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Article: MIN 5, CHW 4: Twins Win on Walk-Off HBP

eddie rosario max kepler matt belisle bartolo colon alan busenitz
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#1 Tom Froemming

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 03:12 PM

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, the Twins go out and win a game on a walk-off hit batsman. After Eddie Rosario delivered a game-tying single in the bottom of the ninth, Max Kepler took one for the team to give the Twins their 70th victory of the season.Snapshot (chart via Fangraphs)
Download attachment: IMG_20170831_155217.jpg
Download attachment: chart.png
On his second pitch on the ninth, Belisle gave up a crushing go-ahead homer to Alen Hanson. He also walked the next batter, but to his credit Belisle righted the ship and struck out three of the next four batters he faced to limit the damage. There was an intentional walk in the middle of those K's. You never like to see your closer (are we calling him that?) give up a go-ahead home run in the ninth, but at least he didn’t completely unravel.

With David Robertson traded away, the White Sox have a lot of uncertainty in the back end of their bullpen, too. Juan Minaya, who entered the game with three career saves, coughed up the lead in the bottom of the ninth. Ehire Adrianza led off the inning with a pinch-hit single. Zack Granite popped out on a bunt attempt for the first out, but thank goodness in the end it didn’t matter. Brian Dozier walked, Rosario hit a game-tying single and Joe Mauer walked to load the bases.

Jorge Polanco hit the first pitch he saw back to the pitcher for the second out. That’s when the Kepler heroics happened. Well, maybe that’s overselling it a bit. The very first pitch of the at-bat, an 88 mph slider, hit Max to give the Twins yet another August win. It looked like it got him squarely on the back shin, but Max was able to jog down to first and participate in the victory celebration. Kepler also hit a game-tying RBI double in the fifth inning.

It was an odd day for Bartolo. Typically a wizard at coaxing “good” contact, Colon gave up 10 hits. Also weird: he struck out a season-high eight batters. At the end of the day, that combination resulted in a quality start (6.0 IP, 3 ER). Alan Busenitz pitched two shutout innings before Belisle gave up the run in the ninth.

The Twins got some great news on Byron Buxton. His hand injury is merely considered day-to-day, a bruise of the hamate bone.

Standings
Cleveland was off, so the Twins are now 6.5 games back in the division. The Yankees won, but the Orioles finally lost. So the Twins remain a game back of New York for the first Wild Card and are 1.5 games up on the Angels for the second spot. Baltimore is 2.5 back. The next teams trail the Twins by four games. The crowd has started to thin out.

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: IMG_20170831_154811.jpg
Looking Ahead
Fri: Twins (Dillon Gee) vs. Royals (Jason Hammel), 7:10 pm CT
Sat: Twins (Kyle Gibson) vs. Royals (TBD), 6:10 pm CT
Sun: Twins (Ervin Santana) vs. Royals (TBD), 1:10 pm CT

Looking Back
MIN 11, CHW 1: Rosario Hits 2 HRs, Buxton Exits With Injury
MIN 6, CHW 4: Polanco Does it All
MIN 7, TOR 2: Buxton Hits 3 Homers, Twins Win Series at Toronto

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#2 ScooterDance

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 03:26 PM

Crazy that the Twins are closing in on a +0 run differential. Pythag my ass!

 

[Edit]
Punctuation is important.

 

Pythag, my ass!

[/Edit]

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#3 ashbury

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 05:41 PM

 

Crazy that the Twins are closing in on a +0 run differential. Pythag my ass!

 

[Edit]
Punctuation is important.

 

Pythag, my ass!

[/Edit]

It's normal to have regression when the Pythag and the actual W/L are that seriously out of whack. The run scoring has now come along to approximately match the W/L record.

 

As expected.

 

That is how it works, right? :)

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#4 IndianaTwin

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 06:39 PM

Great stuff, as always.

 

I assume that you're waiting until after tonight's action to post the standings stuff. But when you do, let's not forget to note that the White Sox' elimination magic number is 13. Twins wins + Sox losses equalling 13 eliminates the Sox from playoff and ensures that the Twins have a better record than them. We want the playoffs, obviously, but finishing ahead of Chicago constitutes a successful season as well. 

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#5 AlwaysinModeration

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 08:06 PM

Kind of shocking that someone didn't hit two home runs today, but hey, a win is a win.
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#6 adorduan

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 08:10 PM

Busenitz has been a stud out of the pen.

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#7 Han Joelo

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 08:21 PM

 

It's normal to have regression when the Pythag and the actual W/L are that seriously out of whack. The run scoring has now come along to approximately match the W/L record.

 

As expected.

 

That is how it works, right? :)

I don't now about all that fancy thinking, but I did learn a valuable statistic in another thread today:  The Gimenez Factor.  The less he pitches, the better the Twins run differential.  Ironically, it has little or no correlation to his actual ERA, just the fact he's pitching at all.

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#8 Tom Froemming

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 09:50 PM

 

Great stuff, as always.

 

I assume that you're waiting until after tonight's action to post the standings stuff. But when you do, let's not forget to note that the White Sox' elimination magic number is 13. Twins wins + Sox losses equalling 13 eliminates the Sox from playoff and ensures that the Twins have a better record than them. We want the playoffs, obviously, but finishing ahead of Chicago constitutes a successful season as well. 

I just didn't have time. These day games during the week suck for my schedule. Added a summary of the standings and the postgame interview with Molitor.

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#9 AlwaysinModeration

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 05:02 AM

I don't now about all that fancy thinking, but I did learn a valuable statistic in another thread today: The Gimenez Factor. The less....


....buttons he buttons, the better the Twins do?
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#10 mikelink45

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 06:27 AM

When teams are doing the right things and playing well they get the proverbial "breaks" that we all talk about,  In the long run the breaks should go to the better team most of the time.  This was one of those games where the gift was well deserved. 

 

I think my biggest concern going forward is Belisle - can he keep up the good streak?  I know this is just one game, so I will not clamor for his demotion, but I hope they are ready to bail him out as the season goes on.


#11 spinowner

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 07:16 AM

This gave me a sense of deja vu. The White Sox loss in this game is the type of loss the Twins would have suffered last year. Sometimes you're the pigeon, sometimes you're the statue.

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#12 Old Twins Cap

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 07:17 AM

9th inning comeback wins, at home, even against a lousy team = very good experience for the young kids.

 

And did I hear five Twins each drove in 20 runs in August?Kepler, Polanco, Buxton, Rosario and Dozier.That's great experience too, in high summer, not exactly a pennant race, but start with the Wild Card.


#13 ThejacKmp

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 07:58 AM

 

This gave me a sense of deja vu. The White Sox loss in this game is the type of loss the Twins would have suffered last year. Sometimes you're the pigeon, sometimes you're the statue.

 

I don't like that best case scenario I'm a pigeon, the rat of the sky.

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