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Article: MIN 6, KC 5: Cave Slugs Grand Slam as Twins Sweep Royals

jake cave ervin santana
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#1 Tom Froemming

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 03:17 PM

Jake Cave hit a grand slam in the second inning and the Twins’ bullpen managed to hold off a pesky Royals team to complete a three-game sweep. Things got very interesting late, but a big strikeout from Trevor May and some nice glove work from Mitch Garver and Miguel Sano helped secure the victory.Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs)
Ervin Santana: 38 Game Score, 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 3 K, 1 BB, 66.3% strikes
Home Runs: Jake Cave (4)
Multi-Hit Games: Robbie Grossman (2-for-4, 2B), Miguel Sano (2-for-4), Logan Forsythe (2-for-4), Max Kepler (2-for-3, 2B, BB)
WPA of 0.1 or higher: Cave .298, Rodney .173, Moya .145
WPA of -0.1 or lower: Hildenberger -.103, Garver -.189
Download attachment: WinChart85.png
Obviously, the best possible outcome a hitter can produce is to hit a grand slam. It just doesn’t get any better than that. But the way Cave worked his plate appearance up to the point where he hit the salami was very impressive as well.

Cave fell behind 1-2 in the count and Duffy threw a 78 mph curveball, the first of the plate appearance. He bounced off the mound, expecting to get a called strike, but it was accurately called a ball. Still, it was an outstanding two-strike pitch.

Cave fouled off the next pitch, a 96 mph fastball, and was visibly frustrated, a sign he was probably sitting on that pitch. Duffy went back to the fastball, but missed just barely below the zone. Another really outstanding two-strike offering from Duffy.

With the count full, and the bases too, Cave was finally in the driver’s seat. Duffy wasn’t going to want to walk in a run, especially while facing a hitter who had done so poorly against same-sided pitching. He went back to the fastball. On the way in, it was 94.8 mph and traveled 60 feet, six inches. Cave absolutely unloaded on it, sending it out at 109 mph as it traveled 402 feet into the stands.

When you consider the fact that Cave entered this game with a .158/.238/.368 line against lefties (though in just 21 PAs) and that Duffy had only give up one home run to a southpaw in 96 opportunities heading into today, this has to be considered both one of the best plate appearances and least likely outcomes from a Twins hitter we’ve seen all season.

Ervin Santana went just 4 1/3 innings, which by the way is probably about what we can expect going forward. Ervin has given up 10 earned runs in 14 2/3 innings since his return, a 6.14 ERA, and is living on his slider and changeup.

Santana left with runners on first and second base and one out, but Gabriel Moya came in and slammed the door. Moya retired all five batters he faced Sunday afternoon, recording two strikeouts while throwing 11 of his 16 pitches for strikes.

Trevor Hildenberger gave up a two-run homer in the seventh to cut the Twins’ lead to one run. The Royals threatened again in the eighth thanks to a error by Miguel Sano and a “single” on a ball Logan Morrison should have caught at first base. Luckily Trevor May ended the threat by striking out Alcides Escobar to strand the runners at second and third.

The Royals were feisty today. They also got their leadoff man on in the ninth, but Mitch Garver gunned down Whit Merrifield trying to steal second. Merrifield has stolen 67 bases in his career at an 80.7 percent success rate coming into today. Kansas City got the game-tying run all the way to third, but Miguel Sano made a very nice play to end this one, giving Fernando Rodney his 24th save.

Robbie Grossman exited this game with a hamstring strain after hitting a single in the seventh inning.

Bullpen Usage
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Download attachment: Bullpen85.png
AL Central Standings
CLE 61-49
MIN 52-58 (-9)
DET 47-64 (14.5)
CHW 41-70 (-20.)
KC 34-77 (-27.5)

Next Three Game
Mon at CLE, 6:10 pm CT: Kyle Gibson vs. Trevor Bauer
Tue at CLE, 6:10 pm CT: Adalberto Mejia vs. Carlos Carrasco
Wed at CLE, 6:10 pm CT: Jake Odorizzi vs. Mike Clevinger

Last Three Games
MIN 8, KC 2: New Twins Ace Wins in Front of Old Twins Ace
MIN 6, KC 4: Long Day at the Office
CLE 2, MIN 0: Carrasco Stars in Dominant Performance

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#2 yarnivek1972

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 03:24 PM

OK. If Rodney had the second best WPA for the Twins today, it doesn’t say much for the value of that stat.
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#3 Sconnie

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 03:28 PM

Why did LoMo pinch run for Grossman?

#4 ashburyjohn

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 03:34 PM

Why did LoMo pinch run for Grossman?

Hamstring pull, as mentioned in this article near the bottom.

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I always go the extra mile. That's what happens when you get lost easily.


#5 tvagle

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 03:34 PM

Magic Number Update:

 

Division: 62

Wild Card: 65

 

Twins Record 52-58 9GB

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Is it 2020 yet?


#6 rdehring

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 03:45 PM

I don't know about anyone else, but doesn't this team have a different feel since the trading deadline is behind them?

 

Maybe its just playing KC, but look what they did against them down there ten days ago.Maybe its having the uncertainty of the deadline behind them?Or maybe its some type of chemistry thing.But Sano, Polanco, Kepler and every couple games Jake Cave seem to have brought this team to life.Add that to Rosie, Berrios and Gibby and the next two months might be a lot of fun.Although that would probably disappoint Patrick Ruesse.

 

And what a nice outing by both Moya and Trevor May.Still believe that May can be a special late inning guy.

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#7 bighat

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 03:53 PM

Grossman reportedly sent to the DL.

 

Motter? Or will we get to see Austin?

Edited by bighat, 05 August 2018 - 03:56 PM.


#8 Tom Froemming

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 03:55 PM

 

OK. If Rodney had the second best WPA for the Twins today, it doesn’t say much for the value of that stat.

Screenshot 2018 08 05 At 4.50.15 PM

 

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#9 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 05:19 PM

Hamstring pull, as mentioned in this article near the bottom.

we have to read these stupid things before commenting? :)
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#10 tvagle

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 05:23 PM

 

Grossman reportedly sent to the DL.

 

Motter? Or will we get to see Austin?

Motter makes little sense to this guy...

 

IMO this needs to be a RH hitter that can play 1B/OF/DH

 

My list of hopefuls would be:

Wiel

Rooker

Austin

 

Happy with any of those three...would like a look at Wiel as a R5 eligible this winter

Rooker options be damned let's see what he can do

Austin will most likely be the guy

 

Anyone else and I'll once again be scratching my head over the FO moves

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Is it 2020 yet?


#11 jorgenswest

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 05:23 PM

If Grossman is out the OF options are limited.

Buxton, Granite and Wade on DL.

#12 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 05:24 PM

Great description of the Cave-Duffy at bat. Lots of stuff happened late but that was a huge moment I would think.

#13 ashburyjohn

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 05:28 PM

we have to read these stupid things before commenting? :)

tl;dnr

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#14 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 05:29 PM

ooooh that's interesting. In need of an outfielder but none available.

I have no idea if Buxton/Granite/Wade are about ready to come off the DL. If so, I would limp along with Rosario/Cave/Kepler for a game or three and Adrianza as th backup, until one of those three are ready, then I would just recall them from the minor league DL. If none of those three figure to be ready soon then Plan B and one of the recently acquired waiver or trade guys, I guess. Just my 2 cents.

Edit: forgot about Motter.
(I know right?)

Edited by Hosken Bombo Disco, 05 August 2018 - 05:30 PM.

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#15 ashburyjohn

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 05:33 PM

ooooh that's interesting. In need of an outfielder but none available.

All of a sudden a waiver-wire acquisition of an outfielder doesn't look quite so idiotic to me. :)

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#16 Dozier's Glorious Hair

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 05:34 PM

 

ooooh that's interesting. In need of an outfielder but none available.

I have no idea if Buxton/Granite/Wade are about ready to come off the DL. If so, I would limp along with Rosario/Cave/Kepler for a game or three and Adrianza as th backup, until one of those three are ready, then I would just recall them from the minor league DL. If none of those three figure to be ready soon then Plan B and one of the recently acquired waiver or trade guys, I guess. Just my 2 cents.

Edit: forgot about Motter.
(I know right?)

 

IT'S KIRILLOFF TIME, BABY!:go: :go:  

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#17 Riverbrian

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 06:06 PM

 

I don't know about anyone else, but doesn't this team have a different feel since the trading deadline is behind them?

 

Maybe its just playing KC, but look what they did against them down there ten days ago.Maybe its having the uncertainty of the deadline behind them?Or maybe its some type of chemistry thing.But Sano, Polanco, Kepler and every couple games Jake Cave seem to have brought this team to life.Add that to Rosie, Berrios and Gibby and the next two months might be a lot of fun.Although that would probably disappoint Patrick Ruesse.

 

And what a nice outing by both Moya and Trevor May.Still believe that May can be a special late inning guy.

 

We were pretty bad offensively prior to the deadline and therefore hard to not improve. 

 

Almost anyone was going to improve over the output that Buxton produced. 

 

Sano being a decent player since returning from Ft. Myers is like getting a new player with talent.  

 

Polanco coming back and playing well is like getting a new player with talent. 

 

It would be difficult for Morrison to get worse or stay at the very disappointing pre-deadline level. 

 

And even if Brian Dozier is about to go nuts for the Dodgers... He didn't go nuts for us. So it's not like we lost much from the first half production that Dozier provided. 

 

There are times in baseball history where sellers become better after selling and the reason for this is the reason they ended up being sellers in the first place. 

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#18 Riverbrian

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 06:18 PM

 

If Grossman is out the OF options are limited.

Buxton, Granite and Wade on DL.

 

As far as I can tell... the options are:

 

1. The newly signed Johnny Field

 

2. The just traded for Tyler Austin but they haven't played him in the OF in Rochester so... I doubt it. 

 

3. Adrianaza for Emergency OF duty in the big leagues which opens the door for anything. 

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#19 Carole Keller

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 06:24 PM

As far as I can tell... the options are:
 
2. The just traded for Tyler Austin but they haven't played him in the OF in Rochester so... I doubt it. 
 
3. Adrianaza for Emergency OF duty in the big leagues which opens the door for anything.


You should be all over these options, Brian. I mean ... positional flexibility! ;)
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#20 Riverbrian

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 06:28 PM

 

You should be all over these options, Brian. I mean ... positional flexibility! ;)

 

Absolutely!!!

 

Honestly, I want Tyler Austin... and I'm so flexible with this hope that I'm willing to play him at Catcher just to get his bat up here for a look-see.:)

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