Jump to content
Twins Daily
  • Create Account
  • MIN 4, KCR 2: Pitching, Defense and Overall Execution Shine in Twins Victory


    Matthew Taylor

    The Minnesota Twins established an identity as the Bomba Squad last season, but the club’s ability to execute the finer points was on display during a 4-2 victory Sunday. The Twins dazzled in the field and successfully executed a safety squeeze.

    Image courtesy of © David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

    Twins Video

    Box Score

    Dobnak: 5.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K

    Home Runs: Kepler (6)

    Top 3 WPA: Avila .201, Kepler .197, Clippard .143

    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs):

    ccs-8747-0-81622600-1597611104.png

    The Minnesota Twins used a mixture of solid pitching and timely hitting on Sunday afternoon to put together a solid all-around win and clinch at least a split-series against the Kansas City Royal.

    The Royals were the first team to get on the scoreboard in Sunday’s matchup, pushing across solo home runs from Hunter Dozier and Alex Gordon in the 1st and 2nd innings, respectively, to take an early 2-0 lead on the Minnesota Twins. After the second Royals’ home run, though, Randy Dobank found his groove, retiring the following 11 consecutive batters, including 1-2-3 innings in the 3rd, 4th and 5th innings.

    After not getting much run support through the first four innings of the game, Max Kepler came through by crushing a 395-foot two-run blast off of Brady Singer to give the Minnesota Twins a 3-2 lead in the game.

    https://twitter.com/Twins/status/1295080009430978562?s=20

    In the 6th inning Dobnak was pulled after running into trouble, with Tyler Clippard entering the game with runners on 1st and 2nd with one out. Clippard only needed to face one batter to get out of the jam, though, as Eddie Rosario made an outstanding sliding catch in left field followed by an outfield assist to convert a double play and end the inning damage-free.

    https://twitter.com/Twins/status/1295086070489546754?s=20

    The Twins tacked on an insurance run in a fashion that you don’t typically see from the Bomba Squad, converting a safety squeeze in the bottom of the 7th inning when Jorge Polanco’s bunt brought home newly acquired Minnesota Twin, Ildemaro Vargas, who was pinch-running for Alex Avila.

    From there, the Minnesota Twins bullpen was lights-out, taking away any potential drama of a comeback. After Clippard got out of the jam in the 6th, Trevor May, Taylor Rogers and Sergio Romo each threw scoreless innings, securing a 4-2 win for the Minnesota Twins.

    Additional notes:

    Dobnak Stays Solid

    After José Berríos struggled with his command in yesterday’s loss, it was another solid showing for the ever-steady Randy Dobnak today. Randy allowed two runs in 5.1 innings on 74 pitches. Dobnak once again found success by throwing strikes, tossing 65% of his pitches for strikes and only allowing one base on balls. The only mistakes that Dobnak made was throwing two elevated sinkers that each went for home runs. Randy Dobnak is now 4-1 on the season with a 1.42 ERA, 5th lowest in Majors.

    ccs-12268-0-84158600-1597613131.jpeg

    Another Impressive Showing from the Defense

    One of the biggest stories for the 2020 Minnesota Twins has been the improvement that they have made in the field. Their fielding prowess was once again on display in Sunday’s victory. In addition to Eddie Rosario’s excellent sliding catch in the 5th inning, the Twins got a great play at 3rd base by Marwin Gonzalez in the 1st inning, an excellent back-handed block by Alex Avila and of course, the unforgettable double play turned by the middle infielders, Jorge Polanco and Luis Arráez. Entering the season, it was assumed that the fielding of the Twins was going to be a net negative, as Polanco, Arráez, Rosario and Sanó are all known much more for their bats than their gloves. As each game passes and the sample size grows larger and larger, though, this defense looks absolutely legit, with just 2 errors through 22 games. The most amazing part is they are still without their best infielder defender, in Josh Donaldson.

    https://twitter.com/TFTwins/status/1295091067155550209?s=20

    Catcher Controversy?

    It was yet another extremely impressive showing from Alex Avila behind the plate today for the Minnesota Twins. The catcher reached on all three of his plate appearances today, converting a single and two walks. Avila now has an on-base percentage of .457 and has shown nothing but an excellent approach and tremendous patience at the plate as well as stellar defense. With the early season struggles that we have seen from Mitch Garver, it will be fascinating to see if Rocco Baldelli shifts the playing time split at all between his two catchers. To this point, the catching timeshare split has been 60/40 in favor of Garver, could we see that inch more towards 50/50 moving forward?

    The Minnesota Twins record now stands at 14-8 and the Twins will look to take a 3-1 series win over the Kansas City Royals on Monday at 7:10pm in a bullpen game, with Matt Wisler starting for the reigning AL Central Champs. Below you can see a look at where the bullpen stands ahead of tomorrow's game, as many of those pitchers will need to be relied upon in the series finale.

    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

    ccs-8747-0-85231300-1597611109_thumb.png

    What were your thoughts on today’s game? What did you think of Randy Dobnak’s starts? How do you think the playing time split for the catcher spot should look for the rest of the season? Leave a comment below and start the conversation!

    MORE FROM TWINS DAILY

    — Latest Twins coverage from our writers

    — Recent Twins discussion in our forums

    — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email

     Share

     Share


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments



    Featured Comments

    Any stats on how often 2 teams have played to the same score in 3 consecutive games? Seems fairly unusual.

     

    Sure it's happened hundreds of times,  I can't believe author is hoping for a split vs Royals at home. No offense, but if were hoping to split vs a crap team we have no reason to go to the post season.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

     

    re: I can't believe author is hoping for a split vs Royals at home. No offense, but if were hoping to split vs a crap team we have no reason to go to the post season.

     

    I'm not sure what you mean. He says they won Sunday to "clinch at least a split" and "will look to take a 3-1 series win" Monday. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

     

    I'm not sure what you mean. He says they won Sunday to "clinch at least a split" and "will look to take a 3-1 series win" Monday. 

    We should be aiming for more than a split vs. a bad team. That's all I'm saying. If we split tomorrow, we will 2-5 against the worst team in the AL. Not a good sign. And it's not like were losing 10-8 freaky weird games. Not trying to argue. Just making a point

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    “Dobnak was solid”. If Berrios put up these numbers we would be claiming he is an elite ace. It’s funny how you have to achieve results in a way that jives with current analytics to be considered something other than a fluke.

     

    As for the catching Avila should be playing more. He’s better defensively and is getting on base which works well for the bombas.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

     

    “Dobnak was solid”. If Berrios put up these numbers we would be claiming he is an elite ace. It’s funny how you have to achieve results in a way that jives with current analytics to be considered something other than a fluke.

    As for the catching Avila should be playing more. He’s better defensively and is getting on base which works well for the bombas.

     

    Thing about Berrios is that we actually HAVE seen him dominate before. Is he off to a slow start? Yes. So is Donaldson - he didn't do anything before the injury either. Garver's looking awful too. If you aren't a fan of Garver or Donaldson, you'll say they're terrible. If you ARE a fan of those guys, you'll point to their history.

     

    Frankly I just want the Twins to win ballgames and I think most of us feel the same in the end.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    We should be aiming for more than a split vs. a bad team. That's all I'm saying. If we split tomorrow, we will 2-5 against the worst team in the AL. Not a good sign. And it's not like were losing 10-8 freaky weird games. Not trying to argue. Just making a point

    Styles make fights. There are unexpected results in all sports, hence we tune in. The best part is the season series is not over my friend.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    That was a super fun game to watch! A little bit of everything, Dobbs, the squeeze,Gonzo, bare handed double, Kepler turning on that inside ball as was called by Smalley, Rogers in the 8th which I like and then the toreador spinning em! Sign me up.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

     

    Any stats on how often 2 teams have played to the same score in 3 consecutive games? Seems fairly unusual.

    Coreyndan talked about a similar streak in which the 1987 Twins won 3 consecutive games by 2-1 against two different teams: Sept. 3 (Red Sox), Sept.4 (Brewers) and Sept. 5 (Brewers). All were walk-off wins.

    I was at the first and third of these games. Sept. 3 provided one of my favorite Kirby moments. I had a self-imposed rule that I didn't go to day games in the dome but I was stricken by pennant fever and I had the day off on a Thursday with nothing else of importance to do. So I purchased a low-priced ticket from a sidewalk broker and used a bit of deceit to sneak down to the lower deck. I found one of many empty seats not far above the third base dugout. Bottom of 9, Twins down 1-0, bases empty, two out. Kirby hits a ball to left field one section to the right of the foul pole that landed 2/3 of the way up the lower deck. No exaggeration. I had to look it up tonight that we won in the tenth on a bases-loaded walk to Newmie, but it was the moment that Kirby absolutely smoked that ball when I knew that that team had destiny on its side.

    On Sept. 5 Brunansky led off the ninth with a home run to win. My friend with whom I attended the game and I went to The Loon afterward. A number of Brewer players including Rob Deer showed up. Nothing more to add to that story but it was fun to allow myself to think that I was in with the in crowd.

    Those days were fun.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

     

    Coreyndan talked about a similar streak in which the 1987 Twins won 3 consecutive games by 2-1 against two different teams: Sept. 3 (Red Sox), Sept.4 (Brewers) and Sept. 5 (Brewers). All were walk-off wins.

    I was at the first and third of these games. Sept. 3 provided one of my favorite Kirby moments. I had a self-imposed rule that I didn't go to day games in the dome but I was stricken by pennant fever and I had the day off on a Thursday with nothing else of importance to do. So I purchased a low-priced ticket from a sidewalk broker and used a bit of deceit to sneak down to the lower deck. I found one of many empty seats not far above the third base dugout. Bottom of 9, Twins down 1-0, bases empty, two out. Kirby hits a ball to left field one section to the right of the foul pole that landed 2/3 of the way up the lower deck. No exaggeration. I had to look it up tonight that we won in the tenth on a bases-loaded walk to Newmie, but it was the moment that Kirby absolutely smoked that ball when I knew that that team had destiny on its side.

    On Sept. 5 Brunansky led off the ninth with a home run to win. My friend with whom I attended the game and I went to The Loon afterward. A number of Brewer players including Rob Deer showed up. Nothing more to add to that story but it was fun to allow myself to think that I was in with the in crowd.

    Those days were fun.

    I was at the game when Bruno homered. The atmosphere was terrific. It seemed that everyone thought something special was happening. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

     

    I was at the game when Bruno homered. The atmosphere was terrific. It seemed that everyone thought something special was happening. 

    And the terrific atmosphere was not just in the dome. Because of the Twins that fall was a vibrant time in Minnesota, especially the Twin Cities.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

     

    We should be aiming for more than a split vs. a bad team. That's all I'm saying. If we split tomorrow, we will 2-5 against the worst team in the AL. Not a good sign. And it's not like were losing 10-8 freaky weird games. Not trying to argue. Just making a point

    I guess we should be aiming to win every game regardless of the opponent.   The most likely outcome with a good team against a bad team in 4 games is good team winning 3.   The 2nd most likely outcome is splitting.   Winning two out of three with a good chance of taking the 4th is a good result and one I would have been happy with before the double header yesterday.    Going 2-5 against a bad team is only a bad sign if that is all they played.  If they should win a little over 60% which is what they did last year and what is expected of them this year then they have achieved that goal by going 14-8 so far.   I would say it is a good sign that they have gone 2-4 against the worst team and still are in 1st place and on the same pace as last year.   

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I've always liked Alex Avila, but now that he's a Twin and we get to see him more regularly, I like him even more. Good signing. I'm a huge Mitch Garver fan, but I like winning more. If playing Alex a bit more is good for the team, I'm all for it.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Is it just me or do the players look different in the powder blues? Not play different, but actually look different. I thought Kep looked like he came out of a different era of baseball today. It's probably just my aging eyes.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

     

    When do we stop talking about Dobnak like he is an aberration?

    Maybe when he pitches more than 5 innings or is able to strike out a few people?  He finally pitched into the 6th this year and, three batters in, he (and Clippard) had to literally be saved by Rosario.  The guy is pulled every game at the point where he hits the 3rd time through the lineup and he has 14 Ks in 25 innings.  Rocco is one of the main reasons why he looks so good - he’s protecting him.

    I like that he is solid and reliable and unicorns sure are amazing to watch, but seriously this Cy Young talk has to stop.  We saw it with the homers; if he isn’t dead on, people destroy his stuff.

     

    Given the Berrios has forgotten how to pitch, I’d love to just enjoy Dobnak notching some victories.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

     

    Coreyndan talked about a similar streak in which the 1987 Twins won 3 consecutive games by 2-1 against two different teams: Sept. 3 (Red Sox), Sept.4 (Brewers) and Sept. 5 (Brewers). All were walk-off wins.

    I was at the first and third of these games. Sept. 3 provided one of my favorite Kirby moments. I had a self-imposed rule that I didn't go to day games in the dome but I was stricken by pennant fever and I had the day off on a Thursday with nothing else of importance to do. So I purchased a low-priced ticket from a sidewalk broker and used a bit of deceit to sneak down to the lower deck. I found one of many empty seats not far above the third base dugout. Bottom of 9, Twins down 1-0, bases empty, two out. Kirby hits a ball to left field one section to the right of the foul pole that landed 2/3 of the way up the lower deck. No exaggeration. I had to look it up tonight that we won in the tenth on a bases-loaded walk to Newmie, but it was the moment that Kirby absolutely smoked that ball when I knew that that team had destiny on its side.

    On Sept. 5 Brunansky led off the ninth with a home run to win. My friend with whom I attended the game and I went to The Loon afterward. A number of Brewer players including Rob Deer showed up. Nothing more to add to that story but it was fun to allow myself to think that I was in with the in crowd.

    Those days were fun.

    Great story!

     

    During the off-season we'll have to make a thread "baseball game stories and player run-ins" or something like that.

     

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

     

    When do we stop talking about Dobnak like he is an aberration?  My it is fun to watch him just trust his stuff and keep on pitching.  And I do love defense.

     

    I've been doing it for over a year, haha. He's been incredibly consistent since the middle of 2018! The streak referenced below is still going.

     

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

     

    Maybe when he pitches more than 5 innings or is able to strike out a few people?  He finally pitched into the 6th this year and, three batters in, he (and Clippard) had to literally be saved by Rosario.  The guy is pulled every game at the point where he hits the 3rd time through the lineup and he has 14 Ks in 25 innings.  Rocco is one of the main reasons why he looks so good - he’s protecting him.

    I like that he is solid and reliable and unicorns sure are amazing to watch, but seriously this Cy Young talk has to stop.  We saw it with the homers; if he isn’t dead on, people destroy his stuff.

     

    Given the Berrios has forgotten how to pitch, I’d love to just enjoy Dobnak notching some victories.

    I had to pause a minute - it sounded like you were describing Odorizzi.  Our staff of starters is a five inning staff.  If Berrios got his act together he and Maeda can go a little longer, but long starts seems like a part of history - like complete games.

     

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

     

    When do we stop talking about Dobnak like he is an aberration?  My it is fun to watch him just trust his stuff and keep on pitching.  And I do love defense.

    Probably once his ERA is in the 3.00s. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

     

    I like that he is solid and reliable and unicorns sure are amazing to watch, but seriously this Cy Young talk has to stop.  We saw it with the homers; if he isn’t dead on, people destroy his stuff.

     

     

    I am ok with Dobnak being in the Cy Young conversation as long as he is sub 2 ERA and as long as Lance Lynn is still in the conversation.    Here is a list of current MLB starters that don't need to be dead on to be successful.......   Ok, there might be a few, but not a lot.   Giving up two home runs is not a good example of being destroyed.  Every year there are 4 or 5 guys in the top 30 or so that have similar strikeout rates.   He's not Cy Young material but the longer he keeps it up think more Brad Radke, Dallas Kuechel, Mark Buehrle and less Kevin Slowey, Mike Pelfrey and Tommy Milone.  Not that the last three weren't useful in their day.

     

     

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites




    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Guest
    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

    Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...