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Article: MIN 4, KC 2: Comeback Complete

jorge polanco kyle gibson joe mauer matt belisle robbie grossman
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#41 Doubles

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 09:27 AM

 

Kyle Gibson has a sub 1.70 ERA in his last 4 starts (according to ESPN recap).

When do we start cal him "Big Game" Gibson?

In all seriousness, I think it's time to throw preconceived notions of this guy out the window. Looking at various stats/analytics, he appears to have turned a corner.
 

 

I've had some of these same thoughts, too.  Now I'm trying not let what I've seen most recently over-influence what I know from watching Gibson's entire body of work.  The major kicker being the Twins will have to decide, if they haven't already, whether to QO him this winter or let him walk.   

 

A lot of Gibson's recent success can be attributed to missing bats.  Last night, he didn't strike anybody out, walked one, and gave up 8 hits in 7 innings.  And I was very nervous / neurotic about Molitor leaving Gibson in after Cabrera& Hosmer started the 6th with back-to-back singles.  Why on earth would Molitor leave Gibson in, at a critical juncture in the game, with Perez & LH Moustakis coming up?

 

Because pop-up & inning-ending DP, that's why.

 

So yeah, Gibson's outings lately have been a major upgrade from what we've traditionally seen from him, but last night may have been smoke & mirrors as he didn't miss hardly any bats (4 swinging strikes) and danced out of trouble with 3 DPs.

Edited by Doubles, 08 September 2017 - 09:28 AM.

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#42 Darius

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 09:28 AM

Per Aaron Gleeman, since trading Garcia Gibson has a 3.10 ERA. Colon is at 3.20.

Edited by Darius, 08 September 2017 - 09:28 AM.

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#43 ThejacKmp

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 09:34 AM

 

By all accounts, he's a great guy.

 

Agreed on everything above this but not this. By most accounts, he's kind of a pain. He's difficult for coaches to work with and has rubbed teammates the wrong way in the past. Also, just look at the guy. He looks like someone you wouldn't really like (I know that's terrible, but we all make judgments like that.)


#44 ThejacKmp

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 09:37 AM

 

If he keeps this up, I'd be in favor if bringing him back in 2018. Really hate to see him take his new self somewhere else and do well when he wouldn't cost much to bring back and be the 4th or 5th starter.

 

Absolutely. I'd go further and say that even if he doesn't keep it up, they should bring him back. He doesn't project to cost much ($4-5 million) and the Twins saw this year how important starting pitching depth is. At that cost, he's a low-risk relatively-high-reward starter who can be flipped if young guys start pushing their way up to the majors.


#45 Doubles

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 09:38 AM

 

Even if the Twins hold on to the 2nd WC spot and lose the WC game, this season has been a great storyline.  What other team gets the white flag from the front office and trades away some chips at the deadline, only to roar back and play much better ball afterwards. These guys are a vicious little bunch and I love following them!

 

I agree that this season has been an absolute blast to watch.  Man, having the Twins relevant again makes summer SO much better!  And this team in particular, is very entertaining to watch.  I've been watching the Twins since the late '70's, and Buxton is the best defensive outfielder I've ever seen.

 

I'mma pump the brakes on the trade deadline stuff a bit.  Kintzler was effective & Garcia was a fun notion, but let's not pretend they traded Mariano Rivera and Sandy Koufax in their respective primes.  And yeah, maybe playing 'sellers' at the deadline rallied the team a bit, I'd say a team that needs any additional motivation has a weak constitution to begin with.

 

But, yes-  this team has been a blast to watch, and seems like they're primed to be competitive for the long haul.  Especially when they upgrade the pitching.

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#46 ThejacKmp

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 09:44 AM

 

If the defense is unprepared for a bunt, bunt without mercy. Full stop. The bunt conversations on this website are 100% noise.

 

Umm, no. You're right that the bunting for a hit conversations are pretty pointless. I think the bunt conversations get more interesting (and un-noisy? silence?) when sacrifice bunts are taken into account. Molitor has a love for sacrifice bunts and a lot of research shows that they are pretty counterproductive most of the time. They very rarely advance your chances of winning.

 

To me, it's the only thing I hold against Molitor. I don't always love the bullpen management but I assume there are factors at play that are beyond my level of insider knowledge (e.g. some guy is sore, there's some advanced stat, it's important to manage personalities). Ditto for the lineup - he sometimes bats catchers too high but I like the alternating R and L and that he moves guys up and down based on the handedness of the pitcher. Dozier leading off is weird but if it works for the guys, it works for the guys. But the bunting. My god, the bunting. Sacrifice bunts are usually a waste of an out, and almost always when the goal is to get the guy to 2B and not to 3B. Ugh.

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#47 ThejacKmp

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 09:49 AM

 

Couple things on the play Gordon scored on:

 

*The new rule where catchers can no longer block the plate definitely came into play here.  Castro was positioned up in front of the front line of the right-handed batter's box when he caught the throw.  Accordingly, Gordon's head-first slide to the outside part of the plate necessitated Castro to have to reach back try the swipe tag.  I thought he had time to secure the ball with his bare hand while protecting the ball with his glove.  Difficult play for sure, but one I'd bet Castro would say he should have made.

 

*I totally get the new rule and its purpose in keeping guys safe, but I believe this rule has led to runs being scored that otherwise wouldn't, and I'd submit this play last night as Exhibit A.  Is it worth upping player safety?  No question.  But I wonder if there isn't a solution somewhere that keeps catchers safe without compromising their ability to make a play.

 

*Lost in all of this was how aggressively Kepler played this, got to the ball, came up throwing, and fired a one-hop strike.  Fantastic play that we'd all be raving about had the outcome been different.  Kepler is well on his way to really being an impact player here for years to come.  Big-time like.

 

I love the new rule. I think those plays where a catcher and a runner are diving for the plate at the same time are super exciting, way more exciting than turning it into a football play (and can we say that it's good for runners and not just catchers? The runner has no padding and has just as much of a chance to injure themselves).

 

Even diving and not securing Castro shouldn't drop that ball. I think you saw that when he stood up bewildered that the ball wasn't in his glove.

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#48 ThejacKmp

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 09:50 AM

 

It doesn't matter.  None of the defensive systems used today consider errors in any meaningful way, and unless a run scores on that play, who cares? I don't buy the whole "the rest of the runs are not charged to the pitcher based on # of outs" philosophy. If the pitcher wants to control the outcome, he can strike the guy out.

 

My big pet peeve is that pitcher errors still cause unearned runs. If you throw the ball into right field, those runs be earned.

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#49 rghrbek

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 09:52 AM

Per Gleeman:

The #3 spot in the lineup, across all of baseball, has laid down 7 sac bunts this year.  The Twins own 3 of those.  Polonco 2.

 

Considering Polonco didn't start batting 3rd until like the last two weeks, when he has been the best hitter (BA) in the American League, I find that odd, but also not shocking considering who our manager is.

 

Pretty sure Molly ordered it up (my gut), even if he didn't, he's created a culture of sac bunting is great!

 

Just glad we won.  If we go on to win this series, that game last night can be looked as the one that vaulted us through the rest of the season into the playoffs (hopefully).

 

Gibson, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me, fool me a third time?????  What is that called?  I love what he is doing right now, but have 0 faith he will do it next year.  Just my opinion.  I hope he keeps it up.

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#50 mikelink45

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 09:57 AM

 

It's like fielders are being held to high school fielding standards nowadays.  

 

Think about this.  Ozzie Smith is the best fielding shortstop of all time (no offense to Omar V), and yet he had 5 seasons in his career where he had 20 or more errors.  

 

In fact, in his first 6 seasons, he averaged about 20 errors a season.

 

Last year only two shortstops had more than 18 errors.

I wondered if there was a trend in official scoring that might have been observed in recent years.  The only thing I could find was in 2009 "On May 8, Howie Kendrick hit a home run off Gil Meche in a 4-1 Angels victory over the Royals — only, he really didn’t hit a homer.Rather, he circled the bases on a poor fielding play by Kansas City right fielder Jose Guillen, a play that should have been ruled a four-base error.You can see the play here.(The Royals have appealed the ruling.)

This is just another example of the long trend in official scoring (at seemingly all levels) to avoid giving errors whenever possible.It’s most noticeable at the major league level, but you see it in the minors and in college games as well. https://thesportsars...fficial-scorer/

 

I wonder if that was just the beginning of the trend.  I know that stats people now say that errors do not mean much and range and numbers of plays made count for more and, of course, this means that the official scorer is not as important as in the past, except where we look at ERA.  However, in looking at league ERA's https://www.baseball...MLB/pitch.shtml there does not seem to be much of a shift in the last 15 years.

 

However, in the league fielding statistics there is a very definite trend downward in errors per game and I do not think it is just better fielders, better gloves, and better positioning.  https://www.baseball...MLB/field.shtmlThere are a few outlier years, but look at this from 1871 to today.  Some is glove, field conditions, etc, but this is really a ridiculous set of numbers and constitutes a definite trend.


#51 Doubles

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 10:16 AM

 

The #3 spot in the lineup, across all of baseball, has laid down 7 sac bunts this year.  The Twins own 3 of those.  Polonco 2.

 

I think this stat is off-set by the fact that the Twins don't have a traditional, or even a regular, #3 hitter.  

 

I realize Polanco has thrived in the #3 spot lately, but if we're being honest he's not a #3 hitter on almost every competitive team.  

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#52 Doubles

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 10:18 AM

 

My big pet peeve is that pitcher errors still cause unearned runs. If you throw the ball into right field, those runs be earned.

 

Disagree.  ERA is meant to measure pitching.  If a ball is thrown into right field by a pitcher who has now become a fielder-  the fielding should not influence how the pitching is measured.  Even if the fielder and pitcher are one and the same.

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#53 jimmer

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 10:22 AM

Problem is, ERA doesn't measure only pitching.  Defense is a vital influence on ERA. Scorers decisions are a vital influence on ERA. Heck, some parks are more helpful to ERAs and hurtful to others' ERA.  And if a pitcher gives up 8 runs after an error is made cause out #3 not to occur, all of that is unearned, even though that pitcher (and the defense) certainly gave up all those runs.

Edited by jimmer, 08 September 2017 - 10:28 AM.

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#54 bizaff

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 10:25 AM

 

Umm, no. You're right that the bunting for a hit conversations are pretty pointless. I think the bunt conversations get more interesting (and un-noisy? silence?) when sacrifice bunts are taken into account. Molitor has a love for sacrifice bunts and a lot of research shows that they are pretty counterproductive most of the time. They very rarely advance your chances of winning.

 

http://www.nssl.noaa...pectedruns.html

 

I think RE24 (runs expected by base-out state) tell a good story, but not the whole story.When you need to score X number of runs, that's different than trying to maximize runs.

 

If you don't look at a specific batter/pitcher, bunting a guy from 1st to 2nd is, without exception, a bad play.You'll score less runs on average, and you're less likely to score a single run.

 

If you have a guy on 2nd with no outs and you need 1 run, sac bunting increases the odds you'll get that one run, but decreases the average runs you'll get in that inning.For the 9th down by 1, that may be a good play.

 

Now you can weigh in with the details of a certain situation, like this pitcher/this batter.If he was trying to bunt for a base hit because 3rd was playing back too far, great.. but in general, sacrificing a guy from 1st to 2nd sucks.

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#55 Circus Boy

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 10:34 AM

New commercial: "All new for 2017! The amazing Polanco! Smooth. Fast. Perfect for driving everyone home in style. Find your very own Polanco today at Twin Motors!"

Edited by Circus Boy, 08 September 2017 - 11:22 AM.

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#56 Circus Boy

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 10:47 AM

 

For me its more about the journey so I agree with this. If it were all about the destination I wouldn't tune in until late September.  Football is different for me.  If the Vikings are in the hunt with two games to go in the season that is when I become a fan.  Twins have been fun this year.

So you haven't been a Vikings fan in years.

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#57 mickeymental

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 10:53 AM

 

Gibson, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me, fool me a third time?????  What is that called?  I love what he is doing right now, but have 0 faith he will do it next year.  Just my opinion.  I hope he keeps it up.

“There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again.”

― George W. Bush

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#58 ThejacKmp

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 10:56 AM

 

Disagree.  ERA is meant to measure pitching.  If a ball is thrown into right field by a pitcher who has now become a fielder-  the fielding should not influence how the pitching is measured.  Even if the fielder and pitcher are one and the same.

 

ERA is tied into fielding pretty closely. Tell Twins pitchers that defense is independent of their ERA when Willingham and Sano were in the OF.

 

ERA to me is whether or not the runs that scored were the pitchers fault. When the pitcher makes an egregious mistake, those runs are still their fault in a way they aren't when an outfielder drops a ball.


#59 ThejacKmp

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 11:01 AM

 

http://www.nssl.noaa...pectedruns.html

 

I think RE24 (runs expected by base-out state) tell a good story, but not the whole story.When you need to score X number of runs, that's different than trying to maximize runs.

 

If you don't look at a specific batter/pitcher, bunting a guy from 1st to 2nd is, without exception, a bad play.You'll score less runs on average, and you're less likely to score a single run.

 

If you have a guy on 2nd with no outs and you need 1 run, sac bunting increases the odds you'll get that one run, but decreases the average runs you'll get in that inning.For the 9th down by 1, that may be a good play.

 

Now you can weigh in with the details of a certain situation, like this pitcher/this batter.If he was trying to bunt for a base hit because 3rd was playing back too far, great.. but in general, sacrificing a guy from 1st to 2nd sucks.

 

Yeah! This!

 

No sacrifice bunting to 2B ever (exception: the pitcher is batting and you can't pinch hit for some reason).

 

Bunt runners to 3B with guy on 2B and no out can be fine with a weak hitter in the early innings and by most hitters in the late innings when you just need 1 run.


#60 gocgo

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 11:12 AM

Looking ahead to the weekend, we obviously have 3 more at the Royals, but here is a look at the rest of the pack.  I think we could see a few fall from the pack this weekend.

 

Los Angeles is at Seattle

Baltimore is at the red hot Cleveland

Tampa is at Boston

Texas hosts the Yankees

 

I'd expect to see Texas and Baltimore fall back a bit, but it's baseball and weird things happen.  Here's hoping that our Twins can keep swimming.

 

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