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  • Twins 3, Tigers 5: Big Day Ends in Loss to Tigers


    Sherry Cerny

    As the trade deadline expired, game time for the Twins approached. The Twins had several roster changes including welcoming back outfielder Jake Cave. The Twins were still on a walk-off high coming into the game and ready to continue the momentum.

    Image courtesy of Jordan Johnson, USA today

    Twins Video

     

    Box Score
    SP: Chris Archer 4.1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 8 K (49 pitches, 77 strikes (64%))
    Home Runs:  Mark Contreras (1)
    Bottom 3 WPA: Gio Urshela (-.180), Jose Miranda (-.086), Luis Arraez (-.068)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)
    image.png.47f8e91da17536164172cf2523348230.png

    The game started out slow. Both pitchers went scoreless through the first two innings and in just his eighth MLB start, Mark Contreras came up to bat in the third and ripped his first MLB home run 407 feet to center field, putting the Twins ahead for the first time of the night. 

    The bases quickly loaded the bases. With Luis Arraez, Carlos Correa and Jose Miranda on base and one out, Nick Gordon came to the plate. He hit what the fans, Twins and Gordon himself thought was a grand slam, but alas, after review, the call of Foul Ball was upheld. Gordon did hit a sacrifice fly that brought Arraez home, giving the Twins a 2-0 lead. 

    Akil Baddoo ended the inning with a diving catch off of Gio Urshela’s high fly ball. Carlos Correa scored another run for the club on another Gordon sacrifice fly, but the Tigers pitching staff managed to keep the Twins from scoring a fourth run.

    Chris Archer started in his third game tonight since returning from the IL. He threw 77 pitches, had a season-high, eight strikeouts. He gave up two earned runs in the top of the fifth before being relieved by Jovani Moran. Archer has not been able to get past the fifth inning, or over 80 pitches (minus one game) throughout the season. Baldelli has spoken previously about Archer and his confidence in the pitcher, noting that he just needs to continue working on stretching out and he sees him improving. 

    Emilio Pagan showed well, striking out two and moving swiftly through the sixth inning with no damage. The trouble came for the Twins in the seventh inning when Griffin Jax gave up three more earned runs which gave the Tigers the lead for the first time in the game and the series. Trevor Megill, Tyler Duffey and Joe Smith all had outstanding outings, allowing no runs. 

    Minus the three runs from Jax, the bullpen did a phenomenal job, a welcome sight for sure.

    The Twins 40-man roster has experienced a lot of change and injury lately. Most recently, Miguel Sano returned to the 60-day IL with right knee inflammation and Alex Kirilloff was played on the Injured List with right-wrist inflammation. 

    Jake Cave was finally recalled from St. Paul for the first time this season. Cave has been working hard and playing great with the Saints, logging a triple-slash line of .273/.370/.509 with 14 home runs this season. The last time he broke double digits in home runs was in 2018 before his back problems started. He went 2-for-3 for the club with an impressive double. 

    Do you see the Twins pushing forward to be competitive and hanging onto first place in the division? 

    What’s Next?
    The Twins have a day game to finish out the series with Detroit before a four-game set with Toronto when the Blue Jays come to town. 

    Pitching matchup tomorrow:
    Wednesday 12:10 pm CST: Joe Ryan (7-4, 3.78 ERA)  vs RHP Tyler Alexander (2-4, 4-10 ERA)
     
    Postgame Interview

     

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    And so ends the one game winning streak. Started with the lowly Tigers, and ended with the lowly Tigers. But Hey! We are still first in the Central. Jax called on 3 of the last 4 days proves too often. Who would have thunk it? But I hear help is on the way. We need it.

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    Being competitive in the division for remainder of season?   Absolutely after the pitching acquisitions today.

    Winning the division?  Hmm...possible to doubtful.

    Twins haven't put together a 3-game winning streak since June 24-27th.  12-16 record since that date.  That in itself is indicative of a team spinning its wheels.

    Overstating the obvious........if Twins SPs------Gray, Ryan and Mahle can consistently pitch 6+innings over the remainder of the season------having a chance to win the division is possible as the additions of Lopez and Fulmer will definitely aid what Jax and Duran have done this season.

    Saying that, the additions today will be meaningless if the offense continues to struggle to score runs.  I know injuries are a major factor, but when Nick Gordon is hitting in 5-hole and you're forced into playing Sanchez almost daily, this lineup has way too many holes.

    59 games remaining.  If Kepler, Larnach and Buxton-------imo, our best starting OF-------aren't in lineup---none there tonight, our chances of winning are remote.  

     

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    Essentially missing five of our nine starting position players (including DH): Buxton, Kepler, Kiriloff, Larnach and Jeffers. That list includes our entire starting outfield folks.

    Are Arraez, Correa, Polanco and Miranda - plus our second stringers at 3B (Urshela) and catcher (Sanchez) - enough to carry this team to a playoff win even with the pitching additions today? It’s a tall order. Especially if we can’t field weak ground balls to the first baseman or sustain developing rallies. After all, even the best pitching could use a clean defensive game and a little better consistent  production at the plate.  

    Lets go get a win tomorrow,

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    5 hours ago, darwin22 said:

     

    Saying that, the additions today will be meaningless if the offense continues to struggle to score runs.  I know injuries are a major factor, but when Nick Gordon is hitting in 5-hole and you're forced into playing Sanchez almost daily, this lineup has way too many holes.

    Great post, especially this part. Last night the Twins got 2 RBI from Nick Gordon and a HR from Mark Contreras. The day before it was Jose Miranda. Where the heck is everyone else? 

    I mentioned in a post on yesterday's game thread that Arraez, Buxton, Correa and Polanco absolutely have to start carrying this team. Polanco's batting .237 now and has gone ice cold, Buxton's not even playing, and Correa & Arraez are sprinkling in a few hits & walks here and there but nobody's catching fire. 

    All the pitching in the world won't help unless this team can score runs. They've been shut out more times than any other team in baseball, which is a very scary statistic no matter how their offense stacks up on paper. 

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    Twins did get some pitching. Unfortunately as has been mentioned, the bats just aren't there right now. The 'big guns' are shooting mostly blanks.

    Buxtons fragility is taking a toll. Basically what everyone feared is again taking place. He is hurt all the time. All the time. And when he's not hitting a HR, his bat is pretty useless sad to say. He has to sit out games just to insure he can play a game or two. His blinding speed has been muted. Don't know if that will ever change.

    Polanco and Correa, IMHO, have been major disappointments in 2022. Polo isn't getting those clutch hits anymore and Correa is not playing like the superstar we thought we were getting. Arraez is still a good bet to win the AL batting title, but a cautionary tale...he has been hitting under .300 for over a month now. Kepler, now hurt has chipped in once in awhile. Larnach--hurt. Kirilloff maybe hurt for good.  Offense from the catchers has been abysmal. Sanchez started OK but has totally disappeared. Jeffers, now hurt, has been a huge disappointment. Sano has probably played his last game with the Twins, contributing zero in 2022, to no ones surprise I'm guessing.

    For this team to win the division, the offense must get better and get healthy. The guys paid to do the heavy lifting have to improve. We have focused on the lack of pitching. Twins have tried to take care of that, but in honesty, the offense has been a killer for much of the season. Injuries have been brutal, yes, and they don't seem to be going away, but the team has to be able to overcome them. The keys, for me, are Buxton, Correa and Polanco. This trio must get a lot better down the stretch. Buck strikes out too much, when he is in there. He'll probably be hurt for the rest of the season so good luck with that. Correa and Polanco need to take a giant leap forward and put this team on their backs.

    And we go from there. Last nights loss to Detroit was disheartening. Jax didn't have it and the lineup was pretty feeble as the Twins scrambled to find healthy bodies. Its not going to get any easier...especially with so many  games left with the probable division champ White Sox. (hope I'm wrong on that one!)

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    7 hours ago, Nashvilletwin said:

    Essentially missing five of our nine starting position players (including DH): Buxton, Kepler, Kiriloff, Larnach and Jeffers. That list includes our entire starting outfield folks.

    Are Arraez, Correa, Polanco and Miranda - plus our second stringers at 3B (Urshela) and catcher (Sanchez) - enough to carry this team to a playoff win even with the pitching additions today? It’s a tall order. Especially if we can’t field weak ground balls to the first baseman or sustain developing rallies. After all, even the best pitching could use a clean defensive game and a little better consistent  production at the plate.  

    Lets go get a win tomorrow,

    Not quite sure what world Urshela & Sanchez can be called second stringers in.  OK, technically Jeffers has caught two more games than Sanchez but, counting DH, Sanchez has 92 more PA  than Jeffers so I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Sanchez is NOT a second stringer. 

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    Pretty typical Twins game.  Our core hitters are ice cold and have been for quite some time.  I agree that Correa has been a big dissappointment considering his superstar status.  He's had plenty of opportunities to carry the team.  Buxton?  What you see is what you get.  He's been doing this for seven years.  He IS injured all the time.  Unfortunately he's not reliable and you can't count on him.  It will probably won't change for the seven years remaining here.  It's sad and frustrating.  I do like the trades the Twins made.  It may or may not help them win the division.  But since they are under team control for a couple of years sans Fulmer, they can be part of the next playoff push.

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    37 minutes ago, dxpavelka said:

    Not quite sure what world Urshela & Sanchez can be called second stringers in.  OK, technically Jeffers has caught two more games than Sanchez but, counting DH, Sanchez has 92 more PA  than Jeffers so I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Sanchez is NOT a second stringer. 

    Urshela not a 2nd stringer but Sanchez is 2nd string but has to be play 1st string role because all the guys being hurt has forced him to play everyday.  He is quite brutal at the plate.  Had one season hitting over .270 and that was what 4 years ago.  Career low .200's hitter at best and we see why Yankees were easily getting ridding of this guy

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    24 minutes ago, TwinsDr2021 said:

    Can we all agree going forward that Archer should pitch only 4 inning no matter how good he is going and we won't complain if he is pulled after 4 even if he has a no hitter going?

    the comment about him still getting stretched out makes me laugh.  Dude has pitched 5 complete innings only 3 times.  He is at best a long reliever.  Combine Bundy and him as guys who should be pitch on the same day and you may only have to use 1 or 2 bullpen guys to finish the game.  But knowing you have to burn 5 guys when Archer pitches is blowing up a fragile bullpen already.  At least next year, those two guys won't be Twins

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    We will not win at the level we all wish until Professor Baldelli is not in the dugout. We have good players in general. This team is flat with little risk capability and pulse. Go Twins!

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    1 hour ago, umterp23 said:

    the comment about him still getting stretched out makes me laugh. 

    I really hope he doesn't believe that or he doesn't believe anybody that follows Twins believe that.

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    Bundy and Archer haven't been that great but they've each been able to take the ball 18 times (tied for the team lead) while other starters have dealt with injuries. Without those two the Twins are in much worse shape, forced to give 36 starts to guys like Cole Sands, Derek Rodriguez and Chi Chi Gonzalez.

    The Twins are leading the division because of their depth. People make comments about the entire starting outfield being unavailable but Nick Gordon went 1-1 with a BB and 2RBI, Jake Cave was 2-3 with a 2B and a BB, Contreras 1-3 with a HR. That's a productive evening from the outfield.

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    3 hours ago, umterp23 said:

    the comment about him still getting stretched out makes me laugh.  Dude has pitched 5 complete innings only 3 times.  He is at best a long reliever.  Combine Bundy and him as guys who should be pitch on the same day and you may only have to use 1 or 2 bullpen guys to finish the game.  But knowing you have to burn 5 guys when Archer pitches is blowing up a fragile bullpen already.  At least next year, those two guys won't be Twins

     

    2 hours ago, TwinsDr2021 said:

    I really hope he doesn't believe that or he doesn't believe anybody that follows Twins believe that.

    Yeah, at face value, one has to wonder. Although, I'm not sure there is a strong track record yet for pitchers recovering from thoracic outlet syndrome. He's had to learn to pitch differently, and I'm, honestly, amazed he's still here and doing okay for a #5 starter. Yeah, wish it would be different, and wish he were piggy-backed with someone (as I think was the initial plan, but injuries to pitchers kind of depleted that plan).

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    11 minutes ago, Squirrel said:

     

    Yeah, at face value, one has to wonder. Although, I'm not sure there is a strong track record yet for pitchers recovering from thoracic outlet syndrome. He's had to learn to pitch differently, and I'm, honestly, amazed he's still here and doing okay for a #5 starter. Yeah, wish it would be different, and wish he were piggy-backed with someone (as I think was the initial plan, but injuries to pitchers kind of depleted that plan).

    To give Rocco credit (Which I never do) maybe he is talking about stretching out differently then we/I am thinking. I think of stretching out as being able to pitch more pitches in a start and in Archer's case it isn't like he is pitching that many less pitches than the other starters, it is that it takes that many more pitches per batter to get an end result. His 77 pitches were almost exactly what Gray (79), Bundy(78), Ryan(82), and Sanchez (81) pitched in the last starts. So maybe what Rocco means by saying "working on stretching out", he means Archer figuring how to better maximize his pitches to have shorter at bats and thus being able to pitch longer in games.

    I guess I am feeling way more positive today then normal because of the trades yesterday.

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    I was expecting the top of the line-up to be more fired up after those great trades. But they were very disapponting. The middle to back end of the line-up kept us in the game. Hope Buck, Kepler & Kiriloff get everything straightened out we need them.

    Archer has been progressing throughout his time with us. Since Wes Johnson stated his departure, Archer has bumped his stuff up another gear. Although he's getting more SOs, his command had suffered a little. His command was better last night but we see with more effort he's giving, he's not able to complete 5 innings. I wish he would focus less on SOs and tone it down alittle so he can make it thru 5.

    Another thing I'd like to state again is Archer has a very good 4SFB & slider but he also has a pretty good change up. He's using his change up more for setting up his pitches but I differ I believe he should pound the zone with FB/slider and once ahead in the count sneak in a change up. Batters often get KL or KS by his change up and if hitters do hit it, it's often weak contact.

    Jax had a random bad day that put us in a hole that the line-up couldn't get us out of it to put up a win.

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    46 minutes ago, Squirrel said:

    Yeah, wish it would be different, and wish he were piggy-backed with someone (as I think was the initial plan, but injuries to pitchers kind of depleted that plan).

    If piggy- back type strategy was implemented (not only Archer) from the beginning as planned, we wouldn't have all these injuries. And throughout the season we'd gradually need it less.

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    1 minute ago, Doctor Gast said:

    If piggy- back type strategy was implemented (not only Archer) from the beginning we wouldn't have all these injuries. And throughout the season we'd gradually we would need it less.

    I'm pretty sure it was the plan, but we had injuries pretty fast to the starting rotation which put Winder in, who I think would have been the natural piggy-back for Archer at the beginning ... but between injuries to our starters and our relievers, it just wasn't possible

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    5 hours ago, dxpavelka said:

    Not quite sure what world Urshela & Sanchez can be called second stringers in.  OK, technically Jeffers has caught two more games than Sanchez but, counting DH, Sanchez has 92 more PA  than Jeffers so I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Sanchez is NOT a second stringer. 

    Well, if everyone is healthy and hitting at or near their best, I don’t have Urshela or Sanchez in my starting eight position players or at DH. I guess you could argue about Urshela vs. Larnach for the final position player start. 

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    3 minutes ago, Squirrel said:

    I'm pretty sure it was the plan, but we had injuries pretty fast to the starting rotation which put Winder in, who I think would have been the natural piggy-back for Archer at the beginning ... but between injuries to our starters and our relievers, it just wasn't possible

    We had at least 3 pitchers we who could have been used as long relief. Smeltzer (who was the most ready to start the season) was sent down, Ober who was put in the rotation and Winder who was used only 3X in April. That's the content of long relief until now. We didn't have anyone who could go 6innings consistently. The piggy-back system was never implemented, what was implemented from the beginning was 1 SP & 5 short RPs. That's what burns out the BP & later the rotation.

    We all know how bad Paddack elbow was! Yet was asked to pitch 6 from the beginning, if he was dialed way back we would've gotten a lot more innings from him. Ober is still basically a rookie and you ease a rookie into 6 innings regularly but they pushed him and he became injured. Winder was a rookie and have had arm problems yet when was called into the rotation was called to pitch 6 innings thus his injury. Gray wasn't in condition early in the season therefore the early injury.

    Long relief is an after thought. When Winder was no longer needed in the rotation they sent him down same with Smeltzer. Now after A Sanchez & Cotton had pitched good games they sent them down when they are much needed in long relief.

     

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    6 hours ago, Nashvilletwin said:

    Well, if everyone is healthy and hitting at or near their best, I don’t have Urshela or Sanchez in my starting eight position players or at DH. I guess you could argue about Urshela vs. Larnach for the final position player start. 

    At no point have there been 9 guys healthier and hitting better than Urshela and Sanchez.

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    8 hours ago, Doctor Gast said:

    We had at least 3 pitchers we who could have been used as long relief. Smeltzer (who was the most ready to start the season) was sent down, Ober who was put in the rotation and Winder who was used only 3X in April. That's the content of long relief until now. We didn't have anyone who could go 6innings consistently. The piggy-back system was never implemented, what was implemented from the beginning was 1 SP & 5 short RPs. That's what burns out the BP & later the rotation.

    We all know how bad Paddack elbow was! Yet was asked to pitch 6 from the beginning, if he was dialed way back we would've gotten a lot more innings from him. Ober is still basically a rookie and you ease a rookie into 6 innings regularly but they pushed him and he became injured. Winder was a rookie and have had arm problems yet when was called into the rotation was called to pitch 6 innings thus his injury. Gray wasn't in condition early in the season therefore the early injury.

    Long relief is an after thought. When Winder was no longer needed in the rotation they sent him down same with Smeltzer. Now after A Sanchez & Cotton had pitched good games they sent them down when they are much needed in long relief.

     

    Can you give me some examples of MLB teams devoting bullpen spots to "long relievers?"

     

    Can you give me some examples of MLB teams tying up 6 or 7 pitching spots to get 5 starters by implementing any kind of "piggyback" system?

     

    I don't think anyone is doing either. It's too inefficient. Long relief is a wasted roster spot, piggyback uses 2 people to do one person's job. Its essentially dedicated long relief.

     

     

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    28 minutes ago, USAFChief said:

    Can you give me some examples of MLB teams devoting bullpen spots to "long relievers?"

     

    Can you give me some examples of MLB teams tying up 6 or 7 pitching spots to get 5 starters by implementing any kind of "piggyback" system?

     

    I don't think anyone is doing either. It's too inefficient. Long relief is a wasted roster spot, piggyback uses 2 people to do one person's job. Its essentially dedicated long relief.

     

     

    We have what we have as far as rotation goes, I don't care what others have. We are using 4-5 short RPs together w/ SP to complete a game, That is wasting rosters spots, having around 4 short RPs to do 1 long RP job. 

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