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It was a tough battle, but the Twins came out on top to win their fourth series in a row thanks to yet another Jorge Polanco walk-off!

Box Score
Starter: Thorpe 1.1 IP, 1 H,  2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 1 K
Home Runs: Sano (20)
Top 3 WPA: Duffey (0.485), Coulombe (0.485), Sano (0.299)

Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

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Lewis Thorpe Makes Return to Twins Rotation
For the first time in nearly three months, Lewis Thorpe made an appearance in a Twins uniform, after getting recalled this morning from Triple-A St. Paul. Prior to today’s start, Thorpe had made just four appearances (3 starts) for the Twins in 2021, and posted a 3.86 ERA.

Velocity concerns have plagued Thorpe of late, as his fastball velocity has dropped nearly two MPH since 2019, and sat at just 89.5 MPH in 2021. Those concerns became even more prevalent after today’s short outing where Thorpe had an average fastball velocity of just 87.8 MPH, per Statcast.

This lack of velocity, combined with some serious control issues made for a short day from Thorpe, who was pulled with only one out in the second after walking the bases full. It was clear after today’s outing that Thorpe’s long-term future with the Twins might be in serious jeopardy if he is unable to fix the number of issues that have been ailing him.

Miguel Sano Hits Twins Longest Home Run of 2021
With the Twins down by a score of 4 to 1 entering the bottom of the fourth, they needed to find some quick offense to get back into this game, and that is exactly what Miguel Sano delivered as he blasted a mammoth 475 foot home run to right-center field to cut Cleveland’s lead down to two.

Cleveland Scores Single Runs in Each of the First Five Innings
It was a steady barrage of one run at a time from Cleveland early on to help them build a 5-2 lead at the halfway point of the game, as they scored one run in each of the first five innings. They got their lone run in the first courtesy of a two-out home run from Jose Ramirez.

In the second it was four walks from Twins pitching that resulted in Cleveland’s run, the final coming from Edgar Garcia after he replaced Lewis Thorpe who walked the bases full before being pulled.

Edgar Garcia got two quick outs in the third, but after giving up a walk to Oscar Mercado, Owen Miller drilled a fly ball off the wall in right-center, bringing Mercado all the way around to score from first.

The fourth inning looked almost identical to the third, but this time it was with Juan Minaya on the mound for the Twins, who like Garcia got two outs to begin the inning, but gave up a walk that was followed by a double that gave Cleveland their lone run in the fourth. With Minaya still on the mound in the fifth, Franmil Reyes responded to Miguel Sano’s mammoth home run with one of his own to stretch the Cleveland lead back out to three.

Twins Use Two-Out Rally to Take the Lead in the 5th
Things were not looking up for the Twins as they came to bat in the fifth back down by three runs. The inning did not appear to be a rally inning when it started, as a Max Kepler strikeout and a Jorge Polanco pop out sandwiched a Brent Rooker walk, giving the Twins a runner on first with two outs. That did not stop the Twins, however, as they strung together six straight two-out hits and left the inning with a 7-5 lead.

Josh Donaldson got the two out rally started when he laced a line drive single up the middle. Luis Arraez then fought off a tough two-strike fastball and delivered a clutch RBI single to right. After a quick mound visit, it was Miguel Sano’s turn and he quickly fell behind 0-2, but he too came up clutch driving this breaking ball to the base of the wall in center for a game tying double.

That was the end of the day for Cleveland pitcher Zach Plesac, but that wasn’t the end of the inning for the Twins. New Cleveland pitch Alex Young did not have much time to settle in, as Nick Gordon swung at his first pitch and drilled a hard ground ball down the first base line that bounced off of Owen Miller’s glove at first and trickled away, allowing Sano to score from second. Ryan Jeffers then followed it up with a single of his own before Andrelton Simmons came through with a ground rule double down the line in left, giving the Twins the 7-5 lead. This gave Max Kepler a chance to blow the game open with runners on second and third, but that would not be the case as the inning ended the same way it started, with a Max Kepler strikeout. 

Alex Colome Blows Save in 9th
After a rough start to the season, Alex Colome has been pitching well of late. Unfortunately, today we saw more of the April version of Alex Colome, as he blew a two-run lead to allow Cleveland to tie the game at seven. 

The inning started with a leadoff double from Myles Straw that landed just out of the reach of a diving Jake Cave, who came in as a defensive replacement for Brent Rooker in left. He then got Amed Rosario to fly out, before Jose Ramirez laced a line drive into center field and hustled his way to second for a double. Ramirez then advanced to third on a weak ground out from Franmil Reyes and scored the game tying run on a wild pitch in the next plate appearance.

Jorge Polanco is the Walk-off Hero Yet Again
For the third time in four games, Jorge Polanco comes up with a clutch walk-off to give the Twins the victory!

 

Bullpen Usage Chart

  SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT
Barnes 0 73 0 0 0 73
Gant 0 0 17 0 0 17
García 0 21 0 0 35 56
Thielbar 0 15 19 0 9 43
Garza Jr. 16 0 0 13 23 52
Duffey 0 27 0 0 14 41
Colomé 0 13 10 0 31 54
Minaya 0 0 19 0 40 59
Coulombe 10 0 0 0 7 17

Postgame Interviews 

 

 

What's Next?

The Twins travel to New York for a four-game series with the Yankees. With the Twins out of contention, they have a chance to put a wrench in the surging Yankees postseason plans. Game one of the series is scheduled to begin Thursday at 6:05 pm CDT.

 


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41 minutes ago, ashbury said:

This major league roster needs 25 more guys like Jorge Polanco.

Hopefully some of them can play catcher, and pitch a little bit, otherwise we've got a logjam at second base.

That's at least an improvement on the logjam they have a corner positions! 

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Well, needed to keep Thorpe in St. Paul for his start today and pitch, say, Gant instead. 

 

Now will Thorpe go on the IL and really screw up evaluation of him? 

 

I would also just cut Colome. You battle back, ake the lead, and the guy throws potential wild pitches with the tying run on third...and....

 

Just throw Colome and Simmons out there and be done. Bring up Miranda to play third. Put Polanco back at shortstop. We lose games with SImmons there, will we lose more have Arraez at second and Polanco at short? 

 

Two open roster spots. Bring in three new pitchers for the road trip. Let Strotman take some lumps if need be. We just better have Ryan, Balazovic when we can expand rosters.

 

Let Pineda go, maybe get picked up by a contender. Save the money you can get by not paying free-agents to be who gave you little or none in trade va,lue before the deadline.

 

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I wonder if that will be the last we see of Lewis Thorpe?  He doesn't look like 40 man material to me.  I remember when they first got him and he was throwing 93-95 as a teenager I believe.  He was dominant striking guys out and he looked like a can't miss pitcher and lefty to boot.  He was never quite the same after the TJ surgery IMO.  He still had some good moments don't get me wrong but he just didn't seem to have quite the same stuff.  He worked hard to come back and maybe he can be a pen arm for some team in the future but I just don't see it happening with the Twins.  I certainly could be wrong but even after all that time off he didn't look that good today.  Honestly I think Smeltzer has better stuff and I don't love his stuff either because he is so homer prone.  Maybe Thorpe isn't hurt that bad and he gets another game or two but with the low velocity and lack of control it looks like the end to me.

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Just now, Dman said:

I wonder if that will be the last we see of Lewis Thorpe?  He doesn't look like 40 man material to me.  I remember when they first got him and he was throwing 93-95 as a teenager I believe.  He was dominant striking guys out and he looked like a can't miss pitcher and lefty to boot.  He was never quite the same after the TJ surgery IMO.  He still had some good moments don't get me wrong but he just didn't seem to have quite the same stuff.  He worked hard to come back and maybe he can be a pen arm for some team in the future but I just don't see it happening with the Twins.  I certainly could be wrong but even after all that time off he didn't look that good today.  Honestly I think Smeltzer has better stuff and I don't love his stuff either because he is so homer prone.  Maybe Thorpe isn't hurt that bad and he gets another game or two but with the low velocity and lack of control it looks like the end to me.

Agreed, Thorpe's stuff isn't what it used to be, and he does not possess the durability to last in a MLB pitching staff. He should not be retained on the 40 man over the winter.

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what have we learned From this fun ball game?  

Polanco is our MVP.  

Thorpe is not going to be able to be a SP for a good team. 

Colome really is not the closer we need. 

The Twins should have a much better record and should be in contention. 

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21 minutes ago, Danchat said:

Agreed, Thorpe's stuff isn't what it used to be, and he does not possess the durability to last in a MLB pitching staff. He should not be retained on the 40 man over the winter.

I am no medical expert, but a young guy that was thrwing 93-95 2 years ago, and now can't get 90? I think that shoulder might be in pretty bad shape.

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Thorpe can play ball in Australia. He will be home, and near parents and family. Past history shows that is what he needs. I never saw the "stuff" that others keep talking about, and certainly never in a MLB game. They have held roster spots for him while letting guys not Baddoo, Ynoa, Anderson, Littell, and others go. Time is up. He can't even throw in the 90s now. Time is up. 

Colome, Simmons, and Pineda? Time to move on. This team does not need rental place holders. All will be free agents. Best of luck to them. Time to move on. 

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2 hours ago, Rosterman said:

Well, needed to keep Thorpe in St. Paul for his start today and pitch, say, Gant instead. 

 

Now will Thorpe go on the IL and really screw up evaluation of him? 

 

I would also just cut Colome. You battle back, ake the lead, and the guy throws potential wild pitches with the tying run on third...and....

 

Just throw Colome and Simmons out there and be done. Bring up Miranda to play third. Put Polanco back at shortstop. We lose games with SImmons there, will we lose more have Arraez at second and Polanco at short? 

 

Two open roster spots. Bring in three new pitchers for the road trip. Let Strotman take some lumps if need be. We just better have Ryan, Balazovic when we can expand rosters.

 

Let Pineda go, maybe get picked up by a contender. Save the money you can get by not paying free-agents to be who gave you little or none in trade va,lue before the deadline.

 

This might all be fine on paper, but the Twins will have a tough time finding vets to fill spots when needed, if they're treated in this fashion. I do think Simmons' playing time should be reduced though. 

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I was most impressed today with the Twins' resilience.  The 9th inning could easily have led to a letdown, but they fought through it.  9-and-4 in the last two weeks shows plenty of fight left in them -- and maybe with nothing at stake they go to the Bronx and Fenway without intimidation.

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11 hours ago, Dman said:

I wonder if that will be the last we see of Lewis Thorpe?  He doesn't look like 40 man material to me.  I remember when they first got him and he was throwing 93-95 as a teenager I believe.  He was dominant striking guys out and he looked like a can't miss pitcher and lefty to boot.  He was never quite the same after the TJ surgery IMO.  He still had some good moments don't get me wrong but he just didn't seem to have quite the same stuff.  He worked hard to come back and maybe he can be a pen arm for some team in the future but I just don't see it happening with the Twins.  I certainly could be wrong but even after all that time off he didn't look that good today.  Honestly I think Smeltzer has better stuff and I don't love his stuff either because he is so homer prone.  Maybe Thorpe isn't hurt that bad and he gets another game or two but with the low velocity and lack of control it looks like the end to me.

Agreed, I think we've seen the last of Lewis in a Twins uniform. Too bad for him and the team both.

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9 hours ago, Otwins said:

I saw Thorpe several times in spring training when he was young.  Hit 95 pretty regularly and touched 97.  He is not that guy anymore.

 

 

9 hours ago, Monkeypaws said:

Too bad about Thorpe - he looked poised for greatness in the early days, power lefty.

 

The Legend of Lewis Thorpe and his early days continues to grow. It's not that I don't believe these tales of greatness, they just are so different than what he flashes today. It makes me even more nervous to give up Berrios for prospects. 

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10 hours ago, h2oface said:

Thorpe can play ball in Australia. He will be home, and near parents and family. Past history shows that is what he needs. I never saw the "stuff" that others keep talking about, and certainly never in a MLB game. They have held roster spots for him while letting guys not Baddoo, Ynoa, Anderson, Littell, and others go. Time is up. He can't even throw in the 90s now. Time is up. 

Colome, Simmons, and Pineda? Time to move on. This team does not need rental place holders. All will be free agents. Best of luck to them. Time to move on. 

You can't run an actual team like a fantasy/video game. There are actually people involved and the human element impacts your actions in both the short and long term.

Yes, Colome is not coming back next year but he's been pitching well over his last 9 appearances until yesterday. A reliever is pitching well, has a bad outing and gets cut? Good luck signing anyone good to a 1-year deal next season.

We don't have a young SS ready to play in the majors so, who do we replace Simmons with, exactly? One of the retreads from AAA who also won't be part of the future?

Pineda is a contender to get re-signed next season and with his current relationship might be gotten for a reasonable price. They're going to need some veterans for the rotation, because betting on all rookies next season is a recipe for disaster. When healthy, he's a good pitcher. Cut him and he'll never wear a Twins uniform again.

Sorry to see that Thorpe looks like he's never going to put it together. Sounds like the shoulder is trash, and that's a shame. I had hopes for him, but he's never been able to put it together. Maybe he'll get healthy for one more go this year, but I expect he'll fall off the 40 man now. Too bad: he had talent. 

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13 hours ago, ashbury said:

This major league roster needs 25 more guys like Jorge Polanco.

Hopefully some of them can play catcher, and pitch a little bit, otherwise we've got a logjam at second base.

Catcher is the least of our concerns.  All about pitching depth for this team

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I'm not a medical professional, but one has to believe that there's something medically wrong with Thorpe. IIRC, he was hitting the low- to mid-nineties with movement and life on his fastball in spring training. He's not close to that now, so one would surmise that something is wrong with his arm.

Yesterday was the first time I watched Garza Jr. and Garcia pitch on TV and I also hadn't seen much of Minaya. Garza Jr. was impressive with his odd arm angle and he put a lot of pitches in good places in the strike zone. Both Garcia and Minaya seemed to lose their release point and their command after looking effective early in their appearance. 

I also think the trashing of Colomé is a bit over the top. He was among the worst relief pitchers in baseball, but he has recovered to the point I expect he'll get a major league contract in the off-season. With a bullpen bereft of closing experience, he gives the Twins their best chance to get the 27th out with a lead. That is not a strong endorsement of his skills, but I think it is reality.

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Looks like Thorpe is done.  He's had plenty of chances.  Twins have been very patient with him.  Too bad Colome' blew it in the 9 th.  I thought he was turning it around.  Yes one bad outing in last 9 isn't the end but his first half of season was horrible and this adds to it.  Poor defense still plagues the team.  Thankfully Polanco has been there to bail us out!!  It would be great if we could beat those Yankees.  They are playing great ball 

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10 hours ago, MMMordabito said:

This might all be fine on paper, but the Twins will have a tough time finding vets to fill spots when needed, if they're treated in this fashion. I do think Simmons' playing time should be reduced though. 

older vets are looking for one year pay me deals and not worried about the following years.  They will chase the money.  Not worried about finding vets to fill spots, the right dollar figure brings them in

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The good news for Lewis Thorpe is that he will now go on the major league IL and get paid the major league minimum, probably for the rest of the year.  Was his earlier stint on the IL this year the minor league variety?  Doubt Thorpe will ever be in a Twins uniform again, hopefully $150k for the rest of the summer will help tide him over until he signs on with another team...usually Oakland gobbles up former Twins Aussie pitchers (Balfour and Hendriks, although Liam had some other teams before arriving with the A's).

Sounds like Dobber is about ready for a rehab stint, expect he will be back in the Twins rotation by around Labor Day.  Expect he will be fine and in the hunt for the #4/#5 spot next spring, along with Ober, Jax, Barnes and others.

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12 hours ago, h2oface said:

Thorpe can play ball in Australia. He will be home, and near parents and family. Past history shows that is what he needs. I never saw the "stuff" that others keep talking about, and certainly never in a MLB game. They have held roster spots for him while letting guys not Baddoo, Ynoa, Anderson, Littell, and others go. Time is up. He can't even throw in the 90s now. Time is up. 

Colome, Simmons, and Pineda? Time to move on. This team does not need rental place holders. All will be free agents. Best of luck to them. Time to move on. 

How many runners has Simba thrown out at home, third, first, etc just on relay plays? He's not a good hitter but appears to be a good team leader and well-liked. Twins don't have an heir apparent at shortstop (that would be Lewis, but he can't play) so whoever else you throw out there isn't a long term viable starter either. Pineda is also well-liked and the Twins would like him back next year. I sure would. 

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Sure Colome didn't have his best outing, but Jeffers absolutely has to make a better effort to block that pitch that allowed the tying run to score. It was not a good pitch whatsoever and that's on Colome. However, Jeffers absolutely has to get in front of that ball. All he did was kind of move his body and throw his glove in front of it. You can't let a ball by you like that when there are two outs in the 9th and the tying run is on third.

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7 minutes ago, Tibs said:

Sure Colome didn't have his best outing, but Jeffers absolutely has to make a better effort to block that pitch that allowed the tying run to score. It was not a good pitch whatsoever and that's on Colome. However, Jeffers absolutely has to get in front of that ball. All he did was kind of move his body and throw his glove in front of it. You can't let a ball by you like that when there are two outs in the 9th and the tying run is on third.

Cardinals and Brewers had a similar wild pitch in the top of the 10th.  The Cardinals pitcher bounced it, but Molina wasn't able to stop it.  Not quite the same since Colome bounced it sooner and the Cardinals pitcher bounced it closer to the plate but farther in.  But in some ways, it shows that even the veterans or best catchers can't stop all wild pitches, even ones that are close to the plate.

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1 hour ago, umterp23 said:

older vets are looking for one year pay me deals and not worried about the following years.  They will chase the money.  Not worried about finding vets to fill spots, the right dollar figure brings them in

Older vets also want to play. vets also take 1 year deals to rebuild their value in FA, and they don't get that if they get dumped (regardless of performance)...so many of them ARE worrying about the following years.

yes, you'll still be able to sign guys...but it's already hard enough for the Twins in FA. Do we really want to have to offer an additional 20% premium on a guy to get him to sign because we've built a rep as a crap organization with no loyalty and respect? (The whining about "overpaying" guys will be really fun to endure too. And by "fun", I mean the other thing.)

the human element happens, pride gets in the way. A guy will get dropped rather than be offered "too much" in arbitration. Time after time you'll see that player head to a different organization, at equal or less money because pride won't let them take that deal from their current club. All of this stuff comes into play, and ignoring it for marginal moves can cause more damage than whatever small benefit you might get on development time.

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16 hours ago, ashbury said:

This major league roster needs 25 more guys like Jorge Polanco.

Hopefully some of them can play catcher, and pitch a little bit, otherwise we've got a logjam at second base.

I wonder how that would play out. Take the best player on the team and duplicate them across every position. How would that team do?

 

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