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  • Game Recap: White Sox 2, Twins 1


    Andrew Thares

    It was yet another day where the Twins lineup was almost non-existent, as they were only able to muster just one run on two hits, both coming off the bat of Nelson Cruz, as the Twins fall to the White Sox yet again and are now 11.5 games back in the division.

    Image courtesy of © Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

    Box Score
    Shoemaker: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 2 K
    Home Runs: Cruz (10)
    Bottom 3 WPA: Kepler -.194, Garlick -.130, Sano -.112
    Win Probability Chart (via Fangraphs)

    2048122954_ScreenShot2021-05-19at2_57_08PM.thumb.png.eecfc49bd3037ac10884b36f4d669583.png

    Matt Shoemaker Gives Twins a Quality Start

    It has been a rough stretch for Twins starter Matt Shoemaker of late, as he has a paltry 7.83 ERA over his last five starts entering play on Wednesday. That makes today’s start by Shoemaker all the more encouraging, as he gave the Twins his first quality start since his first start of the season. This one, however, was much more impressive as it came against the game’s best lineup in the Chicago White Sox, as opposed to one of the game’s worst lineups in the Detroit Tigers.

    Shoemaker cruised through the first three innings, as the only base runners that he allowed were on a couple of meaningless two out walks, one in the first and another in the second. However, as the White Sox began their second turn through the rotation, Shoemaker began to show a few kinks in the armor. In the fourth, Shoemaker gave up a leadoff single to Yoan Moncada and hit Andrew Vaughn with pitch, but was able to get out of the first and third situation after striking out Zack Collins to get out of the inning.

    Both the fifth and sixth innings began with a leadoff double from the White Sox that eventually came around to score both of the White Sox runs in today’s ballgame. In the fifth, the White Sox used small ball to scratch across a run as Danny Mendick laid down a sac bunt to advance Leury Garcia to third, who eventually scored on an infield single from Adam Eaton who narrowly beat out the Jorge Polanco throw from short, robbing Miguel Sano of what would have be an amazing defensive play.

    Cruz Missile Provides Twins Offense

    After getting a rest day on Tuesday, Nelson Cruz appeared fresh and ready to go for today’s game. He got the bat going with a single in the first, and then, after Luis Arraez and Jorge Polanco both struck out to begin the third, Nelson Cruz connected on fastball that just narrowly avoided the left-center field wall to get the Twins on the board early. 

    Lucas Giolito Shuts Down Twins Lineup

    It wasn’t the cleanest of starts to the game for White Sox ace Lucas Giolito, who gave up a leadoff walk in both the first and second innings, to go along with the solo home run he gave up to Nelson Cruz in the third. However, Giolito had only given up one run to that point, and then he absolutely dominated the Twins lineup the rest of the way, as he gave up just one baserunner over his final five innings of work.

    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

      SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT
    Stashak 17 0 0 35 0 52
    Colomé 7 0 0 19 15 41
    Rogers 0 12 0 27 0 39
    Thielbar 0 28 0 0 10 38
    Robles 17 0 0 17 0 34
    Duffey 0 26 0 5 0 31
    Farrell 31 0 0 0 0 31
    Alcala 0 0 18 0 7 25

    What’s Next?

    On Thursday, the Twins will head to Los Angels for a makeup double-header against the Angels. Lewis Thorp will take the mound in Game 1 that is slated to begin at 3:07 CT. Jose Berrios will pitch Game 2 that should begin roughly 30 minutes after the conclusion of game 1. Both Angels starts are still TBD.


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    Least shocking news all year..that that lineup couldn't hit Lucas Giolito. Actually somewhat impressed with how close the game was. Shoemaker was bad, but got good results in a weird way. Polanco looked good at SS, and Cruz hammered the ball. Colome staying rolling is pretty big for nothing else than trade value. Twins just have too many journeymen types on the roster right now, or a few guys who should be in AAA still (Rortvedt, Ober). Oh well. Starting to get numb to many of the loses, including this one. At least we'll have always have yesterday. 
     

    Also..if anyone like me is done with the first half Minnesota twins and just want to get on with seeing some young guys play and figure out if they’re any good, I wrote about some guys we could see in the second half of the year, starting with starting pitchers. Feedback and interaction is encouraged and appreciated! 

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    47 minutes ago, bighat said:

    Ozzie Guillen said it best. They're done.

     

    That should just about end any hopes of turning the 2021 season around.  A week ago, I was looking up the 2006 Twins just to see how bad their low point was in May.  I was shocked to realize that the 2006 Twins were only one game better in mid-May than the 2021 edition.  There are many key differences between then and now.  No Johan Santana.  No Fransisco Lirano.  No Joe Mauer.  No Pirahnas.  No hitting everything in sight with runners in scoring position.  The 2021 Twins are not going to go 16-2 (or whatever crazy record they  had in 2006) in interleague play this year.  The 2006 Twins were a good team that was underperforming in April and May.  It feels like the 2021 team is not a good team.

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    For the record, the 2006 Twins got back to .500 at a record of 34-34.  If the 2021 Twins are going to match that they will need to go 20-7 over the next 27 games.  While that is certainly not impossible, this doesn't feel like a team that can win two thirds of its games for a month.  It doesn't get any better the rest of the season.  If we assume it will take about 95 wins to get into the playoffs, the Twins need to go 81-40 the rest of the season. 

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    1st of all to previous post-------Ozzie Guillen on MLB-------As much as it pains me to admit, especially to Ozzie---he's right.  Pohlad, Falvey, Baldelli and all the players should be EMBARRASSED by their performance.

    Moving on------I do realize lineup is without Buxton and Kirilloff AND didn't have Donaldson nor Simmons in today------but 2 hits for the day?  2?  Thats just plain horrible.

    But as most everyone know this is just not "1 bad day with the bats" against a tough pitcher.

    This offense stinks!! 

    Game #23 of 41 (56% of games played) that this collection of "guys with wooden sticks in their hands" (I can't say HITTERS) have scored 3 runs or less.  Twins record in those 23 games:  3 wins and 20 losses.

    Even worse when you factor out that 2 of those wins came in the 1st week of the season----April 3rd, 2-0 win over Milwaukee when Berrios outdueled Burnes and April 7th when Maeda got the "W" in a 3-2 win at Detroit.  

    Since our 5-2 start, we're 9-25...a .264 winning percentage.

     

     

     

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    1 hour ago, Mill1634 said:

    Least shocking news all year..that that lineup couldn't hit Lucas Giolito. Actually somewhat impressed with how close the game was. Shoemaker was bad, but got good results in a weird way. Polanco looked good at SS, and Cruz hammered the ball. Colome staying rolling is pretty big for nothing else than trade value. Twins just have too many journeymen types on the roster right now, or a few guys who should be in AAA still (Rortvedt, Ober). Oh well. Starting to get numb to many of the loses, including this one. At least we'll have always have yesterday. 
     

    Also..if anyone like me is done with the first half Minnesota twins and just want to get on with seeing some young guys play and figure out if they’re any good, I wrote about some guys we could see in the second half of the year, starting with starting pitchers. Feedback and interaction is encouraged and appreciated! 

    I liked your perspective on Dobnak, Thorpe and Ober.  I would like to add twopitchers, currently at Wichita to your list that I'd like to see this season:

    #1 Josh Winder (SP) Ranked as #14 prospect in organization.  

    Winder improved his ERA to 0.93 today--his 4th start of season-- in a rare afternoon game vs. Tulsa throwing 4 shutout innings.  Winder had 4 Ks with only 1 walk.

    #2 Yennier Cano (RP) Not rated. Age: 27/ Signed as free agent in June 2019.  From Cuba

    Got the "W" in relief shutting down Tulsa in the 8th-9th striking out 5 of the 6 batters he faced.  Over 5 relief appearances, Cano has a 1.04 ERA and WHIP with a K/BB rate of 17-2.

    On the hitting side-----2 guys that I think should get a look before September:

    #1  Jose Miranda (UT--plays mainly 2B, but has played 1B and 3B)

    Rated #19 prospect in organization.  Ripped his 5th HR today (in 14 games) to raise his RBI total to 15.  Is hitting .364.

    #2 Aaron Whitefield (OF)- not rated

    As many know Whitefield had a "cup of coffee" with Twins in 2020.  Has great speed and is solid defensively.  Went 2-4 today to raise his batting average to .339.  Has improved his pop with 6 extra basehits this season while maintaining his speed (6-8 in SBs).  Has .393 OBP and .947 OPS.  If Buxton's IL stint continues past Memorial Day, I think Whitefield can offer our offense a better option than Garlick has shown recently.

     

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    We are leading the #1 draft pick race!

    At least the one day Sano Fever broke and everyone now remembers that he still has the same gaping holes in his swing.

    Seriously, Gordon and Rooker up now and for the rest of the season playing on the regular (and any others that we need to make decisions on... relievers?!).

    It is inexcusable for us not to figure out exactly what we have going forward. There is nothing else to accomplish this season other than to figure out what we have going forward.

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    57 minutes ago, darwin22 said:

    I liked your perspective on Dobnak, Thorpe and Ober.  I would like to add twopitchers, currently at Wichita to your list that I'd like to see this season:

    #1 Josh Winder (SP) Ranked as #14 prospect in organization.  

    Winder improved his ERA to 0.93 today--his 4th start of season-- in a rare afternoon game vs. Tulsa throwing 4 shutout innings.  Winder had 4 Ks with only 1 walk.

    #2 Yennier Cano (RP) Not rated. Age: 27/ Signed as free agent in June 2019.  From Cuba

    Got the "W" in relief shutting down Tulsa in the 8th-9th striking out 5 of the 6 batters he faced.  Over 5 relief appearances, Cano has a 1.04 ERA and WHIP with a K/BB rate of 17-2.

    On the hitting side-----2 guys that I think should get a look before September:

    #1  Jose Miranda (UT--plays mainly 2B, but has played 1B and 3B)

    Rated #19 prospect in organization.  Ripped his 5th HR today (in 14 games) to raise his RBI total to 15.  Is hitting .364.

    #2 Aaron Whitefield (OF)- not rated

    As many know Whitefield had a "cup of coffee" with Twins in 2020.  Has great speed and is solid defensively.  Went 2-4 today to raise his batting average to .339.  Has improved his pop with 6 extra basehits this season while maintaining his speed (6-8 in SBs).  Has .393 OBP and .947 OPS.  If Buxton's IL stint continues past Memorial Day, I think Whitefield can offer our offense a better option than Garlick has shown recently.

     

    Thanks for the feedback. Always fun to think about the future, especially when the present is absolutely horrible. Stay tuned for a piece on Friday. I have a feeling Cano will be featured in the RP section of the article :)  Winder is a guy haven’t read/watched a ton of, so I can’t give an informed opinion. As for Whitefield, he’s intriguing if he can truly hit and is at worst a 4th OF with his defense and speed. Hopefully the continues to develop. Appreciate the reading and conversation! 

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    Everyone said Eddie Rosario would be easy to replace. Hmm. With a Cleveland team that has trouble scoring runs, he has 21 RBI, which would be second on the Twins. He is never injured and also has 5 stolen bases. And unlike, say, Miguel Sano, he doesn't require one quarter of the season to start playing baseball. Yes, very easy to replace . . . 

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    43 minutes ago, Mahoning said:

    Everyone said Eddie Rosario would be easy to replace. Hmm. With a Cleveland team that has trouble scoring runs, he has 21 RBI, which would be second on the Twins. He is never injured and also has 5 stolen bases. And unlike, say, Miguel Sano, he doesn't require one quarter of the season to start playing baseball. Yes, very easy to replace . . . 

    Did people say he'd be fully replaced this year? I don't recall that.... That said, if Kiriloff is healthy, he's probably as good.... But to your point, he's not. Now, the question is, can you predict injuries? 

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    3 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

    Did people say he'd be fully replaced this year? I don't recall that.... That said, if Kiriloff is healthy, he's probably as good.... But to your point, he's not. Now, the question is, can you predict injuries? 

    Mhm.

    Also, Kirilloff isn’t just “as good” as Rosario. He’s been better than Rosario so far (SSS, well duh). Will Kirilloff come back to Earth after injury? Maybe.

    Bottom line, given how Eddie has done this year, I’m not regretting not paying him $10M for his skill set.

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    4 hours ago, D.C Twins said:

    We are leading the #1 draft pick race!

    At least the one day Sano Fever broke and everyone now remembers that he still has the same gaping holes in his swing.

    Seriously, Gordon and Rooker up now and for the rest of the season playing on the regular (and any others that we need to make decisions on... relievers?!).

    It is inexcusable for us not to figure out exactly what we have going forward. There is nothing else to accomplish this season other than to figure out what we have going forward.

    Gordon is the third best second baseman and I don't think Rooker is anything more than a marginal player or an AAAA guy. The future with position players has already arrived (Kirilloff and Larnach). The three players in St. Paul I want to see are Jeffers, Dobnak and Thorpe. 

    The Wichita guys provide some intrigue and I would hope that they move up and see how well they do at AAA, with a chance to be promoted later this year. 

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    2 hours ago, Mahoning said:

    Everyone said Eddie Rosario would be easy to replace. Hmm. With a Cleveland team that has trouble scoring runs, he has 21 RBI, which would be second on the Twins. He is never injured and also has 5 stolen bases. And unlike, say, Miguel Sano, he doesn't require one quarter of the season to start playing baseball. Yes, very easy to replace . . . 

    Eddie has provided -.2 WAR to Cleveland. I'm sure he'll hit better going forward, but his presence wouldn't have saved this season. Under current MLB rules, the Twins get six more seasons out of both Kirilloff and Larnach and I expect much more from both of them than what Eddie is providing for whomever he is playing for in the future. 

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    3 hours ago, Aerodeliria said:

    BTW, if we're all about the metrics, why is Garlick in the lineup against a tough right-hander like Giolito? He gave us a textbook performance as to why he shouldn't be in the lineup against righties. Call someone up. They could only perform as poorly as he did at the worst.

    Thank you. Exactly. But they just can't help themselves when it comes to putting players out of position in the endless shifts.

    Although...... Detroit and KC have both hurt Giolito this year, and even after tonight, his season ERA is 4.35. The Twins are pretty good at making most pitchers look good this year, regardless of the hype.

    Wouldn't it have been nice if the pitching experts with connections had signed Kluber this year?

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    11 hours ago, h2oface said:

    You rest/save guys like Simmons and Donaldson when they can be helpful in the pennant run. As it is, there will be no pennant run if they don't play and are part of the resurgence. Save for October ball? You have to get there to play.

    Agree. Reminiscent of his managerial decisions in the '19 postseason. 

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    7 hours ago, h2oface said:

    Thank you. Exactly. But they just can't help themselves when it comes to putting players out of position in the endless shifts.

    Although...... Detroit and KC have both hurt Giolito this year, and even after tonight, his season ERA is 4.35. The Twins are pretty good at making most pitchers look good this year, regardless of the hype.

    Wouldn't it have been nice if the pitching experts with connections had signed Kluber this year?

    Yep, their approach seemed half hearted and no one even tried sitting change up. I think they were dreading getting on a plane to play a double header in CA & no off day in a while. 

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    Well another L in the column and Twins actually did some small ball this game in hitting just one sexy bomba.  Ouch this team isn't very good.  Trade deadline will reap very little rewards if we dangle some guys on the market.  Cruz may get some suitors but in his early 40's with hit only skillset, how much we get in return will be minimal.  Not much else on this roster the way they are playing will warrant much in return

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    What happened to the guy they brought up to play outfield?  Was his name rundfeldt?  I don't even know.  But he went 4 for 4 and I haven't seen him since.  Is he hurt?  Not saying he's the answer but what happened to him?  Yesterday Baldelli had both Donaldson and Simmons out as "scheduled days off".  Why do you take the whole left side of your infield out on a day you have a chance to take the series against first place club?  Baldelli should remember this is a home game with fewer and fewer fans attending.  If you have to do such stupid things do it on the road.  This team is pathetic.

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