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Article: MIN 3, TOR 0: Berrios Hurls Gem, Twins Get Second Straight Shutout


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For much of the first month of the season, the attention has been placed on the Twins lineup. However, over the past few weeks it has been the pitching staff that has led the Twins to their success. Over the past seven games, the Twins pitching staff as a whole has combined for a 1.98 ERA.Box Score

Berrios: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 70.6% strikes (65 of 92 pitches)

Home Runs: Mitch Garver (7)

Multi-Hit Games: Kepler (2-5, 2B), Garver (3-3, HR)

WPA of +0.1: Berrios .418, Garver .235

WPA of -0.1: Cruz -.168, Schoop -.114

 

Download attachment: vs Blue Jays 5-7-2019.PNG

 

(Chart via FanGraphs)

 

After a couple of starts in a row where Jose Berrios struggled to command his curveball, he seemed to rediscover his feel for the pitch tonight as he picked up four of his five strikeouts with that pitch. Overall, Blue Jays hitters combined for a 32% whiff rate, and were 1-for-13 against Berrios’ curveball. Berrios' start marked the eighteenth consecutive game where the Twins starting pitcher managed to go at least five innings.

 

The Twins got off to an early lead, when they used two singles and two walks to push a run across in the first, but they failed to take advantage of what could have been a much bigger inning. There wasn’t much action again until the sixth inning, when Eddie Rosario led off the inning with a much needed bloop single, followed by a Mitch Garver blast to the upper deck in left field to give the Twins a 3-0 lead.

 

 

The game did get a little interesting in the bottom of the ninth when the Blue Jays got runners on the corners with two outs, bringing the tying run in Billy McKinney to the plate. However, Taylor Rogers was able to get him to ground out to first baseman Marwin Gonzales, and secure his fourth save of the season.

 

During the third inning, the Fox Sports North broadcast has Twins General Manager Thad Levine on to talk about things ranging from Miguel Sano’s comeback, to Nelson Cruz’s leadership, to the success of the Twins starting rotation so far this year. Here is a little tidbit of that conversation.

 

 

Postgame with Baldelli

 

 

Bullpen Usage

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

 

Download attachment: 5-7-2019 vs Blue Jays.PNG

 

Next Three Games

Wed at TOR, 6:07 pm CT (Gibson-Thornton)

Fri vs DET, 7:10 pm CT (TBD-Ross)

Sat vs DET, 1:10 pm CT (TBD-TBD)

 

Last Game

MIN 8, TOR 0: Perez Impresses, Bats Bounce Stroman Early

 

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Garver s—ks! He’s horrible!

 

(If we all do our part, we can keep this thing going. Come on, all you keyboard heros hiding behind your screen...let’s be heard!)

Maybe we are confusing catching and hitting. Garver could always hit, it's whats kept him in the game. He is still a sub standard receiver, blocking the low ball is still a mystery to him. The good news that no one steals anymore, so throw out rates are passe.
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I hear that C.J. Cron is the emergency catcher should something happen to Garver.  Is Castro day-to-day?  And if so, when will he be ready to play either in an emergency or as a starter? 

 

Astudillo is eligible to come off the IL today?  Or is it tomorrow?  With an off day tomorrow, doubt we will know what the situation is until Friday when either Castro will be available to play or Astudillo will be back.

 

Now lets sweep Toronto today and win the road trip, eh?

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The way our starting pitching is going our bullpen is getting very little work, you gotta expect to go down to a 12 man staff once the turtle or Sano come back.

I still feel like you're more likely to be sorry you didn't have an extra pitcher than you are an extra bat. The way this lineup is built, there aren't many guys you'd want to platoon or pinch hit for late in a game anyway. Plus with the defensive versatility some of these guys bring there should be no trouble giving guys rest when needed even with a short bench.

 

That being said, I wouldn't be surprised if they go back down to 12 pitchers. It's just not the move I'd make.

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Now they are playing with house money tonight with Gibson on the hill so I hope he relaxes and attacks the zone like Perez and Berrios. Then a day off and a nice balanced schedule for the rest of the month. Amazing what a few new players (not huge free agent signings but solid established Major League ball players ...yes, ball players) and a new manager with a fresh attitude can accomplish.

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Anybody know the record for the most starts in a row by a pitching staff of 5+ innings? 18 just seems like an insanely high number to me.

 

You must be very young. :) 

 

Back when baseball was men against men instead of tactics against tactics, I wouldn't be surprised if some team went most of a season without a start shorter than 5 innings.

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Now they are playing with house money tonight with Gibson on the hill so I hope he relaxes and attacks the zone like Perez and Berrios. Then a day off and a nice balanced schedule for the rest of the month. Amazing what a few new players (not huge free agent signings but solid established Major League ball players ...yes, ball players) and a new manager with a fresh attitude can accomplish.

Don’t get me wrong, the new players certainly help (specifically Cruz, Schoop, and Perez, at the moment), but I’m not sure that’s the tipping point. Polanco isn’t suspended for the half the year (HUGE), Buxton is healthy and playing the best baseball of his career (HUGE - leading the MLB in doubles, I believe), Kepler is hitting and hitting for power, Garver/Astudillo/Castro are out of their minds right now (top offensive production in the MLB at the position). Berrios has evolved into one of the most dominant starters in the MLB (has been inconsistent up to this point).

 

Again, the new guys certainly help, but there are a lot of things coming together that were in place before. A lot of hard-luck for the previous staff is turning into a positive this year.

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'Again, the new guys certainly help, but there are a lot of things coming together that were in place before. A lot of hard-luck for the previous staff is turning into a positive this year."

 

I contend that if the Twins did not have Cruz, Parker, Schoop and Perez, the group of players that you mention would not be having the kind of seasons they are experiencing and although the Twins might be better sans the cadre of newbies, I doubt very seriously that they would be much over .500 at this point.

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Again, the new guys certainly help, but there are a lot of things coming together that were in place before. A lot of hard-luck for the previous staff is turning into a positive this year.

 

Inexplicable collapses after decent years happened twice under Molitor. Don't forget the new management.

 

I disagree that Berrios was inconsistent. He was as consistent as any other #2 pitcher. So far this year, he is looking more like the ace most of us thought he would become.

 

Also, don't forget to temper our enthusiasm a bit. The season is still very young. Many teams that are pushovers now will not be pushovers in the second half.

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Provisional Member

So, my fellow closet GM's, what do we do with Berrios' contract?  Do we buy out his arbitration years with the hope (and prayer) that the contract will cover his post (free agent) arbitration years?

 

And whom might be around as a starting rotation next year?

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So, my fellow closet GM's, what do we do with Berrios' contract? Do we buy out his arbitration years with the hope (and prayer) that the contract will cover his post (free agent) arbitration years?

 

And whom might be around as a starting rotation next year?

It doesn't seem like Berrios is interested in an extension, based on reports during the offseason.

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It's starting to look more and more like Browntown underestimated the Twins, like Morneau said.

 

Speaking of which, did anyone else notice that Justin was starting to criticize the Indians and Dick completely cut him off? I enjoyed that haha.

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It doesn't seem like Berrios is interested in an extension, based on reports during the offseason.

Or the Twins weren't yet interested in paying him the market rate... (edit: which was perhaps fair, given he was still roughly a year behind Severino/Nola in service time)

Edited by spycake
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I still feel like you're more likely to be sorry you didn't have an extra pitcher than you are an extra bat. The way this lineup is built, there aren't many guys you'd want to platoon or pinch hit for late in a game anyway. Plus with the defensive versatility some of these guys bring there should be no trouble giving guys rest when needed even with a short bench.

 

That being said, I wouldn't be surprised if they go back down to 12 pitchers. It's just not the move I'd make.

 

I don't entirely disagree, but it's a lot easier to truly give a guy a day off for a nagging injury or a mini-slump when you have a 4 man bench. With the starters going 6+ you've got 2 guys in the 'pen who aren't being used with any regularity. I get they're playing a lot of games right now and have a double-header coming up, but I still think that using a roster spot on an insurance guy who pitches no more than once a week is a bit of a waste. It's probably pretty marginal, but I'm also not a big fan of some of the deep end of the bullpen guys we're using here too.

 

I'd also like to note that this game rolled through in 2:30. (all three of the Twins wins against Houston clocked in around that time too.) it's lovely to have some fast moving games.

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