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  • Twins 3, White Sox 4: Brutal Late Error Sinks Final Home Game


    Matt Braun

    Not ideal.

    Image courtesy of Nick Wosika, USA TODAY Sports

    Twins Video

     

    Box Score
    Louie Varland: 5 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
    Home Runs: None
    Bottom 3 WPA: Caleb Thielbar (-.280), Jose Miranda (-.178), Matt Wallner (-.128)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

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    The game’s action started quickly; as fans looked for seats, ordered popcorn, and organized their children, the Twins' offense clocked in for work, plating a pair of runs off Lucas Giolito in the 1st inning. Three straight singles from Carlos Correa, Luis Arraez, and Gio Urshela loaded the bases—and while a Gary Sánchez strikeout incited groans from an often apathetic crowd—Nick Gordon broke the mold, delivering a ringing two-run double into the right field corner. Giolito was in trouble early.

    On the flipside, Louie Varland easily settled into his start; the St. Paul native breezed through the opening frame and worked around a walk in the 2nd inning, supporting the two-run advantage his offense had gifted him. Trouble brewed in the 3rd inning, however; Matt Wallner awkwardly misplayed a line drive, allowing Josh Harrison to score from first base while Romy Gonzalez—the fortunate individual who hit the ball—scampered safely to third base. Gonzalez traveled home two batters later thanks to a Mark Payton single. 

    The game remained a stalemate through the middle innings; neither starter found their dominant stuff, but they were both effective, resiliently tamping down minor attempts at scoring.

    The White Sox found the upper hand in the 6th inning, ambushing a freshly minted Griffin Jax for two singles and a run off an Andrew Vaughn sacrifice fly.

    The Twins struck back in the bottom half of the inning with some old-school small-ball. After Sánchez walked to begin the inning, Billy Hamilton—always the speed demon—took his spot at first base. In perhaps the least surprising move of all-time, Hamilton stole 2nd base and then claimed 3rd after Gordon struck out. Gilberto Celestino worked a mature plate appearance, walking in a full count to set up Ryan Jeffers in a pinch-hitting scenario. With a strike to his name, Jeffers laid down a perfect push-bunt towards 1st base, a play so masterful that he even beat out the throw to 1st base. The game was now tied.

    After an uneventful 7th inning, action began in the 8th; Caleb Thielbar entered the game in relief of Jorge López and coaxed a sky-high pop-up from Payton. Unfortunately, Gordon never comfortably found the ball, and it slipped out of his glove, allowing Payton to dash to second base safely. The White Sox pounced immediately; José Abreu—as he always does—struck a double off the wall in right-center field, scoring the go-ahead run. 

    That final score proved to be the dagger; the Twins fell to Kendall Graveman in the 8th, and—despite a walk from Correa in the 9th—Liam Hendriks silenced their bats in the final frame, halting Minnesota from sweeping their final home series.

    Notes:

    Louie Varland has struck out three batters in three straight starts; he remains winless in his MLB career

    The Twins netted two hits outside of the 1st innings

    Luis Arraez stands atop of the AL batting race with a .315 mark; Aaron Judge is 2nd at .313

    Caleb Thielbar received his first loss since August 20th against Texas

    Matt Wallner earned his first MLB steal in the 4th inning

    Post-Game Interview:

     

    What’s Next?
    The Twins will head to Detroit to start a three-game series on Friday; Joe Ryan will start opposite Tyler Alexander.

    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet:

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    You can't keep sending up guys like Contreras, Hamilton and the like and expect results. Sorry. Again, a close game the Twins lost because of hitting more than pitching...and that one BIG fielding mistake.

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    4 minutes ago, AceWrigley said:

    I guess we can safely say that Matt Wallner is no Max Kepler defensively in RF.

    Did he make a mistake out there today? I didn't listen to the game.

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    36 minutes ago, Rosterman said:

    You can't keep sending up guys like Contreras, Hamilton and the like and expect results. Sorry. Again, a close game the Twins lost because of hitting more than pitching...and that one BIG fielding mistake.

    Been a while since our Twins scored in double digits.  Good teams, like NY and Houston, do that - 4 times in September, each.  Zilch for us in September.

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    Arraez is leading in the BA Title! B Hamilton marveled us by his base running! Wallner stole 2B (maybe there's hope for us) and the Twins pitched a pretty good game. Just our defense left a lot to be desired. Although Correa made a pretty nice DP.

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    The low attendance is warranted. People ultimately vote with their feet.

    The team does have enough talent to bring optimism for next year.

    But we need to ideally have at least 10 pitchers that could slot as a least a number 5 starting pitcher going into the year. We need to assume attrition EVERY year. 

    We need to have a fully realized plan for the bullpen BEFORE the year and not be arrogant enough to think that we can just figure it out on the fly and cobble things together in season. Hope is not a plan.

    I think we also need a different Manager to lead the team, but that won't happen until 2024.

    Next year is HUGE. Either the Twins show that they have a plan and are consistently moving toward greatness or they may enter the death spiral of low budget because of low attendance/TV eyeballs and worse team due to an even lower budget/TV eyeballs leading to lower budget ad infinitum...

    Biggest reason for 2023 optimism.... LEE!!!!!!!! (He could very much me in the MLB next year at 21 and that fires me up!)

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    2 hours ago, Rosterman said:

    You can't keep sending up guys like Contreras, Hamilton and the like and expect results. Sorry. Again, a close game the Twins lost because of hitting more than pitching...and that one BIG fielding mistake.

    Gordon's move was the  final nail in the coffin but Wallner made two bone headed fielding moves that hurt just as much.

    Wallner has to go to AAA next year to learn how to field; if he can do that, he has a bright future but not before.

     

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    16 minutes ago, rwilfong86 said:

    Gordon needs more fielding practice 

    The return of of Go Go Gomez; I think it might be best either send him to AAA , next year or trade him; he has been around long enough there is no excuse for his bone-head errors, which are too common.

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    2 hours ago, FlyingFinn said:

    Did he make a mistake out there today? I didn't listen to the game.

    He made two putz moves while fielding balls that cost runs.

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    27 minutes ago, RpR said:

    The return of of Go Go Gomez; I think it might be best either send him to AAA , next year or trade him; he has been around long enough there is no excuse for his bone-head errors, which are too common.

    I believe he is out of options, so unless it is a rehab assignment, he ain’t going to AAA.

    Found it interesting that the three players with the lowest WPA didn’t include Gordon, yet his error lost the game.  Guess another reason to question that stats validity.

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    14 hours ago, D.C Twins said:

    The low attendance is warranted. People ultimately vote with their feet.

    The team does have enough talent to bring optimism for next year.

    But we need to ideally have at least 10 pitchers that could slot as a least a number 5 starting pitcher going into the year. We need to assume attrition EVERY year. 

    We need to have a fully realized plan for the bullpen BEFORE the year and not be arrogant enough to think that we can just figure it out on the fly and cobble things together in season. Hope is not a plan.

    I think we also need a different Manager to lead the team, but that won't happen until 2024.

    Next year is HUGE. Either the Twins show that they have a plan and are consistently moving toward greatness or they may enter the death spiral of low budget because of low attendance/TV eyeballs and worse team due to an even lower budget/TV eyeballs leading to lower budget ad infinitum...

    Biggest reason for 2023 optimism.... LEE!!!!!!!! (He could very much me in the MLB next year at 21 and that fires me up!)

    You can thank Bally Sports for the low TV eyeballs. I haven't been able to watch a single game in almost 2 years (outside of Apple+ or the occasional one on Fox) but the lack of providers that are part of the Bally Sports Network severely hurts people. I can listen to all the games, but I cannot watch them. I've watched more Saints games this year than Twin's games. So at least I could watch prospects and some players going back and forth form the Majors. 

    MLB is literally killing off any and all young people that are on the fence about baseball. Between MLB.com having blackouts and Bally Sports not partnered with most of the TV providers, casual fans have no way of watching their favorite team. They're stuck watching highlights on their phones or on ESPN (maybe if the Twins are shown). 

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    15 hours ago, RpR said:

    The return of of Go Go Gomez; I think it might be best either send him to AAA , next year or trade him; he has been around long enough there is no excuse for his bone-head errors, which are too common.

    Trade him or move him to AAA and I am 100% out as a fan. He is the only guy that has shown any kind of life this second half of the season. He also plays hard all the time. He's had a few errors recently, but alot of that has to do with the fact that we are out of it and no one cares anymore. Fans, coaches, players can all say they do, but when there is nothing left to play for, these kinds of things happen. 

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    1 hour ago, mac098 said:

    You can thank Bally Sports for the low TV eyeballs. I haven't been able to watch a single game in almost 2 years (outside of Apple+ or the occasional one on Fox) but the lack of providers that are part of the Bally Sports Network severely hurts people. I can listen to all the games, but I cannot watch them. I've watched more Saints games this year than Twin's games. So at least I could watch prospects and some players going back and forth form the Majors. 

    MLB is literally killing off any and all young people that are on the fence about baseball. Between MLB.com having blackouts and Bally Sports not partnered with most of the TV providers, casual fans have no way of watching their favorite team. They're stuck watching highlights on their phones or on ESPN (maybe if the Twins are shown). 

    There are many free sites that stream all the games everyday, with no blackout. Many. (plus football, basketball, college games, etc,) I haven't paid for MLB.TV or any other for at least 7 years now, and they would have ridiculous blackouts. They are the same broadcasts that you speak of. Some have too many ads, but many you can use adblock on. I got turned on to them from my son in his 20s. The young people that want to watch baseball know how to watch it free way better than the older. They grew up with a phone in their hand and know how to use it - but I use my computer or ipad. PM me and I can share if you like. But I agree, it is a shame that they MLB has moved to all the subscribing, They are losing fans because they don't make it free to watch their team if you can't go.

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    18 hours ago, RpR said:

    Gordon's move was the  final nail in the coffin but Wallner made two bone headed fielding moves that hurt just as much.

    Wallner has to go to AAA next year to learn how to field; if he can do that, he has a bright future but not before.

     

    Gordon is what you expect for a becnh guy. Hopefully you also have a counterpart that is more fielding than hitting, at times.

    Yes, Wallner needs more time at AAA. But we could say the same for Celestino, too. Wallner is striking out waaaaay too much. But you have to admire his hustle. Remember, he was at AA ball for msot of the season.

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    3 hours ago, Battle ur tail off said:

    Trade him or move him to AAA and I am 100% out as a fan. He is the only guy that has shown any kind of life this second half of the season. He also plays hard all the time. He's had a few errors recently, but alot of that has to do with the fact that we are out of it and no one cares anymore. Fans, coaches, players can all say they do, but when there is nothing left to play for, these kinds of things happen. 

    That is creating an excuse for ineptitude via rationalization. There is no ecuse for his poor play, period.

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