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Article: BOS 9, MIN 4: The Red Sox Bats Were Poppen Tonight

willians astudillo sean poppen kyle gibson
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#1 Andrew Thares

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 09:58 PM

After a seventeen inning struggle the night before, the Minnesota Twins were hoping to take the rubber game of this three-game series against the defending World Series champions. However, that was not meant to be as the Red Sox bats went off for 12 hits while drawing 10 walks off Twins pitching. Those 10 walks equals the season high set on April 10 against the New York Mets in the infamous Andrew Vasquez debacle.Box Score
Gibson: 4.1 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 5 BB, 3 K, 52.1% strikes (49 of 94 pitches)
Home Runs: Astudillo (3), Kepler (19)
Multi-Hit Games: Astudillo (3 for 4, HR), Rosario (2 for 4)
WPA of +0.1: Astudillo .141, Arraez .127
WPA of -0.1: Gibson -.495, Cave -.144, Castro -.116

Download attachment: vs Red Sox 6-19-2019.PNG

(Chart via FanGraphs)

The Twins were able to get on the board with a run in the first inning, but they left you wondering if it could have been a bigger inning. After Max Kepler popped out to start the inning, C.J. Cron flared a single into right field. Then Nelson Cruz followed that up with a towering flyball that hit off the limestone in right field, deflecting the ball back towards the infield, however, Red Sox centerfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. was able to run the ball down and easily throw out Cron who was heading home, even though he should have definitely been held up. On the play, Cruz was able to advance to third, and scored on the next at-bat when Eddie Rosario beat the shift with a two-out RBI base-hit.

It didn’t take the Red Sox long to respond, stringing a bunch of singles and walks together in the top of the second, and before you knew it the Twins were in a quick hole, down three to one. This was the first of two bad innings on the night for Kyle Gibson, who did not have his best command. In the fifth, Gibson was touched for three more runs after giving up another string of walks and hits. Gibson’s five walks allowed were his most since his first start of the 2018 season in Baltimore.

In the bottom of the third, the Twins got another clutch two-out RBI base-hit, this time off the bat of Luis Arraez. Then it was Bomba time in the bottom of the fourth. Willians Astudillo carried over his hot bat from Triple-A Rochester, leading off the inning with a solo shot as part of a three-hit night.



Max Kepler followed La Tortuga with a home run of his own just a couple of batters later, giving the Twins a four to three lead. This was already Kepler’s 19th home run of the season, just one shy of his previous career high 20 that he hit in 2018.



The Twins made a couple of roster moves earlier this afternoon. The first was placing Marwin Gonzalez on the 10-day IL with a hamstring injury. Which is the reason why La Tortuga was back up with the MLB club tonight. The other move the Twins made was placing Blake Parker on the family medical emergency list, which forced them into bringing up reliever Sean Poppen to make his MLB debut. Poppen has been pitches lights out for the Rochester Red Wings, with a 1.55 ERA. 10.6 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9.

Poppen was able to get into the game tonight and gave the Twins bullpen a much-needed night off, throwing four innings to finish the game. Poppen looked pretty sharp for three of the four innings but struggled in the eighth inning allowing three runs on four hits and two walks. It probably wasn’t exactly the debut that Poppen was hoping to have, but he served a big role, and will give the Twins a fresher bullpen heading into a four-game series against the Royals starting on Thursday.

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: 6-19-2019 vs Red Sox.PNG

Next Three Games
Thur at KC, 7:15 pm CT (Odorizzi-TBD)
Fri at KC, 7:15 pm CT (Perez-TBD)
Sat at KC, 1:15 pm CT (Berrios-TBD)

Last Game
MIN 4, BOS 3: Twins Win in 17th Inning, Get First Walk-Off

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#2 Monticore

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 10:08 PM

*La Tortuga is the soul of this team. And, it was good to see Cruz greet him at the top of the steps after his HR. Arreaz continues to impress
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#3 Dennesey55347

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 10:26 PM

There were some nice individual Twins moments tonight. Now we just need to balance the lineup with small-ball guys who manufacture hits with men on. Top 20 AL batting average leaders with RISP includes 0 Twins. The Yankees, for example, have 4 on that list and it shows. It certainly was a huge surprise to see this team's collective power achieve what it did and stretch this far, but any pitcher with very good control and breaking stuff is having their way. We don't have any proven .300 hitters on this team, so no surprises scuffling with historically good teams, but if we let the power mask poorish clutch hitting (outside of HR's and against quality pitchers not struggling), an ugly post-season we shall have.

 

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#4 Aerodeliria

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 10:34 PM

The Good:

Astudillo!!! Welcome back La Tortuga!! Arraez continues to prove his worth by getting on base three more times.

 

Poppen can bring the heat.

 

The bullpen got a nice rest and they'll need it!!

 

The Bad:

Poppen couldn't control the heat (very well).

 

Sano appeared to have no meaningful at bats. Maybe he needs a night or two off. I dunno. What say you?

 

The Ugly:

Walks, walks and more walks. One thing I've learned over my years of following the Twins is that when you play the Yankees or the Red Sox, throw STRIKES; your pitcher has to prove he is going to throw strikes before they start swinging. Last night in 17, the Twins walked only three!! Five walks by Gibson in 4.1 innings, 10 in total; they're lucky to escape with only nine runs scoring. The game was not lost because of superior hitting by the Red Sox, but because there were constantly runners on base.

 

Gibson just didn't go after their hitters. This game reminded me of the one game playoff loss to the Yankees two years ago.

 

Why send Cron in the first inning? One out and your hottest hitter coming to the plate. I really don't get that. Apparently, he was out by a mile. Someone on TD once said, they always send Cron even when he doesn't have a prayer (could it be true?).

 

The Hope:

OK. Let's start playing better against KC, so we can end up with at least a .500 record for the week. We can beat KC three out of four. Let's start a winning streak starting manana.

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#5 David HK

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 11:00 PM

I should have known a bad Gibby start was in the offing when he totally missed Kepler with the Gatorade bucket after last night's win. 🙄
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#6 Dantes929

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 12:11 AM

Gotta know your runner. I watched the highlights and wondered if Cron fell down on his way to third. Then I thought he must have missed third and had to go back to tag it. Then I played a game of cribbage and looked up in time to see him thrown out at home. 

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#7 h2oface

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 02:21 AM

I don't like Diaz's decisions at third base. He holds speedy runners and sends turtles. Personally, I think he has held way more than he should have and cost runs in close games. I don't like him making the decisions at third, at all.

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#8 yarnivek1972

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 03:52 AM

There were some nice individual Twins moments tonight. Now we just need to balance the lineup with small-ball guys who manufacture hits with men on. Top 20 AL batting average leaders with RISP includes 0 Twins. The Yankees, for example, have 4 on that list and it shows. It certainly was a huge surprise to see this team's collective power achieve what it did and stretch this far, but any pitcher with very good control and breaking stuff is having their way. We don't have any proven .300 hitters on this team, so no surprises scuffling with historically good teams, but if we let the power mask poorish clutch hitting (outside of HR's and against quality pitchers not struggling), an ugly post-season we shall have.


I don’t know if I would call that an accurate assessment. The quality of pitching in the postseason makes prolonged rallies extremely rare. 3 or 4 or more hits in an inning just isn’t likely. Indeed, quick strike offenses that capitalize on a pitcher’s rare mistakes are the type of offenses that have postseason success.

The Twins of the 2000s had plenty of high average hitters. What they typically lacked was a big time power threat or at least more than one. How did those teams fare? My memory seems to tell me that the Twins got beat by the long ball in the playoffs. I actually think this team (if it can add a couple shut down relievers) is far better to succeed in the playoffs than others of this generation.

Edited by yarnivek1972, 20 June 2019 - 03:53 AM.

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#9 rdehring

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 04:52 AM

When your starting pticher takes 40 pitches, or whatever it was, to get thru the second inning, you are screwed.

 

Great seeing the energy from the double A's.Thought Cave would be better after hitting so well at AAA.Every game I see him I am more convinced Arraez is the second baseman of the future.

 

Add me to those who thought sending Cron home was a mistake.

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#10 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 05:23 AM

If the Twins had not played 17 innings the night before/day of this game, they would not have felt the need to leave Gibson in so long when it was obvious by the second inning that he didn't have his stuff. The minute he got into trouble. If this had been a do or die game in a playoff, Gibson would have been removed in the fifth when Martinez and Devers got on base and the ballgame would have turned out differently. A rested, experienced bullpen would have taken over quickly.

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#11 Han Joelo

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 06:56 AM

Honestly, I'm turned it off, but I'm kind of relieved to see it held at 9 runs.  Not sure what to make of Poppen from all of that, but I kind of like that he got to battle through 4 innings.  Plenty of time for him to get over any adrenaline and whatnot.  Hopefully he'll be a little more accurate next time.

 

So is Astudillo the 4th outfielder right now?  I can't think of anyone else on the roster whose ever played the outfield.  Well, Cruz, I guess.  Good enough.

 

Can Arraez play a passable third base?  

 

Harper didn't let an inherited runner score, correct?


#12 Riverbrian

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 07:11 AM

Honestly, I'm turned it off, but I'm kind of relieved to see it held at 9 runs. Not sure what to make of Poppen from all of that, but I kind of like that he got to battle through 4 innings. Plenty of time for him to get over any adrenaline and whatnot. Hopefully he'll be a little more accurate next time.

So is Astudillo the 4th outfielder right now? I can't think of anyone else on the roster whose ever played the outfield. Well, Cruz, I guess. Good enough.

Can Arraez play a passable third base?

Harper didn't let an inherited runner score, correct?


If Cruz isn’t a consideration. Astudillo and Arraez are the OF considerations. I’m going to assume Sano isn’t. 😎

Arraez can play 3B. Passable? Innocent until proven guilty is how I look at it.
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#13 Number3

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 07:24 AM

"If the Twins had not played 17 innings the night before/day of this game, they would not have felt the need to leave Gibson in so long when it was obvious by the second inning that he didn't have his stuff."

Per tarheeltwins fan.

 

That is one thing I will never understand about starting pitchers in Major League Baseball. They are the most coddled members of the pro sports community. They sit for 4+ days and have all the time in the world to prepare for the next game. Then they warm up and take the mound on the 5th day and suddenly discover that they "don't have their stuff"? Unless they are ill there is no excuse for not "having their stuff" If they don"t have their stuff why don't they have a plan B like the greats do to simply battle through a few innings? I once pitched a Little League game after spending the day on the beach in Florida and got shelled to the tune of 19-2. When the coach found out about my day on the beach he chewed me out in front of the team for a full minute. I know this is a pointless rant but I have absolutely no sympathy for starting pitchers in MLB not being ready to go unless they are disabled in some way.


#14 MMMordabito

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 07:35 AM

Definitely want to see more from Poppen ... He was overthrowing and definitely didn't have the Smeltzer ability to stay cool in his debut, but 95-97 with late movement will play at this level, if harnessed.

 

Not a big fan of Arraez at SS .... Polanco got his day off, so I hope he can just play all the games at the 6 until Adrianza or Gonzalez return.

 

Sano needs a day off.Give Arraez a turn at 3rd tonight @ KC and see how he looks there.

 

Baldelli definitely favored rest over results in this rubber match.It's a long season, and you can't argue with the results so far, but now the double-digit lead is gone.This team needs to go down to KC and come back with 3-4 wins, because it will be right back to a series with a contender when they return.

 

 

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#15 luckylager

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 07:36 AM

 

That is one thing I will never understand about starting pitchers in Major League Baseball. They are the most coddled members of the pro sports community. They sit for 4+ days and have all the time in the world to prepare for the next game. Then they warm up and take the mound on the 5th day and suddenly discover that they "don't have their stuff"? Unless they are ill there is no excuse for not "having their stuff" If they don"t have their stuff why don't they have a plan B like the greats do to simply battle through a few innings? I once pitched a Little League game after spending the day on the beach in Florida and got shelled to the tune of 19-2. When the coach found out about my day on the beach he chewed me out in front of the team for a full minute. I know this is a pointless rant but I have absolutely no sympathy for starting pitchers in MLB not being ready to go unless they are disabled in some way.

 

You can't seriously be equating your little league experience to a MLB pitcher's need to have all of their skills functioning at an extremely high level in order to be effective on any given night.Even the greatest pitchers have bad nights. It doesn't mean they are in any way unprepared. 

 

 

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#16 bighat

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 07:45 AM

Taking out my crystal ball - this is what a playoff series with Boston would look like, except the Twins wouldn't be playing all 3 of these games at home. Twins couldn't get to any Boston starter the entire series when it mattered (and they missed Sale!), couldn't get hits when the pressure was on, struck out a TON and played like deer in the headlights. Stop trying to hit homers every time because it puts more pressure on the guy behind you after you strike out.

 

Pitching wise, the poster above talking about walks was dead on. Make 'em swing the bat and tip your cap if they get a single, but do not walk these guys!

 

Right now I think the Twins would lose any best-of-five series 3-1 if they played the Astros, Yankees, or Red Sox in the ALDS. Luckily we've got some time to make adjustments.

 

Overall I enjoyed the series despite the offensive disappointment. I am glad to see the Twins cut their teeth against real competition. It's nice to have a fat 9-game lead while they take stock and get a feel for what moves they need to make.

 

The latest round of injuries (Buxton, Adrianza, Marwin) is troubling. But to have La Tortuga and Arraez available is a luxury. Nice work at 2b by Astudillo last night, wow. Cave is trying too hard and that long, uppercut swing isn't going to get him anywhere. He's looked like an AAA guy this series unfortunately.

 

Poppen is Mr. Double Play!

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#17 Andrew Thares

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 07:46 AM

 

There were some nice individual Twins moments tonight. Now we just need to balance the lineup with small-ball guys who manufacture hits with men on. Top 20 AL batting average leaders with RISP includes 0 Twins. The Yankees, for example, have 4 on that list and it shows. It certainly was a huge surprise to see this team's collective power achieve what it did and stretch this far, but any pitcher with very good control and breaking stuff is having their way. We don't have any proven .300 hitters on this team, so no surprises scuffling with historically good teams, but if we let the power mask poorish clutch hitting (outside of HR's and against quality pitchers not struggling), an ugly post-season we shall have.

I couldn't disagree more with this take. This offense has produced at a level no offense has ever before. Why would we completely change that after a few games where they struggled with RISP?

 

Also as a team, the Twins have a .278 batting average with RISP, which is third best mark in the MLB. Trust me, getting hits with RISP is not the Twins issue, they just had a couple games where they struggled with it, which every team will have at some point in the season.

 

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#18 ashbury

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 08:02 AM

Those 10 walks equals the season high set on April 10 against the New York Mets in the infamous Andrew Vasquez debacle.

I guess where relievers are concerned a Debacle is worse than an Experience?

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#19 james2334

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 08:02 AM

If we look at this game rationally we would realize that Buxton, Garver, and Polanco are 3 of our best hitters against left handed pitching and none of them played. Their replacements went a combined 1 for 10 with 2 walks and a single. In normal circumstances Cave and Castro don't start against left handed pitching, but that's the situation the Twins were in.

 

Ultimately, the game hinged on the starters and Gibson just didn't have the control. You can't walk that many guys and think you are going to hold that line-up down. Boston also had the advantage of an off day today which allowed them to not have to rest as many players.

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#20 mikelink45

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 08:09 AM

I love Astudillo and Arraez, but continue to be frustrated by Sano. I am in agreement with the post that says we need players who can small ball in compliment to those who are long ball, but I really like those who can do both. This is twice that Gibson has come up after we had a game the blew out the bullpen and both times he failed to give the innings that the team needed to rest pen. He is not a picture that I would like us to rely on and the postseason.I hope Pineda surprises or we find a third pitcher we would have faith in.
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