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Game Recap: Athletics 13, Twins 12


 

Rocco did the same thing in the Saturday game in the Mariners series. He pulled Cruz to pinch run Jake Cave then we were treated to Mr. Cave hitting in that spot in the bottom of the 10th. I remember because I was at the game and yelled to my wife when Rocco pulled Cruz. Arraez makes the play at second that Blankenhorn muffed and Donaldson makes the throw that Arraez sailed.

Okay, but they never would have tied that game with Cruz still running the bases, as Cave scored on a close call on a wild pitch if I remember correctly. Rocco has made plenty of questionable decisions, but let's give some credit where credit is due. There are definitely both benefits and risks to these types of decisions.

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when your 'closer' is one out away from the win and he walks the next two hitters, the result rarely is favorable. The two errors that followed were gut wrenching. The blown save in the 9th...terrible. Rogers coming in and immediately allowing 2 inherited runners to score...bad. Maeda getting lit up like Las Vegas after the Twins actually scored some runs...a harbinger of things to come. The bottom 3 in the lineup..pathetic as pathetic can be. Losing 13-12 (right after losing 1-0) might be a snapshot of how this team is going to look this season.

 

One thing I missed. I know Cruz is banged up but why did Garver pinch hit for him? Was he really unable to come to the plate? Just asking.

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Our defense is really terrible right now,except Buck. They have terrible range where not getting to playable balls and making easy routine plays look difficult. Although our 1st line of defense is pretty darn good, our 2nd is downright terrible. Our 40 man roster is full of poor gloves so that we can't fit better players. How many players have to be hot to overcome our defense liabilities. We need to change our priority and greatly improve our defensive depth. Obtaining Simmons greatly improved our team but it's not enough. Broxton is our 2nd best OFer and he's not even on the roster. Even if he hits average, which  would put him better than the others (except Buck) that  would be an improvement more so defensively we would greatly improve.

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I'm interested to see the WPA for this game. So many players screwed up so many times in this one, who should receive the blame?!

Yeah, this is one of those amazing games where you can't really blame any specific player OR any specific skill set. Everyone was bad on defense. Starting pitching was terrible, bullpen was terrible, managing was terrible (I rarely criticize managing because hindsight is always 20/20). Clutch defense was disgusting. Can't throw a guy out? Can't field a grounder? Honestly that looked like bad middle school baseball. GAAAHH!!!

 

Cruz 2 HRs, Donaldson goes 4-for-5 or whatever with a HR, Buxton hits a 2-run homer in extra innings and you freaking LOSE?!?!?

 

Who's going to get the Twins out of this mess? Berrios and Maeda are spent, guess it's time to turn to Big Mike on Friday?

 

JA Happ and Matt Shoemaker are the type of guys that you can have ONE of, but you don't want two. But that's for another thread!

 

Still just bamboozled over yesterday's loss.

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My take - after this 9th loss in 10 games, I am very interested to see what Baldelli and the coaching do to make some adjustments.  This is the first stretch of bad baseball that a Baldelli-led team has played.  Yes, he and the coaches didn't give up the walks, make the errors, etc but as leaders they do have to do something different.  

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Well, except for blowing the lead TWICE, and walking the 8 and 9 hitters, and not being able to K anyone.

But this is mostly on Rocco.

 

He blew the lead the first time alright but the second time nah. Yeah he walked the bases loaded but he got two routine ground balls with two outs.

 

And the players themselves do need to be held accountable. The bullpen certainly sucked and is a massive problem. But the direct cause of this loss is Arraez’ and Blankenhorn’s errors. Of course it was dumb to pull Donaldson but Arraez should be able to make that throw.

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It is tough to win when your starting pitcher gives up 7 runs.  To even be in the game at that point seemed crazy.  Every facet of the team failed except the offense.  Starting pitching was brutal, Relief work poor, defense so bad it lost the game.  This team has a lot to work on right now.

 

Baseball is like this though.  Last year we were the hot team that caught the stumbling White Sox and took the division.  Now the baseball gods have given us a taste of the other side.  When you don't catch those little breaks things start to fall apart.

 

The Twins aren't this bad.  There are better days ahead. I honestly don't know if they can find a hot streak to match this losing streak but we will know more about what we have at the All-Star break.  Baseball is a loooong season and other teams will have injuries and ups and downs as well.  Here's hoping the baseball gods give them the breaks when they need them down the stretch.

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How do you reset?  Remember when we laughed at KC and Detroit?  Just to understand their suffering we have now taken over last place.  We hit and lose, we pitch and lose, we bring in our closer and lose for sure - he does close the door!  We have great fielding and then take it out in the extra innings?????  

 

6 - 11 we now need to go 89 - 56 to get 95 wins. 61%.  We might want to start soon.  Rocco - the clock still ticks in April. 

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All winter when many here and elsewhere where clamoring for the Twins to cut Rosario loose, I often mentioned that there was a risk in doing so. Why? Because he was the heart and soul of this team. 

 

Yes, the Twins have leaders on the field. Guys like Cruz and Donaldson and hopefully a few others. But they are missing something. I maintain it is their heart and soul who is now playing in Cleveland.

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I was not surprised we lost that game.  I am ready to move Colome out of end of game situations.  Yes, he did induce two ground balls that should have ended the game, but he blew the save in the 9th and should never needed to get to 10th.  

 

This is some of the worst baseball I have seen in awhile.  They really need to figure it out.  Pitching generally has been bad, fielding overall has been terrible, and outside of yesterday, hitting has been terrible as well.  

 

It does suck facing teams on great rolls like the Red Sox's were and now the A's, but we gave that game away.  

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I was not surprised we lost that game.  I am ready to move Colome out of end of game situations.  Yes, he did induce two ground balls that should have ended the game, but he blew the save in the 9th and should never needed to get to 10th.  

 

This is some of the worst baseball I have seen in awhile.  They really need to figure it out.  Pitching generally has been bad, fielding overall has been terrible, and outside of yesterday, hitting has been terrible as well.  

 

It does suck facing teams on great rolls like the Red Sox's were and now the A's, but we gave that game away.  

What sucks is that we are on a roll too - downhill and gaining momentum

 

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Our defense is really terrible right now,except Buck. They have terrible range where not getting to playable balls and making easy routine plays look difficult. Although our 1st line of defense is pretty darn good, our 2nd is downright terrible. Our 40 man roster is full of poor gloves so that we can't fit better players. How many players have to be hot to overcome our defense liabilities. We need to change our priority and greatly improve our defensive depth. Obtaining Simmons greatly improved our team but it's not enough. Broxton is our 2nd best OFer and he's not even on the roster. Even if he hits average, which would would put him better than the others (except Buck) would be an improvement more so defensively we would greatly improve.

I think Broxton needs to be up, too. That means cutting someone from the 40-man, but it would be like a kid in a candy store if it was up to me who to cut.
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I think this was the worst loss I have ever witnessed... I took some time before commenting to make sure it wasn't just emotion. 

 

1. The game lasted all day long.

2. Manager made questionable decisions

3. Pitching was brutal all day (except Dobnak, Duffey, and Rogers)

4. Defense...

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Baldelli simply didn’t want Donaldson in a situation where he would be forced to kick it into the highest gear to win the game. He’s nothing if not consistent in his perpetual concern for tomorrow’s game and next month’s games. And maybe that’s smart...

 

Except that it hasn't worked, and players still miss time.

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One thing I missed. I know Cruz is banged up but why did Garver pinch hit for him? Was he really unable to come to the plate? Just asking.

 

Baldelli: "Yes, he was unable."

 

Lasorda: "What? That's nothin' but a flesh wound, Nellie! Get out there and win us a game!

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My short list of worst regular season losses

 

2009 @ Oakland, blew 12-2 lead

2002 @ Yankees, walkoff grand slam by giambi down by 3

1984 @ Indians, blew ten run lead with playoffs on the line

 

honorable mention, the 2019 loss to the Yankees where Aaron hicks made that wild catch

I remember that '84 game against the Indians like it was yesterday. Joe Carter was a Twins killer.

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When teams are hot, they find ways to win. When teams are not, they find ways to lose. That's about all you can say about that game. I'll bet both Blankenhorn and Arraez make those plays 24 out of every 25 times. However, the Twins are cold right now so both blow the play. At least the offense finally came alive. Let's hope things turn around quickly.

What I will never agree with is letting a relief pitcher not pitch a second inning after shutting out a team in their first (only) inning. Both Dobnack and Duffy did that today then were gone. Doesn't make sense to me and never will.

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Blankenhorn looks expendable.  You need zero skill to stand on second and trot home after a homer and then cough up a routine grounder.

I was thinking removing some pitchers from the 40-man but if Simmons is ready to return, then yeah, option Blankenhorn back. The only other infielder available on the 40-man is Gordon and they do not seem confident in Gordon. Rooker being optioned before Friday’s game also seems like an obvious move.
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Don't get the calls for Broxton. He's a career .209/.297/.388 hitter. Strikes out just as much as Sano and Cave. Definitely better speed and defense than our current corner OFs, but he wasn't available on a minor league deal with no post-ST opt out because he's a season saver. His ceiling is late inning defensive replacement. He's not the answer to the Twins' problems right now unless you're hoping the Twins become those Mariner teams that had like 9 gold glovers who all hit .200 and couldn't win.

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Of course it was a horrible loss.    When Donaldson was pulled for a runner I had no problem with it.   Odds were he wasn't going to bat again and his injuries have been mostly calf strains.    It was a totally justifiable move.     Yes, you can't walk guys but two routine grounders, either of which could have ended the game is on the fielders not the pitcher.   Mariano wouldn't have been considered an elite closer if ground balls were routinely booted.    So I guess the only criticism of how Baldelli managed would be putting Arraez at 3rd base.   Likely, it wouldn't affect the outcome of the game statistically but when I heard the 2nd baseman and 3rd baseman booted grounders I assumed it was Arraez at 2nd and Blankenthorn at 3rd,.    Blankenthorn has played more games at 3rd in his career than Arraez and a higher % of his games at 3rd vs 2nd.   I would have hesitated having one guy change his position mid game but maybe Baldelli wanted to put the rookie in his slightly more comfortable position.   It was defendable and really, both plays should have been made anyway.    Its sad, because I can hardly remember two plays in a row being misplayed in a row like that.   Hopefully this is the low point of the season.   Hardly giving up on this group now.    The players are there to succeed.   Its totally up to them to do so.

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Don't get the calls for Broxton. He's a career .209/.297/.388 hitter. Strikes out just as much as Sano and Cave. Definitely better speed and defense than our current corner OFs, but he wasn't available on a minor league deal with no post-ST opt out because he's a season saver. His ceiling is late inning defensive replacement. He's not the answer to the Twins' problems right now unless you're hoping the Twins become those Mariner teams that had like 9 gold glovers who all hit .200 and couldn't win.

The season might need saving? :)

 

Broxton in the outfield can prevent runs, has actual speed for pinch running situations, and had a good spring, which was used to justify Garlick making the team. Broxton over Rooker makes the team better today, at little to no cost. Same can be said for Kirilloff of course.

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The season might need saving? :)

Broxton in the outfield can prevent runs, has actual speed for pinch running situations, and had a good spring, which was used to justify Garlick making the team. Broxton over Rooker makes the team better today, at little to no cost. Same can be said for Kirilloff of course.

Garlick was on the 40 man already. Bringing Broxton in is more than just calling 1 guy up and sending 1 down. He would certainly help defensively and with speed on the bases, but the Twins don't steal or really care about speed on the bases (Buxton hitting behind Cruz is a pretty clear indication of how low on the priority list speed on the bases is, and my #1 annoyance about Rocco).

 

I wouldn't argue that the skills Broxton brings are more certain than Rooker or Cave right now. But he's a quite limited player that isn't really improving things drastically. I wouldn't be mad if they called him up, and it's not an outrageous idea, but it's a lateral move, in my opinion. Kirilloff and Larnach provide a much better chance of making a real difference if they can hit the way we hope, and somewhat expect. And strangely I believe tomorrow (maybe Saturday?) is the day that Kirilloff can be called up and play the rest of the year and still get an extra year of control*. The team clearly needs a shake up of some sort to get things righted and maybe Broxton is the answer to that. But some comments come across as if people think he's a much better player than he is. He isn't Buxton 2.0. He isn't Buxton lite. He isn't a poor man's Buxton. He's a bad hitter who can run fast.

 

*For the record I don't think the Twins kept him down simply to get an extra year of service, but I don't think they were sad about it.

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All winter when many here and elsewhere where clamoring for the Twins to cut Rosario loose, I often mentioned that there was a risk in doing so. Why? Because he was the heart and soul of this team. 

 

Yes, the Twins have leaders on the field. Guys like Cruz and Donaldson and hopefully a few others. But they are missing something. I maintain it is their heart and soul who is now playing in Cleveland.

 

So if Eddie was here, the relief pitchers would pitch better?

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