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  • Twins 14, Athletics 4: Twins Crush Oakland, Secure Series Win


    Thiéres Rabelo

    With an incredible offensive outburst, the Twins needed only six innings to score eleven runs and blowout the Athletics in Oakland this afternoon. Sonny Gray was lights out as well, and Minnesota secured another series victory.

    Image courtesy of Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Sonny Gray, 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K (84 pitches, 55 strikes, 65.4%)
    Home Runs: none
    Top 3 WPA: Gary Sánchez (.264), Luis Arráez (.125), Carlos Correa (.125)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)
    chart.png.2d6f20f12d3fa3878b817ab046312236.png

    Sánchez, Urshela remain hot, push across four runs
    The Twins were off to a great start offensively, with the pair of former Yankees pushing across four early runs for Minnesota. After Luis Arráez and Carlos Correa hit back-to-back singles and Max Kepler drew a two-out walk to load the bases, red-hot Gary Sánchez hit a slow liner to left to score two runs. In the next at-bat, Gio Urshela smacked an RBI single to right to bring home Kepler and make it 3-0 Minnesota.

    Sánchez has been living his best stretch as a Twin. Not only did he homer in the first two games of this series, but he carried into this game an OPS of .916 in his previous 15 games. That’s a relief for Twins fans, as he posted a .606 OPS in 12 games during the month of April. Urshela, who is also seeing some improvement as of late, now has at least one hit in five of his last seven games.

    Making his second start since being reinstated from the injured list, Sonny Gray struggled a bit to close out the innings early. After quickly getting two outs in the bottom of the first, he gave up back-to-back hits, and Oakland got a run back on a Seth Brown RBI single.

    Sánchez, again, provided him with some more run support in the third when he hit a two-out double to score Jorge Polanco from first. He now has four extra-base hits in the last four games. But Gray would go on to give up three more two-out hits in the next two innings, including an RBI single to Christian Bethancourt in the bottom of the third, to cut the Twins lead to two once again.

    Twins begin a hard-hit bonanza, score seven more runs
    Minnesota provided a quick response to Oakland’s potential rally. After Byron Buxton drew a two-out walk in the top of the fourth, the Twins hit back-to-back doubles to score two more runs. First, it was Arráez with a 96.5 MPH exit velocity fly ball to center to score Buxton, then it was Correa with a 105.6 MPH rocket to score Arráez. Speaking of Correa, what a great way to come back from the IL. This was the third time he made solid contact in the game, with his first-inning hit reaching 109.8 MPH coming off the bat.

    The offense kept putting men on base, as they loaded the bases (but didn’t cash in) in the fifth and had seven men reach in the sixth. Arráez and Correa drew walks against reliever Kirby Snead to lead off the inning, and they were both brought home by a Polanco single and a Kepler sac-fly, making it 8-2 Minnesota.

    Snead’s nightmare inning continued as he gave up a walk to Urshela, which put two men on, and the Twins made him pay. Ryan Jeffers hit a hard double to left (104.9 MPH exit velocity) to bring home both runners, then he himself scored on a Nick Gordon single. The entire Twins lineup had an at-bat in the sixth.

    Gray gets on a roll, retires ten in a row
    It wasn’t all just about the offense today. After giving up Oakland’s second run in the third inning, Gray went on to retire ten consecutive batters, including three consecutive 1-2-3 innings.

    This was a very encouraging outing for him, giving him a much-needed morale boost. He wasn’t very sharp in his last start last Friday against the Guardians. He threw only 56.1% strikes despite the season-high eight strikeouts and gave up four walks.

    Today, he seemed much more comfortable with his command, which enabled him to complete six innings with a similar pitch count as his last start, when he tossed only 4 1/3 innings.

    The Twins bullpen wasn’t nearly as sharp as Gray was. Yennier Cano took over for him in the seventh, and he loaded the bases before recording an out. Fortunately, after a mound visit, he was able to limit the damage to a minimum. The A’s got one run back on a Tony Kemp forceout, and that was it. In the eighth, Cody Stashak also allowed Oakland to score, when Chad Pinder doubled and scored on a Luis Barrera single.

    With outfielder Pinder pitching for the A's in the ninth, the bats got a couple more insurance runs with an RBI double by Arráez, his third hit of the afternoon, and an RBI single by Gilberto Celestino. That gave Jhoan Duran some more cushion to finish the game in the bottom of the inning (not that he needed it).

    What’s Next?
    The Twins have a day off on Thursday, and they remain on the road after that. They start a three-game series against the Royals in Kansas City on Friday, with the first game set to start at 7:10 pm CDT. Devin Smeltzer (1.80 ERA) is expected to make the start, facing Daniel Lynch (3.30 ERA).

    Postgame Interviews

    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

      SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT
                 
    Winder 0 0 0 78 0 78
    Cano 0 0 25 0 19 44
    Duran 12 0 0 0 23 35
    Thielbar 15 2 0 16 0 33
    Stashak 0 13 0 0 13 26
    Duffey 5 0 20 0 0 25
    Jax 0 0 25 0 0 25
    Smith 15 9 0 0 0 24
    Pagán 9 10 0 0 0 19
     

     

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    As an Oaklander, had to teach today so only got to go to last night's game. Grrr. But to go back to a question. The line last night was to make sure the bullpen rested, but Duran was brought out for the ninth today in a blow out. That suggests that he needed a go but....was that not really possible last night? When Thielbar could have taken the seventh to start and then Duran either the eighth and/or ninth? Maybe one more night's rest really helped, and this isn't meant to be Monday Quarterbacking, but "we can't touch the bullpen last night" didn't seem true about Duran today.

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    Fortunate for fan morale that Correa came back with a fine game after the demotion of Lewis........

    Great to see Jeffers get a couple hits. He is starting to be a lot like Drew Butera regarding production.

    Pretty surprised to see Duran, as Baldelli was "managing his ass off", clocking up the pitches/innings for the season in the ultra low leverage blowout. 23 pitches..... and not available for tomorrow (edit: day off tomorrow) in a close one if needed........ Did he really need the work?

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    19 minutes ago, mikelink45 said:

    There are some games where there really isn't much to say or needs to be said.  Glad to have the win. 

    What do you mean? Everyone in the lineup contributed at least a hit or a run today. I’ve seen you write paragraphs in losses and controversies. This was a great win! Turn that frown upside down! 

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    3 minutes ago, h2oface said:

    Fortunate for fan moral that Correa came back with a fine game after the demotion of Lewis........

    Great to see Jeffers get a couple hits. He is starting to be a lot like Drew Butera regarding production.

    Morale.

    That said, Correa is a far better SS than Lewis. I’m glad to have him back regardless of Lewis being up or down.

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    5 minutes ago, h2oface said:

    Fortunate for fan moral that Correa came back with a fine game after the demotion of Lewis........

    Great to see Jeffers get a couple hits. He is starting to be a lot like Drew Butera regarding production.

    F301E0F5-CAA9-4E5D-9165-F4D57C96973D.png.ba4c8fc89384b33fe24315860059ba43.png

    Sorted by fWAR on FanGraphs. Fun fact, 14 catchers are hitting above .250 and only 1 hitting above .300 this season. 

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    22 minutes ago, Squirrel said:

    Morale.

    That said, Correa is a far better SS than Lewis. I’m glad to have him back regardless of Lewis being up or down.

    Well excuuuuuuuuussssssse, me! or excuse....... Thank you for the spelling correction, and attention.

    Yup. Correa definitely a better SS than Lewis, and you and me, and everybody else, most probably, glad to have him back. Not really the point, as many including me felt Lewis could have stayed independent of Correa coming back (aware of all the reasons and angles), but agreed.

     

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    16 minutes ago, h2oface said:

    Fortunate for fan morale that Correa came back with a fine game after the demotion of Lewis........

    Great to see Jeffers get a couple hits. He is starting to be a lot like Drew Butera regarding production.

    Pretty surprised to see Duran, as Baldelli was "managing his ass off", clocking up the pitches for the season in the blowout. 23 pitches..... and not available for tomorrow in a close one if needed........ Did he really need the work?

    I don't think you know who Drew Butera was or what he hit like.  

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    I love seeing Twins hitters pile up 10 walks in a game. 

    Winning a series on the road makes me happy, regardless of who they are playing. Oakland tore down a lot, and they are clearly nowhere near where they were last season, but they still have enough talent to steal games, so I'm happy to see us put the foot on their necks and not give them hope.

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    49 minutes ago, Vanimal46 said:

    What do you mean? Everyone in the lineup contributed at least a hit or a run today. I’ve seen you write paragraphs in losses and controversies. This was a great win! Turn that frown upside down! 

    .You misunderstand - this is not cynical, but when everything goes right I can only congratulate them.  There is nothing more that needs to be said. 

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    2 hours ago, Eris said:

    Talking about lighting a fire under the team. Amazing what happens when every player who has played worse than Royce Lewis realizes that they may be sent down or cut. 
      
    Do players actually think in these terms  

     

    I would hope not... 

    Also nice to have a top four in the lineup of Buxton, Arraez, Correa and Polanco, and to get a strong start. 

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    1 hour ago, Shaitan said:

    What was the last Miranda AB like (HBP)?

    Only saw it on Gameday and the timing seemed...iffy.

    Chad Pinder, who usually plays LF for the A's, was pitching and trying out some sort of breaking ball that he clearly hasn't tried throwing in years, and it harmlessly bounced off Miranda's leg. It was quite comical.

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    2 hours ago, Vanimal46 said:

    I suppose. I’ll call you out the next time you write more than a nonchalant response the next we lose.  

     

    2 hours ago, Vanimal46 said:

    I suppose. I’ll call you out the next time you write more than a nonchalant response the next we lose.  

    Chill

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    4 hours ago, Eris said:

    Talking about lighting a fire under the team. Amazing what happens when every player who has played worse than Royce Lewis realizes that they may be sent down or cut. 
      
    Do players actually think in these terms  

     

    Nah

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    So the Twins are obviously a better team than the A's. We're supposed to win. Guess what? We did!

    I know A's pitchers produced a ton of walks. But can we give at least a little bit of credit for the Twins batters to not bite and take those walks? How about 14 runs scored and not a HR struck? That means, as bad as the A's might be, the Twins still took professional AB and made things happen.

    Gray may have faced a low leverage lineup, overall, but he got his groove going and did a good job and should build on this going forward, healthy again.

    There is nothing about this game not to like.

    There has been conversation about how weak the next few weeks are on our schedule.  Maybe so. These things are fluid based on injury and hot streaks. But it's also a perfect time to pad a lead, but more than that, it's a perfect time for a few bats to "get right" and show what you are capable of. And it's the perfect time for Bundy to "get well" again as well as Archer to start believing in his stuff and start pounding the zone again and stretch himself out to at least 5 IP per.

    NEVER apologize for winning. And never apologize for opportunity to get better.

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    9 hours ago, Vanimal46 said:

    I suppose. I’ll call you out the next time you write more than a nonchalant response the next we lose.  

    That's good - I enjoy it when I get reactions.  I happen to be on Martha's Vineyard at the moment and thus my attention is divided and I only get a little internet.  So I will do my best to get you to react.

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    This morning I have some internet and some time - I am on Martha's Vineyard and heading to Newport Rhode Island.  But I feel I let Vanimal46 down because of my short but sincere post so here is a longer more detailed post.

    It was the perfect team for Sonny Gray to start against - their team BA going in was 199 and he did what was expected of him and most important went 6 innings - let's make it 7 next time.  12 hits for the A's from our 4 pitchers is too much, but that is the only negative I can find.

    Arraez did what we all love and is not batting 323 after 3 hits in 5 ABs.  Love his approach.

    Welcome back Correa - the rest seemed to do you well, although Lewis might have also given you some incentive to get the bat going.

    Two stolen bases - hallelujah small ball still makes sense. 

    Celestino has really found his groove and I am really pleased for him. 

    Miranda is lost - I would like to ask the obvious, why Lewis and not Miranda, but I won't - you didn't read it here.

    That's it - make sure Vanimal46 knows I wrote this. 

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    So when Larnach comes back we know Miranda should go.    What if Kiriloff builds on last night and needs to be back at 1B, who then goes?   My guess is Garlick.   Still no room for Lewis - unless an injury hits and we don't need that.   I am torn on Lewis up or down.   IF, and a huge IF Correa was going to sign a long term deal then we could start the move to 3B or OF, but for now Lewis needs to play SS if that is his future.    Would like to see the team package either Martin or Miranda with lower prospects for a SP though

     

     

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    1 hour ago, mikelink45 said:

    Welcome back Correa - the rest seemed to do you well, although Lewis might have also given you some incentive to get the bat going.

    Okay, I’m LOL’ing this comment. Seriously? You think how Lewis did had any effect on Correa? Dude, come on. Correa was heating way up when he was hit by a pitch. Correa is twice (and probably a lot more) the SS than Lewis will ever be … that’s just how good Correa is. And Correa has been encouraging to and cheering on Lewis this whole time.

    If anyone on the team could/would be affected on how well Lewis did, it would be Urshela, Miranda or Gordon, and maybe Kirilloff, too. Correa needs no incentive as there is absolutely no worry about him being supplanted by Lewis as long as he remains a Twin, whether that’s 1 year (or, wishful thinking) 3 years and beyond. The others I mentioned, that could happen this year one way or another

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    13 hours ago, Vanimal46 said:

    F301E0F5-CAA9-4E5D-9165-F4D57C96973D.png.ba4c8fc89384b33fe24315860059ba43.png

    Sorted by fWAR on FanGraphs. Fun fact, 14 catchers are hitting above .250 and only 1 hitting above .300 this season. 

    Where is Yasmani Grandal? How much is CWS paying him again? Interesting that Jeffers is higher than Sanchez and both are higher than Garver. 

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