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After a ninth inning comeback last night, the Minnesota Twins tried to make another this afternoon, but came up short as the Cincinnati Reds held on to split the two-game series.

Box Score
Barnes: 4.0 IP, 7 H, 5R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
Home Runs: Polanco (18)
Bottom 3 WPA: Barnes (-0.299), Sano (-0.259), Rooker (-0.215)

Win Probability Chart (via Fangraphs)

101212029_ScreenShot2021-08-04at2_58_04PM.png.947f137fe81f57f722b93372b16de3f2.png

Jorge Polanco Gets the Twins on the Board Early
Just a matter of hours after hitting the game winning home run in the top of the ninth in Tuesday night’s ballgame, Jorge Polanco went deep again in the first inning of today’s game, giving the Twins the early 1-0 lead. Polanco had another good performance at the plate again today, as he would go 2-for-4 with a walk.

Charlie Barnes Gets the Nod for Second Career Start
25-year-old Charlie Barns began the game on the mound this afternoon for the Twins. In his only previous start, the 2017 4th round pick out of Clemson did well, as he only allowed one run, on a solo shot, over four innings of work to the Detroit Tigers back on July 17th.

Things went well for Burns to begin the ballgame. He gave up a leadoff single to Jonathan India, who has lived up to the hype so far as the former 5th overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft was recently named the NL Rookie of the Month for July. That would be no trouble for Burns, however, as he got Jesse Winker to flyout to left before Kyle Farmer grounded into a double play to end the inning. In the second, Burns gave up a two out single to Eugenio Suarez, but other than that looked sharp. 

The third inning is where things got away from Burns. Reds center fielder Shogo Akiyama singled to begin the inning, before advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt from Reds pitcher Luis Castillo. Burns then got Jonathan India to strikeout and appeared to be on the cusp of getting out of the inning with no damage done. That would not be the case, however, as the next four Reds batters went walk, single, double, single and before you knew it they had a 4-1 lead.

The Reds would tack on another run against Charlie Burns in the fourth. After Aristides Aquino flew out to begin the inning, Burns issued a one out walk to Shogo Akiyama. The Reds then executed National League style baseball to perfection, as they had Luis Castillo sacrifice him over to second and Jonathan India came through with a clutch two out single to give the Red the 5-1 lead.

Juan Minaya Strikes Out Five in Two Innings of Relief Work
A week removed from his outing against Detroit in the emphamis 17-14 Twins loss, where Juan Minaya was cruising until everything fell apart on him in the ninth, Rocco Baldelli learned his lesson and only left Minaya in for two innings of work.

The outing did not get off to a great start for Juan Minaya, as he walked both Kyle Farmer and Joey Votto to leadoff the fifth. However, after a mound visit from pitching coach Wes Johnson, Minaya found his rhythm as he struck out each of the next three batters to get out of the inning. Minaya would follow that up with another scoreless inning in the sixth, where he gave up a two out double to Jonathan India, but struck out two more hitters, including Jesse Winker to get out of the inning unscathed.

Reds Add Crucial Insurance Run in the 7th
After an excellent outing from Juan Minaya, Rocco Baldelli turned to Beau Burrows in the seventh, with the Twins still trailing 5-1 at the time. Burrows looked decent in the inning, as he retired three of the four batters he faced. Unfortunately for the Twins, the loan batter he failed to get out was Tyler Stephenson, who took Burrows deep to center field giving the Reds a 6-1 lead. While it may not have seemed like it at the time, that run would be monumental just an inning later.

Twins Comeback Effort Falls Short
With the Twins trailing 6-1 entering the eighth inning, it seemed as though the game was getting out of reach of the Twins if they didn’t get something going with the bats in a hurry, and that is exactly what they did.

Jorge Polanco and Luis Arraez leadoff the inning with a couple of walks, before Miguel Sano laced an opposite field double into right, bringing Polanco around to score and advancing Arraez to third. The Reds then went to the bullpen and brought in Luis Cessa to face Trevor Larnach, who was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts at that point in the game. That would change quickly, though, as Larnach delivered with a ground ball double that was just fair down the first baseline, bringing around both Arraez and Sano to score.

With Nick Gordon up with Trevor Larnach on second, and the Twins now down by just two with still nobody out, they seemed primed to finish off the big comeback right here. Gordon would wind up advancing Larnach to third on a groundout, before Ryan Jeffers brought him in with a one out single.

The Reds would go to the bullpen once again, this time bringing in Michael Lorenzen. With the pitcher’s spot in the order due up, Josh Donaldson made an appearance as a pinch hitter, but he would fail to help the cause as he struck out for the second out of the inning. It was then Max Kepler’s turn, who would come up with a big double of his own. Despite being two outs in the inning, Ryan Jeffers was unable to score for first and was held up at third. While Jeffers being not the most fleet of foot base runners did not help, credit the Reds defense for getting the ball back in so quickly and forcing Tony Diaz to put the stop sign up for Jeffers as he rounded third.

This put the pressure on an already 0-for-4 Brent Rooker to come up with a big two out hit. However, things did not turn out the Twins' way, as Rooker struck out to end the scoring threat.

The Twins would have another chance in the top of the ninth with Polanco, Arraez and Sano due up. Polanco put up a good battle, but eventually struck out on a 3-2 pitch. Luis Arraez then did his job as he got on base with a one out single. Nothing came of that however, as Miguel Sano would immediately ground into a double play to end the ballgame.

Bullpen Usage Chart

  SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT
Coulombe 0 21 0 13 0 34
Burrows 0 45 0 0 13 58
Gant 0 16 0 22 0 38
Colomé 16 0 0 20 0 36
Duffey 0 0 0 0 0 0
Alcala 21 0 0 0 0 21
Minaya 18 0 0 0 44 62
Thielbar 14 0 0 0 22 36 

Postgame Interviews 

 

What's Next

The Twins will travel to Houston to face the Astros in a four-game series beginning Thursday night at 7:10 p.m. CDT. Griffen Jax (6.41 ERA) is scheduled to be on the mound against Astros starter Framber Valdez (3.01 ERA).

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With way Polonco is playing I wondering if there is trade talks during offseason.  Much of the last offseason and first half there were talks he done being a positive player, at least by some.  However, he has shown he is healthy and can hit the ball still.  Do we want to keep him, or try to pounce on his value with our top prospects being middle infield guys right now?

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11 minutes ago, Trov said:

With way Polonco is playing I wondering if there is trade talks during offseason.  Much of the last offseason and first half there were talks he done being a positive player, at least by some.  However, he has shown he is healthy and can hit the ball still.  Do we want to keep him, or try to pounce on his value with our top prospects being middle infield guys right now?

Fair question.  I'd like to hold onto him, but wouldn't be too devastated if they did deal him.  I'd at least wait until next season's trade deadline to see if those prospects can actually get to the bigs before I do though.

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4 minutes ago, se7799 said:

So as soon as a guy starts having a good season and plays well...ie Polanco....there are 2 comments within the first 5 to trade him.  I just dont understand this mentality.  Why do so many here start trying to trade a cost controlled board line Allstars?  What are you hoping to achieve?  

In fairness, I did say that my preference was to keep him.

In a season like this, and with the prospects coming up behind him, it's not an unreasonable question.  That's what losing teams do in order to try to improve.  The Cubs just did the same thing with the remainder of their WS winning core.  You're right that it is more appropriate for a different thread though.

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1 hour ago, se7799 said:

So as soon as a guy starts having a good season and plays well...ie Polanco....there are 2 comments within the first 5 to trade him.  I just dont understand this mentality.  Why do so many here start trying to trade a cost controlled board line Allstars?  What are you hoping to achieve?  

Polanco is hitting out of his mind right now, for a lost cause.

I think it’s a fair question to wonder what kind of trade return he could have brought back at the deadline, or will bring back this offseason, that would help the Twins in 2023 or 2024.

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Hmm...you'd think you'd get the name right.....BARNES.....anyway------not a good start for Barnes if he had hopes of staying in the rotation for an extended period.  Not giving up on him, but he should be demoted back to Saint Paul.  

With Drew Strotman on the 40-man active roster------he should be called up to take slot in rotation.

If not Strotman, is Josh Winder an option?  I would think so, but he has had a recent tough stretch and is not on 40-man roster.

After ANOTHER bad performance by Burrows today------11.00 ERA over 4 appearances--he should be dfa'ed with Ian Hamilton taking his spot in pen. 

Onto Houston-------will be surprised if 1 of 4 games results in a Twins win.  Saying that, wins are not the key for the rest of this LOST season.  As I've said for months------EVALUATION should be the 1st and foremost priority.

 

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Hey - we finished a series with the Reds and Buxton didn't get plunked! The Reds' two plunkings of Lord Byron had a serious impact on the fortunes of our Twins.

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4 hours ago, RpR said:

Our prospects are miserable failure at this point, why pile on the misery.

If you're referring to Barnes, you won't find him on any prospect ranking... he's a AAAA filler guy. 

 

2 hours ago, Mike Sixel said:

I can't see a reason for Burrows to be on the MLB roster, not with several guys in AAA to get a look at.

I'm perplexed by this too, there are several guys pitching well in AAA right now... Hamilton, Moran, Vasquez. Sure, those aren't great options, but it's better than Burrows/Minaya, plus Alcala might need some time in AAA after flopping hard this year.

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2 hours ago, joemama said:

Hey - we finished a series with the Reds and Buxton didn't get plunked! The Reds' two plunkings of Lord Byron had a serious impact on the fortunes of our Twins.

.... and Mahle (broke Buxton's hand in June) came to the plate yesterday. Maeda pitched very gentlemanly to him - all but one pitch outside and low. Got a called third strike on a pitch 6 inches outside and low. 

2021-08-03 Tyler Mahle at bat.jpg

Maeda had just given up back to back homers on the first 2 pitches of the 3rd inning to the 7 and 8 batters, and there was no outs and no one on base. Put the Reds up 2-1.

Wild Man Lucas Sims, who beaned Buxton at the end of September in 2019, and assured we wouldn't have him for the playoffs, is on the 10 day IL since June 24.

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Looks like it is going to be tough for Charlie Barnes/Barns/Burns. Not that it is malicious, but he is not even winning the name recognition game from the homies! I wish his name was Burns - Corbin Burnes!:go:Charlie Barnes/Barns/Burns will be 26 October 1, To give that some perspective, when folks like to point out someone is average age or young for his league/level, these guys are all 26..... Walker Buehler, RHP, Dodgers; Corbin Burnes, RHP, Brewers; Shane Bieber, RHP, Indians.

Sure would be nice if Diaz would get runners to the plate instead of killing the rally at third. Are we the only team that can't seem to score from first on a double? No reason at all, at this point, to not be aggressive and force the other team to make a good play. As we know from our defense, that doesn't always happen.

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38 minutes ago, Danchat said:

If you're referring to Barnes, you won't find him on any prospect ranking... he's a AAAA filler guy. 

? Barnes was a 4th round pick out of Clemson in 2017. Our pick, our homegrown prospect...... and he has arrived! :wacko:;)

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42 minutes ago, h2oface said:

? Barnes was a 4th round pick out of Clemson in 2017. Our pick, our homegrown prospect...... and he has arrived! :wacko:;)

I'm looking at his minor league track record, not where he was drafted. The MLB draft is notorious for being a complete crapshoot, and 4th rounders flame out all the time. It is one thing if the likes of Barnes and Jax fail, it is another if guys like Winder and Balazovic do too. If that happens, I will be panicking along with the masses.

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Barnes started out well and it fell off quickly. Once he started missing his spots and needed to locate in the heart of the zone to get a strike...he was in trouble. But might as well keep running him out there so we can see if he's a AAAA player or a back-end option. He's left-handed, he throws a change-up, he's got a pulse...careers have been made on less.

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We made some trades.  Good.  shouldn't' we see some of these guys at the bigs?  especially the AAA level Rays guys we got?  I get the boys we bot for Berrios are not quite there yet, but what else is this team doing?  Time to throw the live arms out there and see what we got and get them a taste

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9 hours ago, rghrbek said:

We made some trades.  Good.  shouldn't' we see some of these guys at the bigs?  especially the AAA level Rays guys we got?  I get the boys we bot for Berrios are not quite there yet, but what else is this team doing?  Time to throw the live arms out there and see what we got and get them a taste

Well, Ryan is at the Olympics.... But I bet we are him when that are over....

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15 hours ago, h2oface said:

.... and Mahle (broke Buxton's hand in June) came to the plate yesterday. Maeda pitched very gentlemanly to him - all but one pitch outside and low. Got a called third strike on a pitch 6 inches outside and low. 

2021-08-03 Tyler Mahle at bat.jpg

Maeda had just given up back to back homers on the first 2 pitches of the 3rd inning to the 7 and 8 batters, and there was no outs and no one on base. Put the Reds up 2-1.

Wild Man Lucas Sims, who beaned Buxton at the end of September in 2019, and assured we wouldn't have him for the playoffs, is on the 10 day IL since June 24.

I couldn't take the posts and all the hand-wringing from the 'against the unwritten rules' folks. Best to just let things ride in a season like 2021 and not stir up any unnecessary HBP back and forth with the Reds. I don't remember any bad blood with the Reds and don't think any of the injuries you mentioned were intentional. The Twins had a good moment with the Reds at Target Field earlier this year honoring Mike Bell. 

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