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MIN 2, MIL 0: Take a Bow, José Berríos


 

 

You can frame it as a "classic pitcher's duel" if you must, and sure we can get away with that summary today. But this type of strikeout-heavy performance has become all too common in today's MLB. If the Twins strike out 15-20 times again today, even if they win, it's frankly unwatchable baseball. 

You can frame it as "frankly unwatchable" if you must but I will respectfully strongly disagree. Baseball is not just about action produced by batted balls. Seeing one pitcher at the top of his game is good stuff, and seeing two opposing pitchers both at the top of their games like last night is great stuff. I found it to be highly watchable. I'll admit that it does require actually paying attention to the game but I thought last night's game was much closer to how high level baseball should look than a 10-8 slugfest.

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Pitchers only have a few days in their career where everything comes together.

 

It is an absolute travesty that he was not given the opportunity to ride or die for the whole game on this night (*unless HE said he was gassed or there was a clear/significant drop off in his velocity/mechanics to suggest problems*)

 

I embrace advanced metrics, but you still need to actually watch the game.

 

He had a PERFECT GAME going through 6 innings with 80 pitches....A perfect game is history.... 6 perfect innings....forgotten in a few weeks.

 

Trust me that despite what he says, La Machina was most certainly paying attention. This, added to what his team feels have been low ball extension offers, will all lead to him betting on himself from here on out and walking in his free agency year... Book it... it's done.

 

Well, it was 84 pitches, not 80 (and as noted elsewhere, it wasn't a perfect game since he drilled Wong), but I'm guessing that doesn't matter to you. What if he had been at 90? or 95? It's his first start of the year.

 

But the true silliness is the idea that this will have any impact on whether Berrios will sign an extension with the Twins or walk when he hits free agency. do you really think this is going to eat at him? "Those bastards, I could have had a no-hitter but they made a priority of my long term health and career!"

 

I think if it's May or later and he's got some starts under him he goes out for the 7th for sure. But they're not going to risk the season for one night in april, and that's fine. That's just the way baseball is played now, and I'm sorry if you're holding on so tight to a notion of "old school" baseball that it's ruining your enjoyment of the game, but the old ways aren't always best.

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Remember that time Johan threw a no hitter and went way over his planned workload and was never a good pitcher again*?

That was cool.

*we don’t know for certain that the no hitter was at fault for his rapid decline but we don’t know it wasn’t, either

It's not 100% certain but IMHO it is at least 95% certain.

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I'm sorry if you're holding on so tight to a notion of "old school" baseball that it's ruining your enjoyment of the game, but the old ways aren't always best.

In fact, the old ways are rarely the best. That's why new ways supplant the old ways.

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In fact, the old ways are rarely the best. That's why new ways supplant the old ways.

Well, from a performance standpoint, yes.

 

But baseball is a spectator sport and strict adherence to maximizing performance does not perfectly correlate with the best spectating experience.

 

While most of us can agree that bunting is stupid, bunting for hits is super fun to watch. As are stolen bases. As are legging out grounders, which is much harder to do against a shifted infield. In general, contact and motion is more interesting than strikeouts.

 

The modern game is far less dynamic than previous iterations of the game and it’s hard to say this version is superior from the viewpoint of a spectator.

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Well, from a performance standpoint, yes.

But baseball is a spectator sport and strict adherence to maximizing performance does not perfectly correlate with the best spectating experience.

While most of us can agree that bunting is stupid, bunting for hits is super fun to watch. As are stolen bases. As are legging out grounders, which is much harder to do against a shifted infield. In general, contact and motion is more interesting than strikeouts.

The modern game is far less dynamic than previous iterations of the game and it’s hard to say this version is superior from the viewpoint of a spectator.

Your point is well taken, but the object of playing major league baseball *is* maximizing performance. If spectating experience is the object then maybe we need the baseball equivalent of the Harlem Globetrotters for those who do not enjoy watching maximized performance.

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Your point is well taken, but the object of playing major league baseball *is* maximizing performance. If spectating experience is the object then maybe we need the baseball equivalent of the Harlem Globetrotters for those who do not enjoy watching maximized performance.

I don’t believe it has to be binary. The NBA and NFL tweak their rules *all the time* to maintain the spectating experience but when the same is called for in baseball, people holler about tradition and history.

 

Can anyone honestly claim the game is worse because they lowered the mound and added the DH? The game needs to evolve to keep up with modern analytics, which have sucked a lot of the life out of the game. I appreciate analytics because it stomped out so many bad, entrenched ideas but that doesn’t mean I like everything it has done to the game. And it’s not that hard to just change some effing rules to counter some of its worst effects that continue to remove more and more action from baseball.

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Baldelli is an A.I. His lack of soul will probably present come playoff time again. Can you imagine if he had been the manager for the '88 Dodgers or '91 Twins? Gibson and Morris would have never had a chance.

 

Lack of soul? Do you have access to information about the interactions between Baldelli, his staff and the players that isn't reported to the public? A lot of managing is unseen by fans and/or critics. If not this take on the manager is unfair and to turn a phrase rather soul-less.

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I don’t believe it has to be binary. The NBA and NFL tweak their rules *all the time* to maintain the spectating experience but when the same is called for in baseball, people holler about tradition and history.

Can anyone honestly claim the game is worse because they lowered the mound and added the DH? The game needs to evolve to keep up with modern analytics, which have sucked a lot of the life out of the game. I appreciate analytics because it stomped out so many bad, entrenched ideas but that doesn’t mean I like everything it has done to the game. And it’s not that hard to just change some effing rules to counter some of its worst effects that continue to remove more and more action from baseball.

Should some rules be changed? I am in favor of that, with the goal of changing the balance of factors in how the game is played. I think the game would be improved with fewer strikeouts, fewer bases on balls, and fewer home runs. To that end, specifically, I would advocate a lower mound, a larger strike zone, and, as has been done, changing the specifications of the ball to increase resistance to air flow.

But that is incidental to the point I was making that maximizing performance (under whatever rules happen to be in place) is the object of major league baseball. Too many people use the term "analytics" as a pejorative, but it's always been a part of the game. It has simply evolved to be more precise and more useful.

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Should some rules be changed? I am in favor of that, with the goal of changing the balance of factors in how the game is played. I think the game would be improved with fewer strikeouts, fewer bases on balls, and fewer home runs. To that end, specifically, I would advocate a lower mound, a larger strike zone, and, as has been done, changing the specifications of the ball to increase resistance to air flow.

But that is incidental to the point I was making that maximizing performance (under whatever rules happen to be in place) is the object of major league baseball.

Fair enough. In that sense, I’m also in favor of maximizing performance. It’s the job of a good front office to “break” the rules and the job of MLB to counter those movements to maintain the spectating experience of the game.
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I wonder if this is the year that Byron Buxton realizes his vast potential.

That would be awesome. Here's hoping.

Buxton began realizing his potential in 2019. The past two years, he’s been roughly a five win player in a full season.

 

At this point, the only real hurdle for him to overcome is staying on the field.

 

(Obviously, there’s room for him to grow beyond five wins but he’s already very good when he’s playing)

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This thread reminds me of my buddy's old Pontiac GTO. At startup, it would belch a little blue smoke and idle rough, but once you got it warmed up it would purr like a kitten and man that kitty had some bite!

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That was a fun game to watch last night. Bit the bullet last night on AT&T TV and got the garage tv going. Nice spring night, couple of beers, great baseball and a clean garage!

 

I would take this kind of game anytime. Still even at just 2-0 it was 2:46. Must have been all the pitching changes. More of this please.

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Corbin Burnes and Jose Berrios were outstanding and the pitch sequences combined with their ability to execute were splendid viewing. Period.

In early April there is zero chance at allowing a pitcher to throw over 100 pitches. It was obvious that both pitchers would be pulled, even if perfect, once those counts reached 80 by the end of the 6th inning. Both pitchers knew this walking into the dugouts after closing out the 6th inning.

Hitters look to be working hard to make contact, while still attacking the ball. This accounts for some deep counts. When facing cutters at 98 though it is tough. A key improvement in the last 10-20 years is the number of pitchers who effectively tunnel their pitchers. While this practice goes back forever, the number of pitchers who successfully manage to disguise their arsenals and the velocity has improved. This makes hitting tougher. Still, the strategies and matchups are fun to watch. It's baseball and the number of people who love the game persists. Advertising and the fan experience in the park bring in a fair amount of people and winning teams get the bandwagon effect. There are 160 games left and the first two games have already provided plenty of action and created thoughts for a host of fans. Happy Easter.

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Yes, Berríos pitched very well. Outstanding, even. But this game also was a grade A display of one of baseball’s biggest challenges: lack of on-field action. This game featured 30 strikeouts. Thirty. And a grand total of 5 hits. For those who enjoy batters flailing away, this game provided great entertainment. For everyone else, it was dreadful.

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Yes, Berríos pitched very well. Outstanding, even. But this game also was a grade A display of one of baseball’s biggest challenges: lack of on-field action. This game featured 30 strikeouts. Thirty. And a grand total of 5 hits. For those who enjoy batters flailing away, this game provided great entertainment. For everyone else, it was dreadful.

"Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic."

 

What made the performance really stand out was 12 Ks and _no_ walks.

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Great effort by Berrios.

 

Overall though, this game was still pretty tough to watch. The Twins struck out 17 times on Friday, 13 times last night. The strikeout is the most common out for the Twins so far this year and it isn't even close. Combine that with Milwaukee's 17 strikeouts last night....frankly, reruns of the "Golden Girls" might be more exciting.

 

You can frame it as a "classic pitcher's duel" if you must, and sure we can get away with that summary today. But this type of strikeout-heavy performance has become all too common in today's MLB. If the Twins strike out 15-20 times again today, even if they win, it's frankly unwatchable baseball. As someone else mentioned, if you wonder why MLB is losing fans, the strikeouts are Exhibit A.

 

Striking out not only removes chances for hits, but it also eliminates those exciting and athletic defensive plays that we come to the ballpark to see. Not sure what MLB can do aside from moving the mound back. Might be time for that discussion.

 

Great job Berrios, wish he'd have gotten the 7th. Here's hoping Buxton stays healthy! Arraez looking great so far at 3B. Duffey looking pretty shaky.

 

I'll take 1-1, here's hoping the Twins win the series today!

 

I also have to disagree.

 

A baseball games that's under 3 hours if generally a better game to watch than the 4.5 hour opener. I've never heard anybody leaving the stadium after a shutout complain that they didn't see more wall catches or double plays.

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You can stop ranting now because removing Berrios had nothing to do with Analytics, at least not in the same sense as Snell being removed. The science which prompted this move is medical science. In other words, he was removed because of risk of injury. It would have been a different story had they been even a month into the season and he had a handful of 100 pitch starts. 

 

Some people don't believe in medical science either.

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I also have to disagree.

 

A baseball games that's under 3 hours if generally a better game to watch than the 4.5 hour opener. I've never heard anybody leaving the stadium after a shutout complain that they didn't see more wall catches or double plays.

I agree that yesterday’s game was a pretty good watch but when I noticed the game crossed the three hour mark, I groaned a little.

 

15 years ago, that’s a 2-2.5 hour game and it would be better for it.

 

PS. The opener was a terrible spectator game. Sloppy, slow, and boring.

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The Twins struck out 17 times on Friday, 13 times last night. The strikeout is the most common out for the Twins so far this year and it isn't even close. Combine that with Milwaukee's 17 strikeouts last night....frankly, reruns of the "Golden Girls" might be more exciting.

 

To be fair, Burnes' pitches were perfectly executed and on the money almost every time.

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Well, based on the season so far, they're clearly a .500 team. Not good enough for the playoffs and not bad enough for a high draft pick. Bring on the Vikings. ;)

 

Sadly, the Vikings are an ~.500 team too (with where the roster is now, it could of course change)

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Why on earth would Rocco yank Berrios? Let the man get his first career no-hitter!

 

 

So as not to blow out Berrios' arm so early in the season. As the season progresses and pitchers are more stretched out he would have been left in. It was a smart managerial move to pull him and preserve his health for a long season and longer career. Every pitcher knows that fact.

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Let a guy try to make history, no matter what time of the season it is. Berrios has no injury history anyways to be worried about. And all that stuff about not pitching much last year, that should mean they have more in the tank this year right? When a starter is that locked in, you ride that horse till it drops. 

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When a starter is that locked in, you ride that horse till it drops.

Yikes, no. The Twins have a good bullpen and I want to see Berrios pitch 30 times this season. There’s so little to gain by leaving him in and so much to lose.

 

Personally, I probably would have sent him out for the seventh but almost surely not the eighth.

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So as not to blow out Berrios' arm so early in the season. As the season progresses and pitchers are more stretched out he would have been left in. It was a smart managerial move to pull him and preserve his health for a long season and longer career. Every pitcher knows that fact.

 

Concur. Welcome to Twins Daily!

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I like Rocco as a manager, but sometimes falls into the pattern with the bullpen...
I do not necessarily agree with Rocco's bullpen usage decision for game #2, using the same relievers again...  Especially if they are unable to pitch in game #3.  I don't like the idea using the "best' relievers in same game this early in the season... 
they are 8 relievers in the bullpen.  If the Twins find themselves in lead in the 9th, one of "other" relievers will need close.

Why didn't Rocco PH with Garlick for Cave against the lefty-Sutter, especially if Hader may pitch later???

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Call me old school but can you imagine taking Carleton, Seaver, Maddux, Clemens, Koufax, Palmer and countless others out of a no-hit game after 84 pitches, 12 k's and no walks...no matter when it was pitched? Come on. How often does a pitcher get to throw a no-hitter? By taking him out, does that insure he gets 30 starts?

This is major league baseball for Pete's sake. Or it least it was as I remembered it.

It was stupid taking him out. You always want a chance to see something exceptional...since afterall baseball is still entertainment, correct?

 

If starting pitchers today are that fragile (and apparently they are) the sport  and its fans are the losers. When someone is doing something extraordinary...you let him finish the job.

 

Totally not a fan of that decision and I suspect I'll get booed off the site for feeling that way. I want to see a baseball game, not a scientific experiment in sabremetrics, statistics and all the other stuff that has infiltrated the game.

 

Ok. off the soapbox.

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