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  • Twins 11, Diamondbacks 1: Dylan Bundy Shines, Offense Explodes as Twins Win


    Sherry Cerny

    Dylan Bundy and the Twins seemed to gather themselves for the Saturday game, getting ahead of Arizona in the third inning and keeping the momentum going throughout the game. 

    Image courtesy of Joe Camporeale | USA Today

    Box Score
    SP: Dylan Bundy: 8 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K (107 pitches, 74 strikes (69%))
    Home Runs:  Gary Sanchez (8), Ryan Jeffers (5)
    Top 3 WPA: Dylan Bundy (.137), Luis Arraez (.108), Alex Kiriloff (.106)

    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

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    The game started out a little slow, a battle of the pitching in which Bundy was very solid for eight innings. Nick Gordon and Luis Arraez got on base to start the third inning followed by an RBI Single when Carlos Correa poked a ball into right field,. Max Kepler, who was 0-for-1 to start the night, followed Correa to the plate and hit the ball into the gap, scoring Arraez on an RBI double.

    The third inning was exciting to say the least as the players continued to carry the momentum, Alex Kirilloff worked a 3-2 count and ripped a ball into right field scoring both Correa and Kepler on a beautiful double. Gary Sanchez joined in on the fun as he hit his eighth home run, giving the Twins a 6-0 lead as pitcher Luke Weaver struggled throwing 52 pitches in the first three innings, most of those in the third.

    Bundy looked the best he has all season with finding the strike zone, keeping the pitch count low, and moving quickly through each inning with three-up three-down until the fourth when Alek Thomas got on first base, breaking up Bundy's no-hitter. Bundy struggled to get through the end of the inning but managed to get out of it without anyone coming home. 

    Bundy only allowed one run in his eight innings. His impressive mound appearance allowed the Twins to capitalize on offensive opportunities. Bundy going eight innings shows that Manager Rocco Baldelli certainly wants to see his pitching staff go as long as they can, and that Wes Johnson is getting them there. Bundy had outstanding command and control. 

    The Twins have a long two weeks against division rivals Cleveland Guardians and Chicago White Sox, so preserving the bullpen can prove very important. Bundy left the game with his fourth win of the season, his best outing of the season, and his 50th career win. He truly looked great. 

    The Diamondbacks left Weaver in to start the fourth inning and the Twins lineup for the third time. The Twins took advantage of every ball over the plate and blew open the lead 9-0 before Weaver was pulled from the game and replaced by Arizona’s Joe Smith

    With the exception of Sanchez and Jeffers home runs, the rest of the Twins hits were all singles and doubles. The Twins three seasons ago were known for hitting “bombas” all over the parks and small ball was not even a thought. This season, there seems to be almost a focus on getting the bat on the ball and putting it into play and it’s worked out for them more than it hasn’t. Their dominant offense tonight allowed Gilbert Celestino to replace Arraez in the fifth inning, giving the All-Star a chance to rest. The Twins were up 9-0 and there was no need to leave Arraez in against a lefty when Celestino could get some at-bats in and improve. Gordon moved up to cover second base and Celestino took over in centerfield. 

    Trevor Larnach broke up his small slump of going 0-for-17 in his last few appearances and the best feelings of the night: Ryan Jeffers, who has been struggling at the plate, hit a fantastic home run into left field to start out the seventh inning. Jeffers was the only Twin tonight in the starting lineup without a hit before his two-run homer. 

    Even if Jeffers is struggling at the plate, he is certainly not struggling behind it. Dick Bremer mentioned during the broadcast that this is the 21st game for the Twins where they have had two or fewer runs and of those 21, Jeffers caught 15 of those games. 

    The Twins offense and defense were both on fire. They kept the same energy all the way through the ninth inning for reliever Jharel Cotton. Correa showed off his defensive moves as Alek Thomas hit a line drive to the shortstop, who spun his body around with a solid throw to first base getting the out, A fly ball to Larnach ended the game. The energy of the team was constant all night long, ending in a Twins win.

    What’s Next? 

    The Twins finish out their series this weekend with Arizona and the west coast tour. Pitching matchups for the series finale: 

    Postgame Interview 

     

    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

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    How to have a success in winning games ....

     

    Bundy pitches 8 solid innings  with 3 extra days rest  , 4 hits , no walks  and only 1 run ...

    cotton pitches a clean inning  ...

    Hitting was contagious with 14 hits , 3 doubles sprinkled in 2 homers  , 9 singles a 5 walks  ...

    11 runs  ,,, a recipe for success  and they scored 7 runners out 12 in scoring position  ...

     

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    5 hours ago, Sherry Cerny said:

    SP: Dylan Bundy: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K (107 pitches, 74 strikes (69%))

    I know that it’s really inconceivable that a starting pitcher goes 8 innings, but it was 8 and not 6. Guess our fingers just don’t know how to type that! 😉

    What an enjoyable game to fo,low (was at work for much of it) then jump in to see the end! Just saying it was way better than the previous night is an understatement.

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    After Smeltzer's melt down the day before this was a real treat.  Let us hope Bundy follows up with more performances close to this one.  

    So glad Jeffers got that late HR, he was the only one without a hit from the starting lineup and I think he is pressing and desperate. 

    Saving Arraez was interesting and right.  Jorge better come back hot, his bat is not being missed at this time and he could be the real trade candidate for a SP.

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    Checked the box score first and when I saw that Arraez left the game I thought, oh no.  Thanks for including the reason in the write-up.  Didn't someone guarantee a Twins loss in one of the discussions yesterday?  What a great outing for Bundy, now can he repeat it and repeat it again?

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    I guess I am going to have to rescind my Bundy is an automatic loss comment.  He looked very efficient out there.  To my eye though he still gave up a lot of solid contact it was just that those balls either went foul or were hit at guys in the field this time around.  Still I think that was the longest start for a Twins pitcher this season so have to give him props for a really excellent performance.

    I guess the next question is can sustain this type of performance or anything close to it for the rest of the season?  I like how fearless he is in the zone but I haven't been a fan of his results the last month and a half.  To be honest I was expecting another start like Smelter had the night before but was pleasantly surprised with what Bundy was able to do especially going 8 innings. That really helps the pen.

    The bats were really good but they still are a Jekyl and Hyde group.  You just never know what you are going to get night to night.  Arraez 2 for 2 with a walk, impressive.  Nice to see Jeffers make hard contact after getting fooled his last time up.

    Hopefully the Twins find a way to take the series and go into the Cleveland series with some momentum.

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    The Yankees are now 15-1 in June.  The Twins scored 19 runs against them in three games.  Everyone else has combined for 18 runs in the other 13 games.

    Toronto had won 8 straight when the shorthanded Twins arrived to take two of three.

    A pessimist would jump on the 3-7 stretch against Detroit and Kansas City that preceded this.  I prefer to notice their resilience under considerable adversity.  They're undaunted.  Enjoy this summer.

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    really good game for the team last night. the hitters looked very good at the plate, lots of good ABs. (and my goodness, Sanchez crushed that HR: instant no-doubter) Bundy is deservedly the star and pitched very well. He had some good fortune in having hard-hit balls go straight at someone, but he also had some bad luck in weak grounders bouncing through the infield a few times. I think LaTroy had it pretty well nailed: when he missed his spot, he missed it outside the zone, rather than in the heart of the plate...and for the most part he was hitting his spots. We'll see if that's repeatable for him.

    I was also really amused at LaTroy and Dick's conversation about pitch framing. LaTroy flat-out saying that pitch framing is really just bad umpiring was kind of wild. But it's a fair position! He's not wrong about it, I just didn't expect anyone to say on a broadcast, and that sort of thing is when LaTroy is at his best. He's got a great voice, and I love it when he's talking about pitching and the details of it or staking out a position like pitch framing being just bad umpiring. (When he's trying to recreate the old Dick & Bert comedy act, I'm less interested)

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    37 minutes ago, Dman said:

    I guess I am going to have to rescind my Bundy is an automatic loss comment.  He looked very efficient out there.  To my eye though he still gave up a lot of solid contact it was just that those balls either went foul or were hit at guys in the field this time around.  Still I think that was the longest start for a Twins pitcher this season so have to give him props for a really excellent performance.

    I guess the next question is can sustain this type of performance or anything close to it for the rest of the season?  I like how fearless he is in the zone but I haven't been a fan of his results the last month and a half.  To be honest I was expecting another start like Smelter had the night before but was pleasantly surprised with what Bundy was able to do especially going 8 innings. That really helps the pen.

    The bats were really good but they still are a Jekyl and Hyde group.  You just never know what you are going to get night to night.  Arraez 2 for 2 with a walk, impressive.  Nice to see Jeffers make hard contact after getting fooled his last time up.

    Hopefully the Twins find a way to take the series and go into the Cleveland series with some momentum.

    Thankfully Cleveland lost last night and it looks like Ramirez will miss a few days, winning today would be a great way to go into the off day tomorrow. 

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    44 minutes ago, BH67 said:

    The Yankees are now 15-1 in June.  The Twins scored 19 runs against them in three games.  Everyone else has combined for 18 runs in the other 13 games.

    Toronto had won 8 straight when the shorthanded Twins arrived to take two of three.

    A pessimist would jump on the 3-7 stretch against Detroit and Kansas City that preceded this.  I prefer to notice their resilience under considerable adversity.  They're undaunted.  Enjoy this summer.

    Are you suggesting that the Yankees should be fearing any rematch with the Twins?  Wish I knew how to insert a smiley face here!

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    20 minutes ago, jmlease1 said:

    really good game for the team last night. the hitters looked very good at the plate, lots of good ABs. (and my goodness, Sanchez crushed that HR: instant no-doubter) Bundy is deservedly the star and pitched very well. He had some good fortune in having hard-hit balls go straight at someone, but he also had some bad luck in weak grounders bouncing through the infield a few times. I think LaTroy had it pretty well nailed: when he missed his spot, he missed it outside the zone, rather than in the heart of the plate...and for the most part he was hitting his spots. We'll see if that's repeatable for him.

    I was also really amused at LaTroy and Dick's conversation about pitch framing. LaTroy flat-out saying that pitch framing is really just bad umpiring was kind of wild. But it's a fair position! He's not wrong about it, I just didn't expect anyone to say on a broadcast, and that sort of thing is when LaTroy is at his best. He's got a great voice, and I love it when he's talking about pitching and the details of it or staking out a position like pitch framing being just bad umpiring. (When he's trying to recreate the old Dick & Bert comedy act, I'm less interested)

    I'm with Latroy on pitch framing and wrote a little comment during the game when that conversation took place. Hawkins also said exactly what I have always thought when he stated that he would love to have a conversation with a number of umpires on their thoughts about the issue.

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    That stat on the Yanks is a trip. I don't like calling for people heads and I did say I thought Bundy was done after the Yankee start (I think that one). Well I'm going back to not calling for people heads, lol. Last night's start should be tempered by the opposition, though. Patient teams with superior eyes at the plate like the Stros and Yanks will give him trouble.

     

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    When I see LaTroy with the mic I'm pleased. He is my favorite sidekick for Dick. He has the right tone and pace, never too much. I've always liked Justin, but just not in the booth. The opposite of economical, I prefer someone saying something once. When he has the mic I often blurt out yeah I get it! He goes on and on about the psychology of the game. Player's confidence. Talking about that every game. Tedious. 

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    Well a great win all the way through!!  I look at those games against tank, rays, jays as very good.  However that 3-7 mark leading up to that is concerning.  No I'm not a pessimist.  Just a huge missed opportunity to expand the division lead there.  I'm happy the twins are in first place but believe we should be 6 or 7 up at this point given our level of play and the division weakness.  Twins, especially Baldelli managing have already cost us several games.  We should be much further ahead.  Those 8 games coming up with Cleveland I expect us to go 5-3 or 6-2.  That would be awesome.  But the truth is you never know from one day to the next if the offense will show up if the pitching will hold up or if Rocco will ""manage" to lose some games.  Go Twins.  Hope they win on Sunday.  Otherwise you just lose a series to another sub .500 team 

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    I didn't watch the game last night. When I woke up this morning and saw 8 IP for Bundy, the only explanation that seemed possible is that Rocco went to sleep in the 4th, then woke up after 8 and told his coaches something to the effect of "Good golly! How did you let that happen? Is Bundy still alive? No doubt we'll have to put him on the IL now."

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    1 hour ago, wabene said:

    That stat on the Yanks is a trip. I don't like calling for people heads and I did say I thought Bundy was done after the Yankee start (I think that one). Well I'm going back to not calling for people heads, lol. Last night's start should be tempered by the opposition, though. Patient teams with superior eyes at the plate like the Stros and Yanks will give him trouble.

     

    Ejem! Who is not gonna be in trouble against the Yankees line up?

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    What do you bet Rocco got called into the office and was told to shut the door for allowing a pitcher to see a batter for a 4th time.  He then convinced them it was the AZ heat that made him light headed and he lost track of time.  They bought it and told him to sit next to a fan tomorrow.  Stay tuned..........  :)  

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    Did my heart well to see hitters hitting the ball all over the field and scoring runs.

    Last year I advocated that we needed to get out of the moonblast mentality and go for more solid contact and going the other way if need be to reduce our SOs & FOs, Stated that baseball is a game of of adjustments, that the pitchers and defenses have adjusted and the hitters needed to adjust to them and the live ball become dead. And I was lambasted saying that was old school & get with the program, that's how things are done.  

    Another take away is Bundy does well with a fresh arm, 3 extra days off did wonders for his effeciency. This article stated that Wes goal is try to get his SPs to pitch as long as they can. Although it's the great majority concensus, again I think it's the wrong one. Bundy can be a pretty effecient pitcher but if he's stretched he'll be terrible, Bundy's arm doesn't bounce back that quicky if he's over-extended w/o extended rest. That said, I don't think it was a good idea to have Bundy to pitch 8 innings (eventhough he could) and come back to pitch on a normal rest.

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    When the Twins signed Dylan Bundy, I thought it was a low-risk, low-reward gamble. Hadn't heard news about Bundy for quite a while, but what I did hear sounded like a guy whose arm was pretty much shot. 

    First few games, I thought the Twins lucked into a mature pitcher with a new repertoire of dink and dunk off speed stuff. Then he had a spell where it looked like the league read his book and was beating him with it. 

    Finally on Saturday Bundy showed that he can still be the pitcher from the first few games, and even a little better. Eight innings of one-run ball. He was getting first-pitch strikes with a slow curve, and AZ wasn't sitting on it. 

    Bundy appears to be using a "just enough" approach. Just enough velo and command with his heater. Just enough bend and command with his curves and sliders. An occasional change-up, just enough fade. The common factor was command. He threw 70 percent strikes, and most of his off-zone pitches were sucker balls. 

    It was a command performance, and it may have rescued the bullpen for the next series. Great job by Dylan Bundy.

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    I am not going to think Bundy has turned anything around because of who he faced.  That being said, great to see him save the pen a game and go deep into a game with still low amount of pitches overall.  I did go to bed after we were up 9-0 so did not get to see much of the performance and he did get lucky with a few atom balls that a foot one way or another no hits.  On the other hand Twins got a few hits on weak contact that found a hole, not all was weak but Arraez got one to squeeze through that a foot 1 way or another may have ended the big inning before it started.  

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    8 hours ago, jorgenswest said:

    It may have been the best start from a Twins pitcher this year. I guess maybe Ryan’s or Gray’s 7 inning start against Detroit might be better. Smeltzer also very had a good 7 inning against Kansas City.

    Depends on whether you believe the difference in 0 runs and 1 run is important. :)

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    14 minutes ago, ashbury said:

    Depends on whether you believe the difference in 0 runs and 1 run is important. :)

    I value 8 innings. Giving up one run on a sac fly with a 9-0 lead does not concern me at all. The last thing they need with a lead is walks. No walks yesterday,

    Gray’s 7 innings in a close game was probably better.

    Others commented on the atom balls. Average exit velocity for the game of 87.2 is below league average. There are probably a few hard hit outs in every game but overall he was not hit hard last night.

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    5 hours ago, Squirrel said:

    While funny ... it's a long way to go to the end of the season. If we don't make it, I'm going to haunt you with this jinx-making meme! :) 

    Have no fear. We have @Nick Nelson with the most powerful reverse jinx abilities the world has ever seen! Ryan Jeffers with a .905 OPS since his article about him. 

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    On 6/19/2022 at 6:12 AM, Squirrel said:

    I know that it’s really inconceivable that a starting pitcher goes 8 innings, but it was 8 and not 6. Guess our fingers just don’t know how to type that! 😉

    What an enjoyable game to fo,low (was at work for much of it) then jump in to see the end! Just saying it was way better than the previous night is an understatement.

    lol i was so tired!!!! :) also, it is inconceivable. ha ha

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