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Twins 6, Guardians 7: Twins Late Rally Not Enough to Get Past Guardians


Dylan Bundy went 6 consecutive starts without giving up more than 2 earned runs and had 1 bad start in his previous 9 games. He's making $4MM this year. If he's the guy who fans expect to carry the team... 

In any case, Bundy gave up 4 of his 7 earned in the first inning and the bullpen is not ready to go in inning 1. Baldelli did what he thought he had to, and probably what I would have done and let Bundy go back out there for the 5th. It was playing with fire, but the bullpen has been taxed recently.

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2 hours ago, USAFChief said:

I think it's fair to question letting Bundy give up 12 hits and 7 runs in 4 and a third in the opener of the most important series of the season. They have a 14 man staff, ferpetesakes. What is he saving for? Next year?

And let's stop referring to other posters as "Rocco haters." 

For some reason there was less whining on this site when they were losing 90-100 games every year. Now it's Stribian. 

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1 minute ago, SanoMustGo said:

That's cause there was no one here to bitch

That simply isn’t the case. There were a lot of posters then, many have left the site for various reasons.

To everyone, please let’s get off this habit of characterizing posters and manager/players

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17 minutes ago, wabene said:

For some reason there was less whining on this site when they were losing 90-100 games every year. Now it's Stribian. 

To me, they have been losing games that they should have won through incompetent play this year, not being out hit, though late season lack of home runs is a hemorrhoid.

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5 minutes ago, Squirrel said:

That simply isn’t the case. There were a lot of posters then, many have left the site for various reasons.

To everyone, please let’s get off this habit of characterizing posters and manager/players

That was a bit tongue and cheek.  I was posting more and the end of last year, and there were plenty of posters around.

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It's the time of the season when the cream separates from the milk. That's why they play 162 not 140. Yet a lot of the Twins players won't even play 140 (Arraez leads the team with 123 games played to date) so they should be able to handle the last month of the season. Yet, where are they? Rocco has babied this team all season so they would be fresh down the stretch and most of them are AWOL. Great job Rocco implementing that part of the "Plan". It did you NO Good! 

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1 hour ago, wabene said:

For some reason there was less whining on this site when they were losing 90-100 games every year. Now it's Stribian. 

When you expect them to be bad, what is there to complain about?  When we are told they are good, when the team expects to make the playoffs we have the right to expect more from everyone involved.  The Twins are in third place - it is not the fans fault.

 

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6 hours ago, RJA said:

It is not looking good for the home team.  The pitching matchups favor Cleveland today and tomorrow, so the boys better bring their hitting shoes.  These next two games are make or break games as falling back by 4.5 games would be lethal, especially when the have to catch two teams.

Agreed.  When I looked ahead to this series I looked ahead to the pitching match ups as well.  Their top 3 guys fall between a 2.96 and a 3.55 ERA, with 155 innings or more, and we face all three this weekend.  Obviously in a 5 game series next week we are likely to see all 5 starters, so we will face these three again unless they go 6 deep.  That would mean 6 of our 8 games are against these 3 starters.  We are going to need our starters to step up and do as well, or this is not going to end well.  And it didn't start out great, either.  And Rocco needs to know when to hold em, and know when to fold em, and last night was a fold, not a hold when it comes to the starter.  He did do well to leave Sanchez in there for the length he did, but 1 for 2 didn't do it last night.  With Archer and TBD going this weekend (Varland?) the bullpen is going to be taxed, I fear, so let's hope everyone is on.  We need it now.  

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1 hour ago, Hosken Bombo Disco said:

They demote Louie Varland after Varland’s start in New York, even though his turn was to come up against KC at home on Tuesday. (Demote the local kid after a good debut and when he’s lined up to make his second start at home—questionable decision-making at best.)

It's actually great roster management. Because Varland was the extra player for the doubleheader they could send him down and bring him back without waiting 10 days. They brought up a fresh arm in Cole Sands which was desperately needed at the time. They can still have Varland take the mound against Kansas City and they got an extra relief pitcher for the 4 days in between. At the rate players are getting injured someone might even need to go in the injured list by next Tuesday.

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The Taylor Rogers trade was a bust.

Emilio Pagan has been pitching better than Rogers since about June.

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Byron Buxton has vanished, despite explicit efforts to monitor his health and manage his load

Byron Buxton played in more games this season than he has in any season since 2017.

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3 hours ago, Squirrel said:

And let’s stop referring to Rocco as ‘giving up’ or ‘has no brain’. All around this is just not good, on both sides

I don't believe he has ever given up, nor do I believe he isn't a smart baseball man overall.  But there are fair critiques here; it is all in the way they are presented.  Bear with me here:

Rocco won a crap ton of games when we hit 307 home runs.  He has lost a crap ton of games since the home runs have dried up some.  Must be a reason.  

Again, bear with me:  if a football team runs their offense consistently with the same game plan, run on first down, throw a down and out on 2nd, and throw a screen pass on 3rd, it won't take much more than a half to figure it out and defend them solidly.  When the coordinator doesn't stray from the plan very much, an occasional trick play or long pass maybe, but overall doesn't stray from plan A, they won't win much.  When a baseball offense bunts maybe a dozen times a year, seldom tries to steal a base, even more seldom uses a hit and run play, it becomes pretty easy for a team to defend them.  And when plan A is use your starter for the first two times through the order and use the BP for the rest of the game, it means every guy in the BP has to be on that day to win, or at least most of the time.  If someone has a bad day, there is little room for error, considering how the offense plays (see above).  So your offense relies on the HR too much of the time and the pitching staff relies on the BP too much of the time.  The end result is we score 3 runs or less 40 plus percent of the time, and blow saves too many games to be a winning club overall.  And when it appears the manager will not stray from plan A, which the last 3 full seasons have appeared to show, it is justifiable to ask why an otherwise very bright baseball man won't budge from the plan when it is not winning.  Fair?  And I agree that we should keep any name calling to ourselves.  But critiquing and criticizing are not the same; it is all in the delivery.   Anyway, that's my story, and I'm stickin to it.  :)  

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12 minutes ago, Mark G said:

I don't believe he has ever given up, nor do I believe he isn't a smart baseball man overall.  But there are fair critiques here; it is all in the way they are presented.  Bear with me here:

Rocco won a crap ton of games when we hit 307 home runs.  He has lost a crap ton of games since the home runs have dried up some.  Must be a reason.  

Again, bear with me:  if a football team runs their offense consistently with the same game plan, run on first down, throw a down and out on 2nd, and throw a screen pass on 3rd, it won't take much more than a half to figure it out and defend them solidly.  When the coordinator doesn't stray from the plan very much, an occasional trick play or long pass maybe, but overall doesn't stray from plan A, they won't win much.  When a baseball offense bunts maybe a dozen times a year, seldom tries to steal a base, even more seldom uses a hit and run play, it becomes pretty easy for a team to defend them.  And when plan A is use your starter for the first two times through the order and use the BP for the rest of the game, it means every guy in the BP has to be on that day to win, or at least most of the time.  If someone has a bad day, there is little room for error, considering how the offense plays (see above).  So your offense relies on the HR too much of the time and the pitching staff relies on the BP too much of the time.  The end result is we score 3 runs or less 40 plus percent of the time, and blow saves too many games to be a winning club overall.  And when it appears the manager will not stray from plan A, which the last 3 full seasons have appeared to show, it is justifiable to ask why an otherwise very bright baseball man won't budge from the plan when it is not winning.  Fair?  And I agree that we should keep any name calling to ourselves.  But critiquing and criticizing are not the same; it is all in the delivery.   Anyway, that's my story, and I'm stickin to it.  :)  

You misunderstood my post. I meant that comment as a moderator warning to just stop with personification of posters or players/managers as haters or heartless.. There are many here every night who say Rocco and the team have given up, that Rocco doesn’t know baseball, is brainless, etc. And there are many here who complain that everyone is being too negative or whiny or Rocco haters. I’m not telling anyone to not criticize play on the field, but to do so without making it personal by qualifying anyone as heartless, brainless and/or a hater.

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1 hour ago, Mark G said:

Rocco won a crap ton of games when we hit 307 home runs.  He has lost a crap ton of games since the home runs have dried up some. 

Seems like a narrative in search of some different set of outcomes than the actual.

2019: 307 HR (#1 in majors), .623 winning percentage

2020:  91 HR (#6), .600 pct  (shortened season)

2021: 228 HR (#5), ..451 pct

2022: 159 HR (#12), .504 pct (season not yet complete)

Rocco won the year after the 307 HR even though the HR somewhat declined relative to the rest of the league, the HR stayed at about that same relative level but the wins nevertheless took a nosedive, and finally the HR declined some more yet the wins bounced back some.

Not a very strong correlation IMO.

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5 minutes ago, ashbury said:

Seems like a narrative in search of some different set of outcomes than the actual.

2019: 307 HR (#1 in majors), .623 winning percentage

2020:  91 HR (#6), .600 pct  (shortened season)

2021: 228 HR (#5), ..451 pct

2022: 159 HR (#12), .504 pct (season not yet complete)

Rocco won the year after the 307 HR even though the HR somewhat declined relative to the rest of the league, the HR stayed at about that same relative level but the wins nevertheless took a nosedive, and finally the HR declined some more yet the wins bounced back some.

Not a very strong correlation IMO.

Not to mention, everyone had the same ball. It’s not like we were the only ones playing with a juiced ball.

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2 hours ago, DJL44 said:

It's actually great roster management. Because Varland was the extra player for the doubleheader they could send him down and bring him back without waiting 10 days. They brought up a fresh arm in Cole Sands which was desperately needed at the time. They can still have Varland take the mound against Kansas City and they got an extra relief pitcher for the 4 days in between. At the rate players are getting injured someone might even need to go in the injured list by next Tuesday.

Emilio Pagan has been pitching better than Rogers since about June.

Byron Buxton played in more games this season than he has in any season since 2017.

But, Buxton has been playing hurt/injured, and is not the same player that we have seen when healthy.  And, I wouldn't be surprised to not see him play again this season.

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34 minutes ago, ashbury said:

Seems like a narrative in search of some different set of outcomes than the actual.

2019: 307 HR (#1 in majors), .623 winning percentage

2020:  91 HR (#6), .600 pct  (shortened season)

2021: 228 HR (#5), ..451 pct

2022: 159 HR (#12), .504 pct (season not yet complete)

Rocco won the year after the 307 HR even though the HR somewhat declined relative to the rest of the league, the HR stayed at about that same relative level but the wins nevertheless took a nosedive, and finally the HR declined some more yet the wins bounced back some.

Not a very strong correlation IMO.

It is in my extremely humble opinion.  I don't count 60 game seasons, I only count full 162 game seasons, and for a reason; we started out this year 27-16 (a .628 percentage), and are 42-52 since (.447).  That is why I disregard '20.  And we have had 3 (almost) full seasons to get a sample from, so it is a fair thought process.  With the record number of home runs, we had a .623 winning percentage.  Since then, again, in full seasons (almost this one), we have a .475 winning  percentage.  (Just as an aside, where do you get the #12 from for this year?  My stat reference has them 7th in the AL in home runs with 159.  Not that it matters, I guess, but I am curious as to what I am missing, if anything.)  When we hit home runs we win, when we don't, well...........we don't.  A valid point in MEHO. 

Anyway, the entire point of my long winded post was that we waited for the home run at first, and, at first, it came.  Since then, it has not come nearly as often and we haven't won as often.  Time to change plan A, both on offense and in the pitching philosophy.  And it appears, at least to this extremely humble observer, that the man simply will not do that.  The question begs:  why?  A fair question that never seems to have an actual answer, other than he still believes, and always will, that plan A is the right plan, regardless of the roster he is given.  Very bright people can be stubborn at times, or simply believe in the plan, or philosophy, so strongly they stay the course believing it will come around in the end.  I am leaning toward the latter, but I wouldn't doubt the former, either.  If I am wrong, I will take my crow medium rare, thank you.   

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54 minutes ago, Squirrel said:

Not to mention, everyone had the same ball. It’s not like we were the only ones playing with a juiced ball.

You are right.  The Yankees finished one behind us in home runs, if I remember correctly, then cleaned our clocks in 3 straight in the playoffs.  I do seem to remember it boiled down to pitching in those games, considering they outscored us 23-7.  Same ball then, too.  (I say all of this tongue in cheek, not to argue with you). Good pitching will beat good hitting pretty much all the time.  We just didn't run into that much in our division, hence the big home run total.  It may have masked some underlying problems we have now seen the last couple of seasons.  Like no small ball.  Anyway, you get my drift.  Thanks for the give and take, it is always a pleasure.  I learn a lot from it.  

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14 minutes ago, Mark G said:

(Just as an aside, where do you get the #12 from for this year?  My stat reference has them 7th in the AL in home runs with 159. 

The rankings I gave were for MLB as a whole, not just the AL. 

While the 60-game season was certainly an unusual case, my own experience dealiing with data leads me to be very wary about discarding data.  "Small sample" by itself isn't a good reason, as you go on to point out by slicing the current season into segments - shall we throw out the first 43 games of this season, while we're cleansing data?  It's all data to consider.

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3 minutes ago, ashbury said:

The rankings I gave were for MLB as a whole, not just the AL.

While the 60-game season was certainly an unusual case, my own experience dealiing with data leads me to be very wary about discarding data.  "Small sample" by itself isn't a good reason, as you go on to point out by slicing the current season into segments.  It's all data.

Thanks for the clarification, I was just in the AL in the stats.

And I do not begrudge you that thought process, and you may be right in the long term, macro vs. micro sort of thing, but I still discount '20 for the very reason I outlined.  Fast starts do not make a team.  I could look at both NY teams this year; one has already lost its big lead, and the other is on the verge if it doesn't turn this around quick.  Atlanta started slow, and look at them now; see Tampa as well.  60 games can be counted as numbers in a total data collection covering several years, but each season lives or dies on it own sometimes, as well.  That is why I look at each individual season, as well as overall, like I said when I combined the last two.  Trends are both short term and long term.  Long term our trend seems to be that we have an organizational approach, regardless of the year to year roster.  That will win when the players have career years, like '19, but not when all things even out or there are injuries (see the last two seasons).  When that happens good organizations, and good game managers, alter their strategy.  I just constantly wonder why we don't seem willing or able to to that, other than we believe in it so strongly we are willing to take the losses until we get back to the wins.  I prefer adapting to the players we have.  Just a very long winded explanation of some of my posts.  :)  Thanks for the give and take.  I always learn from it.  

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1 hour ago, ashbury said:

Seems like a narrative in search of some different set of outcomes than the actual.

2019: 307 HR (#1 in majors), .623 winning percentage

2020:  91 HR (#6), .600 pct  (shortened season)

2021: 228 HR (#5), ..451 pct

2022: 159 HR (#12), .504 pct (season not yet complete)

Rocco won the year after the 307 HR even though the HR somewhat declined relative to the rest of the league, the HR stayed at about that same relative level but the wins nevertheless took a nosedive, and finally the HR declined some more yet the wins bounced back some.

Not a very strong correlation IMO.

What was the HR percentage before the Al Star Game vs after, it was after that the Twins loss rate increased.

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4 hours ago, mikelink45 said:

When you expect them to be bad, what is there to complain about?  When we are told they are good, when the team expects to make the playoffs we have the right to expect more from everyone involved.  The Twins are in third place - it is not the fans fault.

 

There are no promises, so how will you walk the journey? 

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7 hours ago, DJL44 said:

At the rate players are getting injured someone might even need to go in the injured list by next Tuesday.

Just wanted to note that Chris Archer injured himself a few hours later but I had nothing to do with it. I've never met him.

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47 minutes ago, Hosken Bombo Disco said:

And if this thing you say is great roster management does not happen, does it become great roster management in the other direction, then? 

Are you asking me if I think Varland deserves another start? Yes, I do think he deserves another start.

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While Buxton has played more games this season, he has played many of those games hurt, just to try and stay in the lineup. Outside of his 28 HR's, he hasn't performed well at the plate and to avoid injury we didn't see that dynamo in the outfield or on the bases. It wasn't real pretty. I would shut him down...hope for a more healthy player in 2023, but the reality seems to be the poor guy just cannot stay healthy.

Sano had a wasted season and will be gone. And I suspect for many he was forgotten long ago. Celestino is a rookie, yes, but being thrown in to everyday play has shown he's not ready. While the farm system may not be overflowing with talented outfielders, I have to wonder if Celestino will ever really 'make it'. Maybe?

Kepler has worn out his welcome in Minnesota and should not return in 2023. His potential seems to have peaked and its not good enough.  I'd like to see Correa return. And the pitching staff could sure use a dose of being healthy in 2023.

This season was an improvement from 2021, but the end of season flop has tempered that optimism. If somehow they find the magic beans and ascend the AL Central throne, I'll look back on this post and bow low for sure. But it would be a real shock if it happens.

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