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Game Recap: Royals 6, Twins 3


The Twins ran into a case of dry bats on Sunday afternoon, dropping a tight game to Kansas City. Check out game highlights and analysis and be sure to comment your thoughts!

Box Score

Matt Shoemaker: 4.1 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 5 K

Home Runs: Ben Rortvedt (1)

Bottom Three WPA: Sanó -.313, Shoemaker -.258, Refsnyder -.186

Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

691268407_chart(3).png.7071e5f9767807144bdb9166a6601682.png

Despite a solid outing from Matt Shoemaker, the Twins were unable to record a hit after the fifth inning, leading to a 6-3 loss to Kansas City. The Twins managed to put runners on base but were unable to convert them into runs. 

Shoemaker put his team in a position to win, limiting walks and keeping the ball low and around the zone. Yet when the Twins had chances, they ran into strikeouts, fly-outs, and ground balls. 

Shoemaker Not too Shabby

The scoreboard would indicate that Matt Shoemaker had a rough day on the hill. That wasn’t the case. 

Shoemaker was outstanding through four innings, retiring 11 consecutive batters at one point. The tables turned in the fifth inning when Shoemaker surrendered four singles and a walk, leading to a four-run inning for the Royals. 

Shoemaker has been up and down all year, but you can’t knock the guy for his outing today. Despite the result of the inning, Shoemaker pounded the zone all day. No, six runs aren’t great, but Shoemaker has been moving in the right direction as of recent, and today was far from a shameful performance. 

Big Ben

Less than 24 hours after being called up from Saint Paul, Ben Rortvedt launched his first MLB home run over the left-center field wall in the second inning. The line-drive dinger gave the Twins a 2-1 lead early in the game. 

It’s been an exciting 24 hours for Rortvedt. The Verona, WI native hit his first Triple-A home run last night with the Saints in a 6-5 win over the Iowa Cubs. Have yourself a weekend, Ben!

Ducks on (and off) the Pond

The Twins put themselves in positions to score runs all day. And despite the plethora of baserunners, the club found themselves headed back to the dugout with runners left on base more than a few times. 

Minnesota left runners in scoring position (RISP) in the first, second, fifth, seventh, and eighth inning. And while the Twins did score runs in both the second and fifth inning, they left a total of ten runners on base and were 2-11 with runners in scoring position. 

Twins baserunners weren’t the only ducks left on the pond. A pair of Mallards allegedly flew all the way from Vergas, Minnesota to take in today’s game from the outfield grass at Target Field. Rocco Baldelli has not commented on if the pair of waterfowl will be assigned to the 40-man roster. An inside source confirmed that the female mallard is stellar at the plate with runners in scoring position. 

Welcome Home, Wild!

After a hard-fought series in Vegas, the Minnesota Wild kicked off their offseason at Target Field. Needless to say, beverages were consumed. 

Congrats on a great season, gents!

Postgame Interview

Coming soon.

 

Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

  WED THU FRI SAT SUN TOT
Robles 20 0 0 21 0 41
Duffey 15 0 0 13 0 28
Rogers 0 0 0 21 0 21
Farrell 0 0 17 0 16 33
Thielbar 16 0 0 0 22 38
Minaya 0 15 0 0 13 28
Alcala 0 0 0 10 0 10
Colomé 0 0 0 0 10 10

Up Next:

The Twins fly out to Baltimore for a Memorial Day matchup against the Orioles. First pitch is scheduled for 12:05pm CST.


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Shoemaker Not too Shabby

The scoreboard would indicate that Matt Shoemaker had a rough day on the hill. That wasn’t the case. 

Shoemaker was outstanding through four innings, retiring 11 consecutive batters at one point. The tables turned in the fifth inning when Shoemaker surrendered four singles and a walk, leading to a four-run inning for the Royals. 

Shoemaker has been up and down all year, but you can’t knock the guy for his outing today. Despite the result of the inning, Shoemaker pounded the zone all day. No, six runs aren’t great, but Shoemaker has been moving in the right direction as of recent, and today was far from a shameful performance. 

Self fullfilling prophecy. If 5 runs (I know, 2 let in by Theilbar, but we are the IRS kings of the world! -- don't leave men on for the relief, because they no longer know how to provide relief until they let all the teammates runners in) in 4.1 inning is a good outing and acceptable, my expectations are way way way higher, and I might be rooting for the wrong team.

Sano doesn't seem to have the mental capabilities to make it. So many of our batters today just swung at ball four and other balls. Sano needs to quit watching Astudillo and start watching Larnach and Kirilloff.

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I'm going to try to inject some positive... My top things to be excited about the Twins the rest of the year

1. Buxton (WHEN he plays).... just a joy... Flashes of Athletic Brilliance reminds me a bit of Bo Jackson (look him up on you tube for any kids out there... maybe the best pure athlete ever before his catastrophic hip injury)

2. Duran:  Good Lord does he look the part. Me has a really good feeling about him (of course I had a 'good feeling' about Kepler being our #3 hitter for 7-10 years with all star selections sprinkled in, so what the hell do I know)

3. Miranda:  Looks like legit progression and not just a hot spell

4. Larnach:  OBP of .380! Professional AB suggest sustained success and progression.

5. Kirilloff:  only drops to #5 because I am very worried long term about his wrist. Wrists are delicate and complicated to heal/take care of/fix surgically  long term.

 

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6 minutes ago, USAFChief said:

Five runs in 4 and a third is a "solid outing" for Shoemaker?

 

Perhaps that's one of our problems.  

 

Thielbar certainly made sure 2 of 3 inherited runners scored before the inning was over like all Twins relievers do.

I think Rocco might as well leave all the starters out there to finish their innings up since none of the relievers care about their inherited runners anyway.

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Who am I kidding... I can't be positive with the organization.

Sano struck out in one AB with 0/7 pitches in the strike zone. They literally dared him to walk and he couldn't do it.

Check out the heat map for his hit zone on ESPN next time during the game... He doesn't have a hole in his swing as much as only one hole where he can actually hit the ball

I could care less if he has 5 walk off HR in a year....still not even close to making up for gross negligence and borderline incompetence at the plate.

I could care less if he goes somewhere else and develops into something. It ain't happening here and it is excruciating to watch.

And if you think that a hole that big in the line up doesn't hurt team morale and momentum, you are crazy

 

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12 minutes ago, jun said:

Look at Sano's stats today. 4 ab, 3 strikeouts and 1 GIDP when bases were loaded.

I think they should just let Sano bat 8th for now.

....or just let him fill up the Gatorade cups in the dug out and make sure the bats are in the right slot

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Shoemaker seems like like he hits a wall. His starts have been solid...through about 4 innings each time. Gotta find the solution to that. I get it the first 2-3 starts of the year but it's almost June now.

(A pitcher who gives you 3-4 solid innings is still leagues ahead of most of this bullpen right now.)

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Maybe Shoemaker is not a "starting" pitcher anymore. He was pretty effective through 4 IP. His pitch count was only 66 when he went out.. Probably can't be counted on to go 6 IP. Maybe use him as an opener and pitch 3-4 innings. Or release Shoemaker and promote Duran, letting Duran pitch 3-4 innings gradually stretching him out.

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"Shoemaker put his team in a position to win, limiting walks and keeping the ball low and around the zone. "  Are you kidding me.  I suppose if you give up one one run an inning you have a chance of winning - Fat Chance!  Were you hired to be Shoemaker's press agent?  David, I know you do not like to say anything bad about any Twin, but Shoemaker stunk.  And so did Sano and so did Donaldson and ... Way to go Kiriloff. 

 

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2 hours ago, David Youngs said:

The scoreboard would indicate that Matt Shoemaker had a rough day on the hill. That wasn’t the case. 

Shoemaker was outstanding through four innings, retiring 11 consecutive batters at one point. The tables turned in the fifth inning when Shoemaker surrendered four singles and a walk, leading to a four-run inning for the Royals.

Unless we're handing out Participation Trophies, a starting pitcher having a shaky first inning resulting in a run scored, and then getting knocked out for good during just the fifth inning, more than negates clean innings 2 through 4, and qualifies as a rough day. Going five quality innings is the new low bar for starters, and achieving less than that puts your team in a real bind that day.

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23 minutes ago, Shaitan said:

Shoemaker seems like like he hits a wall. His starts have been solid...through about 4 innings each time. Gotta find the solution to that. I get it the first 2-3 starts of the year but it's almost June now.

(A pitcher who gives you 3-4 solid innings is still leagues ahead of most of this bullpen right now.)

It means he should be in the BP, not starting. 

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1 hour ago, D.C Twins said:

I'm going to try to inject some positive... My top things to be excited about the Twins the rest of the year

1. Buxton (WHEN he plays).... just a joy... Flashes of Athletic Brilliance reminds me a bit of Bo Jackson (look him up on you tube for any kids out there... maybe the best pure athlete ever before his catastrophic hip injury)

2. Duran:  Good Lord does he look the part. Me has a really good feeling about him (of course I had a 'good feeling' about Kepler being our #3 hitter for 7-10 years with all star selections sprinkled in, so what the hell do I know)

3. Miranda:  Looks like legit progression and not just a hot spell

4. Larnach:  OBP of .380! Professional AB suggest sustained success and progression.

5. Kirilloff:  only drops to #5 because I am very worried long term about his wrist. Wrists are delicate and complicated to heal/take care of/fix surgically  long term.

 

One man on the injured list, two still in the minor leagues and two rookie bats and this is positive?

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1 hour ago, h2oface said:

Shoemaker Not too Shabby

The scoreboard would indicate that Matt Shoemaker had a rough day on the hill. That wasn’t the case. 

Shoemaker was outstanding through four innings, retiring 11 consecutive batters at one point. The tables turned in the fifth inning when Shoemaker surrendered four singles and a walk, leading to a four-run inning for the Royals. 

Shoemaker has been up and down all year, but you can’t knock the guy for his outing today. Despite the result of the inning, Shoemaker pounded the zone all day. No, six runs aren’t great, but Shoemaker has been moving in the right direction as of recent, and today was far from a shameful performance. 

Self fullfilling prophecy. If 5 runs (I know, 2 let in by Theilbar, but we are the IRS kings of the world! -- don't leave men on for the relief, because they no longer know how to provide relief until they let all the teammates runners in) in 4.1 inning is a good outing and acceptable, my expectations are way way way higher, and I might be rooting for the wrong team.

Sano doesn't seem to have the mental capabilities to make it. So many of our batters today just swung at ball four and other balls. Sano needs to quit watching Astudillo and start watching Larnach and Kirilloff.

I think you just defined a terrible start and then said don't blame the starter.

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1 hour ago, jun said:

Thielbar certainly made sure 2 of 3 inherited runners scored before the inning was over like all Twins relievers do.

I think Rocco might as well leave all the starters out there to finish their innings up since none of the relievers care about their inherited runners anyway.

Exactly. I don't like Rocco's decision to pull Shoemaker there. He was inducing soft contact leading up to that, was pulled, then Thielbar comes in and throws right to their barrels with the bases juiced. That was the game right there. 

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So I got to see this one from CF, which was nice, even if the bats were mostly silent and the weather didn't warm up until the 9th, but any day at Target Field is a good one even when the good guys lose.

Really surprised to see an error given to Shoemaker on a pickoff; from my vantage point it looked like Sano closed the glove early and dropped it (which was a shame, because he had the guy nailed). But Shoemaker being fine through 4 and coughing it up in the 5th is not a good outing. He was very hittable today , even with the clean sheets in innings 2-4.

Twins showed good patience at the plate, but once they got guys on base the heart of the order just couldn't get it done. Sano is going to get hammered (and looked slow on his swing) but Cruz was bad too and Refsnyder looked like he might be turning back into a pumpkin. Kirilloff was one of the only people who consistently looked good at the plate today when swinging the bat.

The ducks were hilarious, especially seeing Jarrod Dyson's bemused reactions.

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I think it's fair to say that Shoemaker was not as bad as his final stat line would indicate. 

1.) Innings 1-4 were good. 2-4 very good. 

2.) He got BABIP'd (seeing eye singles) in the fifth, and

3.) The runners he left on base scored.

It's also impossible to say that his performance on the game was anything better than Not Good. 

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Shoemaker...I do not like his mental make-up.  Today was his 10th start.  In his 5 bad starts, it seems he gets himself in trouble, and he cannot work himself out of it.  It's as if he gets frustrated and loses focus, in my opinion.   It's too bad he can't start against Detroit only,  11 IP, 1 ER.  Everyone Else  39 IP, 33 ER.

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I see it's that point in the season where the rose-colored glasses and glass-is-half-full-at-a-quarter-volume mindset is overtaking the obvious ineptitude in this picture of a season. Matt Shoemaker may have pitched well for three innings, but his job is to pitch well for at least the five to six innings that today's game has reduced expectations down to for a starting picture.  If five ground balls are hit at Andrelton Simmons tomorrow and he makes errors on two of them and then doesn't even get to a sixth that is well within his range, would that rate some praise on his defensive game too?

"Shoemaker's 4.1 inning, five run, losing effort was trash" = REALITY

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1 hour ago, jmlease1 said:

So I got to see this one from CF, which was nice, even if the bats were mostly silent and the weather didn't warm up until the 9th, but any day at Target Field is a good one even when the good guys lose.

My game today at Fenway was rained out, and I still had the feeling I had a better day than the fans at Target Field. Glad you could enjoy the experience.

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Pretty obvious that KC is on a different level than the Twins.

Twins pitching is bad - but the offense is really, really, really bad. Minnesota had the bases loaded TWICE with less than 2 outs against Keller. The first time was with 1 out in the 1st - they scored one run (walk). They also had the bases loaded in the 4th, this time with nobody out. They scored one run (GIDP).

I'll watch a bad Twins team lose 10-9 and at least enjoy a few moments. But watching a team loaded with Donaldson, Cruz, and Sano scrap together 3 runs against a struggling Royals pitcher on a beautiful spring afternoon is a waste of time.

This team doesn't feel "cursed" and none of this feels like "bad luck". It's just a bad team full of aging and regressing talent. There's a toxicity attached to it as well.

 

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