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  • Game Score: Blue Jays 5, Twins 2


    renabanena

    The offensive juices ran dry once again for the Twins, leading to a series split against the playoff-hopeful Blue Jays.

    Image courtesy of Matt Blewett, USA TODAY Sports

    Box Score:  
    Griffin Jax: 5 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 2 K (83 pitches, 61 strikes)
    Home Runs: Byron Buxton (16)
    Win Probability Chart: 
    chart (1).png

    Top 3 WPA: 

    1. Mitch Garver (.122)
    2. Byron Buxton (.096)
    3. Jake Cave (.091)

    Bottom 3 WPA: 

    1. Nick Gordon (-.188); Josh Donaldson (-.188)
    2. Griffin Jax (-.169)

    Jax Maxes Out
    It’s been a tough rookie season for Griffin Jax. After being called up in early June, Jax became a full-time starter almost immediately. He’s shown glimmers of hope, but today was not one of those days. After today’s outing, his ERA rose slightly to 6.78 on the season. Nothing to write home about, per se, but a good outing against the Blue Jays at that. This leaves questions to be asked about his role for next season. Ted Schwerzler took a look at the future of this role (and many others) earlier this week.  

    Lord Byron is Back! 
    Even the mighty need some time to heat up after returning from the IL. Since returning from the IL on August 27th, Byron Buxton hasn’t quite lived up to the bar of his MVP-caliber run in the first half of the season. 

    However, Buxton seems to be heating back up, just in time for the end of the season. Today, he hit his 6th home run of the month, putting him just one less than Jorge Polanco. Since coming back from the IL, the Twins have been 14-14 in games that Buxton plays in. Even though the games don’t matter on paper, Buxton gives hope to all Twins fans for next year on the horizon. In the meantime, enjoy Buxton’s bomb from today. 

    GarvSauce: Good as Gravy
    Mitch Garver finds himself in a very similar but elongated boat as Byron Buxton. Long IL stint: check. Painful recovery post IL stint: check. The past year hasn’t been kind to Mitch. 

    However, Garver continues to bounce back to his 2019 ways with another double today that almost left the ballpark. Since coming back from this latest stint, Garver has been a gravy train that can’t be stopped with back-to-back multi-hit games before today. If this continues, Garver will finish the season with a line slightly higher than his career numbers, showing that continued improvement is on the horizon. 

    Around the Bases
    Max Kepler came back to the lineup with two singles under his belt, his first multi-hit game since his undisclosed (but non-COVID) illness. Jake Cave hushed his haters by driving in the first run of the game. Although Miguel Sano later struck out to leave two runners stranded, he produced a big double off of Alek Manoah. Nick Vincent balked. 

    Bullpen Usage

      WED THU FRI SAT SUN TOT
    Vincent 0 13 0 0 33 46
    Coulombe 0 0 0 37 0 37
    Farrell 0 19 0 18 0 37
    Garza Jr. 0 16 0 0 18 34
    Barraclough 0 0 0 33 0 33
    Minaya 13 0 19 0 0 32
    Thielbar 0 14 0 0 17 31
    Duffey 12 0 17 0 0 29
    Colomé 24 0 5 0 0 29
    Moran 0 0 0 19 0 19
    Alcalá 10 0 6 0 0 16 

    Postgame Interviews

     

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    It's nice to see Buxton stabilizing what has been a rough return. While I believe this is really just things balancing out for him rather than some return to elite hitter, it's still nice to see him hit.

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    Regarding Jax:. Since when does giving up 4 earned runs in 5 innings signify a good start?  Regarding Buxton:. If you take away the hype of his great April, what you see now is much more closely aligned with his 7 year career stats.  Come on people, he is a good player but certainly not a superstar.  I hope they keep him but let's get real here.  A career .244 hitter over 7 years that only plays half time?  If we can get pitching for him a trade is not such a bad idea.

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    3 hours ago, Whitey333 said:

    Regarding Jax:. Since when does giving up 4 earned runs in 5 innings signify a good start?  Regarding Buxton:. If you take away the hype of his great April, what you see now is much more closely aligned with his 7 year career stats.  Come on people, he is a good player but certainly not a superstar.  I hope they keep him but let's get real here.  A career .244 hitter over 7 years that only plays half time?  If we can get pitching for him a trade is not such a bad idea.

    Buxton was slow coming back from injury, but has progressively gotten better week by week since then. Over the last 3 weeks he's hitting .273/.341/.584 with a normal BABIP. He's been scorching over the last week or two. Superstar or not, the Twins tend to win a lot more with him than without him and that's all that matters.

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    13 hours ago, mikelink45 said:

    I have not seen anything that gives Jax hope, but I do remember that Berrios also looked terrible his first year.  I hope Jax recovers from this start. 

    Berrios also showed a lot more 'stuff'. He just needed to stop tipping his pitches and make some adjustments back and forth.

    Jax's pedestrian 'stuff' does not give him the same basis for a breakthrough.

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