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Rain threatened this game starting hours before hand. The first three innings flew by. The Twins took a lead. Milwaukee evened it up... But the Twins were able to take a lead and the bullpen, led by Juan Minaya held the lead for another Twins series win over a division leader.

 

Box Score
SP: Charlie Barnes: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K (64 pitches, 47 strikes (73.4%))
Home Runs: None 
Top 3 WPA: Miguel Sano (.184), Juan Minaya (.177), Josh Donaldson (.119)
Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

chart (5).png

As the game proceeded, it was as if the goal was to get through five innings to make the game complete. Through the game’s first four innings, Charlie Barnes took advantage of aggressive Brewers hitters. Before the rains came, Barnes was sharp with his fastball, changeup and slider, coaxing a lot of weak content. Through four innings, he had allowed only one hit. 

In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Twins scored four runs. With the bases loaded, Miguel Sano grounded a 3-0 pitch past shortstop and turned it into a double. (some might say very similar to Byron Buxton)

Adrian Houser's control was certainly affected by the wet conditions. He hit two batters and had a couple of walks. 

Unfortunately, with a 4-0 lead and the rains continuing to come down, harder than previously, Barnes took the mound needing three outs to qualify for his first MLB Win. He issued his first walk to the leadoff batter. It was followed with three soft singles. Barnes left the game with the Twins holding on to a 4-2 lead. Caleb Thielbar came on and got a pop out for the first out. Willy Adames singled to load the bases for Christian Yelich. Thielbar got the former MVP to fly out to medium-deep right field. Max Kepler caught and threw toward home. Miguel Sano cut it off and threw wildly to third base allowing a second run to score on the error. Thielbar got the team out of the inning with a strikeout.

Thielbar recorded a 1-2-3 sixth inning, striking out two batters. 

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Miguel Sano singled, Brent Rooker was hit by a pitch, and Ryan Jeffers singled to load the bases. Andrelton Simmons grounded into a double play, but the Twins did re-take the lead at 5-4. 

Veteran Juan Minaya came on for the seventh inning. He needed just six pitches to get three outs that inning. 

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Josh Donaldson drove in Jorge Polanco with a double to give the Twins a two-run lead. 

Despite a one-out single to Yelich, Minaya needed just 11 pitches to complete a scoreless eighth inning. 

Alexander Colome came in for the ninth inning, looking to record the save after a couple of bad outings earlier in the week. He got one out, but then things got interesting by walking a batter and serving up a single to Omar Narvaez. However, before Twins fans were even starting to get too nervous, Jace Peterson grounded out to Simmons who turned the double play to end the game. 

The Twins will play the Brewers on Sunday afternoon, having already won the series, and they lead the season series 4-1. This month, the Twins are 13-11 and have series wins over the Astros, the White Sox, Cleveland, the Rays and the Brewers. 

Bullpen Notes

Caleb Thielbar gets the win to improve to 6-0. 

Juan Minaya threw two scoreless innings. He hasn't allowed a run in nine of his past ten appearances. In that time frame, his ERA is just 1.29. In 14 innings, he has 17 strikeouts and the opponents are hitting just .128. The 30-year-old pitched in 125 games for the White Sox between 2016 and 2019. He spent 2020 at the Twins alternate site. He was actually called up for a couple of games, but before he got into a game, he was DFAd. He re-signed with the Twins on a minor league deal, and since his promotion, he has now pitched to a 3.20 ERA over 17 games and 25 1/3 innings. 

 

Postgame Interview

Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

  TUE WED THU FRI SAT TOT
Albers 0 0 0 88 0 88
Garza Jr. 0 24 4 0 0 28
Coulombe 0 19 0 20 0 39
Thielbar 14 22 0 0 23 59
Duffey 19 9 0 6 0 34
Colomé 0 20 0 13 13 46
Minaya 30 0 0 0 17 47
Gibaut 23 0 0 0 0 23
Alcalá 0 0 0 12 0 12
Barnes 0 0 0 0 64 64

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Rooker got on base by being hit. That seems to be his best strategy at this point. I'm very disappointed and how he has played. He's not young enough to keep taking time to develop. Of course putting in cave with a 187 average to replace Rooker with his 190 average has to be defense only. I'm looking for someone to replace both of them.  

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2 hours ago, beckmt said:

Does Minaya have a future here.  Some pitchers just develop later than others and he seem to be doing quite well. Or is it just SSS?

As pitching-poor as the Twins are right now, I think he might stay on the roster going in to 2022. There are a number of over-30 pitchers who have had moderate success that the Twins will need to decide on--Minaya, Coulombe, Farrell, Law and Thielbar. They can't and shouldn't keep them all, but two or three of them might help the club in 2022.

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3 hours ago, beckmt said:

Does Minaya have a future here.  Some pitchers just develop later than others and he seem to be doing quite well. Or is it just SSS?

He's not like a prospect. He's had a lot of MLB success. My thought would just be that bullpen guys are hard to predict. One bad year doesn't mean they're done. So, he's only 30... and if he keeps this up, might be hard to ignore. 

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2 hours ago, mikelink45 said:

Rooker got on base by being hit. That seems to be his best strategy at this point. I'm very disappointed and how he has played. He's not young enough to keep taking time to develop. Of course putting in cave with a 187 average to replace Rooker with his 190 average has to be defense only. I'm looking for someone to replace both of them.  

Kirilloff? Larnach? 

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44 minutes ago, Seth Stohs said:

Kirilloff? Larnach? 

I sure hope so.  Kiriloff has to heal, Larnach needs to find his confidence again.  I do suspect Sano will DH, Kiriloff when healthy at 1B, Larnach in OF, hopefully with Buxton and ??? I am not a Kepler fan.  Who is next on the prospect list for OF/1B/DH?  

Do you think Rooker will stick next year?

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1 hour ago, stringer bell said:

As pitching-poor as the Twins are right now, I think he might stay on the roster going in to 2022. There are a number of over-30 pitchers who have had moderate success that the Twins will need to decide on--Minaya, Coulombe, Farrell, Law and Thielbar. They can't and shouldn't keep them all, but two or three of them might help the club in 2022.

Law, Coulombe and Farrell probably do not have a future here.  Jury is out on Minaya and Thielbar.  They will have some holes to fill, but a lot of relievers are lighting it up in St. Paul and Wichita.  Still you will need to look at a lot of them next year.

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For as much crap as I give Sano, he's been hitting the ball pretty well since the All Star Break. I just wish that translated to a positive WPA. Sano's been good in low leverage (195 PA) , horrible in medium leverage (153 PA) and excellent in high leverage (57 PA) situations this year.

  • Low 195 PA - wRC+ 118
  • Med 153 PA - wRC+ 79
  • High 50 PA - wRC+ 140

In case folks are wondering, the low/med/high leverage performance has been somewhat consistent over Sano's career. Another trend is RISP strikeout rate. It's increased over the years. Back in 2015, it was actually under 30%. Sano was a very dangerous hitter with RISP. It's steadily climbed to its zenith of 38%+ over the past 3 years. He's frustrating to analyze because there is so much noise in his data.

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How about if we intentionally walk the first 2 hitters today. Then turn a first pitch triple play.  A one-pitch inning. We'd have to have a name for it. It would help me forget about that 3 pitch inning from the previous game.

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2 hours ago, bean5302 said:

For as much crap as I give Sano, he's been hitting the ball pretty well since the All Star Break. I just wish that translated to a positive WPA. Sano's been good in low leverage (195 PA) , horrible in medium leverage (153 PA) and excellent in high leverage (57 PA) situations this year.

  • Low 195 PA - wRC+ 118
  • Med 153 PA - wRC+ 79
  • High 50 PA - wRC+ 140

In case folks are wondering, the low/med/high leverage performance has been somewhat consistent over Sano's career. Another trend is RISP strikeout rate. It's increased over the years. Back in 2015, it was actually under 30%. Sano was a very dangerous hitter with RISP. It's steadily climbed to its zenith of 38%+ over the past 3 years. He's frustrating to analyze because there is so much noise in his data.

Right.  The only time I look at WPA is in these game summaries.  Sano's WPA is either near the top or near the bottom.  His great, superstar-caliber games only serve to pull him up into mediocrity as he goes 0-5 the rest of the time.

This isn't the only year of his career where he had this tendency. 

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11 hours ago, ToriiRules!! said:

Dear Rocco, will you just please leave Luis at the top of the order he seems to do a lot better when he knows where he’s hitting coming into the ball park!!!

Arraez should be leading off in every game he plays.

Now, even though they did the obvious thing and had him lead off ... they still burned the DH spot for the leadoff hitter.

One step forward, two steps back....

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1 hour ago, Dodecahedron said:

Arraez should be leading off in every game he plays.

Now, even though they did the obvious thing and had him lead off ... they still burned the DH spot for the leadoff hitter.

One step forward, two steps back....

This needs to be repeated every thread with the hopes that Rocco will eventually pull his head out of his fourth point of contact

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