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Article: Twins Win Wild One In Cleveland


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We asked for this! We wanted this! Meaningful games in September, and now Meaningful games in October. This is fun, but I know I have no fingernails or hair remaining, and I'm OK with that.

 

Nick wrote earlier this week about the Twins' resiliency, and it was again on display in this game. The Twins took an early lead. They got a terrific start from rookie Tyler Duffey which ended in unfortunate fashion. The Twins showed again their ability to come back and take advantage of opportunities to pull out an important 4-2 win in Cleveland.

 

Below, you can follow the ups and downs of the game. It was a topsy-turvy game with many ups and downs. The win expectancy went back and forth several times throughout the late innings.Relive the wild ride which was Game 159 for the Minnesota Twins this season through win expectancy.

 

TWINS TAKE FIRST LEAD

 

The game was scoreless through the first three innings of the game. With one out in the top of the fourth:

 

Joe Mauer doubled to left (5.2%).

Miguel Sano grounded out to third base (-4.2%).

Trevor Plouffe hit a ground-rule double to center to score Mauer (14.1%).

 

The Twins had the 1-0 lead which has proven to be important many times. Obviously one run is rarely enough, and that would be the case on this night.

 

PITCHER’S BEST FRIEND

 

In the bottom half of the fourth, Cleveland mounted a threat and as has been the case a couple of times this series, it began with Jason Kipnis.

 

Jason Kipnis doubled to center (-8.6%).

Carlos Santana grounded out to second, advancing Kipnis to third base (+1.7%).

Lonnie Chisenhall walked (-2.8%)

Abraham Almonte grounded into a double play to end the threat and the inning (+16.0%).

 

Ground ball double plays are obviously a big thing for a pitcher and his team. Any time you can get two outs on one pitch or one batter, this can have a huge effect on the game. In a low-scoring game, every out is important, but that was one of the bigger plays of the game.

 

TWO-RUN HOMERS ARE BIG

 

Tyler Duffey was going really well. He had thrown six shutout innings and the team had a 1-0 lead. The bottom of the seventh inning began with a Lonnie Chisenhall strikeout. The Twins win expectancy was 71%. And then, well…

 

Abraham Almonte singled. (-5.4%)

Robert Perez drills two-run homer to center field. (-44.2%)

 

The Twins win expectancy suddenly was down to just 21.4% I think it’s fair to say that was a “game-changing” turn of events.

 

This view and win expectancy don't necessarily illustrate just how good Tyler Duffey was in this game. In fact, he ended the game with a negative win expectancy despite making one big mistake in 6.1 innings of work. He came through for the Twins when they needed him, again!

 

THE TWINS RESPONSE

 

With Brian Shaw taking over for Trevor Bauer, Paul Molitor went with his gut a couple of times. Following an Aaron Hicks ground out, Molitor decided to use Danny Santana as a pinch-hitter for Kurt Suzuki. Santana had been 0-10 as a pinch hitter this season. However, he worked a rare walk. He also had Danny Santana take off toward second and Eduardo Escobar swung and did what he does best.

 

Danny Santana walked (6.1%)

Eduardo Escobar doubles to left field line to score Santana from first (30.5%)

 

The Twins had tied the game at two and hoped to add a little more insurance.

 

PITCHER’S BEST FRIEND (PART 2)

 

After the Escobar RBI double, things got a little better… for a little while.

 

Brian Dozier tapped an infield single to the first baseman to advance Escobar to third (+10.4%)

Cleveland brings in Cody Allen.

Joe Mauer grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the threat (-25.1%).

 

As we said above, double plays tend to be pretty important in close games, especially late. Things tend to shift in terms of win expectancy in this type of game. Let me replay that top of the 8th in terms of overall win expectancy.

 

Aaron Hicks grounds out (Twins likelihood of winning - 18.2%)

Danny Santana walked (24.3%)

Eduardo Escobar doubles to left field line to score Santana from first (54.8%)

Brian Dozier tapped an infield single to the first baseman to advance Escobar to third (+65.2%)

Cleveland brings in Cody Allen.

Joe Mauer grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the threat (40.1%).

 

Every play is magnified in a close game, and with the Twins playing a Meaningful Game in October, it becomes even more important and magnified.

 

THE NINTH INNING (GULP!)

 

Oh man, this game is intense. We wanted this, Meaningful Games, but I had almost forgotten how gut-wrenching each pitch can be! Here is the Twins half of the ninth:

 

Miguel Sano flew out to center. (-5.5%, 44.5%)

Trevor Plouffe reached on an error by Jose Ramirez (+5.7%, 50.3%)

Eduardo Nunez pinch ran for Plouffe (no statistical change, but the speed does help)

Eddie Rosario singled to right field and Nunez advanced to third, Rosario advanced to second on the throw. (+21.9%, 72.2%)

With Torii Hunter batting, Cody Allen throws a (very) wild pitch to score Nunez, Rosario to third (+17.2%, 89.4%).

Hunter hits a deep fly ball to right field to score Eddie Rosario. Twins lead 4-2 (+3.1%, 82.5%).

Aaron Hicks flew out to center (-0.3%, 92.6%).

 

On to the bottom of the ninth!! Twins lead 4-2. Ironic, maybe, that it was an error by Jose Ramirez that led to the Twins big ninth inning. Think they’re even now?! The Twins took advantage of an error and a wild pitch, and Torii Hunter had a tough plate appearance that ended with a perfect scenario. Great inning for the Twins!

 

THE BOTTOM OF THE NINTH

 

Kevin Jepsen came in to replace Glen Perkins who had a 1-2-3 eighth frame.

 

Carlos Santana struck out (+4.0%, 96.6%)

Lonnie Chisenhall popped out to shortstop (+2.5%, 99.1%)

Abraham Almonte bunted for a single (-2.7%, 96.1%)

Robert Perez struck out looking to end the game (+3.9%, 100%).

 

Robert Perez wasn’t able to come up with a second game-altering hit, and Kevin Jepsen was terrific. Jepsen recorded his 10th save in 11 chances for the Twins this year. The Twins won for the 83rd time this season!

 

Now, we watch scoreboards!!

 

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Nice move by Molitor to pinch run for Plouffe.     Once again Bert and Dick talk about how great an outing it was by Duffey while he is still pitching.   Ok, 2 runs in 6.1 is a nice outing but stop doing that.    How about some credit to the pen?   2.2 shutout innings while the Indians pen gave up the lead.    To me, this series reflected the season.   Twins pen gave up runs yesterday in a game that was probably lost anyway while holding tight in a close game.   Its one of the reasons we have more wins than our Pyth formula says we should have.   All relief pitchers give up runs and all relief staffs blow games.   Its why I think those that say an extra reliever would have made a 6 game difference are wrong .  It just doesn't work that way.  .Anyway, nice win Twins.

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Please don't anyone take this the wrong way...but I almost don't care if the Twins win the wild card spot.

 

Sports to me is as much the competition, the striving, the game in and of itself and at times, the final outcome doesn't matter as much as the journey there.

 

And this journey has been pretty special to me. As Twins fans, we can whine all we want about no WS since the early 90's and four straight, poor losing seasons, but there are a lot of teams and fan bases that would be envious of our past 10 years or so. Even still, our Twins seemed to just fall off a cliff for four years. And suddenly, here we are, playing fun and winning baseball still in contention with only a few games left. The kids we have been dreaming and drooling over have begun to arrive, with more on the way.

 

I don't know how this will end, but I just love this journey!

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Great, great recap, Seth. I was recording the game, and my watching is only in the 5th inning. Too much pressure for an old guy!!

I think tonight was the night to steal the old Indians stadium theme song:

 

 

Get up boys and hit 'em one more time
We may be losing now but we can't stop trying

 

We need just one victory and we're on our way
Prayin' for it all day and fightin' for it all night
Give us just one victory, it will be alright
We may feel about to fall but we go down fighting

You will hear the call if you only listen
Underneath it all we are here together shining still

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVatBy_4GpM

 

Edited by jokin
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Great game -- Molitor pushed all the right buttons with Santana and pinch running for Plouffe.  Outstanding relief pitching by May, Perk, and Jespen.   I thought the Indians were playing hard to be spoliers, although it came apart in the end for them, they were not lying down.  That made it really entertaining. 

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Once again Bert and Dick talk about how great an outing it was by Duffey while he is still pitching.   Ok, 2 runs in 6.1 is a nice outing but stop doing that.   

Agreed -- there is also too much looking ahead and wishing for big hits by these guys during the game. It really bugs me.  Let the game play out.  I don't want to mute them, and am watching on MLB.TV out of town, but I will have to turn down the sound this weekend. 

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I love Duffy. His whole attitude is give me the ball. Gets behind in the count - give me the ball. Runners on-give me the ball. He's looking at the Catcher or checking the runner, that's it.

 

Gibson and Pelfrey are wondering around, looking around, rubbing up the ball, letting out a big sigh. It's like they are afraid.

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I love Duffy. His whole attitude is give me the ball. Gets behind in the count - give me the ball. Runners on-give me the ball. He's looking at the Catcher or checking the runner, that's it.

Gibson and Pelfrey are wondering around, looking around, rubbing up the ball, letting out a big sigh. It's like they are afraid.

 

If Gibby was afraid it didn't show, he had one of his best outings of the year in a time they needed him most.  Both him and Duffey stepped up big time in this series.

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If Gibby was afraid it didn't show, he had one of his best outings of the year in a time they needed him most. Both him and Duffey stepped up big time in this series.

After he spit the bit the time before. Every other start isn't going to cut it.

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