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Game Recap: Royals 8, Twins 3


Randy Dobnak started out with four very solid innings, but then a couple of really bad ones, combined with yet another poor offensive display against a lefty, put the game out of reach for Minnesota.

Box Score
Dobnak: 6.0 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
Home Runs: Garver (8)
Bottom 3 WPA: Dobnak -.252, Donaldson -.165, Kirilloff -.083
Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

chart.png.eebbbfdd7e0e146f0400f3fd80287022.png

Making his second one of the season, Dobber cruised through the first four innings of play on only 43 pitches, 27 of which went for strikes. Even though he still allowed a ton of hard-hit balls, only two of those actually became hits. Besides, the balls that weren’t hit hard were hit for really weak contact, as he averaged 87.8 exit velocity through four.

It’s not like the offense was completely unproductive against Kris Bubic during that span, as three runners reached in the first, for instance. But the lefty did stabilize and had a positive stretch in which he retired seven out of eight consecutive batters. It was only in the fourth, when Mitch Garver hit this monster, 424-feet second-decker, that the game had its first run.

Royals take the lead in the fifth, blow the game wide open in the seventh

With only seven pitches, Dobnak retired the first two batters he faced in the fifth inning. Everything seemed fine, but, then, disaster struck. He gave up a walk to Hunter Dozier, before allowing three consecutive hits. The Royals scored three runs on a double from Michael Taylor and back-to-back singles from Whit Merrifield and Carlos Santana. The first Royal run came after a very aggressive send from the Royals’ third base coach, Vance Wilson. Garver couldn’t hold on to that pitch to the plate.

With only 68 pitches, Dobnak was brought back to pitch the sixth and did a nice job again, appearing to be right back on track. He did give up a double to Adalberto Mondesí, but it was a quick, 12-pitch inning. Dobber was on his way to a quality start and more. But that was the closest he ever got.

After yet another frustrating 1-2-3 inning from the offense against Bubic in the sixth, Dobber was back at it in the top of the seventh. But not for long, as he gave up three consecutive singles right away, to load the bases with no outs, which was enough for Rocco Baldelli to pull him. Cody Stashak came in and couldn’t take care of the inherited runners, as all of them scored on a double and a sac-fly. Giving up a walk and back-to-back singles of his own, Stashak allowed Kansas City to add two more runs, making it a five-run seventh inning, 8-1 Royals.

The Twins nearly started a rally when Bubic was finally gone. Tyler Zuber came in in relief and gave up three consecutive one-out walks to load the bases. He was immediately removed from the game and Kyle Zimmer took over, facing pinch-hitter Trevor Larnach. He hit a flyball over Dozier’s head to drive in a run and keep the bases loaded for Josh Donaldson. Jorge Polanco scored from third during Donaldson’s at-bat, after a Zimmer wild pitch. So, the Twins were one hit away from cutting the Royal lead to only two. But that didn’t happen and they settled for two runs.

Polanco reached for the third time of the night when he hit a leadoff double in the ninth. Larnach kept the rally going by drawing a two-out walk, with Donaldson on-deck. But the third baseman's struggles continued, as he struck out, to finish the night with 0-for-5 and two punch outs. Counting tonight, Donaldson has a .337 OPS in his last seven games.

Postgame Interview

Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

  MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT
Stashak 0 0 0 0 34 34
Robles 0 13 20 0 0 33
Farrell 16 0 0 0 17 33
Rogers 0 26 0 0 0 26
Colomé 8 13 0 0 0 21
Thielbar 0 2 16 0 0 18
Duffey 0 0 15 0 0 15
Alcala 14 0 0 0 0 14

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6 hours ago, Aerodeliria said:

I'll say it again. Stashak is NOT a mlb caliber pitcher IMHO--not yet anyway. Yes, Dobnak was struggling and through for the night, but Stashak was well-rested and he couldn't even keep one runner from scoring, not to mention giving up a couple of additional runs to boot?

The 2019 Stashak is nowhere to be found. And Rocco knows it, as he has him pitching once a week

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The game turned on the failed relay to get Hunter Dozier in the fifth inning. Refsnyder to Simmons to Garver got the ball to the plate in plenty of time to end the inning, but Garver couldn't hold the one-hop throw. Two more singles, including one where Kirilloff overthrew the cutoff man, yielded two more runs and that was that.

Baldelli has always seemed to give Dobnak a short leash for going deep into games, but yesterday with a low pitch count, he let him start the seventh. The results seem to justify a short leash--three straight singles--and when the inning was over, so was much chance of coming back in the game. 

Dobnak's crazy-movement fastball was present during his good innings, but the improved slider was not. He's got to have a second reliable pitch to be effective, and having yet another pitch to mix in would be optimal. It's not there yet.

 

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Therein lies the problem with Mitch Garver. A solo bomb, and three runs given up because he can’t catch a one hop bunny.  Since I see all of Dobnaks runs  are earned, baseballs aversion to handing out errors ends up costing him 3 earned runs, and Simmons a nice assist. Is there a stat on how many games Garvers stone hands have cost the Twins this year? 

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12 minutes ago, cHawk said:

Defensive WAR?

Thanks. I guess I misspoke. I actually meant how many actual games have his stone cold hands cost this year. All I know is 3 runs given up vs one solo HR, leave you short two runs! 

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article on MLB Twins page about how Sano has put in extra hitting work with mentor Cruz recently.  another 0-4 with couple K's.  Time to move on from Sano.  Modern Day version of O's Chris Davis.  .176 hitter and we keep shoving him the lineup.  I don't care how hard he hits the ball if he makes contact, would be funny to see how hard he swings and misses!

 

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pretty telling that Cruz works with his own personal hitting coach referenced in the article.  Speaks volume to how the Twins current bench coaches for hitting must not be respected or worth the penny they are getting paid.  Like Cruz but time to move some pieces come trade deadline, Sano being one of them.  What you get back vs what you keep on the roster, Sano gives you some $$'s back into the system and some minor league talent.  I"m fine with that.

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How could we have 0 errors?  Dobnak should have 3 less earned runs but Donaldson had an error that became a double and Dan almost swallowed his mic when it happened.  Then Garver drops the one hopper and no error?  No wonder defensive metrics are not taken seriously. 

Stashak is a mess this year and it is not helping that we just keep putting him out there.  No way was he going to bail out Dobnak.

And Sano is back to his original style.  Nice little streak, but KC pitching is not worth striking out on.

 

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Dobnack should have been out of the 5th inning with no runs and maybe could have given up only 1 or 2 runs in the 7th but the Twins weren't going to win this game with no hitting. It may have been a closer game which may have changed some strategy. The time to trade Sano has passed. We might have gotten something while he was hitting but now we will get nothing. We'll be sellers at the deadline but I hope the core can remain. This team is not all that horrible. 

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I am ready to get blasted so have at it.  I am starting to care less and less about the Twins.  I don't make it a point to be home or even watch when I am.  Heck I just realized they have probably started today.  I am not a wizard of statistics.  I get ERA, Avg, RBI's and HRs but the  rest I don't care about.  I was a huge Twins fan.  Heck I used to go to games by myself at the Metrodome.  I could get a good seat for a good price.  Been to Target field ONCE where I actually paid for the tickets because I like baseball and was not there for the Target field experience.  The prices are so inflated that I would rather watch in the comfort of my own home now.  The one time I did pay it had to have been over $250.  Almost choked when a cheeseburger and fries at a ball park was $12.  A bottle of Mountain Dew $6.00, what the heck!  However we just signed Mauer, we had Mourneau and Hunter and I got so excited again for at least one year.  Now all my memories are only sad.  We have been rebuilding since we got to Target field, except maybe the first couple.  No playoff wins if any that stand out as the most exciting game I have ever seen at Target Field.  It has been rebuild, rebuild  for the last 10 years. Thought we finally made I think the first year Cruz was here, Berrios, Buxton, Kepler, Sano, Rosario, Escobar, Dozier.  I was more than excited.  Well that last 2 season were fun but here we go again talking about trading or have traded some of the above.  The only one that probably need to go was Dozier because we could not afford a player who had half a good year and the other half was a long slump.  To me there is nothing more exciting than watching Berrios pitch or Buxton just playing.  Love Cruz and Sano too.  I really wouldn't miss the remaining players at all they add no excitement to the game and that is what I am looking for.  Winning the league, making it through at least round one of the play-offs (I don't count the wildcard).  I like Berrios so much I want to see him traded while he still has the ability to be an Ace.  Not going to happen here especially when he may or may not get run support.  I mean seriously a pitcher going into the 9th inning holding on to a one run lead are gone.  Goodness it seems the coaches are much quicker to pull the trigger.  I don't think it will be long before a pitchers max innings are cut down to 5 or 6.  They don't let them work themselves out of a jam when we get to those innings and Twins fans have to watch the bull-pens give it all up.  Buxton is so damn exciting when he plays and that seems to be an issue again in 2021.   All this blabbering just because I think I am totally deflated and can't put up with another 5-10 years of this. 

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