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  • Game Score: White Sox 5, Twins 3


    Nate Palmer

    Mitch Garver returned for Game 2 Monday night and the game was covered with GarvSauce. That wasn’t enough as Gavin Sheets hit a walk-off 3-run blast and hand the Twins another heart-breaking loss. 
     

    Image courtesy of © Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

    Box Score
    Starter: Jose Berrios 6.0 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 8 K
    Home Runs: Mitch Garver (9,10)
    Bottom 3 WPA: Berrios (-.547), Simmons (-.060), Kirilloff/Larnach (-.057) 
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    chart-11.png.9c1aeb106f7b8a24e460fa3d586ddf35.png

    After having to battle Lance Lynn in Game 1 Monday evening, a matchup with Reynaldo Lopez who was making the start for the White Sox appeared, on paper, to be a much easier task offensively for the Twins. 

    The Twins did get on the board in the 1st quickly. After Luis Arraez reached with a single, he advanced all the way to 3rd base on a throwing error. He wasn’t there very long as Josh Donaldson drove him home with a sacrifice fly to put the Twins up 1-0 early. 

    That lead didn’t last long. In the bottom half of the 1st, Twins nemesis Jose Abreu hit his 17th home run on the year off of Jose Berrios. Abreu has seen Berrios the 5th most of any pitcher over his career. Berrios has actually had decent “success” against Abreu as Monday night was the second home run he has allowed to last season's AL MVP. 

    Mitch Garver Returns BIG

    The most exciting storyline of the game was by far the return of Mitch Garver who was activated between games. You may remember it was about 6 weeks ago that Garver had to have emergency surgery for a groin contusion/injury. While normally we would be worried about a player’s timing after that sort of layoff, Garver seemed to lock back in quickly. 

    In his first at-bat during the 2nd inning, Garver hit a solo home run for his 9th on the season to put the Twins back up 2-1. 

     

    Being a good catcher Garver couldn’t leave his night to just that. In his next at-bat, Garver gave his starter some more breathing room with his 10th home run of the season. 

     

    After that 2nd home run of the evening, Garver had brought his home run pace to a home run every 11.6 at-bats since the 2019 season. 

     

    Berrios deals, Berrios implodes

    The storyline should have been dominated by Garver’s return. As a result, the story of Berrios’ stunning start should have flown under the radar. That was the truth through 6 innings aside from the solo shots from Abreu and Moncada. We of course know with that set up, a “but” is on its way.  

    It looked like Berrios was going to go the distance in Game 2. That would have been huge considering how the Twins high-leverage bullpen arms were all used in Game 1. With the way Berrios had been rolling and the bullpen's status, it made absolute sense to bring him back in for the 7th inning to finish out the game. 

    Those of us watching saw how things went south very quickly. Goodwin and Vaughn both reached base. With those two on 1st and 2nd, Berrios spiked a ball in the dirt allowing them to advance to 2nd and 3rd. With that clear sign that Berrios was rattled, rookie Gavin Sheets took Berrios long to walk-off the Twins. 

    This outing was another case study on the tough decision that lays in the hands of the front office as the trade deadline looms. Is Berrios a pitcher they can continue to build a playoff winning staff around for 2022? Or are the blowups just too much and it is time to capitalize on what would still be a potentially high return that could be had for the remaining time of control?

    The Twins will see the White Sox and Dallas Keuchel again tomorrow night as Bailey Ober is scheduled to start opposite of Keuchel. 

    Postgame Interview

    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

     

      THU FRI SAT SUN MON TOT
    Burrows 0 0 32 0 0 32
    Rogers 0 0 21 0 19 40
    Robles 0 0 18 0 19 37
    Minaya 0 0 0 13 0 13
    Thielbar 0 0 0 0 0 0
    Duffey 0 0 0 0 16 16
    Colomé 0 0 0 0 0 0
    Alcala 0 0 0 0 23 23
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    You've rather undersold the Berrios implosion. "Goodwin and Vaughn reached base?" Really??

    Goodwin drilled a single on an absolutely awful 0-2 pitch. Berrios then manages a HBP, followed by an immediate WP to advance the runners...and then falls behind, leading to what we all knew was coming.

    Count me among those who thinks giving Berrios big money is folly. He's just not worth it. 

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    How are Berrios starts so entertaining and so frustrating at the same time? I feel like they should have someone warmed up constantly after the 3rd inning and give him the world's quickest hook at any sign of trouble. We have seen the same thing sooo many times.

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    1 hour ago, milkytoast said:

    How are Berrios starts so entertaining and so frustrating at the same time? I feel like they should have someone warmed up constantly after the 3rd inning and give him the world's quickest hook at any sign of trouble. We have seen the same thing sooo many times.

    I suppose he's advancing the market on Minnesota fans pain threshold. 

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    How this team continues to take momentum and flush it down the toilet is incredible.

    • Mitch Garver comes off the DL after 2 months and hits two homers! Right after the team came back in the first game....Twins lose.
    • A couple weeks ago the Twins came to Chicago on a winning streak and Donaldson leads off two games in a row with HRs. Dude is FIRED UP! Twins lose both games.
    • Earlier in the season the Twins finally looked to end their extra innings curse in Oakland after Buxton hits a huge 2-run HR in the 10th. Buxton jogs around the bases pumping his fist. Dugout is pumped! Twins blow it.  

    Never seen anything like it.

    Incredible return for Garver, certainly something to celebrate in a dark season.

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    Garver has become predictable. He will hit the long ball. And then not block the low ball. One could say neither missed block made a difference. Or one could say that the second one virtually guaranteed a tie game. Not to overly defend Berrios, but no pitcher can have confidence really working the ball low with the tying run on third with that kind of defense behind the plate. We traded a glove first catcher for a bat first catcher. We giveth and we taketh away. 

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    I turned off the game and thought Berrios might have cost himself some real money by falling apart in the seventh inning. Really a shame for the team. I wonder whether other teams think that's just who he is, or if it was bad luck. Because we've seen enough to think it's just who he is.

    I was watching the game with my mother (turns 87 on Thursday). During the last at-bat of the sixth she said "He's tired, better get him out of there." When he came out for the seventh she said it was a bad idea. She and Rocco should talk.

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    2 hours ago, bighat said:

    How this team continues to take momentum and flush it down the toilet is incredible

    I heard this from Atteberry and Gladden after the game, as well, so you are not alone. "The Twins were building momentum coming off a game one win..." 

    Didn't the Twins just get swept by Detroit? 

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    True Twins fans should not be surprised by Berrios blown game.  He tends to have a bad inning most games.  Too bad it was the last inning.  How can Baldelli say he was unlucky?  He was terrible that inning not unlucky.  Why wasn't anyone ready from the bullpen.  He tends to pull starters quickly but this time he should have pulled him after the leadoff guy got on base. Baldelli was wrong to leave him in there.  Btw where is the accountability for him?  I am not advocating for his firing.  I don't like him as a manager but I don't believe he should be fired, at least not yet.  Come on Rocco prove me wrong!

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    "Rocco is the worst! Always pulls Berrios and the rest of the starters way too early to put in this garbage bullpen!"

    Rocco leaves starter in for the 7th. Starter loses game.

    "Rocco is the worst! Why doesn't he pull his starter and put in the pen guys?!"

    Just one of those seasons. I'm not a huge Rocco fan by any means, but this damned if he does damned if he doesn't stuff is getting ridiculous. Tough loss. I know it comes in the middle of a brutal season, but you can't have it both ways. Either you want the starters to have the chance to work through things when they're going well in a game (Berrios had given up 2 hits through 6! and didn't hit 100 pitches for the game) or you want them pulled at the first sign of trouble like Rocco used to do. And don't give me the "he needs a better feel for the game" garbage right now either. Things didn't go well in the 7th, but this is what people have been begging for all year. He's letting his starters go when they're doing well. Pretty disingenuous to spin it and then yell at him for doing exactly what you've asked for. Rocco said "this is your game Jose, go win it" and Jose didn't get the job done. It happens.

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    9 minutes ago, chpettit19 said:

     And don't give me the "he needs a better feel for the game" garbage right now either. 

    Why not? That's his job. Managers make those kinds of decisions every day. He literally needs to be really good at it.

     

    In this particular instance, I don't think Baldelli did anything wrong. It's Berrios, his pitch count is fine, it's only 7 innings, and he'd burned through the best of his weak bullpen in game 1. Berrios simply melted down. 

    But while one game's worth of decisions surely isn't enough to hang Baldelli, it's also not enough to excuse him, either.

    He gets paid to make the correct decision more often than not. I think it's completely fair for fans to question if he's doing that. 

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    16 minutes ago, USAFChief said:

    Why not? That's his job. Managers make those kinds of decisions every day. He literally needs to be really good at it.

    In this particular instance, I don't think Baldelli did anything wrong. It's Berrios, his pitch count is fine, it's only 7 innings, and he'd burned through the best of his weak bullpen in game 1. Berrios simply melted down. 

    But while one game's worth of decisions surely isn't enough to hang Baldelli, it's also not enough to excuse him, either.

    He gets paid to make the correct decision more often than not. I think it's completely fair for fans to question if he's doing that. 

    Agreed. I've had many problems with various moves Baldelli has made this season but sticking with Berríos last night was not one of them. The guy sailed through six low effort innings, it's on him to finish the seventh, particularly during a stretch where the Twins play multiple doubleheaders and will need bullpen relief.

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    10 minutes ago, USAFChief said:

    Why not? That's his job. Managers make those kinds of decisions every day. He literally needs to be really good at it.

     

    In this particular instance, I don't think Baldelli did anything wrong. It's Berrios, his pitch count is fine, it's only 7 innings, and he'd burned through the best of his weak bullpen in game 1. Berrios simply melted down. 

    But while one game's worth of decisions surely isn't enough to hang Baldelli, it's also not enough to excuse him, either.

    He gets paid to make the correct decision more often than not. I think it's completely fair for fans to question if he's doing that. 

    Of course he needs to be good at making those decisions. My point is that fans have gone from saying he has no feel for the game because he doesn't leave his pitchers in long enough to saying he has no feel for the game because he's leaving his pitchers in. It's simply complaining to complain.

    I know people have a need to vent, and it's hard to not complain during a season like this, but going from "he needs to keep pitchers in when they're going well" to "he needs to pull his pitcher sooner and take away the risk of him blowing up" gets pretty frustrating. Rocco has made plenty of decisions I don't understand and have questioned in the moment, but last night wasn't one of them. So if people want to question his "feel for the game" at least be consistent with it. I may have worded it wrong in my other post, but that's my point. He gets paid handsomely to make decisions and those of us who pay to view the product have every right to question those decisions. But it gets pretty annoying when the argument is "do what I want you to do until it goes poorly then you should've known better and just done what you used to do."

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    It is possible to leave Berrios in at the start of the inning and then pull him after it's apparent he is out of gas.

    "Keep him in to start the inning if he is doing well" does not mean the same thing as "never a pull a guy who is clearly struggling."  Frankly it's mildly offensive that people would suggest that this is what people mean when they say Baldelli pulls people too early.

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    4 hours ago, Platoon said:

    Garver has become predictable. He will hit the long ball. And then not block the low ball...

    Among the 45 catchers in MLB with more than 250 innings at the position this year, Garver is 18th (better than average) in passed balls with 2. The median is 3 and the bottom 5 ranked catchers have all allowed at least 7 passed balls each.

    Among the same group of 45 catchers, Garver is ranked 10th (top quartile) with 12. The median is 17.5. The bottom 5 have all allowed at least 34.

    I've noticed bashing Garver's defense seems to be a pretty popular thing in the forums; however, the data doesn't support the hate. He's not the best catcher to ever put on gear, but he's shaped himself into a solid backstop.

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    31 minutes ago, chpettit19 said:

     My point is that fans have gone from saying he has no feel for the game because he doesn't leave his pitchers in long enough to saying he has no feel for the game because he's leaving his pitchers in. It's simply complaining to complain.

     

    "Fans" is way too general to have any meaning. There are "fans" on both sides of the "pulling the starter" issue to be sure.

    To assign one position to "the fans" is unfair and wildly inaccurate. You're just inventing a position to "fans" and then arguing against it. 

    I'll state MY general belief about starting pitching: "starter loses game early, it's on him. Loses game late, it's on the manager."  I strongly believe it's much, much more favorable to remove a starter too early than too late. But that's a general philosophy. Everything needs to be placed in context, and a manager needs to have a "feel" for the situation. Last night, for example, that's not on Baldelli. 

    People can have more complicated views on pitching than you're giving them credit for.

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    9 minutes ago, bean5302 said:

    Among the 45 catchers in MLB with more than 250 innings at the position this year, Garver is 18th (better than average) in passed balls with 2. The median is 3 and the bottom 5 ranked catchers have all allowed at least 7 passed balls each.

    Among the same group of 45 catchers, Garver is ranked 10th (top quartile) with 12. The median is 17.5. The bottom 5 have all allowed at least 34.

    I've noticed bashing Garver's defense seems to be a pretty popular thing in the forums; however, the data doesn't support the hate. He's not the best catcher to ever put on gear, but he's shaped himself into a solid backstop.

    I'll take issue with this. Garver is a bad defensive catcher. Stone hands, below average arm. 1/2 a season of PB data is a pretty poor measure.

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    24 minutes ago, USAFChief said:

    "Fans" is way too general to have any meaning. There are "fans" on both sides of the "pulling the starter" issue to be sure.

    To assign one position to "the fans" is unfair and wildly inaccurate. You're just inventing a position to "fans" and then arguing against it. 

    I'll state MY general belief about starting pitching: "starter loses game early, it's on him. Loses game late, it's on the manager."  I strongly believe it's much, much more favorable to remove a starter too early than too late. But that's a general philosophy. Everything needs to be placed in context, and a manager needs to have a "feel" for the situation. Last night, for example, that's not on Baldelli. 

    People can have more complicated views on pitching than you're giving them credit for.

    I'm using "fans" to avoid directing comments at specific individuals. Obviously not every fan has the same opinion. I am specifically calling out fans on this site who have made both of the arguments I have stated and are basically just on here every day complaining about whatever they find to complain about even if it directly contradicts what they were complaining about the day, week, or month before.

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    39 minutes ago, Dodecahedron said:

    It is possible to leave Berrios in at the start of the inning and then pull him after it's apparent he is out of gas.

    "Keep him in to start the inning if he is doing well" does not mean the same thing as "never a pull a guy who is clearly struggling."  Frankly it's mildly offensive that people would suggest that this is what people mean when they say Baldelli pulls people too early.

    He pitched to 3 guys that inning. Threw 10 pitches. 

    The decision was made before the inning that Berrios was going to win that game or lose that game. And I think he's earned that right. Especially in a lost season.

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    4 minutes ago, chpettit19 said:

    He pitched to 3 guys that inning. Threw 10 pitches. 

    The decision was made before the inning that Berrios was going to win that game or lose that game. And I think he's earned that right. Especially in a lost season.

    You seem to be changing the subject from what you posted originally, which was a rant about the ugliness of everyone around you and not at all about this particular game.

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    1 minute ago, Dodecahedron said:

    You seem to be changing the subject from what you posted originally, which was a rant about the ugliness of everyone around you and not at all about this particular game.

    My rant was about specific posters on this site who have complained about a specific thing about Rocco then changed it today based on this particular game to then complain about the opposite of the specific thing they didn't like. Then I responded to your post about this particular game. I don't quite understand what you're saying here. You made a comment. I responded to it. I've also responded to comments on other threads today that have nothing at all to do with either game yesterday. I don't even know if your previous comment was directed towards me. I didn't take it as it being as you didn't quote me or anything. I was simply responding to a comment.

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    1 hour ago, bean5302 said:

    Among the same group of 45 catchers, Garver is ranked 10th (top quartile) with 12. The median is 17.5. The bottom 5 have all allowed at least 34.

    I am not sure what these stats refer to? You mentioned stats for passed balls in your first paragraph. Btw, neither of the pitches I referenced were passed balls. They were definitely wild pitches, which he didn’t block. While he’s generally bad at that task,  he’s particularly bad to his right. 
     

    I will say this about both him and most MLB catchers, MLB coaches and their FO types are not doing their catchers or pitchers any favors by making the one kneed thing so universal. The idea that a "stolen" low strike is more valuable than moving up two runners in that situation isn’t very sound. Possibly with a solid base and level footing he knocks one of those down, changing both the situation and the pitch selection? Who knows. Every play changes a game! 

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    4 hours ago, USAFChief said:

    I'll take issue with this. Garver is a bad defensive catcher. Stone hands, below average arm. 1/2 a season of PB data is a pretty poor measure.

    You're free to find some statistics over the past couple years to suggest he's bad if you'd like to counter my argument with something other than your personal eye test. Based on what I've seen, you're not going to find much luck looking for the data to support your opinion in pitch framing, error rate, passed balls, wild pitches or caught stealing percentage. I've seen Garver make some pretty awful plays so I can understand where your opinion may have formed, but the assumption the rest of the starting catchers out there are better doesn't seem to be reflected in really any of the data over the past couple years.

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    3 hours ago, Platoon said:

    I am not sure what these stats refer to? You mentioned stats for passed balls in your first paragraph. Btw, neither of the pitches I referenced were passed balls. They were definitely wild pitches, which he didn’t block. While he’s generally bad at that task,  he’s particularly bad to his right...

    Mitch Garver is ranked 10th of 45 catchers in MLB with 250+ innings this year in wild pitches. Meaning 35 other catchers have allowed more wild pitches than Mitch Garver. Garver's ranking on wild pitches is consistently good and he has allowed fewer wild pitches relative to his peers than he has allowed passed balls (where he's about average). If you have data, please feel free to present it.

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