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  • Royals 5, Twins 2: Wallner Delivers, but Twins Falter Again

    Sherry Cerny

    Bailey Ober and the Twins took on the Kansas City Royals tonight in game two of the three-game series. The Royals hosted not only the Twins, but Bark in the Park night, and needless to say, the Twins had another “ruff” night in Kansas City.

    Image courtesy of Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

    Twins Video


    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Bailey Ober 5 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (85 pitches, 55 strikes (66%)
    Home Runs: 
    Bottom 3 WPA:  Jose Miranda (-.220), Gio Urshela (-.098), Jermaine Palacios (-0.095) 

    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Pitching Coach Pete Maki had to come out early in the first inning after Ober had thrown 21 pitches and given up two runs. After the mound visit, Ober calmed down and got the next three hitters out, but not without running his pitch count up to 28. This was Ober’s second game back since coming off the 60-day IL with a groin injury that put him on the shelf on June 1st. Ober has been on restrictions since returning from the IL, but went five innings on September 16th and only allowed one hit and 70 pitches. 

    This game was a little different for the starting pitcher. By the time he hit the third inning, he was up to 62 pitches and three runs allowed. Ober ended up with back-to-back 1-2-3 innings. He retired the remaining seven batters he faced before handing the game over to the bullpen. 

    Aaron Sanchez came for Ober and kept things tight until the wind picked up. The Royals took advantage of mother nature and got another two runs in the seventh inning. Sanchez stayed in through the eighth inning, meaning it was a day off for the remainder of the bullpen. 

    The Twins' offense showed up just as soon as the Royals did, but fell flat as soon as they fired up.

    In the 2nd inning, Gilberto Celestino got on base on an error which advanced Gary Sanchez to third base. Matt Wallner singled to left, scoring Sanchez and putting the Twins on the board. Wallner was also credited with driving in Nick Gordon in the fourth inning. Wallner has had a hit in all but one of his six games since joining the team and was responsible for two RBI in this game. 

    Wallner has had a lot of fans since coming up. When he got his single to score Sanchez, in the dugout, Carlos Correa and Luis Arraez cheered on the rookie with goofy hand signs and smiles. 

    Correa has been on fire lately at the plate. He has continually boosted his teammates, been a part of mound visits, and ensured that his teammates knew that he was there to help them grow. There have been many endearing moments of him with teammates, but the best relationship has been with fellow 2012 draftee, Byron Buxton. The top two picks that year had time to talk during the Midwest League All-Star Game in Dayton, Ohio in 2013. They played on the same Western Division squad and had time to share the same experiences bonding them for what would be ten years later. It’s hard to imagine that he won’t stay here when he fits in so well, on the field and off. 

    The Twins continued to try and rally every inning getting guys on base, but getting outs just as quickly. The club remained scoreless the remainder of the game unable to overcome mother nature and goofy defensive plays that weren’t errors. The Twins had an opportunity and the upper hand through the fourth with Wallner’s double, but the bats fell asleep after that. 

    Pitching for tomorrow’s game: 

    Thursday 1:10pm CST: RHP Josh Winder (4-4, 4.17 ERA) v. RHP Jonathan Heasley (3-8, 5.09 ERA)

    Postgame Interview


    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

    Sanchez 0 49 0 0 0 41 90
    Henriquez 0 0 0 73 0 0 73
    López 0 32 0 34 0 0 66
    Moran 40 15 5 0 0 0 60
    Pagán 0 31 0 15 0 0 46
    Fulmer 0 17 0 0 23 0 40
    Thielbar 0 0 0 0 23 0 23
    Jax 0 13 0 0 4 0 17
    Duran 0 0 17 0 0 0 17
    Megill 0 0 0 0 17 0 17






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    3 hours ago, insagt1 said:

    Too many injuries right now to accurately assess this team...which right now is just trying to get the season over with. The current lineup cannot produce runs. I'd like Correa to stay...if somehow the team can field 9 healthy, major league ready players. Our recent failures can usually be traced to having a AAA or less lineup every night, plus bullpen failures when it counted.

    When you look at the players Twins brought up this season, and lets say compare them to the kids the Orioles brought up ....wow. The kids on the O's are actually carrying that team right now, whereas the kids the Twins brought up never really measured up...when it counted. Wallner is looking OK right now, but honestly there is zero pressure on him. Twins chances for a .500 season are pretty much over. Last 2 games against KC were pretty sad.

    this season has ended with a thud...but to be fair, the guys that helped them stay in 1st for more than half the year are nowhere to be found. And that does matter. The weakness of the farm has been manifest. There is work to be done.

    Twins have 2 players that should give them sleepless nights: Buxton and Kirilloff. This year demonstrated the fears of many here...Buck can't stay healthy. He wasn't healthy from the get-go this year. A different ailment at every turn. What to do with this guy? Kirilloff's wrist may prevent him from ever being the hitter he was supposed to be. Two guys who were to figure majorly in the schematic for 2022 weren't around much. Thats huge. I'll let you all discuss the other players!

    Miranda carried the team for most of August and Duran is a rookie also. Otherwise I can agree that other call ups probably weren't ready.

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    team seems gassed to me, and it's just tough when you have 9 position players on the IL. the OF has been the Legion of Injuries. I get that injuries can happen to any team, and I know there are some (many?) around here that have no interest in injuries as an excuse, but...9 position players on the IL is a LOT! Here's the playoff contenders in the AL right now:

    • Cleveland: 0
    • Chicago: 3
    • NY: 3
    • Toronto: 2
    • TB: 4
    • Baltimore: 0
    • Houston: 0
    • Seattle: 2

    Wallner has done pretty well in his first shot at MLB, Nick Gordon has exceeded all expectations and we're lucky to have him. Urshela has been a stalwart. Arraez & Correa have been key. Miranda has dropped off but had a pretty nice rookie season. but there's been a lot of "injured or bad" everywhere else, and it's really caught up to this team where we needed the lineup to be a strength and right now it's struggling.


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    I agree it's difficult to assess the team with all of the injuries. But I don't think it's difficult to assess the coaching and training staffs. Bad luck with injuries can be real, but when it happens consistently over many years, it's not luck any more.

    How many incoming pitchers actually get better w/ our coaching vs completely fall off the table. I know losing our pitching coach was not great, but why would he leave mid-season? There has to be a reason and I am comfortable putting that on the front office and/or manager. And promoting the bullpen coach when your bullpen had been underperforming brought exactly the disastrous results you would expect.

    It's time for Baldelli to go. He certainly cannot manage the lineup or bullpen. And the team has continued to play without heart or intelligence. That must fall on him.

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