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Twins 2, Orioles 1: Paddack, Bullpen Pitch Twins to Series-Opening Win 


Twins Daily Contributor

On a night when the Minnesota Twins offense only scored two runs. The Twins starter, Chris Paddack, and the bullpen carried the team to victory after combining to allow only one run. 

Box Score
SP Chris Paddack: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (81 pitches, 53 strikes (65.4%))
Home Runs: None
Top 3 WPA: Joe Smith (.208), Johan Duran (.191), Emilio Pagan (.137)

Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

image.png.2e61d61f090974ebc682e006687ecc14.png

The storylines existed for this game before the teams even took the field for warm-ups. It all begins with the Baltimore starter and old friend, Tyler Wells, a Twins 15th-round draft pick from 2016. Wells was selected by the Orioles last offseason in the Rule V draft and has been starting for the Orioles this season, coming into the game with a 5.54 ERA over four starts, and 13.0 innings pitched. 

The other leading storyline for Monday night's game was that Twins prospect Jose Miranda got his call up to the majors. The Twins number three prospect in Twins Daily’s prospect rankings started at third base while batting sixth in the Twins lineup. While playing at AAA St. Paul Miranda hit .256/.295/.442 with a .737 OPS, two home runs, ten doubles, and twelve RBIs.  

Twins Bats Scuffle Early Against Former Twins Prospect Tyler Wells 

Early on, the game came easy for the former Twins farmhand. Wells worked quickly through the first two innings and put up a perfect first three innings. In those first three innings, Wells was able to create several harmless pop-ups and collect two strikeouts. 

Wells was spotting his pitches well for strikes, and it was apparent even from the television camera angle that he was getting good movement on his breaking pitches. Finally, Luis Arraez found good contact on a Wells’ pitch to break through for the Twins first hit of the night in the fourth inning.  

Paddack Up for the Challenge

With Wells off to the perfect start, Chris Paddack gave the Twins 5.1 innings of a competitive start. There were plenty of long and loud outs throughout his start Monday night, but the key was most of them resulted in outs. Rougned Odor did get to Paddack for a triple which led to an Orioles run after Ramon Urias drove him home. 

Urias’ single led to the only earned run allowed by Paddack. The Twins right-hander did get into a bit of trouble in the fifth before Joe Smith came on to induce a ground ball double play and keep the Twins in front. Paddack collected eight swings and misses before leaving the game with the Twins leading the Orioles 2-1. 

Correa Continues to Deliver 

As Carlos Correa has been heating up over the past week, he continued to deliver for the Twins on Monday evening. This time it was in the form of an RBI single. Correa dropped the ball in the outfield grass with Byron Buxton standing on second base. This sixth inning scoring sequence feels like the situation envisioned when Correa was added to this lineup already featuring Buxton. 

Correa also flashed his glove again at a critical moment. Jorge Mateo drilled a line drive in the eighth inning with one on and no outs. Correa was there and able to snag the line drive out of the air for the first out and help Emilio Pagan complete the inning without allowing any runs. 

What’s Next? 

The Twins will look to pick up another win as they send Joe Ryan to the mound. Their hitters will hope to have better success against Bruce Zimmerman who is the scheduled starter for the Orioles. The Orioles lefty has been tough this year in 19 1/3 innings carrying a 0.93 ERA and 9.8 K/9

Postgame Interview 

Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

  THU FRI SAT SUN MON TOT
             
Jax 46 0 0 0 15 61
Coulombe 0 35 0 0 0 35
Stashak 18 0 14 0 0 32
Duran 0 0 20 0 10 30
Pagán 0 0 0 0 27 27
Duffey 8 0 0 17 0 25
Thielbar 0 0 15 0 0 15
Smith 0 0 9 0 2 11
Moran 0 0 0 0 0 0


 

 


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1 hour ago, Monkeypaws said:

Interesting fact: Paddack, in spite of loads more experience, is about a year and a half younger than Wells.

 

 

That's why you don't wait until they have burned many bullets in the minors and growing gray whiskers before bringing them up (as was the case in the past)🙄

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Bullpen management was interesting, but not “bad.” Duran is the best RP and was treated as such. Smith is this years Duffey where Rocco hands him the ball to get out of a situation and then let’s him have the night off. Nothing wrong with that. He’s been great. Jax over Duffey was surprising but needed. Jax has been good and Duffey has not. Think tomorrows late innings go with Duffey, Thielbar, and Smith if the games close. 

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Maybe a better team gets a few more timely hits or timely outs against us, but it wasn't a better team, it was the Orioles, and the Twins did what they needed to get the first W in a series where they should get at least 3 of 4.

After a couple early bullpen implosions I was pretty ready to criticize Rocco, but it hasn't taken him long to get Duran into big situations, and he seems to be trying to work Duffey and Thielbar back in slowly with the hopes they regain their stuff.  I wonder if the bullpen hierarchy will just be much flatter going forward.  I think Duran, Pagan, and Smith are the highest leverage guys right now, and I'm hopeful that Thielbar will work his way back, but we might just see whoever's arm is the freshest going in the close middle innings and medium leverage late innings.  After Duran and Smith, I don't know that I really trust anyone a whole lot right now, but I think they will mostly get it done in one or two inning stints not pitching back-to-back days.  The bullpen will probably continue to be this team's weak spot but I don't think it'll be a liability.

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I saw what I think is the stupidest tweet I've seen (and I am not on the tweeter, I just saw it in a thread about the game).  It was commenting on a Jeffers at bat where he hit the ball with an over 100 exit velocity and a launch angle of 36 degrees.  The tweet made it sound like a tremendous at bat for Jeffers.  And then it ended with "and a fly out".  So Jeffers made an out but the tweeter was ecstatic about his advanced metrics.  Oh barf!!!  I would rather Jeffers got a Texas League single or a seeing eye dribbler through the infield than a fly out that meets advanced metric standards of excellence.  

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In a recent interview Baldelli mentioned that he was concerned about Paddack using a slider that Baldi wasn't aware he had mastered. He said he'd prefer that Paddack stuck to pitches in his official repertoire. 

In this case, I disagree. Don't tell the young man not to throw his slider. Just tell him he's limited to three in the first game, then if results are positive, he can throw five in the next game, and so on. 

See how Baltimore's hitters were blasting line drives off Paddack's heater? That's why the man would rather mix in a few sliders early on, rather than a lot of fastballs early. Besides, sliders are fun to throw.

BTW, Joe Ryan should be taking notes from this game. Baltimore's hitters like to pounce on early fastballs. On the other hand, Ryan's fastballs miss bats...

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25 minutes ago, terrydactyls said:

The tweet made it sound like a tremendous at bat for Jeffers.  And then it ended with "and a fly out".  So Jeffers made an out but the tweeter was ecstatic about his advanced metrics.

I get what you're saying, but I think these folks are trying to show that even an out is sometimes indicative that a guy is getting (or is still) locked in, and that good things are happening with his swing. That gives me hope that the next one goes over the OF's head. Like you, I'd rather have any kind of hit than a loud out, but I like knowing that a player's bat is hot.

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Hitting the ball hard is good in that it obviously has a better chance of making it through the infield or finding the gap. But there is WAY too much emphasis put on speed and launch angle. "Hit 'em where they ain't". Which is also why I think putting on the shift for professionals is ridiculous. These guys "should" be able to get on base almost every time with the shift on.

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7 hours ago, Crackedfungo said:

DURAN looks like he is THE Closer we have looked for over the last several years.  Home Grown, and virtually unhittable (when he is ON).  Just filthy stuff.  His health is my only concern.,  He is an ALPHA on the mound, with the stuff to match

He does look good, agree with what you're saying. Not sure if he's "home grown" though, he came to the Twins organization in the Eduardo Escobar trade back in 2018. Arizona drafted him. That said he's spent as much time in the Twins org as he did in the AZ org by now, so by all means I think the Twins can take credit for a lot of his development.

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31 minutes ago, bighat said:

He does look good, agree with what you're saying. Not sure if he's "home grown" though, he came to the Twins organization in the Eduardo Escobar trade back in 2018. Arizona drafted him. That said he's spent as much time in the Twins org as he did in the AZ org by now, so by all means I think the Twins can take credit for a lot of his development.

In terms of acquisition strategy or asset management they are basically the same in my mind.  You see a big variance here in terms of that philosophy/strategy.  Many fans want immediate results and are big advocates of trading prospects for established players.  Trading for prospects is obviously philosophically and strategically the opposite side of that coin.  It requires the same type of insight / projection and most of these players required additional development.  If you look at how mid/small market teams have developed playoff teams.  Trading for prospects has been as important as drafting where trading for established players plays a very small role.

Deadline trades are looking like they are going to have a big impact on this team for the next several years.  Ryan / Duran / Alcala / Celestino already here and Martin / SWR not far off. 

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He's looking great so far. Here's how he compares to Graterol in the first three weeks:

JD 8 appearances, 12 innings, 8 H, 4 ER, 2 HR, 2 BB, 19 K, 0.833 WHIP

BG 9 appearances, 8 innings, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 HR, 5 BB, 9 K, 1.125 WHIP

I was really excited by Brusdar's stuff, but Jhoan is pretty spectacular.

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I hate to say it but kind of thought the pen would blow it in this one.  Pagan sure makes me nervous when he is out there.  I know WAR doesn't work this way but Smith should have like 3 WAR for saving inherited runners from killing us in three games.  I don't know what kind of magic he has but he has been the Anti-Colome so far this year.

This O's team has better pitching than I thought and I don't think this will be an easy series but we will see.  Really do need to take 3 of 4 from teams in this range so hopefully the bats show up.

Wells looked like the better of the two pitchers last night to me.  He was pounding the zone and his pitch count was low enough to go another inning but we were finally to getting hits on his stuff so I guess it made sense for them to take him out.  Imagine if we hadn't lost him in Rule V we would have one more arm from the pitching pipeline.

Most everyone got a hit and the pitching was excellent all around. It was a good team win last night.

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1 hour ago, Dman said:

I hate to say it but kind of thought the pen would blow it in this one.  Pagan sure makes me nervous when he is out there.  I know WAR doesn't work this way but Smith should have like 3 WAR for saving inherited runners from killing us in three games.  I don't know what kind of magic he has but he has been the Anti-Colome so far this year.

This O's team has better pitching than I thought and I don't think this will be an easy series but we will see.  Really do need to take 3 of 4 from teams in this range so hopefully the bats show up.

Wells looked like the better of the two pitchers last night to me.  He was pounding the zone and his pitch count was low enough to go another inning but we were finally to getting hits on his stuff so I guess it made sense for them to take him out.  Imagine if we hadn't lost him in Rule V we would have one more arm from the pitching pipeline.

Most everyone got a hit and the pitching was excellent all around. It was a good team win last night.

Had to think about your comment, Dman, that Wells was the better pitcher last night.  And yes, I agree with that.  But Paddack was also very good.  First game I have watched that he was pitching, really like how he throws it up there.  

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2 hours ago, roger said:

Had to think about your comment, Dman, that Wells was the better pitcher last night.  And yes, I agree with that.  But Paddack was also very good.  First game I have watched that he was pitching, really like how he throws it up there.  

Totally agree that Paddack has good stuff.  He really does get good movement on a lot of his pitches.  He just wasn't as fearless in the zone and first pitch strikes as Wells and that was the main gist of my comment.  They both technically pitched equally well with Paddack starting the 6th he probably should get the edge but Wells was more efficient IMO.  To your point I didn't mean to slight Paddacks excellent performance as much as point out how surprised I was that Wells went straight at the hitters with great success.

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Jax has been great out of the pen so far. And I'm personally not a fan of locking one guy into a closer role. I like having the best reliever come in whenever the leverage is highest and the opposition has their best hitters coming up. This time that was the ninth inning but other times it could be the 7th. The days of a true full time closer could be at an end.

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I thought the Twins were going blow away BAL, but Wells did a great job of limiting this high octane offense. We had great defense together with Smith coming in to put out the fire and Duran doing a great job as a closer.

Miranda got his feet wet in the MLB, I'd like him to have more momentum coming in. I see him plattooning at 1B.

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