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Front Page: Twins Game Recap (9/8) Clevinger Shuts Down the Scuffling Twins Offense

ian miller ryan lamarre lamonte wade jr. randy dobnak devin smeltzer
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#1 Cooper Carlson

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 03:41 PM

The Twins sent out one of the strangest lineups we've seen all season and eventually even Ian Miller and Ryan LaMarre worked their way in there for this Twins loss. The opener strategy was deployed again headlined by Randy Dobnak and Devin Smeltzer, but it did not go as well this second time around. The Twins lost this game and series to the Indians.Box Score
Dobnak: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 67% strikes (22 of 33 pitches)
Bullpen: 7.0 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K

Home Runs: None
Multi-Hit Games: None

Top 3 WPA: LaMonte Wade jr. (0.13), Ryne Harper (0.03), Fernando Romero (0.02)
Bottom 3 WPA: Cron (-0.10), Dobnak (-0.10), Polanco (-0.09)

Clevinger dominates against strange Twins lineup

The Twins have been hit with the injury bug a frustrating amount of times this season, and that was on full display today. By the second inning, only three Twins players in the lineup were in the lineup on Opening Day. The Twins did what was expected with this lineup against the elite Mike Clevinger by getting just four hits over 6 1/3 innings.

Max Kepler left the game after a first inning at-bat that had him feeling some upper chest pain, and Ian Miller got his first career at-bat. He struck out and was eventually replaced by Twins legend Ryan LaMarre. Through seven innings no Twin had more than one hit and a bases-loaded opportunity went to waste.

The Twins did get a bit of offense off of Clevinger with this Mitch Garver home run.


Twins opener not as successful the second time around

The Twins broke out their first real opener last week against Boston and saw the Dobnak/Lewis Thorpe combination lead to a win, but today did not go as well. Dobnak started again but gave up two runs, and then his replacement was Smeltzer, who also gave up two runs.

With Michael Pineda suspended, Kyle Gibson on the IL, Jose Berrios struggling, and Martin Perez being a huge question mark, the opener strategy will likely be utilized by the Twins down the stretch. It may even be used in the playoffs so hopefully they can get a solid rotation or combination going to see what works.

Indians bullpen finishes off the game

The Twins were finally able to get Clevinger out of the game, and they were threatening to get back in to it. After loading the bases with one out, C.J. Cron and Mitch Garver both struck out swinging. As a team, the Twins are hitting just .215/.221/.318 with the bases loaded. Also, the Twins lead all of baseball in wOBA, but they are somehow last in wOBA with the bases loaded. Baseball is weird.

The eighth inning was easy for the Indians as Oliver Perez set down the side 1-2-3, and then Brad Hand and his 6.00 second-half ERA came in to finish it off. Luis Arraez hit a ball 98 MPH with a .400 xBA but Greg Allen made a great catch to rob him of a double. Adrianza flew out, Wade was hit by a pitch, Schoop walked, and 2018 Twins legend Ryan LaMarre stepped to the plate with a chance to tie the game ... He struck out.

Twins fall to 5.5 games over the Indians

The Twins basically just had to go 3-3 over these last six against the Red Sox and Indians and they did exactly that. Now moving on to six more tough games against Washington and Cleveland, the Twins should just go 3-3 again to secure the division. What is your panic level? I mean it shouldn’t be high except for the absurd amount of injuries, but let me know in the comments and I’ll discuss with you. Twins lose the series two games to one against the division rival Indians.

Postgame with Baldelli


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.

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#2 Platoon

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 04:00 PM

There is virtually no doubt the Twins will be in the playoffs. No stress level there. But simply out of abject curiousity, why would Sano not hit in an attempt to prolong the game? Was he hurt?
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#3 Dantes929

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 04:21 PM

"Now moving on to six more tough games against Washington and Cleveland, the Twins should just go 3-3 again to secure the division."Yes, they should do that but why do you think they will. If the Twins go 3-3 and at least one of those wins is against the Indians then I am with you.

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#4 jz7233

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 04:29 PM

Twins are missing Mauer more than ever. With a collection of Schoop/Cron type of players Twins are destined to break the HR record. Unfortunately the ultimate goal of baseball is to win the World Series. I think in the offseason Twins need to get a few quality starting pitchers and bullpen arms along with couple CLUTCH hitters who often produce under pressure.

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#5 jz7233

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 04:48 PM

I think Arraez and Polanco should bat 1st and 2nd. Kepler 3rd. Garver 4th. Rosario 5th. I don't understand why those power hitters are hitting 1st and 2nd in the lineup.

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#6 yarnivek1972

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 04:53 PM

Twins are missing Mauer more than ever. With a collection of Schoop/Cron type of players Twins are destined to break the HR record. Unfortunately the ultimate goal of baseball is to win the World Series. I think in the offseason Twins need to get a few quality starting pitchers and bullpen arms along with couple CLUTCH hitters who often produce under pressure.


Joe Mauer had a .641 career postseason OPS. Almost all of that was before he developed his concussion issues.
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#7 bighat

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 05:06 PM

Forgive me for feeling negatively about this loss. But if you take away Mitch Garver's big home run yesterday, this team is averaging 2 runs per game over the past week. How they got away with winning 3-of-6 against Boston and Cleveland is beyond me. The Twins clearly can't compete head-to-head with Cleveland at this time and I wouldn't be shocked to see them swept next weekend. And with a hot Washington team scrapping for their playoff lives, the Twins are looking at a daunting week ahead.

 

The offense looks as dismal and absent as it has all year, tank looks like its running on empty, with no help in sight.

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#8 Monticore

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 05:28 PM

It would have been nice if Lamarre had not been rung up with his bat on his shoulder.

#9 yarnivek1972

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 05:32 PM

The help in sight is Nelson Cruz. Of course, his impact may be negligible in Washington. Would it be worth it to “start” him in the OF, let him hit in the first and then lift him for Miller or LaMarre right away? Obviously, the downside is having a terrible hitter in the 3 hole for most of the game. They have just barely enough bodies that they could pinch hit a couple times, but the choices aren’t real strong either at present.

FWIW, Cruz has 10 HR in the first inning this year, double any other inning. His biggest impact might be right away. Why wait for a “key” spot that may never happen?

#10 spycake

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 05:52 PM

The help in sight is Nelson Cruz. Of course, his impact may be negligible in Washington.


We're at home vs Washington, with the DH this week.

Unless you are looking head to a possible World Series matchup! :)
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#11 Rosterman

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 07:19 PM

With people busing injuris, the Twins need to make hard decisions on who WILL be available for the playoffs. Is Gonzales healing? Is Dyson still a possibility? Can Buxton bat? Will Kepler be an issue? Almsot need to put Gordon on the callup, and then 60-day him and bring in Kirilloff, fresh off the playoffs with the Wahoos. 

 

Gald the Twins got some inning work for a bunch of people sitting in the pen. I expected what happened to Dobnak and Smetzler to happen anyways. At this point, I would let Smeltzer start and get 3-4 innings, then bring in others. Dobnak should stay a one-inning opener. Where is Kohl Stewart? And Bristar Graterol should be in this rotation mix for 3-4 innings. Those five names should be the focus of five more rotation rounds for the remainder of the season.

 

If Kepler is out, then refocus the ineup. Arraez should start because he takes pitchers. LaMonte Wade is also showing discipline at the plate. Let him bat second, Polanco third. If Cruz remains out, make sure you get Astulido in there somewhere for every single game. Heck, with his bat these days, make Garver the cleanup hitter after Arraez, Wade, Polanco.

 

Going to be an interesting end of the season. Why aren't the Twins winning bigtime at home, hitting homer galore at Target Field? Will the lowly White Sox, Tigers and Royals be spoilers and play hard because they have nothing to lose?

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#12 Tom Froemming

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 07:25 PM

I liked what I saw from a few of the pitchers the Twins are going to need to step up in the wake of the Pineda suspension. Shared some highlight clips early on in today's episode.

 

 

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#13 Dman

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 07:37 PM

I know we have a 5.5 game lead but with Pineda suspension and the tough 6 game stretch ahead I am feeling a bit negative about our chances right now.I just hope Cleveland has as much trouble winning games as I think we will.They have the tougher schedule but they still have very good starting pitching so hard to say how things will play out.Hoping the good guys can find a way push through the end of the season and keep winning games.

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#14 Danchat

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 07:48 PM

 

I know we have a 5.5 game lead but with Pineda suspension and the tough 6 game stretch ahead I am feeling a bit negative about our chances right now.I just hope Cleveland has as much trouble winning games as I think we will.They have the tougher schedule but they still have very good starting pitching so hard to say how things will play out.Hoping the good guys can find a way push through the end of the season and keep winning games.

Let's not forget that the final 10 games of the season are going to be against the 2 worst teams in baseball. The division is in hand, I'm just worried that they're not going to be capable of winning a playoff series.

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#15 howeda7

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 07:48 PM

 

Forgive me for feeling negatively about this loss. But if you take away Mitch Garver's big home run yesterday, this team is averaging 2 runs per game over the past week. How they got away with winning 3-of-6 against Boston and Cleveland is beyond me. The Twins clearly can't compete head-to-head with Cleveland at this time and I wouldn't be shocked to see them swept next weekend. And with a hot Washington team scrapping for their playoff lives, the Twins are looking at a daunting week ahead.

 

The offense looks as dismal and absent as it has all year, tank looks like its running on empty, with no help in sight.i

I'll be happy if they still have a 3.5 game lead a week from now. But honestly, I'm finding it hard to even worry about. Making the play-offs doesn't mean much if there's a 75% chance we're going to get swept. 

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#16 howeda7

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 07:49 PM

 

Let's not forget that the final 10 games of the season are going to be against the 2 worst teams in baseball. The division is in hand, I'm just worried that they're not going to be capable of winning a playoff series.

The division is not in hand. Cleveland could easily gain 3 or 4 games on us in the next 7 days. 

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#17 rkevin

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 08:26 PM

A division crown is very close but definitely not a sure thing with the latest round of news about Pineda, Buxton and Kepler and with several other regulars ailing. Just don't know what to think. So close but yet so far...sigh.

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#18 David HK

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 09:06 PM

Well, once again, Cleveland defeated Rochester, and Clevinger pitched a gem, just as ace-type belly-itchers are supposed to do in a pennant crunch.

 

But holy heck, I'm wondering if Clevinger and Hunter Wood and their scraggly mullets each live in vans down by the river, or if they share just one? 

 

Van

 

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#19 terrydactyls1947

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 11:36 PM

Yesterday was Sunday, September 8. It was the 143rd game of the year putting the Twins 88% of the way through the season. The Twins hit 1 home run upping their MLB record-breaking season total to 275 home runs.

 


#20 spycake

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 01:09 AM

 

Yesterday was Sunday, September 8. It was the 143rd game of the year putting the Twins 88% of the way through the season. The Twins hit 1 home run upping their MLB record-breaking season total to 275 home runs.

Yankees hit 3 home runs yesterday, in their 144th game -- now up to 268...

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