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Article: MIN 10, KC 6: It’s a Lot Easier to Beat Bad Teams

stephen gonsalves ehire adrianza eddie rosario jake cave
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#1 Tom Froemming

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Posted 07 September 2018 - 10:09 PM

The competitive balance in the American League is as uneven as it’s been in quite some time, and the Twins are getting to see both ends this week.

Coming off of a rough series at Houston, the Twins got to come home and face Kansas City. The difference in wiggle room you have against those two classes of teams is staggering. The Twins ended up coming back from a 6-2 deficit to win 10-6 Friday evening.Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs)
Starting Pitcher: Game Score, IP, H, ER, K, BB, % strikes
Home Runs: Rosario (23)
Multi-Hit Games: Adrianza (3-for-4), Polanco (2-for-5), Rosario (2-for-5, HR), Cave (2-for-5, 2B)
WPA of 0.1 or higher: Cave .240, Adrianza .232, Forsythe .192, May .120
WPA of -0.1 or lower: Busenitz -.156, Gonsalves -.272
Download attachment: WinChart97.png
Considering how many guys there are who have been banged up the past few days, one of the most interesting things to follow right now with the Twins is just who’s in and who’s out of the lineup. Here’s how Paul Molitor filled things out for tonight’s tilt:

Eddie Rosario made his first appearance since Aug. 30 while Miguel Sano (knee) and Tyler Austin (back) remained on the shelf.

With how short Stephen Gonsalves’ outings have been, it’s hard to know if the Twins are trying to use him as a traditional starter or just as an opener. He lasted just 2 1/3 innings tonight, and has failed to complete four frames in three of his four MLB starts.

Gonsalves exited with the Twins trailing 3-2, but Alan Busenitz allowed two inherited runners to score plus one of his own, giving the Royals a six-run inning. Their lead did not last long.

The Twins stormed back to tally four runs of their own in the bottom of the third to tie the game at 6-6. From there, the bullpen was outstanding. Trevor May pitched two scoreless innings while Gabriel Moya, Matt Magill, Taylor Rogers and Trevor Hildenberger each delivered a clean frame as the pen.

The bats had one more big inning in them, as the Twins tallied three more runs in the fifth, then added an insurance run in the eighth.

The lineup combined for 10 runs on 12 hits, just two of which went for extra bases (a Jake Cave double and an Eddie Rosario home run). They added seven walks, three coming from Robbie Grossman, and were an impressive 7-for-14 with runners in scoring position.

Next Three Games
Sat vs. KC, 6:10 pm CT: Jose Berrios vs. Jorge Lopez
Sun vs. KC, 1:10 pm CT: TBD
Mon vs. NYY, 7:10 pm CT: TBD

Last Three Games
HOU 9, MIN 1: The Astros Are Really Good At Baseball
HOU 5, MIN 2: Rough Opener, Strong Stewart Homecoming
HOU 4, MIN 1: Astros Take Advantage of Pivotal Polanco Error

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#2 theBOMisthebomb

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 04:28 AM

Hey, let's celebrate. A victory is a victory!!
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#3 mikelink45

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 05:39 AM

It's really hard to add any comment that means anything when we're playing the Royals other than the fact that are rookie starter and rookie reliever really have looked out of place against Major League teams even the worst major league. having Rosario back makes our lineup look a little bit more Major League too.

#4 Platoon

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 07:17 AM

It would have been almost impossible for any baseball team above the D2 level to lose to KC last night. Did u say 7 walks? And how many lousy plays? Since I don't have time to post this three times this will have to suffice. (3)
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#5 yarnivek1972

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 07:39 AM

It would have been almost impossible for any baseball team above the D2 level to lose to KC last night. Did u say 7 walks? And how many lousy plays? Since I don't have time to post this three times this will have to suffice. (3)


Given that the Twins kinda eaked that one out, it doesn’t say much for the level of their play.

#6 IndianaTwin

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 08:02 AM

GIven that he started the third, I’d assume they were trying to use Gonsalves as a typical starter.

But say they’d followed him with a five-inning, not-quite-quality, 3 runs in 5 innings “start” from Odorizzi (I know, the rotation didn’t line up, but I’m just using this as an example), it might have made for something like a 9-3 lead after seven.

If it works like that, I’m all on board for the opener approach.

And since I’ve gone off on a tangent now, I’ll continue. It seems to me that if a team lined up their rotation 1-4-2-3-5, they could get by with using one Opener to lead off the games for both the 4 and 5 guy. If he goes two innings in 40 percent of the games, that’s only about 130 innings for the season. WIthout any off days, his pattern would be to alternate one and two days off, but with off days scattered, some of the one-day-offs would become two and some of the twos would become threes. If he has too many one-day-offs in close proximity, they could shorten an occasional outing to one inning rather than two.

If Berrios and Gibson go 6 or 7 most days as the Nos. 1 and 2, and Gonsalves-Odo and Gonsalves-Mejia/Romero combine for 7 most days as the Nos. 4 and 5, and Pineda comes back as the No. 3, that seems like a pretty solid rotation that would protect a bullpen of May, Busenitz, Hildy, Rogers, Reed, Duke (do we control him?) and Magill and allow a four-man bench. As depth/injury coverage, that still leaves Thorpe, Stewart, Moya, Curtiss, DeJong, Drake, Duffey, Littell, and Vazquez.

Shuffle the parts if you will, but I’m generally comfortable with that mix as a pitching, particularly if there’s willingness to go after a rental mid-year (starter, reliever, or both) if they are indeed in the race.

Think of how much money that would leave for the Mannysota Twins to use on the hitting side!

Edited by IndianaTwin, 08 September 2018 - 08:23 AM.


#7 Doctor Wu

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 08:12 AM

 

Hey, let's celebrate. A victory is a victory!!

At this point, I'm waiting to celebrate the end of this thoroughly dreadful season. I'll say it once: man, this is one boring team. I had so much optimism at the start of the year, but following this team --- and cheering for them --- has become too much of a chore. Yeah, I suppose I should watch the handful of prospects who have been called up, or the scraps from the trades we've made, but I just can't get very excited about any of it.


#8 ashburyjohn

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 08:25 AM

Think of how much money that would leave for the Mannysota Twins to use on the hitting side!

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#9 IndianaTwin

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 08:34 AM

I know it’s bad form to comment on your own posts, but this just came to me. As an additional perk besides the x number of trips on the Pohlad’s private jet, can we also promise to put “Mannysota” on the FRONT of our jerseys during next year’s Players Weekend as a negotiating tactic?

#10 jokin

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 09:09 AM

 

that seems like a pretty solid rotation that would protect a bullpen of May, Busenitz, Hildy, Rogers, Reed, Duke (do we control him?) and Magill and allow a four-man bench.
 

 

Exactly how do we get Duke back?

Edited by jokin, 08 September 2018 - 08:04 PM.

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#11 IndianaTwin

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 09:14 AM

Exactly how do we got Duke back?

Something seemed weird as I typed his name! (And I guess we don’t control him, do we? :-) )

Go with Moya there instead.

Edited by IndianaTwin, 08 September 2018 - 09:15 AM.

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#12 bunt_vs_the_shift

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 09:34 AM

Twins win! That feels good to say regardless of who we're playing.

 

And now that we have the middle of our lineup figured out with Forsythe-Cave-Garver at the 4-5-6?...


#13 yarnivek1972

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 09:38 AM

GIven that he started the third, I’d assume they were trying to use Gonsalves as a typical starter.

But say they’d followed him with a five-inning, not-quite-quality, 3 runs in 5 innings “start” from Odorizzi (I know, the rotation didn’t line up, but I’m just using this as an example), it might have made for something like a 9-3 lead after seven.

If it works like that, I’m all on board for the opener approach.

And since I’ve gone off on a tangent now, I’ll continue. It seems to me that if a team lined up their rotation 1-4-2-3-5, they could get by with using one Opener to lead off the games for both the 4 and 5 guy. If he goes two innings in 40 percent of the games, that’s only about 130 innings for the season. WIthout any off days, his pattern would be to alternate one and two days off, but with off days scattered, some of the one-day-offs would become two and some of the twos would become threes. If he has too many one-day-offs in close proximity, they could shorten an occasional outing to one inning rather than two.

If Berrios and Gibson go 6 or 7 most days as the Nos. 1 and 2, and Gonsalves-Odo and Gonsalves-Mejia/Romero combine for 7 most days as the Nos. 4 and 5, and Pineda comes back as the No. 3, that seems like a pretty solid rotation that would protect a bullpen of May, Busenitz, Hildy, Rogers, Reed, Duke (do we control him?) and Magill and allow a four-man bench. As depth/injury coverage, that still leaves Thorpe, Stewart, Moya, Curtiss, DeJong, Drake, Duffey, Littell, and Vazquez.

Shuffle the parts if you will, but I’m generally comfortable with that mix as a pitching, particularly if there’s willingness to go after a rental mid-year (starter, reliever, or both) if they are indeed in the race.

Think of how much money that would leave for the Mannysota Twins to use on the hitting side!


We’re already seeing kinks in the armor of Berrios and Gibson. How that plays out the rest of the year will play a big part in determining how they slot going forward. Right now, they rank 17th and 20th in ERA, but they have both been well north of 5 since the end of July. Really shouldn’t be fatigue for either as both logged more IP just last year than they have so far in 2018.
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#14 jorgenswest

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 10:50 AM

We’re already seeing kinks in the armor of Berrios and Gibson. How that plays out the rest of the year will play a big part in determining how they slot going forward. Right now, they rank 17th and 20th in ERA, but they have both been well north of 5 since the end of July. Really shouldn’t be fatigue for either as both logged more IP just last year than they have so far in 2018.


I don’t think catcher ERA is a thing but both had better strikeout and walk rates with Wilson. Wilson was the primary catcher for these two until his early August injury.



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