to draw a one-out walk, fouling off numerous 98 MPH+ fastballs in the process. Mitch Garver, who pinch hit for Jason Castro in the seventh, lined a base hit to left field, giving the Twins first and second with just one out. After Garver it was Jorge Polanco’s turn, but he flew out to center field, and failed to advance the runners. Then Marwin Gonzalez came up and kept the game alive with a weak dribbler up the third baseline, resulting in an infield single, keeping the game alive for Nelson Cruz. Cruz put together a great at-bat against Diaz, bringing the count full, but swung at what would have been ball four and popped up in foul territory to end the ballgame.

    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.

    Next Three Games
    Wed vs NYM, 12:10 pm CT (Vargas-Perez)
    Thu vs OAK, 7:10 pm CT (TBD-TBD)
    Fri vs OAK, 7:10 pm CT (TBD-TBD)

    Last Game
    Twins Game Recap (7/14): Cleveland Prevails, Avoids Sweep

    • Jul 17 2019 08:33 AM
    • by Andrew Thares
  8. MIN 9, TB 4: Twins Shell Blake Snell

    Box Score
    Gibson: 7.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 61.2% strikes (60 of 98 pitches)
    Home Runs: Schoop (13), Garver (12)
    Multi-Hit Games: Garver (3 for 5, HR); Rosario (4 for 5); Astudillo (3 for 4)
    WPA of +0.1: Gibson .187, Rosario .117, Astudillo .111
    WPA of -0.1: None

    [attachment=12760:vs Rays 6-25-2019.PNG]

    (Chart via FanGraphs)

    After a 1-2-3 first inning, Eddie Rosario got the bats going to lead off the second when he pulled a two-strike curveball into right field and hustled his way into second for a double. After a flyout to centerfield by C.J. Cron and a groundout by Max Kepler, it looked like Rosario might get stranded on the bases. That is until La Tortuga stepped up and drove in Rosario on a first pitch infield single. In the top of the third, Willins Astudillo showed off his athleticism in right field, making this spectacular catch.

    Jonathan Schoop leadoff the bottom of the third with an upper deck blast. Statcast projected the home run to travel 408 feet, with a 104.1 exit velocity and a 27-degree launch angle.

    The Twins kept the bats rolling after that Schoop home run, with four of the next five hitters (Jorge Polanco, Mitch Garver, Eddied Rosario and C.J. Cron) all singling to drive in a couple more runs. The inning came to an end on a bad-luck double play, when Max Kepler lined out to Rays first baseman Ji-Man Choi with him practically standing on first, allowing Choi to easily double-off Cron.

    After putting up three runs in the third inning, the Twins were able to blow the game open in the fourth with three more runs. Astudillo got the inning started with a double off the left-center field wall, and advanced to third on an infield single from Miguel Sano. Then, after a Schoop strikeout and a Polanco walk, both Astudillo and Sano came around to score on another single from Mitch Garver. Nelson Cruz reloaded the bases three pitches later with a single of his own, and that was the end of the night for Blake Snell. The Rays brought in Hunter Wood to try and get out of the inning, but it was more of the same as Rosario greeted him with an RBI single. The inning came to an end the next batter, with yet another inning ending double-play, this time by C.J. Cron. This closed the book on Snell, who gave up seven runs, all earned, on 11 hits in just 3 and 1/3 innings of work.

    The Twins were able to score for the fourth inning in a row in the bottom of the fifth, but it came at a price, as Max Kepler had to leave the game after being struck on the elbow with a 95 MPH fastball. They are currently calling the injury a right-elbow contusion, so hopefully Kepler can avoid being added to the ever-growing list of Twins players on the injured list. Jake Cave came in to the game to pinch-run for Kepler, and later came around to score on a Jorge Polanco sac fly. In the inning, Astudillo picked up his third hit of the night.

    Kyle Gibson was rolling along through the first five innings of the ballgame, and was on his way to an excellent bounce-back performances after a terrible start his last time out. Through that point, Gibson hadn’t allowed a run and had only given up one hit, while striking out four. However, Gibson started showing signs of cracking in the sixth when he gave up a leadoff home run to Willy Adames. Gibson was able to get through the inning without giving up any more runs and was looking sharp striking out both Avisail Garcia and Kevin Kiermaier to begin the seventh, before the wheels absolutely fell off the wagon. Gibson proceed to give up three runs on four straight hits, and the once insurmountable eight-run lead was trimmed to four. Gibson was able to finally get out of the inning by striking out Guillermo Heredia, which was Gibson’s seventh strikeout of the game.

    Ryne Harper came out of the bullpen in the eighth, giving the Twins an easy 1-2-3 inning, which put a lot of people at ease. Mitch Garver was able to tack on an insurance run in the bottom of the inning, when he belted his 12th home run of the season over the left-center field fence. Rocco Baldelli called upon Tyler Duffey to get the final three outs of the game, and just like Harper, he worked a smooth 1-2-3 frame to seal the Twins victory.

    Postgame with Baldelli

    Bullpen Usage
    Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:

    [attachment=12761:6-25-2019 vs Rays.PNG]

    Next Three Games
    Wed vs TB, 7:10 pm CT (Morton-Odorizzi)
    Thu vs TB, 1:10 pm CT (TBD-Perez)
    Fri at CHW, 7:10 pm CT (TBD-TBD)

    Last Game
    KC 6, MIN 1: Bad Inning Spoils Awesome Uniforms

    • Jun 28 2019 01:00 PM
    • by Andrew Thares