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Article: MIN 5, TB 3: Twins Rally, Top Rays Late


The Twins had no trouble rallying with two outs against the Rays Friday night, scoring four of their five runs with their backs against the wall, down to their final out. The big blow came from Eddie Rosario, who delivered a go-ahead two-run single with two outs in the top of the ninth inning.Box Score

Berrios: 6.2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 8 K, 64.6% strikes (64 of 99 pitches)

Home Runs: None

Multi-Hit Games: Polanco (2-for-4, 2 2B, BB), Astudillo (2-for-4, HBP), Gonzalez (2-for-4), Schoop (2-for-2, BB, HBP)

WPA of +0.1: Rosario .263, Astudillo .219, Rogers .212, Schoop .184, Polanco .126

WPA of -0.1: Sano -.132, Buxton -.166, Kepler -.187

Download attachment: Win53`.png

(chart via FanGraphs)

 

Coming Out Swinging

After a beat down on Thursday night, the Twins were aggressive in the first inning. Max Kepler, hitting lead off, swung at the first pitch of the game and nearly hit the ceiling in the Trop. Jorge Polanco’s at-bat did not last much longer. He swung at the second pitch and laced a one-out double. Astudillo then drove him home with a single early in the count. The Twins possibly could have scored another run had Astudillo not hesitated rounding third when C.J. Cron hit one off the wall in right center.

 

Berrios responded with a quick shut-down bottom of the first inning. It took him less than 10 pitches to retire the side in order — not surprising for a pitcher who’s strike percentage is fourth best in the league.

 

Rays Respond

After a stellar first inning, Berrios struggled with his command at times in the second and third inning. In the second inning, he issued his first walk of the game and that runner crossed the plate on a Kevin Kiermaier home run, which gave the Rays a 2-1 lead.

 

Berrios issued another walk in the third inning and once again that runner came across the plate. With runners on first and third, the Rays called for a double steal and ended up stealing a run from the Twins. The run may not have scored had Astudillo held onto the ball, however. A strong throw home from Schoop may have been good enough to beat the runner but Astudillo tried to tag the runner before catching the ball and the runner scored easily.

 

Two-Out Rallies are Awesome

Schoop drew a walk to lead off the fifth inning. He advanced to second on what should have been a double play if not for the Rays having shifted defensive positioning. He ended up standing on second with two away in the inning. Down by two, this was a scoring opportunity the Twins needed to capitalize on and that looked to be in jeopardy with two gone.

 

That was until Jorge Polanco stepped up and did what he’s done all year - hit the darn ball. He ripped a one-run double, making the score 3-2. Then it was La Toruga’s opportunity to pick himself up after dropping the ball that allowed the Rays to score their third run. He did not disappoint, singling to left and driving in his second run of the game. Back-to-back two out knocks tied the game at 3-3.

 

They did it again in the ninth. They got the bases loaded with two outs essentially for free. Rays pitcher, Diego Castillo, hit Schoop, Polanco was issued an intentional walk following a sacrifice bunt from Buxton. Astudillo fell behind 0-2 but was drilled by a slider and awarded first base, loading them up for Eddie Rosario.

 

The Rays went to their bullpen — again — and brought in lefty Adam Kolarek to face to the left-handed hitting Rosario. The move would prove ineffective as Rosario went opposite field and hit a two-run single past the third base bag and gave the Twins a 5-3 lead.

 

Quality Start for Berrios

After battling command issues in the second and third innings Berrios was able to settle in nicely and give the Twins another quality start. His final line was 6 2/3 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 8 K. That is what aces do, they give you a chance to win against other really good teams.

 

Rogers Dominates

Taylor Rogers took over for Berrios with two-out in the sixth inning and the game still tied. His night finished with 2 1/3 IP, 1 H, 1 K, 0 ER.

 

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: Pen531.png

Next Game

Sat at TB, 12:10 pm CT (Gibson-TBD)

 

Last Game

TB 14, MIN 3: Well … That Just Happened

 

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Win a game against a good team when things aren’t necessarily breaking your way. Nice. Good Jose showed up in the nick of time, and the offense scrapped and did just enough. Sano’s been robbed here before...he’ll have to figure out a way to get even.

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That was a nice win. What a difference a year makes. That 9th inning scene was eerily similar to a game last year that we lost to the Rays--bases loaded one out and Rosie up. After just seeing the Ray's pitcher walk the bases loaded on four pitches, Rosie tried to hit the first pitch he saw 900 feet--an ankle high slider grounding into the inning ending doubleplay. Rosie is maturing. That was a beautiful display of the fact.

 

Tampa not only has a terrible field but the fan support is alarmingly weak. If they can't draw fans when they're playing like this, I can only imagine how bad it must be in an off year.

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Aside from the fact that the ball was going to be a home run — his second home run at that field Sano has not gotten credit for! — how in the world can they allow the ball to be catchable after it hits a speaker? You can’t catch a ball off the wall and record an out. At a minimum it shouldn’t be an out. What would make more sense is a ground rule double...or even a ground rule triple. Dumb place, dumb rule. I’d like to see the projected distance of that one. (The one a few years back was mammoth.)

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This may just be me conflating my wishes into reality but for some reason I was under the impression that if the ball hit the roof in the trop it was considered a dead ball. Would it have been a hit if Adames didn't catch it?

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This may just be me conflating my wishes into reality but for some reason I was under the impression that if the ball hit the roof in the trop it was considered a dead ball. Would it have been a hit if Adames didn't catch it?

If it hits the roof in fair territory, it’s a live ball. If it hits in foul territory, it’s foul. Of course, you could make an argument for everything in that place being foul, I suppose...

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This may just be me conflating my wishes into reality but for some reason I was under the impression that if the ball hit the roof in the trop it was considered a dead ball. Would it have been a hit if Adames didn't catch it?

 Weren't there similar rules at the metrodome? I seem to remember that the lights on the roof were considered in play.

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If it hits the roof in fair territory, it’s a live ball. If it hits in foul territory, it’s foul. Of course, you could make an argument for everything in that place being foul, I suppose...

Well... that's just absurd I suppose

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 Weren't there similar rules at the metrodome? I seem to remember that the lights on the roof were considered in play.

Possibly. I never got to see a Twins game at the metrodome (grew up in NC). Caught Vikings games there twice when visiting, which was fun, but I'm not really certain how the park played for baseball

Edited by TFRazor
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Aside from the fact that the ball was going to be a home run — his second home run at that field Sano has not gotten credit for! — how in the world can they allow the ball to be catchable after it hits a speaker? You can’t catch a ball off the wall and record an out. At a minimum it shouldn’t be an out. What would make more sense is a ground rule double...or even a ground rule triple. Dumb place, dumb rule. I’d like to see the projected distance of that one. (The one a few years back was mammoth.)

Baseball Savant says this Sano's speaker shot:

 

EV LA Dist Vel xBA

97.8 46 325 88.9 .020

 

What a joke. Good thing it didn't cost the Twins the victory. I still feel Twins fans cannot complain too much as our old stadium had the same issues.

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Another dead horse to beat, but are there any signs of a Cruz return?

 

ESPN's Marly Rivera reported yesterday: "Nelson Cruz (wrist) told me that he felt "the best" he has felt after hitting in the cage at Tropicana Field (Thursday). Cruz also said he'll take regular batting practice on Friday, and depending on how he feels, the team will make a decision as to whether he'll be activated off the IL."

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how in the world can they allow the ball to be catchable after it hits a speaker? You can’t catch a ball off the wall and record an out.

I think the theory is that it would be hard to tell whether something was hit by the roof -- this one was pretty obvious, but others can be more subtle. And players and managers would be arguing for a lot more if they knew it was a judgment call that would change the result of the play.

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Yesterday was Friday, May 31 and it was the 56th game of the year.  The Twins are now 35%  of the way through the season.  Out of 59 years, the current team ranks 48th on the all-time list of Twins' home runs in one season and are on a pace to hit 307 home runs this season.

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