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Article: TOR 6, MIN 5: Gut Punch

kyle gibson byron buxton eddie rosario marwin gonzalez
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#1 Tom Froemming

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Posted 16 April 2019 - 09:04 PM

What’s a more gut-wrenching way to watch your team lose? When the bullpen gives up a lead? When the game-tying run is thrown out at the plate to end the bottom of the ninth?

Both? Ah, you're good at this game. Must be a Minnesota sports fan.

The bullpen allowed a pair of inherited runs to score and surrendered two more runs of their own. The bats battled back, twice, but C.J. Cron was thrown out at home trying to score on a Byron Buxton double to end the game.Box Score
Gibson: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 56.4% strikes (53 of 94 pitches)
Home Runs: Polanco (3), Rosario (4), Gonzalez (1)
Multi-Hit Games: Gonzalez (2-for-4, HR)
WPA of +0.1: Rosario .232, Cruz .135
WPA of -0.1: Cron -.128, Harper -.136, Hildenberger -.241
Download attachment: Win416.png
(chart via FanGraphs)

The Twins headed into the bottom of the ninth down two, but Marwin Gonzalez made sure the Twins weren’t going to go down quietly. Gonzalez hit his first home run as a Twin to lead off the bottom of the ninth.

Nelson Cruz followed with a pinch-hit walk. Cron pinch hit, grounding into a fielder’s choice, before Mitch Garver, who also started this game on the bench, struck out on a checked swing.

Buxton ripped a ball down the left field line and all the chips were laid down, as Cron was going to try to score from first base. The Twins were forcing the Blue Jays to make a play. Unfortunately, they came through.

Kyle Gibson looked good, until he didn’t. That’s pretty much been the case in all of his starts so far this season. Very Odorizzi-esque.

Gibby gave up a single to lead off the game, quickly erased that runner on a double play and didn’t give up another hit through five innings. He only recorded one out that inning, finishing his outing after giving up a two-run single. Ryne Harper couldn’t stop the bleeding, as he allowed both his inherited runners to score.

Eddie Rosario picked up his teammates by pounding a game-tying three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth.

Trevor May loaded the bases in the seventh, meaning apparent bases-loaded specialist Trevor Hildenberger was called upon. Hildy has been a magician in those situations so far this year, but his luck finally ran out, as he gave up a two-run single.

Hildenberger only threw one pitch, yet he was pulled. Tyler Duffey came in to make his 2019 debut. Duffey faced three men in the eighth, he struck out two of them, the other was out trying to bunt for a hit. He got another strikeout in a scoreless ninth inning.

It ended up being too little too late, but it was nice to see Duffey keep the Twins in this game.

Willians Astudillo was 0-for-4, and has just two hits in his last 22 at-bats. Ehire Adrianza was 0-for-3, and is 2-for-19 on the season. Jason Castro was 0-for-2 and is now 2-for-14. All five of the Twins’ runs tonight came on home runs. Toronto pitchers issued six walks.

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: Bullpen416.png
Next Three Games
Wed vs. TOR, 6:40 pm CT (Odorizzi-Thornton)
Thu vs. TOR, 12:10 pm CT (Pineda-Buchholz)
Fri vs. BAL, 6:05 pm CT (TBD-Cobb)

Last Game
TOR 5, MIN 3: About That Bullpen …

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#2 bighat

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Posted 16 April 2019 - 09:31 PM

Trevor May's stats returning to his career average of a 5.14 ERA pitcher. Not sure we should be surprised to see him, a career minor leaguer in Harper and Hildy blowing this one. Gibby didn't help much either. Offense needs to start scoring 7-8 runs for this team to have a chance if Berrios isn't on the hill.
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#3 Yawn Gardenhose

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Posted 16 April 2019 - 09:33 PM

Lineup was weird, Cruz needs another day off? I guess it's good to see Cave get in the lineup. Bullpen issues hardly need to be rehashed again, it's a grave that the front office apparently decided to dig. Duffey looked good, but we've seen that before - taking his performance with a shakerful of salt. 

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#4 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 16 April 2019 - 09:48 PM

Disappointed none of the reporters asked about infield shifting tonight. Not a good night for that, and the 7th inning was brutal:

1. With one out, Sogard singles to right field, ball hit between two infielders standing pretty close to each other;

2. Then, Galvis hits a potential double play ball to the right side. Except there’s no one in position to cover second base. So the throw goes to first, the baserunner from first base takes second, and the inning continues;

3. The baserunner on second now gallops over to third base while the pitcher is on the mound with the ball, because the infielders were shifted again and no one was in position to stand in the vicinity of third base and prevent that from happening.

This team can have the nicest data in the world, but if the players can put it to use, it’s no good. Or if the coaches can’t put them in position. The infielders just looked so unprepared. Lots of other plays to kvetch about (and praise!) tonight, but that half inning stood out for me.

Edited by Hosken Bombo Disco, 16 April 2019 - 09:53 PM.

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#5 Tom Froemming

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Posted 16 April 2019 - 09:55 PM

After letting this one settle in a bit, my take on where things went wrong is when Kyle Gibson was left in to pitch to Justin Smoak in the sixth inning. Gibby had already given up two hits and a walk that inning. He was clearly fading, but the Twins were still up 1-0 at that point.

 

Taylor Rogers would have been great in that spot, especially since Smoak is a lefty. Stuff like that is exactly why you don't have Rogers pinned down to the ninth inning in the first place.

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#6 Dantes929

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Posted 16 April 2019 - 10:16 PM

Unfortunate that we didn't have some one faster to pinch run but that relay was a thing of beauty.Give Toronto some credit. They made some big plays.  Giving up big hits and home runs hurt but it seems you can take any big inning by the other team and point to a walk or two that played a huge role in making it happen and twice more tonight.  

 

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#7 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 16 April 2019 - 10:39 PM

 

After letting this one settle in a bit, my take on where things went wrong is when Kyle Gibson was left in to pitch to Justin Smoak in the sixth inning. Gibby had already given up two hits and a walk that inning. He was clearly fading, but the Twins were still up 1-0 at that point.

 

Taylor Rogers would have been great in that spot, especially since Smoak is a lefty. Stuff like that is exactly why you don't have Rogers pinned down to the ninth inning in the first place.

Agreeeed. Which is why you don't have your best relievers pinned down to any inning, period.

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#8 USAFChief

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Posted 16 April 2019 - 11:52 PM

After letting this one settle in a bit, my take on where things went wrong is when Kyle Gibson was left in to pitch to Justin Smoak in the sixth inning. Gibby had already given up two hits and a walk that inning. He was clearly fading, but the Twins were still up 1-0 at that point.

Taylor Rogers would have been great in that spot, especially since Smoak is a lefty. Stuff like that is exactly why you don't have Rogers pinned down to the ninth inning in the first place.

minor point but I believe Smoak is a switch hitter, no?

I also lay more blame at the feet of Trevor May, who allowed a ground ball single, then became afraid to throw strikes.
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#9 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 12:28 AM

 

I also lay more blame at the feet of Trevor May, who allowed a ground ball single, then became afraid to throw strikes.

Which is why I'm much more worried about the bullpen than I was two weeks ago (when I was still worried about the bullpen, just not as much as now).

 

May was supposed to be something of a rock in the seventh or so inning.

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#10 HomeOfTheBrave

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 03:02 AM

Looking deeper than 'having good stuff's, Gibson's longevity is a longstanding issue. as is his overall value, reflected by is current and legacy ERAs.
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#11 Don't Feed the Greed Guy

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 03:28 AM

Glad to see Duffey lengthen the bullpen. Kimbrel would make it a whole lot longer. He'd look fabulous in a Twins jersey.

#12 Platoon

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 05:07 AM

IIRC a couple years ago Rosario trotted over to third in a similar situation and was henceforth and forthwith dispatched to Rochester the next day. Luckily for the Toronto guy they don't have a team in Rochester, so he's safe for now. Shifts are all well and good if hitters refuse to go against them. But runners on base should limit your options to shift. Someone has to cover third, or second in those situations. It leaves the impression that either the players are poorly placed by one of the 12 coaches in the dugout, or else they have consciously decide to play only the batted ball? If you believe in stats, and the stats say that someone hits GB's to that spot 64% of the time, you have to remember that he hits GB's somewhere else 36% of the time. I think shifts work. Whether they make for a more interesting baseball game would be up to debate.
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#13 Tom Froemming

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 05:31 AM

 

minor point but I believe Smoak is a switch hitter, no?

I also lay more blame at the feet of Trevor May, who allowed a ground ball single, then became afraid to throw strikes.

You're right, though Smoak is better vs. RHP. Has a .766 OPS vs. RHP and .697 OPS vs. LHP over his career. 


#14 sloopjont

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 05:52 AM

Platoon said: Shifts are all well and good if hitters refuse to go against them. But runners on base should limit your options to shift. Someone has to cover third, or second in those situations.

Anytime the offense has someone on first with less than two outs, the shortstop and second baseman should be on the traditional side of second base so they can turn the double play on a ground ball.Shifting in this situation cost the Twins multiple outs and at least one run in this game.And, if someone's on second--obviously--the third baseman must cover third base!

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#15 bunt_vs_the_shift

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 05:56 AM

I know it's fun to play armchair manager when we lose, because that's what we do, but the fact is that in spite of all of the levers Rocco pulled or didn't pull, we just didn't execute. We are going to need more than what we got from Gibby and the bullpen is our weakest piece, but in the 9th we're down 1 run with a guy on 1st and nobody out... Cron can't move him to 2nd with his force out and we waste the pinch runner, then Garver can't even put it in play... Buxton came up with a clutch hit, but Toronto executed - we didn't. And we had plenty of chances, which is frustrating. The silver lining is that we've got some fight to us, but we can't let the margin for error get to this point. 

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#16 rdehring

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 06:06 AM

Lots of negative from this one.I only have one thing to say, however, Eddie, Eddie, Eddie!

 

Also thought Duff did a good job only hours after getting off a plane.But yes, this bullpen needs help.Maybe McGill can be back in a week or two.

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#17 bighat

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 06:21 AM

The Twins have played the fewest games in baseball to this point. Maybe it's time for Rocco just to play his "A" lineup for the foreseeable future? Sitting Cron, Cruz, and Scoop in the same game seems a bit conservative at this point.

 

Still kinda miffed about Kepler swinging at that first pitch, grounding into a DP with Buxton on 1st....Polanco goes yard the next at bat...a 3-run HR turns into a solo shot. Eeef.

 

Not blaming A-Stud for anything, but it looks like he's the odd man out (injuries withstanding) when Sano comes back.

 

Odorizzi on the hill tonight. Yikes. Here's hoping he gets his mojo back and repeats that early season masterpiece against Cleveland.

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#18 bighat

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 06:23 AM

 

 

I know it's fun to play armchair manager when we lose, because that's what we do, but the fact is that in spite of all of the levers Rocco pulled or didn't pull, we just didn't execute. We are going to need more than what we got from Gibby and the bullpen is our weakest piece, but in the 9th we're down 1 run with a guy on 1st and nobody out... Cron can't move him to 2nd with his force out and we waste the pinch runner, then Garver can't even put it in play... Buxton came up with a clutch hit, but Toronto executed - we didn't. And we had plenty of chances, which is frustrating. The silver lining is that we've got some fight to us, but we can't let the margin for error get to this point. 

 

Yeah this is a pretty good comment. Good observation about executing in the 9th offensively. And you're right, the Twins do have a little junk yard dog in them.


#19 Tom Froemming

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 06:30 AM

 

Lineup was weird, Cruz needs another day off?

I believe the thought process was that Aaron Sanchez has been a lot tougher on RHP (.595 OPS against) so might as well put all the lefties and switch hitters in there.

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#20 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 06:32 AM

After letting this one settle in a bit, my take on where things went wrong is when Kyle Gibson was left in to pitch to Justin Smoak in the sixth inning. Gibby had already given up two hits and a walk that inning. He was clearly fading, but the Twins were still up 1-0 at that point.
 
Taylor Rogers would have been great in that spot, especially since Smoak is a lefty. Stuff like that is exactly why you don't have Rogers pinned down to the ninth inning in the first place.

Gibson is in a tough spot pitching between Perez and Odorizzi, neither who can go past 6 innings.



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