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Article: MIN 4, HOU 1: Odorizzi, Twins Battle Their Way to Victory

jake odorizzi joe mauer brian dozier robbie grossman fernando rodney
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#1 Tom Froemming

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Posted 10 April 2018 - 10:17 PM

The defending World Series champion Astros entered tonight off to a great start, 9-2, and absolutely owned the Twins last season. New year, new look, new results. After falling 2-0 in a hard-fought game last night, the Twins came up victorious tonight thanks to a gutty performance by Jake Odorizzi.Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs)
Download attachment: Snapshot410.png
Download attachment: WinEx410.png
Houston scored 57 runs in their six games against the Twins last season, but in their first two contests of 2018 have been held to just three runs. The Astros lineup looks very similar to last season. The Twins pitching staff? Not so much.

Odorizzi had some kind of magic working tonight. The Astros had two men on with one out in the first, but Odorizzi coaxed an inning-ending double play. He walked the leadoff man in the second. Unfortunately, he didn’t have any spells to ward off a haunting. That ended up being the lone runner who scored for Houston.

Odorizzi walked two men in a scoreless third, but his most impressive wizardry came in the fifth inning. Alex Bregman hit a leadoff single, but he was soon picked off. Jose Altuve followed with a single himself, but Carlos Correa hit into an inning-ending double play.

Odorizzi capped off the night with a 1-2-3 sixth. He walked five men, continuing a troubling trend for the Twins, but held the defending champs to one run on five hits over six frames.

Neither Odorizzi nor Lance Lynn necessarily looked great against the Astros, but they showed what established, professional pitchers can do: Go to work even without their best command or stuff.

Speaking of work, Twins hitters put Dallas Keuchel to task. He threw 101 pitches over just four innings. Minnesota scratched across a couple of runs in the first inning thanks to an Eduardo Escobar sac fly and a Robbie Grossman double.

Joe Mauer drew a bases loaded walk in the second, but from there the Twins struggled to deliver with men on base.

Brian Dozier reached safely in all five of his plate appearances (1-for-1 with four walks) and Mauer was on base in four of his five PAs (2-for-3 with a pair of walks). The thing that kept the Twins from really blowing this one open was that Miguel Sano went 1-for-5 with three strikeouts and left 10 men on base.

Fortunately, Odorizzi was tough as nails and the bullpen turned in another great outing. Ryan Pressly, Zach Duke and Fernando Rodney each pitched a scoreless inning to help lift the Twins to an impressive win.

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: Bullpen410.png
Next Three Games
Wed vs. HOU 12:10 pm CT
Thu vs. CHW 7:10 pm CT
Fri vs. CHW 7:10 pm CT

Last Three Games
HOU 2, MIN 0: Failure to Launch
SEA 11, MIN 4: That Escalated Quickly
MIN 4, SEA 2: Bombs and Bullpen

More From Twins Daily
Twins Minor League Report (4/10): Kernels Pop Peoria Behind Rortvedt
Logan Morrison: Bad or Just Bad Luck?
Changing Timeline: Is It Time To Start Worrying About Santana?

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#2 TFRazor

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 05:57 AM

Really can't wait for it to warm up. All these walks due to lack of command are KILLING me. Also, fun little fact, Robbie Grossman got his first hit tonight... In his 10th AB of the season. Sometimes life is just too funny.

 

Overall, solid win.

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#3 mikelink45

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 06:36 AM

As a person who hates excess strikeouts, I keep looking at Sano and wondering why he is not lower in the order where he will kill less rallies.Of course if we had Morrison hitting or Grossman more than .100 it might help shift Sano to 6.I like the idea of lots of hits at the top and Sano does not seem to be learning the strike zone or how to control his bat.

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#4 iTwins

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 06:39 AM

 

Really can't wait for it to warm up. All these walks due to lack of command are KILLING me. Also, fun little fact, Robbie Grossman got his first hit tonight... In his 10th AB of the season. Sometimes life is just too funny.

 

Overall, solid win.

 

Robbie got his first hit on opening day. He tied the game with a pinch hit single in the 9th against the O's. 

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#5 Vanimal46

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 06:55 AM

As a person who hates excess strikeouts, I keep looking at Sano and wondering why he is not lower in the order where he will kill less rallies. Of course if we had Morrison hitting or Grossman more than .100 it might help shift Sano to 6. I like the idea of lots of hits at the top and Sano does not seem to be learning the strike zone or how to control his bat.


Yeah, the strikeouts are brutal... I want to love Sano. He has all the talent in the world to be a complete player. His plate discipline is killing me... Right now he looks more like Adam Dunn then a perennial all star.
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#6 terrydactyls1947

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 07:04 AM

Yeah, the strikeouts are brutal... I want to love Sano. He has all the talent in the world to be a complete player. His plate discipline is killing me... Right now he looks more like Adam Dunn then a perennial all star.


But he sure swings really hard. ***Sarcasm***

#7 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 07:22 AM

The Twins have played most of their games in temps below 40 degrees, we’re nine games into the season, and the team is 5-4.

Pump the brakes. There’s a lot of season left to play and right now, it’s impossible to separate who struggles in the cold, who is just off to a slow start, and who we should be worried about.
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#8 Dantes929

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 07:37 AM

.925 OPS Aside from Escobar has twice as many RBI as anyone else on the team. I think .250 with and about a .350 or better OBP is about what we can expect from him. Its fine having that guy in the middle of the order. Not so great to have Morrison next to him the way he has been batting.He'll go on a tear when Mauer and Dozier come back to earth. 5-4 is still on pace for 90 wins.Overall, I am pretty happy with the start. 

Side note. I have seen Buxton batting numerous time but have not seem him try to bunt for a hit yet.Did I just miss it?I still think he should be trying it at least once a game. I believe his bunt hits kept him afloat though a bad start last year. Even when he is going well it is a great weapon.

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#9 bighat

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 07:37 AM

The final score should have been 9-1, not 4-1. That said, we'll take the 'W'. Let's win the series!


#10 bighat

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 07:40 AM

 

 

.I have seen Buxton batting numerous time but have not seem him try to bunt for a hit yet.Did I just miss it?I still think he should be trying it at least once a game. I believe his bunt hits kept him afloat though a bad start last year. Even when he is going well it is a great weapon.

 

I was thinking the same thing last night...where's the bunt?But he's been in a strange place in the batting order and has come up with men on base a lot, and he seems to come to the plate with 2 outs a lot of times as well. But I do think he should start trying more often.

 

Is his bunting ability below-average? I don't remember him being a particularly skilled bunter, alas.


#11 bobs

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 07:45 AM

Great gut check win for the Twins last night.At 5-4 with little consistent production from anyone not named Dozier, Mauer or Escobar is solid.Let's hope that as the temps warm, so will the young bats.


#12 bobs

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 07:47 AM

I have never in the entire 50 year history of my life (so, about 40 following the Twins carefully) seen anyone swing and miss as much as Miguel Sano.There.I said it

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#13 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 07:52 AM

The walks don't bother me. I realize I'm in the minority on this! All those years of pitch to contact combined with league worst ERAs. I like seeing opposing hitters not getting pitches to hit in 3 ball counts.

Odorizzi said he couldn't get warm or find his control, so after the third inning last night decided to pitch only from the stretch. All of his walks were in the first three innings. Garver and Odorizzi must have been on the same page. Garver has now caught Odorizzi and Gibson (1 run outings) and Berrios's shutout. I am trying not to read too much into three games behind the plate, but...

Edited by Hosken Bombo Disco, 11 April 2018 - 08:22 AM.

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#14 Circus Boy

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 07:59 AM

 

Yeah, the strikeouts are brutal... I want to love Sano. He has all the talent in the world to be a complete player. His plate discipline is killing me... Right now he looks more like Adam Dunn then a perennial all star.

I'm not quite ready to stick a fork in Sano because he's Dunn.

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#15 TFRazor

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 08:37 AM

 

Robbie got his first hit on opening day. He tied the game with a pinch hit single in the 9th against the O's. 

 

Instructions:

 

Step 1: Open mouth.

Step 2: Insert foot

Step 3: Try to Dance

 

Thanks for the correction.

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#16 Taildragger8791

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 08:53 AM

 

Yeah, the strikeouts are brutal... I want to love Sano. He has all the talent in the world to be a complete player. His plate discipline is killing me... Right now he looks more like Adam Dunn then a perennial all star.

 

I'm not sure it's just plate discipline with him since he's proven he can draw a lot of full counts and walks. He misses a lot of pitches in the zone as well. That makes me think he's up there guessing a little bit, and he simply doesn't have great bat control to adjust when he guesses wrong.

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#17 Rhino and Compass

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 09:27 AM

I was saying at the game yesterday that Sano just looks petulant at the plate. I wonder how much the cold gets to him, but also, I wonder if he is the type of guy that gets so in his own head that it's deleterious to the rest of his game. There are a few guys that just seem to shut down in cold weather. Sano, Eddie Rosario especially, but Rosario seems like he has the capacity to self correct. and didn't have the offseason Sano did. 

 

don't worry, June's coming in a couple months, and we'll probably even be in the 60s by then 

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#18 Dantes929

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 11:29 AM

 

I have never in the entire 50 year history of my life (so, about 40 following the Twins carefully) seen anyone swing and miss as much as Miguel Sano.There.I said it

You mean this year? I remember long stretches of Cuddyer swinging at pitches no one could hit.Then he would have a series where he walked 8 times and pitchers would have to start throwing strikes again. I do think Sano swings too hard and probably causes some of his check swing strikes.I would prefer a little situational hitting when he has two strikes but you take the good with the bad.His homer was the difference in the home opener.If he hits 40 homers its not going to be one every 4 games.He will have his streaks.Your cleanup hitter should probably be about OPS and RBI.Ok, he's not the cleanup hitter but he is that guy.

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#19 Dantes929

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 11:31 AM

 

I was thinking the same thing last night...where's the bunt?But he's been in a strange place in the batting order and has come up with men on base a lot, and he seems to come to the plate with 2 outs a lot of times as well. But I do think he should start trying more often.

 

Is his bunting ability below-average? I don't remember him being a particularly skilled bunter, alas.

I think he is a pretty decent bunter. I would prefer he go down the 3rd base side a little more but I think his average when putting it in play is good.

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#20 Mike Sixel

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 11:35 AM

Sano has been better offensively this year than any year in his career..... I'm not sure I understand the complaints.

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




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