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  • Sherry's Series Takes: Twins vs. Dodgers


    Sherry Cerny

    The brutality of the Dodger series certainly will outweigh the few shining bright spots, but I managed to find a few, but kept it real as we lick our wounds and move forward to Boston. 

    Image courtesy of USA Today: Bruck Kluckhohn

    Twins Video

    Kepler Got His Groove Back?
    Max Kepler had a rough season after contracting the Covid-19 virus in early 2021. Not only was his physical appearance worn and thin, but his defense and at-bats were also not what they used to be. Over the past two series, Kepler has increased his plate discipline. Savant showed his zone contact is 90.9% which helped him at least in this series, garnering him both a home run and a double. He may be batting .188 right now, but the average doesn't say it all. He is on track for a good season and getting better the more plate appearances he has, and he's undoubtedly rounding out his efforts by adding in good defensive play.

    Kepler has been making impressive defensive plays in the right field in a Buxton-like fashion. He is not Buxton, but his commitment to the hustle and making key plays like the out in the bottom of the fifth getting Chris Taylor out was beautiful. 

    Admittedly I thought trading Kepler would have been a good idea at the beginning of the season, but he continues to show the staff and the fans that he is not done yet and won't go down without a fight, or up his trade value. 

    Situational Hitting Gets an "F"
    The Dodgers pitching lineup was too much for the Twins bats. Over the two-game series, the Twins' offense could only get six hits. I'd rather get a root canal than sit through another series like that again.

    The Dodgers' pitching is one of the best in the league, but there is no reason the Twins bats couldn't make contact more than they did, at a minimum in game one. Byron Buxton and Gio Urshella went 0-for-4, and Luis Arraez, who has been a bright spot, went a dismal 0-for-3. Thank God at least Kepler and Nick Gordon were able to get runs, or this would have been a shutout series, and that's not a good look. 

    Clayton Kershaw, who had never pitched before at Target Field, got comfortable really quick and was off to a combined perfect game, but thankfully Gary Sanchez came into the batter's box in the eighth inning and broke it up with a single to right field. 

    That's probably the best news of the series, considering no one else could get anything going, and the frustration mounted to a peak when Miguel Sano busted his bat after going 0-for-3 and striking out twice. We are all Miguel Sano right now.

    I like Josh Winder, but...
     It was not a shock to me when Josh Winder made the 28-man roster out of spring training. During the shortened spring training, Winder showed confidence and capability to be a part of the rotation. 

    Coming into his first MLB appearance facing one of the best lineups in MLB was not an easy task. He pitched to Cody Bellinger, Mookie Betts, Chris Taylor, and his first MLB strikeout went to Will Smith in his debut. Of all the hitters he had to debut with, he kept his head together, not getting phased and letting the defense do their part. Even if a sacrifice fly earned one run, that's all the rookie allowed in his first appearance. 

    Winder's fastball averaged 94.5 MPH, which is excellent, but he needs to keep it in the zone. As he continues to have more mound appearances, there is room for control growth. As he can get control of his fastball, he will be a great mid-reliever. 

    The rest of the pitching was sad. Chris Archer held his own after a jittery first inning, but Chris Paddack had one of the worst first innings I have seen in a while. While he was able to calm himself down and get out of the innings and continue on, both days the bullpen allowed multiple runs. Dereck Rodriguez looked like he was going to be able to keep it together and then gave up three home runs in a row in his fourth inning of the day.  

    The bullpen definitely needs to see more batters to improve thanks to a lockout and short spring training but hopefully not at the cost of losing multiple series.

    I couldn't imagine that there would be a worse series for the Twins the rest of the season, but I have been wrong before.

    What's next? Hopefully, a series win in Boston instead of a repeat of last season where Boston won four of the series' five games.

    What were your lasting impressions from the Dodgers series? Leave a comment below. 

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    I heard PETB - People for Ethical treatment of Bats has filed a complaint against Sano for breaking his bat.  In a statement released by PETB  "It was not the bats fault Sano can't swing and make contact and stood looking at strike 3 down the middle of the plate.  There was no excuse and we are shocked and horrified for such a violent treatment against an innocent bat.    Bats have feelings too."   

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    Super happy as a Twins fan that Dereck Rodriguez has pitched 3 more innings than Josh Winder this year.

    I 100% agreed with him starting in the majors because I thought there was a plan for him to pitch, but since there really didn't seem like there was one, I would rather have had him in St. Paul starting a game or two by now.

     

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    It surprises me that how the Twins who had one of the worst MLB finishes last year has by far the toughest 3 team series by far of all MLB to begin the season! The face of the Twins has vastly changed from last season at key postions and had very little or no time to adjust, prepare and get ready to their new team. Seatle that should have made the play offs and vastly improved their team this off season. The fact that we split with them is a big positive. 

    The Dodgers are a very formiable team, one of the favorites to compete in this season WS. Yet we should have won the 1st game. IMO we lost it because of managerial  BP mistakes. In the last Seatle game Winder should have been allowed to finish off the blow out to get his feet wet and save Duran & co. for the Dodger opener, This would keep Winder from facing the intimidating Dodger line-up. 

    You barely mentioned the brightest spot of the whole series. It's Archer's performance against the Dodger's line-up. Archer that has hardly pitched for 2 1/2 years and pitched only 3 innings in ST, shut out the Dodgers w/ 2 hit in 4 innings, IMO Duran & co. IMO would have risen up to the occasion and gain us the  win, Another bright spot was Correa's hitting that accompanied his spectacular defense. The 2nd game it looked like the Twins conceded to the Dodger even before the game started, We were very much mismatched, our # 6 SP and downgraded defense against their ace.

    So I'm very much encouraged by the performances of our players against such stiff competition! I expect them get even better as they are still workng out the rust and adjusting to each other. Boston will be tough but IMO we'll give them a good run.

    P.S. IDK what they are going to do w/ Paddack and how to fix him but that's another matter.

     

     

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    11 minutes ago, Doctor Gast said:

    It surprises me that how the Twins who had one of the worst MLB finishes last year has by far the toughest 3 team series by far of all MLB! The face of the Twins has vastly changed from last season at key postions had very time or no time to adjust, prepare and get ready to their new team. Seatle that should have made the play offs and vastly improved their team this off season. The fact that we split with them is a big positive. 

    The Dodgers are a very formiable team, one of the favorites to compete in this season WS. Yet we should have won the 1st game. IMO we lost it because of managerial  BP mistakes. In the last Seatle game Winder should have been allowed to finish off the blow out to get his feet wet and save Duran & co. for the Dodger opener, This would keep Winder from facing the intimidating Dodger line-up. 

    You barely mentioned the brightest spot of the whole series. It's Archer's performance against the Dodger's line-up. Archer that has hardly pitched for 2 1/2 years and pitched only 3 innings in ST, shut out the Dodgers w/ 2 hit in 4 innings, IMO Duran & co. IMO would have risen up to the occasion and gain us the  win, Another bright spot was Correa's hitting that accompanied his spectacular defense. The 2nd game it looked like the Twins conceded to the Dodger even before the game started, We were very much mismatched against their ace.

     

     

    Good assessment Doc.

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    9 hours ago, Craig Arko said:

    The Dodgers are the better team right now. This isn’t too complicated. Things may change; things always change.

    But the more things change, the more they remain the same.  That's a hell of a paradox! :)

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    13 hours ago, wavedog said:

    I heard PETB - People for Ethical treatment of Bats has filed a complaint against Sano for breaking his bat.  In a statement released by PETB  "It was not the bats fault Sano can't swing and make contact and stood looking at strike 3 down the middle of the plate.  There was no excuse and we are shocked and horrified for such a violent treatment against an innocent bat.    Bats have feelings too."   

    The only solid contact Sano has made this season is with the ground when he broke his bat.

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