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MIN 2, KC 7: Royal Pain


The Twins headed to Kansas City to take on the Royals for three more games. Four batters into the game, the Twins were down 4-0. By the end of the evening, they had lost two pitchers to injury.Box Score

Odorizzi: 3 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

Home Runs: None

Bottom 3 WPA: Jake Odorizzi -0.259, Eddie Rosario -0.090, Max Kepler -0.068.

 

Odorizzi Struggles; Leaves Early With Injury

Jake Odorizzi made his third start of the year tonight and all three starts have come against the Kansas City Royals.

 

Odorizzi ran into trouble in the first inning when he gave up a three-run home run to Jorge Soler. His defense didn’t help him much either. Sano and Vargas misplayed a pop up behind the first base bag, which allowed Whit Merrifield to score the first run of the game.

 

In the fourth inning, Jake Odorizzi was hit in the ribs from a line drive off the bat of Alex Gordon. Odorizzi immediately dropped to all fours and was in obvious pain. He got back to his feet and attempted to stay in the game, but was eventually walked off the field by Minnesota’s head trainer, Michael Salazar.

 

Jorge Alcala came in the game following the injury to Odorizzi and gave up a bunt single to load the bases and walked Merrifield, allowing another Kansas City run to score before recording back-to-back strikeouts against Nicky Lopez and Hunter Dozier to end the inning.

 

Jake ended his night with a final line of 3 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 1 K

 

Jorge Alcala Shines in Emergency Role

After struggling early upon entering in relief of the injured Odorizzi, Alcala settled down and worked quickly shutting down the Kansas City lineup. In his second inning of work, Alcala struck out the first two batters of the inning on six pitches and induced a first pitch pop up for the third out.

 

Alcala worked a second scoreless inning in the sixth, striking out two more Royals hitters and keeping the Twins within relative striking distance. Alcala pitched a total of three innings, allowing one hit and striking out six.

 

Also, he throws gas, which is always fun to watch.

 

 

Injuries Continue to Mount

Much like many teams across the league, the 2020 Minnesota Twins have suffered their share of injuries, most notably to this point on the offensive side. Entering tonight, the Twins were without Buxton, Donaldson and Garver due to injury.

 

The injured list got a bit more crowded tonight. As previously noted, Jake Odorizzi left the game in the fourth after being hit in the ribs by a line drive. Later in the game, Zack Littell, who entered the game in relief of Jorge Alcala, also had his night cut short due to injury. After hitting Soler on the hands, Littell signaled to the dugout for pitching coach Wes Johnson and expressed discomfort in his pitching arm. He was removed from the game and relieved by Caled Thielbar.

 

Losing two pitchers to injury in the first game of a 10-game road trip is not an ideal situation.

 

The No Bomba Squad

The offensive woes for the 2020 Minnesota Twins have been well documented. We’re now nearly halfway through this shortened season and the lineup is still sputtering and shows very little resemblance to the powerhouse they were a year ago. Tonight was no exception.

 

Through the first seven innings, Minnesota mustered five hits, all of which were singles, and their lone run came courtesy of a fielders’ choice groundout from Ehire Adrianza, scoring Rosario.

 

Their first extra base hit did not come until the eighth inning when Miguel Sano doubled following a walk from Cruz, who later scored on a wild pitch.

 

The good news is the Twins are still in first place and have another game tomorrow.

Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs):

 

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Full recap coming soon ...

 

Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

 

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Postgame Pint

Nick, Rena and Nash discussed a bad night for the Twins, both because of the result and the potential injuries that the Twins Daily community witnessed.

 

 

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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Can we get a replacement for Jake Cave? Asking for an offense that needs to perform better.

Cave going nowhere. If there was a right-handed bat that could function in CF anywhere near ready in the system...maybe. But there’s not.

 

And in any regard, it’s probably better form if you wait to ask the question on a night Cave was NOT the only outfielder to reach base in the game.

 

Wade could get some starts just for the sake of having a different face...but he’s not as good as Cave offensively, and no better defensively.

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I noticed a trend very early last year and have zoned in on it ever since: inability to cluster hits together. When is the last time we've had 6 hits in an inning? Minus the occasional HR in the following scenario, with 2+ men on base this team can't hit...at all. It's like the next batter up turns into one of the worst hitters in the league. The Twins were in a rare situation having 6 highly-touted prospects enter the league at roughly the same time yet not one of them has lived up to their potential. My love of the team is more a "like" at this point. I'd pull a Rosas and trade the entire roster (stay Cruz) for gritty, hard working, always improving bunch.

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Guessing Thorpe is an injury replacement. Same with Poppen. (Or was he placed on the IL?)

 

I repeat mys3lf from a previous OP that Duran was to be used in case of emergency. Are we getting to that point? Oddo out again, Bailey not ready, Pineda still suspended...maybe instead of a traditional bullpen start we give the kid a shot.

 

Are on giving Wade a shot. Maybe he provides a spark and gives someone else a day off. But Cave is ahead of him for a reason despite slumping lately.

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Still waiting for Kirloff. Like I said earlier, the team that stays healthy will win. We are not healthy right now. Maybe we can get Longoria from the Giants in a deal for a prospect or 2. Or maybe a right handed hitting outfielder if none are in the system. However, we need starting pitching since we have so many injuries. Alcala deserves to start and can probably go 5 innings if he isn't wild. As far as 6 hits in an inning as someone said, not many teams do that very often- maybe once a week. Leave Cave alone. He's not the only one not doing much. The White Sox are decent and the Indians had good pitching til their 2 starters screwed up.

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Thought there was one word to describe last night's game...ouch! Then seeing what happened to Odorizzi, I guess it should be...ouch, ouch!

 

Continue to be more than impressed with Alcala. He pitched almost three innings last night. With all the starters on the IL, could they stretch him out another inning? Then use an opener for the first two innings with Alcala coming in for the next four. That would get them to the 7th inning when the bullpen would normally get into the game. A thought.

 

Like most of us, I have lost track of where the team is with their 40-man roster, who is on the IL and which players are left in St. Paul to help.

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O-Doh!-rizzi.... FO nailed it with the one year deal. Had to give him another year after last year but too many alarm bells with previous years and the third time through the line up.

 

No regrets.... and thank God we are not on the hook for a long term contract.

 

I'm also glad the Twins aren't on the hook for him beyond this season, but you've gotta feel for the guy. He wasn't able to sign a long term deal last offseason because of the draft pick compensation tied to him, so he took the QO from the Twins, probably thinking he could secure a nice deal next offseason after putting together another solid season this year. Now I'm wondering if he'll be able to get a multi-year deal at all.

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I noticed a trend very early last year and have zoned in on it ever since: inability to cluster hits together. When is the last time we've had 6 hits in an inning? Minus the occasional HR in the following scenario, with 2+ men on base this team can't hit...at all. It's like the next batter up turns into one of the worst hitters in the league. The Twins were in a rare situation having 6 highly-touted prospects enter the league at roughly the same time yet not one of them has lived up to their potential. My love of the team is more a "like" at this point. I'd pull a Rosas and trade the entire roster (stay Cruz) for gritty, hard working, always improving bunch.

 

I think this may be confirmation bias in your head. They've hit better this season with runners on, and even better than that with runners in scoring position. Overall, the team is only hitting .239 for the season (18th in MLB), but they're hitting .278 with runners on base (6th in MLB) and .305 with runners in scoring position (2nd in MLB). I will say that they were historically bad last season with the bases loaded for some reason, but they were good or great in every other situation last season. This season, timely hitting has been one of the Twins' only saving graces on offense.

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Not sure I'd want Lewis in the lineup after he hit .649 OPS in AA last year. He likely wouldn't do much better than Adrianza's .180 / 480 OPS or whatever it is. Lewis needs more development time.

His BA should be able to match Adrianza and this could be a way to give him development time.  Another option would be Gordon, but we really hear nothing about him.  At least Royce has been given one of the CHS awards for his work this summer. 

 

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I think this may be confirmation bias in your head. They've hit better this season with runners on, and even better than that with runners in scoring position. Overall, the team is only hitting .239 for the season (18th in MLB), but they're hitting .278 with runners on base (6th in MLB) and .305 with runners in scoring position (2nd in MLB). I will say that they were historically bad last season with the bases loaded for some reason, but they were good or great in every other situation last season. This season, timely hitting has been one of the Twins' only saving graces on offense.

Maybe the problem is getting players into scoring position because they are not there enough to score based on your stats.  I do think we are missing Arraez bat and I am tired of the Garver/Cave etc in the top of the lineup.

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3 K's on the second night for Jeffers (and Wade pinch hit and struck out for him, too). Gushing is fun, and I was one that was wanting him in there, and still do. Especially over Astudillo. But that must have stung and much as the first night brought the joy. Littell I saw coming and was and am hoping for Duran. I don't think Littell will ever have a run like he did at the end of last year. I think that was his shine.

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3 K's on the second night for Jeffers (and Wade pinch hit and struck out for him, too). Gushing is fun, and I was one that was wanting him in there, and still do. Especially over Astudillo. But that must have stung and much as the first night brought the joy. Littell I saw coming and was and am hoping for Duran. I don't think Littell will ever have a run like he did at the end of last year. I think that was his shine.

Based on last year, I believe that Littell can, and will be a very good reliever for the Twins long term. We are now learning of an arm problem that just may have been the reason he hasn't pitched that well this short season.

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