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  • Twins Game Recap (8/27): Bullpen Depth Proves Key In Twins Win


    Andrew Thares

    As the season starts to wind down, every Minnesota Twins game seems that much more important. With the Cleveland Indians blowing out the Detroit Tigers, the Twins needed to hold serve against the Chicago White Sox to maintain their 3 1/2 game lead in the American League Central. Fortunately Michael Pineda, and the back end of the Twins bullpen were up to the task, leading the Twins to a 3-to-1 victory.

    Image courtesy of FanGraphs

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    Box Score

    Pineda: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 67.4% strikes (60 of 89 pitches)

    Home Runs: Gonzalez (15), Schoop (19)

    Multi-Hit Games: Cruz (2 for 4)

    WPA of +0.1: Pineda .177, Duffey .108

    WPA of -0.1: None

    Bomba Counter: 255

    There was a scoring chance for the Twins right away in the first inning. Jorge Polanco drew a one out walk, and Nelson Cruz drove him over to third with a single, giving the Twins first and third with just one out. Then Eddie Rosario stepped to the plate, and with Lucas Giolito showing he didn’t have he best control early, Rosario swung at the first pitch, which was out of the zone high, and popped up to the third baseman. Giolito was able to come back in strike out Miguel Sano, and the Twins early threat was squandered.

    In the second inning, the Twins went back to their routine to put a couple of runs on the scoreboard. First Marwin Gonzalez leadoff the inning with his 15th home run of the season, giving the Twins nine different hitters with at least 15 home runs this season.

    https://twitter.com/Twins/status/1166511242921598977

    A few batters later, Jonathan Schoop blasted a home run of his own, giving the Twins a 2-0 lead.

    https://twitter.com/Twins/status/1166512959855706113

    The White Sox were able to bounce back with a home run of their own, when Tim Anderson took Michael Pineda deep to lead off the fourth inning. This was the only blemish, on what was otherwise an excellent start for Pineda. Since the start of May, Michael Pineda has a 3.60 ERA, which is slightly better than Jake Odorizzi’s 3.64 ERA and Jose Berrios’s 3.71 ERA over that time. If those three can carry that level of performance into the postseason, the Twins will have three pitchers that can give their offense a shot to win each and every game.

    Eddie Rosario made up for his inability to come through in the first inning by driving in a big insurance run in the eighth. Following a couple of one-out singles from Jorge Polanco and Nelson Cruz, Eddie Rosario poked a line drive into center field, bringing around Polanco to score. With two outs in the inning, Max Kepler pinch hit for Marwin Gonzalez, and hit a popup into shallow left field that looked like it was going to drop. However, it held up just long enough for While Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez to run underneath it and make a nice sliding catch to end the inning. It was later announced that Marwin Gonzalez was lifted due to an abdominal issue, but nothing more was said about the issue before the end of the game.

    The Twins bullpen was on display tonight, showing just how valuable the trade deadline additions really were. After Pineda’s five strong innings, Sam Dyson, Tyler Duffey, Sergio Romo and Taylor Rogers each gave the Twins one scoreless inning to secure the Twins win. Among them, Sergio Romo deserves some recognition. He came in for the eighth inning to face the White Sox 2-4 hitters, and he made them look silly, striking out all three.

    Bullpen Usage

    Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:

    Next Three Games

    Wed at CHW, 7:10 pm CT (Odorizzi-Detwiler)

    Thu at CHW, 1:10 pm CT (Berrios-Cease)

    Fri at DET, 6:10 pm CT (TBD-TBD)

    Last Game

    Twins Game Recap (8/25): Pérez Impresses, Twins Beat Detroit for Series Win

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    That was a great game to be at! Pineda was great, the BP was great ... wow, and Romo ... he was dealing it! That Sano single was the hardest hit thing I've seen. I swear the wind whistled as it flew. And that come-backer that ended the game ... good win! And, on top of that ... the icing on the cake??? The White Sox paid tribute to me! Had footage of me running around Target Field on the big screen, then they did a skit out on the field where SouthPaw chased me around! Loads of fun! :)

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    The Yankees are closing in on the record, too. A fantastic month of August with lots and lots of homers (imagine their total if Stanton had been playing all year). They've been within 8 of the Twins. Might be there after tonight's game, too. The Twins have played 3 less games...so maybe that will work in the Twins favor.

     

    I want Cave to play more (looks like he will because Buxton ain't coming back soon) and get to 10 and break that mark.

    Yesterday was Tuesday, August 27.  It was the 131st game of the year putting the Twins 81% of the way through the season.  The Twins hit 2 home runs upping their record-breaking season total to 255 home runs.  They are now only 13 home runs short of setting a new single-season MLB record.

     

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    The Yankees are closing in on the record, too. A fantastic month of August with lots and lots of homers (imagine their total if Stanton had been playing all year). They've been within 8 of the Twins. Might be there after tonight's game, too. The Twins have played 3 less games...so maybe that will work in the Twins favor.

     

    I want Cave to play more (looks like he will because Buxton ain't coming back soon) and get to 10 and break that mark.

    Imagine the Twins total if they played in Yankee Stadium. The Twins might have 50 more right now.

     

    How many have we seen off the top of that scoreboard in right-center at Target Field? I’ve seen Cruz and Garver do it a half-dozen times each just in August. Rosario and Kepler have smashed that a number of times as well. Those are gone by a mile in Yankee Stadium. It’s also where Judge hits most of his HRs (we actually saw him come up short off that scoreboard here in MN in July).

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    Imagine the Twins total if they played in Yankee Stadium. The Twins might have 50 more right now.

    How many have we seen off the top of that scoreboard in right-center at Target Field? I’ve seen Cruz and Garver do it a half-dozen times each just in August. Rosario and Kepler have smashed that a number of times as well. Those are gone by a mile in Yankee Stadium. It’s also where Judge hits most of his HRs (we actually saw him come up short off that scoreboard here in MN in July).

     

    Yankee Stadium is an absolute joke and frankly I can't believe the league allows the richest team in baseball to play in a softball stadium. The dimensions are the definition of "red meat", playing to an obnoxious fan base. Coors Field has altitude issues but it's still a big league stadium, at its core. Yankee Stadium honestly needs to be reviewed and the fences need to be moved out to preserve the integrity of the game. Pop flies that wouldn't even make the warning track in any other MLB park are going out for 3-run bombs. Pathetic.

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    Boy I would sure like the Twins to find a way to keep Big Mike around. He just keeps getting better as TJ gets further in the rear view mirror.

    Completely agree, bringing him back for next year and beyond should be a major priority!

     

    Right now, Big Mike has to be the guy who gets the ball in either Game 1 of the ALDS or the WC game. He has been phenomenal as of late.

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    "Yankee Stadium is an absolute joke......"

     

    It is ironic that the "house that Ruth built" would be designed to make home runs cheap.

    No question that Twins' strategy against Giolito last night was to "swing hard in case you hit it". Luckily the strategy worked twice; enough with Pineda on the hill plus 4 goose eggs by the bp.

    Rosario's insurance single was classic Rosario and clearly just laid the bat on the ball with his patented base hit swing.

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    Man Giolotto is a good pitcher.  He doesn't nibble just throws right at the plate and dare's you to hit it.  It is not going to be fun facing him the next 6 years.  Big Mike was better last night though and the pen held on.  That was a big win getting past their best pitcher.  Now they just need to stay focused and win the next couple of games as well.

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    Man Giolotto is a good pitcher. He doesn't nibble just throws right at the plate and dare's you to hit it. It is not going to be fun facing him the next 6 years. Big Mike was better last night though and the pen held on. That was a big win getting past their best pitcher. Now they just need to stay focused and win the next couple of games as well.

    There are two reasons I hated the Giolito-Eaton trade: the Twins have to face Giolito a lot, and the Nats don’t get to have him in the rotation. Eaton has helped make up (a bit) for the Harper departure, but that is one I am sure Russo would like back.

    Edited by AlwaysinModeration
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    Imagine the Twins total if they played in Yankee Stadium. The Twins might have 50 more right now.

    How many have we seen off the top of that scoreboard in right-center at Target Field? I’ve seen Cruz and Garver do it a half-dozen times each just in August. Rosario and Kepler have smashed that a number of times as well. Those are gone by a mile in Yankee Stadium. It’s also where Judge hits most of his HRs (we actually saw him come up short off that scoreboard here in MN in July).

    Dont tell that to Yankees fans or the national media. JUDGE IS A GOD AND YANKEES STADIUM IS THE BEST STADIUM IN THE WORLD!!!

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    Imagine the Twins total if they played in Yankee Stadium. The Twins might have 50 more right now.

    How many have we seen off the top of that scoreboard in right-center at Target Field? I’ve seen Cruz and Garver do it a half-dozen times each just in August. Rosario and Kepler have smashed that a number of times as well. Those are gone by a mile in Yankee Stadium. It’s also where Judge hits most of his HRs (we actually saw him come up short off that scoreboard here in MN in July).

     

    Aaron Judge this year has 6 homers in 178 PA's at Yankee Stadium, and 11 in 163 PA's on the road.  This is a flip from his career splits, but it's not quite so cut and dry to attribute all of Judge's power to the Bronx.

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    Twins bullpen in August, with MLB ranks;

     

    9 k/9 (15th), 2.2 bb/9 (1st), 0.95 HR/9 (3rd), .332 BABIP (26th), 35.5% GB rate (28th), 4.02 ERA (8th), 3.36 FIP (2nd), 4.16 xFIP (7th), 1.7 WAR (2nd).

     

    Perhaps Falvine knew what they were doing at the deadline.

    Some interesting numbers. It looks like they've had some bad luck (26th in BABIP and a big disparity between ERA and FIP). With five guys getting some degree of trust (Dyson, May, Duffey, Romo and Rogers), they should be able to hold leads and not be overworked.

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    Interesting and tense game last night. I was really wondering if Rocco was going to send Pineda back out in the 6th. On the one hand, Big Mike was pitching well. On the other, it's a tight game and one bad pitch might tie it up or lose it for you. On the other hand, he was only at 88 pitches. On the other hand, he hasn't thrown 100 pitches in a game all year. On the other hand, it would have really been nice to get one more inning and not run through all your best bullpen guys in one night. On the other hand...man, that's a lot of hands.

     

    Not an easy call. Considering Pineda's injury history and not being known for durability, i think it's probably the right choice, and it certainly worked out. But I thought it was a really fascinating decision point.

     

    The HR barrage is amazing. It's possible for the Twins to run out a perfectly reasonable lineup where every single player has 15+ HRs. they have 11 players with double-digit HRs. They're extremely likely to finish the year with 8 guys with 20+. Don't groove a pitch to these guys because they will send it out. Holy cow.

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    Interesting and tense game last night. I was really wondering if Rocco was going to send Pineda back out in the 6th. On the one hand, Big Mike was pitching well. On the other, it's a tight game and one bad pitch might tie it up or lose it for you. On the other hand, he was only at 88 pitches. On the other hand, he hasn't thrown 100 pitches in a game all year. On the other hand, it would have really been nice to get one more inning and not run through all your best bullpen guys in one night. On the other hand...man, that's a lot of hands.

     

    HOW MANY HANDS DO YOU HAVE?!?!

     

    d457fa037f5a5371106f91e0a75650e3.jpg

    Edited by Puckett34
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    Interesting and tense game last night. I was really wondering if Rocco was going to send Pineda back out in the 6th. On the one hand, Big Mike was pitching well. On the other, it's a tight game and one bad pitch might tie it up or lose it for you. On the other hand, he was only at 88 pitches. On the other hand, he hasn't thrown 100 pitches in a game all year. On the other hand, it would have really been nice to get one more inning and not run through all your best bullpen guys in one night. On the other hand...man, that's a lot of hands.

     

    Not an easy call. Considering Pineda's injury history and not being known for durability, i think it's probably the right choice, and it certainly worked out. But I thought it was a really fascinating decision point.

     

    The HR barrage is amazing. It's possible for the Twins to run out a perfectly reasonable lineup where every single player has 15+ HRs. they have 11 players with double-digit HRs. They're extremely likely to finish the year with 8 guys with 20+. Don't groove a pitch to these guys because they will send it out. Holy cow.

    What are you?  An octopus? 

     

    Pineda seems to have gone 5-6 innings most of the year, if he goes out for the 6th and gives up the lead the commentary here is much different and questioning why he wasn't pulled sooner.  I think it's a fine line of when to leave a pitcher in and when to pull him.  Always easier to dissect the decision after the fact.

     

    The bullpen has been much stronger lately weather that's due to weaker opponents or just pitching better I'm not sure. 

     

    Either way keep it up and go Twins!! 

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    What are you?  An octopus? 

     

    Pineda seems to have gone 5-6 innings most of the year, if he goes out for the 6th and gives up the lead the commentary here is much different and questioning why he wasn't pulled sooner.  I think it's a fine line of when to leave a pitcher in and when to pull him.  Always easier to dissect the decision after the fact.

     

    The bullpen has been much stronger lately weather that's due to weaker opponents or just pitching better I'm not sure. 

     

    Either way keep it up and go Twins!! 

    The addition of both Romo and Dyson really deepens the bullpen. The newfound competence of Duffey and May makes the whole 'pen look much better.

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    "Yankee Stadium is an absolute joke......"

     

    It is ironic that the "house that Ruth built" would be designed to make home runs cheap.

    No question that Twins' strategy against Giolito last night was to "swing hard in case you hit it". Luckily the strategy worked twice; enough with Pineda on the hill plus 4 goose eggs by the bp.

    Rosario's insurance single was classic Rosario and clearly just laid the bat on the ball with his patented base hit swing.

    I wish Rosario had swung his "patented base hit swing" in the first inning with Polanco on third and Cruz on first.

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    Twins bullpen in August, with MLB ranks;

     

    9 k/9 (15th), 2.2 bb/9 (1st), 0.95 HR/9 (3rd), .332 BABIP (26th), 35.5% GB rate (28th), 4.02 ERA (8th), 3.36 FIP (2nd), 4.16 xFIP (7th), 1.7 WAR (2nd).

     

    Perhaps Falvine knew what they were doing at the deadline.

    Love that bb stat.

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