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Game Recap: Twins 5, White Sox 4


The Twins walked off the White Sox 5-4 Tuesday in a game full of drama. In a game where Miguel Sanó finally arrived in the 2021 season, the biggest question remains, did Tyler Duffey throw at Yermin Mercedes on purpose?

Box Score
Ober: 4 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
Home Runs: Sanó 3 (6)
Top 3 WPA: Sanó .477, Polanco .432, Rogers .139
Win Probability Chart (via Fangraphs)

Walkoff.png.a68f692445a4a49d935aab5e1f3f8999.png

Pineda Scratched, Pen Shuffled

Michael Pineda was scratched from his start Tuesday, with Twins injury news coming thick and fast.

To replace Pineda, the Twins promoted 6’9 Bailey Ober, The Twins 2017 12th round pick. The control artist has put up consistently outstanding numbers for the Twins in MiLB, most recently sporting an ERA under 1.00 in 2019 between A+ and AA.

In an additional move, the Twins promoted Cody Stashak, DFAing Derek Law after surrendering 4 runs in 1.1 inning in Monday’s blowout.

In other roster and injury news, well, here’s a summary:

Ober-Matched?

Ober was welcomed to the show by Jake Lamb, who deposited a pitch into the right field bleachers to give the White Sox a 1-0 lead. After back to back hits from Moncada and soon-to-be-punished Yermin Mercedes, Ober settled down to retire the side. Ex-Twin and current sweaty grizzly bear Lance Lynn struggled in the first, before getting Miguel Sanó to pop out to end a two-on threat.

The Sox added on in the third, Moncada doubling home Lamb. Yasmani Grandal then added a two run home run off Ober, on one of his few mistake pitches. Despite surrendering 4 ER in his first 4 innings, Ober’s stuff looks like it will play at the back end of an MLB rotation. In what is already a lost season, Twins fans will want to see more.

Sanó continued his improved at bats with a solo home run to left field in the bottom of the 4th, keeping his hands inside a Lance Lynn cutter, trimming the deficit to 4-1.

Five Innings of Bull...pen

Ober surrendered the game to a returned Cody Stashak in the 5th inning. Stashak worked two scoreless inning, *lowering* his ERA to 7.11. Sanó added his second home run of the night after an excellent at bat in the bottom of the 6th, working a 3-2 count after being down 0-2 and depositing a pitch to straight away center field. Larnach followed up with a 114 mph single to right field, before Kyle Garlick grounded out to short to end the threat.

Late Inning Drama

After entering in the 7th and beginning the inning with as Moncada groundout, Tyler Duffey was ejected after throwing behind Yermin Mercedes. Rocco Baldelli was ejected in quick succession after arguing with home plate umpire Jim Reynolds. The million dollar question: did Duffey throw at Mercedes on purpose? You decide.

In an improbable turn of events, Miguel Sanó hit his third home run of the game in the bottom of the 8th, an opposite field shot of Aaron Bummer, tying the game at 4.

Taylor Rogers entered in the top of the 9th, and struck out Yasmani Grandal, giving the Twins an opportunity to walk off in the bottom of the 9th. In the bottom of the 9th, Simmons singled, Cruz moved him to second with a weak groundout. Tony La Russa intentionally walked Luis Arraez before a Donaldson fly out moved Simmons to third base. Enter Jorge Polanco. Polanco's walk off was an outstanding end to what seemed like another inevitable defeat. Whether the Twins can put more wins together and turn their season around, remains to be seen. What were your thoughts on the game today? Is Miggy back? Did Duffey throw a Mercedes? Weigh in below.

Bleacher Tweets

On my recap days, I’m going to throw in a crowd sourced statistic, joke, story, or complaint to get more voices into the recap. Tonight's depressing offering is courtesy of noted grump Cody Pirkl.

Bullpen Usage Chart

  FRI SAT SUN MON TUE TOT
Thielbar 29 0 28 0 0 57
Stashak 0 17 0 0 35 52
Rogers 0 0 12 0 27 39
Robles 0 17 0 0 17 34
Duffey 0 0 26 0 5 31
Colomé 0 7 0 0 19 26
Alcala 0 0 0 18 0 18

What’s Next?

On Wednesday, the Twins will send Matt Shoemaker to the hill against Lucas Giolito. First pitch is at 12:10 CT.

 

 

 


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HIP HIP!!!!

Season hasn't been what we hoped, but man, it's fun to see these guys win, especially against the Sox. Sano with an absolute monster game that could be the start of one of his hot streaks. The bullpen that we expected to be good showed up in a huge way tonight. Ober was fine in his first start, and probably showed enough to be deserving of another look sometime this year. What a win. Enjoy this one!!

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Great win. A week and a half ago I referenced Sano as an "albatross". A Red Sox friend of mine in MA said he thinks the Twins will release or trade Sano and that then he will turn into *Big Papi, or something. A night like tonight maybe could prevent that fate from being sealed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1] I agree with Smalley that that was one of the best 4R rookie performances I've seen. Ober wasn't great in any way. But I saw a decent FB and off speed stuff with movement that kind of surprised me. Almost looked his stuff moved too much. Over amped? Unfortunately his change betrayed him a couple of times.

I do think he got squeezed a couple of times. 

I am NOT an Ober hater, but I actually expected the worst tonight. I say that despite AMAZING milb numbers and being a seemingly intelligent kid, but despite his numbers, he has so few milb IP in his professional portfolio. But the FO has liked enough of what they have seen and at least some projectability to put him on the 40 man. I'm not sure his future value other than a 4th or 5th SP, with time and better control, especially his change after what I saw tonight.  And I love that his velocity has crept in to the 90's to go along with control and deception. 

Really surprised how fast he's been promoted with limited time. A little more control...mmmm...mjght be a solid back end SP. And that's not a slight.

IMO, the Duffey pitch was lack of control or a slip on a dirty mound. LaRussa had already apologized to the Twins for the HR the night before. In the history of "retaliation" pitches, have you EVER seen one that was so wide and outside it was almost a wild pitch? Even IF it was an intentional pitch ,it was so crazy outside and unintentional in appearance that any removal from the game was BS IMO.

But kuddos to Rocco to being kicked out for defending his team and pitcher. Maybe we need a little more of that. 

Maybe too little, too late, not his fault for everything that has transpired, but kudos for Sano to FINALLY find himself. 

 

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Read into it what you will, the last 15 games for each player:

Sano - .234/.345./.553

Arraez - .259/.339/.296

Donaldson - .267/.359/.536

Cruz - .224/.274/.293

Kepler - .182/.292/.436

Polanco - .304/.381/.536

Larnach - .292/.370/.417

Garlick - .217/.213/.413

Simmons .216/.298/.333

Garver - .244/.326/.561

Astudillo - .294/.308/.510

 

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"In what is already a lost season..."

Fat lady has not yet taken the stage.  Enough things can still go right for the Twins to find a berth in October, but they are going to have to claw and bash their way back.  Very nice to see them seize on one of their dwindling opportunities today.  Every out is precious now.

So write this down, "We’ve got to play them one day at a time.”

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39 minutes ago, DocBauer said:

1] I agree with Smalley that that was one of the best 4R rookie performances I've seen. Ober wasn't great in any way. But I saw a decent FB and off speed stuff with movement that kind of surprised me. Almost looked his stuff moved too much. Over amped? Unfortunately his change betrayed him a couple of times.

I do think he got squeezed a couple of times. 

I am NOT an Ober hater, but I actually expected the worst tonight. I say that despite AMAZING milb numbers and being a seemingly intelligent kid, but despite his numbers, he has so few milb IP in his professional portfolio. But the FO has liked enough of what they have seen and at least some projectability to put him on the 40 man. I'm not sure his future value other than a 4th or 5th SP, with time and better control, especially his change after what I saw tonight.  And I love that his velocity has crept in to the 90's to go along with control and deception. 

Really surprised how fast he's been promoted with limited time. A little more control...mmmm...mjght be a solid back end SP. And that's not a slight.

IMO, the Duffey pitch was lack of control or a slip on a dirty mound. LaRussa had already apologized to the Twins for the HR the night before. In the history of "retaliation" pitches, have you EVER seen one that was so wide and outside it was almost a wild pitch? Even IF it was an intentional pitch ,it was so crazy outside and unintentional in appearance that any removal from the game was BS IMO.

But kuddos to Rocco to being kicked out for defending his team and pitcher. Maybe we need a little more of that. 

Maybe too little, too late, not his fault for everything that has transpired, but kudos for Sano to FINALLY find himself. 

 

Agree with 99% of your post.  I didn't watch much of the game especially after Twins fell into early 4-0 hole, but from the limited time I watched Ober I believe over time (2022) he could definitely fill a lower slot in our rotation.  I would certainly rather see Ober (or Josh Winder) fill a rotation slot than Falvey going to the dumpster to overpay for a player in the Happ/Shoemaker mold.  Will be interesting to see what happens to this rotation in the offseason as only Maeda and Berrios, imo, are "locks" for 2022.  Where I disagree with you------if you were serious---was your description of pitch that got Duffey ejected.  Lack of control by Duffey? He slipped?  IMO that pitch was 100% intentional. Duffey knew where it was going and threw it low enough that it wouldn't have done any damage to Mercedes.  I applaud Duffey for stepping up and making that pitch.  What Mercedes did last night showed a complete lack of respect for his manager, his opponent and the game.  Mercedes is a fine young player, don't get me wrong, but hopefully he'll learn from this incident and move forward.  Not having watched the game, I was honestly shocked that Rocco got ejected also.  Looked from replay that he actually MIGHT have "raised his voice and used a few expletives" on the ump.  Good for you Rocco!! As for Sano, what can you say, but thank you for a HUGE night.  Sure would be nice to see him rebound from here to show he can be anywhere close to the productive hitter he was in the 2nd half of the 2019 season.  For those thinking Sano will be traded in the offseason, forget about it.  I don't see ANY team trading any talented prospect or player with his recent resume.  For those thinking Twins management will DFA him, forget about that for 9,250,000 reasons.  No way the Pohlad group eats that much salary for 2022.  With  Cruz gone (by trade deadline) or for sure in offseason as free agent, Sano will move into full to semi-full time DH role next year with Kirilloff taking over at 1B.  A lot of other problems to address for this team, but for one night revel in the FACT that the Twins overcame a 4-run deficit and a strong bullpen did their job.  

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If perfect human happiness is 100 psi, Twins fans have been hovering around 30 psi for the last month. A full-team effort win like this puts at least another 35 psi into the Happiness Tire. 

Congratulations to Bailey Ober, whose stuff and command looks like it will play in the majors. Time will tell if his command and K/BB rate puts him in the middle or back of a starting rotation. He throws a lot of strikes.

Congratulations to Miguel Sano. His struggles are well documented, but I don't think his level of effort has ever been in doubt. Today it all came together. May he have many more great days at the plate.

Congratulations to Jorge Polanco. Like a lot of Twins, he has been struggling to find his game. Lately he has been getting better, and today he crushed a pitch (batting lefty) to win a game. 

Skol Twins! Pump that tire and plug the holes!

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Amazing to think at 4-0 that Sano would hit 3 HR and the Twins would win in the bottom of the 9th. Almost unfathomable. Great night for the Twins, and Sano. By the way, it's a shame to see a guy hit 3 HR and see the score is 4-4. Gimme a break, get some guys on base for crying out loud. But beggars can't be choosers. A win's a win.

I think Duffey clearly tried to hit Mercedes, it's too bad he missed. If you're gonna throw at the guy's butt, at least make contact. Weird watching Rocco get thrown out, that's about as passionate as I've ever seen him and he still looked like he was having a hard time getting steamed up. But good for him for trying to fire up his guys.

Not sure the enthusiasm can last with a Shoemaker vs. Giolitto tilt today. A loss would be devastating and that trip out to LA could be a disaster. But, that's why we play the games! You never know.

Overshadowed in MLB with Spencer Turnbull throwing a no-hitter for Detroit against Seattle. It's the 2nd time the Mariners have been no-hit and they're hitting .199 as a team. Yikes. For the Tigers, with World Series winning manager AJ Hinch and a talented young group of players, it must feel good.

 

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I loved it - Sano keep hot - I will still criticize you if you go back to being a whiff monster, but what I just saw was a player making contact and that is great. 

Ober was mediocre - not sure the praise is earned.  Happy to have him try another game against another team, but a 9.00 ERA is not brag worthy even in a year where we are searching for good news.

Finally, am I the only fan who does not care that Yermin hit the HR off Astudillo.  If we pitch batting practice the hitter has the option to clobber anything any time in any count.  I am so sick of the unwritten rules and the minor infractions that are supposed to be insults to the integrity of the game.  If I am a hitter and can pad my stats, I would do it.  The game is changing with bat flips, joy and excitement starting with the Padres and that is just fine with me. 

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Was thinking the same thing....3 HR and they only scored 5 runs. Too bad someone can't get on base. Kudos to Duffey for throwing at Mercedes, that's how you pull a team together. If Rocco didn't know anything about it, he should've. At least we saw some fire from him for once. It's been a long time coming and he needs to do more of it. 

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16 minutes ago, Tom Froemming said:

Of course Duffey threw at Mercedes intentionally. 

Embarrassing. Pathetic.

You really feel like a guy hitting a 3-0 home run off your position player deserves retaliation? Don't get down 15-4. Don't put in a guy throwing 45 mph.

http://e.startribune.com/Olive/ODN/StarTribune/Default.aspx Reusse joins us in despising this charade.  "

Then, on a 3-0 count, Astudillo lobbed another one and Yermin Mercedes slaughtered it for a 430-foot home run to center field.

Mercedes is Astudillo’s twin with the White Sox — a chubby catcher long buried in the minors, finally given a chance and producing, and with more power than the Turtle.

The height of silliness followed, with the Twins deciding to be offended that someone had the audacity to hit a 3-0 pastry from Astudillo for run No. 16, rather than wait for a 3-1 pastry to do the same.

Mercedes was disrespecting the Turtle as a pitcher, and disrespecting a team that had put the Turtle on the mound for the laughs? We have to protect our dignity by having Tyler Duffey throw at this make-believe villain a night later?

That Twins reaction was more pathetic than the putrid manner in which Baldelli’s club has had to play to overtake the Detroit Tigers for the title of Baseball’s Worst."

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I don't care what Duffey did and if intentional than so be it.  He threw behind his behind.  When the twins feel butt hurt about a cute story of Tortuga taking the mound for a 2nd time this year and getting taken deep on a 3-0 pitch.  When you pithing staff blows that night, let them finish what they started. Postion player staying at a Holiday Inn last night and pitching in a game is pathetic.  Tortuga versatility in that situation is embarrassing as well, multiple skillset but master of none.  unwritten rules be damned, swing away swing away.  Twins don't want to be embarrassed, then don't throw a softball positional player.

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I didn't get to watch much, but the word on Ober seems encouraging.

I'd be cautious about thinking he'll be up long, however. I'm guessing that his start wasn't so much about earning a promotion as it was being available. Dobnak pitched five innings on Sunday, so he wasn't an option. Thorpe pitched two innings on Sunday, so he was marginally available, plus someone is needed to pitch Game 2 on Thursday, which is currently listed as TBD. With the unexpectedness, that adds to the promise that he showed.

Also, at the risk of being the jinxer, don't ignore the partial inning from Colome, coming in with no warmup to finish Duffey's inning. That's his sixth straight outing without allowing a run.    

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32 minutes ago, Tom Froemming said:

Of course Duffey threw at Mercedes intentionally. 

Embarrassing. Pathetic.

You really feel like a guy hitting a 3-0 home run off your position player deserves retaliation? Don't get down 15-4. Don't put in a guy throwing 45 mph.

LaRussa himself trashed the guy for hitting a 3-0 pitch with a huge lead.  And ignoring a take sign.

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It's great the Sano was the hero last night. He has carried himself professionally through his terrible slump. That said, the slump lasted ONE QUARTER OF THE SEASON. There aren't many professions where you can show up three-quarters of the time (at best) and be praised. Also, the "unwritten rule" is an absurdity. I wonder if any player can explain why it has anything to do with anything.

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Haven't seen hardly any games this year, so don't know about Duffey's pitch.  Although sounds like the Sox manager was ok with it.

Not seeing what Ober was throwing, was surprised by something I read in the Strib this morning.  He has pitched six games...SIX...above class A.  Gotta believe with more experience he will be an asset to the Twins pitching staff.  How good remains to be seen, but certainly an interesting prospect.

And wasn't it good to see the big man finally wake up.  Seems like there were hints of it coming the past few games.  Can he lead the entire team to a turn around?  And if he does is it already too late?  Or are there too many problems with the pitching staff?

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I don't know why swinging at a 3-0 pitch wouldn't be encouraged in a laugher.   Do you want him walking and prolonging the agony?   If he is swinging at least he has a chance of making an out and shortening the game.    Duffey throwing at him the day after is beyond stupid.   If he hits him it gives the Sox an  advantage for no reason.   He gets on and maybe scores and our great 5-4 comeback maybe becomes a 6-5 loss.   Not worth it on any level.

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1 hour ago, mikelink45 said:

I loved it - Sano keep hot - I will still criticize you if you go back to being a whiff monster, but what I just saw was a player making contact and that is great. 

Ober was mediocre - not sure the praise is earned.  Happy to have him try another game against another team, but a 9.00 ERA is not brag worthy even in a year where we are searching for good news.

Finally, am I the only fan who does not care that Yermin hit the HR off Astudillo.  If we pitch batting practice the hitter has the option to clobber anything any time in any count.  I am so sick of the unwritten rules and the minor infractions that are supposed to be insults to the integrity of the game.  If I am a hitter and can pad my stats, I would do it.  The game is changing with bat flips, joy and excitement starting with the Padres and that is just fine with me. 

La Russa gave him the take sign and the guy swung through it in an 11 run game. It was a bush league move clearly to simply pad stats and was selfish. Ignoring a sign from the manager seems to be a known (written) rule. Many times in life something is technically not wrong, which does not mean it wasn't a jerk move. I'm glad the Twins at least did something to show they have some fight. 

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27 minutes ago, USAFChief said:

Kudos to Sano. 

And huge kudos to Duffey for showing some indication somebody on this team gives a ****.

I'm sure it was weighing on the Turtules mind that his pitching was disrespected.  I'm sure word will spread around the league that next time someone swings on 3-0 on him in a blowout they can expect  a nothing fastball thrown behind their butt the next day.

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Sano has been much better during the past few games and capped it off with his big night. So NOW is the time to trade him. We won't get more value than right now and, if we wait, we may only wind up with a bag of (used) baseballs. As for Duffy throwing at Mercedes intentionally, ANY major league pitcher who throws a pitch behind a batter is throwing at him intentionally. Their control cannot be that bad- even for just 1 pitch. But Duffy was standing up for his team and that (unfortunately) is a part of baseball. As far as him hitting the home run, too bad, so sad. That's his job- to smack the ball- no matter who is pitching. It would have been worse had he bunted. That would have been bush.

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