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  • Blue Jays 9, Twins 3: Blue Jays Crush Twins


    Theo Tollefson

    Target Field was filled with visitors from the Northland, country music fans and some who identify as both Thursday night as the Twins opened a four-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays. The Blue Jays entered the series three games better than the Twins and tacked on six runs in the eighth to expand that lead by one.

    Image courtesy of Brad Rempel, USA Today Sports

    Box Score
    SP: Sonny Gray 5 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 5 BB, 5 K (78 pitches, 56 strikes (71.7 strike %))
    Home Runs: Jake Cave (1)
    Bottom 3 WPA: Emilio Pagan -.422, Jake Cave -.157, Luis Arraez -.098

    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

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    The first inning of the game was all pitching for both sides. Sonny Gray, making his third start of the second half, only allowed one walk and retired Teoscar Hernandez on a 5-3 groundout that had its ruling overturned as a single. All-star Alek Manoah was on the mound for the Jays and retired the minimum with the Twins lineup getting Luis Arraez and Carlos Correa on flyouts and striking out Byron Buxton

    The people who came to Target Field Thursday night for a concert would be in for a treat of a pitcher's duel. Manoah’s streak of dominance would last through the next two innings as he continued to retire the minimum in the second and third against the Twins. Gray would only allow a walk to Matt Chapman in those same innings. 

    The perfect game bid remained for Manoah into the fourth but with one out, Correa hit a line drive single back to the mound. The deflection off Manoah’s glove hit him so quickly that he couldn’t recover the ball in time as Correa reached first base. 

    After getting Buxton out on a groundout, Manoah walked Jorge Polanco and Nick Gordon to get the bases loaded for Jose Miranda. Miranda worked a 2-2 count in his favor and received the nasty end of a Manoah fast ball that drilled him in his left arm. Miranda remained in the game following the hit by pitch which also scored Correa to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.

     

    The Twins didn’t capitalize to score more runs with the bases loaded and walked back to the dugout with the first lead of the game. 

    Gray held down the lead for the Twins in the top of the fifth even as he got into a jam with two outs. Gray walked the leadoff man Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and a two out single to Cavan Biggio

    This brought George Springer up to the plate with runners on first and second. Gray and Springer dueled to get a full count with Springer winning the battle to get the bases loaded for Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Gray worked Guerrero Jr. to a 2-2 count and eventually got him out on a ground out to Correa at short to keep the Twins in front 1-0. 

    The Twins got a runner on in the bottom of the fifth with a Gary Sanchez one out walk but Arraez and Correa came up short trying to get him home to add to their lead. 

    Gray was done for the evening following the fifth as he had thrown 96 pitches with only 50 hitting the strike zone. This brought in Emilio Pagan for the sixth. With one out in the inning, Pagan gave up a home run to Teoscar Hernandez that landed in the second deck of left field to tie the game 1-1. 

    Bo Bichette followed with a double to put the lead run into scoring position for Guerriel Jr. He was able to get Bichette in on an RBI single putting the Jays up 2-1. The Twins looked to be out of the jam as Whit Merrifield hit a ball to Miranda. Miranda’s throw to first was scooped by Arraez but fell out of his glove, scoring another run to make it 3-1 Blue Jays. 

    Pagan eventually got out of the jam but the damage was done as the Blue Jays now led 3-1 over the Twins going into the bottom of the sixth. 

    Buxton led the inning off with a strikeout but Polanco drew a walk to follow and Gordon advanced both himself and Polanco with a double to right-center field to give the Twins with two runners in scoring position for Miranda.

    Miranda, looking to shake off the pain inflicted from a Manoah pitch earlier in the game, hit two foul balls off Manoah. The second went right into the hands of Dick Bremer as Miranda fouled it into the Twins broadcast booth. Following that, Miranda got an RBI fielder's choice to get the Twins back within a run. 

    The Twins were down 3-2 going into the seventh with Trevor Megill on the mound. Megill pitched well in the seventh as he only allowed one base runner on a Guerrero Jr. double. 

    Coming up short once again in the seventh, the Blue Jays took advantage of a cold Twins lineup for their turn in the eighth. The Jays added six more runs on six hits and a walk, including a three-run home run from Guerrero Jr. to give Toronto a 9-2 lead.

    After a bumbling eighth, Duffey remained on the mound for the Twins ninth already having thrown 25 pitches. Duffey avoided any further runs being surrendered to the Jays. The Twins did not go down quietly in the ninth as Jake Cave hit his first home run since returning to the Twins clubhouse earlier in the week. 

    Cave’s home run would not be enough to start a rally as the Jays would shut down the Twins after Cave’s home run. 

    What’s Next? 
    The Twins will play their second of four games against the Blue Jays Friday night with Tyler Mahle expected to make his debut with the team following his trade. Former Twin Jose Berrios is scheduled to make the start for the Blue Jays. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. CT

    Postgame Interview 

    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

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    Lots of stuff here. 

    Yes, we only scored a couple and our offense is slumping right now. But here's the deal. Do we all think around here that in the playoffs you are going to be putting up 7-8 runs a game? Because that's not how it works. 

    When you face a pitcher like the kid last night that is nasty and has great stuff, you have to expect you aren't going to put up crooked numbers every other inning. 3-4 runs HAS to win some games. Not all of them, but guess what, the other team's pitchers get paid to get you out too.

    Flat out, Gray should have pitched the 6th, Megill the 7th, Jax the 8th and Lopez the 9th. I bet the game sits at about 2-2 if you run these guys out there. Now win it. 

    4-5 innings for starting pitchers just doesn't work. We've seen the story over and over and over and over and over and over. I don't know how many times Rocco is going to yank starters early. Gray was at 95 pitches or something. BIG DEAL. Run him up to 110 or so and if he needs help to get 1 out in the 6th, fine. We are in a pennant race and have 2 team nipping at your heels! Every game matters!

    There is no world that a team can count on 4-5 relievers/pitchers every single night and expect to have success. There is just that much more of a chance that one or more of them is off. 

    Until Rocco and his clipboard can figure this out, it will be more of the same. Yes we upgraded part of our bullpen, but the way Rocco uses the heck out of them, we need every single member out there to be high end guys. We don't have that. No team does.

     

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    Wow what a terrible show for a sold out crowd.  I imagine the many thousands that were there mainly for the concert won't be rushing to but Twins tickets anytime soon.  I still applaud the trades.  They were needed and will benefit the team for the next 2-3 years.  Oh yes.  Pagan can be blamed for giving up those runs.  True the great, and lately invisible Correa, made an error but a good relief pitcher picks up hus team.  Pagan is not a good relief pitcher.  Arraez, Buxton, and Correa are hitting a combined 223 since July 1st.  Yet everyone rightfully accuses our minor league bullpen of losing 22 games this year.  Where are the people not analyzing the hitting.  Thankfully we can get decent stats here at TD.  The radio people seem very leery about any criticizing of the great Correa or Buxton.  Provus will tell us all the time how great Correa is playing and how he is always involved in trips to the mound.  Big deal.  When is he going to play like a 35 mil player?  Haven't seen it yet.  It's getting late.  This team has so many flaws.  The bullpen is amongst the worst in all of baseball.  Manager Baldelli is no better.

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    15 minutes ago, Whitey333 said:

    Wow what a terrible show for a sold out crowd.  I imagine the many thousands that were there mainly for the concert won't be rushing to but Twins tickets anytime soon.  I still applaud the trades.  They were needed and will benefit the team for the next 2-3 years.  Oh yes.  Pagan can be blamed for giving up those runs.  True the great, and lately invisible Correa, made an error but a good relief pitcher picks up hus team.  Pagan is not a good relief pitcher.  Arraez, Buxton, and Correa are hitting a combined 223 since July 1st.  Yet everyone rightfully accuses our minor league bullpen of losing 22 games this year.  Where are the people not analyzing the hitting.  Thankfully we can get decent stats here at TD.  The radio people seem very leery about any criticizing of the great Correa or Buxton.  Provus will tell us all the time how great Correa is playing and how he is always involved in trips to the mound.  Big deal.  When is he going to play like a 35 mil player?  Haven't seen it yet.  It's getting late.  This team has so many flaws.  The bullpen is amongst the worst in all of baseball.  Manager Baldelli is no better.

    I'll start by saying I think they need to DFA Pagan, but to be fair to him for last night he did follow up Correa's error with another groundout that Miranda threw low and Arraez couldn't pick. Back to back errors that lead to a run can't be put on the pitcher.

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    9 hours ago, RpR said:

    You can rant about pitching but the twins would have lost whether or not Duffey pitched, dumping on Duffey is silly as the only two runs the Twins got was not from any thing that resembled a professional offense.

    I don't know why people are upset he asked Duffey to eat innings in a blowout loss. Were you hoping to see Nick Gordon pitch again?

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    9 hours ago, RpR said:

    Megill was no better.

    He was fine for the first inning. Problem was when he was sent out for a second inning. He even hit 100 on the gun in his first inning of work.

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    23 minutes ago, chpettit19 said:

    I'll start by saying I think they need to DFA Pagan, but to be fair to him for last night he did follow up Correa's error with another groundout that Miranda threw low and Arraez couldn't pick. Back to back errors that lead to a run can't be put on the pitcher.

    To be fair, Arraez should've definitely caught both of those. He is a terrible first baseman. 

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    I've really had enough of 2 out of three of these bullpen options  , really all three but thought I'd be nice since we only have 2 pitchers at AAA to replace them ... 

    THE HITTING WASN'T ALL THAT GREAT , I wish Rocco would realize and play alittle small ball when there is a pitchers duel ....

    I'm really getting tired of our manager and can't believe  a word he says  ..... 

    He said if we have a lead we will use our better pitching  in those situations , we were leading 1-0 and he brings in the mop up crew and each surrenders 3 runs a piece ....

    With the lead and a winnable game this would have been a great test to use our new acquisitions  to shut down toronto  .... 

    IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A GREAT TEST  ....

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    1 hour ago, Battle ur tail off said:

    Flat out, Gray should have pitched the 6th, Megill the 7th, Jax the 8th and Lopez the 9th. I bet the game sits at about 2-2 if you run these guys out there. Now win it. 

    4-5 innings for starting pitchers just doesn't work. We've seen the story over and over and over and over and over and over. I don't know how many times Rocco is going to yank starters early. Gray was at 95 pitches or something. BIG DEAL. Run him up to 110 or so and if he needs help to get 1 out in the 6th, fine. We are in a pennant race and have 2 team nipping at your heels! Every game matters!

     

    Gray was at 96 pitches, had just come off a difficult inning where he threw a ton of them (31 to be exact), did not have his best command and had already walked 5 guys in 5 innings. If he'd gotten through the inning on 15-20 pitches I'm sure he goes out for the 6th, but considering where he'd been and what was going on, of course he came out after 5. He wasn't yanked "early", he gutted his way through 5 against a good lineup. (and I'm sure if he'd gone out for the 6th and gotten lit up the same people would be on this board crushing the manager for not realizing that his starter was gassed)

    The bullpen bombed, and it was disappointing to see Pagan groove one like that when he started missing his spots and no one was chasing. That's been his downfall the whole year, losing command and then when he's fallen behind and doesn't want to issue the walk he tries to throw a "get over" pitch that gets sent over the fence. His fastball is very hittable if he takes anything off it.

    Duffey really does look cooked, though. It's a shame, but they should move on there and ride with Moran at this point. Loyalty is nice, but he simply doesn't look like he can get it done any longer.

    The offense is a wreck right now, and it's looking like a real problem until everyone gets healthy, but even that doesn't explain where some of these guys are. 2 runs and then tacking on a late one after the game is out of reach is just not good enough.

    Toronto is a good team, but the Twins need to play better. Front office got them reinforcements, and didn't sell off the MLB club. Not is not the time for an August swoon.

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    3 minutes ago, jmlease1 said:

    Gray was at 96 pitches, had just come off a difficult inning where he threw a ton of them (31 to be exact), did not have his best command and had already walked 5 guys in 5 innings. If he'd gotten through the inning on 15-20 pitches I'm sure he goes out for the 6th, but considering where he'd been and what was going on, of course he came out after 5. He wasn't yanked "early", he gutted his way through 5 against a good lineup. (and I'm sure if he'd gone out for the 6th and gotten lit up the same people would be on this board crushing the manager for not realizing that his starter was gassed)

    The bullpen bombed, and it was disappointing to see Pagan groove one like that when he started missing his spots and no one was chasing. That's been his downfall the whole year, losing command and then when he's fallen behind and doesn't want to issue the walk he tries to throw a "get over" pitch that gets sent over the fence. His fastball is very hittable if he takes anything off it.

    Duffey really does look cooked, though. It's a shame, but they should move on there and ride with Moran at this point. Loyalty is nice, but he simply doesn't look like he can get it done any longer.

    The offense is a wreck right now, and it's looking like a real problem until everyone gets healthy, but even that doesn't explain where some of these guys are. 2 runs and then tacking on a late one after the game is out of reach is just not good enough.

    Toronto is a good team, but the Twins need to play better. Front office got them reinforcements, and didn't sell off the MLB club. Not is not the time for an August swoon.

    Agreed on all points.

    Nitpic: pretty sure it was that ******** cutter from Pagan that got nailed into the second deck in left. I don't understand why they/he still throws that pitch. The league is Babe Ruth against it.

    I also hate to see Megill come in and fall behind with that big looping curve. He's got 98-100. Use it. Get ahead. 

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    Let's get another inning out of Megill. Okay, I guess we shouldn't have sent him out. But then Duffey does nothing but allow Megill to look bad in the end, while he looks worse.

    Cotton and Moran. Two guys sent out who are better than the ones we sent to the mound yesterday.

    You can afford to keep one of Pagan or Duffey, if you wish, for those out-of-hand mopup games, or if you have the 9-3 lead. But right now, NOT both.

    Create an injury time if you really want to keep them on the team.

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    10 minutes ago, USAFChief said:

    Agreed on all points.

    Nitpic: pretty sure it was that ******** cutter from Pagan that got nailed into the second deck in left. I don't understand why they/he still throws that pitch. The league is Babe Ruth against it.

    I also hate to see Megill come in and fall behind with that big looping curve. He's got 98-100. Use it. Get ahead. 

    I likely mixed up in my head which garbage pitch he's using when he gets into "just throw a damn strike" mode, which is a bad mode for him to be in. Our catchers might need to help him out on that one: "No. we're not throwing that pitch any longer. you can work on it in the offseason, but it's fired for now."

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    Rocco made the right move pulling Gray last night. He was obviously tiring after throwing  90 some pitches. The problem IMO is you have 5 relievers you can have confidence putting into a close game. Yet when you plan to use 4 every night, you're going to have to use the other 3 on a fairly regular basis. Now if you can cut that down to 3 per night you can make that work by doubling up when needed. The only way you can do that is by pushing your starters to more IP. We have the lowest IP per start of any contender, and certainly not the pen to pull it off!

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    49 minutes ago, USAFChief said:

    Agreed on all points.

    Nitpic: pretty sure it was that ******** cutter from Pagan that got nailed into the second deck in left. I don't understand why they/he still throws that pitch. The league is Babe Ruth against it.

    I also hate to see Megill come in and fall behind with that big looping curve. He's got 98-100. Use it. Get ahead. 

    The scoreboard at Target Field called the bomb an 89 MPH splitter if that makes you feel any better...

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    It's a shame that Gray pitched a great game but he didn't get some calls (maybe because Sanchez wasn't able to draw those close ones in for strikes) & only seeing Pagan blow the lead and Duffy blow it wide open. Maybe if Gray got those close ones he would have gone another inning, but what would that solve? Could that alleviate one of Pagan or Duffy? I don't think so (I'm sure Baldelli had in his mind to use both no matter what). It may have alleviate one of Duffy's inning that's it. With a tough team IMO Duffy & Pagan should not be used not even it looks like we got it sewn up. That's the problem what to do with Duffy & Pagan? Just use them for mop up against poor teams? That seems a waste of valuable roster spots. Can we send them down? IDK. Can we put them on the IL for some mysterious injury? IDK. Should we DFA them? maybe Duffy (although it wouldn't be nice) since he has only one year left, Pagan would be more difficult. The problem also is the mentality of management when it's obvious that something isn't working they stubbornly stick to it, examples; years of thinking Cave was a legit back up to Buxton, Polanco was a great SS, Colume' as closer and now Duffy & Pagan as legit BP options.

    In our BP we had only Duran & Jax that we could trust & rely on (to the point of over extending them). Now we have Lopez, Fulmer & hopefull Theilbar, the rest I do not trust, aren't ready & shouldn't be on the active roster. Then what can we do with the remaining spots? I suggest we open up those spots with long relief candidates. I know "long relief" isn't in many volcabulary especially Baldelli's. We have a few MLB proven candidates, Winder did a great job the 3X he was used in April until he got burnt out in the rotation. Sanchez & Smeltzer has pitched very well in MLB for us, we are wasting them in AAA, they are candidates right now. When Winder & Ober comeback they are candidates and Cotton could also be if he clears waivers & when they need him. None of them need extra time in AAA, We don't want our BP & rotation burnt out or injured for the play offs. Long relief will keep them healthy & fresh at the same time give these candidates value time in MLB and that includes pitchers like SWR a way to get their feet wet in MLB.

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    1 hour ago, Doctor Gast said:

    It's a shame that Gray pitched a great game but he didn't get some calls (maybe because Sanchez wasn't able to draw those close ones in for strikes)

    https://www.fangraphs.com/wins.aspx?date=2022-08-04&team=Twins&dh=0&season=2022

    Gray got much better calls than Manoah and not 1 missed strike call was for a ball 4. The strike zone was tight last night and you can see it on the interactive grid.

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    6 minutes ago, bean5302 said:

    https://www.fangraphs.com/wins.aspx?date=2022-08-04&team=Twins&dh=0&season=2022

    Gray got much better calls than Manoah and not 1 missed strike call was for a ball 4. The strike zone was tight last night and you can see it on the interactive grid.

    Thank you for that info, much appreciated, but my intension wasn't that the ump missed any calls.

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