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  • Game Score: Twins 3, Cleveland 0


    Andrew Thares

    Joe Ryan flirted with perfection in just his second career start, but in the end, he had to settle for seven shutout innings and his first MLB Win in the Twins second 3-0 victory over Cleveland in as many nights.

    Image courtesy of David Richard, USA TODAY Sports

    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Ryan 7.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
    Homeruns: Sano (25)
    Top 3 WPA: Ryan (0.479), Gordon (0.101), Thielbar (0.58)

    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    1904808224_ScreenShot2021-09-08at7_41_34PM.png.b4a5daae74ccde226212eb585ed3d5ea.png

    Joe Ryan Take Perfect Game into Seventh in Second Career Start
    Apart from one rough inning in his MLB debut last week against the Chicago Cubs, Joe Ryan looked pretty impressive and left an overall good first impression, at least in this writer’s eyes. Well, that strong first impression only got stronger after tonight’s start, as Ryan retired the first 19 hitters Cleveland sent to the plate. 

    Joe Ryan had the fly ball out working in his favor early in the game tonight, as he gave up a number of deep fly balls that looked scary off the bat, but they all would eventually die harmlessly at the warning track for routine outs.

    Joe Ryan also did a good job keeping his pitch count low, as he completed seven shutout innings with just 85 pitches. While having just four strikeouts aided in that effort, the main reason was Joe not only avoided the walk, but he didn’t really work deep into many counts as he threw nearly 72% of his pitches for strikes. 

    The perfect game, and the no-hitter, came to an end with one out in the seventh, when Amed Rosario laced a hard-hit ball between short and third for a one out single. Rosario would advance to second on a pickoff attempt throwing error from Ryan. However, Ryan would focus in and get out of the inning without allowing a run to score.

    Twins Get on the Board First in the Fifth
    The first few innings of this game were rather uneventful. The most action came from a Josh Donaldson leadoff double in the 2nd that was originally ruled an out, but after a Twins challenge Donaldson was awarded second base after it was determined that the ball made contact with the outfield wall just before it fell into the glove of Cleveland outfielder Harold Ramirez.

    The fifth inning started like most of the other innings early in this ballgame, as the Twins made two outs to begin the inning. Rob Refsnyder got the two out rally started by working the count full before drawing a two out walk. Then, with Nick Gordon up, Refsnyder stole second base to get in scoring position. Gordon then promptly delivered with a double, bringing Refsnyder around to score the first run of the game.

    Miguel Sano Goes Way Deep in the Seventh
    After putting up a run with two outs in the fifth, the Twins got another two out run in the seventh, this time via a more conventional way, a Miguel Sano bomb. Now I must preface this by saying, for Sano this was just another oh hum home run, but for any average MLB hitter this would certainly be classified as a bomb that traveled 449 feet to the opposite field.

    Twins Tack on Insurance Run in Eighth
    With the perfect game in the rearview mirror, the focus was shifted back on the original goal, winning the ballgame. The Twins bats aided in the bullpen’s quest to lock down the win by giving them a bigger cushion to work with.

    Ryan Jeffers got the inning started with a one out double into the left-center field gap. Luis Arraez followed with a single to left field that seemed like it should have scored Jeffers, but he was held up by third base coach Tony Diaz, despite the throw coming back into second. Byron Buxton then delivered on what should have been a TaylorMade double-play, but with Buxton’s speed those do not exist, as he beat it out allowing the run to score.

    Bullpen Usage Chart

      SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT
    Colomé 11 23 9 17 0 60
    Thielbar 0 28 0 25 8 61
    Minaya 21 0 0 21 0 42
    Alcalá 0 15 0 19 0 34
    Garza Jr. 23 0 0 0 0 23
    Duffey 0 10 8 0 17 35
    Coulombe 0 0 0 0 0 0

     

    What's Next
    The Twins will go for the rare four-game sweep vs Cleveland on Thursday night, as they will send Randy Dobnak to the mound to face Cleveland pitcher Cal Quantrill. First pitch is scheduled for 5:10pm CDT.

    Postgame Interviews

     

     

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    Terrific outing from Joe Ryan. Might have a future in this league! I got a little nervous on some of those deep flies, but Ryan sure didn't look nervous about it. Looking forward to watching more of his starts and seeing how he lands.

    Loved the defensive play by Jeffers late holding on to that foul tip. That's a great job and I love seeing it. Big bomb from Sano too.

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    13 minutes ago, HerbieFan said:

    Could it be?  Could Joe Ryan and Bailey Ober be part of the rotation next year?  

    My response in the poll in the Twins Talk forum were that I thought those two would be a lock ... although, a lot of uncertainty around that. Still ... I like what I've seen so far and think they could make the beginnings of a good rotation. Of course, it all depends on who else is with them. But man, really liked Ryan tonight ... I mean, who wouldn't? And I'm not anointing him as anything, because this was just his 2nd major league start, but I like what I see so far.

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    22 minutes ago, Squirrel said:

    My response in the poll in the Twins Talk forum were that I thought those two would be a lock ... although, a lot of uncertainty around that. Still ... I like what I've seen so far and think they could make the beginnings of a good rotation. Of course, it all depends on who else is with them. But man, really liked Ryan tonight ... I mean, who wouldn't? And I'm not anointing him as anything, because this was just his 2nd major league start, but I like what I see so far.

    Yeah gotta say that was pretty impressive I think the Rays might have messed up.  Like you I know it is too early to say that but I just love everything about this guy from the personable interviews to the just throw strikes and dare them to hit'em attitude.  Things could change as the league adjusts but golly gee whiz I like this kid.

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    Ryan seems like a straight shooter and a sharp young man. At the 3:00 mark of the postgame interview, he gives a pretty remarkable compliment to the Twins organization and to Wes Johnson in particular. From his perspective, the development transition from the Rays organization to the Twins was seamless. That probably matters quite a bit - and it signals to me that this organization might have still been doing a number of things right over the past year that I couldn't see from my perspective as a disgruntled fan.

    A lot's gone wrong in 2021, and frustration with this organization is understandable. But I'm hoping there's a lot more good like this under the surface that's developing.

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    I mean, Cleveland has a garbage fire of an offense...but you can only pitch to the batters in front of you. I look forward to seeing how Ryan does against a good offense. I think he'll do ok. A few more starts like this and the pencil being used to put him in next year's rotation will become ink.

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    1 hour ago, HerbieFan said:

    Could it be?  Could Joe Ryan and Bailey Ober be part of the rotation next year?  

    Agreed......they both should as Falvey/Levine have produced ZERO SPs since taking over the reigns from the Terry Ryan/Bill Smith era.  A lot of discussion in other threads on TD about the makeup of our rotation for 2022.  Considering the likelihood of contending for the division is pretty low, count me in the camp advocating for Ryan and Ober to be SP regulars.  See no upside to signing the likes of Happ and Shoemaker.  That recipe has been proven to be a s**t sandwich for far too many years.  I advocated spending $$ on re-signing Buxton to an extension and making a serious run at one of the top (Corey Seager) FA shortstops that will be available.

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    This year's trade deadline caught me on a all-time low interest in sports in general. My interest is slowly rekindling, and I took a closer look at Gant yesterday and liked what I saw. Did the same for Ryan and was amazed at his minor league career.

    Respectable 1st year in lower A : 3.72 ERA, 36 IP, 26H, 14 BB, 51K

    Phenomenal 2nd year covering 3 levels A- up to AA: 1.96 ERA, 123 IP, 77H, 27BB, 183K. Wow stuff.

    This year in AAA, 3.41 ERA, 66 IP, 40H, 12BB, 92K.

    You all have probably been over this before. but the low hits and walks allowed and many Ks per innings pitched are really stand out indicators that this guy can be an MLB pitcher.

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    I wish I could have watched the game instead of just checking the box score and the listening to the break up of the perfect game while in my car.

    Even though Cleveland has a less than stellar lineup, how can you not be impressed for what Ryan did tonight? He was amazing!

    This kid is riding lightening right now and the Twins need to give him all the chances they can to get him ready for 2022. He has the stuff and the attitude to be a stalwart. Just how good he can be is yet to be determined,  obviously. 

    I am super amped up as to his potential as a potential ML SP piece for the Twins. But I'm also a realist. I am NOT being a downer, but I still want to see Johnson work with him the rest of the year and going in to next season on some sort of reliable 3rd pitch. He finds any sort of 3rd pitch with his FB, slider, and control and moxy, he just might be special. At WORST, we might be looking at a really good #2 or excellent #3 SP. 

    And let us pause for a moment to remember how good Ober has looked and developed while even making some adjustments on the fly. I want to be guarded knowing growing pains will happen at some point, but, how can you not be excited this first wave of young rotation pieces, one developed and one brought in?

    Really excited as to how each finishes the season.

    Also really excited to see what Dobber does to finish the year, healthy again. Despite some bad pitches and some poor defense there was a lot to like from his last start. IF he can finish 2021 looking like the initial 2020 version of himself, the Twins could be looking at a 2022 pipeline of young SP talent for the future. 

    There's still a lot to play for this season, even in a lost year, to get ready for 2022.

     

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    59 minutes ago, bighat said:

    This was delightful to read this morning. Thank you Nelson Cruz!

    I thought about that last night.  Cruz is certainly among the best FA acquisitions this team has ever made.  Then, his parting gift is to bring back a really nice prospect that might be an impact player for another 6+ years..  Who knows, maybe two.  Yes, thank you Nelson Cruz.  I hope he is back as a coach one day.

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    While I realize it is only two games so far so we can't call Ryan a star or even a lock for the rotation in 2022, I would like to hear from all of those who were complaining that the Twins didn't acquire any "major league talent" (or similar snarky comments) for Nelson Cruz. 

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    10 hours ago, Dman said:

    Yeah gotta say that was pretty impressive I think the Rays might have messed up.  Like you I know it is too early to say that but I just love everything about this guy from the personable interviews to the just throw strikes and dare them to hit'em attitude.  Things could change as the league adjusts but golly gee whiz I like this kid.

    My opinion is that this trade has/will work out well for both sides.  Ryan certainly has a chance to be a key piece of the Twins rotation going forward.

    Meanwhile Tampa continues to roll, and Cruz has provided the big stick and the veteran leadership they wanted.

    Tampa just amazes me.  They are 9 games up in the best division in baseball and have the best record in the A.L. after losing Snell and Morton last offseason and Glasnow earlier this season.  Their ability to produce pitching and keep on winning is astounding.

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    I actually felt relieved when that hit came through in the 7th, because there was no way they were letting him go 9 in his second big league start after being off for several weeks, and there's a certain segment of the fans that would have completely lost their **** if he was pulled with a perfect game going. The amount of time sabermetrics would be incorrectly and agrily invoked would be impossible to quantify.

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    Was watching Ray Donavan when I checked my ipad at the end of the 5th inning.  Took a second to understand the comment on gameday....Perfect Game.  Kept it turned on until the single in the 7th.  WOW!

    Got me thinking this morning that it makes sense to sign one older free agent every winter to a one year contract.  Somebody with a good bat or vet pitcher who could help a contending team come July.  Get a hundred games of performance until some prospect is ready, then trade him.  Excellent way to restock the pipeline and could be done even if the Twins are back in the chase by opening a spot on the roster for a big time prospect.

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    8 hours ago, DocBauer said:

    Even though Cleveland has a less than stellar lineup, how can you not be impressed for what Ryan did tonight? He was amazing!

    This kid is riding lightening right now and the Twins need to give him all the chances they can to get him ready for 2022. He has the stuff and the attitude to be a stalwart. Just how good he can be is yet to be determined,  obviously. 

    While the game was fun and really exciting in the moment, I feel we should pump the brakes on Ryan a little bit. At the end of the day, he's still a two-pitch pitcher whose second pitch isn't great and he has little velocity, to boot.

    I think he can have a really nice career because he really seems to have the right mojo on the mound, which goes a long way with a starting pitcher, IMO.

    But Ryan had quite a bit of hard contact last night, it just fell into Twins' leather until the seventh inning.

    Good start, loved to see it, want to see more. But it wasn't as dominant as it looked on the stat line.

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    51 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

    While the game was fun and really exciting in the moment, I feel we should pump the brakes on Ryan a little bit. At the end of the day, he's still a two-pitch pitcher whose second pitch isn't great and he has little velocity, to boot.

    I think he can have a really nice career because he really seems to have the right mojo on the mound, which goes a long way with a starting pitcher, IMO.

    But Ryan had quite a bit of hard contact last night, it just fell into Twins' leather until the seventh inning.

    Good start, loved to see it, want to see more. But it wasn't as dominant as it looked on the stat line.

    Velocity isn't everything, though. We've seen enough guys who throw mid-to-upper 90's whose fastball was as flat and straight as can be and those guys get crushed. Ryan's fastball has good life and movement on it, which should make it harder for guys to consistently catch up/square up on it. Jury's still out on his secondary stuff, but he's not just a fastball/slider guy: he does throw a change up and a curve (and definitely had a few nice ones that he dropped in for strikes early in the count). The big flies he gave up could be troublesome against better hitters, so we'll see how he does, but if he can stay out of the heart of the plate and away from 3-ball counts, he can be a quality pitcher.

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    13 minutes ago, jmlease1 said:

    Velocity isn't everything, though. We've seen enough guys who throw mid-to-upper 90's whose fastball was as flat and straight as can be and those guys get crushed. Ryan's fastball has good life and movement on it, which should make it harder for guys to consistently catch up/square up on it. Jury's still out on his secondary stuff, but he's not just a fastball/slider guy: he does throw a change up and a curve (and definitely had a few nice ones that he dropped in for strikes early in the count). The big flies he gave up could be troublesome against better hitters, so we'll see how he does, but if he can stay out of the heart of the plate and away from 3-ball counts, he can be a quality pitcher.

    Oh, velocity isn't everything but it sure doesn't hurt. :D

    And I believe Ryan can be a good pitcher, I'm only saying we need to temper our expectations a bit, particularly after a night where he posted an amazing stat line but actually watching the game, he was slightly less dominant and with 1-2 more mph on a few of those balls (or even a slight pull instead of to dead center), could have merely posted a middling start.

    Again, I'm very encouraged by Ryan and excited to see more, I'm just suggesting people not get too drunk on his stat line from last night.

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    11 hours ago, Squirrel said:

    I keep rewatching that Jeffers catch of the foul tip and looking at Straw's reaction. Was he just saying 'Aw, come on'  or did he have a complaint of some sort?

    I have to think it was along the lines of... "WT*?! was that?"

    I'm still laughing about it... loved the play as well. 

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    Quote

    Joe Ryan had the fly ball out working in his favor early in the game tonight, as he gave up a number of deep fly balls that looked scary off the bat, but they all would eventually die harmlessly at the warning track for routine outs.

    In other words, he gives up 5 home runs at Yankee Stadium.

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