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  • Game Recap: Mariners 10, Twins 0


    Jamie Cameron

    The Twins' exhausting season dragged on Tuesday, as they lost their second game of a six game road trip and dropped their sixth game in their last eight.

    Image courtesy of Image Courtesy of Joe Nicholson - USA Today Sports

    Box Score

    Happ: 4 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 5 K

    Home Runs: None

    Bottom 3 WPA: Happ -.322, Kirilloff -.046, Polanco -.044

    Win Probability Chart (via Fangraphs)

    Mariners.png.dbe42c34835d8c4083aa07978d689a7d.png

    As the summer heatwave continued to blast Minneapolis, the Twins continued their frigid play in Seattle Tuesday night, dropping game two of their three game set to the Mariners 10-0.

    The Twins had mixed injury news Tuesday. Luis Arraez returned to the lineup from a shoulder injury which kept him out for several weeks.

    Meanwhile, the Twins continued to be without their talismanic center-fielder Byron Buxton, who, is still not 100% to return from a hip injury, leaving Nick Gordon to man center field as the Twins continue to MacGyver outfield solutions.

    The action on the field was stale and the game got late, early from a Twins perspective. J.A. Happ gave up a home run to J.P. Crawford on the first pitch of the game, a center cut fastball which was swatted into the right field seats. The pitch, the outcome, and the speed of its departure were all emblematic of the Twins 2021 season. Good planning and intentions, horrendous execution, horrible outcome.

    The game was ostensibly over by the second inning, which unfolded as follows; walk, single, single, 3 run triple, ground out, passed ball, strike out, hit by pitch, pop out. An increasingly disenfranchised looking and ineffective Happ left the mound after two innings with his team in a 5-0 hole.

    The Mariners added to a lead they never looked like they were going to surrender in the 4th, adding a run on three singles and generating the third mound visit of the night for Happ during what was to be his last inning. The Mariners added solo home runs in the 7th inning from Luis Torrens, and the 8th from Ty France. The France home run took the game to 10-0, in which Griffin Jax became the sacrificial lamb, throwing four innings on 93 pitches, albeit slightly more effectively than Happ.

    Offensively, the Twins offered little to nothing in what was one of their flattest performances in 2021. Singles from Cruz, Arraez, and two from Kirilloff were the lone offerings on an evening when Chris Flexen pitched eight innings of shutout baseball, striking out eight. What else is there to say?

    Mauer Charity Drive

    In happier Twins news, Joe Mauer’s home run derby raised $347,838 for Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. Any of the old boys want to come out of retirement to help the 2021 squad?

    Bleacher Tweets

    On my recap days, I’m going to throw in a crowd sourced statistic, joke, story, or complaint to get more voices into the recap. Tonight's Bleacher Tweet is courtesy of Andrew Luedtke.

    But what happens when everyone is terrible, Andrew?

    Bullpen Usage Chart

      THU FRI SAT SUN MON TUE TOT
    Jax 0 0 0 0 0 93 93
    Shoemaker 0 35 0 43 0 0 78
    Duffey 20 22 0 0 10 0 52
    Farrell 23 0 0 0 24 0 47
    Robles 11 0 15 0 17 0 43
    Alcalá 7 15 0 0 19 0 41
    Dobnak 0 0 0 40 0 0 40
    Colomé 0 0 0 24 0 0 24
    Rogers 0 3 9 0 0 0 12

    What’s Next?

    On Wednesday, the Twins will send Bailey Ober to the hill against Justus Sheffield. First pitch is at 9:10 CT.

     

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    Children!

    You disappoint Mother Elektra!  Stop Posing as Major Leaguers and start playing up to her standards!

    elektra-abundance.jpg.6d0172561100b2f6ea977b044b39f83a.jpg

    Removing tongue from cheek, Mother Elektra notes that our 2021 Twins are on the verge of a woefully historic performance.  At 26 - 41, they now own a .388 win percentage, exactly a tenth of a point below the season result in 2011, the beginning of their seven-year bout with awfulness that bottomed with the club's all-time worst (.364) 2016 effort. [Personal note: Having directly witnessed the futility of '81 (.376) and '82 (.370), until today it had not dawned on me that the Twin' absolute nadir was of much more recent vintage]

    We've noted that this is the 30th anniversary of the 1991 World Series winners, but few have remarked that 2021 marks the 60th year of Major League Baseball in Minnesota.  Let's hope this club can find some way to salvage a bit of pride and commemorate these landmarks by at least exceeding the 1961 squad's 70 - 90 (.438) record.

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    This game was over after one pitch from the Twins? That's just so symbolic of this season.

    I had to look up the definition of talismanic:

    relating to or of the nature of a talisman or talismans.

    "symbolism can be attached to talismanic objects"

    representing and inspiring a particular group.

    "they are without their talismanic captain"

    We can keep learning even during this bleak 2021 Twins season. 

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    Great performance from Flexen. He was available this winter. While our front office continues to fill the back end of the rotation with decline phase veterans the Mariners found a 26 year old that might help them at the end of the rotation for a few years.

     We need a front office that can find potentially useful players like Flexen. Anyone can hope on getting another year of back end pitching from Happ or Shoemaker. Neither is more than a one year hope and the problem of the back end persists to the next off season. 

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    "The game was ostensibly over by the second inning, which unfolded as follows; walk, single, single, 3 run triple, ground out, passed ball, strike out, hit by pitch, pop out. An increasingly disenfranchised looking and ineffective Happ left the mound after two innings with his team in a 5-0 hole."

    When I woke up this morning and saw the final score, this is exactly the type of paragraph that I expected to see in the postmortem.  

    The ship has sunk, now hurtling towards the sea floor.

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    How can Kirilloff have the 2nd worst WPA for the Twins when he had 2 of their 4 hits in a 10-0 blowout?

    Is this an example of those wonderful advanced stats showing how meaningful they are again?

    Like Happ and Jax each struck out more than a batter per inning in their outings.  Look at where that got them...

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    6 minutes ago, puckstopper1 said:

    How can Kirilloff have the 2nd worst WPA for the Twins when he had 2 of their 4 hits in a 10-0 blowout?

    Is this an example of those wonderful advanced stats showing how meaningful they are again?

    Because WPA takes the context of the game into account. A batter getting a hit in an 8-0 game has much less impact than that same batter getting out with a runner on base in a 3-0 or 0-0 game. Blowouts effectively negate WPA, as they should.

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    7 minutes ago, puckstopper1 said:

     

    Like Happ and Jax each struck out more than a batter per inning in their outings.  Look at where that got them...

    Personally, I ignore WPA.

    On the K/9, it's an example of why K % is the better measure.

     

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    Read on the game thread that by the 5th inning the Mariners had a 94% chance of victory, the Twins - 0%. I suppose the other 6% belonged to the probability that Mt. Rainier would erupt and cover the ballpark in volcanic flow. Soooo, an inanimate pile of rock had a greater probability of a winning outcome than the Twins. Wonder if it can pitch....

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    It is almost mesmerizing to watch a catastrophe up close.  Not pleasing, not fun, but hard to look away.  

    I could not even remember who our pitchers were last year - I had to look it up because I can not understand how our team has fallen so fast.  Dobnak, Hill, Smeltzer, and Odorizzi with Pineda, Berrios and Maeda.   Maeda's pitching has fallen off a cliff.  Pineda, as usual, has ailments impact his number of starts.  Dobnak had his pumpkin stolen, Smeltzer is shut down for arm issues.  Odorizzi is 1 - 3 5.68.  So what gives?  Hill was in 8 games and did well, now he is with Tampa Bay and 5 - 2 3.38.  I can only see Berrios and Maeda back next year.  Then what?  Griffen Jax has three terrible performances, why does anyone want to see him start? 

    The BP had Romo who has a 5.56 ERA in 25 games, Tyler Clippard who is out for the year, Trevor May who is 2 - 2 with a 4.57 era, and Matt Wisler who is 1 - 2 5.48.  Look at those statistics - none of them could help us.  Although they are better than what we have in Colome, Robles, and the revolving group of cast offs.  Who do we keep for next year beyond Rogers and Alcala?  None? 

    And do we miss Marwin Gonzales?  I don't think so.  Do we miss Eddie Rosario - I do think so, but I don't want to start an Eddie storyline, but he and Buxton gave us some energy, the kind we signed Donaldson for - its just that Josh gives us anger energy and it isn't working.  Has Simmons saved the IF? 

    Who do we trade?  Who do we DFA? I would suggest that using Happ and Shoemaker to showcase them for a trade is a waste of time. 

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    Gotta feel for Jax.

    Has been a starter his entire life and is now working out of a bullpen, not knowing when or if he will pitch.  Plus, the adrenalin had to be pumping coming into a game down 5-0. 

    As for the Twins, can we now put a fork into all talk of their getting back into the hunt?

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    34 minutes ago, mikelink45 said:

    It is almost mesmerizing to watch a catastrophe up close.  Not pleasing, not fun, but hard to look away.  

    I could not even remember who our pitchers were last year - I had to look it up because I can not understand how our team has fallen so fast.  Dobnak, Hill, Smeltzer, and Odorizzi with Pineda, Berrios and Maeda.   Maeda's pitching has fallen off a cliff.  Pineda, as usual, has ailments impact his number of starts.  Dobnak had his pumpkin stolen, Smeltzer is shut down for arm issues.  Odorizzi is 1 - 3 5.68.  So what gives?  Hill was in 8 games and did well, now he is with Tampa Bay and 5 - 2 3.38.  I can only see Berrios and Maeda back next year.  Then what?  Griffen Jax has three terrible performances, why does anyone want to see him start? 

    The BP had Romo who has a 5.56 ERA in 25 games, Tyler Clippard who is out for the year, Trevor May who is 2 - 2 with a 4.57 era, and Matt Wisler who is 1 - 2 5.48.  Look at those statistics - none of them could help us.  Although they are better than what we have in Colome, Robles, and the revolving group of cast offs.  Who do we keep for next year beyond Rogers and Alcala?  None? 

    And do we miss Marwin Gonzales?  I don't think so.  Do we miss Eddie Rosario - I do think so, but I don't want to start an Eddie storyline, but he and Buxton gave us some energy, the kind we signed Donaldson for - its just that Josh gives us anger energy and it isn't working.  Has Simmons saved the IF? 

    Who do we trade?  Who do we DFA? I would suggest that using Happ and Shoemaker to showcase them for a trade is a waste of time. 

    Excellent post. It says it all......and backs it up.

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    2 hours ago, jorgenswest said:

    Great performance from Flexen. He was available this winter. While our front office continues to fill the back end of the rotation with decline phase veterans the Mariners found a 26 year old that might help them at the end of the rotation for a few years.

     We need a front office that can find potentially useful players like Flexen. Anyone can hope on getting another year of back end pitching from Happ or Shoemaker. Neither is more than a one year hope and the problem of the back end persists to the next off season. 

    Real 20/20 hindsight here. He was a guy coming off seasons of 7.88, 12.79, and 6.59 ERAs in 68 innings. Could you imagine how hard it would have been for the FO to sell a fanbase that he's a good signing for a team trying to win a world series? He's still an average to below average pitcher this year (97 ERA+, 4.12 ERA, 3.78 FIP). People were pissed when they claimed Wisler last year as a mop up/mid reliever type who hadn't performed. Imagine them signing a guy with an 8.07 ERA for the rotation when they were trying to win.

    As for the 1 year deals, they have used that strategy the last couple years because Duran, Balazovic, Canterino, et al were supposed to start showing up last year. Instead the season got canceled and then MLB pushed back the MiLB season this year and injuries have slowed their progression back. They have been trying to contend and signing veteran guys to short deals is a better way to supplement your homegrown core than taking fliers on 5th starters with 8.07 ERAs.

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    39 minutes ago, chpettit19 said:

    Real 20/20 hindsight here. He was a guy coming off seasons of 7.88, 12.79, and 6.59 ERAs in 68 innings. Could you imagine how hard it would have been for the FO to sell a fanbase that he's a good signing for a team trying to win a world series? He's still an average to below average pitcher this year (97 ERA+, 4.12 ERA, 3.78 FIP).

    You might not have noticed, but Flexen pitched in Korea in 2020 and was one of the best in the league:

    https://blogs.fangraphs.com/mariners-sign-chris-flexen-from-kbo/

    63 ERA-, 58 FIP- (that's the Fangraphs version of ERA+, 100 is still average, but lower is better) in the KBO regular season, and even better in the playoffs. He wouldn't have been a headline addition but would have been a decent low-risk/upside gamble in the Shoemaker spot.

    Flexen's 2021 numbers so far have been dragged down a bit by one disaster start -- but unlike Shoemaker, he's been pretty good in the others. Even with that disaster start included, Fangraphs has him at 102 ERA-, 93 FIP-, and 1.1 fWAR (using FIP) or 1.0 RA9-WAR (using actual runs allowed) in 12 starts (or about 2.8 fWAR prorated to a full season). For as little as they are paying him, they've already likely gotten their money's worth.

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    1 hour ago, chpettit19 said:

    Real 20/20 hindsight here. He was a guy coming off seasons of 7.88, 12.79, and 6.59 ERAs in 68 innings. Could you imagine how hard it would have been for the FO to sell a fanbase that he's a good signing for a team trying to win a world series? He's still an average to below average pitcher this year (97 ERA+, 4.12 ERA, 3.78 FIP).

    I watched him pitch in the KBO playoffs last year. I would assume the Twins did also. He signed a major league contract to a team looking forward. He may not work out but we need a front office with foresight. We also need a front office that does not factor in the fan base when making baseball decisions.

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    Can we all just laugh at this team and say, see ya next year..... HA! HA! HA! 
    Makes ya wonder what we have to look forward to next year if wholesale changes aren't made. HA! HA! HA!

    Can we have more dumpster diving with the likes of Happ and Shoemaker, HA! HA! HA!

    Sign Crap, Expect Crap! HA! HA! HA!

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    WPA is not very useful.  If kirilloffs WPA wasn't good yesterday what does it say about the many guys that went over yesterday.  These "newly invented" stats the past few years are a joke.  It among so many other things us what is driving true baseball fans away from the game.  MLB is becoming increasingly unwatchable.

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    35 minutes ago, spycake said:

    You might not have noticed, but Flexen pitched in Korea in 2020 and was one of the best in the league:

    https://blogs.fangraphs.com/mariners-sign-chris-flexen-from-kbo/

    63 ERA-, 58 FIP- (that's the Fangraphs version of ERA+, 100 is still average, but lower is better) in the KBO regular season, and even better in the playoffs. He wouldn't have been a headline addition but would have been a decent low-risk/upside gamble in the Shoemaker spot.

    Flexen's 2021 numbers so far have been dragged down a bit by one disaster start -- but unlike Shoemaker, he's been pretty good in the others. Even with that disaster start included, Fangraphs has him at 102 ERA-, 93 FIP-, and 1.1 fWAR (using FIP) or 1.0 RA9-WAR (using actual runs allowed) in 12 starts (or about 2.8 fWAR prorated to a full season). For as little as they are paying him, they've already likely gotten their money's worth.

    This is still 20/20 hindsight. Yes, he's been solid this year, but a team trying to win the world series wasn't bringing him in to take a rotation spot because of 1 good year in Korea. That 1 good year doesn't outweigh the 3 disastrous ones in MLB. The Twins also should've drafted deGrom in any of the first 8 rounds before he went in the 9th, but they didn't know that then. Flexen is a fine signing for a team without any real aspirations for winning this year. He wasn't the type of signing a contending team makes a major league deal with.

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    32 minutes ago, jorgenswest said:

    I watched him pitch in the KBO playoffs last year. I would assume the Twins did also. He signed a major league contract to a team looking forward. He may not work out but we need a front office with foresight. We also need a front office that does not factor in the fan base when making baseball decisions.

    The Twins were looking to contend this year. Flexen didn't fit the mold of a guy that should be plugged into a contending team's rotation. That's exactly why he signed with a team looking forward and not a team looking to compete this year. The Twins went into this season attempting to win the world series while the Mariners were looking to test guys out and see what they have for the future. Plugging a guy who may turn out for future years into the rotation of a team trying to win the world series is not good team management. And every FO factors in the fan base when making baseball decisions to some extent. Obviously it shouldn't be the #1 factor, but the fans are part of the equation. 

    Flexen having a good year in the KBO doesn't outweigh his 3 years of 8.07 ERA in the majors when it comes to a contending team. If the Twins knew Colome, Happ, and Shoemaker would all suddenly forget how to pitch they wouldn't have signed them. If they knew this year was going to go so disastrously off the rails they would've been trying to use their foresight when signing guys to deals. But they expected Colome, Happ, and Shoemaker to be relatively close to their career norms. They expected to compete. Flexen didn't fit that plan.

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    28 minutes ago, rv78 said:

    Can we all just laugh at this team and say, see ya next year..... HA! HA! HA! 
    Makes ya wonder what we have to look forward to next year if wholesale changes aren't made. HA! HA! HA!

    Can we have more dumpster diving with the likes of Happ and Shoemaker, HA! HA! HA!

    Sign Crap, Expect Crap! HA! HA! HA!

    You aren't helping anything.

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