Jump to content
Twins Daily
  • Create Account
  • MIN 7, DET 6: Jake Cave Rakes, Twins Take Division Lead


    Andrew Gebo

    Jake Cave had a big night in support of Kenta Maeda as the Twins beat the Tigers 7-6 Wednesday night. The victory combined with another White Sox loss puts the Twins back on top of the American League Central standings.

    Image courtesy of Chart via FanGraphs

    Box Score

    Maeda: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 9 K

    Home Runs: Cave 2 (4), Rosario (13)

    Top 3 WPA: Maeda .195, Cave .134, Clippard .122

    Kenta Maeda Deal…. Again

    Kenta Maeda continued to do what he’s done all year. Maeda allowed an infield single to Victor Reyes to start the game and responded by not allowing another hit until the sixth inning.

    The sixth inning would be the worst and final inning of the night for Maeda. He allowed two Tigers hitters to reach base before surrendering a three-run home run to the future Hall of Famer, Miguel Cabrera.

    Overall, Kenta Maeda did exactly what he’s done all year for Minnesota. He delivered yet another quality start, his eighth of the season in 11 starts.

    He finished the night with a final line of 6 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 9 K

    Small Ball and Bombas

    The Twins offense got the scoring started in the third inning with a steady dose of small ball. Jorge Polanco singled on a soft line drive to the opposite field and would eventually steal second base. Marwin Gonzalez drove him in with a single to right and Marwin would later score the second run of the inning when Buxton grounded into a fielders’ choice.

    Minnesota scored again in the fourth, this time with the long ball. The always patient and disciplined Eddie Rosario led off the inning with a walk and would eventually cross home plate courtesy of a two-run home run from Jake Cave, pushing the lead to 4-0. He got to wear the robe.

    The Twins struck again in the fifth inning when Eddie Rosario followed in the footsteps of Jake Cave when he launched a two-run home run, extending the Minnesota lead to 6-0. He too got to wear the robe.

    Jake Cave wore the robe again in the sixth when he led off the inning with an opposite field home run, answering the Tigers three-run inning and pushing the Twins lead to 7-3.

    Twins Bullpen Closes the Door

    It wasn’t clean but they got the job done. Bullpen ace Matt Wisler entered the game following the stellar outing from Kenta Maeda. Wisler didn’t pitch his best inning as he allowed the Tigers to load the bases with one out and was eventually relieved by Tyler Clippard.

    Clippard showed veteran prowess as he was able to wiggle out of the bases loaded jam without surrendering a run and preserving the 7-3 Minnesota lead.

    Jorge Alcala entered the game in the eighth and pitched a scoreless inning, setting up the ninth for Caleb Thielbar, who ran into some trouble after allowing two base runners and was relieved by Sergo Romo.

    Sergio promptly served up a home run to Cabrera, his second of the night and narrowed the Twins lead to 7-6. Romo responded by inducing a ground out from the next batter and put the lights out on a 7-6 Twins victory.

    After tonight's win and a loss from the White Sox, the Twins are back on top of the AL Central.

    Postgame Pint

    Check out tonight’s episode of Twins Daily’s Postgame Pint live stream on

    or Facebook.

    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

    ccs-8747-0-21829100-1600916645_thumb.png

     Share

     Share

    Featured Video


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments



    Featured Comments

     

    Twins are in a mini-surge that gives them a shot Division and #2 or #3 seed. The Indians, if they win tomorrow may well pass the Chisox as well. This is good stuff - consider what things looked like when Twins lost last game to the Sox? 

    If the Indians pass the Sox also, then it'll be those very same White Sox the Twins will face in the playoffs.

     

    If the Sox stay ahead of the Indians but behind the Twins, the Twins will play the Indians.

     

    Can't believe I'm saying this, but I'd almost rather play the Yankees than either of those teams. In my defense, I haven't had my morning coffee yet.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    What an amazing turn around in the standings.  Thanks Cleveland, just don't face us with all your pitchers at the top of their game.

     

    The BP has been slipping.  Too many BP games?  Romo is one pitcher I definitely do not want to come in and face the Yankees.   But Thielbar and Wisler have been living the dream and the bubbles might be in danger of bursting.  I hope not.  But I remember when Martin Perez (yes the starter for the BOSOX) came out of the gates and look phenomenal until he didn't and he was gone before the year ended.  

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    A White Sox win today puts us tied and they have the tiebreaker. It would also put our magic # with the Tribe at 1.  Gonna be one hell of a final weekend in the AL Central. And gotta agree with bighat above, also might prefer the Yankees to the Tribe, although we have played well against the Indians at Target Field.

     

    Is Rosario heating up at the right time? Keep it going Eddie for at least another couple weeks. And please get Arraez back this weekend, he will make a huge difference if he isn't too rusty.

     

    And what isn't to like about Alcala? He would be on my playoff roster, don't know about the Twins? Did Jeffers guarantee his roster spot last night?

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I'm just happy to see the offense producing. If our hitters are finally finding their groove, then we're a dangerous team that people aren't going to want to face.

     

    Cabrera can still hit. Whoof, he stomped on us tonight, and nearly brought the Tigers back all by himself. Heck of a hitter, always has been.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Is it just me, or is the overall defense played by everyone on the team improving?  Not just the flashy stuff like the 6-2-5 DP the other night, but much less mental mistakes, throwing to the wrong base, etc?  The worst last night was the attempted tag by Sano on the wayward throw from Maeda but even that wasn't Sano's fault with the collision - couldn't believe they charged him with the error. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Romo knows how to work smarter, not harder. 

     

    Theilbar says thanks, Romo. It only took 4 total pitches and let 3 runs in. And Romo gets a save. 

     

    Stribling got a save by pitching the last 4 innings in a 14-1 Toronto win over the Yankees. He came in the game in the 6th, already ahead 5-1. 

     

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Playoff seeding will go right down to the last day. Too many variables at the moment.Its unlikely Cleveland can catch Twins. Even if they win today and trail Twins by 2, Twins would hold the tiebreaker. If Sox win today, Twins and Sox are tied, but Sox hold tiebreaker.Reds are on fire and will be a formidable foe for the Twins final 3 games. If Sox lose today, then I think Twins will be in the drivers seat.

    If Twins win the Central, what seed will they be? An outside shot at catching Tampa and also a decent shot to overtake Oakland (by percentages?) fun stuff.

     

    Last night...bullpen was very shaky. I still hope Rocco doesn't plan on running either Romo or Rogers out there with the game on the line. Forget their 'history'..what have they done lately? In Rogers case, he has been terrible. Romo has been totally inconsistent. Giving up that HR last night was not a good look for him. He got the 3rd out, but hardly deserved any kind of 'save'.

    Cave is picking a good time to start looking sharp. Thats a plus. Sano, OTOH is still in an abysmal slump. Not only isn't he getting hits, his AB;s are weak. That has to change, but time is running out for that.

    Is Cruz being kept out of the lineup for health precautions? Would seem he needs some AB's to break out of his slump too.

    Experiment of Bux leading off followed by Donaldson...not a good look. If Bux gets on and refuses to steal, what good is having a DP machine hitter like Donaldson following him?  (Bux had one of his rare off nights at the plate last night)

     

    I still don't want to face NY in round one. Twins need a new opponent for post season. they can say all they want about 'this is a new season'. Yanks are in their heads and Yanks know it.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Last night showed why having experienced arms in the pen are needed.  The less experienced guys had some issues.  Wisler, who admits he does not know what the slider will do most of the time, kind of scary when the guy throwing it has no real plan, but been effective.  His last hitter he set up perfect and made great pitch to be rewarded with a too weak of contact to get an out.  That was just bad luck.  Then the vet came in bases loaded and got the job done quickly.

     

    Acala, did not have it going last night.  I hope it was just a blip because he had been doing well and thought he could be someone to go to in post-season but he was all over the place last night.  Got through it, but my guess if score would have been closer he would have got the hook too, before end of inning. 

     

    Glad we won, but personally, I am a fan of miggy and as long as he is not killing Twins, I hope he can have a few good years left in him.  

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

     

    If the Indians pass the Sox also, then it'll be those very same White Sox the Twins will face in the playoffs.

     

    If the Sox stay ahead of the Indians but behind the Twins, the Twins will play the Indians.

     

    Can't believe I'm saying this, but I'd almost rather play the Yankees than either of those teams. In my defense, I haven't had my morning coffee yet.

    Nah, I'd rather take on the Indians or White Sox. We beat Bieber last time out and our bats did well against them, and I like our hitters' chances against Giolito in Game 1. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

     

    Nah, I'd rather take on the Indians or White Sox. We beat Bieber last time out and our bats did well against them, and I like our hitters' chances against Giolito in Game 1. 

    The way the Twins hit him, Giolito is a guy that doesn't scare me at all.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

     

    The BP has been slipping.  Too many BP games? 

    I wish people would quit claiming that the bullpen is "overworked" without providing any evidence. Yes, the bullpen has been used a lot this year, but it has also been incredibly deep so no one pitcher has been overworked. I don't think any pitcher has pitched more than two days in a row, and the vast majority of their appearances have been one inning or less. The season is only 60 games long, and none of our bullpen pitchers have pitched more than 25 innings yet. They will have normal fluctuations in results, that's just how baseball works. But even after giving up 3 runs in 3 innings last night, the bullpen is virtually tied with the Rays for the highest fWAR in MLB, their ERA is 5th best in MLB, and their FIP is 6th best in MLB. Overall, the bullpen has been one of the team's most consistent strengths this season.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Still worried about the mostly terrible at bats this team has collectively.  Has all year.  Come playoff time, everyone grips the bats a little tighter.  Runs typically more scarce.  I like our starters to compete, but all or nothing approach has me a bit nervous.  Miss all the doubles that drove in runs last year, as well as the bombs.

     

    Bullpen is a tad shaky right now.  Now is not the time for Rocco to have the Gardy approach, that you are slotted where you are slotted.  Duffy should have highest leverage situations.  I would think about slider guy, and Acala, possibly before Rogers.  

     

    Reds home run hitting team like Twins, so should be a fun series.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

     

    I wish people would quit claiming that the bullpen is "overworked" without providing any evidence. Yes, the bullpen has been used a lot this year, but it has also been incredibly deep so no one pitcher has been overworked. I don't think any pitcher has pitched more than two days in a row, and the vast majority of their appearances have been one inning or less. The season is only 60 games long, and none of our bullpen pitchers have pitched more than 25 innings yet. They will have normal fluctuations in results, that's just how baseball works. But even after giving up 3 runs in 3 innings last night, the bullpen is virtually tied with the Rays for the highest fWAR in MLB, their ERA is 5th best in MLB, and their FIP is 6th best in MLB. Overall, the bullpen has been one of the team's most consistent strengths this season.

    This is good info, but beyond overwork, could exposure also be an issue? In a shortened season with a division-heavy schedule, these Detroit batters have seen the same pitchers repeatedly in a short time frame.

     

    Good news is, that shouldn't affect our weekend series vs Cincinnati, and depending on who we draw for the first round of the playoffs, it might not be a factor there either.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

     

    This is good info, but beyond overwork, could exposure also be an issue? In a shortened season with a division-heavy schedule, these Detroit batters have seen the same pitchers repeatedly in a short time frame.

     

    Good news is, that shouldn't affect our weekend series vs Cincinnati, and depending on who we draw for the first round of the playoffs, it might not be a factor there either.

    I think this is a reasonable take. If our bullpen truly does pitch worse against teams that have had a lot of looks at them recently, one might draw the conclusion that it's better to face the Yankees in the first round rather than Cleveland. However, I'm sure that familiarity works both ways... The Twins have done well against Cleveland's best pitchers, especially in that last three game sweep. I honestly can't decide who I'd rather have the Twins face, but as long as they're at home, I still like their chances against any opponent.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

     

    A White Sox win today puts us tied and they have the tiebreaker. It would also put our magic # with the Tribe at 1.  Gonna be one hell of a final weekend in the AL Central. And gotta agree with bighat above, also might prefer the Yankees to the Tribe, although we have played well against the Indians at Target Field.

     

    Is Rosario heating up at the right time? Keep it going Eddie for at least another couple weeks. And please get Arraez back this weekend, he will make a huge difference if he isn't too rusty.

     

    And what isn't to like about Alcala? He would be on my playoff roster, don't know about the Twins? Did Jeffers guarantee his roster spot last night?

    The Twins have the tiebreaker with Cleveland, so the magic number to eliminate Cleveland is 1. That is one Minnesota win or Cleveland loss and the Twins finish ahead of Cleveland for seeding. Also, in a 3-way tie, the Twins come out on top, Cleveland second and the White Sox third.

     

    Rosario had two very good games against the Tigers. Whether this is his last run with the Twins or not, he is a good major league player, although at times he makes me want to tear out what hair I have left.

     

    Alcala did not throw enough strikes last night. Detroit hit a bunch of long fly balls, but did no damage. I really would like to see the Twins go with Jeffers behind the plate, but I still expect Garver to be the starter.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    The Twins playoff scenarios are as below;

     

    • The Twins cannot finish with the 6 or 8 seed.
    • The Twins magic number to finish ahead of Cleveland is 1.  If they do that, they cannot be the 7 seed
    • The Twins magic number to finish ahead of New York is 2 (perhaps 1).  Both the Twins and Yankees have 23 division wins, but the Yankees play Buffalo tonight.  Win that, and the Yankees get the tiebreak, and the number is 2.  If Buffalo wins tonight, I'm not sure who gets the tiebreak between the Twins and Yankees, as I don't want to look at results of the last 40 games.  Regardless, 2 Twins wins/Yankees losses mean the Twins can't be the 5 seed.
    • Both Tampa and Oakland have already won more division games than the Twins, and therefore have the tiebreak.  Tampa's magic number to finish ahead of the Twins (and White Sox) is 1.
    • Oakland has 5 games left (1 against LAD, 4 against Sea).  The Twins must win at least the same number of games as Oakland to finish ahead of Oakland
    • The Twins must win at least one more game than Chicago the rest of the way to finish ahead of Chicago

    TL;DR

     

    Seeds 6 & 8 are impossible

    Seeds 1 & 7 are improbable

    Seeds 2 & 5 are possible, but unlikely

    Seeds 3 & 4 are the most likely

     

    If the Twins are seed 4, they will likely play the Yankees (the Yankee's magic number to finish ahead of Toronto is 1).  Otherwise, if the Twins are the 3 seed, they are guaranteed to play Houston.

     

    In short, cheer for Cleveland and Oakland today, then the Twins to sweep and Oakland to at least split with Seattle.  That would put the Twins on the 3 line, which is the best possible draw, imo.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

     

    [*]The Twins must win at least one more game than Chicago the rest of the way to finish ahead of Chicago

    TL;DR

     

    Actually, when you wrote this, the correct answer was "the Twins must lose one fewer game than Chicago," since the Sox had one more game on their schedule than the Twins, and the Twins need to finish ahead of the Sox. Winning one more and losing one less were not the same thing.

     

    However, the Sox lost again tonight, so now both teams have 3 left, and the Twins are a full game up.

    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...