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What did we learn from the Astros series?


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Our Minnesota Twins came into the series against the Houston Astros red hot, winning 14 of their last 17 games. However, they were thoroughly dominated in three games, being outscored 21-3 in those three games.

Is it just that this team has a lot of injuries right now? Or do they not stack up well against good teams? What do you take away from this series?

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One do not forgot that Houston was just as, if not more hot, than the Twins entering on a 7 game winning streak of their own.  That being said, what I saw was two very different approaches of a line up.  Houston was making the Twins pitch them strikes.  They very rarely expanded the zone, and much of the time when they did it was a foul ball.  Was there some close pitches that could have gone Twins way that did not, sure, but overall they were all over the place and not making Houston swing.  On the other side the Houston pitchers were working the zone getting early strikes.  Then when Houston did have 2 strikes they were not trying to do too much but where find just getting ball in play opposite field for a hit. 

The Twins could not get hits with runners in scoring position, which went back to Oakland series too, which we swept, because Oakland failed to hit themselves.  I take little away from a single series, but if we continue to not get hits with runners in scoring position our pitching needs to be on point every game, which is not going to happen.  In the last 2 games we had plenty of chances to score runs and kept failing to do so.  Maybe a result of injuries and young hitters, or maybe just a slump.  We did have some solid line drives that were right at guys or good catches made, but so did Houston. 

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Houston seemed like the more experienced team and better prepared.  Their hitters were ready to battle.  I know it was just one series and the Twins aren't exactly at 100% but have to say it kind of reminded me of a playoff series where we look outclassed with no way to win.

We have some young guys especially on the pitching side so time\chances to get better but this series was a bit too much de ja vu for me.

 

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I don't know that I learned much of anything. Maybe got some confirmation on some things. Like the Twins aren't the 2nd best pitching staff in baseball. The Twins can't survive a bunch of injuries, especially to Buxton and Correa. The Twins strike out too much and are still not good at clutch hitting/having productive outs.

I guess I will say I noticed the young guys being better at going the other way and fighting some pitches off and not being all or nothing sluggers. Celestino and Lewis especially stood out in this series as being willing to shoot one through the right side if that's where the pitch is. Larnach has been better at the same sort of thing this year, but obviously didn't play this series. Overall it's giving me hope that the Sano and Sanchez types may be getting pushed out a little. Although, another confirmation I got was that the Twins still do things I don't understand like hitting Sanchez in the 3 hole when it looks like I could get him out right now. Their lineup construction can still baffle me sometimes.

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24 minutes ago, Dman said:

Houston seemed like the more experienced team and better prepared.  Their hitters were ready to battle.  I know it was just one series and the Twins aren't exactly at 100% but have to say it kind of reminded me of a playoff series where we look outclassed with no way to win.

We have some young guys especially on the pitching side so time\chances to get better but this series was a bit too much de ja vu for me.

 

We also faced playoff caliber pitching. Verlander is way better than anyone the Twins have had since Johan Santana. 

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We learned that Royce Lewis can play. Both at the plate and on the field he looked just fine against one of the better teams, with perhaps the hottest pitching staff going. This was the biggest news. Given all the troubles, all the hopes - we just saw with our own eyes. This young man is going to be a player. 

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What I learned was that that Twins starting pitchers are not as good as they have been pitching, not saying they are bad, just saying they aren't as good when pitching against real major league lineups. Also learned that Lewis looks like he will be pretty darn good some day and maybe sooner than I was expecting. Didn't learn but was reaffirmed that teams can't win when half of the lineup is inexperienced.

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Out managed. Out played. Outclassed.

Watching the Astros stuff the Twins into a locker like they did this week was rough. Not only did the Twins just roll over, they weren't even competitive.

It just showed me how far behind the Twins are in terms of talent. Before this series I was looking forward to a playoff run, but honestly after this drubbing I don't even want to see it.  I'd prefer Twins go 100% with the youth movement this year and focus on developing Miranda, Lewis, Ober, Ryan, and Winder. Jettison some guys at the break for some lottery tickets.

I've certainly come back to reality, this might be a 75 win team and we could be in for at least one long, depressing losing streak in the very near future.

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4 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

your two superstars are hurt. 

Buxton played 2/3 of the series and our best pitcher also took the hill against the 'Stros.

Twins weren't even close to being competitive in any of the games.

 

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8 minutes ago, bighat said:

Buxton played 2/3 of the series and our best pitcher also took the hill against the 'Stros.

Twins weren't even close to being competitive in any of the games.

 

I'm confused where I said they were. Also, it was three games.

They aren't as good as Houston, but I never thought they were. Nothing about that series changes my mind about the season. YMMV, of course.

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This Houston serie was very stormy, in different ways. Houston was much hotter than us after Altuve returned. Yes we were hot but we had many of our top guys & rotation out for Houston. Houston is a very good team on top that being hot. We'd need all our top players playing and on their game and that didn't happen. Houston pitched primarily RHPs and Larnach & Arraez were on the IL, Kiriloff is learning to play through pain and Kepler & Polanco were disappointing. Besides this I didn't understand why they didn't play Gordon's LH bat under Tingler. And as you said HOU was better prepared where they laid off pitches and got a lot calls where MN did not. MN game plan hit HRs.

Nevertheless, it was good experience for the younger players. Hopefully at post season everyone will be healthy & hot. I see the younger players getting better, veteran SPs Gray & Archer arrive 100%, Polanco, Correa and Kepler finally get hot. I have some doubt about other areas but hopefully the Twins can wade thru them resolve them.

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19 minutes ago, Vanimal46 said:

My takeaway is that it’s May 13th. And there is 4 months left in the season. 

Remember when we sucked a** against the Dodgers in the SECOND WEEK OF THE SEASON, and everyone was freaking out?!?! Then we went on a hot streak, and everyone was ready to buy World Series tickets?!?! 

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6 minutes ago, shortround81 said:

Remember when we sucked a** against the Dodgers in the SECOND SERIES OF THE SEASON, and everyone was freaking out?!?! Then we went on a hot streak, and everyone was ready to buy World Series tickets?!?! 

We could win the next 20+ games in a row, but if the first game to the Yankees in June is a loss, board up Target Field. It’s over. 

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3 minutes ago, Vanimal46 said:

We could win the next 20+ games in a row, but if the first game to the Yankees in June is a loss, board up Target Field. It’s over. 

The rest of the month will tell quite a bit about what is ahead this summer. The schedule should be considered easy. 4 against Clev, 3 against Oak (who has one three in a row), and 7 against KC and Detroit.  That is 20 games against not so great teams, if they can come out of this 13-7 they would be 31 - 21 heading into 9 games with NYY, TB and Seattle. But if they stumble to 10-10 or worse, not sure how they will make that ground up against the better teams.

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3 hours ago, dex8425 said:

We also faced playoff caliber pitching. Verlander is way better than anyone the Twins have had since Johan Santana. 

Verlander is a future HOF freak of nature.  No way for someone of his age, let alone someone who is coming of off TJ at his age still put up the velo and movement he does.  Verlander is in a league of his own with maybe Sherzer.  Verlander is way better than just about any teams pitching since the Twins had Santana in his prime. 

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7 minutes ago, gunnarthor said:

We're not as good as we looked when we were winning 14 out of 17 but we're not quite as bad as we looked against the Astros. We're a playoff team but the pitching will doom the team in the long run.

Our pitching was not good, but in the last game had we got a hit or two with runners in scoring position we could have won that game.  Also, in game two we had many chances in the first night of game 2 that if we came through with a hit or two it is a very much different ball game on how we use the pen. It does not matter how well you pitch if the team flat out scores 0 runs every game. 

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I didn't really learn anything.  Like @chpettit19, it confirmed a few things for me, but it played out about as I expected.  I really don't think this team stacks up well against the best teams in the league.  I understand that they're banged up, but I'm not convinced that that tilts this series, or the Dodgers series, in their favor.  The young guys will be up and down and probably get beat by veteran lineups like the Astros have.  And they just showed the rest of the league how to beat them.

I still think this is a playoff team, but with half the league making the playoffs, that's not the compliment that it used to be.  I still think they're capable of winning the division, but that's about it.

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10 hours ago, In My La Z boy said:

We learned that Royce Lewis can play. Both at the plate and on the field he looked just fine against one of the better teams, with perhaps the hottest pitching staff going. This was the biggest news. Given all the troubles, all the hopes - we just saw with our own eyes. This young man is going to be a player. 

This is exactly what I thought when I saw the post. To a far lesser extent, I was quite impressed by Gilberto Celestino. It takes good athletes to have great teams and we have seen a couple join the squad. I don't think Lewis is going back to St. Paul - he looks ready for MLB. 

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