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  • Twins 8, White Sox 4: Offense Comes Through, Arráez Ties Judge


    Thiéres Rabelo

    The Twins won’t be in the playoffs, but in their final series at home, they made sure to show their appreciation to fans attending the game at Target Field by securing a series win against the White Sox.

    Image courtesy of Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

    Twins Video

     

    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Josh Winder, 4 2/3 IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 6K (91 pitches, 60 strikes, 65.9%)
    Home Runs: none
    Top 3 WPA: Jake Cave (.236), Matt Wallner (.185), Gio Urshela (.158)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)
    chart.png.27b77aa56cbdfc49d7de7b53b400539b.png

    Facing mathematical elimination from playoff contention in case of a loss (or a Seattle Mariners win), the Twins got off on the wrong foot, but they put on some fight. After a quick, scoreless first inning, the White Sox jumped to a quick two-run lead on three consecutive singles and a sacrifice fly in the top of the second. It was the first time in the series Chicago was ahead – or even scored a run, for that matter.

    But that wouldn’t last long. Right in the bottom of that same inning, Minnesota rallied back to snatch the lead, manufacturing three runs. The Twins' response was quick, with the three runs coming on four consecutive hits off Johnny Cueto. Jose Miranda led off the inning with a single, and he scored after a Gio Urshela double and a Jake Cave single. Cueto got a mound visit, but it didn't stop Matt Wallner from hitting a long double that pushed both Urshela and Cave across, making it 3-2 Minnesota.

    Josh Winder settled in after a rough second inning and delivered two scoreless after that. Then, the offense came through for him once agai, and scored two more runs in the bottom of the fourth. Cueto got ambushed again by the heart of the Twins’ order: Urshela, Cave, and Wallner hit three consecutive off him, enough to score Urshela and leave two men on with no outs. Ryan Jeffers grounded into a double play, and Cave scored Minnesota’s fifth run.

    Winder pitched himself into a jam in the fifth, and he was pulled before he could complete the inning. Josh Harrison led off the inning with a single, and Winder hit Romy Gonzalez on the next at-bat. The Twins' rookie managed to retire the following two batters, but before he could close out the inning, Jose Abreu hit an RBI single to score Chicago's third run, prompting a pitching change by Rocco Baldelli.

    Caleb Thielbar came in to close out the fifth, and he also delivered a scoreless sixth. It was time the offense showed up again, and the middle of the lineup got to Cueto again. Urshela (single) and Cava (double) got back-to-back one-out hits, and Cueto decided to intentionally walk Wallner next, loading the bases. He got the second out, but Chicago made a pitching change, and with reliever Jake Diekman pitching, Gilberto Celestino drew a walk to bring home another run, making it once again a three-run game.

    Michael Fulmer nearly allowed the Sox to rally in the seventh, but he barely escaped, limiting the damage to just one run. Harrison and Gonzalez opened up the inning with back-to-back singles, and Andrew Vaughn hit a one-out single to score Harrison. Fulmer then hit Abreu next to load the bases, but after a mound visit, he managed to get an inning-ending double-play. But once again, the Chicago run was useless, as Miranda doubled in the bottom of the inning to score Carlos Correa, who drew a leadoff walk moments earlier.

    Arráez drives in a run, ties Judge for the AL batting title lead
    We’re following Luis Arraez’s chase of Aaron Judge for the Rod Carew American League Batting Title on our social media with the Luis Arráez Watch”. Coming into tonight, Arráez had a .313 batting average, with Judge leading the league with .314. The Twins’ infielder saw his average drop to .312 after starting the game going 0-for-2, but he got a single in the fifth. Then, after Ryan Jeffers drew a leadoff walk in the eighth and pinch-runner Billy Hamilton stole second, Arráez got his second hit of the night and drove in Minnesota’s eighth and final run.

    With that hit, Arráez drove his batting average back up to .313, and with Judge going 1-for-4 in the Yankees game against the Blue Jays, the two players are now tied for the AL batting average lead, both sitting at .313. Make sure to check Twins Daily’s Twitter and Instagram daily to get all the updates on the AL Batting Title race, as Arráez can become the first Twin to win the title since Joe Mauer did in 2009.

    Postgame interview

    What’s Next?
    The two division foes close out the series on Thursday afternoon, with the first pitch scheduled for 12:10 pm CDT. Minnesota will try to complete the sweep of the South Siders with Louie Varland (5.06 ERA) on the mound, while Chicago will try to avoid it with Lucas Giolito ( 5.05 ERA) starting. After the game, the Twins get on the road for a six-game road trip, three against the Tigers in Detroit and three more against these same White Sox in Chicago.

    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

      SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT
                 
    Henriquez 0 68 0 0 0 68
    Duran 24 0 0 15 0 39
    Jax 27 0 0 10 0 37
    Megill 0 32 0 0 0 32
    Fulmer 9 0 0 0 22 31
    Thielbar 13 0 0 0 15 28
    López 11 0 0 0 16 27
    Moran 0 6 0 0 12 18
    Pagán 0 0 0 0 0 0
     

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    Loved Judge's homer, still hoping he gets the triple crown.  Sorry Arraez your second half slump was disappointing and I prefer the historic idea of a 60 HR triple crown.  Best since Mantle.  

    This is fine, Wallner is giving us some hope, 

    And now the tension is gone, we are eliminated from the playoffs - thankfully!

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    Winder goes 4.6 innings and gives up 3 runs, gives up 6 hits and his ERA now stands at 4.31. Sonny Gray is ending the year hurt, Maeda hasn't pitched in a year, and Paddack is likely going to miss the entire 2023 season. Yet going into next year, Twins blogs everywhere will write about how solid this rotation is. Boggles the mind. 

     

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    16 minutes ago, bighat said:

    Winder goes 4.6 innings and gives up 3 runs, gives up 6 hits and his ERA now stands at 4.31. Sonny Gray is ending the year hurt, Maeda hasn't pitched in a year, and Paddack is likely going to miss the entire 2023 season. Yet going into next year, Twins blogs everywhere will write about how solid this rotation is. Boggles the mind. 

     

    I guess we should just assume that anyone who is injured will never be healthy and successful ever again?

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    9 minutes ago, jmlease1 said:

    I guess we should just assume that anyone who is injured will never be healthy and successful ever again?

    I know you're joking, but with the Twins, this is actually starting to become the safest bet. This team and its training staff have their work cut out for them to start proving the pessimists wrong.

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    51 minutes ago, mikelink45 said:

    Loved Judge's homer, still hoping he gets the triple crown.  Sorry Arraez your second half slump was disappointing and I prefer the historic idea of a 60 HR triple crown.  Best since Mantle.  

    This is fine, Wallner is giving us some hope, 

    And now the tension is gone, we are eliminated from the playoffs - thankfully!

    Sick Vomit GIF by Originals

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    I had a thought during the game. If Correa does leave after this year, the Twins would likely be looking for a stopgap until Lewis is healthy. A common name that has been brought up is Palacios. I haven't heard anyone mention Nick Gordon. In his rookie year, he posted slightly above average defensive marks at SS, while this year he has been slightly below average, although he has only played there for about 75 innings each year. Obviously you probably won't want Gordon to be your long term solution at SS, but it could help with a roster crunch and be a solution to getting him everyday AB's.

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    8 hours ago, stringer bell said:

    Cave has had a pretty good run since being recalled. I really don't think he has a place on the 2023 Twins, but some team could pick him up as a fourth outfielder.

    Cave will have the same role in 2023 as in 2022 because nobody will pick up his contract, that'd need him. That role is a safety valve in case we have an exhuberance amount of injuries.

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    36 minutes ago, cjm0926 said:

    I had a thought during the game. If Correa does leave after this year, the Twins would likely be looking for a stopgap until Lewis is healthy. A common name that has been brought up is Palacios. I haven't heard anyone mention Nick Gordon. In his rookie year, he posted slightly above average defensive marks at SS, while this year he has been slightly below average, although he has only played there for about 75 innings each year. Obviously you probably won't want Gordon to be your long term solution at SS, but it could help with a roster crunch and be a solution to getting him everyday AB's.

    Gordon hasn't looked comfortable at shortstop. Honestly, I don't think he's looked that good at either second or short, although second base is a far less demanding position. It's all SSS, so I think the eye test and the lack of time in those positions when the season was on the line tell me that Nick's "D" isn't well-regarded.

    Palacios has played sporadically since being recalled when Polanco went on the IL, but he's 0-33. He had a nice year at St. Paul, but his total lack of hitting really makes counting on him a huge gamble. I actually wonder if the Twins will keep him on the 40-man.

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    16 minutes ago, Doctor Gast said:

    Cave will have the same role in 2023 as in 2022 because nobody will pick up his contract, that'd need him. That role is a safety valve in case we have an exhuberance amount of injuries.

    What contract? Cave is up for arbitration this offseason and the Twins could (and I believe should) non-tender him. 

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    4 minutes ago, stringer bell said:

    What contract? Cave is up for arbitration this offseason and the Twins could (and I believe should) non-tender him. 

    My bad. I thought he still had a MiLB contract.

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    We could do much worse than Cave as a 4-5 outfielder. He seems to get a ton of hate from the fan base but considering our injury issues since he has been here, he is filled in often and has had some clutch moments at the plate, considering his power, if the Twins don’t tender him he will get a contract somewhere as a 4th OF type. 

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    These games display both the potential and inexperience of players. We see Gordon swinging for the fences no matter the count or situation but we also see him hit some line drives. We see Winder throw some unhittable sliders but struggle to control his fastball. We see Wallner show improvement on his jumps and swing but also see him lean in too far and take pitches totally in the zone. He has surprised with his speed as well. 

    We can also see the limitations of Miranda in the field even as he continually makes positive adjustments at the plate. Jose needs a couple of thousand repetitions on ground balls to get up to speed.

    Lopez looked really good last night and comfortable. He seemed nervous too often in August and September. 

    The Twins have seven games left and there are opportunities for some players to make a small statement. I'm hoping that Simeon Woods Richardson gets a start but it is very unlikely. Ober and Winder get another shot and Varland gets two starts to learn and display his talents. 

    There is still baseball to be played.

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    27 minutes ago, Macalesterbombasquad said:

    We could do much worse than Cave as a 4-5 outfielder. He seems to get a ton of hate from the fan base but considering our injury issues since he has been here, he is filled in often and has had some clutch moments at the plate, considering his power, if the Twins don’t tender him he will get a contract somewhere as a 4th OF type. 

    Agreed.  I have always liked the Caveman.  He plays all 3 positions more than decently, is easy on the payroll, and has some pop from time to time.  I don't expect a 4th outfielder to hit more than Mauer, just more than Jeffers.  :)  

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    4 minutes ago, terrydactyls said:

    I have a question!!!!

    By what date does Correa have to announce his "opt-out" decision?  Thanks.

    Very good question; I wish I could answer it.  

    I say that because there was an article yesterday about Correa, and how he said once again he would like to stay long term if it could be worked out.  As he put it, he is waiting for them to "pop the question".  He wants to get married to an organization, not just date one.  Yes, his words, not mine.  :)  He wants to stay.  What say you, JP?  

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    19 minutes ago, Macalesterbombasquad said:

    We could do much worse than Cave as a 4-5 outfielder. He seems to get a ton of hate from the fan base but considering our injury issues since he has been here, he is filled in often and has had some clutch moments at the plate, considering his power, if the Twins don’t tender him he will get a contract somewhere as a 4th OF type. 

    He's stretched in CF, is a below average hitter, and hits lefty. He's a bad fit for the Twins for next season, who need RH hitting for the OF to back guys like Kepler (if he stays), Larnach, Kirilloff, Gordon, and Wallner. For guys under contract/control for next season with MLB experience (counting wallner's short stint), Cave is probably the 8th best OF and 6th best lefty. I'm fine with retaining him on another minor league deal as AAA depth, but under no circumstance should he be a contender for a roster spot or tendered a major-league contract. He might be better than Celestino, but Celestino hits RH and definitely has a higher ceiling (while being cheaper).

    Thielbar did a nice job last night and has been a quality pitcher this season. I assume the Twins will try and retain him next year, and he should be a good fit for the middle innings...as long as he doesn't turn into a pumpkin at age 36! :)

    I always love beating the White Sox. Even when the season has fallen apart, beating the White Sox always brings a smile to my face.

    Wallner did a nice job last night, Urshela is absolutely playing like he wants a starting job next year, and Miranda seems to have come out of his slump nicely (10 hits in the last 4 games? Love it).

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    Want to second something jm referred to above.  That is that Urshela is on fire as he closes out a wonderful year.  I don't have a clue what his defensive numbers are, but to my old eyes the kid plays fantastic defense.  All the easy balls are outs along with a lot of really tough plays.  His arm is 100% accurate.

    Add his bat that is closing out the season with very nice numbers and we have an excellent player who I believe is under contract for next year.  He is, isn't he?

    That would put Miranda at first base most of the time next year with Luis filling in at first, second and DH.  Toss in AK as a first baseman/corner outfielder and the Twins have excellent depth at the four corners.

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    2 hours ago, cjm0926 said:

    I had a thought during the game. If Correa does leave after this year, the Twins would likely be looking for a stopgap until Lewis is healthy. A common name that has been brought up is Palacios. I haven't heard anyone mention Nick Gordon. In his rookie year, he posted slightly above average defensive marks at SS, while this year he has been slightly below average, although he has only played there for about 75 innings each year. Obviously you probably won't want Gordon to be your long term solution at SS, but it could help with a roster crunch and be a solution to getting him everyday AB's.

    I completely agree. Palacios is not the answer at SS for even half a season - he can't hit, at all. It's one thing ot have a defensive wiz who hits .225 with no power for half a season but Palacios isn't a defensive wiz and hits .115 with no power. You just can't do that and expect to compete.  

    My view is don't go out and get some veteran retread play Gordon at SS and see if it works. First off, there's nobody out there to get hat's any good who we would sign. Second, Gordon ahs hit well this year and played well, he's earned a shot. Let's give it to him. 

    With all that said, I'd still rather they signed Correa. 

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    59 minutes ago, Mark G said:

    Agreed.  I have always liked the Caveman.  He plays all 3 positions more than decently, is easy on the payroll, and has some pop from time to time.  I don't expect a 4th outfielder to hit more than Mauer, just more than Jeffers.  :)  

    I used to be on this train but just can't stay there with Cave. I'm fine if he has another split contract - I think this year it was 300k when in the minors, 800k in the majors -and he our 6th or 7th OF standing by in AAA.  I think that's the best deal he will get from anybody else. He just doesn't hit well enough to play a corner OF and he doesn't field well enough to  play CF. Also, he'll be in his age 30 season next year so you would expect him to plateau or decline, not get any better than he's shown. 

    Besides, IF we're reasonably healthy we go into spring training with at least 5-6 guys who are already better or have much higher potential - Buxton, Gordon, Larnach, Kepler, Wallner, Kirilloff (don't kid yourself, Arraez and Miranda are the 1Bs next year) and maybe Celestino (not so sure about him). Love Cave's hustle but if he is on the roster at the start of next year we are in big trouble.  I am ok if he is playing every day at AAA available if we have a run of injuries. I would love to be wrong, but i that's really his highest and best use. 

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    2 minutes ago, LA VIkes Fan said:

    I used to be on this train but just can't stay there with Cave. I'm fine if he has another split contract - I think this year it was 300k when in the minors, 800k in the majors -and he our 6th or 7th OF standing by in AAA.  I htink that's the best deal he will get from anybody else. He just doesn't hit well enough to play a corner OF and he doesn't filed well enough to  play CF.

    Besides, IF we're reasonably healthy we go into spring training with at least 5-6 guys who are already better or have much higher potential - Buxton, Gordon, Larnach, Wallner, Kirilloff (don't kid yourself, Arraez and Miranda are the 1Bs next year) even Kepler, and maybe Celestino (not so sure about him). Love Cave's hustle but if he is on the roster at the start of next year we are in big trouble.  I' am ok if he is playing every day at AAA available if we have a run of injuries. That's really his highest and best use. 

    Point well taken.  I do hope he gets that split contract, though.  

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    54 minutes ago, roger said:

    Want to second something jm referred to above.  That is that Urshela is on fire as he closes out a wonderful year.  I don't have a clue what his defensive numbers are, but to my old eyes the kid plays fantastic defense.  All the easy balls are outs along with a lot of really tough plays.  His arm is 100% accurate.

    Add his bat that is closing out the season with very nice numbers and we have an excellent player who I believe is under contract for next year.  He is, isn't he?

    That would put Miranda at first base most of the time next year with Luis filling in at first, second and DH.  Toss in AK as a first baseman/corner outfielder and the Twins have excellent depth at the four corners.

    Boy, it is nice to see another appreciating Urshela.  I have loved him from the beginning, and I really hope they stay with him next year and maybe beyond.  He has another year of arbitration left, so we have the option, but I think it will be contingent on signing Correa.  If we do, we would probably cut payroll in other areas, Urshela being one of the cuts, but I sure hope we keep him.  

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    52 minutes ago, roger said:

    Want to second something jm referred to above.  That is that Urshela is on fire as he closes out a wonderful year.  I don't have a clue what his defensive numbers are, but to my old eyes the kid plays fantastic defense.  All the easy balls are outs along with a lot of really tough plays.  His arm is 100% accurate.

    Add his bat that is closing out the season with very nice numbers and we have an excellent player who I believe is under contract for next year.  He is, isn't he?

    That would put Miranda at first base most of the time next year with Luis filling in at first, second and DH.  Toss in AK as a first baseman/corner outfielder and the Twins have excellent depth at the four corners.

    Agreed, except I think Kirilloff is much more of a crapshoot since we have no idea how he will come back from the major surgery he just had. i would add Larnach to the mix, again assuming he comes back from his injury, and we are pretty strong in the 4 corners. I wasn't a big fan of Urshela to start with but he has grown on me plus he hits RH, soemthing we desperately need. I'd be fine with him starting at 3B next year and hitting no higher than #6 or #7 but ONLY if we an work things out so that Miranda, Arraez, Gordon, Kirilloff, and Larnach are all getting 500 plus ABs. I think that's doable if Miranda mans 1B most of the time, Gordon, Larnach and Kirilloff man the two corner OFs and half time DH, with Gordon the backup CF, and Arraez plays 40 games at 1B, 25 at 2B, 50-60 at DH, and another 15-20 at 3B. It's tight and frankly a little too LH in the batter's box but it works. We could also create room if Correa doesn't come back and Gordon plays SSS but I would much rather have Correa. 

    I kind of think with the roster set up the way it is it's kind of a choose 2 of 3 but not all 3 choice between keeping Kepler in RF, keeping Urshela at 3B, or playing Larnach, Kirilloff, Gordon and Miranda at least semi-regularly. You cannot do all 3 of those things.  My view would be to trade Kepler given his age and poor bat.  Others may disagree but I would love to hear how you can accomplish all three of those things within the roster.    

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    3 hours ago, Doctor Gast said:

    Always love a win. I'm 100% behind Arraez winning the batting title. I don't care if anyone would hate him for begrudging Judge of it.

    It's not an opinion contest. If you want the batting title you need hits.

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    1 hour ago, Mark G said:

    Very good question; I wish I could answer it.  

    I say that because there was an article yesterday about Correa, and how he said once again he would like to stay long term if it could be worked out.  As he put it, he is waiting for them to "pop the question".  He wants to get married to an organization, not just date one.  Yes, his words, not mine.  :)  He wants to stay.  What say you, JP?  

    Translation: "I would love to stay with the Twins if they offered me a bloated long-term (7+ year) contract worth north of 250 mil that other teams didn't offer me last off season and likely will not offer after this season because of the glut of SS options and my performance in all but one of the months". 

    Twins should respond: "We are more than happy to have you back if you choose to come back for 35 million next year. But, if you find another team willing to pay you hundreds of millions for 7 or more years, good luck to you!"

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