Jump to content
Twins Daily
  • Create Account

Doubleheader Recap: Tigers Sweep, Twins Sink To 3rd Place

The Twins managed to collect just eight total hits en route to suffering a doubleheader sweep at the hands of the Tigers Saturday in Detroit. The losses dropped the Twins to third place in the AL Central.Game 1: DET 8, MIN 2

Box Score

Dobnak: 4.1 IP, 12 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 1 K

Home Runs: Cruz (12)

Bottom 3 WPA: Dobnak -.261, Avila -.087, Cruz -.061

Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs):

Download attachment: Winchart1.png


Game 2: DET 4, MIN 2

Box Score

Home Runs: Cruz (13)

Bottom 3 WPA: Duffey -.271, May -.193, Sanó -.160

Win Probability Chart:

Download attachment: Winchart2.png


Facing lefties this year has been one of the toughest tasks for this Twins offense. Coming into this series, Minnesota had the 10th worst OPS (.686) and wRC+ (89) against southpaws as a team. The Tigers had two lefties lined up to start both games and they didn’t have much trouble in dominating the Twins lineup for the day.


Offense was bad...

For Game 1 Rocco Baldelli made some experiments with the lineup, promoting two big changes. Max Kepler, who batted either first or second in 24 of his 30 previous games this season, started this game batting eighth, only for the second time this year. The other one was Miguel Sanó batting second for the very first time this season. Luis Arráez and Jake Cave sat this one out, as Minnesota tried to overcome their struggles against left handers.


The strategies didn’t work very well. Minnesota’s offense was absolutely dominated by Tigers starter Matthew Boyd, who allowed only one hit through the first four innings, a Polanco leadoff single in the first. Even the only Twins run he allowed on that stretch came after first baseman Jeimer Candelario allowed Kepler to go to second on an error and Polanco scored him on a sac-fly.


The Twins offense simply couldn’t figure Boyd out this afternoon. Not only hitting, but they couldn’t draw a single walk against him either. Minnesota’s other run came on a Nelson Cruz solo home run in the sixth.



...and pitching was worse

But that wasn’t even the worst performance from Minnesota in the game. Randy Dobnak had the worst start of his young career, giving up six earned runs on 12 hits. It was brutal and a bit surprising, given his great start to the game, throwing a six-pitch first. His pitch to contact approach failed him today, as 11 of the 12 hits he allowed were hard hits. Curiously enough, only three of those resulted in extra bases.


To go with such bad pitching performance, the Twins fielding also had a day to forget. From a bizarre throw to first from Polanco in the second inning to retire Candelario (a runner who would later score), to Eddie Rosario and Mak Kepler failing to glove a couple of hard hit balls that became RBI doubles, the defense was awful. Candelario’s single, by the way, had a .050 xBA and came off the bat at only 82.7 mph.


Lewis Thorpe wasn’t much of an improvement when he took over for Dobnak in the fifth, with the bases loaded.He gave up a total of four hits, including a two-run double in the sixth to Miguel Cabrera. After a promising start to the season, he finished a rough month of August with an 8.49 ERA, the worst month of his young career.


Bullpen studs struggle

Things didn’t look much better in the second game. Detroit brought in another lefty in rookie Tarik Skubal, who held the Twins to only three hits in the first four innings. However, Minnesota was able to capitalize this time, starting with a sac fly from Marwin González in the second inning to take the 1-0 lead.


The bullpen game had been working really well for the Twins this year. Well, not today. Matt Wisler started the game in great fashion, ending his outing one out shy of delivering two scoreless innings. But then the unthinkable took place. Two of the team’s best and most reliable arms of the year, Trevor May and Tyler Duffey, had terrible outings. Detroit took the lead against May in the third with a one-out, two-run homer from Candelario. Tyler Clippard came in to finish the inning and pitch a scoreless fourth. With him on the mound, Minnesota tied it up with Cruz’s second home run of the day, his 13th on the year.



Duffey took the mound in the fifth, and after giving up a walk, Miguel Cabrera made him pay, homering to right for his third hit of the day to put Detroit ahead, 4-2. Some really good defense from the Tigers helped them to hold on to win. Cruz and Rosario both reached to open the final inning, but Sanó grounded into a double play.


Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet


Download attachment: Bullpen.png


Postgame Pint

Seth Stohs is joined by Matthew Trueblood, Nate Palmer and Twins Daily's live virtual audience to discuss the Minnesota Twins' bats going silent versus the Tigers.



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.


Click here to view the article

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Recommended Posts

This team is in a complete free fall and I'm getting real sick and tired of the "oh well, we'll get em tomorrow" philosophy of Baldelli.  I also fault players throughout the lineup, mainly our hitters as they continue to fail to produce runs.  A grand total of 12 runs since leaving KC last Sunday over our last 5 games.  I'm sure others will disagree, but this offense, albeit an occasional good game from Kepler, Rosario or Sano has been MIA all season with the exception of Cruz.  I know only a shapshot, but after 2 days off...2 days off.....our hitters combined to go 8-47 today (.170) with 10 whiffs and only 1 walk drawn.  I'm sure Falvey and Levine will sit idly by as the trade deadline passes without making ANY KIND OF MOVE to upgrade the OBVIOUS HOLES on this team.  Its just the Twins way.  As is, signing over the hill FA's and getting nothing from them.  Yes, JD..I'm talking to you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am worried about this team, but I'll try not to overreact too much... but this offense needs a kick in the pants. Get Buxton back, Donaldson back, DFA Vargas, and maybe trade for a RH bench bat with a bit of pop. Either that or give one of the OF prospects a shot just to see if they can get this lineup going again.


As for the pitching, Thorpe needs to be DFA'd and replaced with a starter who can fill in these bullpen games. Whether that's Duran or a guy on another team, I'm not sure. By the way, what happened to the opener? Why not have Clippard/Wisler start a game, get through the 1-5 hitters, and then have a starter try to go 5/6 innings? I like that idea more than these bullpen games.


And if this team really wants to compete for the World Series, they need an ace starter... but it doesn't seem like getting one through a trade this year is possible. And our prospects who could become that aren't getting a full season in... ugh.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Going to state the obvious, I'm not happy. The sky is NOT falling and winning 2 on Sunday will make everyone feel better. As would ripping off about 4 or 5 wins in a row.


I forgive Dobnak for having a bad game. I can forgive/excuse May and Duffey for having an off day the same day. And I'm not trying to be insulting, but this is Detroit we are talking about!


Donaldson, Buxton and Garver are out. We are not the only team with injuries. The lineup we are putting out there is not maximum, and not what anyone wants, but it's still more talented than the opposition. The lineup is simply not performing well lately, at all! I think the FO has done a great job of building this team and the organization as a whole. I think they have done a great job from the ML level on down in regard to managers, coaches, instructors and advisors. But did losing Rowson really affect the hitters this much? Is there something else going on here?


I'm hoping this is a blip. But to see the talented players on hand flail and not perform lately to any expectation or previous production is frustrating and unexpected.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As pointed out by others many positions are really underperforming last year's numbers. The team badly needs Buxton and Donaldson to return healthy. and ready (defense and RH bats needed) A starting pitcher wouldn't hurt either - Pineda?


Want to be a top 4 seed - is the in-house help on the way enough?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In a short season, days like today are hard to overcome. This team has been pathetic against left handers, and as pointed out by Doc and others, the loss of the protection

(Donaldson, Graver, and Buxton) has been crippling! This organization has always had this weakness, and is probably why they went out and got The Rain Man.

I’m also disappointed in Baldeli-his use of Thorpe in a 2 run game, with a rested bullpen, was (fill in your own adjective). Mine isn’t printable. I’m not sold on his judgement in these situations.

Finally, Kirillof, Lewis and others sit unused in a wasted year for their development.

I don’t have any specific answers, but I think they at least would have given a better effort today!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand the reaction and as someone who posted a not very optimistic prediction for the rest of the season on another TD article, I can only say that those who keep telling us not to panic, not to over react can enjoy a winter trying to figure out when it is appropriate to panic.  


Dobnak could not keep going on forever, but what were the impacts of Rosario and Kepler and Polanco's fielding on his results?  I do not know it is a real question. How many of Dobnak's runs were the result of Thorpe (and why is he back with the team?)?  


Another Bullpen game - so our BP which at least got rest the last two days is now stretched again and we will be playing the White Sox.  The last BP game came before we played the Indians.  How did that work out?  I hate BP games.


Vargas batting fifth?  What is that all about?  Adrianza PR for Rosario - did Eddie break a leg?


Oh the questions I have.  Will we wake up against the White Sox?  


I do not like third place.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’m also disappointed in Baldeli-his use of Thorpe in a 2 run game, with a rested bullpen, was (fill in your own adjective). Mine isn’t printable. I’m not sold on his judgement in these situations.


It was actually a 3-run deficit, bases loaded and 1 out for the other team so quite likely a 4-run deficit soon even with effective pitching, and only 6 outs left for us to come back. With a second game later in the same day. You really want to use your best relievers there?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep.  That's what happens.  No focus and no production.  What's the purpose of a baseball team, being highly paid, in a professional BASEBALL LEAGUE, once again?  Could it be to play baseball?  Apparently not, baseball is secondary to groupthinksocialdivisionanddestructrion. Congratulations for your grandstanding... and looking forward to next year.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pitchers will always have a bad game. It happens. Dobnak, May, Duffey have all been great so far this year. Since all 3 had it happen on the same day doesn't make it look good. I'll give em a pass for now. What I won't give a pass to is the lineup. I don't care if Buxton and Donaldson are out with injuries. Where are the rest of the guys? Why aren't they hitting? What's wrong with Polanco, Arraez, Kepler? Garver before he got hurt? When half your lineup isn't performing it's hard to score runs, then throw in a missing Donaldson and Buxton and you're left with a Sano who will never hit more than .250, and a Rosario who never met a high fastball he didn't like. Cruz has been the only guy who's been worth a dime. 1 guy can't carry the load every game. When you are expecting Marwin, Cave, Vargas, Adrianza, Avila to win games for you, well, it ain't gonna happen. If Larnach, Kirilloff and Lewis aren't better than any of these 5 misfits than we are in trouble long-term.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep. That's what happens. No focus and no production. What's the purpose of a baseball team, being highly paid, in a professional BASEBALL LEAGUE, once again? Could it be to play baseball? Apparently not, baseball is secondary to groupthinksocialdivisionanddestructrion. Congratulations for your grandstanding... and looking forward to next year.

The Tigers voted not to play Thursday too. Countless other baseball teams, even good ones, have also had occasional days of poor performance over the last ~150 years — it is inherent in a sport where the best teams still lose 40% of their games. There is zero evidence that Thursday’s protest affected Saturday’s results on the field.


If you want to continue discussing the protests, please post in the protest thread.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Geez, all the hand-wringing.

As I said on yesterday's games thread, keep in mind that this is an exhibition regular season to determine who plays in the exhibition postseason, the winner of which will be awarded the Golden Asterisk trophy.

What I am enjoying about this year's baseball is watching games played by good players. Who cares how the games turn out? It's just not a big deal. At all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Enough with the excuses from the FO like “but we got depth at our alternate site,” this team needs to make trade before the deadline if they’re really serious about winning.

What depth at the alternate site? Read in the Strib that they don't have enough players there for Donaldson to play a 9 inning game at third.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I do predict at least two trades this week: 


*On Wednesday, I predict they trade Lewis Thorpe for Michael Pineda.

*On next weekend, I predict they trade Juan Minaya for Jake Odorizzi.


Further, sometime this week, I also predict they trade a PTBNL for Josh Donaldson. 

Sorry, the trade deadline is Monday. The league office won't be able to approve any of these trades. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only reason the Twins have a winning record is because of their inter league record.

They only have 8 inter league games left and 18 divisional games. Their are no easy division games for the Twins. This Detroit series is already lost. The Twins are in danger of falling out of the last available playoff spot. Detroit looks hungry, the Twins look full and resemble couch potatoes

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


Featured Video

  • Create New...