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#1 stringer bell

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 07:28 AM

That nice 6.5 game lead is down to 4 and the Twins face good pitching in their next four scheduled games. I do believe it is very possible that their lead will have diminished significantly by the time they leave Cleveland. This Twins team has not had a substantial losing streak all year. To my recollection, they have not been swept in a three-game series and only lost one two-gamer. However, much like the weather outside, the storm clouds are gathering.

 

I count five position players and one pitcher that aren't being used due to their health that are on the active roster. Dyson (pitcher), Kepler, Cave, Gonzalez, Sanó and Cron, Add in the suspension of Pineda and the season-ending surgery for Buxton and there are eight players out who we were counting on just a week ago. 

 

The manager's public face to these storm clouds is we're going with what we have. We're ahead and they have to catch us. 

 

How many of these guys can play today or tomorrow? Rocco isn't saying. We don't know who is being held out (nicked) and who is totally unavailable. It makes sense to get everybody healthy as you can for postseason and I don't mind if the Twins don't win 100 games or set the all-time record for homers. I do mind if they sneak in as a wild card or worse, don't make postseason at all. 

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#2 JW24

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 07:35 AM

This post will be worth re-visiting on Monday morning. Lets wait to see how Odo and Berrios pitch against Cleveland. If the Twins can split the next 4 games, this is a pretty moot point.

 

If the Twins can manage a 10-7 record over their final 17 games, Cleveland would need to go 13-2 to tie the Twins. 

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#3 DesertTwinsFan

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 07:36 AM

I'm with you. I already posted my fear that they won't even make the playoffs. If they lose the next 4, I think Cleveland, Tampa, and Oakland all pass them up. It's just my Minnesota training, I hope.

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#4 Vanimal46

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 07:39 AM

Don't see a collapse happening. Too many games (13) left against AL Central bottom feeders.
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#5 SomeGuy

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 07:41 AM

Odds of winning the division are still at 95%, postseason odds are at 98.9%. A collapse is highly unlikely.

 

Gibson and Cruz are back, Kepler and Cave are listed as "any day."

 

13 of 17 games are against the awful Tigers, Royals, and White Sox.

 

Cleveland has series against Twins, Phillies, and Nationals left (9 of 15 games are against contenders compared to our 4 of 17).

 

 

Edited by SomeGuy, 12 September 2019 - 07:43 AM.

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#6 blindeke

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 07:43 AM

Terrible luck that everyone is hurt for the stretch. What's the point of making the playoffs if you're not healthy anyway? 

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#7 gunnarthor

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 07:43 AM

Twins will be fine although I'm afraid they'll be a pretty quick exit in the playoffs. The FO/ownership didn't do enough with the window open.

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#8 DesertTwinsFan

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 07:45 AM

JW - Despite my first post, I agree that taking 2 of the next 4 will bring lots of comfort and probably will get the Twins in, especially if those 2 are both against Cleveland. Plus I keep reminding myself that after Cleveland, we end with 13 games against KC, Chicago, and Detroit, while Cleveland has to take on two playoff hopefuls in Philly and Washington, in addition to a couple division foes. Cleveland definitely have the tougher road, but they also are playing well, and painful as it is to admit, their starting pitching makes me think that if they get in, Cleveland has better potential to make a playoff run than the Twins.

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#9 Vanimal46

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 07:46 AM

Twins will be fine although I'm afraid they'll be a pretty quick exit in the playoffs. The FO/ownership didn't do enough with the window open.


Agreed. But hey! At least we got #Bombas right?
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#10 Number3

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 07:47 AM

 

This post will be worth re-visiting on Monday morning. Lets wait to see how Odo and Berrios pitch against Cleveland. If the Twins can split the next 4 games, this is a pretty moot point.

 

If the Twins can manage a 10-7 record over their final 17 games, Cleveland would need to go 13-2 to tie the Twins. 

What about Gibson against the Nats tonight, weather permitting? If its postponed, the makeup game could be critical and inconvenient for both teams. I hope they don't have to play one of those delay, delay, delay games just to get it in. If its postponed I hope its before game time. Cleveland is off tonight so they would have an advantage outright if Twins have an all nighter and then have to go to Cleveland.

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#11 spycake

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 07:50 AM

 

Odds of winning the division are still at 95%, postseason odds are at 98.9%. A collapse is highly unlikely.

 

Gibson and Cruz are back, Kepler and Cave are listed as "any day."

 

13 of 17 games are against the awful Tigers, Royals, and White Sox.

 

Cleveland has series against Twins, Phillies, and Nationals left (9 of 15 games are against contenders compared to our 4 of 17).

 

I agree with those percentages, and the general sentiment that the Twins schedule is easier, but it's worth noting that the Nationals may not have anything to play for when they face Cleveland in the last 3 games of the season -- they have a 3.5 game lead over the 2nd wild card right now.

 

The Phillies are also 2 games back of the 2nd wild card, bunched with a couple other teams -- and they have 4 more games vs the red-hot Braves over the next week, plus 2 with Boston. It's possible they will be virtually eliminated by the time they face Cleveland too.

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#12 bighat

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 07:51 AM

The Twins offense is looking really, really bad. Last week of games, runs scored:

 

2

2

2

5 (late Garver HR)

2

5 (late Garver HR)

2

 

Offensively this team is a dead battery. Garver's not going to see any good pitches to hit moving forward, and he's only playing 3 games a week at this point anyway. What then? The Twins aren't getting to any starting pitching, they're allowing almost every starter to pitch 5-6 innings. Playing with a lead has become a rarity.

 

How will Gibby pitch? I can't imagine he's going to throw 5 scoreless innings in his next start, do you? Anyone have any faith in Perez at this point? Do we have a 5th starter even?

 

When (or if) Kepler, Sano, Cron, and Gonzalez come back, they are all going to need a few games to get back on track. Will it be too late by then? This team was built to win on the strength of its offense scoring 6-8 runs per ball game. If that doesn't start happening again, the Twins may miss the playoffs in a historic collapse that will go down in MLB history.

 

Wish I had a different take! I just don't see many positives outside of Berrios and Odorizzi and they can't carry this team by themselves.

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#13 spycake

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 07:53 AM

 

Gibson and Cruz are back,

Also, I'd quibble and say Gibson "is coming back" rather than "is back" -- tonight will be his first start in a couple weeks, and I guess it remains to be seen how he will perform. (It's possible we're still seeing some performance issues with Cruz too, even though he is back.)

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#14 SomeGuy

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 07:57 AM

 

I agree with those percentages, and the general sentiment that the Twins schedule is easier, but it's worth noting that the Nationals may not have anything to play for when they face Cleveland in the last 3 games of the season -- they have a 3.5 game lead over the 2nd wild card right now.

 

The Phillies are also 2 games back of the 2nd wild card, bunched with a couple other teams -- and they have 4 more games vs the red-hot Braves over the next week, plus 2 with Boston. It's possible they will be virtually eliminated by the time they face Cleveland too.

I don't think it really matters where those teams are when Cleveland plays them.No matter how you slice it they are better teams than Detroit, Chicago, and KC.3 teams that have not had anything to play for in months.


#15 spycake

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 08:05 AM

In another thread recently, I speculated at what a collapse might look like.

 

With a 4 game lead and 17 and 15 games remaining, respectively, it could go something like this:

 

Twins (8-9):

0-1 vs WSN

1-2 vs CLE

1-2 vs CHW

4-3 vs KC

2-1 vs DET

 

Cleveland (11-4):

2-1 vs MIN

3-0 vs DET

2-1 vs PHI

2-1 vs CHW

2-1 vs WSN

 

That would put us into a tie after 162 games, forcing another game 163 tiebreaker.

 

Still unlikely -- Fangraphs gives us 95.2% odds of winning the division, and only 3.2% of a tie atop the AL Central -- but plausible, even without a Cleveland sweep this weekend.

 

As noted by others, a win tonight and a win this weekend -- so 2 of the next 4 -- would be big. It could essentially force Cleveland to get another sweep from their remaining schedule, in addition one vs Detroit.


#16 SomeGuy

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 08:06 AM

 

 

Also, I'd quibble and say Gibson "is coming back" rather than "is back" -- tonight will be his first start in a couple weeks, and I guess it remains to be seen how he will perform. (It's possible we're still seeing some performance issues with Cruz too, even though he is back.)

Gibson missed under 2 weeks so basically the minimum amount of time you can spend on the IL.

 

We held Cruz, Kepler and Cave out with very minor injuries to play it safe.Everyone is acting like they are on life support unlikely to contribute ever again.

Edited by SomeGuy, 12 September 2019 - 08:07 AM.

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#17 Shaitan

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 08:16 AM

This is certainly a glass half-full outlook, but I believe that teams in a tight playoff race are better prepared for the postseason.

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#18 spycake

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 08:17 AM

 

I don't think it really matters where those teams are when Cleveland plays them.No matter how you slice it they are better teams than Detroit, Chicago, and KC.3 teams that have not had anything to play for in months.

Washington will be playing in the wild card game on a Tuesday, and they hope starting a LDS on a Thursday. I think it definitely matters that Cleveland will be playing them on the preceding Friday, Saturday, and Sunday -- there will likely be a lot of conservative decisions from Washington if their spot is locked up. No Scherzer, possibly minimal Strasburg/Corbin and even Sanchez, days off and substitutes for Soto/Rendon/Turner/etc, and probably a lot of mop-up relievers (although those may be indistinguishable from Washington's top relievers this season :) ).

 

Even in that state, they're still likely a better team than Detroit or KC, but it's definitely context worth noting. Cleveland may not be playing the same Washington club that the Twins are facing this week.

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#19 70charger

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 08:24 AM

Statistically, it'd be difficult to lose, but we're Minnesota sports fans. We tend to beat the odds.

 

I'll echo other posters and say that the thing I'm most worried about is the fact that something like a third of the 25 man roster is out. We're down to using guys like Ian Miller and Ryan LaMarre. We lost the starter who was performing the best just before the September push, and we've got a question mark at numbers 3 and 4, plus a probable bullpen game as a fifth starter.

 

Even if the stats are right and we squeak out a division victory, where do we go from here? I for one don't relish the idea of Ian Miller taking meaningful at bats in a postseason series in Yankee Stadium.

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#20 SomeGuy

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 08:30 AM

 

Washington will be playing in the wild card game on a Tuesday, and they hope starting a LDS on a Thursday. I think it definitely matters that Cleveland will be playing them on the preceding Friday, Saturday, and Sunday -- there will likely be a lot of conservative decisions from Washington if their spot is locked up. No Scherzer, possibly minimal Strasburg/Corbin and even Sanchez, days off and substitutes for Soto/Rendon/Turner/etc, and probably a lot of mop-up relievers (although those may be indistinguishable from Washington's top relievers this season :) ).

 

Even in that state, they're still likely a better team than Detroit or KC, but it's definitely context worth noting. Cleveland may not be playing the same Washington club that the Twins are facing this week.

This is a what if scenario and we don't really know where it will be by then but they are still better than what we face by a large margin.

 

Cleveland could be eliminated by then or have a wild card locked up already. 

 

Washington will probably be in the thick of the wild card hunt at that point too.They have the Braves, Phillies, Cardinals, and Indians left.They would really want to make sure they have home field advantage too.




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