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MIN 4, KCR 1: Nelson Cruz Continues to Defy Logic

Offense is down. The ball isn’t flying like it was last season. Nobody hits for power in their 40s. These are things somebody forgot to tell Nelson Cruz.Box Score

Home Runs: Cruz 2 (8)

Win Probability Chart (via Baseball Savant):

Download attachment: Screenshot 2020-08-17 at 10.19.10 PM.png


Nelson Cruz hit a pair of solo bombas tonight, giving him eight on the season. This was Nelson’s 23rd game played of 2020, it took him 37 games to hit eight homers last year. Sergio Romo, Mr. Excitement, managed to catch Cruz’s second home run in his cap.



How fun is that? In addition to Cruz, both Jorge Polanco and Eddie Rosario both had two-hit nights.


Cruz blasting baseballs is nothing new, but the Bomba Squad seems to be turning in a web gem every game so far in 2020. Tonight it was Rosario, who once again played a ball off the left field wall perfectly and threw a strike to second base to retire the runner.



This was a bullpen game for the Twins, and they nearly turned in a shutout. Matt Wisler opened the game with two no-hit innings to lower his ERA on the season to 1.50. What a find he’s been so far. Devin Smeltzer was the primary pitcher, delivering 2 2/3 innings of scoreless ball while striking out three batters.


From there, Tyler Clippard recorded four outs before Tyler Duffey and Trevor May each turned in a scoreless frame. Zack Littell gave up a solo homer in the ninth. All told, the Twins combined to give up seven hits and two walks while striking out nine batters.


Speaking of bullpens, what’s going on here?



The new rules regarding video weren’t made crystal clear before the start of this season — there were plenty of other rule changes to catch up on — but Kansas City is clearly trying to cover up the TV that’s playing video.


Here’s what Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci wrote about the new regulations on July 21:


“Every player and staff member will be assigned a personal tablet to use during games. In past years teams shared a few tablets. But the tablets are preloaded with information and video commonly associated with scouting reports and are “locked down” with no connectivity once the game starts. There is no capacity to review at-bats in the course of a game.”


So it’s not clear to me whether the Royals were doing something wrong or not … but they sure looked like they were up to no good.


Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

Download attachment: Bullpen.png


Postgame Pint

Immediatey following the game, John Bonnes, Nash Walker and Ted Schwerzler discuss the 4-1 win over the Royals and compete for the Postgame Pint Pooh-bah title.


Download The Postgame Pint Podcast

You can also listen to the Postgame Pint and never miss another one. Just head over to our iTunes page and subscribe. Every morning you'll have a new episode waiting for you. Or listen wherever you download your favorite podcasts.


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Romo catching Nelly's HR with his hat was phenomenal!

They had a slow motion camera shot with Romo rocking full body with his long hair flopping forward and backward, the hat with the ball in it in front of him extended out like an offering.


Looked like some kind of shamanic ritual.  I went to bed laughing my ass off.

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"Kansas City is clearly trying to cover up the TV that’s playing video."


Parker Hageman pointed out on twitter (cant figure out how to embed the tweet) that it was the bullpen phone ringing, which is right next to the video monitor, and they were reacting to that.


There were other shots in the bullpen that clearly showed the monitor, and there was no effort to cover it up, plus they wouldnt have any idea which camera is live and theres a delay too.

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a very small part of me wanted 1 more run from KC last night so the final score could have been 4-2...again. I mean, an entire 4 game series being 4-2 is some wackiness you can only get in baseball. But I'll take the win and smile.


Rosario's assist was fantastic. Just perfectly played off the wall and a wonderful throw. Merrifield sure wasn't expecting that!


Wisler has been better than I expected. Makes it easier to trust in the FO that they really do know how to scout pitching and know what they're doing. It looked like a low-leverage move, and instead it's turned into an excellent value-added play.

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Just offer Cruz 2/$40 mill now. Even if age finally catches up, he still a boonstick in the dugout when he's not a boonstick at the plate.

No way.    The most he's ever made was 14 mil a year and is making 12 mil now.   Most David Ortiz ever made was 16 mil.    He's been awesome but I don't see anyone offering him multiple years at his age.   No need to do anything for next year at this point either.  Just beat the highest bidder.    If he likes it here and keeps being productive he'll get paid.   

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What a fun game last night. Wisler is proving to be another excellent pick up. Certainly doing better than I expected.


Looking at the bullpen spreadsheet, looks like Thorpe will be the first to head over to St. Paul when Hill is ready tomorrow.

Not Theilbar?

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Pretty sure the pitcher warming up asked for some water, and the three dudes jumped to help him out.  It's funny to think that something clandestine was going on, but I don't think the Royals are dirty cheaters like the Houston Asterisks.

It's the Houston Cheatos. It's why they're orange, and stuff.

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Cruz is a beast.  As long as he can stay healthy he looks like he has at least another year or two left of swings in him.  I think it would be great for him if he can last another 2 to 3 years after this season and get to 500 HR.  I know it is not what it used to be, but since he was never a full time starter until 26 and even then it was not until 28 that he broke out HR wise to get to 500 would be hell of a feat and maybe get him into the hall.  Even if not with Twins I hope he plays and is productive.  He sounds like a class act guy overall.  His numbers have been great unlike many sluggers that can still hit HR they strike out a ton and stop hitting anything else.  Cruz still gets base hits and strike out rate similar to rest of career.  Until he cannot do it, let him do it. 

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