Jump to content
Twins Daily
  • Create Account
  • Twins 2, Athletics 1: Game of Firsts Ends in Twins Win


    Sherry Cerny

    The Twins left Baltimore with a split, Covid-19 and Carlos Correa with potentially a broken finger after being hit in the hand by a pitch (TWICE) in Thursday’s game. Even with the daunting news, the news of Royce Lewis coming up to the Twins to replace him gave fans something to look forward to. With the chips falling as they may, the new series this weekend started out hot!

    Image courtesy of Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

     

    Box Score
    SP: Josh Winder: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K (80 pitches, 55 strikes (68.75%))
    Home Runs:  Jose Miranda (1), Byron Buxton (9)
    Top 3 WAR: Josh Winder (.231), Emilio Pagan (.156), Byron Buxton (.128)

    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    image.png

    Woe is We…Ailments
    Carlos Correa has been getting into the swing of things (pun fully intended) the past two weeks and it’s been fun to watch. He got off to a slow start but had a seven-game hitting streak by Thursday.  The slugger is hitting .255 with a .320 OBP, with five doubles, two homers, 11 RBI and 12 runs so far this season. When he was hit on the hand during the final game of the Orioles series, everyone was worried that he may be out for a considerable amount of time. 

    While waiting on the results of a CT scan, tons of speculation circled the injury debating whether it was broken, dislocated, or a bruise. Hoping for the best, and as a Twins fan, always expecting the worst. 

    Not only was Correa being scratched from play at this time, but the team is also working through a small stint of COVID-19 in the club house, taking out Luis Arraez, Rocco Baldelli, and Dylan Bundy

    Luckily, the CT scan showed no fractured bones for Correa. With the news that it is "just a bruise" and he wouldn't be put on the Injured List, he attempted to ask into the lineup. Jayce Tingler said No.   

    With all the bad news hitting the Twins this week, the ailments and injuries have allowed for some major roster moves that gave Twins fans a morale boost. Royce Lewis, who missed the past two seasons, 2020 with the pandemic and 2021 due to his torn ACL, joined the Twins and made his MLB debut. 

    Another Day Another Debut

    Royce Lewis (and Twins fans) have been waiting for this day since he was drafted by the Twins with the first overall pick in the2017 draft. There were a few bumps on the road to the Show, but he has arrived, and Lewis joined his teammates on the field donning #23, once worn by fan-favorite Nelson Cruz before he was traded to Tampa Bay. Some have a “too soon” feeling,  all in fun of course, but maybe it’s a good omen for the young player and Cruz’s talent will rub off on him. 

    Lewis has been tearing it up in St. Paul this season, showing that he is more than ready and capable for this call-up. His at-bats are some of the most impressive thus far with 21 hits (including 11 doubles) helping catapult his team to an above .500 April.

    While he didn't take Correa's roster spot, he did take Luis Arraez's spot, with Arraez officially going on the Covid-IL. It’s a good problem to have when you can be sad for one player potentially being hurt, but now the team has aces up their sleeve who can come in and take their place. Luckily for the fans, Correa is okay, and Lewis still got to make his debut and gain some experience. 

    Lewis had a successful night at third base in support of Friday night's starter Josh Winder. In the first inning, on his fourth pitch, Winder threw a fastball to Sheldon Neuse which came off the tip of the bat, a hopper right to shortstop, giving Lewis his first major league put-out, throwing to Jose Miranda to get out Neuse at first base.

    Lewis started out his hitting career with the Twins with a ground out to third base, but Lewis left first base with a huge smile on his face and the glow didn’t disappear all night. Lewis made contact every time he was at bat tonight, finally getting the first hit of his Major League career in the bottom of the eighth.

    While Lewis did not get a chance to score, all-in-all it was a fantastic night for the Twins top prospect and fans are ready for more!

    Warm nights, Hot performances
    In the second inning, Jose Miranda connected for his first major-league home run. Miranda drilled a Zach Logue’s fastball, hitting the ball into second deck in left field. The velocity on the home run was 105.5 MPH. 

    Trevor Larnach has not let up on offense. He collected another double tonight, his ninth of the season. Larnach has been beyond impressive at the plate and with his defense. In the second inning, Elvis Andrus hit a one-hopper to Larnach in left, who fielded the ball and threw it home to Gary Sanchez to get out the runner easily. 

    Byron Buxton was in the game as the Designated Hitter on Friday, and while fans would rather see him in center field, it doesn’t matter where he is, he makes an impact. Buxton hit his ninth home run, putting him in fourth place in the American League this season. 

    The Starters and the Bullpen are on Fire
    Josh Winder had his second start of the season. This was his first start at Target Field. On this night, the mound was his, and he started out hot again, with a ground out and two strikeouts in the first inning. 

    Winder followed that up by striking out Jed Lowrie and Sean Murphy for a 1-2-3 inning. His pitching didn’t let up. By the top of the fifth inning, the rookie had four straight strikeouts and four 1-2-3 innings before Elvis Andrus hit a ground ball to Lewis who made a great stop and threw to Miranda for the out. 

    Winder carried the Twins through six innings, only allowing an unearned run and that came at the end of his night in the sixth inning. Wes Johnson came out to give his rookie some advice, and Winder was able to regain composure and finish out the inning. His night ended when Gary Sanchez threw out Sheldon Neuse on a steal attempt. 

    The bullpen started out great with Joe Smith and Tyler Duffey who got the team through innings seventh and eighth innings. Fans held their breath as Emilio Pagan took the mound and loaded the bases in the top of the ninth. With bases full and Chad Pinder's count full, Pagan got a swinging strike to end the game. 

    What was your favorite moment of the game? 

    What’s Next? 

    The Twins finish out their series this weekend with Oakland before Houston comes to town on Tuesday and meets up with Correa for the first time in a different uniform. Remaining pitching matchups for this series include: 

    • Saturday 1:10 pm: Sonny Gray (coming off IL) vs RHP James Kaprielian (0-1, 18.00 ERA)
    • Sunday 1:10 pm: Chris Paddock (1-2, 3.15 ERA) vs RHP Dalton Jefferies (1-4, 4.81 ERA) 

    Postgame Interview 

     

    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

      MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT
                 
    Pagán 27 0 0 0 28 55
    Thielbar 0 18 0 18 0 36
    Jax 15 0 0 15 0 30
    Duffey 0 18 0 0 11 29
    Coulombe 0 0 26 0 0 26
    Stashak 0 11 0 0 0 11
    Duran 10 0 0 0 0 10
    Smith 2 0 0 0 6 8
    Sands 0 0 0 0 0 0

     

     

    MORE FROM TWINS DAILY
    — Latest Twins coverage from our writers
    — Recent Twins discussion in our forums
    — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
    — Become a Twins Daily Caretaker

     Share


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments



    Featured Comments

    Pagan is NOT the answer at closer.  Watching him muddle through those 28 pitches in the 9th was painful.

    So who is the answer?  Count me in the camp (70%) of supporting Duran in that role.  

    He offers a lot of upside with his stuff, but as he demonstrated last night, he is susceptible to the long ball when he strays away from his heat.

    Is there a worthy alternative in this bullpen right now?  Call me crazy, but for right now---at this point in the season--------what is the downside of giving Joe Smith an opportunity?  

    Yes, he's old....(38), has a funky delivery and won't overpower anyone.

    What he WILL do is produce outs on weak contact.  6 pitches tonight---5 strikes....3 outs.  

    His ERA is 0.00......10.1 IP over 11 games this year with only 2 walks.

    Smith could be a viable short term alternative in the 9th until Duran is ready to take over.

     

     

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Great win. Not sure the Twins have a pitcher suited to the traditional closer role. Duran (Inexperience, innings limit - do the Twins want him throwing regularly in high duress situations?) Smith (Funky pitchers are usually set-up guys) and Pagan (control issues.)

    If I had to choose I would try it with Smith first.

    Probably have to do it as an ad hoc/situational approach until some stronger BP arms are acquired via trade. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Buxton was Buck!

    Winder was again all we hoped for. In fact, he's been better than I expected as a rookie. He's going nowhere except his next turn in the rotation. 

    Is Duffey the pitching version of Sano? Like last season, he suddenly seems to know how to get outs. Reminiscent of early 2021.

    Awesome first HR for  Miranda! He looks good early, only the smallest of "deer in the lights" look, which might have been mitigated with a September fall up last season. But whatever. He will be at 3B soon, and for years to come. He's doing just fine right now with more to come.

    I can't wait for AK to be healthy and ready to go and be a part of the future of this team. But in the meantime, let's give a shout out to Larnach and how quickly he has adapted. And has Kepler FINALLLY become the player we hoped for? I'll take 2/3 .

    Lewis was a highlight. Saw at least one great defensive play and got his first ML hit in his first ML game. 

    What's not to like right now?

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I’m hoping the Duff man is settling in. He had a great appearance tonight. He would be my choice for closer if he makes another good showing. His heater was up tonight which makes his other offerings work. Duran  would be my other choice with the filthy offerings he employs. It’s the debate between experience and pure stuff. Pagan is walking too many to sustain a close down role. 
     

    Great win tonight. Winder is a revelation. Can’t wait to see his next start. I hope we get to see Royce again tomorrow and Miranda was the difference maker tonight. The future is bright even if this year shows growing pains. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Josh Winder

    This guy is legit. Full fledged mlb pitcher, good command, good mix of pitches, excellent poise on the mound.

    Royce Lewis

    Excellent first game. Covered well at SS, making contact at the plate, got his first hit. The rest is history!

    Byron Buxton

    I still think this kid is gonna make it. Only one homer today? 

    Trevor Larnach

    Starting to do a good imitation of former Twins RF Michael Cuddyer. Bashing line drives, and gunning down runners with his power arm. 

    Jorge Polanco

    Oh please Jorge, don't lean backwards away from ground balls! Either you play them or they'll play you!

    Gary Sanchez

    Anybody here seen Sanchez actually glove a pitch bounced in front of him? Does he even try?

    Tyler Duffey

    He's a box of chocolates right now, because you don't know what you're going to get. He can't use his 4-seamer unless it's in a corner because it's too straight. Better to use a 2-seamer, which bends nicely arm side.  Clearly he's still searching for the right mix. Lucky he still has that bag of curve balls.

    Emilio Pagan

    Another box of chocolates, but with random flavors. Sorry, this isn't what you want at closer. As mentioned earlier, better to go with Joe Smith, who gets three outs in a real hurry, who cares how.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    "He was in command of all his pitches. He probably could've gone longer."

    So why didn't he?  Maybe this isn't just a Rocco thing after all.  It is starting to look like an organizational edict.  When your starter is clearly firing on all cylinders, why leave it to 3 or 4 different relievers to win it for you?  

    On second thought, maybe Rocco is managing by Zoom and no one knows it.  

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I think I'd rather have Smith in the fireman relief role, especially since he can pick up grounder double plays too. Duran makes sense in the 8th or 9th inning. Honestly, Jax is probably next up in some ways, but he is so valuable being able to throw multiple innings too. Duffey is the easy answer, but I'm not fully confident... Maybe until Pagan cleans up his walks?

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Lewis, Miranda, Larnach, Kiriloff, Jeffers, Arraez, Centerino, and, hopefully, Martin. Those are eight legit position players making essentially league minimum over the next several years.

    With Buxton and Polanco, we still have plenty of $ for CC. Add in one legit backup CC and maybe even Max hangs around two more years. That my friends, is a premier 13 player MLB position player roster in terms of talent and very manageable cost. The future could be quite bright. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    "Buxton hit his ninth home run, putting him in fourth place in the American League this season. "

    ???

    Well, Buxton, Judge, Cron, and Rizzo all have 9 and are tied for the MLB lead this season....... that is 4 guys, 3 are in the American League, and Buxton was the 4th one to get 9, but most would say that makes them all tied for 1st.

     

     

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    The Twinks are 16-11 and in first place, but watching them play this year, with a few exceptions, is like watching paint dry. Urshella, Sanchez, Jeffers, Sano, Polanco, Celestio, Pagan, Paddock, Gordon, Archer, etc. B-O-O-O-R-I-N-G!!

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I would like to recognize Gary Sanchez as a catcher.  Coming into the season I thought he would be better by getting out of NY, but not by much.  I was thinking if he went from horrible to not very good that would be great.  However, he has handled a young and talent starting pitcher extremely well for his 1st two starts.  Morneau said last night that Sanchez had one of the strongest arms for a catcher in the league.  I was little perplexed by that but he was showing off the arm strength last night.  I was happy for him when he threw out a runner.  At Tampa the stolen bases were on Bundt, with his high leg kick, and Columbes slow wind up.

    If, or when, Sanchez starts hitting the Twins will have one of the better back stop tandems in the league.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    6 hours ago, Mark G said:

    "He was in command of all his pitches. He probably could've gone longer."

    So why didn't he?  Maybe this isn't just a Rocco thing after all.  It is starting to look like an organizational edict.  When your starter is clearly firing on all cylinders, why leave it to 3 or 4 different relievers to win it for you?  

    On second thought, maybe Rocco is managing by Zoom and no one knows it.  

    Nah... The popular opinion that... Rocco is detached from the organization, that other departments have stopped sharing scouting reports, data with him. The theory that Rocco is insubordinate to his superiors, not invited to the meetings, doesn't have Falvey or Lavine saved in his phone contacts and he has gone completely rogue... is much more plausible. 

    Meanwhile, the front office just can't figure out how to remove this out of control, clearly crazy manager so they just say nice things about him in the press and keep bringing him back year after year.

    That theory... Makes Much More Sense.  😀

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    6 hours ago, Mark G said:

    "He was in command of all his pitches. He probably could've gone longer."

    So why didn't he?  Maybe this isn't just a Rocco thing after all.  It is starting to look like an organizational edict.  When your starter is clearly firing on all cylinders, why leave it to 3 or 4 different relievers to win it for you?  

    On second thought, maybe Rocco is managing by Zoom and no one knows it.  

    This isn’t a Rocco thing, never was. And it isn’t just an organizational thing, never was. This is an MLB-wide thing, always was. We can hate it, but this is how the game is being played everywhere.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Twins will add a closer and some depth for the BP in June or July.

    They have the arms to compete, albeit not with the Dodgers or Giants, but winning regularly is a tide that lifts all boats.

    Future is bright though.  Building a Tampa Bay like depth around Buxton and Correa and Polanco makes the Front Office look smart.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    7 hours ago, Monticore said:

    0 for 10 with risp and they somehow still win by the skin of their teeth. Pagan's 28 pitch tightrope over the volcano feat in stark contrast to Joe Smith's 6 pitch 1-2-3 master class.

    "Tightrope over the volcano". Great writing. Thanks. It perfectly described the top of the ninth inning in last night's game.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    26 minutes ago, AKTwins said:

    I would like to recognize Gary Sanchez as a catcher.  Coming into the season I thought he would be better by getting out of NY, but not by much.  I was thinking if he went from horrible to not very good that would be great.  However, he has handled a young and talent starting pitcher extremely well for his 1st two starts.  Morneau said last night that Sanchez had one of the strongest arms for a catcher in the league.  I was little perplexed by that but he was showing off the arm strength last night.  I was happy for him when he threw out a runner.  At Tampa the stolen bases were on Bundt, with his high leg kick, and Columbes slow wind up.

    If, or when, Sanchez starts hitting the Twins will have one of the better back stop tandems in the league.

    A shout out to Sanchez also for blocking three low pitches by Pagan in the ninth. Nice job Gary. Winder also gave him praise in Winder's post-game interview. I'm glad we got Gary Sanchez to be a Twin.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    1 hour ago, 9moons27 said:

    The Twinks are 16-11 and in first place, but watching them play this year, with a few exceptions, is like watching paint dry. Urshella, Sanchez, Jeffers, Sano, Polanco, Celestio, Pagan, Paddock, Gordon, Archer, etc. B-O-O-O-R-I-N-G!!

    I am sorry you feel this way. There is a lot to appreciate and enjoy about the game of baseball being played with good pitching and good defense and hitting to the opposite field. The proof is in the pudding and 16 -11 is the "proof". The "pudding" is good defense, good pitching and hitting the ball to the opposite field, if that is what the opposing team's defense and pitchers are giving you.  Winning this way is fascinating to watch.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    6 hours ago, jimbo92107 said:

     

    Gary Sanchez

    Anybody here seen Sanchez actually glove a pitch bounced in front of him? Does he even try?

     

    I'm not an expert, but I've heard many baseball people say that when a pitch is in the dirt and there are men on base the goal of the catcher is to keep the ball in front of him. Trying to glove it is more likely to result in the ball getting away, allowing runners to advance.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Last night was the second time recently that Pagan has loaded the bases in the ninth and escaped by the skin of his teeth. This is not acceptable. I realize we don't have a stereotypical closer on our staff, and maybe we don't need one, but right now my choice for save situations in the ninth inning would be not Pagan.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites




    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Guest
    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

    Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...