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Article: PHI 2, MIN 1: Kepler Stays Hot, Hoskins Pops Deciding Homer

max kepler jose berrios marwin gonzalez
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#1 Tom Froemming

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 02:06 PM

Sometimes you lose a game, sometimes you win a game and sometimes you just get beat. The Twins managed to check all three of those boxes in this series at Philadelphia.

The Twins couldn’t muster any more scoring outside of a leadoff home run while the Phillies hit a two-out, two-run homer and made an excellent play to nail a Twins runner at the plate.Box Score
Berrios: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 65.3% strikes (64 of 98)
Home Runs: Kepler (3)
Multi-Hit Games: Kepler (2-for-4, HR), Gonzalez (2-for-4)
WPA of +0.1: Kepler .130
WPA of -0.1: Schoop -.120, Cron -.126
Download attachment: Win47.png
(chart via FanGraphs)

This game got off to a tremendous start for the Twins, as Kepler homered for the third straight game. This was Kepler’s eighth game of 2019, it took him 10 games last season to reach three homers, 32 games in 2017 and 33 in ‘16. So trending in the right direction.

It was also apparent early that Jose Berrios had his good stuff working once again. Berrios carried a shutout into the sixth inning, but it’s going to be tough for anybody to keep this Phillies lineup down for long.

Berrios walked Andrew McCutchen to lead off the sixth inning, managed to retire both Jean Segura and Bryce Harper, but gave up a two-run home run to Rhys Hoskins to give Philadelphia a 2-1 lead. It was a good pitch, a curveball down and away on the corner, and Hoskins didn’t even appear to put all that great of a swing on it, but that’s a strong dude.

Berrios leaned a bit more on his offspeed pitches in his first two starts of the year and really went curveball crazy this afternoon. He deployed that pitch 51 times today among the 98 pitches he threw. That’s pretty bonkers, considering Jose threw that curveball 30.4 percent of the time last season. It’ll be interesting to follow his use of that pitch going forward.

The Twins only had one other really strong scoring chance. Marwin Gonzalez hit a leadoff single in the fourth inning, advanced to second on a ground out and tried to score from there on an Ehire Adrianza single. McCutchen made a beautiful play, throwing a strike to home plate, and Gonzalez was tagged out by inches.

It’s too bad the Twins couldn’t muster any offense after the Kepler leadoff homer, but all in all I’d have to say this was an encouraging series for the Twins. Friday night was ugly, but they were able to hang tough against a formidable Phillies team otherwise. That bodes well for a team that gets to face the AL Central in nearly half of their games.

Postgame With Baldelli

Bullpen Usage
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Download attachment: Bullpen47.png
Next Three Games
Tue at NYM, 6:10 pm CT (Gibson-deGrom)
Wed at NYM, 6:10 pm CT (Odorizzi-Syndergaard)
Fri vs. DET, 7:10 pm CT (TBD)

Last Game
MIN 6, PHI 2: Twins Find Power Stroke, Slug 3 Homers in Victory

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#2 Doomtints

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 02:23 PM

This wasn't the best lineup the Twins could have put out there. In a 2-1 game, the lineup matters.

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Twins Manifesto: Build for .500, hope for more.


#3 mickeymental

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 02:42 PM

well, it's not like they've got a .500 hitter on the bench.

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#4 ashbury

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 02:51 PM

I'll have to go locate my 3-D glasses in order to properly view that Rob Friedman video. :)

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#5 bighat

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 02:55 PM

Twins have matchups against de Grom and Syndegaard the next two games. Shoulda grabbed this game and ran. Instead they rolled over.

 

Berrios deserved better. If the Twins can't hit Zach Eflin, it's gonna be a long 2 games in New York to start the week.

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#6 Dantes929

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 03:29 PM

Walk haunted and I would take my odds on that play at the plate.Definitely better than 50/50 but such is baseball. Yeah, de Grom and Syndegaard are tough but the Twins often have a tougher time against the soft tossers. Good sign that the only two times the Phillies have scored fewer than 5 runs were the last two.Forget Friday, you're not going to hold anyone down with 10 freebies and 3 errors. 

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#7 Linus

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 04:34 PM

My main concerns going into the season were the bullpen and the all or nothing nature of the lineup at the plate. I’ve been surprised by the bullpen but today is an example of the pitfalls of having a lot of swing and miss guys. Eflin was begging to get smoked and they couldn’t put anything together
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#8 The Mask of Zoilo

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 04:44 PM

Eflin was helped a lot today by Twins swinging at pitches out of the strike zone. There was one Adrianza at bat where Elfin threw him 8 straight balls. He could have walked twice! I laughed when Adrianza singled at the end of the at bat.
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#9 h2oface

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 05:14 PM

 

Sure would be nice it these guys could get some hits. What do they say? Good teams find a way to win close games.....


#10 mikelink45

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 05:26 PM

I know we want to play all our players, but Polanco on the bench?Give me a break - don't give Philadelphia a break. Get our bats in the lineup.  

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#11 MN_ExPat

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 05:32 PM

You know what y'all? It's baseball, it happens. Yeah, they had their chances but came up short. It's baseball. Philly looks to be a pretty good team this year and the Twins showed well overall.  

 

It was a good, close game and I enjoyed watching it. Sucks that they lost, but now we move on to the next contest.

 

Man, I love this game :)

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#12 yarnivek1972

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 05:40 PM

I know we want to play all our players, but Polanco on the bench? Give me a break - don't give Philadelphia a break. Get our bats in the lineup.


He’s been battling shoulder issues all spring. It’s pretty likely IMO that he will need to be rested more than would be typical for a starting shortstop.
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#13 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 05:50 PM

 

well, it's not like they've got a .500 hitter on the bench.

LOL

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#14 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 05:57 PM

The Twins did pretty well considering there was no place for Cruz to play except to pinch hit. The big question is how will the Twins solve this problem when playing at the National League park in the World Series this season?.

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#15 Nine of twelve

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 06:47 PM

So we're 5-3. A lot of folks will say, "meh". Well, going 5-3 every 8 games allows you to meh your way to a 100-win season.

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#16 Old Twins Cap

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 06:48 PM

Didn't see the game.Buxton have good ABs?

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#17 Nine of twelve

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 06:50 PM

 

I know we want to play all our players, but Polanco on the bench?Give me a break - don't give Philadelphia a break. Get our bats in the lineup.  

I know there are a lot of off-days here but we still need to rest people and give others a chance to play, if for no other reason than not to get rusty. If you're going to play your B lineup do it when Berrios is pitching. It still gives you a chance to win, as shown by today's game. We came up short but we were right there. Save your best lineup for when you've got someone else starting.

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#18 Taildragger8791

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 08:23 PM

 

Didn't see the game.Buxton have good ABs?

 

First at-bat was ugly, with a first pitch pop out to the catcher on a slider in the zone with a runner on first and no outs. His second at-bat was good, stayed away from balls off the plate and stung a line drive 400 ft to center for an out. He did foul another slider in the zone though, so he probably needs to learn to spit on that pitch in hitter's counts. I didn't see the final at-bat but the play-by-play report looks decent.

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#19 blindeke

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 08:30 PM

Couple of real close Berrios pitches that hit the corners but were called balls in key spots. This game was one of those coin toss situations... 


#20 MMMordabito

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Posted 08 April 2019 - 05:46 AM

Going 3-4 on an early season road trip against these teams was never going to be the end of the world. That's worst case scenario at this point.

Hopefully, they can steal one from the Mets and have a winning road trip.
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