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Game Score: Twins 7, Royals 3


The Twins finish the season on a high note with back-to-back wins and a series victory over the Royals. They end one of the most disappointing seasons in MLB history with a record 73-89 and last place in the AL Central. That and more in today's recap!

Box Score
Charlie Barnes: 2.2 IP, 7 H, 2 ER (3 R), 1 BB, 3 K
Homeruns: Polanco (33), Buxton (19)
Top 3 WPA: Polanco (.104), Minaya (.091), Vincent (.085)
Win Probability Chart (via Fangraphs)

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Twins Offense Strikes Early
It didn’t take but seven pitches for the Twins to take a three-run lead against rookie Jackson Kowar. After a single by Luis Arraez to start the game, Byron Buxton extended his MLB record with his 41st extra-base hit, and then Jorge Polanco went boom.

The onslaught continued with a Josh Donaldson walk, Max Kepler single, and an RBI single from Miguel Sanó making it 4-0 Twins before they recorded their first out with a Brent Rooker strikeout. A Nick Gordon fielder's choice scored Kepler and then Ryan Jeffers struck out to end the inning with a 5-0 cushion for Charlie Barnes.

The Twins were mostly quiet until the top of the lineup was due up for a third time in the top of the fifth. Arraez led off with another single before Buxton, once again, extended his MLB record with another extra-base hit…this time a four bagger to make it 7-0.

That would be the last of the Twins threats of the day as they were only able to muster up two more hits, another came from Arraez, in the last three innings of play.

Charlie Barnes Gets Knocked Out Early but Bullpen Finishes Year Strong
For the first time all season, Barnes wasn’t able to give the Twins four innings as he was pulled after just eight outs. In his 2 ⅔ innings he allowed nine baserunners and three runs (two earned). He actually posted a respectable 13-percent whiff percentage but when the Royals made contact, they averaged an exit velocity of 106.2 miles per hour, which was ultimately his demise.

Juan Minaya came on in relief and was able to hold the Royals to just the three runs followed by a two strikeout inning in the fourth.

Nick Vincent shined in his two innings needing only 15 pitches to strikeout two Royals and get six outs.

Not to be outdone by Vincent, Kyle Barraclough struck out the side in the seventh and added one more in the eighth before being pulled in favor of Jorge Alcala who finished the inning with a strikeout of his own.

Alcala pitched a clean ninth with two strikeouts and earned his first career save after blowing his first four opportunities this year.

  WED THU FRI SAT SUN TOT
Barraclough 0 14 0 0 36 50
Minaya 22 0 0 0 27 49
Thielbar 0 14 0 26 0 40
Farrell 0 0 38 0 0 38
Moran 0 0 38 0 0 38
Duffey 21 0 0 15 0 36
Alcalá 0 13 0 0 19 32
Vincent 0 16 0 0 15 31
Colomé 18 0 0 7 0 25
Coulombe 0 0 15 0 0 15
Garza Jr. 0 12 0 0 0 12

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19 minutes ago, USAFChief said:

"One of the most disappointing seasons in MLB history"??

A top contender in the 2021 preposterous statement tournament. Not even the most disappointing season this year.
 

The Nationals lost 97 games in a year they had Max Scherzer, Juan Soto, Trea Turner, Kyle Schwarber, and Josh Bell on roster. The Cubs lost 91 games with an even more talented lineup on roster during the season. 

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Not gonna lie this was a tough season to watch the Twins.  Being out of it almost from the very beginning of the season just sucked.  To be honest I am kind of glad the year is over.  Be good to have a fresh start next year.

Nice to get the win and not lose 90 games but still being last in a bad division hurts as well.  It will be interesting to see what this team does to try to solve their pitching woes.  Anyway glad this year is behind us as I am more than ready to move on.

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28 W - 28 L since 1 August.  Would we have been happy if they had gone .500 all season?  Given the promise that we thought '21 would have, mediocrity would have been just as bitter as the poor performance we've just experienced.  Let's be happy to put this one behind us. 

Wait'll next year!

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I believe it would qualify as one of the most disappointing seasons in TWINS history, not MLB history.  One stat I saw the other day involved the records since Target Field opened.  In the 12 years since since Target Field opened the Twins have missed the playoffs seven times and finished last 5 times.  Not a reflection of the beautiful ballpark but perhaps of organization philosophies.  Maybe they don't care where the team finished as long as a profit is made.

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It interesting to me that after a terrible season we are left with a debate over which adjective to assign to it.  We were last in the worst division - imagine if we were in the East.  Disappointment and shock are the best descriptors I have.  Because we all believed we were in a fight for the third division title in three years.   I do not know anyone or any service that foresaw this travesty.

I still see the lineup with the potential of a very good team, there are good prospects.  The season hinged on SP and RP and even with a few gems at the end, we go into 2022 knowing our best pitcher is gone.  So will 2022 be a surprise and a joy or do we have to go to the thesaurus for disappointment and shock again?

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3 hours ago, Whitey333 said:

I believe it would qualify as one of the most disappointing seasons in TWINS history, not MLB history.  One stat I saw the other day involved the records since Target Field opened.  In the 12 years since since Target Field opened the Twins have missed the playoffs seven times and finished last 5 times.  Not a reflection of the beautiful ballpark but perhaps of organization philosophies.  Maybe they don't care where the team finished as long as a profit is made.

I believe they have now missed the playoffs 8 times.   To put into perspective though, in that time period, the Indians have missed the playoffs 7 times.   the White Sox 10 times, the Tigers 8 times and the Royals 10 times.   Making the playoffs a third of the time when there are 5 teams trying for it every year isn't really so bad.   The last place finishes are more remarkable.

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5 hours ago, Dantes929 said:

I believe they have now missed the playoffs 8 times.   To put into perspective though, in that time period, the Indians have missed the playoffs 7 times.   the White Sox 10 times, the Tigers 8 times and the Royals 10 times.   Making the playoffs a third of the time when there are 5 teams trying for it every year isn't really so bad.   The last place finishes are more remarkable.

The Royals have made the playoffs twice in the past 35 years!

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