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  • MIL 9, MIN 3: Hill Follows Maeda's Gem With a Clunker


    Patrick Wozniak

    Following Kenta Maeda’s masterful near no-hit performance last night, another former Dodger, Rich Hill, took the mound to make his second start as a Minnesota Twin after coming off an IL stint with shoulder fatigue. It started well, got ugly quick, and ended with Ehire Adrianza on the mound.

    Image courtesy of © David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

    Twins Video

    Box Score

    Hill: 2.2 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 1 K

    Home Runs: Gonzalez (3)

    Bottom 3 WPA: Hill -.287, Thorpe -.137, Cruz -.048

    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs):

    ccs-8747-0-71123500-1597893058.png

    Facing off against the left-handed Brett Anderson, the Twins lineup had a different look with Marwin González replacing Max Kepler in right field and Ildemaro Vargas getting his first start as a Twin filling in for Luis Arráez and his achy knees at second base. Vargas made his presence felt immediately as he noticed Keston Hiura not running out of the box on an infield fly ball with Christian Yelich at first. Vargas alertly let the ball drop and turned a quick double play to get Hill through the first on just seven pitches.

    https://twitter.com/Twins/status/1296243137904627712

    After getting the first two batters of the second inning out on two pitches Hill managed to get through the inning on eight pitches. Doubles-machine Miguel Sanó got the Twins first hit in the bottom of the second with a one-out two-bagger and Minnesota’s only left-handed batter, Eddie Rosario, put the Twins on the board first with an RBI single to bring in Sanó.

    Hill quickly got the first two outs in the bottom of the third before unraveling. He walked the number nine hitter, Orlando Arcia, and Ryan Braun made Hill pay by hitting a two-run home run to put the Brewers up 2-1. In the Arcia plate appearance, it appeared as if Hill got a 3-2 breaking ball over for strike three which would have ended the inning, but he didn’t get the call. The Brewers went on to load the bases and Avisail Garcia put an early end to Hill’s night (Hill threw 36 pitches in the inning) with a two-RBI single to put Milwaukee up 4-1. Caleb Thielbar, another lefty with a loopy curve ball, came in and struck out Manny Pina to finally put an end to the inning.

    Minnesota stuck with the lefty theme, bringing in Lewis Thorpe to follow Thielbar in the fifth. It didn’t go well, as Thorpe struggled to throw strikes and got crushed when he did throw it over the plate. Christian Yelich followed a Ryan Braun single with a two-run dinger to put Milwaukee up 6-1. Avisail Garcia hit another two-run homer (it would have been three runs if Hiura hadn’t made his second base-running mistake by getting gunned out on a delayed steal) to essentially put the game out of reach. It took Thorpe 35 pitches to get through the inning, with three walks, a single, a double, and two two-run homers allowed. Thorpe was left out there to take one for the team, and he did get through three additional innings unscathed, helping to bridge the gap to the only righty Milwaukee would face…Ehire Adrianza.

    As far as crafty lefties go, it was the Brewer’s Brett Anderson who played the role to perfection. Although Minnesota hit 11 hard hit balls off of Anderson (according to Baseball Savant), not many of them fell for hits, and he was able to finesse his way through six innings of one-run ball. He was followed by Drew Rasmussen, whose 99-mph heater from the right side proved a potent counterpunch in his scoreless MLB debut.

    Marwin Gonzalez was able to take Corey Knebel deep in the bottom of the 9th and Vargas singled in Sanó for his second hit off the game, but it was too little, too late, and the Twins fell to Milwaukee by a score of 9-3.

    Garver Exits the Game

    In the bottom of the 6th, Mitch Garver dropped to his knee after swinging through a third strike and immediately grabbed his right side. He exited the game and Alex Avilla took his place. With Avilla also catching all 12 innings of last night’s game, could Willians Astudillo be making his way over from St. Paul?

    https://twitter.com/TFTwins/status/1296267882997981185

    With Cleveland beating Pittsburgh, Minnesota’s divisional lead is cut to a half game. The Twins and José Berríos will look to get back on track against Brandon Woodruff and take the series in tomorrow’s rubber match.

    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

    ccs-8747-0-94736400-1597892920_thumb.png

    Postgame Pint

    You can check out our nightly discussion of the game below:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-zCswfiUoM&feature=youtu.be

    We do these immediately after the last out of most Twins’ games, and you can join us by checking out PostgamePint.com.

    Download The Postgame Pint Podcast

    You can also listen to the Postgame Pint and never miss another one. Just head over to our iTunes page and subscribe. Every morning you'll have a new episode waiting for you. Or listen wherever you download your favorite podcasts.

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    Sorry you had to write about this game, Patrick. Yuck. Hard to watch. I can't imagine summoning the energy to revisit all the excruciating details.

     

    I do think we'll see Tortuga. I wouldn't mind seeing Duran get the call as well. Both moves might inject some life into this club.

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    I hope it is Jeffers. Astudillio is a horrible catcher. Plus, I think the spark would come from the youth, and not the mediocre Astudillio. I would love to see Duran, and he is already on the 40 man roster. I am really tired of the Thorpe outings. After 72 pitches tonight, he isn't available for a few days anyway.

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    Sorry you had to write about this game, Patrick. Yuck. Hard to watch. I can't imagine summoning the energy to revisit all the excruciating details.

     

    I do think we'll see Tortuga. I wouldn't mind seeing Duran get the call as well. Both moves might inject some life into this club.

    I looked back to last year and in the four recaps I've done the Twins are now 1-and-3. I'm not sure of my life time winning percentage attending games but I feel it's about as bad if not worse. I probably owe Rich Hill an apology.

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    Were we in another era, under another manager, you might have been able to hear something like this from the other side of a locked clubhouse door:

     

    SFX: varnished hardwoods falling on tile floor, loud cursing, towel snapping

     

    "This is a simple game. You hit the ball, you catch the ball, you throw the ball."

     

    On the lighter side:

    • Hands up - who loves Sano at first? Talk amongst yourselves.
    • Give Vargas a gold star for noticing that Hiura hadn't left the batter's box (was Hiura mistakenly thinking 'infield fly rule'...?)
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    This game showed how big a single missed call by umpire on the strike vs ball call can be.  The article mentioned missed call in Arcia at bat, I did not see that one, but I did see later in the inning what look to be a clear strike on 3-2 count called a ball loading the bases that then followed up with two run single.  If hill gets the right call inning over 2-1 game and hopefully he comes back the next inning shutting down the hitters.  It was 1 missed call that made huge difference in the game.  I am so for the electronic strike zone.

     

    In regards to Sano at first, I am very surprised he has been playing it as well as he has.  He is digging balls well.  He has had a couple of moments he made wrong decisions to go after ball or not, but that is learning curve, and even harder now with shifts. 

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    Thorpe has been a mystery since Spring Training (the real one) and needs to be replaced. This team has 60 players, but you would never know it.  Make changes - get some energy, put in some new arms, replace Cave and his one hit wonder year.  Cleveland put to excellent pitchers out to pasture and keep on winning.  Shake it up Baldelli.

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    The Twins will be very reluctant to start the arbitration clock on any of our quality young players in such a short season. But many will break the door down next year, second half of next year, if not sooner.

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    Thorpe has been a mystery since Spring Training (the real one) and needs to be replaced. This team has 60 players, but you would never know it.  Make changes - get some energy, put in some new arms, replace Cave and his one hit wonder year.  Cleveland put to excellent pitchers out to pasture and keep on winning.  Shake it up Baldelli.

     

     

    The Twins will be very reluctant to start the arbitration clock on any of our quality young players in such a short season. But many will break the door down next year, second half of next year, if not sooner.

     

    I think one of the problems is the 40 man roster - who do you DFA to get Kirlioff / another pitcher? 28 of the guys are on the team, 3 are hurt, and most of the rest are prospects - you'll need to DFA someone like Poppen, Wade, or Astudillo; or someone on the team like Thorpe, Thielbar, or Vargas.

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    I think one of the problems is the 40 man roster - who do you DFA to get Kirlioff / another pitcher? 28 of the guys are on the team, 3 are hurt, and most of the rest are prospects - you'll need to DFA someone like Poppen, Wade, or Astudillo; or someone on the team like Thorpe, Thielbar, or Vargas.

    You just gave me a list I am okay with - DFA any of them.  Make the team better and get our prospects playing.

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    Thorpe has been a mystery since Spring Training (the real one) and needs to be replaced. This team has 60 players, but you would never know it.  Make changes - get some energy, put in some new arms, replace Cave and his one hit wonder year.  Cleveland put to excellent pitchers out to pasture and keep on winning.  Shake it up Baldelli.

    The Twins are 16-9, a .640 winning percentage, and if they win today will have won their last three series. They have done this despite an appreciable offensive drop from players who have shown to be productive. Two Twins regulars have an OPS over .800 and no one is doing appreciably better than last year. They have gotten close to zero from their biggest offensive acquisition and very little from their newly extended first baseman and Silver Slugger catcher. 

     

    It figures that in the final 35 games of this strange season they will produce closer to the level of 2019 than to continue as they have so far--Team .236 BA, .723 OPS when last year they had a team .270 BA with an .832 OPS. It appears that Donaldson will soon be ready while the struggling Garver might have to go on the injured list. Overall, the team's position player health is pretty good. 

     

    If the regulars stay healthy there really isn't any place for a hitting prospect to get consistent at bats. The pitching staff has had more injuries, although none seem particularly serious. For the season, the pitching has been very good although the starters haven't gone deep in games much. I suppose there is room in the bullpen to replace Thorpe and perhaps Smeltzer, but the starting rotation will have perhaps as many as seven candidates within two weeks. 

     

    Cleveland is playing well right now despite all the controversy. The Twins still look like an absolute lock for postseason. I don't think it is time to panic or even shake things up.

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    The Twins are 16-9, a .640 winning percentage, and if they win today will have won their last three series. They have done this despite an appreciable offensive drop from players who have shown to be productive. Two Twins regulars have an OPS over .800 and no one is doing appreciably better than last year. They have gotten close to zero from their biggest offensive acquisition and very little from their newly extended first baseman and Silver Slugger catcher. 

     

    It figures that in the final 35 games of this strange season they will produce closer to the level of 2019 than to continue as they have so far--Team .236 BA, .723 OPS when last year they had a team .270 BA with an .832 OPS. It appears that Donaldson will soon be ready while the struggling Garver might have to go on the injured list. Overall, the team's position player health is pretty good. 

     

    If the regulars stay healthy there really isn't any place for a hitting prospect to get consistent at bats. The pitching staff has had more injuries, although none seem particularly serious. For the season, the pitching has been very good although the starters haven't gone deep in games much. I suppose there is room in the bullpen to replace Thorpe and perhaps Smeltzer, but the starting rotation will have perhaps as many as seven candidates within two weeks. 

     

    Cleveland is playing well right now despite all the controversy. The Twins still look like an absolute lock for postseason. I don't think it is time to panic or even shake things up.

    It is time to panic. We have our record playing the way we do because we have the easiest schedule in baseball.  The second we start a post season series against any other top contender team, every game will look like last night, I promise you. We are not built to win 1-0, 2-1. 3-2 games. If we dont start hitting, this season will be over very quickly. Period. 

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    It is time to panic. We have our record playing the way we do because we have the easiest schedule in baseball.  The second we start a post season series against any other top contender team, every game will look like last night, I promise you. We are not built to win 1-0, 2-1. 3-2 games. If we dont start hitting, this season will be over very quickly. Period. 

    I respectfully disagree. But even if I did agree, what do you propose Twins' management should do? Have Rocco throw a tantrum? Bring up a bunch of rookies? Trade for the long awaited ace? 

     

    Seriously, I think if the Twins keep hitting like they have so far, they won't last long in postseason. However, this club, with improved pitching and defense including a deep bullpen is much better equipped to win low-scoring games than last season. For the Twins to be a juggernaut, the hitters need to hit like they did last year and the starting rotation needs to hit on all cylinders.

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    I respectfully disagree. But even if I did agree, what do you propose Twins' management should do? Have Rocco throw a tantrum? Bring up a bunch of rookies? Trade for the long awaited ace? 

     

    Seriously, I think if the Twins keep hitting like they have so far, they won't last long in postseason. However, this club, with improved pitching and defense including a deep bullpen is much better equipped to win low-scoring games than last season. For the Twins to be a juggernaut, the hitters need to hit like they did last year and the starting rotation needs to hit on all cylinders.

    There's nothing to do. Nothing you can do, expect make adjustments and actually start hitting. Im not saying Rocco should do anything, I am saying that unless we start hitting, this club will be an after thought come October. I agree with your second paragraph 100%. It is time to worry as a fan base is what I am saying. 

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    Did we just lose the World Series? From the amount of angst here, I think we just lost the World Series. Seriously people, chill. We're fine. You get a rough game from time to time.

    World Series? We wont even make it to the play offs, let alone the through the first round if we continue to hit this way. 

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    I hope it is Jeffers. Astudillio is a horrible catcher. Plus, I think the spark would come from the youth, and not the mediocre Astudillio. I would love to see Duran, and he is already on the 40 man roster. I am really tired of the Thorpe outings. After 72 pitches tonight, he isn't available for a few days anyway.

     

    And the winner is ..... JEFFERS!!!!

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    How much you want to put on the Twins making the playoffs?

    Well, they will probably make the play offs with the expanded format. That helps them. If it was a normal season I would not beholding my breath. How much you wanna put on them getting their you know what pounded in and being swept in the first series? 

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    And the winner is ..... JEFFERS!!!!

    I was happy when I saw it was him. Astudillio is nothing but a walking meme. Poor behind the plate and poor at the plate. He is a worst case scenario. 

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    Well, they will probably make the play offs with the expanded format. That helps them. If it was a normal season I would not beholding my breath. How much you wanna put on them getting their you know what pounded in and being swept in the first series? 

    They'd make the playoffs in the normal format. After last night we're at .654 winning percentage. Over a full season that's 106 wins. What are you talking about? There is no reason to panic over 1 bad game.

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