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Twins 7, Blue Jays 3: Total Team Effort Gives Twins a Win


Twins Daily Contributor

Strong pitching, lots of hits, and big runs. This is what summer nights are supposed to be and what the Twins have continued to bring us over the past three games. The Twins held off the Blue Jays and took game three giving them a 2-1 lead in a big series. 

Box Score
SP: Dylan Bundy: 4 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 1 K (65 pitches, 45 strikes (69%))
Home Runs: Jose Miranda (11)
Top 3 WPA: Jorge Polanco (.204), Luis Arraez (.177), Jose Miranda (.163)

Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)
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Dylan Bundy started the game for the Twins on Saturday. He was able to hold off the Blue Jays through the first three innings, but the second time through the lineup, the Jays had seen enough of Bundy to capitalize on his pitches. Teoscar Hernandez doubled on a sharp line drive earlier and was brought home on a two-run homer from Bo Bichette tying up the game at 2-2 in the fourth inning. 

Bundy let two runs in but got out of the inning with no further issues. He had six strikeouts in his four innings, his best game since the Fourth of July against the White Sox.

On the Blue Jays side, Mitch White started out and did a decent job of trying to keep the Twins off the board. In the third inning Sandy Leon was walked, which got the momentum started. Luis Arraez ripped a ball down the first base line for a double. Both Leon and Arraez were brought home on sacrifice flies from Byron Buxton and Jorge Polanco to get the Twins on the board first.

The Twins were seeing doubles. Throughout the game, the team accumulated five doubles. In the fifth inning, Luis Arraez doubled and later scored on a Jorge Polanco double. The Twins led 3-2 through five innings.  

The momentum of the hits was exciting, giving it almost a playoff feel. Jose Miranda got his 11th home run, Nick Gordon stole a base and scored on a squeeze bunt from Sandy Leon, and Arraez had three hits and stole a base. Jake Cave, who has been on a tear since coming up from Triple-A St. Paul hit a stand up triple giving the Twins a 7-3 lead.  

The Twins lineups and bullpen in this series have been fun to watch. There is no longer a doom and gloom hanging over the team. The hitters are putting balls into play, the bullpen is controlling the momentum of the other team. 

The bullpen came in and owned one of the better teams in the league for the second night in a row. Between solid arms and great game management by Rocco Baldelli, the bullpen moved quickly and swiftly through each inning. Trevor Megill was first out of the 'pen and the only reliever to struggle was Griffin Jax, who let two on base with no outs. Baldelli called Jhoan Duran to the mound. 

The Twins bullpen gave up just one run. Jorge Lopez came in to end the game with the Twins taking game three of the four-game series. 

What’s Next?
The Twins finish out their four game series with the Blue Jays tomorrow, hoping to get a series win against one of the hardest teams in the league. 

Pitching matchup tomorrow:
Sunday 12:10 pm CST: Chris Archer (2-5, 4.05 ERA)  vs RHP Kevin Gausmann (8-8, 3.06 ERA) 

Postgame Interviews

Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
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Several comments to make: 1) Sandy León looks like an excellent pickup. He appears to live up to his rep as a receiver, has hit a little bit, and was able to get a bunt down to score a key run. 2) Nice to see the Twins add on after taking the lead in the middle innings. 3) Arraez got three hits, perhaps ending a (for him) long snag. 4) Available bullpen options for Sunday would be Sands, Thielbar, Megill and Pagán. Toronto has used their ‘pen a lot too, but they’ll have Gausman starting. 

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73 bullpen pitches Friday.  73 bullpen pitches Saturday.  Lopez used in a non-save situation after a save opportunity last night.  This is not sustainable.

But we're 4-2 against the Jays.  Six cylinders of a V8 engine tonight instead of the usual four. Awesome to see 7 extra base hits, a 3-hit night for Piranha Luis, and insurance runs in the 8th. Never boring and never quitting, our Twins of '22.

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Great win. Nice to see Polanco showing up with a couple clutch hits. More of that, please! Thank goodness for Miranda and Gordon once again. I saw Miranda's season stats last night while watching the game, made me curious how he stacks up with the rest of the squad....this one stood out.

Team RBI Leaders: 

Polanco 51 (88 games)
Buxton 47 (81 games)
Miranda 46 (70 games)

Next three in line are Urshela, Kepler and Sanchez.....bringing up the rear we have Carlos Correa, who is 7th on the team with 37 RBI in 83 games played. On pace for what, 52 RBI this year with about 17 HR? At this point in his career he's a nice defender with an adequate bat. He might very well be darn happy to accept his option next year from the Twins, as Carlos hasn't done himself any favors this year. 

On a side note, the Twins are likely going to finish the year with their RBI leader having 75 RBI or something like that. Yeeps. 

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Good to see Rocco push everyone to win the season series. Two days off next week should help get everyone back on track. Cole Sands might be asked to wear one in the series finale today. I hope he can surprise us. If not, summary judgement shouldn't be passed. I mean, the Blue Jays are the best hitting team (going by that archaic AVG stat) in baseball.

 

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3 hours ago, h2oface said:

Stubbornly bringing in Lopez to throw 17 after 30 less than 24 hours ago when the insurance runs were scored is a real head scratcher.

Pagan was warming up. Did we really want him to come in and give up 3 base runners and then Lopez to give up one mistake pitch for a homer? Imagine the comments then. Take the wins when we can get them and be happy.

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Wow.  Nice win.  Bundy only went 4 in Innings paving the way for 6 relievers.  Granted they didn't throw much individually but collectively was too much.  Curious decision to use Lopez after throwing 30 pitches just the day before.  Wasn't necessary with a 4 run lead. Makes him unavailable for Sunday when 4 inning Archer is starting.  Leaves a bad looking bullpen available for Sunday.  But you never know!?!? The young players have been carrying this team for a while.  The great Correa and Buxton went a combined 1-8.  They should be carrying this team but for the past several weeks their bats have been missing.  Nice win twins. Great contributions from our younger players

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1 minute ago, FlyingFinn said:

Pagan was warming up. Did we really want him to come in and give up 3 base runners and then Lopez to give up one mistake pitch for a homer? Imagine the comments then. Take the wins when we can get them and be happy.

I agree about Pagan.  However now Lopez is probably not available for Sunday.  Probably won't be needed as 4 inning Archer is pitching.  Pagan is awful.  And you are right, who wants him in there.  He shouldn't even be on the team.

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3 hours ago, big dog said:

I'm happy for Jake Cave. He's done yeoman work at AAA after being a big leaguer, glad to see him having some success. That triple last night was a big hit, at least for my blood pressure.

Cave is true tweener, stretched as a center fielder, not enough offense to be a regular corner OF. He reputedly works hard and he plays hard and hustles. Perk and Morneau made some references to having a better approach at the plate and he is healthy. He wasn’t a good fit with many LH corner OFs on the team, but he’s stayed available and now has a chance to stay in the majors. Good on Jake!

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37 minutes ago, Whitey333 said:

Wow.  Nice win.  Bundy only went 4 in Innings paving the way for 6 relievers.  Granted they didn't throw much individually but collectively was too much.  Curious decision to use Lopez after throwing 30 pitches just the day before.  Wasn't necessary with a 4 run lead. Makes him unavailable for Sunday when 4 inning Archer is starting.  Leaves a bad looking bullpen available for Sunday.  But you never know!?!? The young players have been carrying this team for a while.  The great Correa and Buxton went a combined 1-8.  They should be carrying this team but for the past several weeks their bats have been missing.  Nice win twins. Great contributions from our younger players

As someone pointed out in a different thread, Cole Sands will likely be used in long relief ... hopefully ... so perhaps won't necessitate using as many pen arms today? I'm not big on Cole Sands, but that seems like an appropriate usage for him, if he can get through 3 or 4 innings ... 

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In checking Lòpez' closer history (that is only this year), he hasn't worked three consecutive games all year, so I presume he is out for today, as are Fulmer, Duran and Jax. Sands and Pagán are rested and available and I presume both Thielbar and Megill could get an inning. Not a great scenario, but they did secure at least a split and won the season series vs. the Blue Jays.

Pagán has not been good this year and Sands hasn't shown he is ready to be a major league pitcher from his stats, but who do you replace them with? Both Winder and Moran are on the Injured List at triple A and given Toronto's lineup, I wouldn't want the lefty Smeltzer to face them. I have to believe that Smeltzer gets recalled for Sands after today, but that Pagán holds on to a spot because there aren't any better options.

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Nice well rounded win! Was refreshing to see a game that wasn't super high stress and not sitting there cursing because a 4 run lead is slipping through our fingers! Miranda & Gordon have been carrying the team in offense, but nice to see a few others hitting last night too! I know today's game looks a little ominous with lacking options in the bullpen and Archer not usually going past 4 innings, but we've been surprised before! Screw it lets go for the win, take 3 of 4! Grip & rip!!

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10 minutes ago, stringer bell said:

In checking Lopez' closer history (that is only this year), he hasn't worked three consecutive games all year, so I presume he is out for today, as are both Duran and Jax. Sands and Pagan are rested and available and I presume both Thielbar and Megill could get an inning. Not a great scenario, but they did secure at least a split and won the season series vs. the Blue Jays.

Pagan has not been good this year and Sands hasn't shown he is ready to be a major league pitcher from his stats, but who do you replace them with? Both Winder and Moran are on the Injured List at triple A and given Toronto's lineup, I wouldn't want the lefty Smeltzer to face them. I have to believe that Smeltzer gets recalled for Sands after today, but that Pagan holds on to a spot because there aren't any better options.

 Aaron Sanchez - don’t sleep on him. I’m thinking he is going to play a role for this team down the stretch possibly as both a spot starter and in the pen. Today I’d love it if he were the first off the bench once Archer is pulled after 3 or 4,

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Pennant chase: There are three teams in the race for the AL Central and perhaps a wild card. Each was playing a four game series. Right now, the Twins who were home underdogs against Toronto are 2-1. Chicago, which was a road favorite against Texas is 1-2, and Cleveland, which was a home underdog is 1-2. It wouldn't surprise me at all if all three teams come out of this 2-2. It seems that is the way it goes, the Twins aren't running away but Cleveland and Chicago haven't been able to overtake them. 

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28 minutes ago, stringer bell said:

Both Winder and Moran are on the Injured List at triple A

Moran is actually on the active roster and pitched on Friday night for the Saints. It will be Archer, Sands and Pagan today. If the game is tied or you have a close lead, you go to others. But I don't think there is any way we see Duran, Jax or Lopez. Still, I wouldn't have let Bundy go out there for the 5th and liked the bullpen usage yesterday to go for the win when you have the chance.

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Sure exciting to see a couple young guys performing so well.  Jake Cave is playing like a young man who does not want to ever go back to the minors.  May happen, but sure looks like someone who could start most of the games in left field the last third of the season.  And I can't find words to describe how well Nick Gordon is doing.  I was so disappointed in his play in the minors when year after year he would get hurt or sick and miss big chunks of games.  And when the year was over, his numbers just weren't there for someone drafted so high.  But he seems to be both healthy and settled in and the results are a heck of a lot better than I could have imagined.  Kid deserves to play most games and the results have certainly helped the Twins win lots of games.

I don't know what the answer is for Bundy.  Getting four inning starts destroys the bullpen.  With Archer going today and the pen worn out after most throwing back-to-back games almost guarantees a loss today.  Let's cross our fingers Archer can pitch into the 6th, but that is really wishful thinking.  Expect Cole Sands is going to get an opportunity to throw several innings.  With how strong the Blue Jays lineup is, let's hope he gets it done and it doesn't get real ugly.

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Jose Miranda is absolutely crushing it. So happy the Twins didn't include him in a deadline deal. He still needs a little work on his defense, but he hits enough that his bat will play almost anywhere on the field. He had a rough start and a challenging May, but since then he has been a terrific hitter. He's going to be a pillar of this team for years.

I'm really happy with what we're seeing from Nick Gordon, who I wasn't sure was going to hit enough to be anything other than "last man" roster spot who hung on through positional flexibility, but he's proving me wrong. He's hitting RHP well enough to add value rather than just fixing an injury problem, and surviving well enough on lefties that you don't need to pinch hit him immediately against a LHP. He's a quality baserunner with aggression out there, which is valuable. even if he was a little lucky on the squeeze play, that will happen because aggression forces mistakes.

Bundy is just too hittable for me. I get why he's still in the rotation, but he's easily our worst starter. I appreciate his health, but he's not bringing a lot more to the table right now, and he always gives up loud contact. Fortunately, I see little chance they'll pick up his option next year.

A good win. Be great if they can get the series win on sunday!

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29 minutes ago, Nashvilletwin said:

 Aaron Sanchez - don’t sleep on him. I’m thinking he is going to play a role for this team down the stretch possibly as both a spot starter and in the pen. Today I’d love it if he were the first off the bench once Archer is pulled after 3 or 4,

I agree that Sanchez looked pretty good and could eat some innings for this team. He is not on the active roster however as he was DFAed after his start. He was not happy about it but did clear wavers and is now at St Paul. 

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35 minutes ago, FlyingFinn said:

Moran is actually on the active roster and pitched on Friday night for the Saints. It will be Archer, Sands and Pagan today. If the game is tied or you have a close lead, you go to others. But I don't think there is any way we see Duran, Jax or Lopez. Still, I wouldn't have let Bundy go out there for the 5th and liked the bullpen usage yesterday to go for the win when you have the chance.

Yes, I see he is active. There is a rule that he must stay in the minors for 15 days after an option (unless he is replacing someone placed on the IL), correct? Unless a current pitcher goes on the IL, he is frozen until the 18th I think. 

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28 minutes ago, wabene said:

I agree that Sanchez looked pretty good and could eat some innings for this team. He is not on the active roster however as he was DFAed after his start. He was not happy about it but did clear wavers and is now at St Paul. 

I don''t know how unhappy Sanchez was. He had the option to declare himself a free agent, but chose to accept the outright to St. Paul. The players know the rules and all teams do this. A guy puts on the uniform and has one or no chances to impress and then is DFAed.

Sanchez may well get another chance and major league minimum money is pretty good ($700K) even for a day or two. 

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7 minutes ago, stringer bell said:

I don''t know how unhappy Sanchez was. He had the option to declare himself a free agent, but chose to accept the outright to St. Paul. The players know the rules and all teams do this. A guy puts on the uniform and has one or no chances to impress and then is DFAed.

Sanchez may well get another chance and major league minimum money is pretty good ($700K) even for a day or two. 

I'm just going off what Gleeman said on his podcast. He said he looked pretty shook up and called his wife. 

I can understand him accepting an assignment to St Paul, the team is winning and needs pitching, he might get another chance yet. 

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I think there’s a very good chance that Sanchez will get another opportunity to either start or be the long man for the Twins this season. All it takes is an IL stint for any starter in the short run and it wouldn’t surprise me if the overall plan is to replace Sands with Sanchez once the hold is over. I think he also hast to wait 10 or 15 days before he can be recalled. Same for Cotton. Frankly, I’d like either one of those guys In the bullpen the head of Pagán but I just don’t see the Twins giving up on his live arm without finding a way to get something in return. Giving his history, I am surprised that Archer has lasted this long into the season. Sanchez is his replacement at some point. Also, let’s not forget that Sanchez was essentially a Street free agent when the Twins picked him up after being released by Washington. It’s not like he’s got a lot of people clamoring for his services. Not surprising that he stayed with the one team that gave him a chance.

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bullpen setup for Sunday isn't ideal.  That's pretty much what we will get with Bundy and Archer on back to back days.  Blow through 5 BP arms each night asking them to go one inning each.  More reason would have liked to get another starter and have Archer in rotation and Bundy the long relief on the days Archer pitches.  Get another starter and pick your poison and release Bundy or Archer.  Bullpen killer when these guys start back to back games. Go Twins

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Feel bad for Sands being put int this situation, if Archer isn't good Sands will be asked to go multiple innings regardless of the outcome, if he is terrible this could be his last chance, or course if he can go out and pitcher 3 or 4 innings with 1 or less runs, he might have found his spot on the team. Good Luck Cole.

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