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Article: Twins 9, Orioles 6: Twins Rally Back From 6-Run Deficit

kennys vargas felix jorge trevor hildenberger eddie rosario brandon kintzler
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#1 Tom Froemming

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 11:03 PM

We should know better by now than to count out this Twins team. Felix Jorge gave up homers to the first two batters he faced and Baltimore built a 6-0 lead. But despite not having the luxury of hitting a home run themselves, the Twins rallied back to score nine unanswered runs to snatch a victory from the jaws of defeat.

Heck, they may have even pulled this one all the way back out from the belly of defeat.Win Expectancy & Top 5 Plays Per WPA (via Fangraphs)
Download attachment: WinEx77.png
Download attachment: TopPlays77.png
Trailing by six runs with just a few days to go until the All-Star break, you could understand if maybe the Twins were going to ease up the rest of the night. Instead, they put together maybe their finest inning of the entire season.

The fourth frame opened up with Miguel Sano making a diving stop to his left and firing to first for the out. Trevor Hildenberger, who earned his first major league victory tonight, retired the next two batters on strikeouts.

In the bottom of that inning, the Twins strung together four-straight singles followed by a Chris Gimenez hit by pitch with the bases loaded. What was remarkable about the inning was how the team grinded out at-bats. When they were down by six runs. In early July.

Robbie Grossman, Sano, Kennys Vargas, Eddie Rosario and Chris Gimenez all worked a full count in that inning. Vargas and Rosario each had eight-pitch at bats. But even with all that work, at the end of the inning the Orioles were still leading 6-2.

Manny Machado led off the top of the fifth with a single, but Hildenberger induced a 5-4-3 double play. Jorge Polanco made a fielding error on the next batter, but Hildy managed to get him a second chance and Polanco responded by cleanly fielding a Mark Trumbo grounder and throwing to first for the third out.

The fourth inning may have been their finest, but the fifth was the most fun. Brian Dozier hit a leadoff triple, Grossman doubled, Sano reached on an error and Kepler singled. Then Vargas, who was just called back up to replace an injured Joe Mauer, delivered a game-tying double.

Big Kennys would come around to score the go-ahead run on a Gimenez single. Two insurance runs were later added in the eighth inning. Byron Buxton managed to score from first base on a ground ball that was hit to the shortstop.

Brandon Kintzler, who was added to the All-Star team earlier in the day, recorded his 24th save of the season. Hildenberger threw 2.1 innings followed by an inning each by Pressly, Belisle, Rogers and Kintzler. They did not surrender a run and only yielded five hits while not issuing a single walk. What a performance it was by the bullpen.

Jorge’s Target Field debut didn’t last long. He lasted just 2.2 innings before getting the hook. Jorge is only 23-years-old. He’s made 25 starts at Double A, and hasn’t appeared at Triple A yet. These are important things to keep in mind when trying to evaluate his performance. Jorge gave up six runs on seven hits (three of them homers) and a walk. His ERA jumped to 10.57.

Jorge was sent back to Chattanooga at the conclusion of the contest, with Zack Granite being called up from Rochester as his replacement. With the break looming, the Twins won’t need a fifth starter for awhile. Granite, who will be making his major league debut, was hitting .360/.412/.492 (.904 OPS) for the Red Wings.

And that wasn’t the only big transaction. The next time the Twins do need a fifth starter, it’s possible big Bartolo Colon will fill that role. The Twins signed the 44-year-old to a minor league deal. He’s heading to Rochester for now.

Postgame With Molitor

Bullpen Usage
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Download attachment: Pen77.png
Twins (Adalberto Mejia) vs. Baltimore (Wade Miley), 1:10 pm CT

Miley got rocked in his last start, as the Brewers lit him up for seven runs over 1.2 innings. Over his last six starts, Miley has an 11.69 ERA and hitters have compiled a .387/.468/.604 line (1.072 OPS).

Over his last four starts, Mejia has a 2.01 ERA, but his WHIP is 1.39. He’s struggled to keep leadoff hitters off the bases this season, giving up a .443 OBP to the first batter of each inning. But he’s also been excellent at finishing off innings, as opponents have just a .552 OPS with two outs. He’s also been great with runners on, limiting opposing hitters to a .176/.258/.241 line (.499 OPS) with men on and a .173/.270/.231 line (.501 OPS) with runners in scoring position.

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#2 Pardon My Dinger

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 11:23 PM

I was soooper happy to check the score just now and see the comeback. Also happy about Kennys. And Hildy.
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#3 Dantes929


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Posted 07 July 2017 - 11:31 PM

IMO, this is the type of game that has been missing from the Twins.  Generally when they are down big early the bullpen has extended the lead. It was fine with me because those are lower percentage things and if a bullpen is thin these are the type of games you let the mop up guys and back up catchers finish the game.. As long as we were winning the games that we had leads or were close in the late innings I was happy sacrificing the blow out losses and the pen ERA.  Having guys like Pressley, Belisle and Hildenberg step up means that even early deficits don't guarantee losses, any more.  This is really a sweet win.

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#4 TwinsCD


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Posted 08 July 2017 - 06:21 AM

Comebacks like this do nothing but breed confidence in the entire roster....something a young group like this one really needs after getting their ears kicked in repeatedly last season.  After a one-year hiatus, it's nice to be at the All-Star Break and still have meaningful baseball to watch.

#5 mikelink45


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Posted 08 July 2017 - 06:23 AM

Very nice to see Hildenberger shine in this one. He has done well in every opportunity and I hope he gets into more higher leverage situations.

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#6 Old Twins Cap

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 06:27 AM

Polanco may be edging toward AAA, if he has options left, if not, the bench. 


We can play Escobar at SS, DH Vargas, and have Sano and Mauer in the lineup.Or, throw Grossman in at DH to grind out ABs.


Lots of cylinders firing:Rosario, Kepler, Escobar, Buxton, even an occasional hit from the catcher.


Sky is the limit for this team offensively.Same with defense.Pitching will be a crapshoot all the way.

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#7 diehardtwinsfan



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Posted 08 July 2017 - 06:34 AM

Polanco has no options left...


That said, Hildenberger has certainly been encouraging. Hasn't given up a run yet. Walk rate a bit high in SSS, but so far he looks like he's going to be staying a while.

#8 twinssouth


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Posted 08 July 2017 - 07:21 AM

Hughes, Boshers; 0 pitches thrown last 5 games. Why are they on this team?
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#9 Twinsoholic



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Posted 08 July 2017 - 07:22 AM

Hildenberger was one of the stars in last night's Twins come from behind victory. He stopped the metaphorical bleeding.

#10 Riverbrian


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Posted 08 July 2017 - 08:38 AM






These recaps are fantastic.



A well deserved pat on the back. 


Thank You



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