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  • Twins 6, Yankees 1: Berrios, Sano Lift Twins to Series Victory


    Tom Froemming

    The Twins picked up their first series win over the Yankees since 2013, as Jose Berrios pitched into the seventh inning and Miguel Sano delivered a big two-out, three-run home run. The victory also put Minnesota just a game behind Cleveland (at least for the time being) in the AL Central standings.

    Al

    together now! And we can build this thing together …

    Image courtesy of Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

    Twins Video

    Win Expectancy (via Fangraphs)

    WinEx719.png

    The bats finally broke out and had a big inning, tallying six runs in the second frame. What's even more impressive is all six runs were scored with two outs. Zack Granite delivered a two-run single, Eduardo Escobar followed with an RBI base knock and Sano capped things off with a three-run homer. Yankee starter Jordan Montgomery got ahead of Sano 0-2, but he hung him a juicy curveball.

    Bartolo Colon's presence seems to have ignited some interest from certain parts of the fan base, but um, this Sano guy is worth the price of admission on his own. Maybe he doesn't have the freak show appeal since he's only 24 instead of 44, I don't know.

    The Twins also had a pretty exciting player on the mound, as well. Berrios, who's only 23 himself, cruised through six shutout innings. The Yankees finally got a run off him with two down in the seventh. His final line: 6.2 IP, six hits (all singles), one earned run, two walks, five strikeouts and two hit batsmen. Jose tried a season high with 108 pitches (65 of which were strikes).

    Tyler Duffey got the last out of the seventh inning with a strikeout, Taylor Rogers pitched a scoreless eighth (ho-hum) and Trevor Hildenberger finished it off with a clean ninth.

    There was some more curious lineup construction from Paul Molitor in this one. Jorge Polanco was the DH and went 0-for-3 and left three men on base. He's now 1-for-27 over his last nine games. Robbie Grossman started in left field and made an error. I guess things are always going to be a bit dodgy when you've got a 13-man pitching staff.

    At the end of the day, it was a big series win by the Twins over the Yankees. Good vibes all around.

    https://twitter.com/ParkerHageman/status/887766370619985921

    Postgame With Granite

    This is fun. After delivering his first two RBI as a big leaguer, Granite got a nice ice water shower via Brandon Kintzler.

    Bullpen Usage

    Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:

    Pen719.png

    Thursday

    Off

    The Twins get to ease back into things in the second half, as Thursday will be the first of three days off between now and the end of the month. They'll host the Tigers for three games over the weekend.

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    2 out of 3 against the Yanks is no small feat. Good for the Twins! 

    During this off-day, they really need to get this pitching staff/short bench situation figured out. Send down a pitcher and call up a position player to prevent situations like today from happening. 

    Polanco probably needs some mental days off from baseball. Grossman should only play LF in case of emergency. 

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    2 out of 3 against the Yanks is no small feat. Good for the Twins! 

    During this off-day, they really need to get this pitching staff/short bench situation figured out. Send down a pitcher and call up a position player to prevent situations like today from happening. 

    Polanco probably needs some mental days off from baseball. Grossman should only play LF in case of emergency. 

     

    Breslow seems like an obvious candidate. 

    Edited by Mike Sixel
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    To be fair, while any error is bad, Grossman's was a "dropping the ball after a single and letting runners advance error" with the Twins up 5. He didn't throw a ball away or not get to an easy fly ball. We take context into consideration for hitting stats, we should for fielding as well.

     

    Anytime the Twins play a LHP, I want Grossman in the OF and one of Rosario/Kepler sitting. But they do need to get Vargas back up. He's nice to 1B/DH in these games against LHP. No need for Polanco to DH.

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    To be fair, while any error is bad, Grossman's was a "dropping the ball after a single and letting runners advance error" with the Twins up 5. He didn't throw a ball away or not get to an easy fly ball. We take context into consideration for hitting stats, we should for fielding as well.

     

    Anytime the Twins play a LHP, I want Grossman in the OF and one of Rosario/Kepler sitting. But they do need to get Vargas back up. He's nice to 1B/DH in these games against LHP. No need for Polanco to DH.

     

    You think he was lazy because they were up five? Is that the context? I'd argue he was lucky it wasn't a tied game, not that he knew it wasn't a big deal due to the score.

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    You think he was lazy because they were up five? Is that the context? I'd argue he was lucky it wasn't a tied game, not that he knew it wasn't a big deal due to the score.

    I think he's saying that it wasn't a costly error because it didn't give the other team an extra out nor allow a run.  And with the score what it was, it wasn't likely to lose us the game either.  I don't think anyone's accused Grossman of being lazy, just not very good in left field.  Sometimes it hurts us more than others.  Today, it didn't hurt us much.

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    Just don't let it happen again. We are now officially entitled to these excellent recaps, with all of the bells and whistles.

    I'm fresh outta bells and whistles, would you settle for a kazoo and a wind chime?

     

    FYI, I also just added a really fun postgame interview with Zack Granite, via FSN North's YouTube page. 

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    I just wanted to say these recaps...these recaps are fantastic.

     

    Fan(insert modifier of choice here)tastic.

    Absolutely! You've taken the best sports fan site and actually managed to take it to another level!

     

    (No pressure mind you-lol)

     

    On a side note, this YOUNG Berrios kid has some good stuff and looks like a keeper doesn't He?

     

    On a second side note, sure am glad the Twins, and Berrios himself, didn't listen to claims he was a "never was" after his rough indoctrination to the Majors in 2016. Almost makes you think we shouldn't give up on other talented young players on the team who may be learning/struggling at points.

     

    (Nice guy laughter, not the twisted, evil kind)

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    Dear Twins FO,

    I was wondering if you have and game video and statistics to compare myself, Breslow, Belisle and Pressley.

     

    At this point, I figure you must have lost the footage and stats. It’s really the only explanation for them being in the majors instead of me. I even talked to an “advance analytics” guy because I know that you like that kind of stuff, and even he was confused.

    Anyhoo I’ll send you some video footage and stat comparisons.
    Everyone makes mistakes,
    Alan Bunsenitz

     

     

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    I just wanted to say these recaps...these recaps are fantastic.

    Fan(insert modifier of choice here)tastic.

    Thank you very much. I appreciate the kind words (and assistance) ;)

     

    Absolutely! You've taken the best sports fan site and actually managed to take it to another level!

    (No pressure mind you-lol)

    That's as high a compliment as you could give me. I really appreciate the fact that everybody who built this thing up to where it is today has allowed me to take the ball and run with it as much as they have. It's really an honor for me just to be on here, so I'm really happy people are finding value in the content I'm adding.

     

    Doc describes it perfectly with another level. May God give you the strength to carry on Tom!

    It hasn't been long, but so far so good. I don't honestly know if I could've kept something like this up last season, but how fun is this? You guys ... it's July 19th and the Twins are a half game out of first place!!! 

     

    I spend plenty of time poo-pooing the roster and picking at the Twins flaws, but we're 94 games into this thing and the team is right there. This is awesome.

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    Right there with you Tom! 45 years of watching this team, living and (figuratively) dyeing with them as well. Still remember sitting in my car listening to Kirby Puckett's first game on the radio. Remember the '82? team of Gaetti, Hrbek and others that fulfilled so much promise...eventually. And I remember the second WS team that offered so much hope and promise.

     

    And while some want to poo-poo really good Twins teams who couldn't advance, much less win it all, a few years back, there was some real fun and mighty good baseball played in those days.

     

    Maybe it's just one winning season in 5 years to this point. Maybe it's just Twins red, white, blue and Klondike gold colored glasses, (my personal joke on the Klondike gold), but I REALLY LOVE this team. "They suck! They're toast! They're done! Oh wait! They won again!"

     

    We ALL love our Twins. If you don't, then find another website! Lol But praise or hate Ryan, (or Smith), praise or hate Falvey and Levine, (in their very limited tenure), there is just something fun, hopeful and engaging about this team. Their ultimate destination is unknown, 2017 and beyond. But as a fan, I'm having more fun than I have had in years. Maybe it's the rollercoaster experience...but maybe...just maybe...its because I see the talent, the potential, the way these guys love playing the game, and a future I can see.

     

    Can we, just for a second, forget that every 25yo and under player is not an immediate Sports center highlight and enjoy what is building here?

     

    Go Twins!

     

    Thank you Tom!

     

    (Hopping off my soapbox hoping I don't sprain an ankle)

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    You think he was lazy because they were up five? Is that the context? I'd argue he was lucky it wasn't a tied game, not that he knew it wasn't a big deal due to the score.

     

    We say that a home run matters less when it's hit with the Twins down 9-0 than if its tied. The pitcher is just throwing strikes to get the game over, the batter was just swinging for the fences etc.

     

    We don't do the same with fielding - we count all errors the same. I've never heard a stat like "runs caused by errors" or "error importance" but they should be. In the same way that pitchers maybe aren't going max effort when you're up 9-0, guys have a different attention to detail in blowouts and close games.

     

    Not saying he was lazy, just that the play lacked the urgency of a different situation. Baseball has a long season, I don't mind a guy having another gear for the big moments.

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    We say that a home run matters less when it's hit with the Twins down 9-0 than if its tied. The pitcher is just throwing strikes to get the game over, the batter was just swinging for the fences etc.

     

    We don't do the same with fielding - we count all errors the same. I've never heard a stat like "runs caused by errors" or "error importance" but they should be. In the same way that pitchers maybe aren't going max effort when you're up 9-0, guys have a different attention to detail in blowouts and close games.

     

    Not saying he was lazy, just that the play lacked the urgency of a different situation. Baseball has a long season, I don't mind a guy having another gear for the big moments.

     

    "we" don't, actually, when assessing how good a player is.

     

    "in fairness" implied that it wasn't important to assessing if he is a good player or not, imo. Maybe I read that wrong. What did "in fairness" mean?

     

    And yes, I very much am bothered by "another gear" in that situation, since you are pretty much saying he didn't care/try all that much there, compared to other times.

     

    Also, "pitch to the score"? Years of analysis has been done on that, because that was Morris' point....and the data is clear, it's not really true.

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    Bullpen is starting to round into shape...for the late innings. I feel fine about Duffy (despite a few recent struggles), Rogers (who has been great), Kintzler (also great), and I'm starting to feel like Hildenberger can be a solid guy in the 6th-7th inning with potential to be a set-up man for this team. That's 4 guys you can start to have some confidence in.

     

    The rest? Boshers is the only one I have any real hope for. I think if Chargois, Burdi, and May hadn't gotten injured we'd have already moved on from Belisle & Breslow and Pressly would be back in the minors trying to find himself. Frankly, I'm ready to walk away from Breslow regardless to get back a bench bat.

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    "we" don't, actually, when assessing how good a player is.

     

    "in fairness" implied that it wasn't important to assessing if he is a good player or not, imo. Maybe I read that wrong. What did "in fairness" mean?

     

    And yes, I very much am bothered by "another gear" in that situation, since you are pretty much saying he didn't care/try all that much there, compared to other times.

     

    Also, "pitch to the score"? Years of analysis has been done on that, because that was Morris' point....and the data is clear, it's not really true.

    I disagree with the last statement. There was one analysis by Joe Sheehan a very long time ago that I believe was actually a bit lazy and anything but definitive. He set up his own definition of "pitching to the score," tailored to his premises regarding what statistics should show, used a small sample size, and came to his predetermined outcome as a result. For many years, people have been repeating that this study definitively proved that Jack Morris defenders are idiots. There's been nothing new contributed to the topic. However, if you repeat something enough as if it's true, especially if you do so as someone who's smarter than "old school" fans, it eventually becomes true.

     

    The fact is that teams actually do pitch and field to the score. For example, bringing in the infield when the score is close, or playing at double play depth when the score is not close. In one situation, the team is willing to concede a run to get an out (or two).  In the other situation, the team is trying its best to prevent a run. This does not mean that over a long time and large sample size that one strategy yields more runs than the other. However, the immediate concern of the team is not statistics, but winning the game. And the analysis should be what strategy wins the games, not what yields less runs over the long term.

     

    Although it is less common today, someone like Ervin Santana shows that some pitchers are capable of pitching to complete games or at least going deep in games. That means not wasting pitches, pitching to the defense, and not worrying about strikeout totals, with the goal of saving the bullpen and shaking hands at the end of the game. It is also not proven whether pitchers who do this give up more or less runs over a long time and large sample size. However, in the context of a season, I believe it is very valuable for teams to have a Santana or Jack Morris, who goes deep into games. I would say that they are not so much "pitching to the score" as "pitching for a complete game win." However, the score can effect how much effort they have to put into run prevention as opposed to just getting enough outs to finish the game.

     

    The ultimate historical example of this, in my opinion, was in 1991, in mid-August, the Twins were 1.5 up on the Oakland A's dynasty. We won a 12-inning game 1 of the series, with both teams emptying out their bullpens. The next day, Morris gave up 4 runs and went 9 innings, saving our bullpen, which was needed to win the third game of the series the next day.  Morris doesn't have a good ERA or even a quality start in the game, but it was probably the most important start of the season for the Twins, who never lost that lead in the division and buried our main competition in that series.

     

    As far as I know, there's no statistical analysis on how valuable a pitcher is who saves a bullpen by going deep into games. Maybe that's something Joe Sheehan can disprove with some "thorough" analysis. And then we can all refer to it and repeat the conclusion until it's true.

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    And what does moving the infield in have to do with Grossman and his fielding not being indicative and not mattering? At all? One is strategy/tactics, one is a sloppy/bad play because "it wasn't important to give his best" at that time, at least I think that is your contention.

     

    I also have no idea how this devolved into whether or not going deep in a game is helpful to the team. No idea.

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    "we" don't, actually, when assessing how good a player is.

     

    "in fairness" implied that it wasn't important to assessing if he is a good player or not, imo. Maybe I read that wrong. What did "in fairness" mean?

     

    And yes, I very much am bothered by "another gear" in that situation, since you are pretty much saying he didn't care/try all that much there, compared to other times.

     

    Also, "pitch to the score"? Years of analysis has been done on that, because that was Morris' point....and the data is clear, it's not really true.

    I think a good comparison here is a QB that heaves the ball towards the end zone from his own 40 yard line with 1 second left in the half, resulting in an interception in the end zone. It's clearly a throw he wouldn't make under other circumstances, and while it goes down as an interception, it doesn't really impact his team's chances to win.

     

    Grossman's error didn't turn an out into a non-out. It didn't allow a run to score. Therefore, in a game the Twins were winning by 5 in the late innings, it's not particularly harmful--unlike Polanco's error on Thursday that allowed the Astros to continue a rally that ultimately won them the game. Both were errors, but with vastly different impacts and importance.

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    I think a good comparison here is a QB that heaves the ball towards the end zone from his own 40 yard line with 1 second left in the half, resulting in an interception in the end zone. It's clearly a throw he wouldn't make under other circumstances, and while it goes down as an interception, it doesn't really impact his team's chances to win.

    Grossman's error didn't turn an out into a non-out. It didn't allow a run to score. Therefore, in a game the Twins were winning by 5 in the late innings, it's not particularly harmful--unlike Polanco's error on Thursday that allowed the Astros to continue a rally that ultimately won them the game. Both were errors, but with vastly different impacts and importance.

     

    I agree it wasn't harmful. I don't understand the "in fairness" part that implies it's acceptable and not predictive of Grossman. That's been my question all along, what does "in fairness" mean, exactly? It's clear the OP thinks he wasn't trying fully, based on his words. That's not acceptable.

     

    And again, that throw is part of an actual strategy to try something, and his action should be measured in the context of them trying something on purpose, and being willing to have an INT. What was Grossman trying at that moment that was strategic?

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    I agree it wasn't harmful. I don't understand the "in fairness" part that implies it's acceptable and not predictive of Grossman. That's been my question all along, what does "in fairness" mean, exactly? It's clear the OP thinks he wasn't trying fully, based on his words. That's not acceptable.

     

    And again, that throw is part of an actual strategy to try something, and his action should be measured in the context of them trying something on purpose, and being willing to have an INT. What was Grossman trying at that moment that was strategic?

    I think in fairness just meant if you're going to make an error (which every player will), making one that doesn't cost you an out or a run in a game you're winning by 5 in the late innings is the best time to do it.

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    And what does moving the infield in have to do with Grossman and his fielding not being indicative and not mattering? At all? One is strategy/tactics, one is a sloppy/bad play because "it wasn't important to give his best" at that time, at least I think that is your contention.

     

    I also have no idea how this devolved into whether or not going deep in a game is helpful to the team. No idea.

    You said pitching to the score was disproved by years of analysis.  That was the only sentence I was addressing in my post, as indicated in the first sentence of my post.

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