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Article: MIN 4, BOS 3: Twins Win in 17th Inning, Get First Walk-Off


For the first time this season the Twins win on a walk-off hit from (who else?) Max Kepler. It was the longest game of the season for both teams tonight and both bullpens were lights out, but one had to blow it. Kepler also hit a game-tying single in the eighth inning and a game-tying homer in the 13th.Box Score

Pineda: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 73.8% strikes (59 of 80 pitches)

Bullpen: 11 IP, 12 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 12 K

 

Home Runs: Max Kepler (18)

Multi-Hit Games: Cron (2-5), Kepler (3-5 HR), Rosario (4-8, 3 2B), Schoop (2-7)

 

WPA of +0.1: Kepler .847, Littell .288, Magill .288, Duffey .288, Rosario .263, Pineda .235, Rogers .144, Parker .144

WPA of -0.1: Harper -.129, Schoop -.161, Cave -.165, Cron -.228, Garver -.240, Morin -.289, Polanco -.294, Sano -.433

 

Download attachment: Win619.png

(chart via FanGraphs)

 

Clutch Kepler

After not being in the starting lineup, Kepler pitch-hit for Gonzalez in the sixth inning. He drew a walk in his first plate appearance, then came up clutch in the eighth with a two-out single to tie the game at 2-2. In the 13th inning, with the game on the line, Kepler led off the inning with a solo shot, again to tie the game.

 

 

Who better to get the first walk-off hit for the Twins than the guy who tied the game twice earlier. With one out in the 17th inning, and bases loaded, Kepler delivered for the Twins to keep the streak going without losing three games in a row.

 

 

Bullpens Dominate

Both bullpens did an excellent job following the starters’ strong starts. David Price gave the Sox five innings and Michael Pineda gave the Twins six innings, and each allowed just one run. The bullpens came into work after that were very good through 12 innings. Ultimately, one of them was going to blow this game though.

 

The Twins’ bullpen was the first one to surrender a run, and it came off a leadoff home run in the seventh. Trevor May, Taylor Rogers, Tyler Duffey, and Blake Parker were able to keep the game going into the 12th with six shutout innings giving up only four hits with seven strikeouts.

 

The Sox bullpen had a little more work to do, but had the same results. They gave up the tying run in the eighth inning with a pair of walks and a two-out hit. They combined for seven innings giving up only five hits and striking out 11, but gave up four walks.

 

Both bullpens surrendered a run in the 13th inning which kept the game going. Both runs came from a lead-off home run. For the Sox it was Mookie Betts, and for the Twins, it was Kepler.

 

After the 14th inning, it was back to the stalemate. In the bottom of the 15th, Velazquez gave up a lead-off double, but C.J. Cron hit a hard line drive straight to first that ended in a double play when Eddie Rosario was caught drifting too far from second base. In the top of the 17th, Littell got out of a big jam with zero outs and a runner on third.

 

Familiar Foe

Pineda has faced the Red Sox 12 other times in his career and had a great outing tonight. In 12 games against the Sox, he is 5-5 and has a career 4.23 ERA and 1.2 WHIP in 66 innings. Pineda was with the Yankees for 11 of those starts and with Seattle for the other.

 

Coming off probably his best start of the season, Pineda followed up Berrios’ gem last night with a solid outing of his own, and arguably his best outing of the season. He faced 22 batters and got 15 first-pitch strikes. He faced the minimum number of batters in the first three innings thanks to a double play in the first. He had two double plays turned behind him tonight.

 

Unfortunately, the offenses failed to give these starters much aid and neither was able to pick up the win.

 

Here’s a great article on how Pineda has been a huge upgrade as the Twins’ fifth starter.

 

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: Pen619.png

 

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These two games against the BoSox ... playoff baseball ... that's what that was.

Garver catching a great game for 17 innings I think should make up for his couple blunders plus he also did score 1 of the 3 Twins runs

Give Garver a little credit.   Dude caught 17 innings, though he may have been a main cause for it.    Hats off to the bullpen.   

What a WPA for Kepler!!! Clutch Kepler!

 

Arraez kept doing what he has been doing. It is really hard to send him back down AAA.

 

Pineda was great, and Littell improved his stock value greatly.

 

Parker was still scary even though he got through one inning.

 

Sano and Garver were the obvious goats. Garver had two big blunders in this game. The first one was really bad. He's not a speed threat, so why he gets caught wandering off 3rd simply means he wasn't attune to the gravity of that situation. He should be buying Littell a steak or two for saving his bacon and another couple of steaks for Kepler. (In his defense, he did work a walk that led to a tie game, so I can't stay mad forever.)

 

Sano only needed one more K to tie the MLB record (Martinez for the BoSox was also one whiff away from tying the record). He needs a game or two off to reset.

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What a WAR for Kepler!!! Clutch Kepler!

 

Arraez kept doing what he has been doing. It is really hard to send him back down AAA.

 

Sano and Garver were the obvious goats. Garver had two big blunders in this game. The first one was really bad. He's not a speed threat, so why he gets caught wandering off 3rd simply means he wasn't attune to the gravity of that situation. He should be buying Littell a steak or two for saving his bacon and another couple of steaks for Kepler. (In his defense, he did work a walk that led to a tie game, so I can stay mad forever.)

 

Sano only needed one more K to tie the MLB record (Martinez for the BoSox was also one whiff away from tying the record). He needs a game or two off to reset.

 

Garver catching a great game for 17 innings I think should make up for his couple blunders plus he also did score 1 of the 3 Twins runs

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What a WAR for Kepler!!! Clutch Kepler!

 

Arraez kept doing what he has been doing. It is really hard to send him back down AAA.

 

Sano and Garver were the obvious goats. Garver had two big blunders in this game. The first one was really bad. He's not a speed threat, so why he gets caught wandering off 3rd simply means he wasn't attune to the gravity of that situation. He should be buying Littell a steak or two for saving his bacon and another couple of steaks for Kepler. (In his defense, he did work a walk that led to a tie game, so I can stay mad forever.)

 

Sano only needed one more K to tie the MLB record (Martinez for the BoSox was also one whiff away from tying the record). He needs a game or two off to reset.

I'm not gonna get down on Garver at all for this game. Not one iota. 17 innings behind the plate, and our pitchers did what? Garver deserves praise, even if he did get picked off third.

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What a WAR for Kepler!!! Clutch Kepler!

 

Arraez kept doing what he has been doing. It is really hard to send him back down AAA.

 

Pineda was great, and Littell improved his stock value greatly.

 

Sano and Garver were the obvious goats. Garver had two big blunders in this game. The first one was really bad. He's not a speed threat, so why he gets caught wandering off 3rd simply means he wasn't attune to the gravity of that situation. He should be buying Littell a steak or two for saving his bacon and another couple of steaks for Kepler. (In his defense, he did work a walk that led to a tie game, so I can stay mad forever.)

 

Sano only needed one more K to tie the MLB record (Martinez for the BoSox was also one whiff away from tying the record). He needs a game or two off to reset.

Give Garver a little credit.   Dude caught 17 innings, though he may have been a main cause for it.    Hats off to the bullpen.   

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"Both bullpens surrendered a run in the 13th inning which kept the game going. Both runs came from a lead off home run. For the Sox it was Mookie Betts, and for the Twins, it was Kepler. This was also the first lead for the Twins all game, and capped off a three hit, three RBI night for Kepler."   Twins did not take the lead there or it would have been over.    Don't you love it when guys nitpick after you've taken the time to post a game recap at 2 am?

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Give Garver a little credit.   Dude caught 17 innings, though he may have been a main cause for it.    Hats off to the bullpen.   

I gave him some credit; I mentioned his walk. I was just fuming that he got picked off. I just felt this was almost like a playoff game (for atmosphere), so he should have been more alert and that he should be very grateful that the bullpen and Kepler bailed him out.

 

Granted, he did catch 17 innings, which I should have mentioned. As I said, it's hard to stay mad at him anyway, especially when considering his OPS.

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Do the Twins get more arms for tomorrow? If so, who do they send down and who do they call up? Candidates to be sent down would be Littell and Duffey (both have had their option used this year and both pitched two innings in Tuesday's game). Who would be called up? Well, not Eades or Romero, since both were optioned less than 10 days ago.

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What a great win. Kepler. Wow. Regarding Garver, I am sure he isn't giving himself a break for being a bonehead, and in the 6th, or whatever inning it was, there was no 17 innings in the picture. No need to baby him. He knows, and so does everybody that watched it. That cannot happen. By not pretending it is ok, he will get better for it. Garver is a stud, but no reason to diminish what happened because he played the whole game that he loves. He is a big boy. He can own it, and so can we. One could say it is his own fault the game couldn't be decided in 9.

 

Would be nice to see the bats wake up tomorrow.

Edited by h2oface
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Hey, if we put this game in last year's frame, I doubt we even take into extra innings. We lose in nine. We came back and really got some incredible pitching from the likes of Parker, Magill, Duffey and especially Littell. 

 

Nothing can be added to what Kepler did. Rosie was also delivering big time as well.

 

I do hope it's bit easier tomorrow. My stomach can take these games in combination with my duties here on the job.

Edited by Aerodeliria
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Lots of twists and turns.

 

One thing no one mentions: Mookie Betts saved the game for Boston in the 8th on Kepler's line drive down the RF line.

 

Watch that play.  If he doesn't cut that ball off, and he made a great late snatch to get it in his glove, the ball goes to the wall and the Twins send that runner around third.

 

How a play like that never even gets mentioned by the announcers, I can't understand. Betts=MVP, does it with his glove, only had one hit, but it was big.

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Do the Twins get more arms for tomorrow? If so, who do they send down and who do they call up? Candidates to be sent down would be Littell and Duffey (both have had their option used this year and both pitched two innings in Tuesday's game). Who would be called up? Well, not Eades or Romero, since both were optioned less than 10 days ago.

I would guess they call up Smeltzer. They need someone who can give them innings if Gibby has a short start.

 

What I love about Kepler is he seems to have his biggest games when everyone else is struggling. He's not one of those guys who compiles hits and home runs in 12-2 wins and then goes ofer in the one run nailbiters.

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"Both bullpens surrendered a run in the 13th inning which kept the game going. Both runs came from a lead off home run. For the Sox it was Mookie Betts, and for the Twins, it was Kepler. This was also the first lead for the Twins all game, and capped off a three hit, three RBI night for Kepler."   Twins did not take the lead there or it would have been over.    Don't you love it when guys nitpick after you've taken the time to post a game recap at 2 am?

Fidexed-zzzzzzzzzzz

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