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  • Game Score: Twins 8, Cardinals 1


    Seth Stohs

    After a long and emotional trade deadline day on Friday that ended in another Twins loss, the team came out hitting on Saturday and the pitching backed them up on the way to a nice 8-1 win in St. Louis. 

    Image courtesy of Jeff Curry, USA Today

    Box Score 
    Bailey Ober: 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K (64 pitches, 44 strikes (68.8%))
    Home Runs: Jeffers (9), 
    Top 3 WPA: Jorge Polanco (0.126), Bailey Ober (0.117), Miguel Sano (.109)

    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    chart (3).png

    The Return of Arraez

    Before Saturday’s game, the Twins announced that Luis Arraez was being activated from the Injured List. Gilberto Celestino was optioned to Triple-A St. Paul (will he finally make his Saints debut?). 

    He was put into the cleanup spot in the Twins lineup. It paid immediate dividends for the team. In the first inning, he came up with runners on second and third base. He gave the Twins a 1-0 lead with a sacrifice fly. He added another RBI his second time up. With runners on first and second, he hit a double down the right field line. He added a walk later in the game. 

    Bailey’s Big Hit 

    Bailey Ober had not had an at-bat in a baseball game in eight years, since he and Vikings center Garrett Bradbury were starring at Charlotte Christian High School in North Carolina. He stepped to the plate, and on an 0-1 pitch, lined a single to right field for his first big-league hit. OK, softly lined a single to right field. It doesn’t matter. Congratulations to Ober! 

    The Twins' pitchers haven’t had a lot of hits of late. 

    More importantly, Bailey Ober pitched well. He began with three scoreless innings, and then in the fourth, he gave up a run but was able to limit damage with a big double play ball. Despite a 7-1 lead, Ober was due to bat for the third time but Willians Astudillo pinch hit and grounded a single through the infield to give the Twins an 8-1 lead.   

    Ober’s fastball sat between 92 and 93 mph, but he is able to get swings and misses with it up in the strike zone. Why? 

    As important, the Twins bullpen combined for five shutout innings. Jorge Alcala worked two innings, and then Caleb Thielbar, Juan Minaya and Alexander Colome each pitched one inning. (see the bullpen usage chart below)

    Jeffers Jolts

    In the third inning, Ryan Jeffers came to the plate and hit a three-run homer to give the Twins a 7-0 lead. It was his ninth homer of the season, but it was his third in his past two starts. Remember, he had two homers in that crazy, 17-14 loss to the Tigers on Wednesday. 

    In his past nine games, Jeffers is 9-for-29 (.310) with two doubles, three homers and an OPS north of 1.000). 

    Since returning from the IL, Mitch Garver has played in five games and hit .278 (1.324 OPS) with two doubles, three homers and ten RBI.

    After both struggled mightily at the plate in April, Twins fans are now seeing what we thought we might from the Twins catching duo. 

    It feels appropriate to talk about the performance of Twins catchers on a night when Hall of Fame catcher Ted Simmons' number was retired by the Cardinals and a statue of his likeness was unveiled outside the stadium. 

     

    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

      MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT TOT
    Coulombe 0 10 0 0 23 0 33
    Thielbar 13 16 0 0 0 14 43
    Alcala 0 11 0 0 0 21 32
    Gant 0 0 24 0 0 0 24
    Colomé 16 0 0 0 0 16 32
    Minaya 0 0 45 0 0 18 63
    Duffey 11 7 0 0 32 0 50
    Burrows 0 0 63 0 0 0 63
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    28 minutes ago, HrbekRules said:

    Why pull Ober after 4, pitch count wasn’t high, he was doing well.  Roco mismanaged the pen again.

    I am with you.  Ober has not been allowed to go 5 in numerous games.  Is he a starter?  I really hate Rocco's hook.  I do not understand it at all.  Tonight he was lucky, the BP did not fail us. 

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    57 minutes ago, HrbekRules said:

    Why pull Ober after 4, pitch count wasn’t high, he was doing well.  Roco mismanaged the pen again.

    I fear this is the way it will be the rest of the season with every pitcher not named Maeda or Pineda. It really sucks as a fan. We've been waiting for another internally developed starting pitcher to rise up the ranks and grab a spot in the rotation and keep it. Ober has come the closest to doing that, and he gets pulled when he has a chance to do something fun like K 10 guys, win a game and really start to develop some swagger. Rocco is annoying. Ober worked through that 4th inning and then gets told "too much duress for you! Hit the shower".

    Edited by Squirrel
    Removed pejorative nickname
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    1 hour ago, HrbekRules said:

    Why pull Ober after 4, pitch count wasn’t high, he was doing well.  Roco mismanaged the pen again.

    Agree with the question, in general.  But this time it may have made sense.  If memory serves, there were two outs and runners on the corners with Ober coming to bat.  With Ober probably going only one more inning, it does make sense to pinch hit under National League rules.

    Really like how Ober pitched, although there were several hard hit balls in the last inning.  Was the first game I watched all nine innings all year.  Good seeing the offense score some runs.  Sure nice having Arraez back on the field, isn't it?

    My only disappointment was Kepler.  Granted, he had several at bats against lefties with sweeping sliders, but Max did not look good at the plate.  One of my favorite players these past few years, just don't know what his future holds?

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    2 hours ago, HrbekRules said:

    Why pull Ober after 4, pitch count wasn’t high, he was doing well.  Roco mismanaged the pen again.

    I get the frustration with pulling Ober, but as was pointed out to me in another conversation, Ober hasn't pitched more than 80 innings in a season, well, ever ... and missed all of last season ... so I get being cautious with him, too. Yeah, I would have liked to see him go one more inning, and really think they could have given him just one more, but I just can't be overly upset with it, either. That said, I'm not sure how the pen was mismanaged last night? I mean ... they gave up zero runs. Maybe that's luck, given the pen blowups this season, but for them to give us 5 innings without giving up a run ... I can't really call that mismanaged.

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    1 hour ago, MMMordabito said:

    I fear this is the way it will be the rest of the season with every pitcher not named Maeda or Pineda. It really sucks as a fan. We've been waiting for another internally developed starting pitcher to rise up the ranks and grab a spot in the rotation and keep it. Ober has come the closest to doing that, and he gets pulled when he has a chance to do something fun like K 10 guys, win a game and really start to develop some swagger. Rocco is annoying. Ober worked through that 4th inning and then gets told "too much duress for you! Hit the shower".

    I've been trying to find video that I thought I saw on twitter of a Baldelli press conference that I'd like to post here, but I think he explains it well. And it's nothing new... Dan Hayes tweeted why it makes so much sense too. It's not really difficult. 

    1.) Ober's career-high innings was 78.1 IP in 2019, when he missed half of the season with elbow issues, which he's had since his sophomore year of college.

    2.) He pitched zero competitive innings in 2020. He wasn't in St. Paul at the alternate site. He wasn't at Instructional League in Ft. Myers in November. 

    3.) They need to keep him healthy through 10-11 more starts this year and probably try to keep him in the 110-120 innings range. 

    Baldelli's comments (notice that he says this is an organizational theory, not just his and Wes's, but the front office, the medical team, etc.)

    Hayes tweets: 

    Ober's comments: 

     

     

     

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    4 minutes ago, Seth Stohs said:

    I've been trying to find video that I thought I saw on twitter of a Baldelli press conference that I'd like to post here, but I think he explains it well. And it's nothing new... Dan Hayes tweeted why it makes so much sense too. It's not really difficult. 

    1.) Ober's career-high innings was 78.1 IP in 2019, when he missed half of the season with elbow issues, which he's had since his sophomore year of college.

    2.) He pitched zero competitive innings in 2020. He wasn't in St. Paul at the alternate site. He wasn't at Instructional League in Ft. Myers in November. 

    3.) They need to keep him healthy through 10-11 more starts this year and probably try to keep him in the 110-120 innings range. 

    Baldelli's comments (notice that he says this is an organizational theory, not just his and Wes's, but the front office, the medical team, etc.)

    Hayes tweets: 

    Ober's comments: 

     

     

     

    I can't love this comment, and most you make, enough. Thanks for being so reasonable with substance

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    Neither Simmons nor the statue look anything remotely like Ted Simmons. If it weren’t for the flow, I’d have had no clue. 🙂
    Still, are we sure it’s not Darell Porter? And for that matter, even after all these years, can we be sure Darrell Porter and Ted Simmons aren’t the same guy?

    And why in the world do you do a statue of Ted Simmons batting right-handed?. It’s not like he was better from the right side. He wasn’t. And, of course, he had twice as many…everything…from the left side. Was there a famous right-handed postseason at-bat I don’t remember? 

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    13 hours ago, HrbekRules said:

    Why pull Ober after 4, pitch count wasn’t high, he was doing well.  Roco mismanaged the pen again.

    Completely denies they guy a possible "W" next to his name. Not the first time Rocco has done this. I hate it.

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    10 hours ago, jkcarew said:

    Neither Simmons nor the statue look anything remotely like Ted Simmons. If it weren’t for the flow, I’d have had no clue. 🙂
    Still, are we sure it’s not Darell Porter? And for that matter, even after all these years, can we be sure Darrell Porter and Ted Simmons aren’t the same guy?

    And why in the world do you do a statue of Ted Simmons batting right-handed?. It’s not like he was better from the right side. He wasn’t. And, of course, he had twice as many…everything…from the left side. Was there a famous right-handed postseason at-bat I don’t remember? 

    Why did they have Ted Simmons grandpa pose for the picture? 🙂

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