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Front Page: Twins Game Recap (8/23): Berríos, Bullpen Can’t Hold Baseball’s Worst Offense


.....This is what happens when you hold on to your precious prospects too tight and not get Minor at the deadline.

Minor would not have pushed Berrios out of the starting rotation. Neither would Stroman, or whatever savior one was hoping to be acquired. So last night's game was not affected, whichever way that FO decision went. Why bring it up in a game recap?

 

Also, with regard to exactly when to pull Berrios last night, look at the spotty outcome from the bullpen when they did get brought in, and ask what difference it would have made in the game. It would have been different, because that's the nature of baseball, but it's not obvious that any choice would have resulted in a win.

 

Is Berrios tipping his pitches? What is Wes Johnson doing, and are his short-season college-ball tactics getting exposed during the long grind of a major league season? Those are questions I'd rather find answers to.

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"while sending their ace, José Berríos to the mound."

As I've been saying for the past month. He is not an ace. What Giolito did to us was "Ace" worthy. If you're an "Ace" you don't get rocked by the worst  team in MLB (could be one of the worst ever). Berrios needs to be shelved on the 10 day IL, miss a start, go take a vacation for a week. Do anything but place a ball in his tired body. He's obviously not built for the long run (as yet) so get him some time off. If they are waiting until September call ups it may be too late as this pennant run could come down to one meaningful August game.

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A couple comments in this thread about "not having fun" or "enjoying this". 

 

I have no idea why anyone would feel this way. 

 

I'm having a blast. 

 

I remember last year. 

 

This is enjoyable. 

 

Bring on September. 

Couldn't agree more.  I was at the game last night on a gorgeous evening, and although disappointed in the result, thoroughly enjoyed watching this entertaining team.  Yep, bring on September!

 

That said, can we please bring on September WITH Byron Buxton.  I know his absence is not the only reason for our recent mediocre record, but I seem to notice something in almost every loss that would have been better with Buck in there.  Last night it was the slicing double to right that Gonzo couldn't quite get to (don't get me wrong...I like Gonzo...but he's not Kep in RF)...I'm fairly certain Kepler would have caught that ball if he hadn't had to play center in Buck's absence.

 

The sample size is too big to ignore:

 

Twins with Buck in the lineup:  56-25 (a .691 percentage...far and away the best in baseball)

Twins with Buck out:  21-26

 

I still see this team as a contender if Byron can return.  But without him, it will be a very short post-season.

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Couldn't agree more.  I was at the game last night on a gorgeous evening, and although disappointed in the result, thoroughly enjoyed watching this entertaining team.  Yep, bring on September!

 

That said, can we please bring on September WITH Byron Buxton.  I know his absence is not the only reason for our recent mediocre record, but I seem to notice something in almost every loss that would have been better with Buck in there.  Last night it was the slicing double to right that Gonzo couldn't quite get to (don't get me wrong...I like Gonzo...but he's not Kep in RF)...I'm fairly certain Kepler would have caught that ball if he hadn't had to play center in Buck's absence.

 

The sample size is too big to ignore:

 

Twins with Buck in the lineup:  56-25 (a .691 percentage...far and away the best in baseball)

Twins with Buck out:  21-26

 

I still see this team as a contender if Byron can return.  But without him, it will be a very short post-season.

 

I agree with you about Buxton. He is special player and we are a better team with him in the lineup.

 

Although, the Winning percentage probably isn't as simple as "Buck In - Buck Out" because of the 24 other factors to consider with special emphasis on the decline of the pitching staff during that time. Could Buxton's defense be a factor as you point out... sometimes yes... but overall, this team has players in reserve who can perform. 

 

Besides... I think if you look around the league... Nearly every team is missing a key piece and finding ways around it... just like we are with Buck. 

 

Pitching is where my worried head spends its time.  

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A couple comments in this thread about "not having fun" or "enjoying this". 

 

I have no idea why anyone would feel this way. 

 

I'm having a blast. 

 

I remember last year. 

 

This is enjoyable. 

 

Bring on September. 

Compared to some of the teams in the 2000s, no this is not fun. It's a root canal. Compared to last year or 2016? Okay I get what you mean. But those years were not pennant chase years either. I am referring more to the playoff push. Usually playoff pushes are exhilirating, this is embarrassing. 

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For all the times that they use the IL for starting pitchers it is bewildering to see Berrios struggle like this and them not give him some time off. I also think back to his early struggles when we were seeing a number of articles about him tipping his pitches. Is it possible that's happening again?

 

The number of pitchers that I feel comfortable with right now is way too low for a contending team.

 

I keep imagining how excruciating it was for the fans of the 1964 Phillies to watch their team slide out of contention slowly and painfully. I know we're still in first place and we have the bats of a first-place team. Just defense and pitching but has me on easy. I think your Berrios we're on top of this game I would be relaxed.

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Couldn't agree more.  I was at the game last night on a gorgeous evening, and although disappointed in the result, thoroughly enjoyed watching this entertaining team.  Yep, bring on September!

 

That said, can we please bring on September WITH Byron Buxton.  I know his absence is not the only reason for our recent mediocre record, but I seem to notice something in almost every loss that would have been better with Buck in there.  Last night it was the slicing double to right that Gonzo couldn't quite get to (don't get me wrong...I like Gonzo...but he's not Kep in RF)...I'm fairly certain Kepler would have caught that ball if he hadn't had to play center in Buck's absence.

 

The sample size is too big to ignore:

 

Twins with Buck in the lineup:  56-25 (a .691 percentage...far and away the best in baseball)

Twins with Buck out:  21-26

 

I still see this team as a contender if Byron can return.  But without him, it will be a very short post-season.

I wouldn't go this far unless you think Buxton's defense is worth the at least extra run the staff has given up in the last long stretch.    I also agree with Ashbury that any extra pitcher or two would be coming in for Perez ,who won his last start, not for Berrios who has not been good at all in August.    Odorizzi and Pineda have been just fine.   I agree Berrios needs a little time off and a reset or needs to figure out along with the pitching coach what adjustment is needed.     I defended Berrios when the Twins lost 8 of his 11 starts in one stretch because it was easy to defend a stretch where he had an ERA well below 3.   His August has an ERA well above 8.   I could make a case that  just replacing Smeltzer for Berrios at the trade deadline would have given us two more wins.   4 games isn't an anomoly.

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Compared to some of the teams in the 2000s, no this is not fun. It's a root canal. Compared to last year or 2016? Okay I get what you mean. But those years were not pennant chase years either. I am referring more to the playoff push. Usually playoff pushes are exhilirating, this is embarrassing. 

 

I think it's possible that your memory of the teams in the 2000's has adjusted over time. 

 

We all died a little with every loss back then just like we are this year. We had holes on those teams that we wished would plug. It's the same thing as this year. 

 

This is how it goes in a pennant race and I'm willing to bet that the Cleveland fans feel the same. 

 

Yankees Fans

Astros Fans

A's Fans

Rays Fans

Braves Fans

Nats Fans

Mets Fans

Philies Fans

Cards Fans

Cubs Fans

Brewers Fans

Dodgers Fans (OK Maybe not this group)  :)

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A couple comments in this thread about "not having fun" or "enjoying this". 

 

I have no idea why anyone would feel this way. 

 

I'm having a blast. 

 

I remember last year. 

 

This is enjoyable. 

 

Bring on September. 

All I wished for this team in April was meaningful games in September.    Remember a week ago when we won 4 straight in Texas?    Another week from now will be another story.   People seem to think our past WS or playoff seasons were just a smooth steady rise to first place.    It was never that way.   87 team was up 5 games on August 17th and tied on August 28th.      Not saying in any way or form that this team will follow 87's path but it would be cool if TD existed back then and be able to see the fan's comments on August 28th of that year.   Of course its more fun when your team is coming back from way down rather than seeing a lead shrinking.   This is fun too though.

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It will be a lot more fun if they call up a few flame throwers to stabilize us... 

 

Does anyone else kind of have the feeling this year that the fun that we are supposed to be having in a pennant race is just not there? I don't know. It just isn't as fun as it supposed to be this year. I guess it has a lot to do with poor defense and bad baseball. I'm the kind of fan that likes to see my team play a nice crisp game. Doesn't it seem like we have had very few crisp, solid games this year? I know I enjoyed the teams in the 2000s a whole lot more even with far less homers. 

 

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Not pulling Berrios after the first two hitters reached in the 6th is incredibly poor management. He had struggled all game.

 

Why?

 

I cant even come up with a plausible explanation.

 

Awful.

 

As for "enjoying" this...I enjoy watching them win. If you enjoy watching them lose a game in the standings while facing Drew Verhagen-who doesnt qualify for the term journeyman-more power to ya. I dont.

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Wow, this board has gone full sports talk radio crazy.

 

As Tom noted I his video, you don’t pull Berrios there. If Baldelli had and the reliever had given up runs, people would be howling about that. Just silly. He’s supposed to be our ace. If you don’t trust him in that spot against RONNY RODRIGUEZ maybe we should just DFA Berrios.

 

Agree that Berrios needs some time off. Between the results and the drop in average fastball velocity, it’s pretty clear he’s worn down.

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It's highly probable, and fits in well with Minnesota sports lore that Cle, TB, and Oak will all over take the Twins.
"The Twins will miss the playoffs by one game." - Sjoski

As a non-Minnesotan, Twins only fan from Idaho, I have a vastly different perspective re: Twins fandom.  Mine started with that improbabl3 '87 team, and I have fond memories of other underdog/undermanned teams overcoming the odds or imperfections to make their mark.

 

Just make the playoffs, and see who rises to the top.  Giving Makina a chance in this game was probably a smart move.  Didn't work, now on to plan B.

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First, I agree with the poster that says Berrios needs a 10-day spot on the IL. Something is clearly wrong whether it's a tired arm, elbow issues, or maybe he's just tipping his pitches. In any event, get him on the IL now he can come back during the tough stretch in early September and give Thorpe or Smeltzer his next start. He only has to miss one because there's an off-day in there. Second, send Harper down and get Littel back up. Today. You can do it if you IL Berrios, Littel can be his injury replacement. Then, I would switch Arraez and Kepler in the batting order. Not only to do those things help the team, they send the right message: Our present play is unacceptable and we will make changes to win.

I concur with all those moves, and they've been echoed out here long enough.

 

What I don't get, is that such things are glaringly obvious to even the most casual fan, and have been for a while now- and the fact that none of them have even been tried yet is mind-boggling.

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Wow, this board has gone full sports talk radio crazy.As Tom noted I his video, you don’t pull Berrios there. If Baldelli had and the reliever had given up runs, people would be howling about that. Just silly. He’s supposed to be our ace. If you don’t trust him in that spot against RONNY RODRIGUEZ maybe we should just DFA Berrios. Agree that Berrios needs some time off. Between the results and the drop in average fastball velocity, it’s pretty clear he’s worn down.

so ... Rocco shouldn't have pulled a clearly struggling Berrios before the 6th inning spirals completely out of control...but the same Berrios needs some time off due to results and drop in velocity. And being worn down.

 

//blank stare

 

Interesting logic.

 

Despite having nothing, luck and circumstance had gotten Berrios into the 6th with a 3 run lead. Pushing your luck, after the first two hitters reached, was a really really bad managerial decision. The bullpen hadn't been used in 36 hours. There was NO LOGICAL REASON to let Berrios blow the lead there. None. That was a rookie manager mistake, clear and easy to see in advance, and it likely cost a game.

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.....This is what happens when you hold on to your precious prospects too tight and not get Minor at the deadline.

 

To expand...it is a fallacy to assume that we are entering some 3-7 year window of superiority in the central division just because we have a good young hitting core and Cleveland appears to be close to a reset......

 

The White Sox have some amazing young talent and there is absolutely a risk that they will slam our window shut abruptly starting the year after next. We should have started going for THIS PAST trade deadline.

 

But unfortunately the Twins model is to strive for extended stretches of above-average-ness to maximize the revenue to cost ratio....not win championships....this will not change unless fans speak through ticket sales.

 

For an example of how fans can take action....see Redskins, Washington

What was the asking price for Minor? It makes little sense to be unhappy we didn't trade for a player when we have no idea what the asking price was. No way I would have dangled Buxton, Lewis or Kirilloff in any trade.

 

Don't fall for the Pale Hose hype. Reinsdorf is even worse than the Pohlads. Having talented prospects is one thing, actually winning is another. I wouldn't think I would have to explain that on this board of all places.

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Minor would not have pushed Berrios out of the starting rotation. Neither would Stroman, or whatever savior one was hoping to be acquired. So last night's game was not affected, whichever way that FO decision went. Why bring it up in a game recap?

 

Also, with regard to exactly when to pull Berrios last night, look at the spotty outcome from the bullpen when they did get brought in, and ask what difference it would have made in the game. It would have been different, because that's the nature of baseball, but it's not obvious that any choice would have resulted in a win.

 

Is Berrios tipping his pitches? What is Wes Johnson doing, and are his short-season college-ball tactics getting exposed during the long grind of a major league season? Those are questions I'd rather find answers to.

 

Ummm...let's expand our minds to second and third order effects. Minor would have actually plugged in as our acting number 1 while B struggled. One of the starters could have gone to the bullpen and potentially facilitated the dumping of Harper or slowed the AAAA express. Minor actually pitching starting innings (7-9) would prevent over usage of the bullpen at least one day......so it could be inevitably used more on the shorter starts of the other pitchers.....and so on and so on.....

 

I think what you meant to argue is that the Twins really needed was to acquire 2 starters instead of just one at the deadline because 1 may not have been enough so yes...I was incorrect....we should have obtained Stroman and Minor if we were serious (and lets not forget that Stroman did not cost THAT much).

 

Not taking chances at the trade deadline with our top 10 farm system will haunt like walks

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What was the asking price for Minor? It makes little sense to be unhappy we didn't trade for a player when we have no idea what the asking price was. No way I would have dangled Buxton, Lewis or Kirilloff in any trade.

 

Don't fall for the Pale Hose hype. Reinsdorf is even worse than the Pohlads. Having talented prospects is one thing, actually winning is another. I wouldn't think I would have to explain that on this board of all places.

Remind me again because I can't remember....which was more recent 2005 or 1991.....

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Not pulling Berrios after the first two hitters reached in the 6th is incredibly poor management. He had struggled all game.

Why?

I cant even come up with a plausible explanation.

Awful.

As for "enjoying" this...I enjoy watching them win. If you enjoy watching them lose a game in the standings while facing Drew Verhagen-who doesnt qualify for the term journeyman-more power to ya. I dont.

I get the frustration with losing to the worst team in the league with our supposed "ace" on the mound against a pitcher with a 6+ ERA.  But don't sleep on this Verhagen kid.  He obviously missed his spots last night a few times, but his double digit strikeouts were legit.  He's a big imposing guy on the mound, and easily throws mid-90s with a wipeout slider...striking out Arraez twice tells you how good he can be.  I think he has a promising future.

 

Yeah, I left the game a little down last night, but still found a lot to enjoy on a perfect evening watching a team in first place:

 

1) Double HR games by 2 different players, as we pulled within 20 of the all-time record...and it's still August!

 

2) Cruz's rocket in the first inning...I don't know that I've ever seen a ball hit harder.

 

3) the joy of watching Luis Arraez hit, even on a 2K night.  He still got a hit, and could have had another on his liner to left in the first.  He is unique in the box...scanning the field before each pitch to see where the holes are (and then actually hitting them!), moving up in the box as the pitcher winds up if he's expecting a breaking ball, his antics after taking a pitch, etc.  This guy would be fun to watch even in a 100 loss season, but we get to watch him in a pennant race.

 

4) the continued improvement of Duffey and May as more reliable middle inning guys...they both looked great last night.

 

5) the marvelous game Castro had behind the plate despite his pitchers not making things easy on him.

 

6) Gardy walking angrily out to the mound with steam coming out of this ears after his reliever's fifth straight ball...pulling your pitcher with a 1-0 count...priceless!  But it worked!

 

That said, I have to agree that Berrios maybe should miss a start or two.  It was heartening to see his velocity up in the mid-90s the first few innings, but discouraging to see it drop down to 91 by the 5th and 6th.  Rocco needs to see this earlier.  And we gotta win the next 2...

 

 

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Ummm...let's expand our minds to second and third order effects. Minor would have actually plugged in as our acting number 1 while B struggled. One of the starters could have gone to the bullpen and potentially facilitated the dumping of Harper or slowed the AAAA express. Minor actually pitching starting innings (7-9) would prevent over usage of the bullpen at least one day......so it could be inevitably used more on the shorter starts of the other pitchers.....and so on and so on.....

 

I think what you meant to argue is that the Twins really needed was to acquire 2 starters instead of just one at the deadline because 1 may not have been enough so yes...I was incorrect....we should have obtained Stroman and Minor if we were serious (and lets not forget that Stroman did not cost THAT much).

 

Not taking chances at the trade deadline with our top 10 farm system will haunt like walks

You never know what you're going to get when you trade prospects for a starter, and we don't know what the asking price was for Stroman (Mets gave up a first rounder and a second rounder).  But we do know this: since the trade, Stroman has walked 10 and given up 10 earned runs in his 19 innings.  Not very good.  I'm guessing this board would be pretty unhappy right now if we had given up a recent first and second rounder for that kind of pitching performance.   

 

Minor would have been a terrific pickup, but at what cost?  Texas was likely asking for a couple of our top fivers (the fact that Minor was not dealt tells us every GM thought the asking price was too high), and I personally would have been unhappy to see a combo like Graterol/Kiriloff gone in exchange. 

 

Our pitching is troubled right now with Berrios struggling, but I still think the front office did the right thing in not overpaying for pitching help. 

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Not pulling Berrios after the first two hitters reached in the 6th is incredibly poor management. He had struggled all game.

Why?

I cant even come up with a plausible explanation.

Awful.

As for "enjoying" this...I enjoy watching them win. If you enjoy watching them lose a game in the standings while facing Drew Verhagen-who doesnt qualify for the term journeyman-more power to ya. I dont.

Not hindsight.     If the hits that inning were squeakers, thats one thing but everything hit that inning was rockets.  Even the line out.     Now the main culprit was the hanging curve ball but his location of the curveball all night was way off and he was helped occassionally with Tigers swinging at horrible pitches.   He really didn't have it.    I made a mental note to comment that Rocco should have pulled Berrios earlier even if he got out of that inning.   Of course no one enjoys losing but I do enjoy the drama.   I will say sometimes journeymen can pitch like aces and vice versa.   Berriios uncontrolled curveball was more 2 oclock to 8 oclock.  Verhagens's curveballs were sharp 12 to 6.  I didn't see the whole game but when he struck out the side they weren't such bad at bats but truly nasty pitches against very good hitters..    

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