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Article: MIN 5, CLE 4: Awesome Sauce!

mitch garver ervin santana miguel sano fernando rodney matt magill
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#1 Tom Froemming

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Posted 30 July 2018 - 09:30 PM

Mitch Garver, AKA GarvSauce, delivered a walk-off double to beat Cleveland, clearing a fog that had been surrounding this Twins team since the Eduardo Escobar trade. Miguel Sano showed some signs of life in his third game back from the minors and the bullpen was outstanding.Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs)
Ervin Santana: 27 Game Score, 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 1 K, 2 BB, 68.2% strikes
Multi-Hit Games: Miguel Sano (2-for-3, 2B, BB), Mitch Garver (2-for-4, 2B)
WPA of 0.1 or higher: Garver .271, Magill .180, Sano .171, Polanco .158, Rodney .147, Moya .131
WPA of -0.1 or lower: Rosario -.156, Santana -.278
Download attachment: WinChart730.png
Let’s go around the horn …

First Base
Wooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!

Mitch Garver has been on a tear. This guy needs to be in the lineup as often as he can handle. On the days he’s not behind the plate, the Twins don’t have a better DH option on the team than GarvSauce. One of the funnest things about these next two months will (hopefully) be a lot more moments like this one.

Second Base
This team needs Miguel Sano, and I’m not just talking about the 2018 Twins. He showed some positive signs in his third game back from the minors tonight. He hit an RBI double in the second inning, singled in the fifth and made a great catch going back on a ball in foul territory. Sano also led off the bottom of the ninth by drawing an eight-pitch walk.

Gotta take the good with the bad. Yes, he also struck out. He was also picked off by the catcher at second base. It was an eventful day at the office.

Third Base
Ervin Santana looks like he’s in survival mode. In his first two starts back, he’s been throwing tons of changeups. He’s gone to that pitch 61 times among the 185 pitches he’s thrown in these two starts. Last year, he only went to the changeup around 10 percent of the time.

The fastball’s just not back. Ervin topped out at 90.9 mph. He only got four swinging strikes on his 88 pitches. The fact that he’s been able to limit the damage as much as he has is a credit to his willingness to adjust.

Home Plate
In case you missed it, the Twins traded Zach Duke to Seattle and dealt Lance Lynn to the Yankees. Adalberto Mejia will take Lynn’s spot in the rotation and Addison Reed was activated off the DL. With the bullpen shuffling and this game being tied late, we got to see some different looks from Paul Molitor.

Gabriel Moya bailed out Santana in the sixth inning, recording the final two outs with two runners on base. Then, Molitor went right to Trevor Hildenberger, who worked a scoreless seventh.

Taylor Rogers came out for the eighth, but after giving up singles to two of the three batters he faced, Matt Magill came in. Yes, Matt Magill. He came back out of the witness protection program, or where ever he’d been, and pitched in the eighth inning of a tie ballgame. He retired the next two batters to end the threat.

With the top of the Cleveland order coming up in the ninth, Molitor turned things over to Fernando Rodney. He was very on brand. He walked leadoff man Francisco Lindor on four pitches.

Lindor advanced to third with one out and then just when you were convinced it was all going to come crashing down … a strikeout.

Then another walk. Then he fell behind the next batter 2-0 … and struck him out. Never a dull moment. This may have been the final time we’ll see Rodney in a Twins jersey. If that’s how it goes down, this was pretty much a signature game to remember him by.

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: Bullpen730.png
AL Central Standings
CLE 57-48
MIN 49-56 (-8)
DET 45-62 (-13)
CHW 37-68 (-20)
KC 32-73 (-25)

Next Three Games
Tue vs. CLE, 7:10 pm CT: Kyle Gibson vs. Trevor Bauer
Wed vs. CLE, 12:10 pm CT: Adalberto Mejia vs. Carlos Carrasco
Thu Off
Fri at KC, 7:10 pm CT: TBD

Last Three Games
BOS 3, MIN 0: Fenway Free Fall Continues
BOS 10, MIN 4: Twins Blow Lead in Spectacular Fashion
BOS 4, MIN 3: No Escobar, but at Least We Still Have Belisle

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#2 Mike Sixel

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Posted 30 July 2018 - 09:45 PM

No one else will be traded. IMO. And, continue to count me as a Garver believer.

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One of the best opening day rosters in years. Now go get 'em.


#3 AlwaysinModeration

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Posted 30 July 2018 - 10:05 PM

I think you may be right. Although after watching Terry Ryan go year after year after year do nothing at the deadline with teams that were absolutely cooked (or teams that were competitive), I like the approach. Levine said “we are either looking to improve this year’s team, or next year’s, not just standing still.”
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#4 DocBauer

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Posted 30 July 2018 - 10:23 PM

Who is this Magill guy you spoke of??? Santana will, IMO, have too limited of a time frame for any trade value. He will be gone for 2019, or signed to a friendly deal with incentives. Personal note to Molitor: Please don't play Garver any more than you absolutely have to. I know he calls a good game. I know he's been showing signs of improving behind the plate defensively. I know his bat shows hitting and power potential. And I know that potential has been showing itself the past couple of months. But I'm just not sure if he's the same "gamer" that the 35yo AAA Wilson is.
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#5 jimbo92107

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Posted 30 July 2018 - 11:17 PM

Nice thing about Garver is that he's very athletic. His defense should improve over the next couple years as he gets more thousands of reps blocking curves in the dirt. If his bat holds up, man... Good catcher. 

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#6 snepp

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Posted 30 July 2018 - 11:28 PM

If it is indeed the last time, I'm dropping this here...
 
 
fernando rodney chicken

 

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#7 PseudoSABR

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Posted 30 July 2018 - 11:30 PM

 

 

If it is indeed the last time, I'm dropping this here...

 

Why is he already shooting an already dead chicken dinner?Is this the point? It must be the point.

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#8 snepp

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Posted 30 July 2018 - 11:37 PM

 

Why is he already shooting an already dead chicken dinner?Is this the point? It must be the point.

 

Yes?

 

 

Or perhaps if Bark sees enough of my editing "skillz" he'll (mercifully for the forum readership) take up his throne again.

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#9 PseudoSABR

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 12:05 AM

 

Yes?

 

 

Or perhaps if Bark sees enough of my editing "skillz" he'll (mercifully for the forum readership) take up his throne again.

Yes. And please.

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#10 Linus

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 02:21 AM

Sano should observe Garvers swing / approach.
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#11 Platoon

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 05:02 AM

I found it difficult to discern the post Escobar fog from the all season fog. Now I am really worried about the Lynn fog, which while it may be the same, will move verrrrryyyyyyy slooooowwwllly........ And induce drowsiness. That said, Garvers big hit was made possible by Garvers efforts at blocking balls in the dirt with runners on third earlier. While he still needs better technique I will say he has been working his butt off on it. Effort is not a problem. Someone must have convinced him that pitch blocking is part of catching.
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#12 ThejacKmp

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 05:38 AM

It would be absolutely amazing if the Twins swept Cleveland and were only six back.

 

Part of me wants them to keep Dozier on the off chance he goes nuclear and the Twins can keep it a race into September.

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#13 Riverbrian

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 06:04 AM

Garver has his visable defensive issues that Wilson doesn't have. 

 

However, The team was starved for offense, the team died from that starvation and are currently donating the organs. 

 

Garver OPS .760 

WilsonOPS .480

 

Garver provided more calories. 

 

Now Garver is getting playing time? 

 

I question the decisions. 

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#14 bighat

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 06:08 AM

I got choked up and tears were welling in my eyes when Sano took that walk. That was his best at bat all night, and it led to the winning run!Nice to see him cut down on his swing and take what they gave him. Hard not to be really inspired by last night's effort from Miguel.

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#15 Platoon

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 07:01 AM

Garver has his visable defensive issues that Wilson doesn't have. 
 
However, The team was starved for offense, the team died from that starvation and are currently donating the organs. 
 
Garver OPS .760 
WilsonOPS .480
 
Garver provided more calories. 
 
Now Garver is getting playing time? 
 
I question the decisions.

The question to the question is, whose decisions? Was it MOY that thought Wilsons defense improved the chances of winning, and now has thrown in the towel and used Garver? Or did the FO issue a directive to analyze Garver the rest of the season? Something seems amiss, I still don't think the FO and the MOY are on the same page.
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#16 mikelink45

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 07:06 AM

 

I got choked up and tears were welling in my eyes when Sano took that walk. That was his best at bat all night, and it led to the winning run!Nice to see him cut down on his swing and take what they gave him. Hard not to be really inspired by last night's effort from Miguel.

I am confused. He got on, but got picked off.He got is daily does of special K.It was not a bad day, but this is the start and I will be inspired when he starts hitting the ball hard and has consistent contact over a length of time.I have been through the Sano and Buxton script too long to not be skeptical.

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#17 Circus Boy

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 07:11 AM

 

Garver has his visable defensive issues that Wilson doesn't have. 

 

However, The team was starved for offense, the team died from that starvation and are currently donating the organs. 

 

Garver OPS .760 

WilsonOPS .480

 

Garver provided more calories. 

 

Now Garver is getting playing time? 

 

I question the decisions. 

 

The team was starved for offense, the team died from that starvation and are currently donating the organs. 

Monty Python just called. "I'm not dead yet!"

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#18 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 07:11 AM

Next step in Garver's development: actually throwing down to the base the runner is attempting to steal. :)

#19 bighat

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 07:34 AM

 

I am confused. He got on, but got picked off.He got is daily does of special K.It was not a bad day, but this is the start and I will be inspired when he starts hitting the ball hard and has consistent contact over a length of time.I have been through the Sano and Buxton script too long to not be skeptical.

 

Sano did make a baserunning mistake. Call me crazy, but I'd be willing to bet he doesn't get picked off again this year - these things happen and I can live with it. As for going 2-for-3 with a double, single, walk and an RBI...I have absolutely no problem with the strikeout.

 

I would be careful about comparing Sano's struggles to Buxton's. Miguel Sano has had his fair share of slumps, but he was an All-Star last year, HR derby, and he has shown a far higher level of consistency in the majors. Buxton on the other hand might be relegated to being a defensive replacement, pinch runner, 4th-outfielder type. Or a career minor leaguer. He might do well to start thinking about Japan as a backup plan. Big difference.

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#20 theBOMisthebomb

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 07:40 AM

It would be absolutely amazing if the Twins swept Cleveland and were only six back.
 
Part of me wants them to keep Dozier on the off chance he goes nuclear and the Twins can keep it a race into September.

Yes, agreed. You sound like a starry eyed dreamer optimist after my own heart. I also note the Twins have a four game series next week in Cleveland.
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