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Article: Heated Observations: Game #2

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#1 Parker Hageman

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 07:32 AM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...rvations-Game-2

#2 Sconnie

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 08:06 AM

Really early, but I think Hicks looked good at the dish, and so has Kubel and Plouffe. Bad team, but the hitting might be a bit better than we thought it would be.

#3 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 08:09 AM

That's something else we haven't really talked about. If Kubel is anything close to his pre-2013 self, this offense is loads better than we predicted.

Still far from good but not awful.

And no, I'm not overreacting to two good games... Kubel and Hicks have not looked lost at the plate, which was a real concern going into the season. Simply by not looking lost, they have a good shot at being much better than they were last season. That doesn't mean either will be good, it just means they probably won't be terrible.

#4 savvyspy

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 08:11 AM

For $25 million a year you should be able to hit CHRIS EFFIN SALE occasionally.

That said, Mauer will be hitting .300 eventually. It sort of always evens out for him.

#5 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 08:22 AM

For $25 million a year you should be able to hit CHRIS EFFIN SALE occasionally.


And Miguel Cabrera has a .700 OPS against Mark Buerhle, of all people.

Mauer has a .558 OPS against Sale. Meh. Good pitching beats good hitting and guys just have blind spots against some pitchers.

Sale is a tough pitcher overall and he's brutal against lefties. Nothing to see here.

#6 sandbun

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 08:50 AM

For those who went to spring training, did they have Mauer face live pitching against the shift that teams are doing to him, or did they just decide it was fine and not do that? I'm sure hits will start falling in for him, but I'd feel better if it was something they actively worked on.

#7 Winston Smith

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 08:51 AM

I can't help but think Mauer isn't right. He didn't look good in the spring and hasn't looked good in the first two games. Small sample size, still early, rusty and all that but I hope he doesn't have lingering Morneau like poor timing issues from the concussion.
This comment brought to you from the Rosedale Mall studio by Hamm's Beer, brewed in the land of sky blue waters.

#8 Don't Feed the Greed Guy

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 08:53 AM

Sale is a tough pitcher overall and he's brutal against lefties. Nothing to see here.


Our "weak hitting" lineup did generate three earned runs on five hits off Sale over 7.1 innings. That won't happen every time he takes the mound (career 2.98 ERA). All the same, he was better than Nolasco, and that was the difference.

In game 2 it was the relievers (Perkins & Deduno) who blew it, although that "weak hitting" lineup did generate six runs over 11 innings.

Mauer (and Dozier) will come around.

#9 MileHighTwinsFan

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 09:06 AM

How is it possible to be optimistic after being 0-2 against the team they will likely battle for last place? The losses were the result of elements we considered a team strength, but the performance of those who we were concerned about has been positive.

Perkins had a bad day and Mauer and Dozier are off to slow starts. We have confidence they will bounce back. Meanwhile, Suzuki, Plouffe, Kubel and Hicks have been impressive.

I'm just glad it's baseball season and we are talking about games and actual player performance, bring on game 3.

#10 deanlambrecht

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 09:32 AM

For $25 million a year you should be able to hit CHRIS EFFIN SALE occasionally.

That said, Mauer will be hitting .300 eventually. It sort of always evens out for him.


Your second sentence is quite right. Against Sale he's only had 21 PA's and overall is batting .238 against him. That's more than 100 basis points higher than the average lefty, as reported by Parker in the original post. Here's his line vs. White Sox pitchers: http://espn.go.com/m.../5378/joe-mauer

Regarding Perkins, guess who else blew as save yesterday? Joe Nathan. It cost us far less money to blow that save than it did the Tigers. :P

Papelbon blew a save yesterday, too. Not surprised by that, but it was apparently a bad day for closers.

In any event, it was the third full day of the season, and it's kind of depressing to see people getting all worked up already. In our case, we've got 160 games left. Things will be much clearer down the line.

#11 Smcginnity

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 09:53 AM

My problem isn't his stats but his lack of clutch hitting. The guy clearly does not deserve $25 million but we are now stuck with that monstrosity of a contract. When you are the face of the team, do something special. 4 for 4 with 4 singles doesn't do anything for me. Mix in some extra base hits and big hits in clutch situations! Just gets so frustrating with him

#12 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 09:56 AM

My problem isn't his stats but his lack of clutch hitting.


You mean his career OPS of .933 with RISP, compared to his overall career line of .872?

Or maybe you mean his career OPS of .988 with 2 out, RISP.

This is why we have statistics, folks. Observation is so often tainted by what one wants to see, not what actually happened.

#13 tobi0040

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 10:21 AM

You mean his career OPS of .933 with RISP, compared to his overall career line of .872?

Or maybe you mean his career OPS of .988 with 2 out, RISP.

This is why we have statistics, folks. Observation is so often tainted by what one wants to see, not what actually happened.


It is amazing how often this line of thinking comes up, when as you point out it has no validity at all. I think we gave the guy 23M a year so a batting average of .800 is what some expect with runners on.

#14 Intramural Legend

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 10:36 AM

It is amazing how often this line of thinking comes up, when as you point out it has no validity at all. I think we gave the guy 23M a year so a batting average of .800 is what some expect with runners on.


Even if that was the case, more people would complain about the 2/10 times he didn't get a hit...

#15 Beezer07

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 10:43 AM

Even if that was the case, more people would complain about the 2/10 times he didn't get a hit...


Confirmation bias at its finest (unless I misunderstand what confirmation bias means...which is totally possible)

#16 Marta Shearing

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 10:44 AM

I can't help but think Mauer isn't right. He didn't look good in the spring and hasn't looked good in the first two games. Small sample size, still early, rusty and all that but I hope he doesn't have lingering Morneau like poor timing issues from the concussion.

I think not picking up a bat the entire offseason, and not doing much of anything to stay in shape october-february has more to do with his struggles than lingering concussion issues. He even admitted before ST he hadnt picked up a bat all offseason. Eventually I hope he learns he has to work at it and not rely soley on his amazing talent.

#17 deanlambrecht

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 10:46 AM

You mean his career OPS of .933 with RISP, compared to his overall career line of .872?

Or maybe you mean his career OPS of .988 with 2 out, RISP.

This is why we have statistics, folks. Observation is so often tainted by what one wants to see, not what actually happened.


:clapping:

Edited by deanlambrecht, 03 April 2014 - 10:47 AM.
Trying, failing, to find "clapping" emoticon...


#18 70charger

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 11:20 AM

Can we also talk about Plouffe for a second here? In the spring, and in the first couple of games, he's been smacking balls the other way, which it seems like he almost never did last season. (Or even the season before, but in 2012 I don't think pitchers were pitching him away as much.)

If he's got an improved approach at the plate and can take balls the other way, I can see his batting average up over .250 with an improved OBP. That means that even if he can't launch 30 bombs like we hoped, he'll be a nice, valuable 3B for Sano's convalescence. Last year, he was fairly middling for a 3B, which perhaps speaks to the lack of good players at that position. This year, he could find himself solidly above average.

I just hope I'm not speaking too soon.

#19 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 11:44 AM

Plouffe's spray chart from last season:

Attached File  plouffe.PNG   36.81KB   3 downloads

He went opposite field a lot, it just wasn't successful.

#20 BigTrane

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 11:51 AM

Where's the Suzuki spray chart?
Seems like he's accounted for 90+% of the Twins OF so far.
That's at least as *interesting* as the CB Bucknor balk call.

#21 Cris E

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 11:57 AM

Confirmation bias at its finest (unless I misunderstand what confirmation bias means...which is totally possible)


That's what you want 'confirmation bias' to mean...

#22 troyhobbs

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 12:03 PM

Our "weak hitting" lineup did generate three earned runs on five hits off Sale over 7.1 innings. That won't happen every time he takes the mound (career 2.98 ERA). All the same, he was better than Nolasco, and that was the difference.

In game 2 it was the relievers (Perkins & Deduno) who blew it, although that "weak hitting" lineup did generate six runs over 11 innings.

Mauer (and Dozier) will come around.


Even weak hitting lineups will string together hits from time to time and when they do it'd be nice to see the bullpen, the Twins supposed strength, take care of business because they might not see too many leads like that. I hear they're putting trees back in center at Target Field this year...really hope that's an aesthetic decision and not a strategic one.

#23 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 12:31 PM

Cold weather affects grip. The chart shows Perkins threw fastball virtually every pitch. So I'm curious why Deduno was throwing curves at the end.

#24 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 12:33 PM

Last edited by deanlambrecht; Today at 11:47 AM. Reason: Trying, failing, to find "clapping" emoticon...
:


I'd slow clap this if I could find the emoticon :)

#25 Dantes929

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 04:34 PM

You mean his career OPS of .933 with RISP, compared to his overall career line of .872?

Or maybe you mean his career OPS of .988 with 2 out, RISP.

This is why we have statistics, folks. Observation is so often tainted by what one wants to see, not what actually happened.

Reminds me of when a poster complained that Morneau always hit well early in games but then failed late in the clutch. Almost too mind boggling to argue with. Would he prefer that Morneau get 2 RBI in later innings to tie the game over failing in the late innings that was tied because Morneau got 2 RBI earlier in the game. Or did he think Morneau shoud be getting his RBI late in the game as well as early in the game putting his RBI total for the year around 200. Likewise with Mauer. If you think his .322 average is a result of getting a lot of hits that are meaningess do you think he should stop getting those meaningless hits in order to hit meaningful ones or do you really believe he has .450 ability but just chokes. Anyone who thinks he has always been a choker should look at what he did in September in three of the closest pennant races in baseball history ( 2006, 2008, 2009).

#26 Spikecurveball

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 05:06 PM

Cold weather affects grip. The chart shows Perkins threw fastball virtually every pitch. So I'm curious why Deduno was throwing curves at the end.


Continuation question, with a runner on third and a notoriously wild and hard to catch Deduno on the hill, do you make a pitching change to an experienced reliever ......hmmmm

#27 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 07:36 PM

Which circles back to the original question: is Deduno a reliever at all? Well I suppose as an early inning guy in mop up duty, or a guy to be stretched out in the real late extra inning games like coming in for the 11th.

#28 shimrod

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 08:07 PM

It's Gardenhire's job to know what he is....but Gardy hasn't been very good at his job for a few years now.