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  • Game Recap: White Sox 16, Twins 4

    Nate Palmer

    J.A. Happ’s beard was in postseason form tonight, but that was about all that was for the Twins as they lost 16-4 to open their series with the White Sox. 

    Image courtesy of © Jordan Johnson

    Box Score
    Starter: J.A. Happ 3.2 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 1 K
    Home Runs: Josh Donaldson (5)
    Bottom 3 WPA: Happ (-.314), Law (-.091), Garlick (-.039)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)


    May 17, 2021, White Sox vs. Twins was supposed to be a matchup of two AL Central foes battling it out to see who would take home the division crown. While one team is absolutely on that track, the home team tonight looked just as lifeless as it has for most of the 2021 season. 

    To sum it up:

    After some very promising starts, Happ for the second turn in a row had a start he will try to forget. In some fairness, Happ was facing likely the toughest matchup for him in 2021 facing a White Sox team that hits lefties very well. 

    The lefty did nothing to help himself as he may have nibbled himself to death as he tried to live around the edges of the zone. That approach resulted in Happ only being able to execute 48 of his 85 pitches for a strike before leaving the game with 2 outs in the 3rd inning and being charged with 6 earned runs. 

    Mitch Garver Exits Early

    In the 1st inning, while catching, Garver took a foul ball right off of his knee. While his catcher gear stood between the ball and his knee it could only do so much in the way of preventing pain. Garver was initially barely able to stand and was clearly hampered as he doubled and scored a run in the 2nd inning. 

    As the game turned to the 4th inning, Garver was lifted from the game in favor of Willians Astudillo who was bange up himself coming into the game. Official word on Garver was his injury was a knee contusion. 

    Have a Day Nick Madrigal 

    When picking which White Sox hitter was going to threaten to hit for the cycle Monday evening, Madrigal likely wasn’t going to be on anyone’s list. Especially since the second baseman hadn’t ever hit an MLB home run coming into Monday night’s action. 

    That changed in the 3rd when Madrigal hit a home run to left center-field off of Happ after collecting a single in the 1st. He would then hit a double to knock Happ out of the game in the 4th and…

    The Few “Positives”

    Looking at the starting lineup Rob Refsnyder (similarly to our sentiments about Madrigal) was likely the last player anyone chose as the Twins offensive player of the game. He was just that as he went 4-for-4 with an RBI double. 

    Just as there was chatter and even wishes for a rain shortened game. The Bringer of Rain brought it. Josh Donaldson may not have had the best all-around night at the plate but he provided the most fireworks from the Twins side. And after going 1-for-3 with that home run, Donaldson earned himself some time off as Larnach would come in to replace him after the homer.  

    It will be interesting to see what happens with the Twins roster before tomorrow's game. With the bench already short before Garver was injured and the way pitchers have been used/performed. It would seem like some roster shuffling will be on its way.

    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

    Law 0 35 0 0 42 77
    Thielbar 0 29 0 28 0 57
    Anderson 0 0 0 11 39 50
    Alcala 16 0 0 0 18 34
    Rogers 20 0 0 12 0 32
    Robles 12 0 17 0 0 29
    Duffey 0 0 0 26 0 26
    Colomé 0 0 7 0 0 7


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    This one was clearly over in the top of the first. What an epic, epic disaster of a game, and a good look into the season. At least that one hurt the run differential so the twins fans/writers hanging onto the “unlucky twins” won’t have it in their favor. This team is absolutely horrible. The lineup has 2 really good hitters (Donaldson, Buxton when healthy) a good hitter (Cruz), and nothing after that. I think AK probably falls into a good hitter as well, but it’s still early and he’s hurt. Arraez is good as well, but not a game changing type of player. Polanco, garver, Kepler, and sano are an up and down roller coaster you expect out of rookie and 2nd year players, The pitching is absolutely horrible, and the depth that many thought they found off the waiver wire of MILB deals are all bad. Not shocking, considering they were available there for a reason, but for some reason we thought everyone was the next Matt Wisler (who is also bad now). It turns out at the end of the day, you get what you paid for, and right now we’re seeing the results of paying for mediocre talent and trying to turn them into average talent

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    At this point you have to (my opinion) find some gallows humor don't you?  

    I really think if the Sox had their "A" lineup----------missing Jimenez, Robert and Abreu--------they would've stood a great chance of scoring the most RUNS ever against the Twins tonight.  They had 16, but with those 3 thumpers against our rag tag meatball pitchers they would've eclipsed 20 runs.

    For anyone wondering, the Twins lost 23-6 to the Royals on April 6th, 1974 in KC.

    The Twins trailed 10-0 after the 2nd inning in that 74 game.

    The Twins tonight trailed 10-1 after the 5th inning.

    JA Happ fared a tad better tonight (6 ER in 3.2 IP) than Bill Hands did back in 74 (0.2 IP 7 ER). However, Danny Fife was the only RP of the five that followed to give up 4 ER.  Both Derrick (I did not beat the) Law and Shaun (don't call me Cassidy) Anderson BOTH allowed 4 ER in their combined 3.1 IP of gas can relief.

    One last note:  Willians Astudillo even after his 1 ER allowed in the 9th has a better ERA (4.50) than either Law (8.53) or Anderson (9.00).







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    I had to turn the game off at 10-1.  There is only so much pain I can endure at my age.

    I wonder if the owner and front office have learned something from this year's experience.  It is likely that attendance will take a hit from the team not being watchable, a double whammy with COVID limitations early.  Sometimes fellows you have to spend money to earn money.  Not resigning a few of last year's arms to save a buck or two isn't panning out.  More likely, they will blame it on injuries.

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    3 minutes ago, TheMatt said:

    Why would you have Happ start again against them? They hit lefties really well and he just got lit up against them in his last start. Maybe should have been a bullpen game instead and have him start in Anaheim.  Pretty much was one anyway.

    He's one of the starters. I'm not sure I understand.

    Now, if you are asking why they signed two bad starters, that's a good question for a team supposed to compete....

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    Brand new day...same result or perhaps even worse. This time I just laughed instead of getting irritated. (I guess that's one of the eight stages fans have to go through in support of bad teams: 1) Disbelief, 2) Unfairness, 3) Bad luck, 4) Irritation, 5) Laughter, 6) Let's see who is in the minors who we could watch, 7) Cheer for the team playing the Yankees, 8) Turn on the hockey game.)

    The only reliever not to walk anyone: Willians Astudillo! (I seriously hope we trot him out there in a one-run game. His ERA is better than half of the relief core.) Eight walks? Good gracious. If you walk eight against a team like the Chisox, it's going to look like a merry-go-round on the bases.

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    It's hard not to wonder what the FO has planned for this unlucky, under achieving bunch.  Will we have a major sell off ?

    This is kind of like 1968 to me.  We had been a good team from 1962-1967 with just one clunker year (1964) and even that year gave us the Rookie of the Year (Oliva) 49 HR's out of Killebrew, 32 HR's out of Allison and 25 HR's out of Jimmie Hall.

    Kaat, Pascual and Mudcat were "decent" starters and Al Worthington was tremendous out of the bullpen.  In 1965 we won the pennant, in 1966 we finished 2nd and in 1967 we lost out to the Red Sox on the last day of the season.  Then came the disaster of 1968.  Killebrew hurt, Oliva hurting, Allison and hall a shells of their former selves, Zoilo traded to the Dodgers.  I NEVER saw a season like 1968 coming for the Twins after all those solid years.  They rebounded to win the West in 1969 and 1970 before many lean years came to pass.  Is this just a cursed year?  Or are major changes needed ??

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    7 hours ago, TheMatt said:

    Why would you have Happ start again against them? They hit lefties really well and he just got lit up against them in his last start. Maybe should have been a bullpen game instead and have him start in Anaheim.  Pretty much was one anyway.

    Tim Anderson (and presumably the White Sox in general) basically laughed at the Twins when they signed Happ.


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    Astudillo is has the second best BA out of players with 80+ ABs.   Astudillo has the fifth best ERA+.  And he has the best attitude, joy, and energy.  He came in to be the catcher when Garver was hurt despite the fact that he is hurt.  He is 8th in WAR among batters.   Only three RPs among all we have had this year have an ERA+ over 100 - Robles, Rogers and Astudillo.  I love having Astudillo on the team, but I do not want to see him leading our team in so many ways.   Our full season roster has 17 players with negative WAR out of 41 players.   Seven players have zero WAR (zero value?). And 14 of these zero and negative players are on our current active roster. 

    Larnach has proven he belongs. 

    Refsnyder and Garlick give the FO more hope that they can find cast off that they can turn into "stars", although Garlick is a negative WAR.  

    Happ and Shoemaker have ERA plus of 60 and 74!  No that is not good enough for your 4th and 5th starters.  

    Kenta Maeda has ERA+ of 75.  Just a tick above these two, but not enough to even be a fifth starter.

    Maeda, Shoemaker, and Colome are the bottom three in team WAR. 

    Can we trade rosters with one of our minor league teams?  Is there any reason Jeffers is not back up with the team?  

    I am, learning to enjoy the angst in the postings and I hope no one quits  filling these spots with your thoughts and tears.



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