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Tigers 5, Twins 0: Bats Have No Answers For Skubal, Get Shut Out Again


Twins Daily Contributor

For the second consecutive night, the Twins’ offense was utterly dominated by Detroit pitching. Tigers starter Tarik Skubal pitched a gem, with seven shutout innings, while Bailey Ober had a rough fifth inning, basically putting the game out of reach. Minnesota has its first series loss in three weeks.

Box Score
Starting Pitcher: Bailey Ober, 6.0 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 4 K (86 pitches, 65 strikes, 75.6%)
Home Runs: none
Bottom 3 WPA: Bailey Ober (-.173), Trevor Larnach (-.108), José Miranda (-.062)
Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)
chart.png.5c30c1c15ba527225a66d291c90ed129.png

In the nightcap of Tuesday’s doubleheader, Minnesota’s offense was a no-show, making up for one of the team’s worst offensive displays of the season. Outside of Trevor Larnach, who hit a double and drew a walk, nothing worked for the Twins lineup, who got only three hits off Tigers pitching. Sadly, things didn’t look a lot different to start tonight’s game.

Lefty Tarik Skubal dominated the Twins' offense, tossing five scoreless frames in which he gave up only two hits and a walk. One of the hits and the walk both came in the first inning before he went on to retire nine consecutive Minnesota batters, comprising a couple of 1-2-3 innings.

The fifth inning was a divisive moment in this game, as until that point, Bailey Ober was having himself a very solid start and was giving the Twins a real chance to snatch the lead. He did have a shaky first inning, in which he gave up three hits, including a leadoff double. However, he did a fine job preventing Detroit from scoring more than a run.

The Tiger lineup went 1-for-11 against Ober starting at the final out of the first and only had a one-run lead to start the fifth. That’s when things went downhill for the Twins’ righty. Detroit scored four runs on five hits in the inning, three of which were extra-base hits – a Jeimer Candelario leadoff triple and back-to-back RBI doubles by Harold Castro and Jonathan Schoop.

Weirdly enough, Ober’s outing wasn’t a nightmare, despite the rough fifth innings. Through six innings of work, he threw 20 out of 26 first-pitch strikes and threw 75.6% strikes.

Skubal continued to obliterate Twins hitting, now with tons of run support. After giving up a single to Gio Urshela in the fourth, he faced the minimum for the remainder of the game, retiring ten in a row to complete seven shutout innings.

Trevor Megill threw two scoreless innings in relief of Ober, but the offense was still ineffective, even after Skubal left the game. Joe Jiménez retired the side on eleven pitches in the eighth, including two strikeouts, making it 13 consecutive Minnesota batters retired. Will Vest had no trouble closing out the game in the ninth, despite allowing a couple of runners to reach.

What’s Next?
The Twins remain in Detroit, where they close out the five-game series tomorrow, with the first pitch scheduled for 12:10 pm CDT. Minnesota brings Chris Archer (4.19 ERA) to the mound to duel righty Alex Faedo (3.00 ERA). Then, they head to Toronto, where they start a three-game series against the Blue Jays on Friday.

Postgame interview

Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

  SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT
             
Minaya 31 0 0 26 0 57
Megill 0 0 34 0 20 54
Jax 0 20 0 33 0 53
Moran 34 0 0 12 0 46
Thielbar 0 22 0 11 0 33
Duffey 20 0 0 0 0 20
Smith 0 0 16 0 0 16
Pagán 0 12 0 0 0 12
Duran 0 0 0 0 0 0
 

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It looks ugly, but Skubal has been quietly great this year and the Twins have been terrible against lefties. This one felt inevitable. While Garlick has been mashing lefties, I don't know if a playoff team can rely on him as their best hitter vs southpaws. 

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2 hours ago, twinssporto said:

Trotting out lineups like this is anyone really surprised by the offensive production? 

Yep, Jim Kaat specifically mentioned that yesterday, it messes with guys when they don't know if or where they will be playing or hitting in the lineup. Rocco needs to set a lineup and stick with it because his incompetence is killing this team again. 

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"Need to get healthy"? Huh? The Twins are really only missing Correa - the rest of the team they've assembled over the winter is right there on the field, gang. Who else is missing? Celestino? Lewis? Alcala? Are those core players on the team that we're supposed to be relying on here in 2022?

I think this may be the beginning of the end. This team has two pitchers, Gray and Ryan, that might give them a chance every night. Bundy and Archer are doing their best "Happ & Shoe" impersonations while Ober is looking more and more like the next Aaron Sledgers. The bullpen is coming back to earth (looking at you Joe Smith) and guys like Duffey and Theilbar are looking more and more like they'll be playing indy ball by this time next year.

The main problem is the offense, and really the keystone here is Buxton. He's straight up stopped hitting. 2 for his last 42 or something, with a bloop double and an infield single.

I do think that we can say that playing only the Tigers and Royals for like 3 weeks straight is probably not helping. Some variety and change of scenery might spark something. But I really do think it's on Buxton. I don't see any other way this team turns it around.

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17 minutes ago, rwilfong86 said:

Yep, Jim Kaat specifically mentioned that yesterday, it messes with guys when they don't know if or where they will be playing or hitting in the lineup. Rocco needs to set a lineup and stick with it because his incompetence is killing this team again. 

Thank you.  And thank Jim for me.  I no longer feel all alone.  :)  

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17 minutes ago, wsnydes said:

Some may find it interesting that the Twins had a 4 game lead in the division on May 4th.  Today, they have a 5 game lead.  

And scary at the same time.  They are 15-12 since May 4th and all but 6 of the 27 games were against Oakland, Baltimore, KC, and Detroit.  Just think of the lead they could have built.  

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2 minutes ago, Mark G said:

And scary at the same time.  They are 15-12 since May 4th and all but 6 of the 27 games were against Oakland, Baltimore, KC, and Detroit.  Just think of the lead they could have built.  

Exactly, there's a couple of ways to take that.  One, it's amazing that they've actually extended their lead after that stretch.  Yet, it's disappointing that they only gained one game over a very weak portion of the schedule.

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1 hour ago, rwilfong86 said:

Yep, Jim Kaat specifically mentioned that yesterday, it messes with guys when they don't know if or where they will be playing or hitting in the lineup. Rocco needs to set a lineup and stick with it because his incompetence is killing this team again. 

IMO Baldelli thinks of himself as a chess master. Where he likes to mix in 3-5 short RPs to fit the situation and mix up the line-up accordingly to analytics. Lot of good can be said about analytics but last minute whims prevents players to mentally prepare. Lot of good can be attributed to having a  player settled in a routine and not to rely so much on short relief and figuring in reliable long relief in almost every game and use short relief only when need be. And put a little nonbias human element in the game.

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5 minutes ago, Doctor Gast said:

IMO Baldelli thinks of himself as a chess master. Where he likes to mix in 3-5 short RPs to fit the situation and mix up the line-up accordingly to analytics. Lot of good can be said about analytics but last minute whims prevents players to mentally prepare. Lot of good can be attributed to having a  player settled in a routine and not to rely so much short relief and figuring in reliable long relief in every game and use short relief only when need be.

His unwillingness to adjust is super frustrating.

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Yes gaining one game with a 15-12 run is indicative only of a weak division.we have lost 6 of the last 9 games.  Looking at the starting lineup yesterday you knew right away it was a throwaway game.  Baldelli has too many of those.  He is totally incompetent.  Not having Buxton, Kepler, and one of the best hitters in baseball Aareaz in the lineup is ridiculous.  Lefty, lefty not withstanding, he should have had at least one or two of those in the lineup.  U noticed the tiger broadcasters we're miffed by his decision to sit those three players.  Right away, as in the past, he gave the impression he didn't care about winning.  Only his plan for the day.  He is inflexible and a totally incompetent in game manager.  Buxton has been a stiff for three weeks now.  He no longer is an asset.  At this point he is a liability.  An automatic out.  Most of the injuries/ illnesses were to players not projected to be starters everyday players, except Correa.   So let's not totally blame this on that.  Baldelli deserves a big blame for his share in this

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