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Game Recap: Twins 7, Orioles 4


The Twins improved to 5-2 in their last 7 games on Tuesday. Twins cult hero Rob Refsnyder smacked two doubles and a home run, while José Berríos was inefficient but effective in his 5.2 innings of work.

Box Score

Berríos: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K

Home Runs: Refsnyder (2)

Top 3 WPA: Refsnyder .276, Simmons .136, Rogers .105

Win Probability Chart (via Fangraphs)

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Injuries and Roster News

The Twins injury carousel continued its inevitably relentless spin on Tuesday. Nelson Cruz and Luis Arraez did not return to the lineup from respective wrist and shoulder injuries. Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco did return however, easing the strain on a lineup hamstrung in recent days.

Despite their seemingly perpetual health struggles, the Twins entered Tuesday's game as obvious favorites, with Jose Berríos taking on Dean Kremer, who is, well, not very good yet.

The Orioles immediately posed a threat in the top of the 1st, before Berríos picked off Cedric Mullins at 2nd base for the Twins league leading 7th pickoff of the 2021 season.

The Orioles did take the lead in the second, a missed catch error by Andrelton Simmons opening the door for two unearned runs to score. The rejuvenated Polanco immediately got a run back in the second for the Twins, blistering a home run to right field while hitting left handed, a promising sign as he continues navigate the ankle injury which has resulted in back to back offseason surgeries.

Rob Refsnyder continued his torrid hitting for the Twins, lacing a double to tie the game. Refsnyder would add two more hits on the night, bringing his average with the Twins to .438 and providing a real spark which has invigorated the lineup in the last week. Two wild pitches and two additional Twins runs later, Minnesota was up 4-2, and didn’t look back.

Berríos delivered the kind of typically maddening performance which will have both fans and detractors affirmed in their assessments of his assets and shortcomings. The Twins enigmatic pitcher produced incredible swords, striking out 7 over 5 innings. Conversely, he was inefficient and wobbled significantly, giving up 7 hits.

Berríos began the 6th inning, immediately hitting Ryan Mountcastle on the hand. He was pulled after 5.2 innings and 106 pitches, giving way to Caleb Thielbar. Thielbar escaped the inning, leaving the Twins with a 5-3 lead heading into the bottom of the 6th. An Alex Kirilloff double scored Donaldson to increase the Twins cushion to 6-3.

Alexander Colomé entered for The Twins in the 8th. Stop me if you’ve heard this before, he immediately surrendered a home run to DJ Stewart to cut the lead to 6-4. The Orioles followed up with back to back singles, leading to Taylor Rogers warming up in a hurry. Rogers needed one pitch to induce a Cedric Mullins ground out and end the threat. Back to back appalling appearances from Colomé seem to have re-relegated him to a lower leverage role in a Twins bullpen still struggling to get out of its own way.

Refsnyder added a solo shot in the 9th (what’s the in season equivalent of the Sire of Fort Myers?) to continue his helium fueled ascent to Twins fans cult hero. Rogers slammed the door in the 9th to help the Twins improve to 5-2 in their last 7 games and begin a soft 13 game stretch in their schedule 2-0.

Other News

In other Twins news, congratulations to LaTroy Hawkins as he received the nod to manage the AL in the Futures Game at this years All-Star festivities.

New Era may have caused the biggest stir of the day on baseball twitter with new city themed caps.

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 non Twins related offering is courtesy of Cory Engelhardt.

Bullpen Usage Chart

  FRI SAT SUN MON TUE TOT
Robles 0 27 24 0 13 64
Farrell 38 0 0 16 0 54
Rogers 0 9 14 0 26 49
Alcala 10 17 0 14 0 41
Duffey 0 13 15 0 0 28
Colomé 0 2 0 8 13 23
Thielbar 0 0 18 0 2 20
Stashak 0 0 0 0 0 0

What’s Next?

On Wednesday, the Twins will send Michael Pineda to the hill against Jorge López. First pitch is at 12:10 CT.


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Robby Ref certainly providing spark to this lineup. Maybe he's waking some of the other guys up.

Kirilloff is good. Guy is going to be hitting cleanup for this team for years.

The Orioles are awful. This is what the worst team in baseball looks like. The Twins still aren't good but it's shameful that they are so close to this team in the AL standings. The birds are just giving games away. Might as well take them and the Twins should go hard for the sweep.

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My takeaway is simple,  you're supposed to beat lesser teams.  We did that. It's gut check time for the 2021 Twins. They have a stretch where they can fold or reclaim themselves to be a competitive and quality team. 

The injuries are massive. Coupled with just bad and unexplainable poor play early leaves 2021 as a probable disappointing season. But there is still a shot to do something. 

Berrios wasn't in top form. But he battled. Isn't that what a top rotation SP is supposed to do? 

We can proclaim the Twins are playing a lesser team,  and I believe that is true. But this also can be a stretch where we just "get right" and play better and gain confidence and maybe, maybe, start to look like the team we were supposed to be and make a run.

Kudos to Refensnyder for getting a shot and running with it. Despite a bad ball play he should have had in tonight's game, he has been pressed in to a position NEVER expected and has done unexpectedly well. 

We are NOT where we are supposed to be for a variety of of reasons from injury to almost unexplainable poor play from everyone all at once. 

There is still some small hope. The next 50 games or so will determine that hope.

But regardless, I will be here as a fan. And I will love watching AK and Larnach establishing themselves and others who may make their appearance.

I don't think the 2021 Twins are done just yet. They ARE playing better as of late. They might even challenge for contention. Especially if they could actually get healthy. Pipe dream? Maybe,  But we all know  baseball is also a reflection of life. There is always tomorrow. 

The Twins have more than a few potential tomorrow wins in front of them. And IF they can't capitalize, I will love watching the young talent on hand and that will come up the second half.

But this team isn't done yet. 

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I had noticed earlier, but now it may be slightly more important. Rob Refsnyder's muscular bod resembles a certain iron-pumping outfielder for the Los Angeles Angels. We've been told many times that baseball accommodates many body types. It certainly makes room for the guys that exercise like crazy. It does make me wonder what took Mr. Refsnyder so long to get to the majors. 

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23 minutes ago, jimbo92107 said:

I had noticed earlier, but now it may be slightly more important. Rob Refsnyder's muscular bod resembles a certain iron-pumping outfielder for the Los Angeles Angels. We've been told many times that baseball accommodates many body types. It certainly makes room for the guys that exercise like crazy. It does make me wonder what took Mr. Refsnyder so long to get to the majors. 

Refsnyder got to the majors in 2015, at age 24.

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Rob Refsnyder was playing like an all-star (except the error) and the Twins are lucky to have a player like that make such a huge contribution.  

Celebrating the winning streak needs to be tempered at bit, because it comes from beating such an awful team. Still, winning when you are supposed to is good.

No mentions about our supposed hot hitter Sano?  He looks worthless again, just like he did most of the season (except for one week).   4 K's again. Yuck.   I wish we could trade him but they'd be no takers.  It surprises me that so many on this site like him so much and are fooled by every little mini-hot streak.  And this current hot streak happened after the Twins are out of contention. Clutch.

How many times does Simmons have to drop the ball or make a crappy weak throw for people to notice?

I listened to Gleeman-Geek podcast this week.  He said Latroy Hawkins sounded good on the air.  Gleeman must have had too many beers. Cheers

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Vanimal46 said:

Heck of a night for Refsnyder! Him making the potential final out would have been the cherry on top. I have zero expectations he’ll keep it up, but his contribution now is needed and appreciated. 

Look out!  He's a replacement, eating into Buxton's WAR!

 

Oh, and fire this editor on principle:

 "...easing the strain on a lineup hamstrung in recent days"

🤓

Edited by VivaBomboRivera!
forgot to mention
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7 hours ago, TwinsChupacabra said:

Rob Refsnyder was playing like an all-star (except the error) and the Twins are lucky to have a player like that make such a huge contribution.  

Celebrating the winning streak needs to be tempered at bit, because it comes from beating such an awful team. Still, winning when you are supposed to is good.

No mentions about our supposed hot hitter Sano?  He looks worthless again, just like he did most of the season (except for one week).   4 K's again. Yuck.   I wish we could trade him but they'd be no takers.  It surprises me that so many on this site like him so much and are fooled by every little mini-hot streak.  And this current hot streak happened after the Twins are out of contention. Clutch.

How many times does Simmons have to drop the ball or make a crappy weak throw for people to notice?

I listened to Gleeman-Geek podcast this week.  He said Latroy Hawkins sounded good on the air.  Gleeman must have had too many beers. Cheers

 

 

 

LaTroy Hawkins is so awful on air that he makes Morneau sound like a polished veteran on the mic. And, I think Morneau is borderline unlistenable. Add that to the annoying (yet admittedly competent) Dick Bremer and I yearn for the fun days of Bert Blyleven.

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The Twins make it difficult to celebrate a victory.  Berrios struggled against this lineup!  And Sano 4 Ks against Kremer, Plutko and Akin!!  And Colome is really making his comeback to high pressure roles - Stewart hitting 212, 697 OPS home run and then a couple more hits that Rogers had to erase!!  And we decided to emphasize D, but Donaldson and Simmons each lead the club in errors (and errors understate their issues) what is going on?

Imagine if Colome had been what the team expected, if Sano had played consistently good ball, and Maeda had not fallen into the dumpster - sorry got carried away there - I will get another cup of coffee.

I love the Refsnyder run and keep referencing Bob Hazle with the Milwaukee Braves, but also Dusty Rhodes was another of those out of no where heroes.  Then there was Kevin Maas.  Enjoy the season Mr Refsnyder. 

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Hawkins is good when he's focused on the game. He's bad when he's trying to do a comedy act with Bremer. I think he's learned some of the wrong lessons from the Blyleven era. LaTroy has great knowledge and an excellent voice, but he's getting distracted too often by going into the stand-up routine.

Colome has got to stop throwing the ball down the middle of the plate. When he's working the edges, he's fine, good even. Then he tosses a meatball down the middle and gets killed. Really surprised to see him such a mess; this is uncharacteristic for him and he's not really that old.

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The Twins started the season 5-2 and are 5-2 in their last seven games. In between, they were 9-25. Ouch. They say you can't win a pennant in April, but you can lose one....

With the exception of Jake Cave, none of the Twins' injuries would seem to be long term. Buxton is said to be ready to go on a rehab assignment, Pineda will be activated today, and Maeda shouldn't be on the shelf more than two weeks. One of Kepler, Arraez or Garlick might need enough time to go on the Injured List, but the current spate of injuries seems to be closer to the end than the beginning (I'll probably regret this remark in about three days). 

Kirilloff is here to stay. I'm hoping for winning baseball for a month and then see if there is a chance to make the playoffs. I'm not optimistic, but not quite ready to write off the season just yet. 

 

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9 hours ago, DocBauer said:

My takeaway is simple,  you're supposed to beat lesser teams.  We did that. It's gut check time for the 2021 Twins. They have a stretch where they can fold or reclaim themselves to be a competitive and quality team. 

The injuries are massive. Coupled with just bad and unexplainable poor play early leaves 2021 as a probable disappointing season. But there is still a shot to do something. 

Berrios wasn't in top form. But he battled. Isn't that what a top rotation SP is supposed to do? 

We can proclaim the Twins are playing a lesser team,  and I believe that is true. But this also can be a stretch where we just "get right" and play better and gain confidence and maybe, maybe, start to look like the team we were supposed to be and make a run.

Kudos to Refensnyder for getting a shot and running with it. Despite a bad ball play he should have had in tonight's game, he has been pressed in to a position NEVER expected and has done unexpectedly well. 

We are NOT where we are supposed to be for a variety of of reasons from injury to almost unexplainable poor play from everyone all at once. 

There is still some small hope. The next 50 games or so will determine that hope.

But regardless, I will be here as a fan. And I will love watching AK and Larnach establishing themselves and others who may make their appearance.

I don't think the 2021 Twins are done just yet. They ARE playing better as of late. They might even challenge for contention. Especially if they could actually get healthy. Pipe dream? Maybe,  But we all know  baseball is also a reflection of life. There is always tomorrow. 

The Twins have more than a few potential tomorrow wins in front of them. And IF they can't capitalize, I will love watching the young talent on hand and that will come up the second half.

But this team isn't done yet. 

Amen Sir :)

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Am unable to watch the games at home(thanks FSN/BSN), but do check the highlights. I did catch a couple innings last night after watching the local high school team play and, to me anyway, there were a couple things missed amongst the hubbub of complaints about Berrios, Donaldson and Simmons seasons. Berrios didn't look bad, the Simmons error really hurt. His stuff looks good, almost too good. His fastball had big movement and his breaking stuff had bigger movement, but the hitters weren't chasing. Simmons, despite the error, made a nice block of the base resulting in a pick-off and is always in position ready to make the play. Donaldson struggles, but went oppo for the sac fly, something the rest of the team seems unwilling (unable) to do. Yes, there are no excuses at this level for dropped catches (Simmons and Donaldson), but I feel some of the negativity leveled at these players in mostly unwarranted. Nobody bats or fields 1.000 or had an ERA of 0.00.

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19 minutes ago, Shaitan said:

Who is the roster move for Pineda?

Probably Farrell or Gordon if they think players are healthy enough to cover the infield. Stashak is getting rusty out in the bullpen.

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1 hour ago, jmlease1 said:

Hawkins is good when he's focused on the game. He's bad when he's trying to do a comedy act with Bremer. I think he's learned some of the wrong lessons from the Blyleven era. LaTroy has great knowledge and an excellent voice, but he's getting distracted too often by going into the stand-up routine.

 

Do you have any examples of that? What's the comedy routine, exactly?

I have heard Hawkins discuss his career experiences quite a bit - sometimes it's a bit like "back in my day blah blah blah" but it's not overly annoying in my opinion. He's no Rex Hudler, to use an extreme example, which I'm thankful for.

I'd say Hawkins is just about everything you look for in a color-commentator role. Meanwhile Justin Morneau sounds like he's talking to a bunch of 90 year-olds at a nursing home: "Gee whillikers granny, let me tell you about the time Torii Hunter gave me a knuckle sandwich!" - at least LaTroy sounds like he's talking to a group of fans as opposed to Morneau, who should be hosting bingo night at the VFW.

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11 hours ago, DocBauer said:

 

We can proclaim the Twins are playing a lesser team,  and I believe that is true. But this also can be a stretch where we just "get right" and play better and gain confidence and maybe, maybe, start to look like the team we were supposed to be and make a run.

 

Exactly what I was thinking last night during the game.

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It seems like every time the Twins make a mistake, the other team capitalizes. Simmons drops the DP ball, and Orioles end up with 2 runs that inning. The law of averages has to catch up at some point, doesn't it? 

Also, I like LaTroy, but then I also like Smalley, which seems to be an unpopular opinion! 

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