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Front Page: Twins Game Recap (8/20): Cruz Leads Twins Offensive Explosion

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#1 Andrew Thares

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 09:12 PM

Monday night was a bit of a come down to earth for the Minnesota Twins, who cruised their way to a four-game sweep against the Texas Rangers over the weekend. However, the Twins jumped right back on the gas pedal last night again, putting up 14 runs on 10 extra-base hits against the Chicago White Sox. In New York, the Mets took care of business, beating the Cleveland Indians by a score of 9 to 2, which helped the Twins extend their lead in the division back up to three games.Box Score
Pineda: 7 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 79.5% strikes (70 of 88 pitches)
Home Runs: Kepler (34), Cruz (33), Polanco (19)
Multi-Hit Games: Kepler (2 for 5, 2B, HR), Cruz (4 for 5, 3 2B, HR), Rosario (2 for 5)
WPA of +0.1: Cruz .347, Kepler .176
WPA of -0.1: None

The pitchers were in control of this game in its early stages, as they both breezed through the first couple of innings, facing just one more batter than the minimum between the two pitchers. However, that narrative took a 180 in the third inning, when both teams found their bats. In the top of the third, Michael Pineda was one out away from another quick inning, leaving just a runner on first. That all changed when Tim Anderson roped a double down the first-base line that ricocheted off the side wall, and away from Jake Cave, allowing Yolmer Sanchez to score from first. Jose Abreu followed that up with another third-inning home run, putting the White Sox 3-0.

Mitch Garver led off the bottom of the third with a double into the right-center field gap, for the Twins first baserunner of the game. Garver advanced to third on a Marwin Gonzalez groundout, but was still standing there with two outs, after Jake Cave struck out. No worries though, as Max Kepler, who was back in the lineup after missing last night’s game as a result of the heat exhaustion he suffered over the weekend in Texas, came through with a two-out, two-run home run to cut the White Sox lead down to one.



After a strong showing in his return from the injured list last night, Nelson Cruz showed everyone that the ruptured tendon in his left wrist wasn’t going to slow him down, as he took Reynaldo Lopez deep to left field, to tie the game at three.



After tying the game up in the bottom of the fourth, Nelson Cruz gave the Twins their first lead of the game, just an inning later. A lead they would not look back from. The inning didn’t look like it was going to be anything much after Mitch Garver and Marwin Gonzalez both grounded out to leadoff the inning. Jake Cave then followed that up with an opposite field single, extending his modest hit streak to eight games. Max Kepler then nubbed the ball two feet in front of home plate, but the inning was kept alive when Jose Abreu inexplicably missed the catch on the throw to first. Jorge Polanco kept the inning going when he was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Nelson Cruz, who promptly delivered with a two-run double off the wall in right. On the very next pitch, Eddie Rosario followed that up with a base hit, bringing in both Polanco and Cruz to extend the Twins lead to four.

Tim Anderson led off the top of the sixth inning with a home run, which was the fourth earned run allowed by Michael Pineda on the night. That marks just the second start for Pineda since the beginning of May, when he has allowed more than three earned runs.

The Twins busted the game wide open with a seven-run inning in the bottom of the eighth. The inning was highlighted by two doubles from Nelson Cruz, a bases clearing double from C.J. Cron, RBI-doubles from both Miguel Sano and Max Kepler, and a two-run home run by Jorge Polanco.





Bullpen Usage
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:

Next Three Games
Wed vs CHW, 12:10 pm CT (Giolito-Odorizzi)
Fri vs DET, 7:10 pm CT (TBD-TBD)
Sat vs DET, 6:10 pm CT (TBD-TBD)

Last Game
Twins Game Recap (8/19): Twins Unable to Mount Comeback, Drop Series Opener 6-4

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#2 terrydactyls1947

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 09:13 PM

Yesterday was Tuesday, August 20.It was the 126th game of the year putting the Twins 78% of the way through the season.The Twins hit 3 home runs upping their record-breaking season total to 244 home runs.They are now only 24 home runs short of setting a new single-season MLB record.

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#3 h2oface

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 09:24 PM

Interesting that tonight's 14 hits in a 14-4 blowout.......... was one less than the 15 hits last night in the 6-4 loss.

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#4 VivaBomboRivera!

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 09:27 PM

Holy flying squirrels, Batman!Nelson Cruz doubles twice in bottom of the eighth!

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#5 Monticore

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 09:34 PM

Cruz deserves MVP consideration.
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#6 SQUIRREL

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 09:39 PM

Couple of notes ...

 

During the broadcast (I was listening to the Sox broadcast), the broadcasters were having fun with the squirrel. Then the Twins started scoring and they said, "I didn't know that was a rally squirrel." And, of course, the squirrel had a prominent place in the Sox post-game report.

 

Also in the post-game report, they put up some numbers. Cruz and Kepler have combined for 8hr and 20 rbi against the Sox so far this year. That's amazing, but I guess when you are putting up the hits you are against a team, and score the runs you are against a team, that's expected. From just two players. 

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A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. But a skunkweed will always be a skunkweed and instantly recognizable. 


#7 MNT1996

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 09:42 PM

Cruz is pretty good at hitting

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#8 ScooterDance

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 09:46 PM

If you had told me Kep was going to hit 34HR this year I’d have shat myself.

If you’d have followed it up by saying “with 6 weeks left in the season” I would have flung my poo at you, figuring we were all just in the looney bin so might as well act the part.
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#9 Tom Froemming

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 09:56 PM

I came up with a potential long-term feature to add to these things, and the only way to find out if it works was to just start doing them. Here's a pitching-focused review of tonight's game. Still very much working on both the idea and execution.

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Find me on Twitter @TFTwins and subscribe to my YouTube channel.


#10 FlauerPauer

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 10:04 PM

When's the last time the Twins had two players with 40 home runs?


#11 prouster

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 10:09 PM

When's the last time the Twins had two players with 40 home runs?


Off the top of my head, I don’t think it has ever happened.
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#12 Andrew Thares

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 10:10 PM

When's the last time the Twins had two players with 40 home runs?

Never

The Twins have only had 8 seasons of a player hitting 40 home runs, and 7 of them were Harmon Killebrew. The other was Brian Dozier.
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#13 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 10:12 PM

 

Cruz deserves MVP consideration.

Um, no.

 

https://www.fangraph...155&position=OF


#14 FlauerPauer

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 10:24 PM

 

 

It's most valuable, not best player. Clearly Trout is the best player in the game, but is he the most valuable to his team? Morneau wasn't the best player in the league, nor was Mauer.

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#15 FlauerPauer

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 10:24 PM

 

Never The Twins have only had 8 seasons of a player hitting 40 home runs, and 7 of them were Harmon Killebrew. The other was Brian Dozier.

 

Good lookin'. I looked on baseball-reference, but couldn't find anything.


#16 Andrew Thares

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 10:30 PM

Good lookin'. I looked on baseball-reference, but couldn't find anything.

I was able to find it on Fangraphs pretty easy. If you don’t have access to the Play Index, that could be hard to find on baseball reference.

#17 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 10:31 PM

 

It's most valuable, not best player. Clearly Trout is the best player in the game, but is he the most valuable to his team? Morneau wasn't the best player in the league, nor was Mauer.

Oy. Mauer was close to the leader in WAR that season and probably got a bump because he's a catcher and catchers aren't supposed to do what he did that season. Joe was within a single win of being the league leader, while also catching most of his games (pretty hard to complain about a catcher worth eight wins taking the MVP award).

 

Meanwhile, Trout is on his merry way to a 10 win season (again) and we're talking about Cruz maybe crossing four wins.

 

Totally the same argument.

 

I do not understand why people refuse to accept that Mike Trout should win every MVP award until he stops being Mike Trout at the plate and on the field. He's literally the best baseball player that has ever stepped onto a diamond.

 

Appreciate greatness when you see it, folks. It doesn't come along that often.

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#18 MNT1996

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 10:32 PM

 

Cruz deserves MVP consideration.

 

Twins MVP consideration definitely

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#19 VivaBomboRivera!

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 10:42 PM

 

 ...

 

During the broadcast (I was listening to the Sox broadcast), the broadcasters were having fun with the squirrel. Then the Twins started scoring and they said, "I didn't know that was a rally squirrel." And, of course, the squirrel had a prominent place in the Sox post-game report....

 

Where there is squirrel, Boris, there must also be moose!

 

Mandatory baseball content:

Pineda's pitching line tonight (esp. _no_ walks 80% strike ratio) should be pinned above the locker of every other member of the staff.The team is not getting enough of that.

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#20 Aerodeliria

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 10:47 PM

Let's not give Anderson too much credit. The double was a handle shot down the right field line that plopped down about an inch inside the line and then because of the spin (I imagine) made a weird carom of the wall--more like a yarn rather than a rope IMHO. Even on the home run Anderson was fooled, but he was able to slow his bat speed and kind of barreled it down the left field line. It hung just a little so he could keep the barrel on the ball long enough to generate a fly ball. It carried very well.

 

I thought Pineda pitched well. Even the home run by Abreu was a decent pitch. Abreu just clocked it. You sometimes have to tip your hat to your opponent.

 

Cruz may not be the league MVP but he is probably the team MVP at the moment. His presence in the batting order has an effect up and down the lineup.

 

 

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