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  • Twins 7, Tigers 1: Twins Complete Sweep, Correa Comes up Clutch


    Seth Stohs

    The winning streak now stands at seven games as the Twins topped the Tigers to complete the sweeps of two AL Central competitors at Target Field over the past week. See how Carlos Correa came up big, and Gilberto Celestino played a big part in another win. 

    Image courtesy of Nick Wosika, USA TODAY Sports

    Box Score
    SP Bailey Ober: 3.2 IP,6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K (73 pitches, 49 strikes (67.1%)
    Home Runs: None 
    Top 3 WPA: Trevor Larnach (.150), Gilberto Celestino (.141), Cody Stashak (.096)

    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    image.png
    Pregame Notes/Lineup Decisions (with Results)

    #1: Facing left-hander Tarik Skubal, Rocco Baldelli started Luis Arraez, Trevor Larnach and Max Kepler

    How it went? Against Skubal, Arraez and Kepler each went 0-for-3. Larnach, however, went 2-for-2. 

    #2: After DHing on Tuesday and playing center field on Wednesday, Byron Buxton was not in the starting lineup on Thursday afternoon. Gilberto Celestino, who is certainly a candidate to be sent back to St. Paul when rosters are reduced after Sunday’s games, is making his second start in center field in the past three games. 

    How it went? Celestino reached base in each of his first three plate appearances. He had an RBI infield single in his first at-bat. He laid down a nice bunt in his second plate appearance and reached on a throwing error. In his third at-bat, he hit a 100 mph line drive down the right-field line for a double. With Celestino, the defense is always solid. In addition, he ranged to the gap to make a very nice sliding catch in the 8th inning.

    #3: There were hopes that Gary Sanchez could start behind the plate on Thursday. He was not quite ready so Ryan Jeffers started his third straight game behind the plate, including the day game after the night game.  

    How it went? Well, Jeffers was 0-for-4 with four strikeouts, but he did a nice job behind the plate.  

    Miguel Sano has a minor knee strain. That is why he is not starting against the left-hander and Arraez is back at first base. 

    Ober Labors, Leaves with Injury 

    Bailey Ober clearly didn’t have his best stuff on Thursday afternoon. It’s not that he was bad. He wasn’t. He threw strikes at a good rate (67%). He missed 12 bats. But he really had to work to strand base runners. He gave up six hits and two walks and somehow worked his way out of those situations and gave up just one run. 

    Unfortunately, Ober left the game early. With two outs in the top of the fourth inning, right after a balk, he gave up a single that gave the Tigers their first (and only) run. After the pitch, Ober hobbled off the mound, grabbed his upper right leg, and bent at the waist. Clearly, he was not going to proceed. Cody Stashak came in and stranded another Tigers runner. Tyler Duffey worked a scoreless inning. 

    Griffin Jax ended the game with three strong innings to record the save. 

    The team, a couple of innings later, confirmed that it was right groin tightness for Ober.   

    Correa’s Biggest Hit… So far. 
    Yeah, I know that his home run was crushed and immensely impressive, but Carlos Correa came through with the biggest hit of his short Twins career. Leading 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning, Correa came up with the bases loaded. In his two previous at-bats, he had exit velocities of 95 and 106 mph. On a 3-2 count, Correa hit a ball 108 mph toward the gap in left-center field, over Willi Castro’s head. With the Tigers’ fourth error of the game tacked on, the bases were emptied and the Twins led 5-1. Gio Urshela followed with a single to left field for a 6-1 Twins lead.  

    To this point, Correa is hitting the ball really hard, as you can see from the top row in the chart below. However, it appears that he is hitting a lot of ground balls. He also came into Thursday’s game having struck out 32.8% of the time. For his career, Correa has struck out just under 21% of his plate appearances. In 2021, he struck out just over 18% of the time. In other words, he's going to be just fine. 

    image.jpeg

    Three hits and four balls hit over 100 mph on this day should help him relax and start putting up the numbers that he has over his career.  

    In addition, despite his offensive woes early in the season, Correa's defense has been consistently terrific. 

    What’s Next? 
    The Twins will travel to Tampa to take on the Rays this weekend. Pitching matchups for the series include: 

    • Friday 6:10: Dylan Bundy (3-0, 0.59 ERA) vs RHP Corey Kluber (0-1, 3.68 ERA)
    • Saturday 3:10: Chris Archer  (0-0, 3.18 ERA) vs LHP Shane McClanahan (1-1, 2.45 ERA) 
    • Sunday 12:10: Chris Paddack (0-2, 3.68 ERA) vs TBD

    Postgame Interviews 

    Bullpen Usage 

     

    SUN MON TUE WED THUR TOT
                 
    Winder 61 0 0 0 0 61
    Jax 0 0 10 0 46 56
    Thielbar 0 0 27 0 0 27
    Duffey 0 0 19 0 8 27
    Pagán 0 0 23 0 0 23
    Smith 13 0 0 10 0 23
    Coulombe 0 0 0 20 0 20
    Duran 18 0 0 0 0 18
    Stashak 0 0 0 0 18 18

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    27 minutes ago, TouchEmAllGuy said:

    Great game! Glad to see the team coming together!

     

    I thought I had read Sonny Gray was just going to miss one start? Is he okay?

    One of the benefits of a 6 man staff (especially when you get an off day) is that it's fairly easy to extend to a 5 man rotation for an extra week to ensure everything is 100% ok for the injured player.  My guess is that Gray will be back against Baltimore, either in Ober's place (next Tuesday), or on Monday if they want to keep Ryan on 5 days rest in between starts.  If they want to keep everyone on 5 days rest, they can have Winder/Jax piggyback on Wednesday against the Orioles, while putting Ober on the IL as one of the two guys they cut to get to 26 players.

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    Great job by Correa offensively and defensively, hope he'll start to explode. Urshela has been pretty stable offensively and defensively (not missing Donaldson). Larnach is coming around and Celestino is starting to hit, hope he can sustain it because we need his glove in the line up. Garlick is taken up a much needed 40 man spot.

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    Good to see Correa have a 3 hit game, but really good seeing him finally have that hit in a clutch situation.

    Also really nice seeing Celestino having himself a game on both sides.  Not easy for a 23-year-old to finish his development playing half of the last two seasons as a very part-time 4th outfielder role in the majors rather than playing every day in the minors.  I expect it he will be sent down along with Godoy next week, but he still has lots of potential left.

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    25 minutes ago, Doctor Gast said:

    Great job by Correa offensively and defensively, hope he'll start to explode. Urshela has been pretty stable offensively and defensively (not missing Donaldson). Larnach is coming around and Celestino is starting to hit, hope he can sustain it because we need his glove in the line up. Garlick is taken up a much needed 40 man spot.

    In his few at bats he has had 6K, 6BB and scored 4 runs; not sure why he is not doing better but they would do better to send Jeffers down for batting practice rather than send Garlick down.

    He is far better Left Fielder than Larnach who seems to be headed for DH, more often.

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    Dozier and Rosario used to thrive on first pitch hits, but from this game, it seems, both teams, that they did not hit first pitches that were right down the pipe, some times same for second pitch.

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    36 minutes ago, RpR said:

    In his few at bats he has had 6K, 6BB and scored 4 runs; not sure why he is not doing better but they would do better to send Jeffers down for batting practice rather than send Garlick down.

    He is far better Left Fielder than Larnach who seems to be headed for DH, more often.

    Jeffers is a much better defender at a much more important position than Garlick.

    But of course we can always just play Sanchez and Jhon Romero behind the dish.  That will go great.

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    1 minute ago, 2wins87 said:

    Jeffers is a much better defender at a much more important position than Garlick.

    But of course we can always just play Sanchez and Jhon Romero behind the dish.  That will go great.

    Jeffers is not a good catcher, period and has no bat to make up the difference.

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    29 minutes ago, RpR said:

    Jeffers is not a good catcher, period and has no bat to make up the difference.

    Which Jeffers are you talking about? 

    Jeffers is good catcher: appears to call a good game, sets a nice target and does an excellent job with pitch framing, and blocks the plate pretty well. He's not the greatest at controlling the running game, but he's not awful at it either. And right now he's hitting just fine: OPS+ of 117. Good power, solid eye at the plate. (He's also significantly out-playing Mitch Garver so far) Weird take, mah dude.

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    I'm really kinda surprised at the dreadful fielding by Detroit this series. didn't expect that from them. I didn't think they were elite defensively, but they looked a real mess. I'll take it, but wow.

    Glad to see Celestino have good day out there. I like him quite a bit, and see him as being a real asset as a 4th OF for this team, even if it's not right away.

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    Baseball is an interesting game.  Detroit had the bases loaded and Ober squirmed out of it.  The Twins loaded the bases and cleared them.  Both teams had the same number of hits but on team scored 7 and other team just 1 run.  Granted the 4 errors didn't help but still Detroit had their chances but it just didn't happen.  The Baseball gods do funny things.

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    Here's a question for an equipment expert: If a guy like Correa is hitting the ball on the ground too much, can't they adjust the pitching machine in the cage to make the ball dive even more, so he has to get down to the ball a bit more, thus elevating his average barreled ball? That way, even if he's topping his hits in the cage, it will straighten out his hits in a game. 

    So simplistic!

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