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  • Game Score: Brewers 6, Twins 2


    Matthew Lenz

    The Twins fell to the Brewers 6-2 on Sunday missing out on a sweep of their border battle foe. Miguel Sano was cleared for take off again while the rest of the offense went down swinging and Griffin Jax missed his spots. That and more in today's game recap!

    Image courtesy of Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

    Twins Video

    Box Score
    Griffin Jax
    : 5.0 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 5 K, 3 BB, 65.0% strikes
    Homeruns: Sano (23)
    Bottom 3 WPA:
    Win Probability Chart (via Fangraphs)
    1466679074_chart(1).png.4eac7ec325032aff1f13d6ba8e0a41ab.png

    Griffin Jax Struggles with Control
    If you’ve followed me long enough, you know how much emphasis I put on pitchers being efficient. Well, unfortunately for Jax he was almost too efficient today throwing 65-percent strikes and 76-percent first pitch strikes, but leaving too many pitches over the middle of the plate.

    Those six extra-base hits could have easily been up to nine extra-base hits but each of the three starting outfielders made nice running catches to limit the Brewers' damage against Jax, including the ball off the bat of Jackie Bradley Jr which Byron Buxton snagged with ease.

    If you were listening to the Bally Sports North broadcast, you heard former Twins All-Star reliever Glen Perkins mention Ryan Jeffers glove “drifting” from where he set up due to Jax missing his spots, which is why he got tagged all day. With a wide-open rotation for 2022, Jax will continue to get an opportunity to prove he can stick, but this is now back-to-back starts for Jax where he got absolutely shelled after a string of five solid starts. In today’s game particularly, his pitch movement was on par with where he’s been all season so it’s just a matter of bearing down and hitting the mitt where the catcher sets up. This leaves me a little optimistic that he can rebound the next time he’s on the bump.
    1422140476_ScreenShot2021-08-29at3_22_30PM.png.b8472f8160c2ad70dcf81194c35b1bdc.png
     

    Sano Moons One while Rest of Offense is Grounded
    It was a solid day from left-hander Aaron Ashby, but his one mistake was hanging a curveball to Miguel Sano who hit his fourth blast in the last eight games. This was Sano’s 23rd of the season and “only” traveled 420 feet. 

    The rest of the offense was pretty quiet with each of Jorge Polanco, Josh Donaldson, Rob Refsnyder, and Willians Astudillo being the only other players to reach base. In the last twelve plate appearances of the game, the Twins struck out nine times including 1-2-3 in the eighth inning and three straight to end the game. In short, there wasn't ever much from the Twins throughout the entirety of the game.

    Bullpen Usage
    Ian Gibaut made his season debut, providing the Twins with three scoreless innings despite not having a clean inning and getting hit hard. Ralph Garza Jr came on in the 9th inning with two strikeouts on 11 pitches and not allowing anyone to reach base.

      WED THU FRI SAT SUN TOT
    Albers 0 0 88 0 0 88
    Garza Jr. 24 4 0 0 11 39
    Coulombe 19 0 20 0 0 39
    Thielbar 22 0 0 23 0 45
    Duffey 9 0 6 0 0 15
    Colomé 20 0 13 13 0 46
    Minaya 0 0 0 17 0 17
    Gibaut 0 0 0 0 33 33
    Alcalá 0 0 12 0 0 12
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    I am not a Jax fan, even when he supposedly was going well I was not his fan.  I want another young arm in the rotation.  I am not interested in good stories, I want good pitchers.  Gibault has the stats, but hard hit balls eventually fall in.  By the way did anyone see what Berrios did today?  

    Nice to see Sano on a positive streak and he is showing me some new talent, taking some pitches the other way.  Donaldson is doing great - if only we could see this a full season - maybe 2022.  

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    I'd like to see Jax moved to the pen where maybe his increased velocity and nice slider can play better without multiple looks. If he continues to give up the moon shots there, then he might just be a good story and not much more than AAAA. I was hopeful, but it's been a step forward and two back lately. 

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    1 minute ago, MMMordabito said:

    I'd like to see Jax moved to the pen where maybe his increased velocity and nice slider can play better without multiple looks. If he continues to give up the moon shots there, then he might just be a good story and not much more than AAAA. I was hopeful, but it's been a step forward and two back lately. 

    I'd like to see Jax join Larnach in St. Paul and start seeing if we've got some minor league guys who can rise to the challenge at the major league level. It's well past time to start a revolving door of auditions.

    In other words: Next!

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    23 minutes ago, Sconnie said:

    Gibbault is going to be sent to AAA tonight as he went 3 innings today. Maybe Jax too. Time to see Jordy Blaze and Jhoan Duran

    Duran is still on the IL at AAA, has not pitched since June.

    Doubtful they send out Jax, as they just sent out Barnes today with the likely replacement being Joe Ryan. Beyond Ryan, there isn’t really another “ready” SP: Balazovic is still at AA and Strotman is scuffling — 6 BB and 6 runs in 2.2 IP for St Paul today.

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    It would be a mistake to send Jax down, his future may be the pen but I want to watch him start the rest of the year. Get Ryan up too no one is blocking him. Duran is hurt and Jordy Blaze at best gets a look at AAA this year. And that's all folks unless maybe Winder gets back on the mound this year. Oh yeah there is Dobnak. Realistically nobody else is ready. We should also get a look at relievers Moran and Hamilton. Ober, Barnes, Jax, Ryan and Dobnak are the starters the rest of the year. I can see Ober and Ryan making the rotation out of camp and Moran, Gant and Hamilton the pen. The rest, we will see, maybe Jax in the pen too. 

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    2 hours ago, mikelink45 said:

    Somebody in the minors has to be available and not on the IL - get any healthy arm that is out there and under 27 years old.  Start experimenting.  Do something. 

    “Experimenting” and “doing something” isn’t just cycling through different guys (although we optioned Barnes out today, so we will likely see a new face this week, probably Joe Ryan).

    Teams can experiment by trying different things with existing players too. And the Twins are clearly doing that with Jax right now, as evidenced by his recent velocity gains.

     

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    2 minutes ago, Otto von Ballpark said:

    “Experimenting” and “doing something” isn’t just cycling through different guys (although we optioned Barnes out today, so we will likely see a new face this week, probably Joe Ryan).

    Teams can experiment by trying different things with existing players too. And the Twins are clearly doing that with Jax right now, as evidenced by his recent velocity gains.

     

    He may have velocity gains, but he is not ready to be in next years rotation.

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    19 minutes ago, mikelink45 said:

    He may have velocity gains, but he is not ready to be in next years rotation.

    I understand the frustration, but out of the pitchers that are ready right now, Jax is one of the best and only options that we have. The reality is that most of our pitchers are still a year away or injured. There is nothing to lose by starting Jax for the rest of the season.

    We have to take the good with the bad with a pitcher like Jax. While he has been very bad the last 2 starts, he had a stretch of 5 games before that where he had a ERA under 3 against some very tough competition. We shouldn't be so quick to write him off when he's still so inexperienced. You can't expect everyone to start contributing immediately.

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    Dobnak will get the call next. And the Twins may have to make a roster move, unless they are ready to move Maeda to the 60-day.

     

    Farrell and Law may be close behind.

     

    I would swap out Jax for Strotman at the moment. Of course, the Twins can add two arms Wednesday if they have the roster spots open. Without sending anyone out. Who would that be? Ryan would make a roster move happen on the 40-man. Farrell would do so, too.

     

    How do we get Miranda and Moran to the majors?

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    I bet Buxton is jonesin' big time for a hit, now. He doesn't look to happy about that padded batting mitten.

    Watching the Brewers march out Boxberger, Williams, and Hader...... color me green with envy. This team is looking a bit like KC in that 2 year stretch that ended with the WS win. And Hunter Strickland.... what a Jeckyll/Hyde case this year. Right now he is a surprise bonus.

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    Just not sure what benefit there is in sending Jax down at this point. He's got to find a way to keep MLB hitters in the park, or he won't be starting in the majors. Right now he's getting lit up again and he's giving up way too many HRs. But I'm ok with tinkering with him at the MLB level to see if he can get it together. But he's starting to look like a long-man in the bullpen. Keeping the ball in the park was never Jax's problem before, but this is the difference between the majors and the minors. He's walking more guys than ever before, he's giving up more HRs than ever before and the slight uptick in K's doesn't compensate. He's got to do better if he wants to compete for a job next year and be more than organizational depth.

    Sano is playing really well, and it's nice to see. His Aug has been exactly what we all hoped he'd be and he's gotten better basically all season after a horrific start. He's going to finish the year with 25-30 HRs in about 125 games and he's made excellent adjustments as the season's gone along. The question for him is: can he start like this next year? He's back to being a really dangerous hitter again.

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    15 minutes ago, jmlease1 said:

     

    Sano is playing really well, and it's nice to see. His Aug has been exactly what we all hoped he'd be and he's gotten better basically all season after a horrific start. He's going to finish the year with 25-30 HRs in about 125 games and he's made excellent adjustments as the season's gone along. The question for him is: can he start like this next year? He's back to being a really dangerous hitter again.

    Agree. I think he pretty much has to start like this next year if the Twins are going to try and stay competitive out of the gate. Regardless, for now, as you said, it's nice to see.

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