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Article: Twins Game Recap (7/16): Tough Luck Loss for the Twins

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#1 Andrew Thares

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 09:47 PM

The Minnesota Twins were riding off their series victory over the Cleveland Indians to begin the second half over the weekend. Tonight, they welcomed the New York Mets for a two-game series to begin a nine-game home stand. Despite getting a quality start from Michael Pineda, the Twins came up just short in this hard-fought battle.Box Score
Pineda: 6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 65.8% strikes (50 of 76 pitches)
Home Runs: Schoop (15)
Multi-Hit Games: Gonzalez (2 for 5); Rosario (2 for 4); Cron (2 for 4, 2 2B)
WPA of +0.1: None
WPA of -0.1: Cruz -.367; Sano -.175; Polanco -.167; Kepler -.134

Download attachment: vs Mets 7-16-2019.PNG
(Chart via Fangraphs)

The Mets got off to quick start in the top of the first to begin this short two-game series when outfielders Jeff McNeil and Michael Conforto got a couple of singles to lead off the inning. Michael Pineda was able to battle back by striking out Home Run Derby champion Pete Alonso. Then after a wild pitch, Robinson Cano hit a short fly ball to center field setting up Max Kepler for a chance to throw McNeil out at home, but a misfire out of his hand didn’t give the throw a chance. The inning about came to an end with just one run allowed, but Jonathan Schoop booted a groundball off the bat of Wilson Ramos, allowing Conforto to score the second run of the inning.

The early innings were filled with a bunch of tough luck outs for the Twins hitters. In the first inning Jorge Polanco had a bid for a leadoff single, but it was snared out of the air by Mets second baseman Robinson Cano. Per Statcast, Polanco’s lineout had an expected batting average of .890. In the second inning, both Eddie Rosario and Max Kepler also had bids for a hit but were denied. The expected batting average on their two lineouts were .640 and .550 respectively.

The Twins were final able to get a run on the scoreboard when Jonathan Schoop led off the inning with a solo home run to right-center field. With two-outs in the inning, the Twins put together a good chance to score but came up short when Mets center-fielder Michel Conforto made a great catch at the wall to rob Nelson Cruz of what would have been a game-tying double. Again, some misfortune for a Twins hitter, as the expected batting average on this Cruz flyout was .760.

Eddie Rosario and C.J. Cron got a rally started in the fourth when they went single, double to begin the inning. Max Kepler then came through with an RBI-groundout to tie the game, and advance Cron to third with just one out. A Miguel Sano strikeout and Jonathan Schoop intentional-walk put runners on the corners with two outs for Jason Castro. Inexplicably, however, Castro wasn’t given the opportunity to drive in the go-ahead run as a botched double steal attempt ended the inning.

The Mets were able to take the lead back in the top of the fifth, when Amed Rosario scored from third on a two-out base-hit from Michael Conforto. Rosario got on base with a one out double, and advanced to third thanks to a wild pitch from Michael Pineda in the next at-bat.

It was more tough luck for the Twins in the bottom of the fifth. Robert Gsellman came into the game to replace Steven Matz to begin the inning and immediately walked Jason Castro and hit Jorge Polanco. Marwin Gonzalez then appeared to come up with a big line drive base-hit, but unfortunately it was lined right at Mets first baseman Pete Alonso who immediately doubled-off Jorge Polanco, effectively ending the Twins threat before it even started.

Blake Parker worked himself into a bit of a jam in the top of the eighth but got out of it on this conventional 1-5-2-5 double-play to keep it a one run game.



Things got very interesting in the bottom of the ninth inning. Against Mets closer Edwin Diaz, Miguel Sano struck out looking to lead off the inning, but took two strike calls, including strike three, that appeared to be outside the strike zone. Jonathan Schoop then came up and got into a quick 0-2 hole, before leaving with an apparent injury. Luis Arraez then came into a very difficult situation and fought all the way back to draw a one-out walk, fouling off numerous 98 MPH+ fastballs in the process. Mitch Garver, who pinch hit for Jason Castro in the seventh, lined a base hit to left field, giving the Twins first and second with just one out. After Garver it was Jorge Polanco’s turn, but he flew out to center field, and failed to advance the runners. Then Marwin Gonzalez came up and kept the game alive with a weak dribbler up the third baseline, resulting in an infield single, keeping the game alive for Nelson Cruz. Cruz put together a great at-bat against Diaz, bringing the count full, but swung at what would have been ball four and popped up in foul territory to end the ballgame.

Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
Click here for a review of the number of pitches thrown by each member of the bullpen over the past five days.

Next Three Games
Wed vs NYM, 12:10 pm CT (Vargas-Perez)
Thu vs OAK, 7:10 pm CT (TBD-TBD)
Fri vs OAK, 7:10 pm CT (TBD-TBD)

Last Game
Twins Game Recap (7/14): Cleveland Prevails, Avoids Sweep

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#2 MNT1996

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 09:50 PM

This team was a poser the first 60 games of the season. The past few weeks have shown this team's true colors - a little above average, around .500 baseball club. 


#3 Aggies7

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 10:21 PM

Just 2 or 3 more wins against these below .500 teams would have honestly changed so much. 17 games since June 1, 9-8 record. Conversely, the Indians have played 23 such games in that same period and have gone 18-5. Take care of your own business and there wouldn’t be a problem.
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#4 terrydactyls1947

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 10:27 PM

Yesterday was Tuesday, July 16, it was the 93rd game of the year and the Twins hit 1 home run. The Twins are now 57% of the way through the season. Out of 59 years, the current team ranks 9th on the all-time list of Twins' home runs in one season and are on a pace to hit 300 home runs this season. They are now 95 home runs behind the single season MLB record. The next Twins team to pass is the 1962 team that hit 185 home runs.
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#5 HawksNest

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 10:33 PM

Tough loss, it happens.It just seems like these sort of losses are happening more and more frequently over the past month.Was really hoping we'd sweep the lowly Mets to give us a bit of a cushion for the A's and Yankees series.

 

Stating the obvious, but the team really seems to have issues hitting with RISP (duh). Hope we can break the trend sooner rather than later.

 

Not really sure how to articulate it, but something happened to this team a month and a half ago (June 4th) when we went to Cleveland for that three game series and lost 2 of 3. I can't really put my finger on it, but it's like they lost their mojo. 

 

The team flat out just hasn't been the same since.In the 35 games since the start of that series, the team has played .500 baseball (18-17).

 

We're going on over a month of this type of play now.Random nights where the defense is just terrible. Baserunning blunders. Clutch hitting has been nearly non-existent, etc. Something is just off.

 

Injuries no doubt have played into this. But it seems like the swagger is missing. 

 

Is this what the team has settled into? It's great that we built such a huge cushion during the first two months of the season, but I think it's pretty clear that this team is 3rd in the pecking order of AL powers (behind the Yankees and Astros for sure).

 

Idk, maybe I'm just venting after a tough loss...

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#6 rghrbek

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 10:52 PM

I knew we would go through this, granted it's much later than I thought, but we are were we are....Cleveland won. be nice if our RISP in the last month was worth a damn.  Still have plenty of faith  Still nervous though.

 

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#7 LA VIkes Fan

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 10:58 PM

What changed? Injuries and regression by guys playing and pitching over their heads. Odorizzi isn't the second coming of Verlander any more, the OF is banged up, Garver isn't going to hit.350, Polanco isn't going to hid .350, and Scoop and Sano are playing like who they are. Add in a normal slew of injuries and you have a little better than .500 team.

I don't mean to be entirely negative. I still think this is a quality team that will be competitive in playoffs. That much more likely to play .530-.550 baseball the rest of the way than .600 like they started out. Playing .550 the rest of the way or make them roughly 39-32 so they would finish 97-65. Sign me up for that right now.
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#8 Dantes929

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 11:20 PM

 

This team was a poser the first 60 games of the season. The past few weeks have shown this team's true colors - a little above average, around .500 baseball club. 

Most playoff teams play a little better than .500 ball most of the time with a few modest hot streaks. I am fine with them getting to the playoffs and then posing their way to the WS.   

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#9 howeda7

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 11:44 PM

It feels like a slow leak that is going to get worse at least for the next week. The front office really needs to make a move and inject some life in the clubhouse ASAP. 

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#10 USAFChief

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 11:51 PM

No bad luck involved, or at least not enough to matter.

Bad play.
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#11 Aerodeliria

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 12:04 AM

Arraez's AB in the 9th should not be overlooked. That was a great AB. They put up a good fight in the 9th, but just came up one pitch short. It happens. Diaz was dealing 98 to 99 so it was a good 9th.

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#12 Reider

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 01:00 AM

Great at bat by Luis Arraez in the bottom of the 9th. He has an incredible eye at the plate. It's great that the Twins were able to load the bases, but it's too bad that they could not score any runs.

 

The Twins definitely started sliding before the all-star break, but they just won their series against Cleveland and almost swept it.

 

It's definitely a good time for the Twins to acquire some high end pitching.

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#13 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 01:06 AM

 

It's definitely a good time for the Twins to acquire some high end pitching.

I agree but is it really possible for their bullpen to pitch better than it has for the past few weeks?

 

While I want the postseason upside, I'm not sure we can get much more regular season upside than we've seen recently.

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#14 Reider

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 01:38 AM

 

I agree but is it really possible for their bullpen to pitch better than it has for the past few weeks?

 

While I want the postseason upside, I'm not sure we can get much more regular season upside than we've seen recently.

Why isolate the bullpen over the last few weeks? And why not mention starting pitching? It's a team game, it's a long season and there is room for improvement in all areas, including the bullpen. Of course, it doesn't help that players keep getting injured. Could the Twins use a high end starting pitcher? Yes. Could the hitting be a little more clutch? Yes. I think the Twins could use a couple of high end pitchers for the bullpen as well, regardless of how relief pitchers have been performing over the last few weeks.

 

Do you think the Twins should sit on their hands at the deadline? The Twins need to improve their pitching, period.

Edited by Reider, 17 July 2019 - 01:40 AM.


#15 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 01:52 AM

 

Why isolate the bullpen over the last few weeks? And why not mention starting pitching? It's a team game, it's a long season and there is room for improvement in all areas, including the bullpen. Of course, it doesn't help that players keep getting injured. Could the Twins use a high end starting pitcher? Yes. Could the hitting be a little more clutch? Yes. I think the Twins could use a couple of high end pitchers for the bullpen as well, regardless of how relief pitchers have been performing over the last few weeks.

 

Do you think the Twins should sit on their hands at the deadline? The Twins need to improve their pitching, period.

Uh... not what I said.

 

The starting pitching has been pretty mediocre over the past several weeks while the bullpen has been outstanding.

 

I literally said I want more upside but I'm also giving credit to the bullpen for pitching some pretty amazing games.

 

Why is it so hard to give credit to something we don't expect to do well but does anyway?

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#16 David HK

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 02:30 AM

 

 It's great that the Twins were able to load the bases, but it's too bad that they could not score any runs.

 

Yep. 

 

That ol' "loading the bases" ploy is not good for this team. That was the death knell.

 

 

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#17 Reider

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 02:38 AM

 

Uh... not what I said.

 

The starting pitching has been pretty mediocre over the past several weeks while the bullpen has been outstanding.

 

I literally said I want more upside but I'm also giving credit to the bullpen for pitching some pretty amazing games.

 

Why is it so hard to give credit to something we don't expect to do well but does anyway?

All I said was that now is the time for the Twins to upgrade their pitching (as the deadline is at the end of the month). You isolated it to bullpen. Sure, if you want to give some credit where it's due lets give the bullpen credit. Lets also give the rest of the team and front office credit. The team got off to a great start and despite the slide, they're still in first place in their division. It takes an entire team to get to where they're at. Sometimes it's the hitters that carry the team, sometimes it's the pitching (starting and / or bullpen), sometimes the defense gets the job done. Sometimes the front office makes astute moves.

 

But it's the middle of July and the Twins need to decide if they want to take a serious run in the playoffs this year and if they do, they're going to need to add some high end pitching.

Edited by Reider, 17 July 2019 - 03:00 AM.


#18 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 05:16 AM

wild pitches killed Pineda. I think teams have started to figure out the offense. Hopefully getting everyone back and firing on all cylinders will help. 

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#19 Major League Ready

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 05:41 AM

Is there a way too look up RBI with less than 2 outs and a runner on 3rd by individual player. I swear Sano has not has a sac fly all year but maybe it's my imagination.

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#20 bighat

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 05:48 AM

Everyone's had their rests. Including legitimate (Sano, Rosario, Garver) or phantom (Cruz, Cron, Gonzalez) IL stints. Let's start running the "A Team" out there every single night and put together some wins.

 

When I think about it, Willians Astudillo makes a huge difference. The offensive guys seem to play better when he's around, at least in my mind. When that guy's on the 25-man roster this team has a spark. Like everyone else I've seen the La Tortuga hype rise, fade, and rise again...but there's something about Willians that makes the rest of the team play harder. The Twins have had their best moments while that guy's in the dugout wearing a uniform.

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