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  • MIN 12, MIL 2: Byron Buxton Blasts 2 More Home Runs in Blowout of Brewers


    Andrew Gebo

    The Bomba Squad scored a dozen runs and Kenta Maeda cruised into the seventh inning as the Twins broke loose Wednesday night in Milwaukee. Byron Buxton had his second career multi-home run game and Miguel Sanó hit a towering dinger.

    Image courtesy of © Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

    Twins Video

    Box Score

    Maeda: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K

    Home Runs: Sanó (4), Buxton 2 (5)

    Top 3 WPA: Maeda .125, Cave .108, Polanco .100

    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs):

    ccs-8747-0-11532800-1597285404.png

    The Bats Finally Wake Up

    In the first two games of the series, Minneosta scored a combined eight runs, all of which came courtesy of the long ball. In the second inning they scored five runs without a single home run.

    Miguel Sano walked and later scored on a double from Jake Cave, after Brewers left-fielder, Christian Yelich lost the ball in the sun. Cave would later score after an RBI single from Arraez. Three more singles from Garver, Polanco and Cruz would plate three more runs and give Minnesota an early 5-0 lead.

    Miguel Sano kept the party going in the third when he launched a ball into orbit, extending the Minnesota lead to 6-0.

    https://twitter.com/DanHayesMLB/status/1293697518883282946

    In the fourth inning, Rocco dug into his bag of tricks and broke out the old school hit-and-run play and it worked to perfection. Rosario was running on the pitch and Marwin lined the ball down the right field line, scoring Rosario and pushing the lead to 7-0 -- the route was on early in Milwaukee.

    By the end of the fourth inning every starter for the Twins had at least one hit.

    In the fifth inning, Byron Buxton hit his fourth home run of the year, extending the early lead to 8-0. After the Buxton blast, Minnesota loaded the bases for Nelson Cruz who drew a walk, scoring another run and keeping the bases loaded for Rosario, who was the hottest Twins hitter entering play. Eddie worked the count full and drew another walk, scoring yet another run for Minnesota.

    After a Milwaukee pitching change, Marwin Gonzalez lifted a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Polanco and further extending the lead to 11-0. Milwaukee was finally put out of their misery when Cave grounded out, ending the inning in which Minnesota had batted around and scored three runs on only two hits.

    Byron led off the sixth by collecting his fifth home run of the year and his second of the game, stepping on the throat of Milwaukee and making it a 12-0 game.

    Kenta Maeda Continues To Shine

    A lot was made about the Brusdar Graterol for Kenta Maeda trade this winter but Maeda has done nothing but impress every time he’s taken the mound for Minnesota. Tonight was no exception.

    Propelled by an earlier lead, Maeda was able to settle in and roll through the Milwaukee lineup. He didn’t feature a lot of swing and miss stuff but he worked efficiently and kept the Brewers in check for most of the night. He ran into some trouble in the sixth when he gave up a single, double and another single, allowing Milwaukee to score two runs.

    Maeda finished his night with a strong 6.2 innings, improving his record to 3-0.

    Garver Gets On Track?

    The early struggles for Mitch Garver are well documented and we’ve all been waiting for signs that he is breaking out of his slump. Perhaps we got those signs tonight.

    Mitch finished 3-for-6 with zero strike outs and hit three balls with an exit velocity of 98mph or greater. That’s the kind of hard contact we’ve been waiting to see from Mitch.

    Rocco’s decision to have him lead off tonight turned out to be the right move. Even though some people questioned it, myself included.

    https://twitter.com/Gebo___/status/1293625856581963776

    Sometimes you have to admit when you’re wrong and I was certainly wrong.

    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

    ccs-8747-0-32056300-1597285396_thumb.png

    Postgame Pint

    Immediately after the last out, Twins Daily's writers and community gathered to revel in an easy win over Milwaukee and a 12-7 record.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvDo2ZJKuPY&feature=youtu.be

    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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    Great win, exactly what we needed after a bullpen night from both the offense and Maeda. The offense did what they have done so far (score runs early), but also added on, which is something that they haven't done so far. Maeda is certainly the best Twins starter at the moment, and would venture to bet that he would start game one of the playoffs if they were starting tomorrow. Thorpe looked better, but am guessing was his final outing for now. Going to guess he and Gearrin will be sent to STP with Vargas and Littell activated before Friday's game.

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    Any word / rumors on status of Rich Hill and Homer Bailey. Yes, Maeda has been fun to watch.

    Here's what I read on Rotoworld today:

     

     

     

    Homer Bailey (biceps) played catch Wednesday.
    He's slowly ramping things back up after being shut down for the last week and a half with right biceps tendinitis. Bailey should have a shot to return before the end of the month. Rich Hill (shoulder) threw a bullpen session Wednesday. The next step will be Hill facing hitters this weekend. If that goes well, a return to the Twins' rotation shouldn't be far behind. The left-hander has been limited to just one start this season due to shoulder soreness.

     

     

    Looks like Hill is getting close, as I believe Odorizzi started his first game about 5/6 days after he threw a bullpen session.

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    Another excellent start by Maeda. Question, was he running out of gas or were they getting to him the third time thru the order?

     

    A bit surprised at seeing Thorpe come in and pleasantly surprised by a solid performance, albeit one in which the Brewers may have lost all interest in the game.

     

    Agree with above that Thorpe will likely be moving to St. Paul as they begin activating players later this week. Twins really need to win this series with KC after being embarrassed down there last week.

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    Byron Buxton is looking like he is turning the corner to the stardom we have awaited/expected. 

     

    He could be scary good - alas, by reaching his potential at an older age, the Twins may not be able to extend/sign Bux for the future and another team will reap the benefits. I've always worried that Bux would reach his true potential with another team.

     

    That said let's enjoy the heck out of it. Even when healthy, his bat was still a question mark. It appears that's no longer the case. If Bux is healthy, he's a good bat to have in the lineup.

     

    Particularly love that he struck out 3 times on Monday, but came back to go 3-for-4 the very next day on three singles. That quick rebound was unheard of before.

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    1/3 thru the season and Kenta Maeda gets my vote as team MVP.

    Mine would go to Cruz, but both Maeda and Dobnak have been elite. Maeda has been untouchable for multiple innings at a time. I'm more than surprised at how well he just knows how to pitch. 

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    Early returns on the Maeda trade looks good.  No matter what Gratrol is doing we would be in trouble without Maeda.  Graterol so far has negative WAR, and two losses.  W/L is not a big thing for starters, but for me, it is bigger for relievers because that means they are giving up leads or at least coming in tied and giving up runs.  Still very early in trade to call it a win or a loss, but so far so good.

     

    In terms of Buxton we have seen this before, he has shown he can get super hot for periods and carry the team.  I hope he keeps it up and stays healthy.  

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    Early returns on the Maeda trade looks good.  No matter what Gratrol is doing we would be in trouble without Maeda.  Graterol so far has negative WAR, and two losses.  W/L is not a big thing for starters, but for me, it is bigger for relievers because that means they are giving up leads or at least coming in tied and giving up runs.  Still very early in trade to call it a win or a loss, but so far so good.

     

    In terms of Buxton we have seen this before, he has shown he can get super hot for periods and carry the team.  I hope he keeps it up and stays healthy.  

    Yup, it looks like a good trade for the Twins. Quality starting pitching is a scarcity, and getting 4 years of Maeda for very cheap (salary wise) was a smart move. Graterol should become a solid reliever / closer, but there's far fewer good starters out there compared to dynamic relievers.

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    Looks like the Twins might need one more bullpen game on Monday, but hopefully Hill or Bailey is ready to get back in the lineup after that.  Nice to have an off-day today, but tomorrow kicks off a very long stretch of games.

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    Remember that Buxton was one of the guys not hitting when the Twins started the road trip. Now he''s at .298 with a .944 OPS, just behind Cruz' .948. Now, can Sanó, Garver and Arraez get hot and make us forget their struggling starts?

     

    The Twins need Hill or Bailey to plug into the rotation and pitch effectively. Dobnak and Maeda have been outstanding, but the production from everyone else has been spotty, at best. With those two guys and Odorizzi missing multiple starts and probably needing time to ramp up when (and if) they return, the Twins are lucky that they can carry 14-16 pitchers. It will probably be the same for Pineda when he returns in about three weeks. 

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    That measurement of Sano’s home run is absolutely absurd. There is zero chance that thing was under 475, let alone 450.

     

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who sees the managerial malfeasance of batting Garver lead off and Buxton 8th right now. Baldelli has had this pattern, IMO, of overthinking things at times (the bullpen, the lineup, etc.). Take the Joe Maddon approach. But your hottest hitters in prominent lineup spots until they’re not longer your hottest hitters. Simple. It’s not controversial in any way to maximize the number of plate appearances by guys that are in a groove over the course of the year. Could be the difference in a significant amount of runs/wins.

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    Remember that Buxton was one of the guys not hitting when the Twins started the road trip. Now he''s at .298 with a .944 OPS, just behind Cruz' .948. Now, can Sanó, Garver and Arraez get hot and make us forget their struggling starts?

     

    The Twins need Hill or Bailey to plug into the rotation and pitch effectively. Dobnak and Maeda have been outstanding, but the production from everyone else has been spotty, at best. With those two guys and Odorizzi missing multiple starts and probably needing time to ramp up when (and if) they return, the Twins are lucky that they can carry 14-16 pitchers. It will probably be the same for Pineda when he returns in about three weeks. 

    I don't think Pineda will come back as a starter, and instead work as a long reliever when he gets back. There won't be much time for him to ramp things up, with only a month to go from that point. 

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    I don't think Pineda will come back as a starter, and instead work as a long reliever when he gets back. There won't be much time for him to ramp things up, with only a month to go from that point. 

    Interesting. Will likely depend on whether or not they have four starters pitching very well at the time. If not, they will want to take a shot at having Pineda ready for one of four spots in the post season...assuming we make the postseason.

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    Early returns on the Maeda trade looks good.  No matter what Gratrol is doing we would be in trouble without Maeda.  Graterol so far has negative WAR, and two losses.  W/L is not a big thing for starters, but for me, it is bigger for relievers because that means they are giving up leads or at least coming in tied and giving up runs.  Still very early in trade to call it a win or a loss, but so far so good.

    I couldn't agree more Trov.

     

    Trading Brusdar Graterol was a tough move, but I cringe to think of where the rotation would be without Maeda due to the injuries, and the ineffectiveness of Smeltzer, Thorpe and to some extent Berrios.  

     

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    Remember how everyone was like "we shoulda signed Bumgarner! The Maeda trade is terrible!"? 

     

    Bumgarner has a 9.35 ERA and is throwing 87 mph fastballs.

    I think most people here were VERY excited about the Maeda trade - the part that got criticized was that it was initially a 3-team deal and the BoSox dropped out and caused all sorts of havoc.

     

    But if I recall, most TD subscribers were very happy to get Maeda.

     

    As for Bum-G, it was good we didn't sign him. Instead we signed Donaldson who has been a complete flop.

     

    You win some, you lose some.

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    Sooner or later, there will be conversation, maybe even controversy, about where to hit Buxton in the lineup.

     

    He's on the pitches and is showing power.  You really going to hit him 9th?

    Yeah, he should move up & Sano should hit 9th.

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