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In a battle of the bullpens, Cleveland outlasted the Twins as César Hernández lined a two-run walk-off homer in the 10th.

Box Score

Kenta Maeda: 5 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, BB, 6 K
Home Runs: Miguel Sanó (8)

Bottom 3 WPA: Miguel Sanó (-0.338), Alexander Colomé (-0.184), Josh Donaldson (-0.147)
Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs😞

chart.png

The Twins faced more injury peril in the first inning of Saturday’s game. Luis Arraez was thrown out trying to steal second and immediately winced in pain. Arraez gripped his shoulder and walked off the field gingerly. Fortunately, Arraez stayed in the game and laced another single up the middle in the third. Franmil Reyes continued his recent dominance of Kenta Maeda with a two-run opposite field blast in the first, giving Cleveland an early 2-0 lead. 

Austin Hedges poked a Maeda slider into right in the second to score Cleveland’s third run and give Shane Bieber more breathing room. From that point on, Maeda found his splitter grip and rolled through three straight scoreless innings with four strikeouts. He was removed after five innings and just 73 pitches. 

Rob Refsnyder singled and scored on a Josh Donaldson sacrifice fly in the third. Miguel Sanó crushed a Bieber fastball to pull within one run in the fourth. Sanó has now homered six times in his last nine games.

Bieber seemed to battle his command throughout the afternoon, frequently spiking curveballs and sailing fastballs a foot above the zone. The Twins started to break through in the sixth when Max Kepler roped a leadoff triple off the wall. Alex Kirilloff singled in Kepler two batters later and Bieber was removed from a 3-3 tie. 

The Twins loaded the bags against rookie reliever Nick Sandlin before Andrelton Simmons struck out on a full count. 

The next-best scoring chance for either team came in the bottom of the 9th when Hansel Robles loaded the bases with two outs and Hedges at the plate. Hedges worked a full count before popping out to Andrelton Simmons. 

The Twins continued their ineptitude in extra-innings and failed to score Luis Arraez from second base. Alexander Colomé gave up his second walk-off homer in the 10th. Cleveland’s bullpen, headlined by James Karinchak and Emmanuel Clase, was absolutely dominant. 

Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

  TUE WED THU FRI SAT TOT
Rogers 27 0 22 0 9 58
Robles 17 0 14 0 27 58
Stashak 35 0 19 0 0 54
Duffey 5 0 25 0 13 43
Farrell 0 0 0 38 0 38
Colomé 19 15 0 0 2 36
Alcala 0 7 0 10 17 34
Thielbar 0 10 0 0 0 10

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And Arraez was safe at second before he pulled off the bag, and would have easily scored on Kepler's double. That would have been a win in 9 innings........

Colome with 3 days rest, still comes in and throws immediate meat. Only took 2 pitches to give up the homer.  Couldn't be happy using him in earlier innings. Had to go back to: Just keep on doing the same thing and expecting different results.....

To go extras these days with the pathetic rule and runner on second, you need to have fireballers that can get Ks. Contact pitchers like Colome are worthless in extras. 

Any news about Maeda?

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Colome is the biggest disappointment.  In non crucial innings against the bottom of the order he has looked great but a relief pitcher has to face the best in the most crucial innings and he cannot do it. 

Sano has looked great - today 4 Ks.  

It is so hard to think or be positive.  Some commented on the two game winning streak - two games is not a streak. 

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Sano has looked great - today 4 Ks. 

By the time I got home from work they were in extras - so I only saw one Sano AB. The second strike (called) was both low and outside and it wasn't even close. The third strike (swinging) was also low and outside but hell, if the ump called the first one a strike who's to know the second won't be as well? No player in the league could do anything productive with either of those pitches. The umpires are either crooked or incompetent (and I'm not ruling out "both"). The electronic strike zone can't arrive soon enough. 

Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if the umpires are opposing the electronic strike zone due to the impact it would have on their off-the-books income. 

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Colome gets his first taste of high leverage work since imploding throughout all of April and he promptly gives up a walk off in 2 pitches. You can't make this stuff up. Just feed him middle innings in meaningless games and hope so poor team at the deadline decides he's worth a flier....

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Was Maeda hurt?  If not, why do we continue to pull him after so few pitches.  He was in a groove....does Rocco not see the downside in using so many relievers in a close game?  Assume we had pitched Maeda two more innings, then, theoretically, we get through the 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th, without having to go to Colome.  Even the Twins might score a run in extra innings if we get through the 10th without losing!!

We are still inept with moving runners over, and in getting a clutch hit....

It's going to be a long season I am afraid.

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12 hours ago, jimbo92107 said:

After Hernandez's home run...

That reminds me: Folks, be sure to get yourself vaccinated. Just like that home run, it will be over in a blink, and practically painless.

 

 

Yup, both vaccine and home run over in a blink. Not so sure about the painless part (for the home run) but definitely less squirmy than the Robles inning.

If they win tomorrow, it'll be 4-4 in a very tough week. Better than a kick in the head.

The Twin who has disappointed me most this season is Donaldson. I live in Toronto, so I'm familiar with MVP Josh. That was a misguided signing. He's past his prime. Still. I never thought his defensive play would be a liability so often. Seems distracted at times. Possibly injured?

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15 minutes ago, DMN13 said:

Was Maeda hurt? 

I think so.  The Twins were able to convince the umpire(s) to give Jorge Alcala extra warm-up time despite LaRussa's disagreement.  Therefore assume that Maeda is at least somewhat hurt.  (There are likely consequences for lying to umpires under these circumstances as well although I do not know what they would be).

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The Twins have 7 relief pitchers who can only pitch one inning and not every day plus they do not have anyone to pitch 2-3 innings and their starters average 5 innings per start. Falvine messed up big time last winter and we will be watching those mistakes all summer unless the Twins actually crush the ball in nearly every game.

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The umpires aren't corrupt or incompetent - they are human and make mistakes. Replay and going to electronics has had a negative effect on the game in my opinion. Do we think an electronic strike zone would be flawless and save time? Let us watch appeals to the calls on electronic balls and strikes. That should be fun. I love seeing the umpires huddle with their cute little headsets. There are ways to adjust but Sano isn't adjusting. The Cleveland broadcast called him out for not making any attempt to score Kepler from 3B as he went for another HR and subsequently struck out.  

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Today's umpire was plenty incompetent. He called strikes in more than 2 pitches that were clear balls ( in one case it was almost a foot outside). It was for both sides, so I can't say it was partial or corrupt. The electronic zone, once calibrated, it is going to be the same for everyone, so, once you know what it is called a strike, that's it.

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4 hours ago, h2oface said:

And Arraez was safe at second before he pulled off the bag, and would have easily scored on Kepler's double. That would have been a win in 9 innings........

Colome with 3 days rest, still comes in and throws immediate meat. Only took 2 pitches to give up the homer.  Couldn't be happy using him in earlier innings. Had to go back to: Just keep on doing the same thing and expecting different results.....

To go extras these days with the pathetic rule and runner on second, you need to have fireballers that can get Ks. Contact pitchers like Colome are worthless in extras. 

Any news about Maeda?

That pitch by Colome was a meatball. It was almost a t-ball pitch. Too bad about Maeda; it seems like he had really settled in. I wonder if Shoemaker could give us a couple of innings now and then. It does seem like we have no one who can give more than one inning of relief and only Robles who can throw on consecutive days without a huge drop-off.

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3 hours ago, beckmt said:

That is why Rocco needs to be fired now!  You can't be 0 for ever and keep your job.  If a worker had his percentage, he would be long gone.

Who should he have put in in the 10th? I guarantee you Caleb Thielbar, Cody Stashak, and Shaun Anderson were not better options.

Actually, Astudillo probably would’ve been better, so I guess you do have a point.

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This is the second time Arraez has faked an injury to try to take the embarrassment away from a bad slide or decision. It should have been his left shoulder that was hurt, but he grabbed his right shoulder which didn't hit anything coming into the bag. And both times once he got to the dugout everything was fine. I love the guy, but he doesn't have to be a drama queen on those type of plays. We're on to you Luis.

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12 hours ago, shimrod said:

By the time I got home from work they were in extras - so I only saw one Sano AB. The second strike (called) was both low and outside and it wasn't even close.

Your description of "it wasn't even close" isn't very close itself. :) 

Keep in mind the zone is three-dimensional (and the box you see on TV isn't "official"). In fact, on closer inspection, it looks like the umpire deserves credit for calling it where it crossed the front of the plate, not where it hit the catcher's glove. 

Here's that pitch crossing the front of the plate on TV:
screenshot1.png.d975044dfa4eb36981223f431fddde5b.png

Here's a 3-D illustration of that pitch up to the front of the plate from Baseball Savant:
savant.png.34f37aed110449f12a63324f25d63e8c.png

Here's how it was recorded clipping the zone on Gameday:
download.png.a095a176026ff1e90964d40eb80c9a62.png

And finally, Karinchak's whole strikezone plot from BrooksBaseball.net (which shows a wider "effective" zone as oppose to the strict rulebook zones above) -- the called strike to Sano is the red square on the bottom border, setting up the lower swinging strike:
gamelog_graphgen_session.php-pitchSel=67

Really a well-executed pitch/sequence by Karinchak too.

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