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Twins 4, White Sox 0: Ober Dominates as Wallner Slugs First Target Field Home Run


Twins Daily Contributor

Bailey Ober dominated the White Sox on Tuesday night. The tall right-hander struck out ten in seven innings of one-hit baseball, inducing twenty swings and misses. Matt Wallner hit his first home run at Target Field in the win.

Image courtesy of Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports

 

Box Score
Starting Pitcher: Bailey Ober 7.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 K
Homeruns: Matt Wallner (2)
Top 3 WPA: Bailey Ober .348, Jose Miranda .169, Jake Cave .029
Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)
1382437066_chart(22).png.f3e50557ce77b35a90942299a9b41160.png

Here’s how the Twins lined up to face the White Sox in the opening game of a three game series at Target Field on Tuesday night, their final home series of the 2022 season.

Ober and Out
With nine games remaining at the end of a 2022 season that has come to a sputtering halt, the Twins are left to look for positives. Bailey Ober stepped up in a big way on Tuesday night. The tall right-hander dominated a feeble White Sox lineup. Ober worked quickly, efficiently, and had pinpoint control. Over seven one-hit innings, he threw 73% strikes, struck out ten hitters, and induced twenty swings and misses.

Ober is one of many Twins whose season has been derailed by injuries. Furthermore, Ober’s timeline for return consistently shifted throughout the season as he spent significant portions of the season on the IL with groin problems. He reminded Twins fans what he is capable of on Tuesday and adds his name is a stable of possible starting pitching options for 2023, albeit one in which almost every name is also accompanied by health-related questions.

Plenty of Offense, Just Enough Runs
The Twins had plenty of traffic on the base paths on Tuesday night, with few early returns. Three consecutive singles from Jose Miranda, Gio Urshela, and Jake Cave gave Minnesota a one run lead in the bottom of the second inning. Doubles from Luis Arraez and Miranda added another run to the lead in the bottom of the third. The Twins had tallied nine hits, producing just two runs, when Matt Wallner stepped to the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning. Wallner hit his second home run of the season and first at Target Field. The moon shoot cleared the right field wall, giving Twins fans another exciting glimpse of a promising 2023 season storyline.

After surrendering his second hit in the top of the eighth inning, Ober was relieved by Griffin Jax, who made short work of the rest of the inning, striking out both hitters he faced on just ten pitches. Jhoan Duran closed the game for the Twins in the ninth inning, striking out two and bringing the total tally to 14 on the night for the Twins pitching staff. On a brisk, 56 degree night at Target Field, seeing the Twins put together an efficient, excellent performance in all phases of the game will be heartening for fans enjoying the dying embers of the 2022 season.

Bullpen Usage Chart

  FRI SAT SUN MON TUES TOT
             
Henriquez 0 0 68 0 0 68
Megill 28 0 32 0 0 60
Duran 0 24 0 0 15 39
Jax 0 27 0 0 10 37
Thielbar 10 13 0 0 0 23
Pagán 23 0 0 0 0 23
López 0 11 0 0 0 11
Fulmer 0 9 0 0 0 9
Moran 0 0 6 0 0 6

Next Up
On Wednesday, the Twins will continue their series against the White Sox. Josh Winder starts for Minnesota, against Johnny Cueto for the White Sox. First pitch is a 6:40 CT.

Postgame Interviews

 


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Away from TD site for awhile as Twins play has been more than depressing.  Can't say I watched tonight, but after seeing the impressive performance by Ober my mind wandered off into"what could have been mode.  So many problems with this team to fix before next year, but at least for tonight---a good feeling, especially beating the Sox.  Sure would be nice to see Winder complement Ober's performance with a strong outing tomorrow night.

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It was a great outing in a meaningless exhibition game where both sides were just playing it out.  

Obviously, we need to see this sustained during real in-year competition to get the hype train rolling again...

BUT it is still a lot better to seem him do this than to get knocked around!     

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Roy Smalley said it - Bailey Ober's performance was important because it gives the young pitcher a huge boost of confidence going into off season workouts. He knows now that his stuff is good enough to get multiple whiffs and swinging K's. Now he can shore up his strengths and work on eliminating his weak points. 

It would be nice to see a bit more velo on the heater, so he can use that as a K weapon, not just as a decoy. Otherwise, if his command remains good and his health is good, Ober looks like a very successful mlb pitcher.

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5 hours ago, darwin22 said:

Away from TD site for awhile as Twins play has been more than depressing.  Can't say I watched tonight, but after seeing the impressive performance by Ober my mind wandered off into"what could have been mode.  So many problems with this team to fix before next year, but at least for tonight---a good feeling, especially beating the Sox.  Sure would be nice to see Winder complement Ober's performance with a strong outing tomorrow night.

Then, Louie Varland on Thursday could throw a gem. 

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Couldn't be happier for this young man.  What a great outing and the Sox did have most of their big hitters in their lineup.

Gray, Mahle, Ryan, Maeda and Ober could be a very good starting 5 next spring.  Add Paddack for a late summer replacement along with Winder and Varland, SWR and maybe Balazovic and I don't see the Twins needing to bring in any big names this winter.  

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8 hours ago, jimbo92107 said:

Roy Smalley said it - Bailey Ober's performance was important because it gives the young pitcher a huge boost of confidence going into off season workouts. He knows now that his stuff is good enough to get multiple whiffs and swinging K's. Now he can shore up his strengths and work on eliminating his weak points. 

It would be nice to see a bit more velo on the heater, so he can use that as a K weapon, not just as a decoy. Otherwise, if his command remains good and his health is good, Ober looks like a very successful mlb pitcher.

I have always thought that Ober has had solid stuff. Not Ace or extremely dominating stuff, but good enough to go toe-to-toe against some of the games best. 

I agree that if he can add 2-3 mph on his heater and maintain control, he could be ruthless with the FB. Especially paired with this good slider and change. When he uses his height and wingspan to his advantage he shows that he is unbeatable. Look at his last strikeout against Abreu. That ball hit the ground 8 ft in front of homeplate and split the left-handed batters box. That just nasty.

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8 minutes ago, roger said:

Couldn't be happier for this young man.  What a great outing and the Sox did have most of their big hitters in their lineup.

Gray, Mahle, Ryan, Maeda and Ober could be a very good starting 5 next spring.  Add Paddack for a late summer replacement along with Winder and Varland, SWR and maybe Balazovic and I don't see the Twins needing to bring in any big names this winter.  

Not to put a downer on your wishes, but I think that was the idea this year, but then a few of those pitchers were derailed by injuries and poor performances. But I do agree with you that the 5 should be a strong starting core with Varland or Winder as our long-relief guy. Paddack I think will take that spot later next year, but its tough to say how his rehab might go. 

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30 minutes ago, mac098 said:

Not to put a downer on your wishes, but I think that was the idea this year, but then a few of those pitchers were derailed by injuries and poor performances. But I do agree with you that the 5 should be a strong starting core with Varland or Winder as our long-relief guy. Paddack I think will take that spot later next year, but its tough to say how his rehab might go. 

There was a quote from Paddack in today's Strib.  He said this rehab was going a bit slower than his last TJ.  Was targeting a return in August.

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4 hours ago, David Maro said:

With Ober going 7+ innings was Rocco in the dugout? I guess the idea of Ober to the pen next year has changed. 

This was an amazing outing by Ober, but in reality the end result wasn't much different than most games by Twins starters. He had a low pitch count, faced 24 and only allowed 3 base runners and one wiped out by a DP (and the Twins extended the lead to 4 in the 6th). He was perfect in the 5th and the 6th (which was required to continue pitching). In the 7th he walked the first guy and the next two were right handed and the runner was removed by a DP, If Sheets can to bat he would have been removed. .  In the 8th he was removed when a runner got on and 91 pitches.

To pitch that deep into a game the starter has to basically be perfect after the 5th and have a low pitch count and the opposite handed batter can't come up with guys on.

I not complaining just or criticizing the Rocco, just pointing out how things usually work.

 

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4 hours ago, roger said:

Gray, Mahle, Ryan, Maeda and Ober could be a very good starting 5 next spring.  Add Paddack for a late summer replacement along with Winder and Varland, SWR and maybe Balazovic and I don't see the Twins needing to bring in any big names this winter.  

I would still bring in another starting pitcher through free agency.

You see Gray, Mahle, Ryan, Maeda, Ober, Paddack, Winder, Varland, SWR and Balazovic

I see good, injured, decent, old & injured, injured and inexperienced, injured, injured and inexperienced, rookie, rookie and ineffective.

Almost everyone is either past their prime, coming into their prime or coming off an injury. They had nearly the same mix of pitchers this season and still gave 300 innings to Bundy, Archer and Smeltzer. It would be great to add someone like Kyle Gibson, Jameson Taillon or Noah Syndergaard to that group. They can move Maeda and/or Winder to the bullpen if needed to fit everyone on the roster.

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Ober looked terrific and it was really fun to watch him pitch. It's too bad that he's missed so much time this season, because he's been very good when he's pitched. He could be a strong part of the rotation next year if they can keep him healthy.

Wallner is doing fine for his first taste of MLB, but the Ks still make me nervous. He whiffs a LOT. But he's also got the power to hit a ball that for most batters would be a towering fly ball to shallow right and send it out. I have no problem with seeing him compete for spot next season.

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