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Article: PIT 5, MIN 4: Lynn Surrenders Grand Slam in Twins Debut

lance lynn brian dozier eduardo escobar max kepler addison reed
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#1 Tom Froemming

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 03:07 PM

You only get one opportunity to make a first impression. Isn’t that unfortunate? Here’s how Lance Lynn’s tenure with the Twins started: walk, RBI double, walk, strikeout, groundout, walk, grand slam. Five-run first inning. He settled in, the bullpen worked out of jams and the bats got going, but the team’s comeback attempt fell just short.Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs)
Download attachment: Snapshot42.png
Trouble in the first frame is nothing new for Lynn. Over his career, the burly right-hander has a 5.11 ERA in the first inning and a 3.04 mark from there forward. Those splits were even more exaggerated last season, as Lynn posted a 5.79 ERA in the first and 2.93 in all other innings from there on.

Fittingly, Lynn settled in after his rough start and held the Pirates scoreless for the next three innings he was on the mound. He only gave up three hits, but he also walked six batters.

Brian Dozier got the Twins on the board in the sixth inning with his third home run of the season. He’s now on pace for 121 home runs this season. The Twins tacked on three more runs that inning to pull within a run of Pittsburgh. Eduardo Escobar and Max Kepler each delivered a two-out RBI double in that rally.

Minnesota had a great opportunity to tie things up in the seventh. They had two on with nobody out, but Dozier grounded into a double play and Joe Mauer flied out to end the threat. Miguel Sano led off the eighth with a walk and advanced into scoring position on a two-out walk by Max Kepler, but Byron Buxton grounded out to end that inning.

The comeback may have fell short, but it gave the bullpen another opportunity to work in a close ballgame.

Taylor Rogers made his first appearance of the year, pitching a scoreless inning. Trevor Hildenberger helped alleviate concerns over his poor spring and shaky first outing by pitching a 1-2-3 inning today. Zach Duke also pitched, recording both of his outs on strikeouts while walking a pair of batters. He’s now thrown 1.2 innings and has six strikeouts. Baseball math.

Addison Reed entered the game with two down in the seventh and walked the first batter he faced on five pitches to load the bases. He retired the next batter to end the threat.

Reed stayed out there for the eighth inning and worked out of trouble again. He opened the inning by walking the leadoff batter and then gave up an infield single. The next batter laid down a sac bunt (thank you!), then Reed struck out Josh Harrison, intentionally walked Gregory Polanco and got Startling Marte to ground out, leaving the bases loaded for the second straight inning.

Any way Lynn can get a mulligan on that grand slam? Otherwise it was a solid effort from the Twins. They battled admirably in both their losses so far this season.

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: Bullpen42.png
Last Three Games
MIN 7, BAL 0: Berri0s
MIN 6, BAL 2: Good Gibby Rides Again!
BAL 3, MIN 2: Opening D’oh!

Next Three Games
WED: at PIT, 5:05 pm CT
THU: vs. SEA, 3:10 pm CT
SAT: vs. SEA, 1:10 pm CT

More From Twins Daily
Twins Rotation Is Starting Strong
Twins at Pirates Series Preview
Gleeman & The Geek, Ep 362: Opening Week
The Twins Almanac for April 1–7

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#2 h2oface

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 03:24 PM

Mulligan on the slam? Not a biggy. But coupled with the rest of his performance, and the 6 walks? No way. Can you say Ricky Nolasco? And Duke 2, and Reed 3 walks. 11 walks by the newbies. 11! That is just gross. Between the 3 of them, today, we were lucky this game wasn't lost 10-4.

 

What's 11.25, 10.80, 13.50? Lynn, Duke, and Rodney's Twins' debut ERAs.

Hey, it can only get better, right? Duke's already came down 7.20 just today!

Nothing to get excited about.

 

Escobar and Dozier look like the leaders of this team right now.

The MLB strike out record may fall. Looks like Sano wants a record. 10 Ks in 4 games. But Buxton may give him a run. 6 Ks in the 4 games.

Kudos for the home grown products, Rodgers and Hildenberger having good innings.

Kepler finally had a strikeout this season.

Buxton better get some hits before his head gets confused, again. Sano, too.

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#3 Mike Sixel

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 03:51 PM

They've lost to the two really good pitchers they've faced, on the road. Not ideal, but not the end of the world.

 

Was never sure about the Duke and Rodney signings, but we'll see over time. Still waiting on Kinley to play......hello, are you there?

Edited by Mike Sixel, 02 April 2018 - 03:52 PM.

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It's been a fun year so far, GO Twins. 


#4 amjgt

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 04:05 PM

Man, those 4-run homers sure do help more than those 1-run homers
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#5 Danchat

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 04:36 PM

 

They've lost to the two really good pitchers they've faced, on the road. Not ideal, but not the end of the world.

 

Was never sure about the Duke and Rodney signings, but we'll see over time. Still waiting on Kinley to play......hello, are you there?

Kinley's the rule 5 guy who hasn't had a good season above high A, so throwing him into a non-blowout isn't a wise idea. The less he plays, the better.

 

The ump today had a tiny strike zone, so I'm not concerned with the walks, but Duke's pitching style seems to consist of 40% of the pitches landing in the dirt. That's probably just the small sample size but he needs to try and land more pitches in the strike zone.

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#6 h2oface

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 04:40 PM

The pitch f/x had exactly the same strike zone it always has. Funny how that works.


#7 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 04:44 PM

Kinley's the rule 5 guy who hasn't had a good season above high A, so throwing him into a non-blowout isn't a wise idea. The less he plays, the better.

The ump today had a tiny strike zone, so I'm not concerned with the walks, but Duke's pitching style seems to consist of 40% of the pitches landing in the dirt. That's probably just the small sample size but he needs to try and land more pitches in the strike zone.


The Pirates pitchers only issued 3 walks today, so I'm not convinced the umpires strike zone was the problem.
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#8 Vanimal46

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 05:27 PM

I'm not sure if Lynn threw a single offspeed pitch for a strike today. Some hitters bailed him out swinging at junk in the dirt, but not many.

Even with the score 5-4 it was one of the most boring games I've watched.

#9 jimbo92107

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 06:02 PM

Overall, Lance Lynn looked like a pitcher that was a couple weeks behind the others in his spring training preparations. Very shaky command, which comes down to finding his rhythm and pace. He should look a lot better next time out, and then be back to his normal self for his third start. He's got a live arm, good action on his off-speed pitches, and in about ten days he'll have his usual command back. Not worried. 

 

This still looks like the most solid starting four I've seen for the Twins in many years, and the bullpen looks pretty well stocked, too. 

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#10 Kelly Vance

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 06:07 PM

Lynn was signed late and this is really akin to a 3rd ST outing. But did anyone else notice that he looked kind of pudgy? Like 10 lbs overweight?  He couldn't find the strike zone and had little mound presence because of his struggles. The rookie hit a high and outside pitch that must have looked like a cantaloupe. Yet he pulled it, so it wasn't THAT outside.  But I am with Molitor, it was nice to see the kids battle back. Lynn will get better. 


#11 Kelly Vance

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 06:16 PM

I kinda thought Molly was going to run Adrianza for Sano and bunt him over to play a one run catch up strategy. Sano probably doesn't score from second (especially with his six foot lead) on a single. Then he used him to hit for the pitcher. But wasn't Grossman a better PH choice? Especially if Adrianza was on second?

 

Oh well, no matter. 


#12 yarnivek1972

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 07:07 PM

I kinda thought Molly was going to run Adrianza for Sano and bunt him over to play a one run catch up strategy. Sano probably doesn't score from second (especially with his six foot lead) on a single. Then he used him to hit for the pitcher. But wasn't Grossman a better PH choice? Especially if Adrianza was on second?

Oh well, no matter.


Wasn’t Grossman used as the first pinch hitter in the 5th?
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#13 howeda7

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 08:00 PM

 

I kinda thought Molly was going to run Adrianza for Sano and bunt him over to play a one run catch up strategy. Sano probably doesn't score from second (especially with his six foot lead) on a single. Then he used him to hit for the pitcher. But wasn't Grossman a better PH choice? Especially if Adrianza was on second?

 

Oh well, no matter. 

He had already used Grossman. But I still would have pinch run Adrianza and used LaMarre to PH. 

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#14 Kelly Vance

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 08:26 PM

OK, I missed Grossman's appearance because I watch the game in the background while I work. But your idea is better.  Note to Molly, use LaMarre. If you don't he may cool off just sitting. Besides, I think the PR, bunt him over, then PH strategy works better than having a 300 pound lawn ornament (Sano) as the lead runner.

Edited by Kelly Vance, 02 April 2018 - 08:28 PM.

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#15 KirbyDome89

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 10:08 PM

 

Kinley's the rule 5 guy who hasn't had a good season above high A, so throwing him into a non-blowout isn't a wise idea. The less he plays, the better.

Agreed 100%, it certainly doesn't help the decision to keep him on the roster though. 

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#16 jorgenswest

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 10:18 PM

Lynn is a fastball pitcher and he didn’t have command of the fastball today. His offspeed offerings aren’t likely to bail him out when he can’t command the fastball.
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#17 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 05:42 AM

 

Agreed 100%, it certainly doesn't help the decision to keep him on the roster though. 

Nope... the one thing that really confused me this offseason was pretty much everything about the Rule 5 draft.

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#18 Old Twins Cap

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 06:30 AM

Not to make excuses but, it is cold out there. Some pitchers, more than others, need the "feel" of the ball and seams.

 

Anyone want to work on a carburetor in those conditions?

 

Well along in May we will see who is stepping up. But, unlike years past, we have options in AAA and AA.

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#19 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 06:33 AM

Not to make excuses but, it is cold out there. Some pitchers, more than others, need the "feel" of the ball and seams.

Anyone want to work on a carburetor in those conditions?

Well along in May we will see who is stepping up. But, unlike years past, we have options in AAA and AA.

Lynn has mentioned he likes the cold but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t having grip problems out there yesterday.

Overall, a disappointing start in a really boring game but I’m not too worried about it yet.
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#20 laloesch

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 06:45 AM

 

Kinley's the rule 5 guy who hasn't had a good season above high A, so throwing him into a non-blowout isn't a wise idea. The less he plays, the better.

 

The ump today had a tiny strike zone, so I'm not concerned with the walks, but Duke's pitching style seems to consist of 40% of the pitches landing in the dirt. That's probably just the small sample size but he needs to try and land more pitches in the strike zone.

 

YES!I agree 100% on this.I watched this inning closely and Lynn threw several (as in three or four) strikes right down the middle of the strike zone and Chris Conroy called them all balls.There was one point with two man on where Lynn threw a perfect strike right down broadway and Conroy called it a ball and Lynn just looked around at everyone like what the heck is this in absolute disbelief?At that point Molitor should have gone out to home plate and talked to Conroy (just my opinion).  

Edited by laloesch, 03 April 2018 - 06:48 AM.

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