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After splitting the first two games of the series against the Chicago White Sox, the Minnesota Twins had a chance to pick up their first series win against the the White Sox this season, but failed to do so and fell to a brutal 2-10 record against their division foe on the season.

Box Score

Pineda: 5.1 IP 12 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO

Home Runs: Larnach (7)

Bottom 3 WPA: Pineda (-.237), Cruz (-.105), Rortvedt (-.097)

Win Probability Chart (via Fangraphs)

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Michael Pineda Get Hit Around in Return from IL

Earlier today, the Twins activated Michael Pineda of the Injured List for him to make a return to the staff. The hope is Pineda could pitch well over the next few weeks and boost his trade value at the deadline, however, today did not go according to plan as the White Sox lineup lit him up for twelve hits and five runs across 5 and ⅓ innings. TIme Anderson and Leury Garcia in particular had strong games against Pineda, as Anderson went 3-for-3 against him, while Garcia hit him even harder, as he also went 3-for-3 against Pineda with a triple and this home run that got the scoring started in the top of the second.

 

Trevor Larnach Provides Only Offense for the Twins

As has often been case this year, the Twins bats were quite for most of the game, as they were only able to muster just one run on six hits, with the lone run coming from a Trevor Larnach home run leading off the 4th.

 

In addition to Larnach’s home run, Jorge Polanco and Luis Arraez had pretty good games themselves, with Polanco going 2-for-4 with two singles, and Luis Arraez also going 2-for-4 with a double, and made an incredible throw from third to get the final out of the seventh inning.

Derek Law Pitches Well in Mop Duty

Derek Law has not had the best of showings thus far for the Twins, as he had a 5.40 ERA in 10 innings so far in 2021, though his last two outings entering today’s game were a lot better. He continued that trend, as he only gave up 1 run over 2 and ⅔ innings of work. The lone run that Law surrendered was on a two-out double in the seventh. Overall, Law retired seven of the eleven batters that he faced, including a couple of strikeouts in the eight.

Caleb Thielbar then came in and pitched a scoreless ninth inning after giving up a leadoff walk to Tim Anderson. 

 

Bullpen Usage Chart

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What’s Next?

The Twins will rap up the first half of the season at home in a four-game series with the Detroit Tigers, with the first game coming Thursday night at 7:10 pm CT.


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22 minutes ago, USAFChief said:

RBI are "meaningless."

Not sure how RISP stats is proving your point here. That's BA/RISP which is what the majority of us who don't care about RBI say is the important stat. You're so amped up to complain about advancements in understanding of the game that you're using the new stat to prove the point that it's a better stat than the one you want to use. Weird tactic.

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The only redeeming feature during the past handful of games has been the give and take of Bremer and Kaat.  Can we keep Kaat as the color guy? Or is he nearing retirement? Ha! The absolute lack of run production in meaningful places during a game has been one of the most distressing aspects of watching the Twins this year. Not to mention pitching, base running, fielding, throwing and run producing rallies. There's no counterpunching. 

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43 minutes ago, Grasslander said:

The only redeeming feature during the past handful of games has been the give and take of Bremer and Kaat.  Can we keep Kaat as the color guy? 

He lost me when he starting talking about outlawing protective gear and pine tar for hitters while simultaneously advocating for pitchers to "back guys off the plate more often." 

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I wonder what Buxton is thinking, and hope he is more anxious to get back with us, than anxious to get away from us. I am embarrassed about this. We just generally don't play well. We need Buxton, and we need to hang in there with him. The white sox have an excellent starting 5, and a great closer, and we are not competitive against them.

We must build an excellent starting 5, build something decent around Rogers, and dig in on Byron Buxton. I expect we move most of the expiring vet contracts one way or the other to get our prospects on the field in Aug/Sept, and we have talent - what we don't have is a white sox pitching staff.

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Aren’t RBI’s and BA/RISP related. RBI’s are a counting stat, while BA/RISP is a percentage stat. Having a higher RBI total is definitely indicative of being able to produce with men on base over the course of a lengthy season. In a normal baseball lineup, the manager would ascertain who would be most likely to get on base, and follow them with those who seem most comfortable and productive driving them in. 
 

Yes, it can be argued that a 8,9, or 1 hitter doesn’t get as many opportunities to add to his total. But as a rule there is a reason the guy is batting in those positions. Or at least there used to be! 

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5 minutes ago, SanoMustGo said:

Just a terrible team, about had it with Pineda too.  His performance has really fallen off, hopefully is just the injury

Per the Sox broadcast, Pineda's average FB velo has dropped about 1 MPH in each of the last 5 seasons.

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RBI is a function of team performance which is why a lot of people tend to favor other stats. "Clutch" or essentially AVG wRISP hasn't been shown to be sustainably different from a players normal AVG, and a good AVG wRISP does not directly correspond to a high RBI total.

Team A .274/.350/.445, Player Y = .264/.322/.473 wRC+ 118 RISP .233 = 47 RBI

Team B .218/.293/.381, Player Z = .286/.347/.402 wRC+ 112 RISP .382 = 31 RBI

Player Z is one of the best hitters on Team B, but he's not quite as good at the plate overall than Player Y. In his favor, Player Z also has an unsustainable batting average with RISP of .382. Yet, his RBI total is pretty poor at 31.

Player Y is a middle of the pack hitter on Team A and he's hitting marginally better than Player Z. Player Y is especially weak with RISP with his .233 average. Still, he's on pace for close to 100 RBI this year.

RBIs are generally a function of how good the teams overall lineup is, not a function of how good a particular hitter is. Also, a good hitter in the middle of the bad lineup gets no protection. The hitter is unlikely to see good pitches to hit because opposing pitching staffs will just pitch around the good hitter. Walks only produce RBI when the bases are loaded.

Relying on counting stats and reputations for being "clutch" is how a lot of fans (including myself) believe pedestrian players get into the HoF.

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38 minutes ago, bean5302 said:

RBI is a function of team performance which is why a lot of people tend to favor other stats. "Clutch" or essentially AVG wRISP hasn't been shown to be sustainably different from a players normal AVG, and a good AVG wRISP does not directly correspond to a high RBI total.

Team A .274/.350/.445, Player Y = .264/.322/.473 wRC+ 118 RISP .233 = 47 RBI

Team B .218/.293/.381, Player Z = .286/.347/.402 wRC+ 112 RISP .382 = 31 RBI

Player Z is one of the best hitters on Team B, but he's not quite as good at the plate overall than Player Y. In his favor, Player Z also has an unsustainable batting average with RISP of .382. Yet, his RBI total is pretty poor at 31.

Player Y is a middle of the pack hitter on Team A and he's hitting marginally better than Player Z. Player Y is especially weak with RISP with his .233 average. Still, he's on pace for close to 100 RBI this year.

RBIs are generally a function of how good the teams overall lineup is, not a function of how good a particular hitter is. Also, a good hitter in the middle of the bad lineup gets no protection. The hitter is unlikely to see good pitches to hit because opposing pitching staffs will just pitch around the good hitter. Walks only produce RBI when the bases are loaded.

Relying on counting stats and reputations for being "clutch" is how a lot of fans (including myself) believe pedestrian players get into the HoF.

Which pedestrian players are in the HOF?

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6 hours ago, USAFChief said:

RBI are "meaningless."

There’s an extremely wide gap between “RBIs don’t tell us much about how good an individual player is” and “driving in runs doesn’t matter.” The point of the game is to score more than your opponent!

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4 hours ago, USAFChief said:

Read through the comments.

I bet I can find other examples, including at fangraphs.

It's a new age baseball truism, Mike. Stated often.

I don't agree.

Are the Twins good at driving in runs? That's the question here right? Does the RBI stat tell you if someone is good at driving in runs? That's what the whole debate is about. Many people (myself included) say it doesn't give you a good description of how good someone is at driving in runs because there are too many variables outside that player's control (ie how many opportunities they get with guys in scoring position). Many people believe it is still a good measure of player talent/ability to drive in runs.

Minnesota Twins stats from this current season: 13th in baseball in RBIs at 363. Tied for 25th in baseball in BA/RISP at .229. So are the Twins good at driving in runs? RBIs say they're league average at it. BA/RISP says they're among the worst in the league. Which is it? The earlier post presented numbers about what the 2 teams hit today with men in scoring position. Your response was a sarcastic (I assume) comment about RBIs not mattering. Those are 2 different things and I just gave you the Twins season stats on the 2. So are they average at driving in runs like RBIs say they are, or are they terrible at it like BA/RISP says they are?

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The argument from the RBI haters gets so tedious. Look...the name of the game is score more runs than the other guy. If my guy comes up with RISP and gets the hit that drives in the run....I'm happy. Period. Stats be damned. I don't care how its done...just score more runs. Twins aren't doing that very well.

As for Buxton..I can't imagine in any scenario, him wanting to stay with the Twins. He has had a rather stormy relationship with the organization from the get-go. He will catch the first oxcart out of town, when the time comes. I wish it weren't so, but I believe he wants out. This season isn;t helping the cause for him to stay.

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10 hours ago, bean5302 said:

RBI is a function of team performance which is why a lot of people tend to favor other stats. "Clutch" or essentially AVG wRISP hasn't been shown to be sustainably different from a players normal AVG, and a good AVG wRISP does not directly correspond to a high RBI total.

Team A .274/.350/.445, Player Y = .264/.322/.473 wRC+ 118 RISP .233 = 47 RBI

Team B .218/.293/.381, Player Z = .286/.347/.402 wRC+ 112 RISP .382 = 31 RBI

Player Z is one of the best hitters on Team B, but he's not quite as good at the plate overall than Player Y. In his favor, Player Z also has an unsustainable batting average with RISP of .382. Yet, his RBI total is pretty poor at 31.

Player Y is a middle of the pack hitter on Team A and he's hitting marginally better than Player Z. Player Y is especially weak with RISP with his .233 average. Still, he's on pace for close to 100 RBI this year.

RBIs are generally a function of how good the teams overall lineup is, not a function of how good a particular hitter is. Also, a good hitter in the middle of the bad lineup gets no protection. The hitter is unlikely to see good pitches to hit because opposing pitching staffs will just pitch around the good hitter. Walks only produce RBI when the bases are loaded.

Relying on counting stats and reputations for being "clutch" is how a lot of fans (including myself) believe pedestrian players get into the HoF.

I am not disagreeing that BA/RISP is not a useful stat, it definitely is a way to define a players ability in those situations. Nor do I believe that some players hit "better" with a RISP. Normally the best ones simply stay to their normal level. Not try to overdue the opportunity. 
 

As an aside I think lost in the discussion is the fact that advanced stats may be good for the organizations running the teams, but detrimental to the normal fans discussion of the game. For example, one can argue that RBI’s are passé, and BA/RISP is the real deal. It’s a good argument. But the next refinement is BA/RISP when? When behind? When ahead by 6? And of course, late and great. I am sure there are stats that quantify everyone of those instances. But by the time you get to the bottom of them, most fans have fallen asleep, or worse than that for MLB, tuned into the. NBA finals, or reruns of Real Housewife’s of almost any city in America! 

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