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  • Game Recap: Athletics 6, Twins 1


    Thiéres Rabelo

    Once again the Twins offense was quiet and Matt Shoemaker, who was one out away from a quality start, ended up allowing five runs on three homers. Oakland crushed Minnesota to take the series opener at Target Field and the Twins now have the worst record in baseball.

    Image courtesy of © Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

    Box Score
    Shoemaker: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
    Home Runs: Donaldson (4)
    Bottom 3 WPA: Shoemaker -.166, Donaldson -132, Polanco -.092
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    chart.png.f70fc3c630f8f9f3399de86a1b03778b.png

    Shoemaker can’t benefit from the good defense behind him
    Matt Shoemaker had another awful start. The long ball really hurt him, again, as he gave up three extra-base hits, including three home runs. This shouldn’t come as a great surprise, since opposing hitters are posting a .518 SLG against him this year, a career-worst.

    He gave up a double during the first inning, but he went on to retire the next seven batters. Then Ramon Laureano hit a solo shot off of him in the third, to score the game’s first run. After going through the first two innings rather quietly, the offense immediately threatened, with Ben Rortvedt and Luis Arráez hitting back-to-back singles to open the bottom of the third. However, Minnesota was unable to capitalize.

    A’s starter Frankie Montas managed to dominate the Twins’ bats, limiting them to three hits in the first five innings. If the offense couldn’t help Shoemaker much, the defense behind him surely did all they could:

    But it wasn’t enough. Shoemaker gave up a leadoff walk in the fifth inning, which was followed by a two-run home run by catcher Sean Murphy. He then retired the next five batters, getting one out away from recording a quality start. But he walked Matt Champman in the sixth, before giving up a soul-crushing two-run, two-out home run, making it 5-0 Oakland. Shoemaker now accounts for ten of Minnesota’s league-worst 55 home runs allowed.

    Seventh inning rally falls short, A’s homer again
    Donaldson put the Twins on the board with a solo shot to lead off the bottom of the sixth, before Montas retired the side. Then, in the seventh, Willians Astudillo and Max Kepler renewed the hopes of Twins fans, when both of them reached to open the inning. Minnesota was one sing away from getting back in the game, but, again, they couldn’t capitalize. At this point, the Twins were 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position. Entering this game, Minnesota’s offense was posting a .652 OPS with men in scoring, one of their greatest struggles this season.

    Making his fourth appearance of the season for the Twins, Derek Law took over in the seventh and pitched a clean, 1-2-3 inning, in which he threw only sliders. 13 of them. But Mark Canha ended his scoreless streak by hitting a leadoff home run to open the eighth, making it 6-1 Oakland. He took care of the remaining batters, only giving up a walk to Chapman. After his two innings pitched tonight, Law has the second-best ERA (3.60) among active Twins relievers. Caleb Thielbar pitched a clean ninth, but the offense was quiet again in the bottom of the inning and that was the game.

    Postgame Interview

    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

      MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT
    Thielbar 0 41 0 0 29 70
    Law 0 19 13 0 35 67
    Anderson 0 0 54 0 0 54
    Alcala 0 12 0 16 0 28
    Rogers 0 0 0 20 0 20
    Duffey 0 0 16 0 0 16
    Colomé 0 0 15 0 0 15
    Robles 0 0 0 12 0 12

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    Another lifeless outing. All in all, I don’t think shoemaker pitched horribly, but he left too many pitches over the zone and the A’s crushed them. How the A’s won today is how the twins beat teams in 2019. Sure stinks to be on the other side of it. Another loss, another day of me questioning when some heat will come on the front office/Rocco/wes Johnson and the hitting coaches. This has been a total system failure. Even worse than 1.0 TSF. If there wasn’t any doubt about it before, it’s gone now. This team is DEAD. Call up Nick Gordon, Dakota Chalmers, Lewis Thorpe, and Dobnak to see what they have so we can make informed decisions on the 2022 roster. Throwing out Derek law, Kyle Garlick (he’s been good, but likely isn’t on the 2022 roster), shoemaker, and Caleb Thielbar do nothing. It’s time for the front office to shift their focus from “winning” to “talent identification, and the sooner the better

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    25 minutes ago, h2oface said:

    Good thing they are saving Rogers, Duffey, Robles, and Colome to blow future saves. No need wasting them in games that they can't blow saves.

    In save situations, you would much rather see them than the likes of Thielbar, Law, Anderson, etc.

    IDK but whenever Rocco puts a reliever in a high-leverage situation they fail every single time, no matter who it is so it probably doesn’t make a difference.

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    #1: Microcosm of the season.... Rocco inexplicably chooses Sano to 'pinch hit' when he currently cannot hit in any scenario much less 'we really need a hit here...who can we bring in' AND .... he shockingly strikes out.

    #2 For anyone who thinks that it is too early to fire Rocco.... Could this team be any worse with a new manager? Nope, I didn't think so. Is there any other team waiting in the wings to swoop him up as their manager in the future? Nope, I didn't think so. The manager is absolutely responsible when and entire team is under performing. If his is not, he literally has no job description.

    #3  We are leading the race for #1 draft pick!!!!!!!

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    It was easy to laugh about some of those Twins' teams in the past because we knew they were bad and everyone predicted they would be bad. This team was supposed to be a division winner or at the very least a wildcard team and yet, they don't play fundamentally sound baseball, which aggravates the level of exasperation. They've frequently made mental as well as physical errors in the field and on the base paths. The mentality of the pitching staff is troubling. How can all of these pitchers be having their worst seasons simultaneously? Opportune hitting has been non-existent. Maybe too many players trying to be home run heroes? (I was stunned in yesterday's game when Donaldson rolled one through the right side of the infield to drive in two runs because it seemed like the first time that someone had done anything like that in a month.) There must be internal issues that need some resolution. The team, on paper, is not this inept.  Someone mentioned that this team will win again this year, but when? I would have said this weekend if the Twins had scratched out even one win against the Pale Hose, but I would not bet on the Twins in either of the next two games.

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    The Twins are not a bad team in my opinion.  They are a decent team playing very bad baseball.  There are many reasons why they are struggling.  You can blame injuries, players struggling to be consistent, breakdowns in coaching and managing, etc.  For whatever reason the team is struggling, it doesn't excuse their mental mistakes, and their overall lack of spirit and pride.  They are letting things happen to them, rather than making things happen.  Too many center cut pitches swung on and missed.  Too many times lack of hustle costing them making a play on defense or offense.  Where's Rocco during all of this?  Looking at his tablet?  When's the last time he got into an umpire's face?  It's sometime the little and subtle things that help a team break out of a funk.  Nope, same thing every game.  Just waiting to win by coincidence, I guess.  Fans deserve a lot more than what they're getting in return.  I guess I couldn't blame a player here or there who only plays for a paycheck.  But, with the size of their paychecks, we should get a little bit more on the return of our investment.

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    3 hours ago, Lasorda_This_Out said:

    With a team this awful, can TD start a petition to bring back Ron Gardenhire for just the balance of 2021 to have some fun?

    BRING BACK GARDY!

    BRING BACK GARDY!

    I vote ABSOLUTELY NOT. NEVER. 10 THOUSAND FOREVERS BEFORE THAT SHOULD HAPPEN.

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    4 hours ago, Lasorda_This_Out said:

    Problem the Twins have is three fold:

    1. Bad team...duh?

    2. FSN aka Bally's is a Black Hole on streaming platforms. Losing the younger generation Big Time ( I'm ancient btw)

    3. Does anybody feel safe going to downtown Minneapolis at Target Field anymore?

    Recipe for a.......Relocation?

    Now I'll eat some lasagna...

    Tommy.....

    This is absolutely ridiculous 

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    4 hours ago, D.C Twins said:

    #1: Microcosm of the season.... Rocco inexplicably chooses Sano to 'pinch hit' when he currently cannot hit in any scenario much less 'we really need a hit here...who can we bring in' AND .... he shockingly strikes out.

    #2 For anyone who thinks that it is too early to fire Rocco.... Could this team be any worse with a new manager? Nope, I didn't think so. Is there any other team waiting in the wings to swoop him up as their manager in the future? Nope, I didn't think so. The manager is absolutely responsible when and entire team is under performing. If his is not, he literally has no job description.

    #3  We are leading the race for #1 draft pick!!!!!!!

    Yeah I really wanted to see Rordtvet (sp) come up to the plate there. The youngster was fired up all night after that nice hit, & I think he would have had a good AB. Totally disliked the move by Baldelli.

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    I propose trading Cruz.  He doesn't really deserve this, but also isn't making the difference.   Someone would take him, it might shake things up and make this Donaldson's team.  

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    When the opposition pitcher is standing on the mound, cap over mouth, chanting, "PH Sano, PH Sano, you know the manager made the wrong call.  Rocco will tell you that Sano was his chance for a 3 run bomb. The pitcher will tell you Sano was his chance to get out of a big inning! It sort of sums up the teams approach. Bombas score runs, making contact and situational hitting is for weenies! 

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    7 hours ago, Lasorda_This_Out said:

    Problem the Twins have is three fold:

    1. Bad team...duh?

    2. FSN aka Bally's is a Black Hole on streaming platforms. Losing the younger generation Big Time ( I'm ancient btw)

    3. Does anybody feel safe going to downtown Minneapolis at Target Field anymore?

    Recipe for a.......Relocation?

    Now I'll eat some lasagna...

    Tommy.....

    You first two points are valid if offsetting. The Ballys issue has to be concerning to the Twins, but they're locked into a long term deal.
    And they stink so bad it doesn't matter. Having fans unable to watch when they're good hurts though.

    The rest is ridiculous. It's perfectly safe to go to Target Field and the team has 20 years left on their lease. Stop it.

     

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    22 minutes ago, lukeduke1980 said:

    I propose trading Cruz.  He doesn't really deserve this, but also isn't making the difference.   Someone would take him, it might shake things up and make this Donaldson's team.  

    It's only a question of when. He's 40 and a free agent after the season. There's zero reason not to trade him.

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    7 hours ago, Lasorda_This_Out said:

    With a team this awful, can TD start a petition to bring back Ron Gardenhire for just the balance of 2021 to have some fun?

    BRING BACK GARDY!

    BRING BACK GARDY!

    As long as it's only for the rest of the season, I'm down. Rocco's awful. Gardy would inject some life in this team of robots.

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    Where's Rocco during all of this?  Looking at his tablet?  When's the last time he got into an umpire's face?

     

    I totally agree with this. He provides no spark, no fire, no enthusiasm. His dull lifeless attitude is infectious and his team has absorbed it into themselves and are playing exactly that way.

    Pinch hitting Sano who is all but guaranteed to strikeout in a clutch situation goes down as another highly questionable move but at this point what's the difference. Every thing he does turns out wrong.

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    12 minutes ago, rv78 said:

    Where's Rocco during all of this?  Looking at his tablet?  When's the last time he got into an umpire's face?

     

    I totally agree with this. He provides no spark, no fire, no enthusiasm. His dull lifeless attitude is infectious and his team has absorbed it into themselves and are playing exactly that way.

    Pinch hitting Sano who is all but guaranteed to strikeout in a clutch situation goes down as another highly questionable move but at this point what's the difference. Every thing he does turns out wrong.

    Yep.

    Cruz, Buxton, Berrios, Donaldson, and Arraez are all very passionate players. Well known for being gritty, gutty, and sometimes downright fiery. For a team composed of players like that to look so lifeless is baffling.

    Rocco's putting Nyquil in the Gatorade.

    This team is miserable. Watching them play is painful.

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    8 hours ago, D.C Twins said:

    #1: Microcosm of the season.... Rocco inexplicably chooses Sano to 'pinch hit' when he currently cannot hit in any scenario much less 'we really need a hit here...who can we bring in' AND .... he shockingly strikes out.

    #2 For anyone who thinks that it is too early to fire Rocco.... Could this team be any worse with a new manager? Nope, I didn't think so. Is there any other team waiting in the wings to swoop him up as their manager in the future? Nope, I didn't think so. The manager is absolutely responsible when and entire team is under performing. If his is not, he literally has no job description.

    #3  We are leading the race for #1 draft pick!!!!!!!

     

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    I am not a Rocco apologist he has done a very poor job this season.  But the guy who I believe won manager of the year in 2019 and won 2 division titles in his first 2 years isn't the only one that should be thrown under the bus.  Put the blame squarely on the players and front office.  Both of them are doing nothing.  Rocco should put his computer and analytic approach on at temporary haitus and try MANAGING.  It's too easy to fire the manager.  It's time to move some of these " veteran" players.  I surely don't know how the rookies and prospects could do any worse.

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    14 minutes ago, Whitey333 said:

    I am not a Rocco apologist he has done a very poor job this season.  But the guy who I believe won manager of the year in 2019 and won 2 division titles in his first 2 years isn't the only one that should be thrown under the bus.  Put the blame squarely on the players and front office.  Both of them are doing nothing.  Rocco should put his computer and analytic approach on at temporary haitus and try MANAGING.  It's too easy to fire the manager.  It's time to move some of these " veteran" players.  I surely don't know how the rookies and prospects could do any worse.

    Remember that Molitor won MOY too and then was let go.  Was Derek Shelton the reason we were better?  I know people believe in Rowson as hitting coach and he is gone.  There are so many weak spots right now I have no idea how it can be fixed, 

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    9 hours ago, Thiéres Rabelo said:

    Making his fourth appearance of the season for the Twins, Derek Law took over in the seventh and pitched a clean, 1-2-3 inning, in which he threw only sliders. 13 of them. But Mark Canha ended his scoreless streak by hitting a leadoff home run to open the eighth, making it 6-1 Oakland. He took care of the remaining batters, only giving up a walk to Chapman. After his two innings pitched tonight, Law has the second-best ERA (3.60) among active Twins relievers.

    Law’s “scoreless streak” with 5 out of 5 inherited runners allowed to score seems like a fitting distinction for the 2021 Twins. (5 hits and 4 walks in 3 innings over his 3 appearances prior to last night.)

    Law’s current 5.51 FIP is the third-worst among active Twins relievers, ahead of only Alcala and Anderson.

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    Did I read this right, Sano pinch hit for Rortvedt?

    But my main question is:  Is it too early to start looking at who will be available with the first overall pick in next year's draft?  I really like Royce Lewis, but it has been how many years since he was drafted and we are still waiting for him to arrive...yes, I know his injury isn't helping.  Hopefully, next year they will use the #1 pick to get some help soon! 

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    4 hours ago, howeda7 said:

    As long as it's only for the rest of the season, I'm down. Rocco's awful. Gardy would inject some life in this team of robots.

    At least the post game interviews would be more fun.

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    Did anyone on Planet Twins think that after Keplers single couldn't score Turtle from 2nd, Twins would actually score a run with 1st and 3rd no outs? Its nearly comical how many times they have loaded them up or had 2nd and 3rd with NO outs and never scored a run this season.

    Here's one for the books...when was the last time a team pinch hit a .121 hitter for a .111 hitter?

    Of the Twins 12 wins, only 5 of them have been 'close'. Two 2-0 wins and 3 one run games....but one of those should never have been. Twins were up 6-0 late and let Texas get 5 before Rogers somehow got the 3rd out. So clearly in the rare cases where Twins win, its usually a blowout. they are totally non-competitive once they fall behind.  Even a 1 run deficit is too big for these free swingers.

    I agree with those who feel Rocco needs to light a bonfire and start burning. Or someone on this roster needs the old closed door team meeting, where a lot of screaming and expletives are let out. Might sound immature, but heck they gotta try something different, don't they?

    When Sano comes up, he should never take a strike. He needs to swing at anything in or near the strike zone. Twins really aren't paying him to get walks.  Personally I think he needs to be sent down...preferably to AA...to play everyday and regain whatever is left to his confidence to square up a baseball. He can't help the Twins right now and all the blathering about how he 'can' carry the team on his back once he heats up is nonsense and wishful thiinking.

    Simmons is turning out to be a very mediocre pick-up. Has a decent glove. Can't (or isnt ) hitting worth a darn. Why not give Gordon a shot? See what he's got. Might turn out to be a nice surprise. What have they got to lose?

    Finally, I fear that once Buxton comes back...maybe in 3 weeks, he will play 5 or 6 games and then it will be: bruised this or that; pulled hammy; messed up hand or wrist; or pick anything else...and he'll be out for even a longer stretch. I'm beginning to lose hope that our superstar is just too fragile to play MLB at the level he wants to play it. His body won't let him.  Such a talent.....just isn't working. Just imagine a healthy everyday Buxton in our lineup.

    Cruz has 9 dingers so far. but lately you can see he too isn't driving the ball like we are used to seeing. He is 40 and perhaps this season will be it for him. If Twins are dead and buried by july 4, it might be a kindness to send him to a contender.

     

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    12 hours ago, Lasorda_This_Out said:

    Problem the Twins have is three fold:

    1. Bad team...duh?

    2. FSN aka Bally's is a Black Hole on streaming platforms. Losing the younger generation Big Time ( I'm ancient btw)

    3. Does anybody feel safe going to downtown Minneapolis at Target Field anymore?

    Recipe for a.......Relocation?

    Now I'll eat some lasagna...

    Tommy.....

    I was at the game last night and Minneapolis would have been utterly quiet if not for people cramming themselves into bars to celebrate the relaxed masking regulations. 

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