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Front Page: Twins Game Recap (8/8): Gibson Struggles, Late-Inning Rallies Fall Short


Nash Walker
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The Cleveland Indians defeated the Minnesota Twins 7-5 on Thursday. The win brought Cleveland within one game of the Twins with three games left to play in this series, and a grand total of nine head-to-head matchups to come.Box Score

Gibson: 4.1 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 6 BB, 2 K, 49% strikes (42 of 85 pitches)

Bullpen: 4.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K

 

Home Runs: None

Multi-Hit Games: Luis Arraez (2-for-3, BB)

 

Bottom 3 WPA: Eddie Rosario -.314, Kyle Gibson -.257, C.J. Cron -.146

 

Mike Clevinger mostly stymied the best offense in baseball on Thursday, going seven innings and striking out nine en route to his seventh win. Clevinger threw 117 pitches and made them all count, allowing just three hits. Two blemishes came in the fourth, as the Twins struck on RBI singles from Luis Arraez and Marwin Gonzalez.

 

The Indians offense lifted Clevinger as Yasiel Puig tripled and scored in the second off Kyle Gibson. Gibson pitched 4 1/3 innings and allowed five runs while walking six. Zach Littell relieved Gibson in the fifth and gave up a two-run double to Jose Ramirez. Ramirez continued his smoking hot second half, driving in three runs on the evening.

 

Adam Cimber pitched the eighth inning for Cleveland and surrendered two hits and a walk as Jorge Polanco doubled in Ehire Adrianza to narrow the deficit to three. Cimber was pulled for left-hander Oscar Perez and Eddie Rosario grounded into a fielder’s choice, scoring Max Kepler to bring the Twins within two.

 

Miguel Sano doubled in Rosario on a full count to strike to within one. Marwin Gonzalez popped out to center to end the inning.

 

Tyler Naquin blasted a solo homer off Trevor May in the ninth for an insurance run. In the bottom half, Eddie Rosario popped out to right with bases loaded for the finishing touch. Minnesota native Brad Hand earned his 29th save. Devin Smeltzer and Shane Bieber will face off tomorrow night.

 

Postgame With Baldelli

 

 

Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

Click here for a review of the number of pitches thrown by each member of the bullpen over the past five days.

 

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Can we get Carew or Mauer to work with Rosario on how to be patient at the plate? Tonight we had Brad Hand on the ropes, getting behind hitters, yet Rosario feels compelled to swing at the first two pitches — the second one just sticking his bat out for contact. Good hitters work the count.

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This is the version of Gibby we have had of him most of this year, unlike last 1.25 years.  Has to nibble.  Not an extension candidate at 33 next year.

 

I know this is blasphemy but anyone else not understanding Rocco's obsession with protecting the bullpen?  Seems like lately he's leaving pitchers out way too long.  You have to hope your bullpen can help. I know I know bullpen not great, but this is the team we have or chose to have.

 

A little tired of the come from behind dramatics.  Don't mind a close game, just prefer not to be behind a ton and rely on the big bomb to bring us back.

 

let's hope we get it back.  Cleveland now can hit.

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Theis game was last three games were winnable.

Fixed yer post.  ;-)

 

No need to repeat again today - everybody knows what the issues are now.  Can't run away, can't trade anymore, either.  These are the arms that will determine the season for the Twins.  There is a fair amount of talent present.  Concentration, discipline and determination appear to be in shorter supply.  No pitcher is throwing well consistently enough.

 

Were I a hitter, I'd be in every guy's face, asking, "Shouldn't over six runs a game be enough for the team to win?" Asking them if they're hurt, and if they're not, asking them if they think they're playing for the other team?  This staff is going to have to decide as a body that they will work to deserve the run support they get.

 

Edit please:  The bullpen allowed only 1 run (earned), not 6.  Notwithstanding each of them is included in the above rant.

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Can we get Carew or Mauer to work with Rosario on how to be patient at the plate? Tonight we had Brad Hand on the ropes, getting behind hitters, yet Rosario feels compelled to swing at the first two pitches — the second one just sticking his bat out for contact. Good hitters work the count.

Hand hung a breaking ball high and down the middle on his first pitch, but Rosario was under it and missed it. I think he was right to come out swinging at the first pitch.

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May and Gibson are so frustrating.  Go for it, Gibson, throw strikes and see where the baseball lands, like Smeltzer.  He must wonder why his pitches don't all end up in the seats, yet he is successful.  May, I don't know enough to figure out what is wrong, but a second pitch homerun to that guy is incredibly deflating after a rally getting the team close.  Cleveland 3 of 4 and first place in the Central for rest of year.

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I hate to say it but came away from that game with great respect for Francona as a manager.  He knew exactly which Twins to fear at the plate and kept them from hurting his team. 

Funny that Arraez is having the best at-bats of anyone on the team; and that they wouldn't even throw him a strike in the eighth but ended up intentionally walking him.  They did the same with Cron in the ninth and he had a good at-bat.  Too bad he couldn't finish it.

Kepler and Sano got cheated out of good at-bats where they should have walked but instead had third strikes called on them considerably out of the zone.  Bring on the automated strike zone!

Francona knew to put the game in the hands of Gonzalez who is struggling lately and Rosario who faced a tough lefty matchup.

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Don't know what the future holds for this team, playoffs, wild card or the late fall off to begin preparation for 2020.  But I do know that this team seems to believe they are never out of a game.  What is becomming clear to me, however, is:

 

1. Contrary to my previous belief, the FO better begin planning on finding four starters for their 2020 rotation.  Hopefully, they will find one or two from the trio of Thorpe, Smeltzer and Dobnak, who all should see lots of time on the Target Field mound the next 7 weeks.  

 

2. It really looks like Zach Littell will be a key part of their 2020 bullpen, and

 

3. Luis Arraez will be their starting second baseman for the next six years, or longer.

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This is the version of Gibby we have had of him most of this year, unlike last 1.25 years.  Has to nibble.  Not an extension candidate at 33 next year.

 

I know this is blasphemy but anyone else not understanding Rocco's obsession with protecting the bullpen?  Seems like lately he's leaving pitchers out way too long.  You have to hope your bullpen can help. I know I know bullpen not great, but this is the team we have or chose to have.

 

A little tired of the come from behind dramatics.  Don't mind a close game, just prefer not to be behind a ton and rely on the big bomb to bring us back.

 

let's hope we get it back.  Cleveland now can hit.

You beat me to this.  Two games he has left his starting pitcher in to "get innings" only to have them put the game out of reach.  Both times the bats came alive to provide enough runs if the starter hadn't given up an avalanche.  This is playoff baseball - Atlanta, Cleveland - are the types of teams we will see in the post season and we are showing how weak our starting pitchers are.  I know it was a rare horrible start for Berrios, but Perez and now Gibson deserve no leash.  I would rather see Thorpe or Graterol take those starts. 

 

I know Rosario had a chance to be a hero and we have seen him come through in those spots as well as flailing.  I cannot fault him, we should not have been in such desperate straits.   

I do want to continue to praise Arraez.  Someone asked if Carew could teach Rosario patience at the plate - all he has to do is watch Luis.

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I am shocked, SHOCKED I say, that Kyle Gibson wilted under the bright lights like SpongeBob out of the ocean. If you need seven solid innings against BAL/KC/DET, he's your guy. Otherwise, forget it. 

 

The Kirk Cousins of baseball. 

Good comparison.  Twice Gibson was asked to give us 6 after tough extra innings games and both times he struggled to four.  Now we have a real threat to our lead and Gibson comes out flat again.  He is not a pitcher for the post season  and lets hope he does not pitch any crucial games in the rest of the current season.

 

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Okay a third and last post - May was not used for an extended time, then we read he is at 99.9mph and suddenly he is back.  His straight heater made it quickly to the plate and quickly to the stands.  May just is not trustworthy and this was not the game we should have started putting him into critical situations again.

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I couldn't sleep, so I quick whipped together some speculation on what might happen if Nelson Cruz is forced to the IL.

Agree with the boring move of the 13th pitcher for now. Best stretch of offense was back in the late spring when Cruz was out. We have multiple options at DH. Won't happen now, but I look for Graterol soon if he keeps throwing like this. Good on Falvey for trying anyone and everyone. Balazovic can come up right behind him as far as I'm concerned. We have starting pitching problems and we need to solve that one quick. 

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Done with Gibson. He's not a gamer. As loosely stated above, he never delivers when it really matters. I suppose one could argue that all the games are either worth one win or one loss, but there are times when the tone needs to be set or the team needs a pickup. Gibson never delivers in those situations. Don't even think about QO. Just let him walk and he can go disappoint a different fanbase.

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Yesterday was Thursday, August 8.  It was the 115th game of the year putting the Twins 71% of the way through the season.  The Twins hit 0 home runs giving them a total of 224 home runs for the season and on a pace to hit 316 home runs this season.  The 2019 Twins rank 2nd on the all-time list of Twins' home runs in one season.  They are now only 2 home runs away from becoming the Twins single-season record holder and are only 43 home runs behind the single-season MLB record.  The next Twins team to pass is the 1963 team that hit 225 home runs.

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You beat me to this.  Two games he has left his starting pitcher in to "get innings" only to have them put the game out of reach.  Both times the bats came alive to provide enough runs if the starter hadn't given up an avalanche.  This is playoff baseball - Atlanta, Cleveland - are the types of teams we will see in the post season and we are showing how weak our starting pitchers are.  I know it was a rare horrible start for Berrios, but Perez and now Gibson deserve no leash.  I would rather see Thorpe or Graterol take those starts. 

 

I know Rosario had a chance to be a hero and we have seen him come through in those spots as well as flailing.  I cannot fault him, we should not have been in such desperate straits.   

I do want to continue to praise Arraez.  Someone asked if Carew could teach Rosario patience at the plate - all he has to do is watch Luis.

Saw in today's Strib that Gibson was 'under the weather last night.'  If that is correct, not feeling 100% could be a reason he wasn't at his best.  Not a good game for it to happen, but ….. happens.

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A shame to score 7, 7, and 5 runs and lose all 3 games. The concern over the bull pen has now gone full circle as the bull pen has been rendered irrelevant until starters get their act (back) together. Hopefully Smeltzer can show that last start was not a fluke. Now need to win 2 of 3 or Twins will find themselves out of first place for the first time in 2019. Twins do have an easier schedule after the Indians as Cleveland plays Yankees, Mets and Red Sox next. Rest of August will be very interesting.

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I think part of the reason Baldelli has left his starters in too long of late is because he knows how bad his bullpen is.

 

It turned out not to be the deciding run, but I don’t understand using May in the 9th - and said so last night. What are you saving Rogers, Duffey and Romo for? There’s no longer going to be a save.

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I think part of the reason Baldelli has left his starters in too long of late is because he knows how bad his bullpen is.

It turned out not to be the deciding run, but I don’t understand using May in the 9th - and said so last night. What are you saving Rogers, Duffey and Romo for? There’s no longer going to be a save.

 

Duffey?

 

I don't think so. He isn't any more trustworthy than the worst guys out there. If I'm Rocco I go to the FO and tell them I want these young fireballers up here. I also go to Romo and Rogers and tell them to eat their wheaties because we have to lean on you heavy. 

 

Bottom line either way. Our starters have to at least keep you in games. I mean give up 4 runs over 6 innings and we have a chance with this team. Lately, they haven't even been able to do that. 

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