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  • Game Recap: Yankees 8, Twins 4

    Jamie Cameron

    The Twins faced a familiar foe in the Yankees Tuesday, with an even more familiar outcome, losing 8-4. Minnesota lost Rob Refsnyder to injury and capitulated after a promising start. 

    Image courtesy of Image Courtesy of Jesse Johnson - USA Today Sports

    Box Score

    Pineda: 4.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K

    Home Runs: None

    Bottom 3 WPA: Rogers -.333, Garlick -.118, Colome -.101, 

    Win Probability Chart (via Fangraphs)


    On a sweltering day in Minneapolis the Twins received positive injury news on Tuesday. Rob Refsnyder was activated from the 7 day concussion IL with Gilberto Celestino optioned back to St. Paul. Additionally, Byron Buxton began a rehab assignment with the Saints Tuesday night. Kenta Maeda is scheduled to throw 50-60 pitches for St. Paul Wednesday night. Will the Twins get healthy in the nick of time, or is it too late?


    DJ Lemahieu led off for the Yankees, barely missing a home run with a long double to right field. Despite the first two Yankee batted balls ominously clocking in at over 100 mph, Pineda recovered for a strong, scoreless first inning. The Twins returned the threat with singles from Josh Donaldson and Miguel Sanó, the latter coming after an impressive at bat laying off close pitches on the outside corner. Ryan Jeffers then worked back from an 0-2 count to rip a double down the left field line, scoring both runners and giving the Twins the first lead of the night. 

    Rob Refsnyder led off the top of the second as if he’d never left, with a single to left field. Andrelton Simmons singled up the middle before a brutal call from home plate umpire Nick Mahrley on a fastball well inside rung up Garlick. Josh Donaldson ripped a line drive right at Gleybar Torres but the Twins were looking comfortable against Jordan Montgomery through 2 innings.

    It was perhaps a sign that luck was on the Twins side when Miguel Andujar ripped a 109 mph screamer off Pineda, which Willians Astudillo snared on an incredible play at 3rd. Twins fans optimism however, was misplaced.


    Make no mistake, Pineda was cruising. After the first inning leadoff double, he retired 11 straight before Giancarlo Stanton hit a weak ground ball through the hole at short. Pineda had particularly strong command of the outside corner of the plate. In spite of an error which allowed Urshela to reach base on a dribbler to the mound, Pineda escaped the jam, getting Sanchez to line out to Andrelton Simmons to end the threat.


    Pineda found trouble in the 5th, a walk and two singles loading the bases with only one out. Pineda then walked in Aaron Judge to cut the lead to 2-1 before being removed by Rocco Baldelli. Pineda followed a pattern more typical of José Berríos, looking dominant before completely losing control in short order.

    Jorge Alcalá, being exposed to increasingly high leverage roles, entered for Pineda, bases loaded, one out. After back to back swinging strikes on nasty sliders, Alcalá spiked a 55 foot fastball to allow the tying run to score on a wild pitch. Sigh. Torres lined out to Simmons for the second out, before Stanton ground out to end the inning. All things considered, one out of three inherited runners scoring was a win. The game was knotted at 2-2 entering the bottom of the fifth.

    What felt like it might have been a strong day for the offense also fell into a predictable pattern. After an impressive start, the Twins capitulated against Jordan Montgomery. They have to go against Gerrit Cole and the spider stuff tomorrow, y’all. 

    Alexander Colomé entered in the 6th inning, immediately giving up a searing, 111 mph double to Roughned Odor before a Willians Astudillo error on a chopper to third loaded the bases for the second straight inning. A Gardner sacrifice fly gave the Yankees their first lead. Astudillo made consecutive gaffs on consecutive plays, cutting off a strong Larnach throw which could have saved the Yankees go ahead run.

    The Twins bats finally awoke in the 6th, with Refsnyder doubling home Larnach. Refsnyder would immediately exit the game with hamstring tightness. The Twins were unable to score.

    In the 8th, the Yankees retook the lead. Clint Frazier singled, Andujar singled, and Gardner sacrifice bunted them over to 3rd and 2nd respectively. With the infield playing in, a smoked LeMahieu ground ball was thrown away by Polanco, the Twins 3rd error of the game. The Yankees scored again on a fielder’s choice which resulted in the Twins 4th error of the night as Simmons was off the base at 2nd. Rogers induced a double play to end the inning, but the damage was done. 

    Griffin Jax entered for his MLB debut in the 9th. He hung a breaking ball to Gary Sanchez which was deposited for a 2 run HR, making it a 7-3 ballgame. Andujar added a solo shot two batters later. The Yankees closed out the game in the 9th despite a Twins win to take their record at Target Field to 24-11.

    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 Matt Braun


    Bullpen Usage Chart

    Robles 20 0 10 15 0 45
    Farrell 11 0 0 13 19 43
    Alcala 0 7 0 10 21 38
    Duffey 12 0 7 14 0 33
    Rogers 0 0 12 0 20 32
    Jax 0 0 0 0 23 23
    Colomé 0 0 0 0 9 9

    On Wednesday, the Twins will send Randy Dobnak to the hill against Gerrit Cole. First pitch is at 7:10 CT. If you want to whet your whistle for tomorrow’s encounter, check out this footage, courtesy of BSN of Donaldson and Cole addressing pitchers using sticky substances on the baseball.




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    I can't remember the last time I watched a professional baseball team look so... clumsy. Sure, putting Tortuga out at 3B is asking for it, but Simmons has screwed up several routine plays this year, Polanco was supposed to be a plus defender at 2B, but still disappoints even though 2B is easier to play with modern day shifts. This team consistently finds ways to embarrass themselves. 

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    36 minutes ago, Aggies7 said:

    Twins are now 39-104 (.272) against the Yankees since 2002. I can’t put into words how horrendous that it. Will it ever change?

    They don't believe they can beat the Yankees, so they don't. The sense is almost palpable. Interestingly, it is the newcomers who really gave the Twins all of their runs (Jeffers and Refsnyder) and really kept the Yankees at bay (Farrell). They need to learn that this is not acceptable behavior when playing the Yankees. I'm sure they'll regress with more experiences playing the Yankees. They just need more time to develop their fears.

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    Yeah, it's tough to continue backing this particular squad. Couple of observations 

    Willians Astudillo is really good at hitting ground balls

    Andrelton Simmons' at bats are laughable 

    Baldelli is a poor in game manager.

    The guy swinging the hottest bat goes down yet again with an injury. 

    It just isn't meant to be this year..

    Why does Baldelli refuse to let his relievers pitch more than 1 inning? Particularly when they are throwing well (Farrell comes to mind, Alcala)

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    Leadoff hitter strikes out 3 times in a row, fielding miscues, bullpen blows the game....yup, pretty standard 2021 Minnesota Twins stuff.

    I don't see how this team wins a game against either NY or HOU.

    One of the worst Twins teams I can remember, an absolute clown show. You'd think something would have changed by now, the team would have improved after a couple months....they might be getting worse.

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    Absolutely inept in the field, no clutch hitting, no apparent thinking. Granted, there are a lot of injuries, but can't even minor leaguers generally be expected to catch and throw the ball accurately most of the time?

    Reliever has a great inning, hey he threw 12 pitches, gotta get him out of there so we can bring in...anyone. Ridiculous.

    I continue to believe that Astudillo has no business being on a major league team (I know, everyone loves him etc), but he's just one problem in a whole broken toolbox right now.

    Just think what the score would have been if the Yankees were hitting at all. Tonight should be another laugh-fest.

    Clown show describes this pretty well. I've never been so disappointed in a Twins season, not even close.

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    2 hours ago, bighat said:

    Leadoff hitter strikes out 3 times in a row, fielding miscues, bullpen blows the game....yup, pretty standard 2021 Minnesota Twins stuff.

    I don't see how this team wins a game against either NY or HOU.

    One of the worst Twins teams I can remember, an absolute clown show. You'd think something would have changed by now, the team would have improved after a couple months....they might be getting worse.

    Rocco clearly needs to give them more nap time and less time taking BP and fielding practice. 

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    8 hours ago, Seth Stohs said:

    Coming into the game, he was hitting .291/.322/.618 (.940) against left-handed pitching... 

    That's not bad, but MLB #1 hitters have a .337 OBP overall this year, and .345 vs LHP. Garlick's 2021 OBP vs LHP actually only ranked 6th among Twins in last night's lineup. (And it's down to .302 after last night's game, and .298 for his MLB career vs LHP.)

    Garlick's line vs LHP is still very useful, but may be better utilized further down in the order? Larnach has a .394 OBP, including a .368 OBP in a very small sample vs LHP. And only a .442 SLG with .182 ISO overall.

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    1 hour ago, spycake said:

    Simmons's offensive production has been trending down, and subjectively, it doesn't look like he's taking good approaches at the plate. I'd leave him near the bottom.

    Good point; maybe a more significant lead-off role would spark his production?

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    7 hours ago, garn from vancouver said:

    it gets harder and harder to keep the tv on. i am a fan and will stay one but holy cow.

    I turned it off when we walked in the first run. I knew it was going to start going south from there. Showered, went to bed, woke up, checked the score. Acknowledged I made the right decision. 

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