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Article: DET 4, MIN 2: Mauer Reaches Milestone, Hildenberger Flops

joe mauer kohl stewart trevor hildenberger
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#1 Tom Froemming

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Posted 25 September 2018 - 09:31 PM

I have a confession to make: I was rooting against Joe Mauer.

In my defense, it was only for a short time. I just really didn’t want him to become the Twins’ all-time leader in times on base while on the road, so I was pulling against him. But it was just one time, OK? And, you know, all the other kids were doing it …

Mauer ended up tying Harmon Killebrew for that distinction in Oakland, and wasted little time breaking the record at Target Field, leading off the bottom of the first inning with a single.Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs)
Stewart: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 64.0% strikes (48 of 75 pitches)
Home Runs: None
Multi-Hit Games: Mauer (2-for-4, BB), Polanco (2-for-5, 2B), Cave (2-for-4)
WPA of 0.1 or higher: Stewart .431
WPA of -0.1 or lower: Grossman -.134, May -.134, Forsythe -.182, Hildenberger -.507
Download attachment: WinChart925.png
It seems Joe is going to leave us all hanging on the whole retirement thing, but the milestone hit provided a great opportunity for him to be acknowledged by the home crowd.

Mauer ended the night 2-for-4 with a walk and scored both runs for the Twins.

Kohl Stewart was very good tonight, and has been really good this month. In four appearances, he’s only given up three earned runs on 10 hits and nine walks over 20 1/3 innings pitched (1.32 ERA, 0.93 WHIP). While it’s not like he’s exactly been dominant over that stretch, recording 13 strikeouts, he’s also only allowed one extra-base-hit, a double.

He relied heavily on his two-seamer tonight, as to be expected, and was excellent at getting strikes with that pitch. Of the 41 two-seam fastballs he threw (according to Baseball Savant), 30 were for strikes (73.2 percent). That allowed him to lean on his four other offerings more as show-me/chase pitches. He threw his changeup seven times, all of them ending up out of the strike zone.

Yes, a lot of Stewart’s success has come against some of the bottom teams in the league, but seeing his 500-pound fastball be effective against major leaguers and his other four pitches keep guys off balance is a very encouraging sign. He’ll definitely face some stiffer competition than he did tonight, but there’s also so much potential for Stewart to get better.

Things have to get better with Trevor Hildenberger, right?

He took over for Stewart in the eighth and allowed Detroit to tie the game on a Nicholas Castellanos RBI single, which was followed by a Niko Goodrum go-ahead single. Hildy yielded to Trevor May from there, but two more runs came in on a James McCann double.

All four runs were charged to Hildenberger, who has now given up 28 earned runs in his last 27 innings pitched. The fact that Hildy was pitching the eighth in a one-run game would indicate he’s been removed from the closer role.

Next Three Games
Wed vs. DET, 7:10 pm CT: Jake Odorizzi vs. Matthew Boyd
Thu vs. DET, 7:10 pm CT: TBD vs. Francisco Liriano
Fri vs. CHW, 1:10 pm CT & 7:10 pm CT: TBD

Last Three Games
MIN 5, OAK 1: Gibby’s Arm, Cave’s Bat and Adrianza’s Glove Lift Twins to Victory
OAK 3, MIN 2: Willians Astudillo Collects Three More Hits
OAK 7, MIN 6: Khrush Davis Walks Off Twins

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#2 rghrbek

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Posted 25 September 2018 - 10:27 PM

Love Hildy, but he seems to be very streaky.  Once he goes on one of these streaks maybe pitch in lower leverage situations?  Molitor using him a ton.

 

Count me as one of those who was pretty down on Stewart.  Nice to see improvement from him this year and success at the MLB level.  I am intruiged.

 

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#3 h2oface

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Posted 25 September 2018 - 10:58 PM

I have always thought the berger was lucky. It seems to have run out. But that doesn't stop Molitor from exposing him over and over and over.... and over and over.

 

May is certainly failing his audition. It appears relief with men on base is not spelled M-A-Y.

 

500-pound fastball. That's funny! Perhaps Stewart just needed it to count - turn it on in the show. Detroit counts, right? But he also did it against Houston. That definitely counts.

 

Does pitching against the current Twins' lineup count for Turnbull?

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#4 108Stitches

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 12:39 AM

Ok I have pissed on Kohl like a fire hydrant. But I have to hand it to the kid. He’s having a great month. If he can keep it going, he will have a lot of crow to serve those of us who thought he was done.
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#5 Tomj14

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 06:12 AM

While I am against the opener, if Stewart can keep up this up, I wouldn't be against having him being the 5th starter next year doing this.


#6 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 06:17 AM

No comment.


#7 rv78

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 06:21 AM

Another Manager blunder? Kohl who was pretty much lights out, gets pulled at 75 pitches for Hildenberger who has been awful lately. I don't understand the decision.

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#8 laloesch

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 07:08 AM

 

Another Manager blunder? Kohl who was pretty much lights out, gets pulled at 75 pitches for Hildenberger who has been awful lately. I don't understand the decision.

 

yeah i don't get it either.I still don't understand what this team is doing with the pen.They have a couple of other options in AAA such as Jake Reed who had ANOTHER fine season down there.The Front office must have forgotten about him or something.

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#9 Linus

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 07:18 AM

It is strange they aren’t trying some different things in the pen. They have a lot of work to do in this area.
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#10 mazeville

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 07:32 AM

One definite positive thing to take away from the past month is Kohl Stewart's performance. He's earned himself a shot at the rotation next year for sure. And good for him. 

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#11 dbminn

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 07:33 AM

 

Another Manager blunder? Kohl who was pretty much lights out, gets pulled at 75 pitches for Hildenberger who has been awful lately. I don't understand the decision.

 

Stewart has thrown 145 innings in 2018, after only 82 IP in 2017. The FO probably doesn't want him to have a high pitch count this late in the season.

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#12 rdehring

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 07:40 AM

Good to see Stewart get thru a game with no walks.Was watching on a second tv while catching the opening episodes of all the NCIS programs, saw he was close to walks a few times but didn't put them on.

 

And even though this is another game against Detroit, he should be putting himself into position to battle for that #5 spot in spring.Wouldn't be surprised if he begins the season at Rochester.Or maybe he has impressed enough to be part of a package for a very good young starter who battles for the #2 spot in the rotation.

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#13 Tom Froemming

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 07:43 AM

 

Another Manager blunder? Kohl who was pretty much lights out, gets pulled at 75 pitches for Hildenberger who has been awful lately. I don't understand the decision.

It's weird, Molly seems to have a really difficult time trusting relievers, but then once he does, it's ride or die. He'll keep rolling with that guy even through a big slump.

 

Some of that "stick to your guns" mentality can be productive over the course of a long season, but it's clear this is more than just a blip on the radar for Trevor. He's really fighting it right now.

 

yeah i don't get it either.I still don't understand what this team is doing with the pen.They have a couple of other options in AAA such as Jake Reed who had ANOTHER fine season down there.The Front office must have forgotten about him or something.

I would've liked to see Reed get a look over some of these other guys on the roster, but, it's fair to point out he's had a 4.0 BB/9 rate in the minors the past two seasons and his 2.18 K:BB ratio over that span is not very promising. Still, it'll be a shame if he moves on to another org without at least getting an audition with the Twins.

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#14 Tomj14

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 07:56 AM

Or maybe he has impressed enough to be part of a package for a very good young starter who battles for the #2 spot in the rotation.

I like that thinking, wish Gordon and Gonzo would have done the same this year.

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#15 PDX Twin

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 08:09 AM

Do I remember some discussion that Hildenberger was tipping pitches earlier in the season, or was that someone else? If that's the explanation, it sure seems fixable.

It's great to get out of the cellar ... as long as you bring something with you.


#16 USAFChief

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 08:21 AM

Another Manager blunder? Kohl who was pretty much lights out, gets pulled at 75 pitches for Hildenberger who has been awful lately. I don't understand the decision.


I’m as critical of Molitor’s pitching decisions as anyone, but in this case, the Twins used an opener, which is intended to limit the primary pitcher’s exposure to the top of the order, third time through.

Moya faced five hitters in the first. Enter Stewart, who faces 21 hitters over six innings. The opener strategy worked to perfection.

The problem, as I see it, was Hildenberger. Or, as Tom points out, Molitor’s use of him. They got more than could be expected from Stewart.
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Cutting my carbs...with a pizza slicer.


#17 JLease

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 08:41 AM

 

I’m as critical of Molitor’s pitching decisions as anyone, but in this case, the Twins used an opener, which is intended to limit the primary pitcher’s exposure to the top of the order, third time through.

Moya faced five hitters in the first. Enter Stewart, who faces 21 hitters over six innings. The opener strategy worked to perfection.

The problem, as I see it, was Hildenberger. Or, as Tom points out, Molitor’s use of him. They got more than could be expected from Stewart.

 

It's an interesting question: how locked in should you be to the "avoid the 3rd time through" strategy? How do you evaluate how much of a pitcher's struggles the 3rd time through against a team's best hitters is due to fatigue or familiarity? If it's familiarity, then a fairly rigid approach makes sense. If it's due more to fatigue, then you have to think about it a little more, especially if a guy is at 75 pitches and rolling along.

 

nice to see Kohl Stewart have another good outing, though obviously September production is always a little suspect (see also Parmelee, Chris). The decline in BBs is exactly what he needs to be doing and it's nice to see how close his FIP is to his ERA. he's a very interesting case right now, and I think the Twins were fortunate he slipped through Rule 5 last year.

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#18 nicksaviking

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 08:55 AM

I hope Kyle Gibson has a nice long talk with Stewart this off season about the dangers of getting too comfortable with being a sinkerballer whilst having shaky command. They're very similar pitchers as far as repertoire, velocity and control goes. If they follow the same trajectory, it sure would be nice if the Twins could simply avoid a few of those wasted years and just cut to the good part.

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#19 Doomtints

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 09:18 AM

Hildy is very feast or famine. I bet if we take the time to look at the matchups we will see the reason why. Molitor should give that a try. :rolleyes:

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#20 Mike Sixel

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 09:50 AM

 

It's an interesting question: how locked in should you be to the "avoid the 3rd time through" strategy? How do you evaluate how much of a pitcher's struggles the 3rd time through against a team's best hitters is due to fatigue or familiarity? If it's familiarity, then a fairly rigid approach makes sense. If it's due more to fatigue, then you have to think about it a little more, especially if a guy is at 75 pitches and rolling along.

 

nice to see Kohl Stewart have another good outing, though obviously September production is always a little suspect (see also Parmelee, Chris). The decline in BBs is exactly what he needs to be doing and it's nice to see how close his FIP is to his ERA. he's a very interesting case right now, and I think the Twins were fortunate he slipped through Rule 5 last year.

 

Research shows it is almost totally familiarity, and not fatigue. So, rigid. Plus, they got what they want/need.....6 innings from the primary. 

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I remain hopeful on Buxton and Sano.....but I'd not bet the franchise on them.




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