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  1. Dylan Bundy and the Twins seemed to gather themselves for the Saturday game, getting ahead of Arizona in the third inning and keeping the momentum going throughout the game. Box Score SP: Dylan Bundy: 8 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K (107 pitches, 74 strikes (69%)) Home Runs: Gary Sanchez (8), Ryan Jeffers (5) Top 3 WPA: Dylan Bundy (.137), Luis Arraez (.108), Alex Kiriloff (.106) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) The game started out a little slow, a battle of the pitching in which Bundy was very solid for eight innings. Nick Gordon and Luis Arraez got on base to start the third inning followed by an RBI Single when Carlos Correa poked a ball into right field,. Max Kepler, who was 0-for-1 to start the night, followed Correa to the plate and hit the ball into the gap, scoring Arraez on an RBI double. The third inning was exciting to say the least as the players continued to carry the momentum, Alex Kirilloff worked a 3-2 count and ripped a ball into right field scoring both Correa and Kepler on a beautiful double. Gary Sanchez joined in on the fun as he hit his eighth home run, giving the Twins a 6-0 lead as pitcher Luke Weaver struggled throwing 52 pitches in the first three innings, most of those in the third. Bundy looked the best he has all season with finding the strike zone, keeping the pitch count low, and moving quickly through each inning with three-up three-down until the fourth when Alek Thomas got on first base, breaking up Bundy's no-hitter. Bundy struggled to get through the end of the inning but managed to get out of it without anyone coming home. Bundy only allowed one run in his eight innings. His impressive mound appearance allowed the Twins to capitalize on offensive opportunities. Bundy going eight innings shows that Manager Rocco Baldelli certainly wants to see his pitching staff go as long as they can, and that Wes Johnson is getting them there. Bundy had outstanding command and control. The Twins have a long two weeks against division rivals Cleveland Guardians and Chicago White Sox, so preserving the bullpen can prove very important. Bundy left the game with his fourth win of the season, his best outing of the season, and his 50th career win. He truly looked great. The Diamondbacks left Weaver in to start the fourth inning and the Twins lineup for the third time. The Twins took advantage of every ball over the plate and blew open the lead 9-0 before Weaver was pulled from the game and replaced by Arizona’s Joe Smith. With the exception of Sanchez and Jeffers home runs, the rest of the Twins hits were all singles and doubles. The Twins three seasons ago were known for hitting “bombas” all over the parks and small ball was not even a thought. This season, there seems to be almost a focus on getting the bat on the ball and putting it into play and it’s worked out for them more than it hasn’t. Their dominant offense tonight allowed Gilbert Celestino to replace Arraez in the fifth inning, giving the All-Star a chance to rest. The Twins were up 9-0 and there was no need to leave Arraez in against a lefty when Celestino could get some at-bats in and improve. Gordon moved up to cover second base and Celestino took over in centerfield. Trevor Larnach broke up his small slump of going 0-for-17 in his last few appearances and the best feelings of the night: Ryan Jeffers, who has been struggling at the plate, hit a fantastic home run into left field to start out the seventh inning. Jeffers was the only Twin tonight in the starting lineup without a hit before his two-run homer. Even if Jeffers is struggling at the plate, he is certainly not struggling behind it. Dick Bremer mentioned during the broadcast that this is the 21st game for the Twins where they have had two or fewer runs and of those 21, Jeffers caught 15 of those games. The Twins offense and defense were both on fire. They kept the same energy all the way through the ninth inning for reliever Jharel Cotton. Correa showed off his defensive moves as Alek Thomas hit a line drive to the shortstop, who spun his body around with a solid throw to first base getting the out, A fly ball to Larnach ended the game. The energy of the team was constant all night long, ending in a Twins win. What’s Next? The Twins finish out their series this weekend with Arizona and the west coast tour. Pitching matchups for the series finale: Sunday 1:05: Chris Archer (1-2, 3.35 ERA) vs RHP Merrill Kelly (5-4, 3.68 ERA) Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet View full article
  2. Box Score SP: Dylan Bundy: 8 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K (107 pitches, 74 strikes (69%)) Home Runs: Gary Sanchez (8), Ryan Jeffers (5) Top 3 WPA: Dylan Bundy (.137), Luis Arraez (.108), Alex Kiriloff (.106) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) The game started out a little slow, a battle of the pitching in which Bundy was very solid for eight innings. Nick Gordon and Luis Arraez got on base to start the third inning followed by an RBI Single when Carlos Correa poked a ball into right field,. Max Kepler, who was 0-for-1 to start the night, followed Correa to the plate and hit the ball into the gap, scoring Arraez on an RBI double. The third inning was exciting to say the least as the players continued to carry the momentum, Alex Kirilloff worked a 3-2 count and ripped a ball into right field scoring both Correa and Kepler on a beautiful double. Gary Sanchez joined in on the fun as he hit his eighth home run, giving the Twins a 6-0 lead as pitcher Luke Weaver struggled throwing 52 pitches in the first three innings, most of those in the third. Bundy looked the best he has all season with finding the strike zone, keeping the pitch count low, and moving quickly through each inning with three-up three-down until the fourth when Alek Thomas got on first base, breaking up Bundy's no-hitter. Bundy struggled to get through the end of the inning but managed to get out of it without anyone coming home. Bundy only allowed one run in his eight innings. His impressive mound appearance allowed the Twins to capitalize on offensive opportunities. Bundy going eight innings shows that Manager Rocco Baldelli certainly wants to see his pitching staff go as long as they can, and that Wes Johnson is getting them there. Bundy had outstanding command and control. The Twins have a long two weeks against division rivals Cleveland Guardians and Chicago White Sox, so preserving the bullpen can prove very important. Bundy left the game with his fourth win of the season, his best outing of the season, and his 50th career win. He truly looked great. The Diamondbacks left Weaver in to start the fourth inning and the Twins lineup for the third time. The Twins took advantage of every ball over the plate and blew open the lead 9-0 before Weaver was pulled from the game and replaced by Arizona’s Joe Smith. With the exception of Sanchez and Jeffers home runs, the rest of the Twins hits were all singles and doubles. The Twins three seasons ago were known for hitting “bombas” all over the parks and small ball was not even a thought. This season, there seems to be almost a focus on getting the bat on the ball and putting it into play and it’s worked out for them more than it hasn’t. Their dominant offense tonight allowed Gilbert Celestino to replace Arraez in the fifth inning, giving the All-Star a chance to rest. The Twins were up 9-0 and there was no need to leave Arraez in against a lefty when Celestino could get some at-bats in and improve. Gordon moved up to cover second base and Celestino took over in centerfield. Trevor Larnach broke up his small slump of going 0-for-17 in his last few appearances and the best feelings of the night: Ryan Jeffers, who has been struggling at the plate, hit a fantastic home run into left field to start out the seventh inning. Jeffers was the only Twin tonight in the starting lineup without a hit before his two-run homer. Even if Jeffers is struggling at the plate, he is certainly not struggling behind it. Dick Bremer mentioned during the broadcast that this is the 21st game for the Twins where they have had two or fewer runs and of those 21, Jeffers caught 15 of those games. The Twins offense and defense were both on fire. They kept the same energy all the way through the ninth inning for reliever Jharel Cotton. Correa showed off his defensive moves as Alek Thomas hit a line drive to the shortstop, who spun his body around with a solid throw to first base getting the out, A fly ball to Larnach ended the game. The energy of the team was constant all night long, ending in a Twins win. What’s Next? The Twins finish out their series this weekend with Arizona and the west coast tour. Pitching matchups for the series finale: Sunday 1:05: Chris Archer (1-2, 3.35 ERA) vs RHP Merrill Kelly (5-4, 3.68 ERA) Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
  3. Nice article. I would consider a trade Bednar & Stratton of the pirates as both ground ball pitchers with good stats, ages 29-27, reasonable priced with controllable years on contracts. A true rental pitcher is Pirates Quintanna, age 33 go stats and reasonable salary of $2m for 1 year.It would probably take something prospects like Martin, Sands, Steer, Strotsman.

    Another trade with the “A”  Blackman & Traveno.

    A trade with Cincinnati for Mahle who more reasonable than Castillo or Montas of the “A” would be fine. The Padres have several rental pitchers that could pitch but you never know what the Padres will do. The “Debacks, Orioles, Rays, Red Sox have potential, Milwaukee seems to make an unexpected trade.

  4. Thursday night, we watched as the Twins imploded late in the game against the Yankees. The depleted pitching staff struggled to keep the Yankees off the board and ultimately cost the Twins a win. The offense is on a trajectory for postseason action, but the pitching rotation and bullpen aren't even close. With the trade deadline coming in just under two months, the Twins need to capitalize on trades for available starting and back-end bullpen help. With several recent graduations, the Twins’ farm system is middle of the pack in the league. Sitting at 15 on Bleacher Report’s organizational, the Twins' depth has three top 100 players and more with the capability to get there. The Twins have acquired a lot of talent through the draft but also in some quality trades. Last year's Jose Berrios trade with the Blue Jays left many in the Twins community unhappy. He was an All-Star caliber pitcher for the Twins, the best one they had at the time. Berrios pitched one of his best games against the Twins last week reminding fans how much his arm is missed. At that time, many fans thought that was the most painful trade and left a sinking hole in people's hearts, but not as much as the trade with Tampa sending the fan and clubhouse favorite Nelson Cruz to the Rays. Those trades brought pitchers Joe Ryan, Drew Strotman, and Simeon Woods Richardson, as well as consensus Top 100 prospect, Austin Martin. To this point, only Joe Ryan has made a significant impact on the big-league club and bolstered them to where they are now. The Twins have an above .500 record, first place in the division, and three games ahead of the second-place Guardians. If it weren't for the trades, the team may not be stacked like it is. The only place the Twins seem to be struggling is the pitching, which is a nice change for the club, which seemed to struggle in all aspects of the game last year. This season though, it’s starting rotation has taken a huge hit. Even with the extra few roster spots and time to stretch out, we have seen several pitchers lose time due to injury. Josh Winder is out with a shoulder impingement, Sonny Gray is on the IL with a pectoral strain after making a comeback from a previous trip to the IL with a leg injury. Bailey Ober is back on the IL with the groin injury that cost him three weeks earlier this season. Joe Ryan is rehabbing after missing time on the COVID-IL. Chris Paddack had Tommy John surgery last month, and Cody Stashak needs season-ending biceps/shoulder surgery. Even if they get healthy, having another starting pitcher makes all the sense. At the end of the lockout, the Twins started by making some strong trades to bolster their roster, but at the end of all of the amazing acquisitions, the fan base was left wondering one question: "Where Frankie?” Frankie Montas, the right-handed starter from Oakland, is still there, beefing up his trade value and becoming one of the most significant assets at the trade deadline. To make this deal, the Twins would have to give the A's several players that would bolster their talent base and, hopefully, their fan base. Last week, Montas had a strong appearance, a win against the Astros, something the Twins lacked early on in the season. Montas has been doing his work to keep his trade value up. He has posted a 3.20 ERA and a 0.99 WHiP in his 64 2/3 innings entering Friday, striking out 71 batters with 15 walks. The Athletics know that he is a substantial piece of everyone's puzzle and will be looking for the best trade pieces to deal him. The A's spent the offseason cutting payroll, again. They traded Matt Chapman to the Blue Jays, Matt Olson to Atlanta, and Sean Manaea to the Padres. First-year manager Mark Kotsay has done a nice job working with the team in what is clearly a rebuilding phase. They acquired a lot of talent for those players, and will expect a ton in return for Montas. Keeping in mind that the Twins also need to acquire at least two relief pitchers without giving away the farm for Montas, the best trade pieces for the right-hander are Alex Kirilloff, José Miranda and Jovani Moran. Kirilloff and Miranda have quickly settled into the majors. Kirilloff struggled at the beginning of the season with an injury, but the outfielder has been cleaning up in St. Paul. He could be a home run hitter for the West Coast team. He has a good trade value. With all the depth in the Minnesota outfield with players like Trevor Larnach, Kyle Garlick, Gilberto Celestino, Nick Gordon, and Max Kepler, to name a few. Miranda, who looked a little shaky early in his big-league time, has grown into his swing. The corner infielder has been a surprising member of the home run club that the Twins have this season, and while it's not all the time, his batting certainly has come in clutch several times. Because the Athletics are struggling this season with pitching, giving them a player like Jovani Moran would give them another arm to fall back on. While The Twins are seemingly struggling with their bullpen, the pitchers there, given the ability to rest, can be effective for the team. Moran has a low ERA, and 13 strikeouts in his eight innings pitched. He hasn't been a massive contributor to the Twins’ bullpen and could easily be part of a package deal. Adding one more starting pitcher to the rotation, along with getting their starters healthy, would be good for the Twins. Another option might come from Cincinnati, like Sonny Gray did. Or, maybe both? Tyler Mahle has had a tough season for the Reds. He is 2-5 with a 5.07 ERA in 13 starts. The starting pitcher has not impacted the Reds' losses or wins, and they are several years from competing, so Mahle (and Luis Castillo) should be available. The Twins could easily trade for Montas and Mahle and still have a solid chance at making the postseason. Mahle has gone strong in six innings in his most recent appearances with a .193 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 18 innings. Most of the Twins pitching staff are just now working up to pitching six innings, Chris Archer just recently pitched five. While the trade with the Reds would not be as costly as the trade with the Athletics, Mahle would still carry a high enough price that Twins fans would have to understand another significant asset from the organization would be a part of a trade. Austin Martin is a great piece to make a trade. When acquired in the trade of Berríos, Martin was a top prospect and looked promising coming into the organization. Since arriving at the Twins, however, Martin’s trade value has declined some as his power has not yet developed in-game. He is not a bad player and is hitting .244 with a .366 OBP at Double-A Wichita. Like Gary Sánchez, a change of scenery may do him well. The Twins have plenty of depth at shortstop and can afford to part with Martin as part of a package deal with Noah Miller. Noah Miller, a shortstop with the Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels, was a 2021 draftee in the first round (36th overall) from Ozaukee High School in Fredonia, Wisconsin. With a similar batting average to Martin, and since the Twins have Carlos Correa and Jermaine Palacios and hopefully Royce Lewis, who suffered a season-ending ACL tear will bounce back and get healthy. There wouldn't be any logistical reasoning to keep Miller and Martin as players in the system. Making these two pitching acquisitions would allow the Twins to bring on at least one or two more bullpen acquisitions or give a player like Jharel Cotton more growth opportunities. The bullpen would be more successful with a solid, healthy starting rotation. Forcing the bullpen to pitch as much as they have will end their season sooner than fans and the team want. With the offense as solid as it is, the organization and the fans deserve pitching that is just as solid. Everyone is looking at Mahle and Montas, so the Twins and the fans need to be ready to wheel and deal. What do you think the Twins should do about pitching? Are you willing to trade your favorite player? Who are other pitchers you think the Twins should look at getting before the deadline? View full article
  5. With several recent graduations, the Twins’ farm system is middle of the pack in the league. Sitting at 15 on Bleacher Report’s organizational, the Twins' depth has three top 100 players and more with the capability to get there. The Twins have acquired a lot of talent through the draft but also in some quality trades. Last year's Jose Berrios trade with the Blue Jays left many in the Twins community unhappy. He was an All-Star caliber pitcher for the Twins, the best one they had at the time. Berrios pitched one of his best games against the Twins last week reminding fans how much his arm is missed. At that time, many fans thought that was the most painful trade and left a sinking hole in people's hearts, but not as much as the trade with Tampa sending the fan and clubhouse favorite Nelson Cruz to the Rays. Those trades brought pitchers Joe Ryan, Drew Strotman, and Simeon Woods Richardson, as well as consensus Top 100 prospect, Austin Martin. To this point, only Joe Ryan has made a significant impact on the big-league club and bolstered them to where they are now. The Twins have an above .500 record, first place in the division, and three games ahead of the second-place Guardians. If it weren't for the trades, the team may not be stacked like it is. The only place the Twins seem to be struggling is the pitching, which is a nice change for the club, which seemed to struggle in all aspects of the game last year. This season though, it’s starting rotation has taken a huge hit. Even with the extra few roster spots and time to stretch out, we have seen several pitchers lose time due to injury. Josh Winder is out with a shoulder impingement, Sonny Gray is on the IL with a pectoral strain after making a comeback from a previous trip to the IL with a leg injury. Bailey Ober is back on the IL with the groin injury that cost him three weeks earlier this season. Joe Ryan is rehabbing after missing time on the COVID-IL. Chris Paddack had Tommy John surgery last month, and Cody Stashak needs season-ending biceps/shoulder surgery. Even if they get healthy, having another starting pitcher makes all the sense. At the end of the lockout, the Twins started by making some strong trades to bolster their roster, but at the end of all of the amazing acquisitions, the fan base was left wondering one question: "Where Frankie?” Frankie Montas, the right-handed starter from Oakland, is still there, beefing up his trade value and becoming one of the most significant assets at the trade deadline. To make this deal, the Twins would have to give the A's several players that would bolster their talent base and, hopefully, their fan base. Last week, Montas had a strong appearance, a win against the Astros, something the Twins lacked early on in the season. Montas has been doing his work to keep his trade value up. He has posted a 3.20 ERA and a 0.99 WHiP in his 64 2/3 innings entering Friday, striking out 71 batters with 15 walks. The Athletics know that he is a substantial piece of everyone's puzzle and will be looking for the best trade pieces to deal him. The A's spent the offseason cutting payroll, again. They traded Matt Chapman to the Blue Jays, Matt Olson to Atlanta, and Sean Manaea to the Padres. First-year manager Mark Kotsay has done a nice job working with the team in what is clearly a rebuilding phase. They acquired a lot of talent for those players, and will expect a ton in return for Montas. Keeping in mind that the Twins also need to acquire at least two relief pitchers without giving away the farm for Montas, the best trade pieces for the right-hander are Alex Kirilloff, José Miranda and Jovani Moran. Kirilloff and Miranda have quickly settled into the majors. Kirilloff struggled at the beginning of the season with an injury, but the outfielder has been cleaning up in St. Paul. He could be a home run hitter for the West Coast team. He has a good trade value. With all the depth in the Minnesota outfield with players like Trevor Larnach, Kyle Garlick, Gilberto Celestino, Nick Gordon, and Max Kepler, to name a few. Miranda, who looked a little shaky early in his big-league time, has grown into his swing. The corner infielder has been a surprising member of the home run club that the Twins have this season, and while it's not all the time, his batting certainly has come in clutch several times. Because the Athletics are struggling this season with pitching, giving them a player like Jovani Moran would give them another arm to fall back on. While The Twins are seemingly struggling with their bullpen, the pitchers there, given the ability to rest, can be effective for the team. Moran has a low ERA, and 13 strikeouts in his eight innings pitched. He hasn't been a massive contributor to the Twins’ bullpen and could easily be part of a package deal. Adding one more starting pitcher to the rotation, along with getting their starters healthy, would be good for the Twins. Another option might come from Cincinnati, like Sonny Gray did. Or, maybe both? Tyler Mahle has had a tough season for the Reds. He is 2-5 with a 5.07 ERA in 13 starts. The starting pitcher has not impacted the Reds' losses or wins, and they are several years from competing, so Mahle (and Luis Castillo) should be available. The Twins could easily trade for Montas and Mahle and still have a solid chance at making the postseason. Mahle has gone strong in six innings in his most recent appearances with a .193 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 18 innings. Most of the Twins pitching staff are just now working up to pitching six innings, Chris Archer just recently pitched five. While the trade with the Reds would not be as costly as the trade with the Athletics, Mahle would still carry a high enough price that Twins fans would have to understand another significant asset from the organization would be a part of a trade. Austin Martin is a great piece to make a trade. When acquired in the trade of Berríos, Martin was a top prospect and looked promising coming into the organization. Since arriving at the Twins, however, Martin’s trade value has declined some as his power has not yet developed in-game. He is not a bad player and is hitting .244 with a .366 OBP at Double-A Wichita. Like Gary Sánchez, a change of scenery may do him well. The Twins have plenty of depth at shortstop and can afford to part with Martin as part of a package deal with Noah Miller. Noah Miller, a shortstop with the Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels, was a 2021 draftee in the first round (36th overall) from Ozaukee High School in Fredonia, Wisconsin. With a similar batting average to Martin, and since the Twins have Carlos Correa and Jermaine Palacios and hopefully Royce Lewis, who suffered a season-ending ACL tear will bounce back and get healthy. There wouldn't be any logistical reasoning to keep Miller and Martin as players in the system. Making these two pitching acquisitions would allow the Twins to bring on at least one or two more bullpen acquisitions or give a player like Jharel Cotton more growth opportunities. The bullpen would be more successful with a solid, healthy starting rotation. Forcing the bullpen to pitch as much as they have will end their season sooner than fans and the team want. With the offense as solid as it is, the organization and the fans deserve pitching that is just as solid. Everyone is looking at Mahle and Montas, so the Twins and the fans need to be ready to wheel and deal. What do you think the Twins should do about pitching? Are you willing to trade your favorite player? Who are other pitchers you think the Twins should look at getting before the deadline?
  6. Box Score SP: Chi Chi Gonzalez: 4 IP, 8 H, 3R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (67 pitches, 46 strikes (68.6%)) Home Runs: Luis Arraez (Grand Slam) (3), Top 3 WPA: Luis Arraez (.265), Jorge Polanco (.133), Jhoan Duran (.117) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) The Rays wasted no time getting ahead of Chi Chi Gonzalez and the Twins with three runs in the first inning. . Gonzalez on Friday triggered a minor-league opt-out with the Twins forcing their hand to decide if they will keep the pitcher on the Major League roster or release him. Gonzalez has only one game in the Majors with the Twins, against the Blue Jays where he allowed three runs in three innings before being pulled. The Twins won that game 9-3. Gonzalez got out of the subsequent innings in a quick 1, 2, 3 fashion not allowing more runs during his four complete innings in the game before turning it over to the Bullpen at the top of the fifth. Where the Twins were not getting hits initially in the game, they capitalized on the Rays' mistakes. In the second inning, Kevin Keirmaier slid past second base followed by Randy Arozarena the next inning who got picked off at first base after attempting to take second base during a fly-out from Ji-Man Choi. Gonzalez settled down and settled into a rhythm to continue the game. The lineup for the game was something that felt a little like spring training. Carlos Correa and Byron Buxton were resting today giving the Twins game a small-ball feel as they started piecing runs together in the third inning. First, Gilberto Celestino got on first base. He took advantage of a wild pitch advancing to second base, while Gordon and Jeffers were walked as Baz struggled to maintain control of the strike zone, bringing up Arraez to bat and hitting a 403-foot grand slam, his first-ever, into the right-field seats to give the Twins a 4-3 lead. Arraez raised his batting average up to .369 after his hit in the sixth inning, going 3-for-5 on the day. As odd as the lineup seemed, it worked. Audra Martin shared on the broadcast that during an interview with Rocco Baldelli before the game about resting both Carlos Correa and Byron Buxton on the same day. The Rays had used six pitchers by the sixth inning and the Twins took advantage of the rotating door of pitchers. Aside from Luis Arraez, Gilbert Celestino, Jorge Polanco and Ryan Jeffers had strong days at the plate. All three players were crucial in the success of today's outcome as they took turns bringing each other home in the third and sixth innings. Jeffers recently broke out of a 0-21 slump in the series against the Yankees and has continued to make contact with every at-bat. The Rays made an attempt to come back, but the Twins bullpen was on fire and managed to keep the Rays from garnering any more runs. Do you think the Twins should keep Chi Chi Gonzalez, or DFA him and put the decision back in the veteran's hands? Well, they quickly made their decision. Minutes after the game, it was announced. What’s Next? The Twins finish out their series with Tampa Bay before another series with the Mariners. Pitching matchups for Sunday: 1:05: Cole Sands (0-2, 8.49 ERA) vs LHP Jeffrey Springs (2-2, 1.62 ERA) Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
  7. No Buxton. No Correa. No Urshela. But Luis Arraez, the best hitter right now in baseball, was still in the lineup and provided the power. Chi Chi Gonzalez was promoted for his second start of the season, it was likely to be a bullpen-heavy game. The Twins faced Shane Baz, making his first start of the season after being on the IL all season. Box Score SP: Chi Chi Gonzalez: 4 IP, 8 H, 3R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (67 pitches, 46 strikes (68.6%)) Home Runs: Luis Arraez (Grand Slam) (3), Top 3 WPA: Luis Arraez (.265), Jorge Polanco (.133), Jhoan Duran (.117) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) The Rays wasted no time getting ahead of Chi Chi Gonzalez and the Twins with three runs in the first inning. . Gonzalez on Friday triggered a minor-league opt-out with the Twins forcing their hand to decide if they will keep the pitcher on the Major League roster or release him. Gonzalez has only one game in the Majors with the Twins, against the Blue Jays where he allowed three runs in three innings before being pulled. The Twins won that game 9-3. Gonzalez got out of the subsequent innings in a quick 1, 2, 3 fashion not allowing more runs during his four complete innings in the game before turning it over to the Bullpen at the top of the fifth. Where the Twins were not getting hits initially in the game, they capitalized on the Rays' mistakes. In the second inning, Kevin Keirmaier slid past second base followed by Randy Arozarena the next inning who got picked off at first base after attempting to take second base during a fly-out from Ji-Man Choi. Gonzalez settled down and settled into a rhythm to continue the game. The lineup for the game was something that felt a little like spring training. Carlos Correa and Byron Buxton were resting today giving the Twins game a small-ball feel as they started piecing runs together in the third inning. First, Gilberto Celestino got on first base. He took advantage of a wild pitch advancing to second base, while Gordon and Jeffers were walked as Baz struggled to maintain control of the strike zone, bringing up Arraez to bat and hitting a 403-foot grand slam, his first-ever, into the right-field seats to give the Twins a 4-3 lead. Arraez raised his batting average up to .369 after his hit in the sixth inning, going 3-for-5 on the day. As odd as the lineup seemed, it worked. Audra Martin shared on the broadcast that during an interview with Rocco Baldelli before the game about resting both Carlos Correa and Byron Buxton on the same day. The Rays had used six pitchers by the sixth inning and the Twins took advantage of the rotating door of pitchers. Aside from Luis Arraez, Gilbert Celestino, Jorge Polanco and Ryan Jeffers had strong days at the plate. All three players were crucial in the success of today's outcome as they took turns bringing each other home in the third and sixth innings. Jeffers recently broke out of a 0-21 slump in the series against the Yankees and has continued to make contact with every at-bat. The Rays made an attempt to come back, but the Twins bullpen was on fire and managed to keep the Rays from garnering any more runs. Do you think the Twins should keep Chi Chi Gonzalez, or DFA him and put the decision back in the veteran's hands? Well, they quickly made their decision. Minutes after the game, it was announced. What’s Next? The Twins finish out their series with Tampa Bay before another series with the Mariners. Pitching matchups for Sunday: 1:05: Cole Sands (0-2, 8.49 ERA) vs LHP Jeffrey Springs (2-2, 1.62 ERA) Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet View full article
  8. Box Score SP:Chris Archer 4 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K (78 pitches, 50 strikes (64.1%)) Home Runs: Trevor Larnach (2) Top 3 WPA: Trevor Larnach (.153), Ryan Jeffers (.104), Byron Buxton (.08) Bottom 3 WPA: Chris Archer (-.334), Jorge Polanco (-.109), Gio Urshela (-.103) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) He Was Inverted Chris Archer started out the first inning by attacking the strike zone and the Royals took advantage of that and got the first run of the game. Archer’s control has continued to trend upward as he settles into the club. Archer, who has been limited on innings because of having no spring training and pitching very little overall the past two seasons, has really continued to improve as he’s stretched out. He had an ERA of 3.86 prior to today’s game, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Archer has kept his pitching consistent with each performance and the only thing hurting his ERA up until now is his only registered loss, which came against Houston, but all of the Twins' pitchers struggled that series. Archer has not been allowed to go past four innings all season and today we saw why. By the fourth inning, Archer seemed to lose a little of the command he had in the second and third innings and gave up a run before Wes Johnson made a visit to the mound. After the visit, Archer gave up another two runs before getting the third out which was the 28th pitch of the inning. A Jorge Polanco error could have been the third out. Instead, it was followed by a two-run double. Dick Bremer and LaTroy Hawkins both talked about how Twins manager Rocco Baldelli has been taking his time with the RHP who has spent a lot of time in the past three years injured and only pitched 19 ¾ innings last season. As much as Archer wants to go out and bring the heat full send, the plan that Rocco has him on to help him stretch out and work on his command has proven that not only does Baldelli know what his team needs, but what it is going to take to be competitive. "Remember, Boys, no points for Second Place" The Twins may have lost the game, but they still have the chance to tie the series on Sunday. The first hit of the game looked promising as Byron Buxton ran out a double with his first at-bat of the day as he poked a ball out to right field. Frustratingly Luis Arraez and Carlos Correa left him stranded, but Trevor Larnach answered the Royals with a home run deep to center field. Larnach has had two home runs for the season, both within the past two series and since returning from the IL. It seemed like every time there was a glimmer of hope, there was a sigh of frustration. The Twins have only started out behind in 17 of the 46 games they have played so far this season. In the other 29 games, they scored first and in 24 of those, they won. The Twins certainly did have quiet bats Saturday against Kansas City’s pitchers. There have been a lot of moves lately with injuries, COVID and giving players rest. Baldelli mentioned prior to the game today that even with all the moves lately, the guys continue to stay ready, work hard and show up when they need to. A lot of the guys have not had much rest so far this season. Max Kepler, who has been amazing this season both in the field and at the plate, seemed to gingerly run to first base and left the game with right leg tightness. Kyle Garlick came in for Kepler. While the bats seemed to pick up a small amount in the sixth inning with a hit from Arraez and Garlick following up with a single advancing Arraez to third, the Royals pulled Brady Singer to preserve their lead. Larnach continued to battle at every at-bat and drew a walk against pitcher Dylan Coleman, helping to load the bases for Ryan Jeffers, who came in for Gary Sanchez, who left the game with a heat-related illness in between innings. Jeffers wasted no time in helping get the guys back on the board and hit a line drive up the middle scoring Arraez and Garlick before ending the inning bringing the Twins to only a two-run deficit with plenty of game left. The Twins looked like they were making a comeback in the ninth inning with Luis Arraez getting his third hit of the day, followed by Correa getting on base. Polanco came up to bat, hitless the entire game made Josh Staumont work his count, and drew a walk bringing Garlick up to hit with bases loaded and two outs and the fans to their feet. Garlick hit a beautiful fly ball to centerfield but was just short, ending the game 7-3. What’s Next? The Twins finish out their series with the Royals tomorrow at 1:10pm before flying off to play in Detroit. Pitching matchup tomorrow: Sunday 1:10 pm CST: Sonny Gray (21-1, 2.60 ERA) vs RHP Zack Grienke (0-3, 4.53 ERA) Postgame Interviews Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet TUE WED THU FRI SAT TOT Minaya 41 0 0 0 31 72 Moran 31 0 0 0 34 65 Duffey 12 0 31 0 20 63 Megill 0 8 0 26 0 34 Duran 14 0 0 19 0 33 Thielbar 0 30 0 1 0 31 Pagán 0 21 0 3 0 24 Jax 0 23 0 0 0 23 Smith 0 3 0 18 0 21
  9. Top Gun Day at Target field brought a need for speed, and a win, but the Royals got on the board early, while the Twins struggled to find a rhythm. Box Score SP:Chris Archer 4 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K (78 pitches, 50 strikes (64.1%)) Home Runs: Trevor Larnach (2) Top 3 WPA: Trevor Larnach (.153), Ryan Jeffers (.104), Byron Buxton (.08) Bottom 3 WPA: Chris Archer (-.334), Jorge Polanco (-.109), Gio Urshela (-.103) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) He Was Inverted Chris Archer started out the first inning by attacking the strike zone and the Royals took advantage of that and got the first run of the game. Archer’s control has continued to trend upward as he settles into the club. Archer, who has been limited on innings because of having no spring training and pitching very little overall the past two seasons, has really continued to improve as he’s stretched out. He had an ERA of 3.86 prior to today’s game, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Archer has kept his pitching consistent with each performance and the only thing hurting his ERA up until now is his only registered loss, which came against Houston, but all of the Twins' pitchers struggled that series. Archer has not been allowed to go past four innings all season and today we saw why. By the fourth inning, Archer seemed to lose a little of the command he had in the second and third innings and gave up a run before Wes Johnson made a visit to the mound. After the visit, Archer gave up another two runs before getting the third out which was the 28th pitch of the inning. A Jorge Polanco error could have been the third out. Instead, it was followed by a two-run double. Dick Bremer and LaTroy Hawkins both talked about how Twins manager Rocco Baldelli has been taking his time with the RHP who has spent a lot of time in the past three years injured and only pitched 19 ¾ innings last season. As much as Archer wants to go out and bring the heat full send, the plan that Rocco has him on to help him stretch out and work on his command has proven that not only does Baldelli know what his team needs, but what it is going to take to be competitive. "Remember, Boys, no points for Second Place" The Twins may have lost the game, but they still have the chance to tie the series on Sunday. The first hit of the game looked promising as Byron Buxton ran out a double with his first at-bat of the day as he poked a ball out to right field. Frustratingly Luis Arraez and Carlos Correa left him stranded, but Trevor Larnach answered the Royals with a home run deep to center field. Larnach has had two home runs for the season, both within the past two series and since returning from the IL. It seemed like every time there was a glimmer of hope, there was a sigh of frustration. The Twins have only started out behind in 17 of the 46 games they have played so far this season. In the other 29 games, they scored first and in 24 of those, they won. The Twins certainly did have quiet bats Saturday against Kansas City’s pitchers. There have been a lot of moves lately with injuries, COVID and giving players rest. Baldelli mentioned prior to the game today that even with all the moves lately, the guys continue to stay ready, work hard and show up when they need to. A lot of the guys have not had much rest so far this season. Max Kepler, who has been amazing this season both in the field and at the plate, seemed to gingerly run to first base and left the game with right leg tightness. Kyle Garlick came in for Kepler. While the bats seemed to pick up a small amount in the sixth inning with a hit from Arraez and Garlick following up with a single advancing Arraez to third, the Royals pulled Brady Singer to preserve their lead. Larnach continued to battle at every at-bat and drew a walk against pitcher Dylan Coleman, helping to load the bases for Ryan Jeffers, who came in for Gary Sanchez, who left the game with a heat-related illness in between innings. Jeffers wasted no time in helping get the guys back on the board and hit a line drive up the middle scoring Arraez and Garlick before ending the inning bringing the Twins to only a two-run deficit with plenty of game left. The Twins looked like they were making a comeback in the ninth inning with Luis Arraez getting his third hit of the day, followed by Correa getting on base. Polanco came up to bat, hitless the entire game made Josh Staumont work his count, and drew a walk bringing Garlick up to hit with bases loaded and two outs and the fans to their feet. Garlick hit a beautiful fly ball to centerfield but was just short, ending the game 7-3. What’s Next? The Twins finish out their series with the Royals tomorrow at 1:10pm before flying off to play in Detroit. Pitching matchup tomorrow: Sunday 1:10 pm CST: Sonny Gray (21-1, 2.60 ERA) vs RHP Zack Grienke (0-3, 4.53 ERA) Postgame Interviews Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet TUE WED THU FRI SAT TOT Minaya 41 0 0 0 31 72 Moran 31 0 0 0 34 65 Duffey 12 0 31 0 20 63 Megill 0 8 0 26 0 34 Duran 14 0 0 19 0 33 Thielbar 0 30 0 1 0 31 Pagán 0 21 0 3 0 24 Jax 0 23 0 0 0 23 Smith 0 3 0 18 0 21 View full article
  10. Box Score SP: Joe Ryan 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K (79 pitches, 51 strikes (64.5%)) Home Runs: 0 Top 3 WPA: Luis Arraez (.203), Joe Ryan (.139), Max Kepler (.110) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Minimal Pitchers, Maximum Impact It’s true the pitching staff has been a little beat up, mainly due to a shortened spring training, but one pitcher has been a constant since the season started. Tonight, the Twins won the game only using four pitchers. With all the crazy moves that the pitchers have been experiencing with injuries, Ryan has been a bright spot in the pitching rotation. Ryan has made each of his scheduled starts and continued to work. Right now, Joe Ryan is among five pitchers who have a low Opponent Batting Average so far this season. With 35 innings pitched, he has a .179 Opp BA with Michael Kopech having .137 at number one. The hitters do have a hard time against the rookie. Ryan has given up only 24 hits and 10 runs in his 37 2/3 innings this season, keeping the scoring of the other team at a minimum. His numbers continue to impress. During a mound visit at the bottom of the sixth inning, Wes Johnson appeared to give Ryan an atta-boy, pep talk to get him through the remaining part of the inning. Ryan could not close out the inning giving two of the night's walks to load the bases, but he did leave the game with only one run and the Twins ahead and subsequently lowering his ERA. With bases loaded and two outs, Caleb Thielbar came on to get out of the sixth inning with no damage with a pop-fly caught by Gilberto Celestino. Thielbar managed damage control in the sixth with the bases loaded but gave up a solo home run on a knuckleball on his sixth pitch of the game in the bottom of the seventh. Thielbar had two outs before walking Benintendi, causing Rocco Baldelli to bring in Joe Smith. Smith worked his magic to keep the hitters at bay during the seventh and eighth inning. The Twins kept Smith out longer than normal, putting him in a small bind at the bottom of the eighth inning. He ended the inning with a breaking ball and another scoreless inning for the sidewinder. A Little Help from Our Friends The Twins offense has been hard at work attempting to win games with more than a run or two cushion. After some well-placed insurance runs from Jose Miranda Thursday night, game two is stacked with another round of powerhouses to continue what started last night. Two of the surprises in the line-up have been unexpected, but truly appreciated and officially have been accepted as a Minnesota Twin by the fan base. Gary Sanchez and Gio Urshela both came from the Yankees before the season started and have officially earned a place in our hearts and on the field. Both players played a huge part in tonight’s win against the Royals. Sanchez amassed a lot of negativities from the Yankees community while there and initially from Twins fans as well when the trade happened. Sanchez was known for passed balls while catching and an inconsistent hitter at the plate. Since coming to the Twins, Sanchez has been a little slow getting settled, but in his past four games, Sanchez has been responsible for five of the RBI which also included two home runs and three doubles. His batting average may be showing .229, but what doesn’t show is his ability to come through lately in a clutch situation. Urshela has struggled at the plate. Whether out of comfort, change, or just a slump, the third baseman has had a hard time finding his stride at the plate. What Urshela lacked at the plate until recently, he has certainly made up for at defense lately making some insane plays to get players out, including one from the seat of his pants. Urshela’s confidence has certainly increased while making clutch plays at third base has seemed to transfer to his confidence at the plate. As of May 20, versus Kansas City, Urshela has been hitting .238 with five hits, two home runs, and five RBI. Urshela seems comfortable in the five or six spots in the line-up, as opposed to the early part of the line-up. Thanks to a sac bunt tonight from Celestino, Urshela who took a walk at his second plate appearance, made an advance to third base and was the first player to score tonight on a sacrifice from Buxton. Certainly, things are looking up for him on this squad. Certainly, the acquisitions from the Yankees have been fantastic, but the lineup as a whole has been wicked over the past six games. Tonight, Byron Buxton started out by draining ten pitches out of Brad Keller, the starting pitcher for Kansas City, but remained hitless tonight, but he was walked in the ninth contributing to the night of fun and runs he and his teammates had. Another Night of Fun and Runs Twins' fans have been loving the small ball the club has been playing the past two nights. No home runs and a few bunts made a contribution to the excitement of the "small ball" feel. With the exception of Ryan Jeffers, Luis Arraez, Jeffers, and Urshela, the bats stayed relatively quiet after the third inning where both teams got on the board until Brad Keller seemed to lose control of the zone in the sixth even more so than the inning prior and walked Arraez. That walk was just the beginning of the insanity that was the remaining part of the game for the club. With Keller walking Arraez, Polanco grounded out to first, and allowed Arraez to get into scoring position. Kepler followed up quickly with a single scoring Arraez, quickly followed by Sanchez who hit yet another double scoring Kepler, giving the Twins a three-run cushion. There was certainly no sense of urgency from the offense tonight, but they were able to move through the night with minimal hits and nothing from the powerhouses, it was quiet until Arraez ran home and slid headfirst superman style on a wild pitch from Speier after he initially walked (again) to start the inning. Arraez who walked twice tonight, also scored twice for the club. The Twins loaded up the bases in the top of the ninth with only one out left and once again, Arraez comes through for the club hitting a ball to right field bringing home Urshela but keeping the bases loaded for Correa who broke open the game even further with a solid hit to right field scoring two more runs. By the time the ninth inning was over for the Twins, they had another three runs bringing the score to 9-2, a safe cushion as Cody Stashak came out to finish the game for the Twins. The Twins have scored 29 runs in three games, with no homeruns and a three-game winning streak! is this real life!? Do you think the Twins can sweep the Royals? Tune in tomorrow to find out and welcome back Bailey Ober from the IL! What’s Next? The Twins finish out their series with the Royals Sunday at 1:10 pm before returning home to an eleven-game homestand including Detroit and another series with Kansas City. Pitching matchup tomorrow: Sunday 1:10 pm CST: Bailey Ober (1-1, 2.75 ERA) vs RHP Brady Singer (1-0, 2.84 ERA) Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet - TUE WED THU FRI SAT TOT Duran 0 23 0 16 0 39 Thielbar 16 0 0 0 18 34 Stashak 0 13 0 0 18 31 Smith 0 0 0 0 21 21 Cano 0 19 0 0 0 19 Pagán 0 0 0 19 0 19 Jax 0 0 0 18 0 18 Duffey 0 0 0 18 0 18 Megill 0 0 0 0 0 0
  11. Joe Ryan made the Friday night start for the Twins. Ryan struggled in his previous start, allowing a season-high five walks. Whether he was squeezed or just had a rough game, the rookie pitcher showed resilience and bounced back in this appearance. He and the offense left a fun mark on the night. Box Score SP: Joe Ryan 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K (79 pitches, 51 strikes (64.5%)) Home Runs: 0 Top 3 WPA: Luis Arraez (.203), Joe Ryan (.139), Max Kepler (.110) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Minimal Pitchers, Maximum Impact It’s true the pitching staff has been a little beat up, mainly due to a shortened spring training, but one pitcher has been a constant since the season started. Tonight, the Twins won the game only using four pitchers. With all the crazy moves that the pitchers have been experiencing with injuries, Ryan has been a bright spot in the pitching rotation. Ryan has made each of his scheduled starts and continued to work. Right now, Joe Ryan is among five pitchers who have a low Opponent Batting Average so far this season. With 35 innings pitched, he has a .179 Opp BA with Michael Kopech having .137 at number one. The hitters do have a hard time against the rookie. Ryan has given up only 24 hits and 10 runs in his 37 2/3 innings this season, keeping the scoring of the other team at a minimum. His numbers continue to impress. During a mound visit at the bottom of the sixth inning, Wes Johnson appeared to give Ryan an atta-boy, pep talk to get him through the remaining part of the inning. Ryan could not close out the inning giving two of the night's walks to load the bases, but he did leave the game with only one run and the Twins ahead and subsequently lowering his ERA. With bases loaded and two outs, Caleb Thielbar came on to get out of the sixth inning with no damage with a pop-fly caught by Gilberto Celestino. Thielbar managed damage control in the sixth with the bases loaded but gave up a solo home run on a knuckleball on his sixth pitch of the game in the bottom of the seventh. Thielbar had two outs before walking Benintendi, causing Rocco Baldelli to bring in Joe Smith. Smith worked his magic to keep the hitters at bay during the seventh and eighth inning. The Twins kept Smith out longer than normal, putting him in a small bind at the bottom of the eighth inning. He ended the inning with a breaking ball and another scoreless inning for the sidewinder. A Little Help from Our Friends The Twins offense has been hard at work attempting to win games with more than a run or two cushion. After some well-placed insurance runs from Jose Miranda Thursday night, game two is stacked with another round of powerhouses to continue what started last night. Two of the surprises in the line-up have been unexpected, but truly appreciated and officially have been accepted as a Minnesota Twin by the fan base. Gary Sanchez and Gio Urshela both came from the Yankees before the season started and have officially earned a place in our hearts and on the field. Both players played a huge part in tonight’s win against the Royals. Sanchez amassed a lot of negativities from the Yankees community while there and initially from Twins fans as well when the trade happened. Sanchez was known for passed balls while catching and an inconsistent hitter at the plate. Since coming to the Twins, Sanchez has been a little slow getting settled, but in his past four games, Sanchez has been responsible for five of the RBI which also included two home runs and three doubles. His batting average may be showing .229, but what doesn’t show is his ability to come through lately in a clutch situation. Urshela has struggled at the plate. Whether out of comfort, change, or just a slump, the third baseman has had a hard time finding his stride at the plate. What Urshela lacked at the plate until recently, he has certainly made up for at defense lately making some insane plays to get players out, including one from the seat of his pants. Urshela’s confidence has certainly increased while making clutch plays at third base has seemed to transfer to his confidence at the plate. As of May 20, versus Kansas City, Urshela has been hitting .238 with five hits, two home runs, and five RBI. Urshela seems comfortable in the five or six spots in the line-up, as opposed to the early part of the line-up. Thanks to a sac bunt tonight from Celestino, Urshela who took a walk at his second plate appearance, made an advance to third base and was the first player to score tonight on a sacrifice from Buxton. Certainly, things are looking up for him on this squad. Certainly, the acquisitions from the Yankees have been fantastic, but the lineup as a whole has been wicked over the past six games. Tonight, Byron Buxton started out by draining ten pitches out of Brad Keller, the starting pitcher for Kansas City, but remained hitless tonight, but he was walked in the ninth contributing to the night of fun and runs he and his teammates had. Another Night of Fun and Runs Twins' fans have been loving the small ball the club has been playing the past two nights. No home runs and a few bunts made a contribution to the excitement of the "small ball" feel. With the exception of Ryan Jeffers, Luis Arraez, Jeffers, and Urshela, the bats stayed relatively quiet after the third inning where both teams got on the board until Brad Keller seemed to lose control of the zone in the sixth even more so than the inning prior and walked Arraez. That walk was just the beginning of the insanity that was the remaining part of the game for the club. With Keller walking Arraez, Polanco grounded out to first, and allowed Arraez to get into scoring position. Kepler followed up quickly with a single scoring Arraez, quickly followed by Sanchez who hit yet another double scoring Kepler, giving the Twins a three-run cushion. There was certainly no sense of urgency from the offense tonight, but they were able to move through the night with minimal hits and nothing from the powerhouses, it was quiet until Arraez ran home and slid headfirst superman style on a wild pitch from Speier after he initially walked (again) to start the inning. Arraez who walked twice tonight, also scored twice for the club. The Twins loaded up the bases in the top of the ninth with only one out left and once again, Arraez comes through for the club hitting a ball to right field bringing home Urshela but keeping the bases loaded for Correa who broke open the game even further with a solid hit to right field scoring two more runs. By the time the ninth inning was over for the Twins, they had another three runs bringing the score to 9-2, a safe cushion as Cody Stashak came out to finish the game for the Twins. The Twins have scored 29 runs in three games, with no homeruns and a three-game winning streak! is this real life!? Do you think the Twins can sweep the Royals? Tune in tomorrow to find out and welcome back Bailey Ober from the IL! What’s Next? The Twins finish out their series with the Royals Sunday at 1:10 pm before returning home to an eleven-game homestand including Detroit and another series with Kansas City. Pitching matchup tomorrow: Sunday 1:10 pm CST: Bailey Ober (1-1, 2.75 ERA) vs RHP Brady Singer (1-0, 2.84 ERA) Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet - TUE WED THU FRI SAT TOT Duran 0 23 0 16 0 39 Thielbar 16 0 0 0 18 34 Stashak 0 13 0 0 18 31 Smith 0 0 0 0 21 21 Cano 0 19 0 0 0 19 Pagán 0 0 0 19 0 19 Jax 0 0 0 18 0 18 Duffey 0 0 0 18 0 18 Megill 0 0 0 0 0 0 View full article
  12. To be honest, just when I think I have the pitching figured out, they change it. I know that Josh is super flexible in his rotation - whatever Rocco wants - but I would like to think that "yes", that's what they are doing...but.
  13. I really hope he stays, but logically I know what you mean. It would just be hard to watch him leave after his games.
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