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Article: KC 8, MIN 6: Struggles With Men on Base, Errors Prove Costly

martin perez max kepler nelson cruz mike morin mitch garver
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#1 Andrew Gebo

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 04:25 PM

The Twins left 15 men on base, were 4-for-18 with men in scoring position and committed a pair of errors in the field that led to four unearned runs. Still, despite all their struggles, they managed to make a game of this afternoon’s contest with KC.Box Score
Perez: 6.2 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 68.6% strikes (72 of 105 pitches)
Bullpen: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K

Home Runs: Sano (7), Cruz (13)
Multi-hit games: Kepler (4-for-6, 2 2B), Schoop (3-for-5), Cruz (2-for-5, 2B, HR, BB), Rosario (2-for-5), Sano (2-for-4, HR, BB)

WPA of +0.1: Kepler .181
WPA of -0.1: Adrianza -.118, Castro -.144, Perez -.133, Morin -.181, Garver -.181
Download attachment: win616.png
(chart via FanGraphs)

Playing in front of a sold out crowd on a sun-kissed afternoon at Target Field, the Minnesota Twins were seeking a series sweep of the Kansas City Royals and a Father’s Day victory.

Martin Perez Trying to Find it Again
Through his first seven starts of the season, Martin Perez -- a recent father himself -- was nothing short of dominant. He was enjoying one of the best career resurgences we have seen in a long time. His last four starts, however, have been a different story.

Five of his first seven starts were quality starts and he was 5-1 with a 2.01 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and 41 Ks over 44 2/3 IP. Zero of his previous four starts have been quality starts and over that stretch he has gone 1-1 with a 7.27 ERA, 2.02 WHIP and 11 BB over 17 1/3 IP.

Besides a rough second inning in which he surrendered three runs on four hits, Martin Perez appeared to have regained his early season success. Perez retired the Royals in order in five of his 6 2/3 innings pitched. Also, following the second inning mishap, Perez retired 14 consecutive batters before giving up a single in the seventh inning.

A wacky seventh inning ruined what should have been the sixth quality start of the year for Perez. With one out and a runner on first, Eddie Rosario had a hard line drive clank off his glove putting runners on the corners. A bunt by Billy Hamilton scored the Royals fourth run of the game. Then an error by Miguel Sano allowed the Royals to score their fifth run.

Missed Opportunities Hurt Minnesota
Twins Territory has become so accustomed to seeing this team hit home runs and put crooked numbers on the scoreboard that it’s easy to overlook missed opportunities on offense but those missed opportunities really hurt them today.

In the bottom of the first, Minnesota had the bases loaded with two outs and were unable to score after Marwin Gonzalez grounded out to first base. Max Kepler led off the third inning with a double but three quick outs from Jorge Polanco, Nelson Cruz and Eddie Rosario left Kepler stranded at second.

After scoring two runs in the fifth inning courtesy of a Miguel Sano solo home run and an RBI single from Kepler, Minnesota once again wasted a bases-loaded opportunity. Polanco was intentionally walked which loaded the bases for Cruz and he struck out to end the inning.

Cruz added the third run of the game for Minnesota in the seventh inning when he launched a solo home run into the upper deck in right-center. Following the Cruz bomba, the bases were once again loaded, this time with only one out.

Jonathan Schoop would strike out and Mitch Garver was then called upon to pinch-hit for Jason Castro against the Royals left-handed reliever, Jake Diekman. After quickly falling behind 0-2, Garver eventually hit a warning-track fly ball that was caught in right field and spoiled Minnesota’s third bases-loaded opportunity of the game.

The old adage is the third is a charm but for Minnesota, on Father’s Day, the fourth time was the charm. In the eighth inning, they once again had the bases loaded, for the fourth time in the game.

Only this time they were able to make the Royals pay. Cruz, who had homered in his previous plate appearance, wasted no time ripping a double to left field and driving in two runs on the second pitch of his at-bat.

Rosario popped up for the first out of the inning but Minnesota still had two runners in scoring position and only one out for Sano but he quickly struck out, leaving it up to Gonzalez with two outs. Once again, Minnesota was unable to fully capitalize on their scoring opportunity when Marwin lifted a shallow fly ball to left field for the third out.

Remarkably, even after all those missed opportunities, Minnesota still had a chance to win the game in the ninth inning with Cruz stepping up to the plate and representing the winning run. Unfortunately, the theme of missed opportunities once again reared its ugly head when Cruz struck out on a checked swing to end the game.

The Twins offense was 1-for-8 (.125) with the bases loaded and 4-for-18 (.222) with runners in scoring position. They also stranded 15 runners.

Kansas City Capitalizes On Their Opportunities
For how bad Minnesota was at hitting with runners in scoring position, Kansas City was equally as good. They Royals were 5-for-15 (.333) with runners in scoring position and only seven runners left on base.

The bottom third of the Kansas City lineup also proved to be troublesome for Minnesota pitchers. Their number 7, 8 and 9 hitters were a combined 5-for-11 (.454) with four runs batted in and four runs scored.

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: Pen616.png

Click here to view the article
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#2 Florida Loggerman

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 04:54 PM

what is the issue with Martin Perez?? the early season success has quickly evaporated away.I don't get to view the Twins games here in NE Florida, so I'm only able to see what the local Minn fans are sawing about Perez and his inability to stay away from one or two ugly innings.Plus, the errors, and walks by our pitchers, along with wild pitches?we saw a clean performance by the Twins for months, now it's showing a leak in the damn, and the middle relief is bad, not OK, really bad. Morin, again today inning and a third, 3 runs, and I believe all 3 were unearned dueTwins errors, 

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#3 terrydactyls1947

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 05:09 PM

Today is Sunday, June 16 and it was the 70th game of the year.The Twins are now 43%of the way through the season.Out of 59 years, the current team ranks 28th on the all-time list of Twins' home runs in one season and are on a pace to hit 317 home runs this season.

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#4 MNT1996

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 05:17 PM

Bad performance

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#5 lunemann

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 05:36 PM

Morin, again today inning and a third, 3 runs, and I believe all 3 were unearned dueTwins errors,


In general I agree the staff needs help but the defensive errors, combined with what seemed like a non stop barrage of weak Royal contact finding a hole made for some pretty tough situations for both Perez and the relief staff today.
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#6 jz7233

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 05:48 PM

Morin is a 1-out pitcher. That's what he is.


#7 Darius

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 05:51 PM

I can’t put this one on the offense. They score 6 runs and still left a bunch on. That tells me we have an awesome offense.

6 runs is enough to win the vast majority of all baseball games ever played. Pitching and defense are the issue here (news flash). It wouldn’t have been asking for the moon to keep it at 5-6 runs after Perez left.

This can be a once In a lifetime type season for us fans if they just get some pitching help. If they don’t, I don’t feel real great about about any playoff matchup. Hell, Cleveland is getting hot and getting a potentially elite starter back in Clevinger (and Kluber in August, possibly).
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#8 Aerodeliria

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 06:00 PM

That was ugly. Yesterday was also ugly, but the Twins put up the "W," so everyone forgot that the defense played quite poorly yesterday as well (excluding Marwin's catch). You can point to the pitchers, but whenever the fielders allow extra outs, it puts that much more pressure on the pitching staff. Five errors in two games; plus some less than stellar plays in the field to boot (according to all accounts); the Twins are lucky to get a split.

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#9 Doomtints

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 06:20 PM

If the Twins had finished what they started in the first inning after loading the bases, this would have been a different game.

 

 

Edited by Doomtints, 16 June 2019 - 06:20 PM.

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#10 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 06:24 PM

Both the Seattle and KC games have been pretty ugly. Glad we took 4 of 6, but I really hope they tighten up their game a bit. 

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#11 ND-Fan

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 07:16 PM

Todays game was poorly played game on the Twins part because the Twins didn't do the little things today to win a baseball game. There success with the long ball today cost them a game when they could have come back in this game. Here for example today in the eighth inning they had runners on 2 and 3 with nobody out but everyone was trying to come up with the big hit instead of just getting the two runs across. If they would have done that they would have tied the game in the nineth.With KC out of pitchers they could have won a game in the extra innings. Same was true in couple of other innings if they would have moved some runners another run could have been scored. Also Twins defense made errors today but i feel this is because to many of team were trying to come up with the big play. They just need to get back to fundamental baseball doing the little things. This where manager needs to come in make a few corrections before this become a habit.But this is just one game and teams do this at all levels get way from doing the little things but its learning experience for them if they make the corrections will just make them a better team.

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#12 pierre75275

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 07:35 PM

According to gameday, they had 32 lob and gave up 4 unearned runs. Didnt get beat but beat themselves. Every yr every team has games like this but it's so frustrating when it happens, especially against one of the worst teams in the league
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#13 Dantes929

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 07:53 PM

I don't like ugly baseball but winning 2 of three against anyone is a good thing especially since the other two games hung in the balance til the end also.  Its not easy winning big league games against anyone but I do hope they tighten things up. The Twins division champions of the prior decade won by having a couple hot streaks and playing .500 ball the rest of the time. If the Twins play .500 ball from this point they win 93 games.  Playoffs?  Teams win all sorts of ways. Not worried about the playoffs. Worried more about getting there.

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#14 james2334

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 07:58 PM

This was a strange game. Normally when you outhit the other team and out homer the other team, and your starting pitcher out pitches the other starter you win. But, since its baseball, sometimes you don't. Perez pitched really well, but had a tough luck inning where everything KC hit found a hole. He probably would have completed the 7th without giving up a run if the ball doesn't bounce off Rosie's glove. It was a tough play, but the outfield prides itself on making those types of plays. 

 

I was wondering if it had been Sano that struck out on 3 pitches to end the game, with a check swing, instead of Nelson Cruz, would the torches and pitchforks have come out?

Edited by james2334, 16 June 2019 - 07:59 PM.

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#15 Don Walcott

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 09:08 PM

 

I was wondering if it had been Sano that struck out on 3 pitches to end the game, with a check swing, instead of Nelson Cruz, would the torches and pitchforks have come out?

It's interesting. Now I'm rooting for Sano in a different way. I root for him to silence the critics as much as anything else. He was great today at the plate, and one of his Ks was a terrible call. And he was great in the field, until the error, which looked like a bad hop to me. I hope it's just on this web site, and not coming out from the fans in the game, because I fell like he's the kind of player who thrives on positive feedback.

 

Although Nelson looked at two good pitches before the third strike, that was never a swing. He should have been given a fair chance to bat there. It's been frustrating watching him lately, but I think there were signs from today that he's about to break out and have a hot streak.

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#16 james2334

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 09:40 PM

 

It's interesting. Now I'm rooting for Sano in a different way. I root for him to silence the critics as much as anything else. He was great today at the plate, and one of his Ks was a terrible call. And he was great in the field, until the error, which looked like a bad hop to me. I hope it's just on this web site, and not coming out from the fans in the game, because I fell like he's the kind of player who thrives on positive feedback.

 

Although Nelson looked at two good pitches before the third strike, that was never a swing. He should have been given a fair chance to bat there. It's been frustrating watching him lately, but I think there were signs from today that he's about to break out and have a hot streak.

I made the comment because I feel like Sano has been the target of a lot of criticism for striking out a lot, when the reality is that every player strikes out. I don't really feel bad about the Cruz at bat, that stuff just happens. I found it interesting that after the game the Royal's catcher said that they threw Cruz the same cutter three times because they thought he wasn't seeing the pitch very well. I guess I thought the check swing was actually a swing, but it would have been nice for him to get another shot.

 

As for Sano I do have some concern about his defense. He's committed 3 errors in the homestand and they have been factors in both losses. He makes some of the tough plays, but seems to lose focus sometimes on the more routine plays. He needs to pull it together over there, because the Twins are better with his bat in the line-up.

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#17 Aerodeliria

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 09:55 PM

BTW, since we talking about ugly, I really must say that the aqua-marine hats are ugly as well.

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#18 jz7233

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 10:37 PM

 

It's interesting. Now I'm rooting for Sano in a different way. I root for him to silence the critics as much as anything else. He was great today at the plate, and one of his Ks was a terrible call. And he was great in the field, until the error, which looked like a bad hop to me. I hope it's just on this web site, and not coming out from the fans in the game, because I fell like he's the kind of player who thrives on positive feedback.

 

Although Nelson looked at two good pitches before the third strike, that was never a swing. He should have been given a fair chance to bat there. It's been frustrating watching him lately, but I think there were signs from today that he's about to break out and have a hot streak.

I have more faith in Sano than Schoop when RISP. I think it would be perfectly fine without Schoop in the Twins lineup next season.

Edited by jz7233, 16 June 2019 - 10:41 PM.


#19 Monticore

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 11:14 PM

They need fielding drills.

#20 jimbo92107

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 12:15 AM

Martin Perez summed up his start thusly:

 

“I don’t start to throw hard in the first innings,” Perez said. “I’m trying to find my location, and then I throw hard and use it. You guys know that I can throw 96, 95. So I’m just trying to locate my pitches, and in the second inning, they don’t hit the ball too hard. And that’s the game. Just going to continue to do my job and compete.”

 

Fine, sometimes the ball finds holes. My question to Perez is, where oh where is that devastating cutter, the one that bends down and in on a righty almost like a Liriano slider? It was Perez's devastating cutter that gave him the 1-2 punch to KO so many hitters just a few games back. Where is it? He can't have forgotten a pitch like that. Does it cause pain? Did he lose command of it? 

 

Perez without his 95 heater and his wipe-out cutter is back to being the guy that gives up a lot of runs per start. Find that cutter, Martin. That is your ticket to fame and fortune. 

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