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Article: TB 11, MIN 4: Bullpen Lets Game Get Out Of Hand

jose berrios brian dozier joe mauer byron buxton glen perkins
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#1 Tom Froemming

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 09:58 PM

You win some, you lose some and sometimes you get your butt kicked. Monday night’s game would fall into the third category, though the score was 2-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning. Not a good look tonight, but regardless, the Twins still hold the second American League Wild Card spot.Snapshot (chart via Fangraphs)
Download attachment: Snapshot94.png
The offense could muster only five hits and Jose Berrios gave up five runs over 5.0 innings. To be fair, the score was just 3-1 when Berrios was removed from the game. Things really fell apart once the bullpen took over. It took five different relievers to get through the final three innings. Yep, must be September.

It’s really funny how pitching stats work out sometimes. In the box score, Buddy Boshers gave up zero earned runs over 0.1 innings, but he came in and gave up a massive two-run single that increased Tampa’s lead to 6-1 before recording the final out of that inning.

One big difference between earlier in the year and now is that when the Twins are losing big, early in the season that typically meant we’d get to see Chris Gimenez pitch. Now, it means we get to see Glen Perkins pitch. He walked the first two batters he faced before getting a groundout and maxed out at 90.9 mph tonight. Both those runners eventually came around to score after Perkins had been lifted for Tyler Duffey.

There was a bit of a scary moment in this one, as Mitch Garver was involved in a collision at home plate with Steve Souza Jr., who is 6-foot-4, 225 pounds. That’s not supposed to happen anymore right? Yes, but sometimes two guys are just in the same place at the same time.

There is more video available of this game … but you don’t want to see most of it. There were a few bright spots. Brian Dozier hit his 28th homer of the season. His career high is 42, of course, but he’s now tied his second-best home run total in a season. Joe Mauer also hit his 30th double and Byron Buxton stole his 25th base.

Doing these things every day has helped me realize a bit why “take things one day at a time” is such a baseball cliche. These guys do this everyday. If you think too far ahead or dwell too much on the past, things aren’t going to go well for you in the present.

This was an ugly loss. The Twins have had quite a few of these over the season, though it’s been a while. They’ve lost three out of four now, but we’ve seen this before and survived worse. And you know what? They’re still in a wild card spot despite all that ugliness.


But ... it will be very interesting to see how Molitor manages this huge bullpen going forward. There aren't many (if any) guys who have defined roles right now. That can be great in theory, but I'm not so sure the Twins have the personnel or manager to pull that off.

Standings
Another part of the sting from Monday’s loss was the fact that the Yankees and Angels both won. So the Twins trail New York by three games and hold just a 0.5 game lead over Anaheim. Cleveland also won again. That’s 12-straight victories now. They lead the Central by 10 games.

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: Bullpen94.png
Looking Ahead
Tue: Twins (Bartolo Colon) at Tampa Bay (Jake Odorizzi), 6:10 pm CT
Wed: Twins (Aaron Slegers) at Tampa Bay(Blake Snell), 12:10 pm CT
Thu: Twins (Kyle Gibson) at Kansas City (Sam Gaviglio), 7:15 pm CT

Looking Back
KC 5, MIN 4: What Even Is A Swing, Anyway?
MIN 17, KC 0: What Negative Run Differential?
KC 7, MIN 6: Oh, So Close

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#2 Danchat

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 10:51 PM

My thoughts:

 

It stinks for Berrios to have another rough outing, but they just gotta keep throwing him out there. He'll get better and better as he goes on, but it's not going to be smooth sailing the whole time. 

 

The back end of the bullpen has been pretty brutal. I thought Perkins' problems would end up being his lack of velocity and inability to get Ks but apparently his problem is the inability to throw a strike - 3 walks and 3 HBPs in 5 innings. Maybe he has the stuff to hang on in the MLB but he needed a lot more than 7.1 innings in the minors before he was ready. He didn't pitch for 18 months and all he gets is 7.1 warmup innings before he's fed to the sharks?!

 

Duffey has been downright terrible in his last 4 outings, giving up 8 earned runs plus more inherited runs. He needs to figure things out quick because his pitching isn't cutting it.

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#3 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 11:09 PM

Too bad about that Buxton double clutch before his throw. But the MLB game looks too fast for Garver as a catcher, at least as of now. Trouble blocking pitches and not throwing down to second on steal attempts.
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#4 Platoon

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 05:30 AM

I always read where Turner was a MLB ready defensive catcher, and that Garvers bat was way ahead of his glove. I have not ever saw Turner catch, but it's not hard to see where he must have been better than Garver. The decision to again choose offense over defense at certain positions puzzles me. As for Perkins, either him or Molitor need to decide that he will not be any help this year. If he wants to continue his comeback next spring, go for it. But this ain't the time or place.
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#5 USAFChief

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 05:34 AM

Berrios' line looks bad because his manager left him in at least one hitter too long. He was loosing command and should not have pitched to Dickerson with two on, none out. Game changer right there.
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#6 bighat

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 06:18 AM

 

Too bad about that Buxton double clutch before his throw. But the MLB game looks too fast for Garver as a catcher, at least as of now. Trouble blocking pitches and not throwing down to second on steal attempts.

 

Isn't Castro back now? And wasn't the whole point of signing Giminez to add a "steady presence" behind the plate defensively? 

 

The Twins came off a rough September series, they're on the road with a young pitcher in an absolutely huge pressure game, and Molitor opts to put the rookie catcher back there? I don't get the decision. 

 

The good news is that the Twins still are hanging on to that wildcard. Bartolo, we'll be watching tonight and we'd like to see a huge game from ya, big man! 


#7 Han Joelo

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 06:30 AM

I'd say the relievers that didn't pitch last night, sans Turley, are the first four pitchers on the most trusted list right now.

As you say, Tom, losses like this seemed much more frequent earlier in the season. And last year.

#8 USAFChief

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 06:47 AM

 

Isn't Castro back now? And wasn't the whole point of signing Giminez to add a "steady presence" behind the plate defensively? 

 

The Twins came off a rough September series, they're on the road with a young pitcher in an absolutely huge pressure game, and Molitor opts to put the rookie catcher back there? I don't get the decision. 

 

The good news is that the Twins still are hanging on to that wildcard. Bartolo, we'll be watching tonight and we'd like to see a huge game from ya, big man! 

The story put forth by Dickbert last night was that Molitor didn't want to put Castro in back-to-back games, and he wanted him to catch Colon today.

 

 

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#9 mikelink45

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 06:48 AM

We had a poor finish to our season two years ago too.  It's hard to say why, but Twins fans start to get nervous when we get a streak like this in September and rightfully so - in 2015 we were 551 the first half and 466 the second.  https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/MIN/2015-schedule-scores.shtml With the top two rotation pitchers now used we have to turn to Father Time Colon, Young Slegers, and Resurgent Gibson to right the ship.

 

We also have to stop putting Boshers in with runners on base.  Boshers has allowed 17 inherited runners to score in 32 innings. http://m.mlb.com/pla...3/buddy-boshers which is a very poor record.  -  half the runners on base when he comes in score!  Why are we using him in these situations?


#10 Darius

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 08:22 AM

We in trouble.

#11 Seth Stohs

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 08:27 AM

 

I always read where Turner was a MLB ready defensive catcher, and that Garvers bat was way ahead of his glove. I have not ever saw Turner catch, but it's not hard to see where he must have been better than Garver. The decision to again choose offense over defense at certain positions puzzles me. As for Perkins, either him or Molitor need to decide that he will not be any help this year. If he wants to continue his comeback next spring, go for it. But this ain't the time or place.

 

Keeping Garver over Turner was an easy decision. Yes, Turner is tremendous defensively, but he never could hit at AA. Garver was very much a work-in-progress when he was drafted as a catcher. He had spent time playing some other positions at New Mexico. He's come a long way. I thought he blocked the ball real well last night, had some really tough ones. He's always had a very strong arm and been able to throw out over 30% of base runners. He can be an MLB catcher defensively. I think making too much out of any small sample isn't good, but trust his progress at the plate and behind the plate. He'll be just fine. 

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#12 Seth Stohs

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 08:30 AM

 

Isn't Castro back now? And wasn't the whole point of signing Giminez to add a "steady presence" behind the plate defensively? 

 

The Twins came off a rough September series, they're on the road with a young pitcher in an absolutely huge pressure game, and Molitor opts to put the rookie catcher back there? I don't get the decision. 

 

The good news is that the Twins still are hanging on to that wildcard. Bartolo, we'll be watching tonight and we'd like to see a huge game from ya, big man! 

 

Garver had just caught Berrios in his previous start, and the two worked together great. He was trying to duplicate that. Last night wasn't good for Berrios. I don't know how to measure how much better Gimenez or Castro would have been last night. They have said they're going to be cautious initially with Castro. I believe he will be starting behind the plate tonight. Gimenez had caught the game or two games before, so there's no real reason to question going with Garver last night. It made sense. Berrios just wasn't as fine as he was in the previous start. 

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#13 Seth Stohs

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 08:32 AM

 

I'd say the relievers that didn't pitch last night, sans Turley, are the first four pitchers on the most trusted list right now.

As you say, Tom, losses like this seemed much more frequent earlier in the season. And last year.

 

Correct... they didn't use Belisle, Rogers, Busenitz or Hildenberger last night. They were already down about 4-1 when they started using the bullpen. Actually Pressly's been fantastic of late and he was used first... I again, can't really argue with who was used when they were used. Obviously, we can/should hope for better results. But there are still 25 games left. They're not going to win them all. I guarantee they will try to win them all, but there will likely be a a few more frustrating losses.

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#14 Doubles

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 09:36 AM

Think I've seen about all I need to see from Perk this season.  He just doesn't look like he has the stuff to get big-league hitters out at this point.

 

I give him props for making it back-  I tore the labrum in my non-throwing shoulder.  It's a painful surgery / recovery and rehab process.  Can't imagine throwing a ball again after having done that.  That said, I'd rather see him take the off-season to see if can fully make it back.  Don't need to see him on the Twins mound the rest of the way here.

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#15 Vanimal46

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 09:46 AM

 

Think I've seen about all I need to see from Perk this season.  He just doesn't look like he has the stuff to get big-league hitters out at this point.

 

I give him props for making it back-  I tore the labrum in my non-throwing shoulder.  It's a painful surgery / recovery and rehab process.  Can't imagine throwing a ball again after having done that.  That said, I'd rather see him take the off-season to see if can fully make it back.  Don't need to see him on the Twins mound the rest of the way here.

 

Concur. His outing last night was painful to watch. He has no command of his pitches, which is critical if he's throwing 88-90 MPH. Even Dick on the broadcast was confused as to what he was throwing out there. Something along the lines of "I'm not exactly sure what that 79 MPH pitch was."

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#16 Vanimal46

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 09:48 AM

Last night was the first chance I got to see Curtiss pitch. Even though he gave up the HR, he bounced back for a quick 3 pitch K, and another K after that. He's got filthy stuff. I hope he can take over the role we wanted Pressly to be this year (6-8th inning high leverage)

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#17 LA VIkes Fan

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 10:11 AM

I don't think we need to worry about Garver catching much with Castro back.  Now, Garver becomes an occasional RH DH/ RH 1B when Mauer DHs. He has potential and would catch a lot more if we weren't in a playoff race, but since we are the "development time" is better used on Buxton, Rosario, Polanco and Kepler (and hopefully soon, Sano).  Garver is next year's project.  


#18 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 10:13 AM

Garver had just caught Berrios in his previous start, and the two worked together great. He was trying to duplicate that. Last night wasn't good for Berrios. I don't know how to measure how much better Gimenez or Castro would have been last night. They have said they're going to be cautious initially with Castro. I believe he will be starting behind the plate tonight. Gimenez had caught the game or two games before, so there's no real reason to question going with Garver last night. It made sense. Berrios just wasn't as fine as he was in the previous start.

I'm not questioning starting Garver, but he doesn't look ready, and the Twins are battling for a spot. Nothing against Garver. His innings behind the plate should be cut back or eliminated until the Twins are out of it.
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#19 yarnivek1972

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 10:24 AM

 

Correct... they didn't use Belisle, Rogers, Busenitz or Hildenberger last night. They were already down about 4-1 when they started using the bullpen. Actually Pressly's been fantastic of late and he was used first... I again, can't really argue with who was used when they were used. Obviously, we can/should hope for better results. But there are still 25 games left. They're not going to win them all. I guarantee they will try to win them all, but there will likely be a a few more frustrating losses.

 

 

I don't know if I would describe Pressly's outings of late as "fantastic".  Sure, he had only given up 2 of his OWN runs dating back to the end of July prior to yesterday.  But, he gave up 2 inherited runs in the Toronto game, two in a game against Cleveland and two more in a game in Oakland.  It's been an issue for him all season long.  He's inherited 31 runners and allowed 10 to score, 31%.  By comparison, Taylor Rogers has allowed just 4 of 26 inherited runners to score, 15%.  One would think that Pressly would be the guy to go to in a sticky situation because he does have the ability to get a strikeout. Indeed, only Hildenberger has a better K rate out of the pen.  But, his failure rate is a tad high.

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#20 USAFChief

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 10:28 AM

 

I'm not questioning starting Garver, but he doesn't look ready, and the Twins are battling for a spot. Nothing against Garver. His innings behind the plate should be cut back or eliminated until the Twins are out of it.

He hasn't done much at the plate to earn more playing time either.

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