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Twins 4, Yankees 3: Fourth Time's the Charm


Twins Daily Contributor

An ancient philosopher once said "fourth time's the charm." After a frustrating first three games in Yankees Stadium, the Twins snatched a win from the Bronx Bombers, moving to just 1.5 games behind Cleveland in the AL Central. 

Image courtesy of Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

 

Box Score
SP: Sonny Gray 6 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, BB, 7 K ( 79 pitches, 52 strikes (66%)
Home Runs: Carlos Correa (18)
Top 3 WPA:  Carlos Correa (.354), Michael Fullmer (.198), Gary Sanchez (.179)

Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)
)2315826_chart(1).png.e6a0aff64387ec7592b4c1508fc1206d.png

If the Twins ever needed a win, it was on Thursday night. 

Anchored by a stellar start from Sonny Gray, a quality night from Gary Sanchez, and a clutch homer from Carlos Correa, the Twins snuck away from enemy territory with a hard-fought 4-3 win. 

Minus giving up a two-run shot to Miguel Andujar in the second inning, Gray was rock-solid, pounding the zone consistently and relying on sound defense and a sneaky-good spread of strikeouts. 

The Twins fought back by putting two runs on the board in the fifth thanks to a pair of hits from some former Yankees. After leading off with a single and advancing on a wild pitch, Gio Urshela scored on a Gary Sanchez double to center field. Two batters later, Nick Gordon knocked an RBI single to left field that scored Sanchez and knotted the game. 

That wasn't the final story for the Twins offense; with Jake Cave on base (on a controversial call at first base), Carlos Correa went yard for the second night in a row to give the Twins a lead that would be enough to win the game. 

Criticized plenty recently for underwhelming results, it was great to see Correa come in clutch in a big-time moment. A clubhouse leader, Correa's worth has extended far beyond batting average and assists all season. 

With a close lead against an infamous offense, the Twins bullpen held true in the back four. Minus a wild pitch from Jorge Lopez that scored a run in the eighth, the pen was solid, allowing just two hits. Griffin Jax pitched a scoreless inning. Lopez came on for the 8th inning and immediately struggled. With a runner on third, he threw a wild pitch. Caleb Thielbar came on to face a pinch-hitting Giancarlo Stanton. After several pitches and foul balls, Thielbar struck out the former MVP on a great curveball.  

After Thielbar gave up a single but got the first out of the ninth inning. Michael Fulmer came on and gave up a double to Aaron Hicks. It may have been a good thing for the Twins as the empty base allowed them to walk Aaron Judge to load the bases with just one out. That didn't phase him. Fulmer struck out Gleyber Torres and drew a groundout from "former Twin" Isaiah Kiner-Falefa to secure the win for the Twins and bring some positive momentum prior to a big home series against Cleveland starting on Friday night. 

 

Up Next:
It's time to get out to Target Field. Just a game and half back, the Twins host the Guardians in a three-game series starting tomorrow night at 7:10. RHP Dylan Bundy will face off against RHP Cal Quantrill.

Postgame Interview

 

 

 

Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

 

  SUN MON TUE WED THU TOT
             
Davis 0 11 0 43 0 54
Duran 20 0 0 28 0 48
Megill 0 27 0 20 0 47
Thielbar 15 0 0 11 19 45
Fulmer 14 0 0 16 12 42
López 0 0 0 15 25 40
Pagán 0 22 0 16 0 38
Jax 8 0 0 12 17 37
Moran 0 0 0 29 0 29
Sanchez 0 0 0 0 0 0

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This win is a perfect nunc dimittis for me and this version of my favorite baseball team.  My commentary on the 2022 Twins ends here.

Root them on well, whatever happens.  The randomness in performance, the constant running on half an engine and the ludicrous volume of injuries are no longer worth my energy and time this autumn.  Go Twins.

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Hats off to Thielbar, the man is tough as nails and keeps getting it done. He's 35, but are we going to see him again next year? I like his moxie and would give it another go. Boy did he get some gift calls this time. Thought the umps always did us in at Yankee Stadium lol. Fulmer showed some guts as well. Lopez needs to chill out. 

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Man, I gave up on this one when it was bases loaded in the 9th and Fulmer pitching. When it finished, somehow I felt relieved rather than happy. Just relieved I didn't need to be angry again like yesterday.

 

Yay no more Yankees this year! (until the second round of the playoffs 😅)

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56 minutes ago, 3balls2strikes said:

Author David Young's: 

1) Gordon drove in Sanchez, not himself, 2) Fulmer did not get the first out of the 9th, 3) Bullpen spreadsheet is way off. 

But the Twins beat the Yankees! A miracle!

Thanks for pointing this out. I should have caught the first two and certainly should have noticed that the bullpen spreadsheet wasn't sorted.  I have made those changes and re-written portions as well. 

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I tip my hat to the guys!  Good win!

But is it just me?  As I look at the BP spread sheet I see 4 guys who appear unavailable tomorrow based on the number of pitches they threw the last 2 nights.  At least that has been the pattern throughout the year.  We might need Bundy to be a workhorse tomorrow.  

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I thought the game had finished when I checked ESPN for the score....it hadn't. There was a runner on first and one out in the 9th and Fullmer was pitching (I wondered why it wasn't Lopez to be honest) to Hicks. My first instinct and probably the right one was to check my email or get ready for the day ahead, but once Fullmer got ahead on Hicks, the temptation was even stronger to keep my eyes glued to the little dots on the screen. A two-strike double? It was if I was watching Evel Knievel at Cow Palace knowing by the lack of enough speed due to the cramped quarters and then his trajectory in the air that he couldn't quite make the jump, but I couldn't turn away.

After the free-pass to Judge, I assumed the game would end on something really weird, like two consecutive walks or a groundball error, where it would be hard to even walk off the field. I still couldn't look away. I voiced this aloud and rather nonchalantly, "The Twins are going to lose in the ninth." My wife said, "He could strikeout," when Torres was at the plate. I laughed a "Nelson-style" laugh. I went to the restroom and left my phone on the breakfast table. I came back and two-outs? I did a double-take on the score. "Hmm...it didn't say Twins 4 Yankees 5 Game Over; it still said Twins 4 Yankees 3. Torres was gone. Now came K-F. Considering that he had been a Twin all of 24 hours, it would be a cruel irony indeed if old K-F beat us once again. My wife again threw out some encouraging words about getting the last out or some such nonsense. On the 2-1 pitch I followed the red line indicating that the ball has been hit as it moved toward the right side of the diamond fully expecting to see the little circles move around the bases in the way that they do in our electronic world, but instead an "X" appeared meaning a groundout to second.

"They won," that's all I could say.

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Such optimism for a team that constantly makes mistakes from the Manager down to the 3rd string catcher. This Franchise will never win another World Series if they don't learn how to play fundamentally sound baseball and get a Manager that knows how to use his players. Major league players (Celestino) should not have to be schooled on how to advance on passed balls. The Manager should be smart enough to use his best hitter (Arraez) against his toughest opponents verses resting him when he just had a day off 2 days ago and play his best fielding starting shortstop (Correa) instead of a AAA guy (Palacios) verses putting him at DH. Or starting his worst hitting outfielder, (Hamilton) then pinch hitting for him with another poor hitter (Cave) when his best hitter (Arraez) is still sitting on the bench. Yes, the Twins finally beat the Yankees despite their best efforts from the Manager and poor play on the field to lose again.

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32 minutes ago, rv78 said:

Such optimism for a team that constantly makes mistakes from the Manager down to the 3rd string catcher. This Franchise will never win another World Series if they don't learn how to play fundamentally sound baseball and get a Manager that knows how to use his players. Major league players (Celestino) should not have to be schooled on how to advance on passed balls. The Manager should be smart enough to use his best hitter (Arraez) against his toughest opponents verses resting him when he just had a day off 2 days ago and play his best fielding starting shortstop (Correa) instead of a AAA guy (Palacios) verses putting him at DH. Or starting his worst hitting outfielder, (Hamilton) then pinch hitting for him with another poor hitter (Cave) when his best hitter (Arraez) is still sitting on the bench. Yes, the Twins finally beat the Yankees despite their best efforts from the Manager and poor play on the field to lose again.

It begs the question:  did the Twins win, or did the Yankees lose?  :)  

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My wife and I are watching the game on two different tvs; she's in the bedroom and I am in the living room.  There is wind and what appears to be a storm brewing outside.  The game is entering the bottom of the 9th and the electricity goes out.  Waiting for it to come back on and I get my phone and tune in on the Bally App; 13% charge left on my phone.  My wife can hear the game from upstairs and comes down to join me on the couch.  We are watching the end of the game, 8% charge; will we get to the end?  When the Twins win, we are yelling, "Yea, the Twins beat the Yankees, the Twins beat the Yankees," like it is the 87 World Series

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Twins won.  Not a great win.  It was pretty sloppy like most of their games this year.  Poor base running again.  After celestino forgot how many outs there were after not advancing to third on a passed ball, he should have been benched.  We have guys who play poor baseball and don't hustle.  Uninspiring and no hustle baseball falls directly on the manager.  Good job Correa.  Although it took over 130 games, you finally got a clutch hit.  Cleveland lined up their starting pitching this weekend to have their 3 best starters face us.  The Twins not so much so.  We have Bundy, Archer and TBD.  Not exactly the starters that terrify other teams.  8 of next 11 games against Cleveland.  Could be interesting.  Maybe not.

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It was so pleasant to get this win.  It is one of four so perspective is needed.  We are now 2 - 15 against the Yankees, Dodgers, and Astros and both wins are against the Yankees.

Is it just me or:

  1. Do you get the Pagan shakes when Lopez enters the game?
  2. I am enjoying Gordon at 2B more than Polanco
  3. It feels like they are pushing Hamilton to get into each game even though he has nothing since we got him.
  4. Hamilton with -0.1 WAR for us and Austin -0.`1 WAR for us and 6.71 era might not have been the best adds for September.
  5. We won despite a very questionable line up.  It felt like Rocco did not think we could win and then they did anyway. 
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It is turning out quite clearly that the Lopez acquisition was not a good one. The guy frankly has been terrible and his body language indicates he knows that. A nowhere near home plate wild pitch ball 4 allowing a run was simply mind blowing. He is not pitching with any confidence and he is definitely not closer material.

Hamilton pinch running for Sanchez and then immediately getting picked off. What a nightmare.  Twins need to get some regulars back. Will Buck be available this weekend? No way we compete with Cleveland if we continue to play poor fundamental baseball. the win last night salvaged the season...so far, but these next 3 games are key...with the Sox right there with us.

The win reminded me a little of the O's win against Toronto after getting blown out in the double header. It was a gasp, but nothing more. They were beat easily the next day pretty much ending their playoff hopes. They aren't good enough, yet.

Same with the Twins. They got a small reprieve last night but their play certainly hasn't been anywhere near good enough to sustain it against a better (albeit, underachieving team)  Guardians. Still, their destiny is in their hands if they can somehow pull things together. I'm starting to slot Lopez in the same hole as Pagan. Unreliable, with good stuff.

Glad they finally won, but still real concerned it won't matter.

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5 minutes ago, insagt1 said:

It is turning out quite clearly that the Lopez acquisition was not a good one. The guy frankly has been terrible and his body language indicates he knows that. A nowhere near home plate wild pitch ball 4 allowing a run was simply mind blowing. He is not pitching with any confidence and he is definitely not closer material.

Hamilton pinch running for Sanchez and then immediately getting picked off. What a nightmare.  Twins need to get some regulars back. Will Buck be available this weekend? No way we compete with Cleveland if we continue to play poor fundamental baseball. the win last night salvaged the season...so far, but these next 3 games are key...with the Sox right there with us.

The win reminded me a little of the O's win against Toronto after getting blown out in the double header. It was a gasp, but nothing more. They were beat easily the next day pretty much ending their playoff hopes. They aren't good enough, yet.

Same with the Twins. They got a small reprieve last night but their play certainly hasn't been anywhere near good enough to sustain it against a better (albeit, underachieving team)  Guardians. Still, their destiny is in their hands if they can somehow pull things together. I'm starting to slot Lopez in the same hole as Pagan. Unreliable, with good stuff.

Glad they finally won, but still real concerned it won't matter.

Hamilton - caught stealing, Stumbled at third, and picked off.  Some addition to the team! He and Davis are an example of a FO weakness when it comes to picking up and even just picking players to add to the roster.  

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3 minutes ago, mikelink45 said:

Hamilton - caught stealing, Stumbled at third, and picked off.  Some addition to the team! He and Davis are an example of a FO weakness when it comes to picking up and even just picking players to add to the roster.  

Last night it was the rookie Hamilton who was caught snoozing. But Billy H has not exactly justified his spot on the roster either has he.

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10 minutes ago, insagt1 said:

Last night it was the rookie Hamilton who was caught snoozing. But Billy H has not exactly justified his spot on the roster either has he.

Thanks for the correction I forgot we have two Hamiltons - add them together and we still are wasting roster space. 

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3 hours ago, rv78 said:

Such optimism for a team that constantly makes mistakes from the Manager down to the 3rd string catcher. This Franchise will never win another World Series if they don't learn how to play fundamentally sound baseball and get a Manager that knows how to use his players. Major league players (Celestino) should not have to be schooled on how to advance on passed balls. The Manager should be smart enough to use his best hitter (Arraez) against his toughest opponents verses resting him when he just had a day off 2 days ago and play his best fielding starting shortstop (Correa) instead of a AAA guy (Palacios) verses putting him at DH. Or starting his worst hitting outfielder, (Hamilton) then pinch hitting for him with another poor hitter (Cave) when his best hitter (Arraez) is still sitting on the bench. Yes, the Twins finally beat the Yankees despite their best efforts from the Manager and poor play on the field to lose again.

I agree that the coaching staff is bad. They brought in Hamilton to be a designated pinch runner yet they start him in the OF then pull him early, taking away your best pinch runner. So put a catcher in to P.R.? Watch him get picked off when he seems to be daydreaming? And what is up with Celestino? He should be one of the best (Quickest) base runners, but he seems to be choking under pressure. Then add in the fact the pen was stressed due to the 21 inning double header, and they pull Gray when he was pitching well, so Jax could pitch to the lower half of the lineup? Why not let Gray at least begin the inning and save a few more pitches from the pen! Who knows, maybe he gets thru the inning, maybe not, but IMO it would have been the wise move, and one a good manager would make.

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10 hours ago, Mark G said:

I tip my hat to the guys!  Good win!

But is it just me?  As I look at the BP spread sheet I see 4 guys who appear unavailable tomorrow based on the number of pitches they threw the last 2 nights.  At least that has been the pattern throughout the year.  We might need Bundy to be a workhorse tomorrow.  

The last two innings were interesting  ;ut a win is a win  ...

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A win is a win is a win!

But this team is not a good team right now.  I guess with four or five starters AAAA type players, that should be expected.

But what happened to learning the fundamentals before reaching AAA?  I have noticed before that Celestino made T-ball type mistakes on the bases.  Not taking third on the passed ball was another, then followed by getting doubled off second on a routine flyball to left.  And Hamilton's only role on this team is as an emergency catcher.  Don't know why he pinch runs for Sanchez, cause then we no longer have an emergency catcher.  And if that is his main role, to get picked off is a cardinal sin.   Think Palacios also made a mistake earlier, but it was so early I lost track what it was.

Add Sanchez not blocking Lopez' wild pitch and there were too many mistakes by the home town 9.  Kind of the reason they have been mediocre at best the last couple months.

 

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