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Article: MIN 6, HOU 2: MARTIN! MARTIN! MARTIN!


I’m going to start calling Martin Perez “The Feather” because it’s starting to look like he may become a huge feather in the cap of the Twins’ front office and coaching staff. Perez 2.0, the new and improved version, is really catching on. He had a statement game tonight, holding Houston scoreless over eight innings.Box Score

Perez: 8.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 66.0% strikes (66 of 100 pitches)

Home Runs: Schoop (5)

Multi-Hit Games: Polanco (2-for-4), Cruz (2-for-4, 2B)

WPA of +0.1: Perez .347, Schoop .157

WPA of -0.1: None

Download attachment: Win51.png

(chart via FanGraphs)

 

Perez continued to feature the cutter tonight, he threw 45 among his 100 pitches. He limited the Astros to just four hits, walked two batters and struck out seven, but things got off to a shaky start.

 

Perez walked leadoff man George Springer on four pitches, then gave up a single to Jose Altuve. He got Alex Bregman to fly out, then induced an inning-ending double play. It was all Martin Perez from there. Here’s the full chart from tonight’s outing via Baseball Savant:

Download attachment: PerezInfo.png

Perez now has a 2.08 ERA in his four starts this season. Rangers fans have to be very confused right now. He had a 6.78 ERA in 15 starts with Texas last season. It's still very early, but Houston entered this game with a ridiculous .300/.379/.540 line against left-handed pitching so far this season (.919 OPS), so I'm not sure you could have realistically imagined a more encouraging start from Perez.

 

Jonathan Schoop got the Twins on the board with a mammoth two-run home run in the third inning. The Twins added another run on a Jorge Polanco single, thanks to a throwing error by Astros starter Collin McHugh.

Nelson Cruz added an RBI single in the fifth, then hit a run-scoring double in the eighth. C.J. Cron added a sacrifice fly to give the Twins a 6-0 lead.

 

Trevor Hildenberger gave up two runs in the ninth, but with that big of a lead his most important job was to simply throw strikes. He did excellent, throwing 15 strikes on his 20 pitches.

 

Here’s the thing about that 11-run blowout last night: It proves this isn’t simply a slumping Astros team the Twins caught at the right time. This is a dangerous team, we saw that, but even the best teams go on slumps. These outstanding outings from Jake Odorizzi and Perez sandwiched between that clunker are obviously very encouraging.

 

It’s Jose Day tomorrow. Get excited.

 

Bullpen Usage

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

Download attachment: Bullpen51.png

Next Three Games

Thu vs. HOU, 12:10 pm CT (Berrios-Peacock)

Fri at NYY, 6:05 pm CT (Gibson-Paxton)

Sat at NYY, 12:05 pm CT (Odorizzi-Happ)

 

Last Game

HOU 11, MIN 0: Completely Dominated

 

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I don't know what to say.  I predicted a homer prone loss and Perez pitched a shutout for eight innings.  I have so much crow to eat my stomach hurts.  I was very surprised he was able to hold that lineup to zero runs.  Just like Odo I kept waiting for him to implode and he never did.  Very, very pleased with the win.  I wish I was believer from the beginning but will have to settle for a band wagon jumper instead.

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Huge start after last nights game.  We needed to get competitive innings and Perez gave us that and more.  We need to have the ability to come back after a bad loss, against a good team, and show some meddle, no matter who is toeing the rubber.

 

Tonight that happened.  13 hits in 3 games for the Twins.  Not great, but extra base hits keep helping us out.  I wonder how sustainable it is?  It's clear we are going to hit for power, but will we consistently hit?  We will see.

Thanks Tom!

 

 

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This game was amazing! Like Tom pointed out, this is not a bad lineup or slumping team. This one of the best teams in MLB and we have been holding our own. 2 of 3 on this honest and with just a couple of points.

 

1] I still believe in the stuff and career of Pineda. But apparently he just doesn't match up with Houston. It happens. I still like what he brings, how he has looked, for the most part, so far.

 

2] I barked about the Perez signing. I have made references to being optimistic and looking up recipes to eating crow. I am not a superstitious person by nature. But if i can keep doubting Perez and he keeps doing stuff like this, then understand and forgive if I keep posting doubts to keep the mojo working!

 

Hell of a performance!

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Did anyone notice that Garver caught both Monday's and Wednesday's games? Is it possible that he's a pretty good defensive catcher?

 

sunday too. happy to see garver starting 3 of 4 over castro since astudillo went on the IL

 

also good to see mauer back at target field. his time in the booth on espn was great... bland and typical mauer. i loved it

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i'm starting to wonder if wes johnson is some sort of wizard

 

Gutsy hire.

 

If this continues, Johnson's going to be become first a folk hero, then an inside baseball media darling. Plenty of ammunition to write the narrative:

 

Velo up overall and up notably for many pitchers,

SwStr% up

Contact% down

Soft Contact% up

K% up

BB% down

 

Pineda, Perez and Gibson all coming off injury, ineffectiveness or illness.

 

 

 

Edited by jokin
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Perez is looking like our solid #3, maybe even 2 right now, and Pineda more like a #5.

I don't care what order they come in, if Gibby can keep gaining strength, and Odorizzi can keep his ship righted enough to get thru 6 regularly, we've got the makings of a starting staff that could help us contend all year.

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I don't know what to say.  I predicted a homer prone loss and Perez pitched a shutout for eight innings.  I have so much crow to eat my stomach hurts.  I was very surprised he was able to hold that lineup to zero runs.  Just like Odo I kept waiting for him to implode and he never did.  Very, very pleased with the win.  I wish I was believer from the beginning but will have to settle for a band wagon jumper instead.

 

No need to eat crow, you're a Twins fan, we're conditioned to expect the worst and when things are going well there's always the feeling of "when are things gonna fall apart?!" It just comes with the territory

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I've gotta be honest, in the off season it seemed to me like we were bargain hunting, with Perez, Schoop, and Cron it looked like we were trying reclamation projects. Even Cruz was an old has been. The FO seems to have known what they were doing. The Twins are Legit as long as we can stabilize the pen

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I've gotta be honest, in the off season it seemed to me like we were bargain hunting, with Perez, Schoop, and Cron it looked like we were trying reclamation projects. Even Cruz was an old has been. The FO seems to have known what they were doing. The Twins are Legit as long as we can stabilize the pen

 

Yeah, when Perez, Parker, Cruz, Schoop, and Cron are all giving you what you most optimistically expected and only Marwin has been a disappointment so far, I think we might owe the FO and the professional scouts a big tip of the cap about the quality of these decisions as we get further along.

Edited by birdwatcher
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Well the FO look like geniuses now and I was completely wrong. With Kluber’s unfortunate injury, we now have to be the favorites to win the division. I know I’m looking ahead, but if we can get ahead in the standings by some distance, Cleveland may throw up the white flag and continue to trade people.

 

Now that we’ve finished with the Astros, our next kryptonite, the somewhat depleted Bronx Bombers

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Cleveland, with Clevinger and Kluber out for months each, that's bad luck.

 

But, a team wins three years in a row, that means they've been fortunate to some degree and things do have a way of evening out. 

 

Speaking of an evening out, come home and Kluber is injured while Perez pretty much dominates the best hitting team in baseball -- that's a swing evening that you could not have imagined.

 

May 1st, the day the season swung.

 

 

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Rosario is on an 0-20 skid, someone mentioned he's down to .236. Not worried, just would be nice to get him going again. 

 

Was nice to see Buxton get a nice looking single and an SB. I hope Rowson sits down with him soon to talk about laying off that outside breaking ball.

 

Pen had a nice day off yesterday. If Berrios is on today, they should be ready for New York.

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Cleveland, with Clevinger and Kluber out for months each, that's bad luck.

 

But, a team wins three years in a row, that means they've been fortunate to some degree and things do have a way of evening out. 

 

Speaking of an evening out, come home and Kluber is injured while Perez pretty much dominates the best hitting team in baseball -- that's a swing evening that you could not have imagined.

 

May 1st, the day the season swung.

 

Cleveland getting backed into a corner .... Time to pounce .... Run up a double-digit lead before Kluber and Clevenger even resume baseball activities .... Maybe they'll sell us Bauer (unlikely)

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Not to detract in any way but it was a pitcher friendly but I think very fair umpire and it was a 46 degree night that kept a couple of marginal balls in the park. Schoop's might have gone 500 feet on an 80 degree day. Perez was a pleasure to watch and was fearless in the strike zone. Anyone notice the game time? Very few deep counts and incessant ab's with foul tips after foul tips. Had a couple of 9 or 10 pitch innings.

Two asides  by the ESPN announcers were very interesting. One was that the days of the sinker ball ground ball pitcher may be over which is great news. The other which has been suspected and now basically confirmed is that AAA baseball has switched to the major league ball and the home run count has almost doubled from high 400s to mid 900s for the month of April. Sutcliffe said that when he holds a current major league ball that it doesn't even feel like a baseball to him. Take that for what it is worth.

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