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  • Guardians 6, Twins 5: Twins Drop Winnable Opener to Guardians


    Jamie Cameron

    The Twins dropped the opening game of an important series against the Guardians 6-5 on Tuesday. Emilio Pagan blew a late lead, negating a huge home run from Luis Arraez, as Cleveland won in eleven innings.

    Image courtesy of Bruce Kluckhohn - USA Today Sports

    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Ryan 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO (101 pitches, 70 strikes)
    Homeruns: Arraez (4)
    Bottom 3 WPA: Urshela -.273, Pagan -.269, Miranda -.233
    Bottom Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)
    1364447330_chart(13).png.48b5996fd64069b9e0b0c4be259b78e9.png

    On Tuesday night, the Twins began their most important series of the season so far. Entering the opening game of athree-gamee series against Cleveland, the Guardians had trimmed Minnesota’s AL Central lead to just one game. Here’s how the Twins lined up behind Joe Ryan.

    In his second start back from the COVID IL, Joe Ryan struggled early. His velocity was down, and his control and command were extremely poor through his first three innings.

    Cleveland took the lead after Ryan surrendered two singles and a double in the top of the first inning. Meanwhile, the Twins struggled mightily early against Aaron Civale. They managed just a Carlos Correa double and an Alex Kirilloff single through three innings, with Civale striking out five.

    A massive Josh Naylor home run deep to right field put the Guardians up 3-0 in the top of the third in a game that seemed to be getting away from the Twins early. In the bottom of the fourth, the offense found life. Max Kepler singled and Gary Sanchez walked, before Kirilloff launched a 106 mph double to score both runners and cut the lead to 3-2.

    Meanwhile, Ryan began to settle in the middle innings. He allowed a walk and a single in the top of the fourth inning, before retiring seven Cleveland hitters in a row, striking out the side in the sixth inning. After a shaky start, Ryan rebounded nicely to keep the Twins in the game, giving them six innings and surpassing 100 pitches in the process.

    In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Cleveland bullpen took over. After a quiet sixth inning, pinch-hitter Trevor Larnach drew a walk with one out in the top of the seventh. Eli Morgan took over in relief for Cleveland. Ryan Jeffers crushed a 102 mph double down the left field line. A batter later, Luis Arraez turned on a fastball inside to hit a 359 foot, three run home run to put the Twins ahead five to three.

    Emilio Pagan took over in the eighth inning. After a Josh Naylor single, Franmil Reyes hit a center cut offering from Pagan 419 feet to tie the game at five. The Twins, it seems, will continue the revolving door of who will get high leverage opportunities behind Jhoan Duran. No one has stepped up with consistency.

    Duran pitched a scoreless ninth inning despite an infield single from Steven Kwan on a groundball Gio Urshela struggled to gain control of. In the bottom of the ninth, Kyle Garlick led off with a pinch-hit, infield single. Nick Gordon pinch ran for him and was thrown out on a close play at second base, bringing him to 3 for 6 in stolen base attempts on the season. Despite a Ryan Jeffers single, the game headed to extra innings after a Luis Arraez groundout.

    Duran got the tenth for the Twins. With a runner on second base, he induced a quick groundout from Jose Ramirez. After intentionally walking Josh Naylor, Duran managed to get Oscar Gonzalez to ground into an inning ending double play to end the inning and give the Twins a chance to walk it off in the bottom of the tenth inning.

    In the bottom of the tenth, Luis Arraez started on second base, with Byron Buxton at the plate. Buxton walked, putting runners at first and second base with no outs. Carlos Correa, Max Kepler, and Gary Sanchez struck out in consecutive at bats, stranding the runner, keeping the game tied at five, and dropping the Twins at 2-10 with RISP in the game.

    The Guardians took the lead in the eleventh. Andres Gimenez floating a 71 mph single to center field off Griffin Jax to retake the lead. Jax worked around further trouble to retire the side, leaving the Twins trailing 6-5, with Emmanuel Clase entering the game to close in the bottom of the eleventh inning. Clase managed the inning with relative ease, despite Jose Miranda missing a walkoff homerun by five feet. Just like that, the Twins are in second place.

    The loss leaves the Twins and Guardians tied at the top of the AL Central. The story was a familiar one for the Twins. They had ample opportunities to score more runs, but struggled to cash runners in scoring position. Ultimately, this game came down to a battle of the bullpens. The Twins aren't going to win too many of those against serious teams.

    Bullpen Usage Chart

      THU FRI SAT SUN TUE TOT
                 
    Jax 0 0 0 16 27 43
    Duffey 0 9 0 25 0 34
    Thornburg 0 33 0 0 0 33
    Thielbar 0 0 0 31 0 31
    Duran 0 0 0 0 27 27
    Cotton 0 0 10 0 11 21
    Pagán 0 0 0 0 17 17
    Smith 0 0 0 0 0 0

    Next Up
    On Wednesday, the Twins will continue their series against Cleveland. Sonny Gray starts for Minnesota, against Triston McKenzie of the Guardians. First pitch is 6:40 CT.

    Postgame Interviews 

     

     

     

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    Not surprised the twins list.  Pagan is an instant heart attack to watch when he comes in.  Twins bullpen is very leaky and fragile.  They have given up a league leading 40 homers.  Yes 40 home runs this bullpen has given up.  Cleveland looks good.  They are on a roll.  They have swagger.  They have a much better manager than twins.  

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    Time to clean house. Herein a list of everyone who should be fired after last night:

     
    Rocco Baldelli
    Rocco Baldelli 5
    Manager
    Jayce Tingler
    Jayce Tingler 33
    Bench Coach
    Rudy Hernandez
    Rudy Hernandez 63
    Hitting Coach
    David Popkins
    David Popkins 79
    Hitting Coach
    Tucker Frawley
    Tucker Frawley
    Infield and Catching Coordinator
    Wes Johnson
    Wes Johnson 47
    Pitching Coach
    Luis Ramirez
    Luis Ramirez 91
    Assistant Pitching Coach
    Hank Conger
    Hank Conger 35
    First Base/Catching Coach
    Tommy Watkins
    Tommy Watkins 40
    Third Base Coach
    Pete Maki
    Pete Maki 88
    Bullpen Coach
    Bill Evers
    Bill Evers 67
    Major League Coach
    Tony Diaz
    Tony Diaz 46
    Assistant Bench Coach
    Nate Dammann
    Nate Dammann 75
    Quality Control Coach
    Garrett Kennedy
    Garrett Kennedy 97
    Bullpen Catcher
    Connor Olson
    Connor Olson 98
    Bullpen Catcher
    Packy Casey
    Packy Casey 48
    Assistant Coach
    Chad Jackson
    Chad Jackson
    Minor League Medical Coordinator

    Chairman: Jim Pohlad

    Board Member: Bill Pohlad

    Board Member: Bob Pohlad

    Board Member: Dave St. Peter

    Bat boys

    Ball boys

    Bat girls

    Ball girls

    Wally the Beer Man

    Corey Povus

    Dazzleman 

    Bremer

    Entire TV crew

     

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    depositphotos_15632081-stock-photo-minnesota-twins-scoreboard-at-target.jpg

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    8 hours ago, VivaBomboRivera! said:

    So, who called for Pagan to throw one slider after another to the Franimal? 

    Madness.

    That's the question I was asking. Why didn't Jeffers go out and talk him into trying something else? Or is this another case of sticking with the "plan"? Or maybe Pagan felt he couldn't get control of anything else? I for one would sure like to know.

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    twins just cant develop hard throwing miss bats relievers..the ones we are dancing back and forth from St Paul cant get AAA batters out -- Moran, Cotton, Cano, etc.. and no way are we winning the central with the likes of what we trot out there now..Duffy, Pagan, Duran, Jax, Theilbar and Smith.. none ....absolutely none of them can be trusted. I still Trust Ryan and Gray as starters..but Archer (NO), Bundy(NO)...horrible pitching staff.. BUT, they cant be blamed for the meat of order going down K K K in extras last nite..PATHETIC !!!

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    7 hours ago, Mark G said:

    Can someone answer the question:  why won't Baldelli sacrifice the runner over to 3rd in extra innings?  Far wiser folks than myself have asked (and asked, and asked..........) this question and I have never heard/read an answer.  When are we going to accept the fact that a runner on 2nd is not necessarily in scoring position.  Can't score on a fly ball, well placed ground ball, passed ball/wild pitch........any or all of the above.  When you HAVE to have a hit to the outfield to score are you truly in "scoring position"?  Put the pressure on the pitcher/defense and make them work, not just play their shifts at normal depth and make you work.  Hell, we don't even make the defense play for the possible bunt, because they know we won't do it.  I know he has said his analytics say the sacrifice doesn't pan out often enough to use it and all that, but in the 10th?  Tie score?  Handed a runner on 2nd?  What have you got to lose?  

    I know I am spitting into the wind, so to speak, when it comes to Rocco, but if someone has an insight as to why he is so dogged in his approach, maybe I will stop spitting.  

    Rocco manages off a spread sheet. I don't think he can manage using his "gut instincts" the way a guy like Francona does. Until Rocco can incorporate a "feel for the game" in with those spread sheets and game plans he and the powers that be come up with this team will probably be what we see. A talented yet underperforming team.

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    Having the winning run on 2nd with nobody out and Buxton, Correa, Kepler and Sanchez up should result in the run scoring.  Not even putting a ball in play is beyond disheartening.   This offense is either in feast or famine mode, and that more than anything will impair any hopes for October.

    Nonetheless, there are significant overdoses of ipecac among the commentariat here.  Minnesotans aplenty go this route due to the frequent, colossal ineptitude of Minnesota's professional and major-revenue collegiate teams over the last half century.  If past performance ensures a future result, however, then I'm using the 1987 and 1991 Twins as my baseline, and not the latest reference tweeted by a Star Tribune sports columnist.

    It's baseball.  It's not my raison d'être.

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    11 minutes ago, Karbo said:

    Rocco manages off a spread sheet. I don't think he can manage using his "gut instincts" the way a guy like Francona does. Until Rocco can incorporate a "feel for the game" in with those spread sheets and game plans he and the powers that be come up with this team will probably be what we see. A talented yet underperforming team.

    A talented underperforming team … inconsistent bats that too often do not come through when needed. Not sure that’s a spreadsheet problem. And a not talented enough bullpen, imo. I’d call that a FO blame more than a spreadsheet problem, for not stocking the bp with the necessary arms. You have a starter who went 6, he used Pagan and Duran correctly, imo … and we lost. But this time I don’t think it was Rocco and the spreadsheets. I’m not a Rocco fan, but I’m not a dislike, either, I’m meh on him, but this loss is not on Rocco and his spreadsheets, imo

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    35 minutes ago, Aggies7 said:

    Most disappointed in correa. Holy Jeeze man we needed a bat on the ball there in the worst way. And if you bunt him they just walk Kepler and we get Sanchez, possibly the worst guy for that situation. 

    Having the bases loaded with no outs is a bad thing?

    EDIT: Having the bases loaded with one out is a bad thing?

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    16 minutes ago, Squirrel said:

    A talented underperforming team … inconsistent bats that too often do not come through when needed. Not sure that’s a spreadsheet problem. And a not talented enough bullpen, imo. I’d call that a FO blame more than a spreadsheet problem, for not stocking the bp with the necessary arms. You have a starter who went 6, he used Pagan and Duran correctly, imo … and we lost. But this time I don’t think it was Rocco and the spreadsheets. I’m not a Rocco fan, but I’m not a dislike, either, I’m meh on him, but this loss is not on Rocco and his spreadsheets, imo

    Agree, I can't complain about Ryan's usage, or how he used Pagan and Duran. I also agreed with stealing Gordon (I would have done it one of the two pitches prior. The part I would complain is not bunting Buxton/Correa in the 10th.

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    Patience grasshoppers. Last year the Twins would've lost this game by the fifth inning. This year they were in it until the end. Next year, if the young guys capitalize on the major league experience they gain this year and Rocco learns to manage by the "feel" of the game instead of relying solely on preordained "plans" the Twins will be the ones in the winner's circle. So pull your head out of the noose, stock up on your favorite beverage and focus on the younger players' development.

    Oh, the occasional stiff shot of Jameson will help.

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    41 minutes ago, Karbo said:

    That's the question I was asking. Why didn't Jeffers go out and talk him into trying something else? Or is this another case of sticking with the "plan"? Or maybe Pagan felt he couldn't get control of anything else? I for one would sure like to know.

    Franmil Reyes was hitting .121, and slugging .121, against sliders going into that at bat. All 4 of his previous HRs came on fastballs. Along with both of his doubles. Last year he hit .219 on breaking balls and .278 on fastballs. In 2020 he hit .155 on sliders and .323 on fastballs. Has slugged over 100 points higher against fastballs each of the last 3 years. He's a vastly better fastball hitter than slider hitter. But any pitch directly down the middle has the chance of going the other way at a very high rate of speed no matter who the hitter is. Throwing a bad slider hitter sliders isn't a bad choice, it was just poorly executed. 

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    8 hours ago, Mark G said:

    Can someone answer the question:  why won't Baldelli sacrifice the runner over to 3rd in extra innings?  Far wiser folks than myself have asked (and asked, and asked..........) this question and I have never heard/read an answer.  When are we going to accept the fact that a runner on 2nd is not necessarily in scoring position.  Can't score on a fly ball, well placed ground ball, passed ball/wild pitch........any or all of the above.  When you HAVE to have a hit to the outfield to score are you truly in "scoring position"?  Put the pressure on the pitcher/defense and make them work, not just play their shifts at normal depth and make you work.  Hell, we don't even make the defense play for the possible bunt, because they know we won't do it.  I know he has said his analytics say the sacrifice doesn't pan out often enough to use it and all that, but in the 10th?  Tie score?  Handed a runner on 2nd?  What have you got to lose?  

    I know I am spitting into the wind, so to speak, when it comes to Rocco, but if someone has an insight as to why he is so dogged in his approach, maybe I will stop spitting.  

    Buxton led off. First, having him bunt is borderline stupid anyway as he's 2nd in AL in homers. However, he did show bunt early in the count, then only saw one strike and walked. You would want Correa to bunt then? I've never seen Correa even try to bunt nor heard of him doing it. 

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    43 minutes ago, TwinsDr2021 said:

    Agree, I can't complain about Ryan's usage, or how he used Pagan and Duran. I also agreed with stealing Gordon (I would have done it one of the two pitches prior. The part I would complain is not bunting Buxton/Correa in the 10th.

    Buxton showed bunt, but then didn't see another strike and walked. 

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    "Rocco is too stuck with his 'grand plans,' just does what the spreadsheet tells him to, and doesn't adjust for the situation! The Twins need to fire him!" 

    "Bunt Buxton/Correa because that's what the 'grand plan' is when the winning run is on second, what the 'right way to play the game' says you should do, and who the hitters are in that situation shouldn't make you adjust the plan! I should be manager so I can follow my 'grand plans' that are obviously smarter than Rocco's!"

    Fans, and their thought processes, are truly fascinating.

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    3 hours ago, h2oface said:

    Because our guys are horrible bunters. Pop it up. It really is sad.

    Whose fault is that? Players learn to bunt, or not, as they develop through the minor league system. The majority of the Twins' players are home-grown, so if they can't bunt it is TOTALLY the Twins' fault.

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    3 hours ago, h2oface said:

    Because our guys are horrible bunters. Pop it up. It really is sad.

    Whose fault is that? Players learn to bunt, or not, as they develop through the minor league system. The majority of the Twins' players are home-grown, so if they can't bunt it is TOTALLY the Twins' fault.

    Apologies for the double post. The box didn't go away so I thought the first time I hit the button it didn't take.

    Edited by PDX Twin
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    55 minutes ago, dex8425 said:

    Buxton led off. First, having him bunt is borderline stupid anyway as he's 2nd in AL in homers. However, he did show bunt early in the count, then only saw one strike and walked. You would want Correa to bunt then? I've never seen Correa even try to bunt nor heard of him doing it. 

    Did the Twins need 2 runs to win the game, nope just one, and they had a guy at second with no outs. So it sounds like they were thinking of bunting Buxton since he attempted it and the Indians pitcher walked him. So now they have base runners at first and second with no outs. If they were willing to bunt Buxton, why not Correa? Because they were afraid they would walk Kepler?  Of course the next three guys struck out and they still had runners at first and second. Watching the replay's of those three at bats, Kepler looked like the only one of the three even trying to just get the ball into play. IMO

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    52 minutes ago, dex8425 said:

    Buxton led off. First, having him bunt is borderline stupid anyway as he's 2nd in AL in homers. However, he did show bunt early in the count, then only saw one strike and walked. You would want Correa to bunt then? I've never seen Correa even try to bunt nor heard of him doing it. 

    He does have 19 home runs, but look at the rest of the stats.  Buck has become an all or nothing hitter.  Have you seen his swing and the "launch angle" he is using?  I took away the 19 at bats the home runs produced and he is hitting .144 when not hitting home runs.  What would be more preferable against the back end of a bullpen with a runner on 2nd and no out, especially with your 3-4 coming up behind you?  Swing for the fences, or move the runner over?  I get he didn't get much to look at, and no, I would not have bunted Correa; we don't pay the man 35 mil to sacrifice bunt.  But this is FAR from the 1st or only time this has come up in extra innings the last couple of years.  He likely "showed bunt" the first pitch to get the infield in to swing through, not to actually bunt.  Past history somewhat proves the theory.  

    My overall question was why is the tool not in the shed?  Because it is not, by Rocco's own statements in the past.  Add to that we don't bunt for hits, don't hit and run, don't steal, etc., and the tool box is becoming considerably lighter.  Picture a pitcher only having one pitch and throwing it exclusively; how long would he last? (actually we might know after watching Pagan pitch to Reyes)  I just wish someone could articulate why it is sound baseball to enter a drum duel with only one drumstick in your hand?

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