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Article: Twins 4, Astros 2: Reliable Rogers Escapes Bases-Loaded Jam

taylor rogers ervin santana brian dozier miguel sano eddie rosario
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#1 Tom Froemming

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 09:16 PM

The Twins managed to pull out a win at Houston despite Ervin Santana not being at his sharpest. Brian Dozier hit another leadoff homer, but Eddie Rosario had the big hit of the night, getting a two-run double on a batted ball that would result in an out 86% of the time.

Taylor Rogers got his league-leading 22nd hold to set up for Brandon Kintzler, who recorded his 25th save.Win Expectancy & Top 5 Plays Per WPA (via Fangraphs)
Download attachment: WinEx715.png
Download attachment: TopPlays715.png
Rogers has quietly established himself as one of the best setup men in all of baseball, and he came up huge tonight for the Twins. Tyler Duffey was called upon to handle the seventh inning. He retired the first two batters he faced, but eventually loaded the bases.

Just when it was starting to feel like another bullpen implosion, Paul Molitor turned to Rogers, who escaped the jam by getting right-handed hitter Yuli Gurriel to ground out to Dozier. Rogers staying in for the eighth and set the Astros down in order.

Brian Dozier slugged a home run on the very first pitch of this game, hitting a leadoff homer for the second-straight night. If the first two games are any indication, we could see Dozier have another special second half.

Santana walked five batters, but he limited the damage to two runs over his six innings of work. Combined with his Memorial Day start, Ervin has now surrendered just three earned runs over 13 innings pitched against the deadly Astros lineup this season.

Houston left the bases loaded in the second, fourth and seventh innings. Santana got a lot of help from his defense as Joe Mauer made a couple of nice plays in his first game back from the DL and Miguel Sano made an outstanding, run-saving catch in the fourth inning.

Ervin's night ended on a very nice play by Jorge Polanco.

The Twins trailed 2-1 heading into the fifth inning, but they managed to scratch across a run on a Zack Granite bases-loaded ground ball double play. Granite, who has been presented with a great opportunity with Byron Buxton on the DL, was hitting second again tonight and went 0-for-5, leaving seven men left on base.

In the top of the sixth, Rosario delivered what ended up being the game-winning hit. Lady luck was certainly on his side, as Baseball Savant had the hit probability at just 14% , but we’ll take it.


Postgame With Dozier


Bullpen Usage
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Download attachment: Pen715.png
Sunday
Twins (Kyle Gibson) at Houston (Mike Fiers), 1:10 pm CT

Fiers is on a nice roll, registering a 2.65 ERA while holding opponents to a .636 OPS over his last 10 starts. He gave up multiple homers in five of his first seven starts of the season, since then he’s only served up three long balls in 10 starts. Dozier has a pair of homers off Fiers.

In 10 starts since being called back up from Rochester, Gibson has a 5.40 ERA, has given up 10 homers and has 35 strikeouts against 25 walks. It’s only a sample of 63 plate appearances, but current Houston hitters have combined to hit just .179/.254/.286 (.540 OPS) off Gibson.

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#2 Brandon

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 10:35 PM

So we can hang with the astros....

#3 stringer bell

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 04:50 AM

I was going to start a thread saying that Rogers is the most underappreciated Twin. He has been very good, but under the radar.
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#4 Circus Boy

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 07:13 AM

"...current Houston hitters have combined to hit just .179/.254/.286 (.540 OPS) off Gibson."

 

Kyle Gibson: Rastro killer.

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#5 mikelink45

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 07:20 AM

I am concerned about Duffey.  His line shows no runs allowed, but in reality he was set up for disaster and he has now had a long period of ineffective pitching.  I had hoped the rest over the all star break might help, but it did not.  Can any of your analytic team see what has happened to him?  

 

Santana continues to be our ace, but tonight he was a lucky Ace.  Had the fielders blown one of the many special plays that are illustrated here all the based loaded jams could have given him a line like Berrios had the night before. 

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#6 Han Joelo

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 07:32 AM

I share the concern about Duffy, but watching on gameday, it wasn't horrible.  Two quick outs before he loaded them.

 

Good to see Santana illustrate trust in his defense, and I'm glad Polanco was out there and not benched...good managing.  

 

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#7 h2oface

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 07:38 AM

Mauer cutting Rosario's throw off 15 feet from a play at home is a real head scratcher. Santana was hopping around with the same "what is he doing?" vibe, and Castro was covering his amazement up well. Was there a play? Certainly. Could he have been out? We will never know. Color me perplexed.

 

http://m.mlb.com/vid...le-off-the-wall

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#8 drock2190

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 07:44 AM

Granite hasn't been very impressive with all his ground ball outs. Definitely a 4th outfielder.
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#9 JLease

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 07:46 AM

I think Duffy will be fine. He didn't look too bad last night, just nibbled a little bit, missed a couple of spots, and lost a few ABs to some pretty good hitters. But there's a reason that Rogers is the preferred setup guy to get the team to Kintzler.

 

Still ready to just move on from Belisle. We need to find some additional options in close games beyond Duffy, Rogers, and Kintzler and he ain't it.

 

Glad to see Rosario continuing to hit out of the allstar break. Maybe he's found something, we'll see.


#10 adjacent

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 08:23 AM

For the moment, I would replace Duffy in his role with Hidenberger, and let Duffy figure it out under less pressure. Yes, he had 2 quick outs, but were 2 hard hit fly balls. 

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#11 Tibs

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 08:49 AM

Praying to the baseball gods for Kyle Gibson today

I couldn't be a player because of bad eyesight, so I decided to be an umpire instead.

#12 Halsey Hall

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 08:54 AM

Santana clearly hasn't been sharp for quite awhile.Granite just doesn't seem to be able to hit up here.He's been hitting balls down in the zone for grounders to 2nd.I'd like to see him square up on the ball down the middle he seems to take. 

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he gone!


#13 Tom Froemming

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 09:38 AM

 

I am concerned about Duffey.  His line shows no runs allowed, but in reality he was set up for disaster and he has now had a long period of ineffective pitching.  I had hoped the rest over the all star break might help, but it did not.  Can any of your analytic team see what has happened to him? 

His main issue has been a rising hard contact rate. That number has increased from 26.6% to 33.6% to 41.9% over the past three seasons. That is the sixth-worst hard contact rate among all relievers this year (Pressly is second at 45.6 and Breslow is fourth at 42.6, yay Twins!!!). 

 

Duffey's fastball averages 91 mph, so it's not like he's going to overpower hitters. His K:BB ratio is solid, 3.50, so it's all about contact management. He actually has had reverse platoon splits the last two years, which is really weird for a guy known for a great curve and a subpar changeup. For his career, RHB have an .899 OPS off him compared to just .694 for LHB.

 

Looking at his zone profiles over at Brooks Baseball, it looks like RHBs are killing him anytime he pitches inside. My guess is that batters are just laying off most anything that looks like it's going to the outer half, basically eliminating that curve ball, and sitting on a fastballs on the inner half. 

 

Long story short: He's gotta find a better way to keep hitters off balance.

 

Mauer cutting Rosario's throw off 15 feet from a play at home is a real head scratcher. Santana was hopping around with the same "what is he doing?" vibe, and Castro was covering his amazement up well. Was there a play? Certainly. Could he have been out? We will never know. Color me perplexed.

 

http://m.mlb.com/vid...le-off-the-wall

This was really strange. My initial reaction was that somebody -- Castro or maybe Santana -- should've been shouting to Mauer to let the throw come through, but the play was basically right in front of him. He should have been able to tell there was going to be a close play. My guess is Mauer just lost awareness of where he was in the field and was under the impression he was closer to the mound. I think the runner would've been out, but thank goodness at the end of the day it didn't matter.

 

Granite hasn't been very impressive with all his ground ball outs. Definitely a 4th outfielder.

That's most likely his end role, but it's pretty difficult to make a definitive judgement on a guy after 15 plate appearances, especially his first 15 PAs as a big leaguer.

 

Santana clearly hasn't been sharp for quite awhile.Granite just doesn't seem to be able to hit up here.He's been hitting balls down in the zone for grounders to 2nd.I'd like to see him square up on the ball down the middle he seems to take. 

The five walks definitely stand out, but Ervin has pitched to a 3.08 ERA over his last four starts (26.1 IP). Again, I wouldn't put too much stock into Granite's first 15 plate appearances. While there have been plenty of complaints about his lack of good contact, at least he's putting the ball in play. He has yet to strikeout.

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#14 Shaitan

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 09:52 AM

I'm concerned that Molitor keeps throwing Duffey out there in leverage situations when he clearly has issues he needs to work out. 

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#15 luckylager

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 09:55 AM

 

Granite hasn't been very impressive with all his ground ball outs. Definitely a 4th outfielder.

Less than 20 plate appearances and you can make that determination? 

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#16 drock2190

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 10:41 AM

Yeah he looks like a slap hitter. Think Billy Burns or maybe Juan Pierre. Decent players in a backup role.

#17 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 11:01 AM

Mauer cutting Rosario's throw off 15 feet from a play at home is a real head scratcher. Santana was hopping around with the same "what is he doing?" vibe, and Castro was covering his amazement up well. Was there a play? Certainly. Could he have been out? We will never know. Color me perplexed.

http://m.mlb.com/vid...le-off-the-wall


Unless Castro drops the ball, he's out, IMO.

#18 Dozier's Glorious Hair

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 12:11 PM

 

Yeah he looks like a slap hitter. Think Billy Burns or maybe Juan Pierre. Decent players in a backup role.

 

Juan Pierre had over 2,200 career hits and over 600 SB. If that's Zack Granite's future, I'll take it. 

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#19 Mike Sixel

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 12:15 PM

Less than 20 plate appearances and you can make that determination?


It is astounding.

I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?


#20 drjim

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 01:03 PM

 

Less than 20 plate appearances and you can make that determination? 

 

I'm not all that high on Granite, and 4th/5th OF is probably his fate, but gave the man a chance!

Papers...business papers.



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