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  • Twins 2, White Sox 3: Urshela Homers, Ober Solid but Twins Still Lose.


    Nate Palmer

    The Minnesota Twins were able to watch Bailey Ober have a good outing. Gio Urshela and Carlos Correa also provided some offense. It ultimately wasn't enough as the White Sox took the first game in season's final series. 

    Image courtesy of © Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

    Twins Video

     

    Box Score
    SP: Bailey Ober: 5 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K (82 pitches, 54 strikes (65.8%))
    Home Runs: Gio Urshela (13) 
    Bottom 3 WPA: Griffin Jax (-.168), Nick Gordon (-.103), Mark Contreras (-.093)

    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    image.png.2359a8635f5e4d50e6e43c8b04163fca.png

    The Minnesota Twins entered into their final series for the 2022 season Monday night. A series with the division foe Chicago White Sox that was circled at the beginning of the season as a series that should have had the two heavyweights of the division duking it out for first place. 

    That isn’t the case, with both teams licking wounds and looking towards the offseason. The Twins and us fans do have one thing to keep an eye on tonight, Bailey Ober. Last time out against this same White Sox lineup Ober struck out 10 batters. Since returning from the IL, Ober has thrown 17 ⅓ IP, collected 18 strikeouts, and walked only three batters on his way to a 1.56 ERA. 

    With nothing to play for, the storyline for the Twins will be to see how Ober can follow up his ten strikeout game against that same lineup. A task that usually leans in favor of the offense. 

    Urshela hits career mark in the first inning
    The Twins offense got an early jump by spotting Ober a 2-0 lead. It could have been larger if Carlos Correa hadn’t been thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double. Instead, with Nick Gordon on base after his own double, Gio Urshela hit his 13th home run of the 2022 season. It also happened to be his 140th hit for the Twins this season, setting a career-high for the third baseman. 

    With Urshela also flashing his leather in the third inning, he is doing his best to make a case that he is well worth what his arbitration number will be this offseason. It will undoubtedly be one of the many off-season decisions we will all keep our eyes on. 

    Ober solid in five innings
    While it was not dominant like his last outing, Ober still put together a solid five innings against the White Sox. Josh Harrison got to Ober with a two-run home run which tied the game up 2-2. It was a great way to see Ober finish out the season. Especially after missing so much time on the IL. The Twins will certainly be looking for him to fill a role next season, and this stretch to close the season should only add to Ober’s confidence as he does so. 

    Cueto hits a groove, works fast 
    Something that was obvious and commented on during the broadcast was that Johnny Cueto was working fast. Every good dad would have likely asked him if he was late for a date as fast as he was moving. Whether he was getting ready for the new pitch clock rules or something else, Cueto found a groove and kept the Twins off the scoreboard beyond the first inning. 

    Even after Cueto's exit, the White Sox bullpen kept the Twins off the scoreboard, leading to eight scoreless innings. All it took was Griffin Jax allowing a run to cross the plate in the seventh inning to give the White Sox the 3-2 win to start the series. 

    The Twins did show up in the ninth inning to make things interesting against White Sox closer Liam Hendriks. The Twins loaded the bases with two outs and sent Mark Contreras to the plate. Even though Hendriks seemed to be struggling to command some of his pitches, he was able to strike out Contreras to close out the win for Chicago. 

    What’s Next?
    The Minnesota Twins will send Josh Winder to the mound for Tuesday’s game. He will face off against Lucas Giolito, who overall has had a disappointing season and would love nothing other than to shut down the Twins one last time. 

    Postgame Interview 

     

    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

      THU FRI SAT SUN MON TOT
                 
    Jax 14 0 0 12 21 47
    Henriquez 0 0 40 0 0 40
    Pagan 0 30 0 0 5 35
    Thielbar 18 0 0 0 15 33
    Lopez 14 0 0 18 0 32
    Fulmer 5 0 0 26 0 31
    Moran 0 23 0 0 0 23
    Megill 17 0 0 0 0 17
    Duran 0 0 0 0 0 0

     

     

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    2 minutes ago, Hosken Bombo Disco said:

    @Nate Palmer did you have any insights on Arraez’s status as a pinch hit possibility or on the pinch running situation in the 8th?

    From everything coming out of Rocco's interview it seems he is simply just that hurt. The interview is added to the article now for easy listening. 

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    At 65 yrs old I cannot remember a Twins season that has left me feel so empty.  The game has changed so drastically, and the players play so infrequently that it's difficult for me to feel a connection or an allegiance to a group of young men that I can't identify with.  I could bemoan the injuries or the complete lack of continuity in our manages everyday lineup, or the mystifying way pitching staffs are managed these days, but it would not help fill the void I feel in the sport I grew up living and loving.  It's difficult for me to watch a 9-inning game these days.  Never thought I'd say that.  Maybe its time for me to just remember the game as it was and be done with it, before the oversized bases and the new pitch clock frustrate me further.  Don't care to see another 7-inning double header game or an extra inning runner again either. Maybe I'll break out my old Strat-o-Matic cards and play my own season next year.  There may be some comfort to be found, for me at least, in the simplicity of the past.

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    It's, late. The season is done. There's a lot of apathy I know. And the lineup is filled with AAA players and reserves. But it's still been interesting and I hope, important to see a few kids getting their opportunity to grow these last couple of weeks from Wallner to Varland to Rodriguez to the "re-habbing" Winder, etc. Very, very nice to see Ober have a solid game after a tremdous start his last time out.

    I really think the Twins missed Ober as much as anyone this year. He had a really nice rookie season in 2021 and is absolutely better than either Bundy or Archer. The guy mystifies me. He puts up video game numbers, but is hurt a lot. So then he re-vamps his his mechanics and adds velocity and health. He's just as good, or better, than rookie sensation Ryan in 2021, adjusting his mechanics on the fly, and gets better as the season goes on.  But there is debate about IP for a rookie doing well. As if doing well isn't good enough. And he starts his 2nd season looking good before injury. And then he finishes 2022 looking very solid yet again. Ober looks like a legitimate #3-4 if healthy. 

    Nobody wants to hear it, but with little exception, every prospect is a mid rotation starter until they prove otherwise. Pitching pipeline? Ryan is GOOD! So is Ober if he can STAY healthy, which he was in 2021 as they built him up. You want an ACE to come through the system? I do too. How many #1 ACES come up through anyone's system? You have 10 arms and 5 turn out. Two or three go to the pen. A couple turn out to  be quality starters. After a couple of years, one of them turns in to a #1 starter and potential ACE. 

    Ryan has the "attitude" of being a #1, but is an un-finished product. Ober has as good or better stuff, but is also un-finished, and needs to stay healthy. Varland and Winder and SWR and others have the ability to be top of the rotation arms at some point. But to think ANY arm is SUPPOSED to be some kind of ACE is blindingly ignorant to me. Every single young and promising young arm is still a pitcher learning and adapting. How good could Ryan, Ober, Winder, Varland and others be 2-3yrs from now? But, of course, we want the to be STUD #1 or #2 starters NOW!

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    1 hour ago, Mydaughterhastwins said:

    At 65 yrs old I cannot remember a Twins season that has left me feel so empty.  The game has changed so drastically, and the players play so infrequently that it's difficult for me to feel a connection or an allegiance to a group of young men that I can't identify with.  I could bemoan the injuries or the complete lack of continuity in our manages everyday lineup, or the mystifying way pitching staffs are managed these days, but it would not help fill the void I feel in the sport I grew up living and loving.  It's difficult for me to watch a 9-inning game these days.  Never thought I'd say that.  Maybe its time for me to just remember the game as it was and be done with it, before the oversized bases and the new pitch clock frustrate me further.  Don't care to see another 7-inning double header game or an extra inning runner again either. Maybe I'll break out my old Strat-o-Matic cards and play my own season next year.  There may be some comfort to be found, for me at least, in the simplicity of the past.

    I hear every word!  Me, as well.

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    1 hour ago, D.C Twins said:

    Correa sure turned it on..... late in the season.... when it mattered for his next contract.... after the Twins were all but cooked.

    Yey for him... I guess

    Yup. His bad decision to try to stretch the first inning single into a double cost us the third run, and a tie game. Instead it was the losing decision as it turned out. Good for him. It all counts. 

    No Duran for a week now. Our best can't get in a game.

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    Ober is a reminder of why we do not want more dumpster diving SP.  We have enough young arms, and an almost full rotation of veterans with IL returnees.  The only pitcher we should consider is that elusive number 1. 

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    Let's see if I got this right, we get beat by Josh Harrison (how many teams have released him) and somebody named Carlos Perez (first major league RBI) beats us in the eighth inning.   Then we load the bases in the ninth, only to have Mark Contreras strike out to end the game.    Not Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Jorge Polanco, Trevor Larnac, or Alex Kiriloff, but Mark Contreras.    This season cannot end soon enough.

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    The season long plague continues. Get a couple of runs early and then forget where the plate is and what this wooden thing each player carries to the plate really is used for.........Oh how hard it is to be a Twins fan............this manager is just the worst. 

    Go Twins................Twins Geezer out!

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    I don't know about anyone else, but I sure hope we keep Urshela around next year.  He has been a fixture on this team all year.  He plays hard, is an above average hitter, a decent to good defender, seems to be a good clubhouse presence, and has some position flexibility.  With Arraez, Polanco, Kirilloff, Larnach and Buxton all having injury histories, and Correa on the way out, a solid healthy player who comes to play every day is someone I would hang onto.  And, even if everyone is healthy next year, there will be plenty of at bats for him.

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    I remember my grandpa telling me as a youngster and I quote, “if you live by the numbers then you will dye by the numbers”. Baldy seems to have harder time winning against well managed teams. Because they have the book on him and his tendencies and they’re prepared to a contra move to his move before he makes his move. 

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    8 hours ago, D.C Twins said:

    Correa sure turned it on..... late in the season.... when it mattered for his next contract.... after the Twins were all but cooked.

    Yey for him... I guess

    I'm not sure what you are saying here. Are you implying Correa was dogging it until September? If you will recall, the Twins were still in contention in early September. Correa has been the most valuable Twin the whole season. His batting stats speak for themselves. His fielding, at arguably the most critical fielding position, has been a true joy to behold. He has been the best fielding SS I have every seen play for the Twins. His enthusiastic support for his teammates in the dugout and on the field has been an example for players to emulate. He hustles to the mound for every coach's conference with a pitcher, giving more support. He even speaks up during some of these conferences. He has been an encourager to the younger players, especially Miranda, whom he asked the FO NOT to trade and whom he has invited to workout with him this offseason. He has said very nice things about living in Minnesota and about the Twins FO and management. He tells how much he cares for his wife and child. He is not a whiner. He stays healthy. He does not complain about being booed at every ballpark. That would weigh on me, if I were booed every time I was introduced. But he has been a class act and never complained. These are "life qualities" which I value. Having said all of this, it is obvious that I highly value Carlos Correa's contributions to this Twins team. I hope he stays a Twin, but if he choses to play for another team, I wish him well, I will cheer for him when he comes to bat and is introduced and I say thanks for the examples you have set and thanks for the memories. 

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    I love the Ober pitched a good game talk, sure it was a decent 5 inning start, but what Cueto did was an actual good game. Having the starter going 7 and handing over the last two innings to your studs is so much different than going 5 and handing the last 4 innings to a crap shoot of relief pitchers. Not bring Ober out for the 6th was just another dumb mistake by this team, please tell me if I am wrong but these are the same guys he blew away last outing. This decision/game is the cherry on top a sickening season.

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    Ober was good enough. Urshela and Correa played a good overall game. Celestino should be considered as a backup in CF. Even if he isn't an offensive asset or is a liability on the bases, I like his defense. Miranda looks tired. Wallner needs to learn how to hit to all fields. He's too much like Kepler, pull and HR happy. Veteran guys that can't or barely do hit .200 like GSanchez, MKepler, JCave, KGarlick, SLeon need to be gone. Even if they belong in AAA. Why is BHamilton on the team? Only 3 SB since he was acquired on Aug 27th. Thought for sure his pinch running situation in the 8th would lead to a SB but he never tried. What was the point? Like "Mydaughterhastwins" said above, this team or the game in general as to what it is now, has become very difficult to watch. Maybe that is a clue as to why attendance was miserable this year. Us old fellas like the old style of baseball and aren't going to pay big prices to go watch a new style game, and the youngsters of today just aren't into baseball like we were. 

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    29 minutes ago, RJA said:

    I don't know about anyone else, but I sure hope we keep Urshela around next year.  He has been a fixture on this team all year.  He plays hard, is an above average hitter, a decent to good defender, seems to be a good clubhouse presence, and has some position flexibility.  With Arraez, Polanco, Kirilloff, Larnach and Buxton all having injury histories, and Correa on the way out, a solid healthy player who comes to play every day is someone I would hang onto.  And, even if everyone is healthy next year, there will be plenty of at bats for him.

    I agree 100%. Thanks for saying this. 

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    6 minutes ago, TwinsDr2021 said:

    I love the Ober pitched a good game talk, sure it was a decent 5 inning start, but what Cueto did was an actual good game. Having the starter going 7 and handing over the last two innings to your studs is so much different than going 5 and handing the last 4 innings to a crap shoot of relief pitchers.

    Maybe i sense your comments wrong but Ober was at 82 pitches and if anyone needs to be critisized for him coming out after 5 innings you need to blame the manager. He's done it all season if you haven't been watching. No reason why he couldn't have went 6. Not his fault. 

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    Just now, rv78 said:

    Ober was at 82 pitches and if anyone needs to be critisized for him coming out after 5 innings you need to blame the manager. He's done it all season if you haven't been watching. No reason why he couldn't have went 6. Not his fault.

    Wasn't trying to say it was Ober's fault, but you can't say Ober was good or solid and not say that Cueto was frickin amazing, right?

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    Urshela is your starting 3rd baseman next year.  Miranda will rotate it as needed between 3rd base and 1st base.  I'm not Kiriloff will be healthy and can play a full year with a bum wrist, 2 surgeries in 2 years, not good.  Kiriloff and Larnach can battle it out for LF. Buxton can play 50% of time in CF with Gordon mopping up all over the field.  Wallner and Kiriloff and rotate in right field. Since Correa won't be back, Urshela can hold the fort at SS and Miranda plays 3rd.  I don't have faith that FO will get another bat in offseason, so you have Arraez at 1st as well.  2022 all over again for the fielding minus Correa.  

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    It's almost comedic at this point. I checked in on the score at saw the Twins had taken a 2-0 lead in the first. I said to myself, "I'll bet this will be all the runs they get tonight - Sox will probably win 4-2 or 3-2." Sure enough.

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    37 minutes ago, LastOnePicked said:

    It's almost comedic at this point. I checked in on the score at saw the Twins had taken a 2-0 lead in the first. I said to myself, "I'll bet this will be all the runs they get tonight - Sox will probably win 4-2 or 3-2." Sure enough.

    I had a similar reaction. I enjoyed a peaceful, baseball-free late afternoon and evening. I looked in to check the score and it said 2-2 in the 6th. I said, "OK. 3-2 loss. I don't want to watch." They are so predictably awful in clutch situations.

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    11 hours ago, Hosken Bombo Disco said:

    @Nate Palmer did you have any insights on Arraez’s status as a pinch hit possibility or on the pinch running situation in the 8th?

    Aareaz is a little understandable given his hamstring.  Pinch running Hamilton was fine but what was the purpose.  He's only on the team because he can run.  So Rocco has Hamilton pinch running.  But he never leaves first base.  What a waste.  Plus he has a total of 3 stolen bases in 16 games.  He can't hit and can't field.  If you are not going to use him for the one ability he has then why bother to have him on the team?  Typical Rocco type of situation.  That whole scenario begged for him to steal second to get into scoring position.  Another in the midst of dozens of missed opportunities this year.

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    1 hour ago, Old fox said:

    I remember my grandpa telling me as a youngster and I quote, “if you live by the numbers then you will dye by the numbers”. Baldy seems to have harder time winning against well managed teams. Because they have the book on him and his tendencies and they’re prepared to a contra move to his move before he makes his move. 

    are you referring to the ChoSox as a well managed team? they've been in disarray all year, arguably the most disappointing team in baseball who have kicked the ball around the field. (most errors in the AL) and if LaRussa hadn't stepped down for health reasons he might have been fired. (In any other city he would have been fired, but could have survived in Chicago because of his personal relationship with the owner)

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    2 hours ago, tarheeltwinsfan said:

    I'm not sure what you are saying here. Are you implying Correa was dogging it until September? If you will recall, the Twins were still in contention in early September. Correa has been the most valuable Twin the whole season. His batting stats speak for themselves. His fielding, at arguably the most critical fielding position, has been a true joy to behold. He has been the best fielding SS I have every seen play for the Twins. His enthusiastic support for his teammates in the dugout and on the field has been an example for players to emulate. He hustles to the mound for every coach's conference with a pitcher, giving more support. He even speaks up during some of these conferences. He has been an encourager to the younger players, especially Miranda, whom he asked the FO NOT to trade and whom he has invited to workout with him this offseason. He has said very nice things about living in Minnesota and about the Twins FO and management. He tells how much he cares for his wife and child. He is not a whiner. He stays healthy. He does not complain about being booed at every ballpark. That would weigh on me, if I were booed every time I was introduced. But he has been a class act and never complained. These are "life qualities" which I value. Having said all of this, it is obvious that I highly value Carlos Correa's contributions to this Twins team. I hope he stays a Twin, but if he choses to play for another team, I wish him well, I will cheer for him when he comes to bat and is introduced and I say thanks for the examples you have set and thanks for the memories. 

    I'm saying that his offence was underwhelming during the year when the Twins still had a chance and that he has been fire during a month with little to play for (and which there are more inexperienced pitchers with teams just playing out the season). 

    At no point did I say he was not trying or dogging it.... simply that he could have performed offensively much better when it counted.

    As far as tolerating the booing....um...he kind of earned that booing didn't he? So, hard to give someone credit for handling something that they created by poor decision making.

    As far as Miranda.... great that he wants to train with him (we'll see if it actually happens when he leaves... I doubt it), but training with Correa a few days or weeks will not make or break Miranda's future. 

    As far as saying that he loved Minnesota and his family did too.... OF COURSE he does... he needs as many teams 'in' on him as possible to maximize his value, like ummm... a Dior t-shirt or something. 

    To be clear, I thought Correa was a fine signing and he performed overall well this year..... just not offensively when it mattered and not up to a superstar status.

    It will be fascinating to watch the market for him this winter. I don't see a whole lot of change in the supply/demand compared to last season and his performance this year was not transcendent by any means. Boras will have to earn his money this offseason

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    More fun facts, this year Ober has pitched 17 1/3 (3 games) against the Sox, given up 7 hits, 2 walks, struck out 20 and given up 3 earned runs for  a 1.55 ERA.

    Cueto (prior to the 6th and 7th innings yesterday) had pitched 16 2/3 innings against the Twins given up 21 hits, 3 walks, struck out 16 and given up 10 earned runs for a ERA of 5.40.

    And there is some model that says pulling Ober after 82 pitches and turning the last 4 innings to the bullpen is the best play? I don't buy it!

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    3 hours ago, Whitey333 said:

    Pinch running Hamilton was fine but what was the purpose.  He's only on the team because he can run.  So Rocco has Hamilton pinch running.  But he never leaves first base.  What a waste.  Plus he has a total of 3 stolen bases in 16 games.  He can't hit and can't field.  If you are not going to use him for the one ability he has then why bother to have him on the team?  Typical Rocco type of situation.  That whole scenario begged for him to steal second to get into scoring position.  Another in the midst of dozens of missed opportunities this year.

    The radio guys, even Atteberry, were questioning the pinch running thing until the end of the broadcast. 

    Lest anyone think this is just a bunch of fans whining on the Internet. 

    What also bothers me about it is that if the game had gone to the 10th, or if Contreras had extended the inning, it would have been Miranda’s spot due back up, but with Miranda out of the game. 

    (To add: in my opinion the top of the 8th when the home team still has two at bats is more often than not too soon to start making these types of substitutions, especially with the personnel the Twins have right now)

    There are going to be close low scoring games again in 2023 and game management must get better. In case no one has mentioned that yet this year. :) 

    Edited by Hosken Bombo Disco
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    8 hours ago, D.C Twins said:

     

    As far as Miranda.... great that he wants to train with him (we'll see if it actually happens when he leaves... I doubt it), but training with Correa a few days or weeks will not make or break Miranda's future. 

     

    Doubt, a common thread. 

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