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Sherry Cerny

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  1. Like
    Sherry Cerny reacted to Nick Nelson for an article, Rocco Baldelli Regaining 'Manager of the Year' Form, to the Dismay of Haters   
    Baldelli had the makings of a slam-dunk hire in 2019, when he became the youngest recipient of Manager of the Year in history, leading the Twins to a historic 101-win season. He followed with another division title in the COVID-shortened 2020 season. 
    One would think such an impressive start to his managerial career would earn the guy a bit of leeway in the eyes of fans. Turns out, not so much. 
    While experiencing his first rocky year at the helm, Rocco was routinely derided by a large portion of the fanbase and columnist hive in 2021's last-place debacle. Never mind he was supplied by the front office with Alex Colomé as his closer and the Happ-maker combo as his rotation reinforcements. Never mind dealing with a rotten hand injury-wise. 
    Baldelli took major heat nonetheless. It's the name of the game.
    As this 2022 season got off to similarly ugly start, with a 4-8 record two weeks in, fans on Twitter were calling for Rocco's head and a certain desperate-for-attention local media outlet was hilariously attempting to manufacture a manager controversy. 
    Since that 4-8 start, Baldelli's Twins are 17-7. They're winning tight games. They're playing far cleaner, crisper ball than opponents. And they're bouncing back from adversity.
    Tactically, Baldelli has been pressing the right buttons and his decision have paid off time and time again. Here are three examples from Monday's 3-1 victory:
    1: Chris Archer pulled after four innings.
    It wasn't an obvious call by any means. Archer had allowed only one run on two hits over four innings. He was at just 62 pitches when Baldelli made the decision to pull him. The Twins were in the midst of a stretch with nine games in nine days. They could've tried to squeeze another inning or two.
    The skipper did not want to see Archer face Oakland's lineup for a third time and that was absolutely the right call. Yennier Canó came in and mowed down the next two frames, giving hitters a very different look from the starter.
    Griffin Jax followed with two scoreless frames, and then Tyler Duffey closed things out in a clean ninth. Another shutout showing from the relief corps.
    Minnesota's bullpen, despite losing one of the best relievers in baseball on the eve of Opening Day, has been phenomenal. Elite by any measure. Elite! Who would've expected this based on the personnel we saw forming this unit?
    Twins relief pitchers – from Canó to Jax to Joe Smith to Jhoan Duran to Emilio Pagán and beyond – are getting it done. Rocco is putting them in spots to succeed, as has been his trademark. His bullpen ranked third in the majors in WAR in 2019, and second in 2020.
    Baldelli quietly has an argument as the best bullpen manager in baseball.
    2: Small ball pays off in the 5th inning.
    I'm not a big fan of small-ball tactics generally, and based on his tendencies I think it's safe to say Baldelli feels the same. (I mean, that 2019 team was basically a giant middle-finger to small ball as a concept.)
    But both of us could agree that it made sense to take such an approach in the fifth inning of a 1-1 game after Royce Lewis drew a leadoff walk. Nick Gordon, the #9 hitter who entered with a paltry .596 OPS, stepped in and got the bunt call. He executed, bringing up the team's best hitter with one out and a man in scoring position.
    Byron Buxton? Oh, you know he executed. 
    Even if it hadn't worked out, bunting with Gordon there is a move that simply made sense. Baldelli has shown he'll go that route when it's warranted. You wonder if the dead-ball trend might compel this calculating manager to keep adjusting in that direction.
    3: Buxton was on the field.
    There's been a whole bunch of grumbling lately about the team's "kid-gloves treatment" of Buxton. (Much of it, you'll be shocked to learn, coming from the aforementioned desperate-for-attention outlet.) Apparently it is now controversial to take a cautious approach in a 162-game season with your vitally important superstar who also happens to be banged up, and maybe the most injury-prone player in the league. 
    Yes, Baldelli and the Twins have opened up about their intentions to manage Buxton's workload this year in hopes of keeping him off the injured list. Their plan has been successful so far, in every way. Buxton has avoided the IL – despite a few scares that continue to affect him – and the Twins are six games above .500, leading the division, even with him playing only two-thirds of the time.
    Winning the division and having Buxton healthy for the playoffs should be this team's utmost aspiration. It's a combination they haven't yet been able to achieve yet. Right now, Baldelli has the Twins on track to do both. And people are still complaining. SMH.
    Some of us appreciate you, Rocco, and see the things you're doing to help this team exceed expectations. Many won't. But that's the name of the game.
  2. Like
    Sherry Cerny got a reaction from verninski for an article, Twins 2, Guardians 3 (10 Innings): Strong Pitching is Not Enough as Twins Fall to Guardians   
    Box Score
    SP: Dustin Smeltzer: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K (70 pitches, 50 strikes (71%))
    Home Runs:  Gio Urshela (2)
    Top 3 WPA: Devin Smeltzer (.133), Jhoan Duran (.128), Gary Sanchez (.102)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Makin’ Moves
    Following Thursday night's game, the Twins announced that they would be bringing up a pitcher to start Friday's game. The pitching staff has been run through and since Wednesday, the clubhouse has lost five pitchers (two starters and two relievers) with either ailment or injury leaving the bullpen to manage the past few games. 
    There was lots of inquiry and speculation, but several fans were elated to find out that Devin Smeltzer would be returning to Target Field to start against the Cleveland Guardians and Shane Bieber. 
    To make room for Smeltzer, first baseman Miguel Sano was sent to the 60-day Injured List (left knee, torn meniscus). Sano is not expected to make it back to the club until at least July, depending on how rehab goes. 
    Outfielder/first baseman Alex Kirilloff was optioned to St. Paul. Kirilloff has been struggling this season with his recurring wrist injury, and while he sounds optimistic on the recovery and return, his hitting for the season between IL-stints has been .172 over ten games (5-for-29) and only two runs scored. Kirilloff has one remaining option left after this transaction, the hope is that he will get more at-bats and a chance to enhance his swing as his wrist improves. 
    Smeltzer, who lost most of the 2021 season with elbow inflammation eventually was sidelined in June with a herniated disc in his neck.  Smeltzer has worked hard to get back into shape to get a chance again to start for the Twins. He had a fantastic spring training performance.
    Devin Smeltzer has thrown in five games and while he carries a 3.86 ERA the stat doesn't tell the whole story of how his discipline has changed. Smeltzer has seen a total of 88 batters, only allowing nine runs in 21 innings, and has struck out 18 of batters faced. 
    Smeltzer gained muscle and command since his last start with Minnesota, looked like his old self, maybe even better. Most of his major-league starts have been against Cleveland. The lefty had a quick first inning striking out one, Smeltzer was charged with just one run over five innings of work.
    The bullpen came in to relieve Smeltzer and continued to keep the score low, exercising every arm option they had at their disposal to keep the Guardians from adding a run.
    Battle of the Bats
    The Guardians did get on the board early in the second when Owen Miller scored on a Franmil Reyes single to center field, but Smeltzer held the Guardians to one run and only three hits in his five-inning start back with the Twins. 
    In the first three innings for the Twins, Bieber struck out four and worked inside to right-handed hitters making it nearly impossible to hit off of him. The bottom of the third, the Twins loaded the bases with Luis Arraez, Jorge Polanco, and Gary Sanchez, bringing up Max Kepler with two outs and a full count. Bieber threw a high cutter to strike out Kepler and leave the bases loaded. 
    In the fourth inning, the bats seemed to start waking up. It looked like it was going to turn around when Gio Urshela stepped into the batter's box and hit a home run to center field to get the Twins on the board and tie up the game. 
    The fifth inning was one of the more disappointing ones with bases loaded and nobody out, after just going through the same thing in the previous inning. Urshela, whose prior at-bat was a solo home run, hit a chopper that turned into a double play, followed by Arraez lining out to third, stranding three runners again. The Twins have a knack for leaving players stranded when in scoring position. 
    Royce Lewis attempted to help out the Twins in the sixth inning with two bunt attempts to bring home a run. The Twins lineup doesn’t bunt nearly as much as other teams and for players like Kepler who are constantly hitting into the shift, this writer thinks bunting would be a greater offensive weapon to assist the Twins to more than one-run wins, but clearly tonight it didn't work. The Twins organization doesn't bunt, and for some, laying out a bunt with Royce Lewis, the Twins number one prospect, seemed odd. 
    Bitter End
    The tenth inning started out with drama after The Twins and Guardians fought through five scoreless innings. Manager Rocco Baldelli got tossed for arguing with the umpires after Andres Gimenez was granted second base after colliding with Jose Miranda (called for interference rounding first base after a hit).
    To add to the already mounting stress, during all the excitement, the Guardians were able to bring home Ernie Clement, giving the Guardians a 2-1 advantage. As Jharel Cotton worked his way through the rotation, Myles Straw singled into right, scoring Gimenez before closing out the inning. 
    Urshela, who had two RBIs tonight, helped the Twins in their shot in the tenth inning as he was able to beat out an infield single and bring home Gary Sanchez who was posted on second base as the extra-innings runner.. Where there was a spark of hope, it was quickly put out as the tying run was on base was left stranded once again when Nick Gordon struck out to end the game. 
    While it wasn't the way fans or the Twins wanted to end the game, it was intense and exciting and the Twins still have a chance to take the series before heading out on the road. 
    What’s Next? 
    The Twins finish out their series with the Guardians tomorrow at 1:10pm before heading out to Oakland for a three game series followed by a stop by Kansas City to play the Royals. 
    Pitching matchup tomorrow: 
    Sunday  1:10 pm CST: Joe Ryan (3-2, 2.56 ERA) vs RHP Tristan McKenzie (2-2, 2.76 ERA)  Postgame Interviews 
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

      TUE WED THU FRI SAT TOT               Cotton 58 0 0 0 17 75 Jax 0 0 0 50 0 50 Stashak 0 0 46 0 0 46 Thielbar 3 0 23 0 15 41 Duffey 0 0 33 0 5 38 Cano 0 0 36 0 0 36 Pagán 0 0 0 22 9 31 Duran 0 0 0 10 12 22 Smith 0 0 0 4 15 19    
  3. Like
    Sherry Cerny got a reaction from The Mad King for an article, Twins 2, Guardians 3 (10 Innings): Strong Pitching is Not Enough as Twins Fall to Guardians   
    Box Score
    SP: Dustin Smeltzer: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K (70 pitches, 50 strikes (71%))
    Home Runs:  Gio Urshela (2)
    Top 3 WPA: Devin Smeltzer (.133), Jhoan Duran (.128), Gary Sanchez (.102)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Makin’ Moves
    Following Thursday night's game, the Twins announced that they would be bringing up a pitcher to start Friday's game. The pitching staff has been run through and since Wednesday, the clubhouse has lost five pitchers (two starters and two relievers) with either ailment or injury leaving the bullpen to manage the past few games. 
    There was lots of inquiry and speculation, but several fans were elated to find out that Devin Smeltzer would be returning to Target Field to start against the Cleveland Guardians and Shane Bieber. 
    To make room for Smeltzer, first baseman Miguel Sano was sent to the 60-day Injured List (left knee, torn meniscus). Sano is not expected to make it back to the club until at least July, depending on how rehab goes. 
    Outfielder/first baseman Alex Kirilloff was optioned to St. Paul. Kirilloff has been struggling this season with his recurring wrist injury, and while he sounds optimistic on the recovery and return, his hitting for the season between IL-stints has been .172 over ten games (5-for-29) and only two runs scored. Kirilloff has one remaining option left after this transaction, the hope is that he will get more at-bats and a chance to enhance his swing as his wrist improves. 
    Smeltzer, who lost most of the 2021 season with elbow inflammation eventually was sidelined in June with a herniated disc in his neck.  Smeltzer has worked hard to get back into shape to get a chance again to start for the Twins. He had a fantastic spring training performance.
    Devin Smeltzer has thrown in five games and while he carries a 3.86 ERA the stat doesn't tell the whole story of how his discipline has changed. Smeltzer has seen a total of 88 batters, only allowing nine runs in 21 innings, and has struck out 18 of batters faced. 
    Smeltzer gained muscle and command since his last start with Minnesota, looked like his old self, maybe even better. Most of his major-league starts have been against Cleveland. The lefty had a quick first inning striking out one, Smeltzer was charged with just one run over five innings of work.
    The bullpen came in to relieve Smeltzer and continued to keep the score low, exercising every arm option they had at their disposal to keep the Guardians from adding a run.
    Battle of the Bats
    The Guardians did get on the board early in the second when Owen Miller scored on a Franmil Reyes single to center field, but Smeltzer held the Guardians to one run and only three hits in his five-inning start back with the Twins. 
    In the first three innings for the Twins, Bieber struck out four and worked inside to right-handed hitters making it nearly impossible to hit off of him. The bottom of the third, the Twins loaded the bases with Luis Arraez, Jorge Polanco, and Gary Sanchez, bringing up Max Kepler with two outs and a full count. Bieber threw a high cutter to strike out Kepler and leave the bases loaded. 
    In the fourth inning, the bats seemed to start waking up. It looked like it was going to turn around when Gio Urshela stepped into the batter's box and hit a home run to center field to get the Twins on the board and tie up the game. 
    The fifth inning was one of the more disappointing ones with bases loaded and nobody out, after just going through the same thing in the previous inning. Urshela, whose prior at-bat was a solo home run, hit a chopper that turned into a double play, followed by Arraez lining out to third, stranding three runners again. The Twins have a knack for leaving players stranded when in scoring position. 
    Royce Lewis attempted to help out the Twins in the sixth inning with two bunt attempts to bring home a run. The Twins lineup doesn’t bunt nearly as much as other teams and for players like Kepler who are constantly hitting into the shift, this writer thinks bunting would be a greater offensive weapon to assist the Twins to more than one-run wins, but clearly tonight it didn't work. The Twins organization doesn't bunt, and for some, laying out a bunt with Royce Lewis, the Twins number one prospect, seemed odd. 
    Bitter End
    The tenth inning started out with drama after The Twins and Guardians fought through five scoreless innings. Manager Rocco Baldelli got tossed for arguing with the umpires after Andres Gimenez was granted second base after colliding with Jose Miranda (called for interference rounding first base after a hit).
    To add to the already mounting stress, during all the excitement, the Guardians were able to bring home Ernie Clement, giving the Guardians a 2-1 advantage. As Jharel Cotton worked his way through the rotation, Myles Straw singled into right, scoring Gimenez before closing out the inning. 
    Urshela, who had two RBIs tonight, helped the Twins in their shot in the tenth inning as he was able to beat out an infield single and bring home Gary Sanchez who was posted on second base as the extra-innings runner.. Where there was a spark of hope, it was quickly put out as the tying run was on base was left stranded once again when Nick Gordon struck out to end the game. 
    While it wasn't the way fans or the Twins wanted to end the game, it was intense and exciting and the Twins still have a chance to take the series before heading out on the road. 
    What’s Next? 
    The Twins finish out their series with the Guardians tomorrow at 1:10pm before heading out to Oakland for a three game series followed by a stop by Kansas City to play the Royals. 
    Pitching matchup tomorrow: 
    Sunday  1:10 pm CST: Joe Ryan (3-2, 2.56 ERA) vs RHP Tristan McKenzie (2-2, 2.76 ERA)  Postgame Interviews 
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

      TUE WED THU FRI SAT TOT               Cotton 58 0 0 0 17 75 Jax 0 0 0 50 0 50 Stashak 0 0 46 0 0 46 Thielbar 3 0 23 0 15 41 Duffey 0 0 33 0 5 38 Cano 0 0 36 0 0 36 Pagán 0 0 0 22 9 31 Duran 0 0 0 10 12 22 Smith 0 0 0 4 15 19    
  4. Like
    Sherry Cerny got a reaction from mikelink45 for an article, Twins 2, Guardians 3 (10 Innings): Strong Pitching is Not Enough as Twins Fall to Guardians   
    Box Score
    SP: Dustin Smeltzer: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K (70 pitches, 50 strikes (71%))
    Home Runs:  Gio Urshela (2)
    Top 3 WPA: Devin Smeltzer (.133), Jhoan Duran (.128), Gary Sanchez (.102)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Makin’ Moves
    Following Thursday night's game, the Twins announced that they would be bringing up a pitcher to start Friday's game. The pitching staff has been run through and since Wednesday, the clubhouse has lost five pitchers (two starters and two relievers) with either ailment or injury leaving the bullpen to manage the past few games. 
    There was lots of inquiry and speculation, but several fans were elated to find out that Devin Smeltzer would be returning to Target Field to start against the Cleveland Guardians and Shane Bieber. 
    To make room for Smeltzer, first baseman Miguel Sano was sent to the 60-day Injured List (left knee, torn meniscus). Sano is not expected to make it back to the club until at least July, depending on how rehab goes. 
    Outfielder/first baseman Alex Kirilloff was optioned to St. Paul. Kirilloff has been struggling this season with his recurring wrist injury, and while he sounds optimistic on the recovery and return, his hitting for the season between IL-stints has been .172 over ten games (5-for-29) and only two runs scored. Kirilloff has one remaining option left after this transaction, the hope is that he will get more at-bats and a chance to enhance his swing as his wrist improves. 
    Smeltzer, who lost most of the 2021 season with elbow inflammation eventually was sidelined in June with a herniated disc in his neck.  Smeltzer has worked hard to get back into shape to get a chance again to start for the Twins. He had a fantastic spring training performance.
    Devin Smeltzer has thrown in five games and while he carries a 3.86 ERA the stat doesn't tell the whole story of how his discipline has changed. Smeltzer has seen a total of 88 batters, only allowing nine runs in 21 innings, and has struck out 18 of batters faced. 
    Smeltzer gained muscle and command since his last start with Minnesota, looked like his old self, maybe even better. Most of his major-league starts have been against Cleveland. The lefty had a quick first inning striking out one, Smeltzer was charged with just one run over five innings of work.
    The bullpen came in to relieve Smeltzer and continued to keep the score low, exercising every arm option they had at their disposal to keep the Guardians from adding a run.
    Battle of the Bats
    The Guardians did get on the board early in the second when Owen Miller scored on a Franmil Reyes single to center field, but Smeltzer held the Guardians to one run and only three hits in his five-inning start back with the Twins. 
    In the first three innings for the Twins, Bieber struck out four and worked inside to right-handed hitters making it nearly impossible to hit off of him. The bottom of the third, the Twins loaded the bases with Luis Arraez, Jorge Polanco, and Gary Sanchez, bringing up Max Kepler with two outs and a full count. Bieber threw a high cutter to strike out Kepler and leave the bases loaded. 
    In the fourth inning, the bats seemed to start waking up. It looked like it was going to turn around when Gio Urshela stepped into the batter's box and hit a home run to center field to get the Twins on the board and tie up the game. 
    The fifth inning was one of the more disappointing ones with bases loaded and nobody out, after just going through the same thing in the previous inning. Urshela, whose prior at-bat was a solo home run, hit a chopper that turned into a double play, followed by Arraez lining out to third, stranding three runners again. The Twins have a knack for leaving players stranded when in scoring position. 
    Royce Lewis attempted to help out the Twins in the sixth inning with two bunt attempts to bring home a run. The Twins lineup doesn’t bunt nearly as much as other teams and for players like Kepler who are constantly hitting into the shift, this writer thinks bunting would be a greater offensive weapon to assist the Twins to more than one-run wins, but clearly tonight it didn't work. The Twins organization doesn't bunt, and for some, laying out a bunt with Royce Lewis, the Twins number one prospect, seemed odd. 
    Bitter End
    The tenth inning started out with drama after The Twins and Guardians fought through five scoreless innings. Manager Rocco Baldelli got tossed for arguing with the umpires after Andres Gimenez was granted second base after colliding with Jose Miranda (called for interference rounding first base after a hit).
    To add to the already mounting stress, during all the excitement, the Guardians were able to bring home Ernie Clement, giving the Guardians a 2-1 advantage. As Jharel Cotton worked his way through the rotation, Myles Straw singled into right, scoring Gimenez before closing out the inning. 
    Urshela, who had two RBIs tonight, helped the Twins in their shot in the tenth inning as he was able to beat out an infield single and bring home Gary Sanchez who was posted on second base as the extra-innings runner.. Where there was a spark of hope, it was quickly put out as the tying run was on base was left stranded once again when Nick Gordon struck out to end the game. 
    While it wasn't the way fans or the Twins wanted to end the game, it was intense and exciting and the Twins still have a chance to take the series before heading out on the road. 
    What’s Next? 
    The Twins finish out their series with the Guardians tomorrow at 1:10pm before heading out to Oakland for a three game series followed by a stop by Kansas City to play the Royals. 
    Pitching matchup tomorrow: 
    Sunday  1:10 pm CST: Joe Ryan (3-2, 2.56 ERA) vs RHP Tristan McKenzie (2-2, 2.76 ERA)  Postgame Interviews 
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

      TUE WED THU FRI SAT TOT               Cotton 58 0 0 0 17 75 Jax 0 0 0 50 0 50 Stashak 0 0 46 0 0 46 Thielbar 3 0 23 0 15 41 Duffey 0 0 33 0 5 38 Cano 0 0 36 0 0 36 Pagán 0 0 0 22 9 31 Duran 0 0 0 10 12 22 Smith 0 0 0 4 15 19    
  5. Like
    Sherry Cerny got a reaction from verninski for an article, Twins 1, Athletics 0: Polanco and Pitching Give Twins Eighth Straight Home Win   
    Box Score
    SP: Sonny Gray 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K (66 pitches, 42 strikes (63.6%))
    Home Runs: Jorge Polanco (3)
    Top 3 WPA: Jhoan Duran (.265), Sonny Gray (.205), Jorge Polanco (.159)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Welcome Back Sonny
    Sonny Gray has had a less than great start since coming to the Twins organization in a trade after the lockout. His much-anticipated acquisition meant some rounding out to the pitching rotation. Gray came from Cincinnati in March in exchange for right-handed pitching prospect Chase Petty, Gray brings a source of veteran leadership to the rotation and a player to watch, but he has been sidelined much of the early season. 
    He wasn’t nearly as stretched out as his teammates at the conclusion of spring training and ultimately ended up with a right hamstring injury early in the season. The discomfort was obvious on his face as he stepped back off the mound in the second inning and ultimately out of the rotation. 
    Gray has only pitched one game at Target Field, against Seattle. He missed the last 19 games. During his IL stint, the pitcher rehabbed his hamstring and made one rehab start for Low-A Fort Myers last weekend. He pitched three shutout innings with one hit allowed and five strikeouts. He hasn’t left the team except for that one rehab game. He’s been with them in Florida and Baltimore, so instead of taking the starting position in St. Paul today, he returned to the mound on Saturday. 
    In his first inning, he looked composed, loose, and settled in by the second batter, bouncing back from 3-0 count on Chad Pinder to strike him out. The outfield assisted in Gray getting through his first inning, giving him a quick 1-2-3 to his start back with the team.
    Gray continued to pinpoint his pitches and left the game with 66 pitches. The plan was for him to be around 65 pitches. Considering this is his first game back and throwing four shutout innings and allowing only one hit, this seemed to be like the time to pull him and let the bullpen take over. 
    The bullpen continued to keep the game right where Gray left it.
    Home Grown Lineup... until it wasn't
    For a short time, the line-up that complimented Sonny Gray’s return was a homegrown Twins farm system team. For all the years that the Twins fans have spent frustrated with the front office, this lineup is a product of patience and hard work. Players like Trevor Larnach, Jose Miranda and Royce Lewis who have all put up outstanding numbers in the minors only to come-up to the Twins and show why they deserve to be on the 40-man. 
    This was the original lineup. 
    Jayce Tingler who has stepped up for Rocco Baldelli who is currently quarantining in Baltimore, has done a good job steering the ship and making good lineup and in-game decisions. This is exactly what happened after the "home-grown lineup" was announced, Trevor Larnach was sidelined with lower body tightness. Gary Sanchez replaced him in the lineup. Hopefully, we will get a chance for that lineup again, but it was fun to see and awesome to know how much homegrown depth there is.. 
    Joining the crew on Friday was Alex Kirilloff. He didn't play on Friday night, but on Saturday, he batted eighth. Considering he had surgery that ended his 2021 season on that joint last July, there was some concern it would be more than just inflammation. This latest injury didn’t turn out to be anything structural. He started his rehab assignment with St. Paul on April 31st and played four games in St. Paul before being activated from the IL on Friday. 
    Polanco the under-rated All-Star
    Jorge Polanco has been flying under the radar and while carrying a batting average of .211, he has an eight-game hitting streak, and six of his last fourteen RBIs in two games alone (May 1st and May 3rd). 
    In his appearance against the Rays on May 1st, Polanco went 4-for-5 with two doubles and four RBI, rocketing the Twins to a 9-3 win. Among the stars of the Twins team, Polanco is potentially one of the better players on the team that doesn’t get talked about enough. He also doesn’t talk about himself. He is focused on being a team member and contributing to the game overall. He sets goals for himself that he doesn’t talk about, and even with solid defense and hitting, he still doesn’t reach all his goals. 
    In a previous press conference Manager, Rocco Baldelli talked about the significance that Polanco has on the field. 
    "He's such a solid contributor for us on the field," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. "He does everything almost kind of under the radar. Personality-wise, he's a wonderful human being, but he's a quiet guy, and that's just who he is. So we probably don't talk about him enough."
    And just as this writer was deep-diving into Polanco’s stats,  Polanco hit his third home run of the year, 451 feet according to Baseball Savant off of Kaprielian’s slider to center field to give the Twins a 1-0 lead in the sixth. 
    Close Calls and a Marginal Lead
    Things started to heat up in the seventh inning as it looked like the Athletics were going to get into the action after a deep liner to center field that slid between Buxton and Nick Gordon, allowing Christian Bethancourt to get a double. The A’s momentum was brought to a screeching halt when Max Kepler stopped a fly ball by Brian McKinney to end the inning.
    In the bottom of the eighth, Royce Lewis got the second hit of his MLB career, a double off the wall in right-center. He was promptly picked off when a bunt was missed. Even with a challenge to New York, the call remained, and a frustrated Lewis returned to the dugout. Pitcher A.J. Puk had a tough time in the eighth, bobbling a ball hit back to him off of the bat of Gilberto Celestino who advanced to first and waited for a chance to advance, but to no avail. 
    Heading into the ninth, the Twins had no insurance runs and a marginal lead, but Jhoan Duran came back out to finish what he started in the eighth frame. It wasn't without stress though. Just like Friday's game, this game brought extra anxiety in the ninth as Duran walked a batter and then hit another. The last out seemed to take forever. As Ryan Jeffers framed strike two to Bethancourt, the Twins were looking at one remaining strike to complete the game. Bethancourt continued to foul-off balls prolonging the pain of the ninth before Duran threw him with a 100mph fastball to get him swinging to end the game!
    Sonny Gray and the bullpen pulled off a combined shutout and guarantee a series win. Can they come back tomorrow and complete the sweep? 
    Who is your favorite reliever in our Bullpen right now? Are you nervous about all the ninth inning bases loaded?
    What’s Next? 
    The Twins finish up the series tomorrow on Mother’s day against Oakland before Houston arrives at Target Field. Pitching matchups for the series include: 
    Sunday  1:10 central: Chris Paddack (1-2, 3.15 ERA) vs RHP Dalton Jefferies (1-4, 4.81 ERA) 
    Postgame Interviews
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

      TUE WED THU FRI SAT TOT               Coulombe 0 26 0 0 12 38 Thielbar 18 0 18 0 0 36 Jax 0 0 15 0 19 34 Duran 0 0 0 0 31 31 Duffey 18 0 0 11 0 29 Pagán 0 0 0 28 0 28 Stashak 11 0 0 0 0 11 Smith 0 0 0 6 0 6 Sands 0 0 0 0 0 0  
     
     
  6. Like
    Sherry Cerny got a reaction from PatPfund for an article, Twins 1, Athletics 0: Polanco and Pitching Give Twins Eighth Straight Home Win   
    Box Score
    SP: Sonny Gray 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K (66 pitches, 42 strikes (63.6%))
    Home Runs: Jorge Polanco (3)
    Top 3 WPA: Jhoan Duran (.265), Sonny Gray (.205), Jorge Polanco (.159)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Welcome Back Sonny
    Sonny Gray has had a less than great start since coming to the Twins organization in a trade after the lockout. His much-anticipated acquisition meant some rounding out to the pitching rotation. Gray came from Cincinnati in March in exchange for right-handed pitching prospect Chase Petty, Gray brings a source of veteran leadership to the rotation and a player to watch, but he has been sidelined much of the early season. 
    He wasn’t nearly as stretched out as his teammates at the conclusion of spring training and ultimately ended up with a right hamstring injury early in the season. The discomfort was obvious on his face as he stepped back off the mound in the second inning and ultimately out of the rotation. 
    Gray has only pitched one game at Target Field, against Seattle. He missed the last 19 games. During his IL stint, the pitcher rehabbed his hamstring and made one rehab start for Low-A Fort Myers last weekend. He pitched three shutout innings with one hit allowed and five strikeouts. He hasn’t left the team except for that one rehab game. He’s been with them in Florida and Baltimore, so instead of taking the starting position in St. Paul today, he returned to the mound on Saturday. 
    In his first inning, he looked composed, loose, and settled in by the second batter, bouncing back from 3-0 count on Chad Pinder to strike him out. The outfield assisted in Gray getting through his first inning, giving him a quick 1-2-3 to his start back with the team.
    Gray continued to pinpoint his pitches and left the game with 66 pitches. The plan was for him to be around 65 pitches. Considering this is his first game back and throwing four shutout innings and allowing only one hit, this seemed to be like the time to pull him and let the bullpen take over. 
    The bullpen continued to keep the game right where Gray left it.
    Home Grown Lineup... until it wasn't
    For a short time, the line-up that complimented Sonny Gray’s return was a homegrown Twins farm system team. For all the years that the Twins fans have spent frustrated with the front office, this lineup is a product of patience and hard work. Players like Trevor Larnach, Jose Miranda and Royce Lewis who have all put up outstanding numbers in the minors only to come-up to the Twins and show why they deserve to be on the 40-man. 
    This was the original lineup. 
    Jayce Tingler who has stepped up for Rocco Baldelli who is currently quarantining in Baltimore, has done a good job steering the ship and making good lineup and in-game decisions. This is exactly what happened after the "home-grown lineup" was announced, Trevor Larnach was sidelined with lower body tightness. Gary Sanchez replaced him in the lineup. Hopefully, we will get a chance for that lineup again, but it was fun to see and awesome to know how much homegrown depth there is.. 
    Joining the crew on Friday was Alex Kirilloff. He didn't play on Friday night, but on Saturday, he batted eighth. Considering he had surgery that ended his 2021 season on that joint last July, there was some concern it would be more than just inflammation. This latest injury didn’t turn out to be anything structural. He started his rehab assignment with St. Paul on April 31st and played four games in St. Paul before being activated from the IL on Friday. 
    Polanco the under-rated All-Star
    Jorge Polanco has been flying under the radar and while carrying a batting average of .211, he has an eight-game hitting streak, and six of his last fourteen RBIs in two games alone (May 1st and May 3rd). 
    In his appearance against the Rays on May 1st, Polanco went 4-for-5 with two doubles and four RBI, rocketing the Twins to a 9-3 win. Among the stars of the Twins team, Polanco is potentially one of the better players on the team that doesn’t get talked about enough. He also doesn’t talk about himself. He is focused on being a team member and contributing to the game overall. He sets goals for himself that he doesn’t talk about, and even with solid defense and hitting, he still doesn’t reach all his goals. 
    In a previous press conference Manager, Rocco Baldelli talked about the significance that Polanco has on the field. 
    "He's such a solid contributor for us on the field," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. "He does everything almost kind of under the radar. Personality-wise, he's a wonderful human being, but he's a quiet guy, and that's just who he is. So we probably don't talk about him enough."
    And just as this writer was deep-diving into Polanco’s stats,  Polanco hit his third home run of the year, 451 feet according to Baseball Savant off of Kaprielian’s slider to center field to give the Twins a 1-0 lead in the sixth. 
    Close Calls and a Marginal Lead
    Things started to heat up in the seventh inning as it looked like the Athletics were going to get into the action after a deep liner to center field that slid between Buxton and Nick Gordon, allowing Christian Bethancourt to get a double. The A’s momentum was brought to a screeching halt when Max Kepler stopped a fly ball by Brian McKinney to end the inning.
    In the bottom of the eighth, Royce Lewis got the second hit of his MLB career, a double off the wall in right-center. He was promptly picked off when a bunt was missed. Even with a challenge to New York, the call remained, and a frustrated Lewis returned to the dugout. Pitcher A.J. Puk had a tough time in the eighth, bobbling a ball hit back to him off of the bat of Gilberto Celestino who advanced to first and waited for a chance to advance, but to no avail. 
    Heading into the ninth, the Twins had no insurance runs and a marginal lead, but Jhoan Duran came back out to finish what he started in the eighth frame. It wasn't without stress though. Just like Friday's game, this game brought extra anxiety in the ninth as Duran walked a batter and then hit another. The last out seemed to take forever. As Ryan Jeffers framed strike two to Bethancourt, the Twins were looking at one remaining strike to complete the game. Bethancourt continued to foul-off balls prolonging the pain of the ninth before Duran threw him with a 100mph fastball to get him swinging to end the game!
    Sonny Gray and the bullpen pulled off a combined shutout and guarantee a series win. Can they come back tomorrow and complete the sweep? 
    Who is your favorite reliever in our Bullpen right now? Are you nervous about all the ninth inning bases loaded?
    What’s Next? 
    The Twins finish up the series tomorrow on Mother’s day against Oakland before Houston arrives at Target Field. Pitching matchups for the series include: 
    Sunday  1:10 central: Chris Paddack (1-2, 3.15 ERA) vs RHP Dalton Jefferies (1-4, 4.81 ERA) 
    Postgame Interviews
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

      TUE WED THU FRI SAT TOT               Coulombe 0 26 0 0 12 38 Thielbar 18 0 18 0 0 36 Jax 0 0 15 0 19 34 Duran 0 0 0 0 31 31 Duffey 18 0 0 11 0 29 Pagán 0 0 0 28 0 28 Stashak 11 0 0 0 0 11 Smith 0 0 0 6 0 6 Sands 0 0 0 0 0 0  
     
     
  7. Like
    Sherry Cerny got a reaction from MN_ExPat for an article, Twins 1, Athletics 0: Polanco and Pitching Give Twins Eighth Straight Home Win   
    Box Score
    SP: Sonny Gray 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K (66 pitches, 42 strikes (63.6%))
    Home Runs: Jorge Polanco (3)
    Top 3 WPA: Jhoan Duran (.265), Sonny Gray (.205), Jorge Polanco (.159)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Welcome Back Sonny
    Sonny Gray has had a less than great start since coming to the Twins organization in a trade after the lockout. His much-anticipated acquisition meant some rounding out to the pitching rotation. Gray came from Cincinnati in March in exchange for right-handed pitching prospect Chase Petty, Gray brings a source of veteran leadership to the rotation and a player to watch, but he has been sidelined much of the early season. 
    He wasn’t nearly as stretched out as his teammates at the conclusion of spring training and ultimately ended up with a right hamstring injury early in the season. The discomfort was obvious on his face as he stepped back off the mound in the second inning and ultimately out of the rotation. 
    Gray has only pitched one game at Target Field, against Seattle. He missed the last 19 games. During his IL stint, the pitcher rehabbed his hamstring and made one rehab start for Low-A Fort Myers last weekend. He pitched three shutout innings with one hit allowed and five strikeouts. He hasn’t left the team except for that one rehab game. He’s been with them in Florida and Baltimore, so instead of taking the starting position in St. Paul today, he returned to the mound on Saturday. 
    In his first inning, he looked composed, loose, and settled in by the second batter, bouncing back from 3-0 count on Chad Pinder to strike him out. The outfield assisted in Gray getting through his first inning, giving him a quick 1-2-3 to his start back with the team.
    Gray continued to pinpoint his pitches and left the game with 66 pitches. The plan was for him to be around 65 pitches. Considering this is his first game back and throwing four shutout innings and allowing only one hit, this seemed to be like the time to pull him and let the bullpen take over. 
    The bullpen continued to keep the game right where Gray left it.
    Home Grown Lineup... until it wasn't
    For a short time, the line-up that complimented Sonny Gray’s return was a homegrown Twins farm system team. For all the years that the Twins fans have spent frustrated with the front office, this lineup is a product of patience and hard work. Players like Trevor Larnach, Jose Miranda and Royce Lewis who have all put up outstanding numbers in the minors only to come-up to the Twins and show why they deserve to be on the 40-man. 
    This was the original lineup. 
    Jayce Tingler who has stepped up for Rocco Baldelli who is currently quarantining in Baltimore, has done a good job steering the ship and making good lineup and in-game decisions. This is exactly what happened after the "home-grown lineup" was announced, Trevor Larnach was sidelined with lower body tightness. Gary Sanchez replaced him in the lineup. Hopefully, we will get a chance for that lineup again, but it was fun to see and awesome to know how much homegrown depth there is.. 
    Joining the crew on Friday was Alex Kirilloff. He didn't play on Friday night, but on Saturday, he batted eighth. Considering he had surgery that ended his 2021 season on that joint last July, there was some concern it would be more than just inflammation. This latest injury didn’t turn out to be anything structural. He started his rehab assignment with St. Paul on April 31st and played four games in St. Paul before being activated from the IL on Friday. 
    Polanco the under-rated All-Star
    Jorge Polanco has been flying under the radar and while carrying a batting average of .211, he has an eight-game hitting streak, and six of his last fourteen RBIs in two games alone (May 1st and May 3rd). 
    In his appearance against the Rays on May 1st, Polanco went 4-for-5 with two doubles and four RBI, rocketing the Twins to a 9-3 win. Among the stars of the Twins team, Polanco is potentially one of the better players on the team that doesn’t get talked about enough. He also doesn’t talk about himself. He is focused on being a team member and contributing to the game overall. He sets goals for himself that he doesn’t talk about, and even with solid defense and hitting, he still doesn’t reach all his goals. 
    In a previous press conference Manager, Rocco Baldelli talked about the significance that Polanco has on the field. 
    "He's such a solid contributor for us on the field," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. "He does everything almost kind of under the radar. Personality-wise, he's a wonderful human being, but he's a quiet guy, and that's just who he is. So we probably don't talk about him enough."
    And just as this writer was deep-diving into Polanco’s stats,  Polanco hit his third home run of the year, 451 feet according to Baseball Savant off of Kaprielian’s slider to center field to give the Twins a 1-0 lead in the sixth. 
    Close Calls and a Marginal Lead
    Things started to heat up in the seventh inning as it looked like the Athletics were going to get into the action after a deep liner to center field that slid between Buxton and Nick Gordon, allowing Christian Bethancourt to get a double. The A’s momentum was brought to a screeching halt when Max Kepler stopped a fly ball by Brian McKinney to end the inning.
    In the bottom of the eighth, Royce Lewis got the second hit of his MLB career, a double off the wall in right-center. He was promptly picked off when a bunt was missed. Even with a challenge to New York, the call remained, and a frustrated Lewis returned to the dugout. Pitcher A.J. Puk had a tough time in the eighth, bobbling a ball hit back to him off of the bat of Gilberto Celestino who advanced to first and waited for a chance to advance, but to no avail. 
    Heading into the ninth, the Twins had no insurance runs and a marginal lead, but Jhoan Duran came back out to finish what he started in the eighth frame. It wasn't without stress though. Just like Friday's game, this game brought extra anxiety in the ninth as Duran walked a batter and then hit another. The last out seemed to take forever. As Ryan Jeffers framed strike two to Bethancourt, the Twins were looking at one remaining strike to complete the game. Bethancourt continued to foul-off balls prolonging the pain of the ninth before Duran threw him with a 100mph fastball to get him swinging to end the game!
    Sonny Gray and the bullpen pulled off a combined shutout and guarantee a series win. Can they come back tomorrow and complete the sweep? 
    Who is your favorite reliever in our Bullpen right now? Are you nervous about all the ninth inning bases loaded?
    What’s Next? 
    The Twins finish up the series tomorrow on Mother’s day against Oakland before Houston arrives at Target Field. Pitching matchups for the series include: 
    Sunday  1:10 central: Chris Paddack (1-2, 3.15 ERA) vs RHP Dalton Jefferies (1-4, 4.81 ERA) 
    Postgame Interviews
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

      TUE WED THU FRI SAT TOT               Coulombe 0 26 0 0 12 38 Thielbar 18 0 18 0 0 36 Jax 0 0 15 0 19 34 Duran 0 0 0 0 31 31 Duffey 18 0 0 11 0 29 Pagán 0 0 0 28 0 28 Stashak 11 0 0 0 0 11 Smith 0 0 0 6 0 6 Sands 0 0 0 0 0 0  
     
     
  8. Like
    Sherry Cerny got a reaction from tarheeltwinsfan for an article, Twins 1, Athletics 0: Polanco and Pitching Give Twins Eighth Straight Home Win   
    Box Score
    SP: Sonny Gray 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K (66 pitches, 42 strikes (63.6%))
    Home Runs: Jorge Polanco (3)
    Top 3 WPA: Jhoan Duran (.265), Sonny Gray (.205), Jorge Polanco (.159)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Welcome Back Sonny
    Sonny Gray has had a less than great start since coming to the Twins organization in a trade after the lockout. His much-anticipated acquisition meant some rounding out to the pitching rotation. Gray came from Cincinnati in March in exchange for right-handed pitching prospect Chase Petty, Gray brings a source of veteran leadership to the rotation and a player to watch, but he has been sidelined much of the early season. 
    He wasn’t nearly as stretched out as his teammates at the conclusion of spring training and ultimately ended up with a right hamstring injury early in the season. The discomfort was obvious on his face as he stepped back off the mound in the second inning and ultimately out of the rotation. 
    Gray has only pitched one game at Target Field, against Seattle. He missed the last 19 games. During his IL stint, the pitcher rehabbed his hamstring and made one rehab start for Low-A Fort Myers last weekend. He pitched three shutout innings with one hit allowed and five strikeouts. He hasn’t left the team except for that one rehab game. He’s been with them in Florida and Baltimore, so instead of taking the starting position in St. Paul today, he returned to the mound on Saturday. 
    In his first inning, he looked composed, loose, and settled in by the second batter, bouncing back from 3-0 count on Chad Pinder to strike him out. The outfield assisted in Gray getting through his first inning, giving him a quick 1-2-3 to his start back with the team.
    Gray continued to pinpoint his pitches and left the game with 66 pitches. The plan was for him to be around 65 pitches. Considering this is his first game back and throwing four shutout innings and allowing only one hit, this seemed to be like the time to pull him and let the bullpen take over. 
    The bullpen continued to keep the game right where Gray left it.
    Home Grown Lineup... until it wasn't
    For a short time, the line-up that complimented Sonny Gray’s return was a homegrown Twins farm system team. For all the years that the Twins fans have spent frustrated with the front office, this lineup is a product of patience and hard work. Players like Trevor Larnach, Jose Miranda and Royce Lewis who have all put up outstanding numbers in the minors only to come-up to the Twins and show why they deserve to be on the 40-man. 
    This was the original lineup. 
    Jayce Tingler who has stepped up for Rocco Baldelli who is currently quarantining in Baltimore, has done a good job steering the ship and making good lineup and in-game decisions. This is exactly what happened after the "home-grown lineup" was announced, Trevor Larnach was sidelined with lower body tightness. Gary Sanchez replaced him in the lineup. Hopefully, we will get a chance for that lineup again, but it was fun to see and awesome to know how much homegrown depth there is.. 
    Joining the crew on Friday was Alex Kirilloff. He didn't play on Friday night, but on Saturday, he batted eighth. Considering he had surgery that ended his 2021 season on that joint last July, there was some concern it would be more than just inflammation. This latest injury didn’t turn out to be anything structural. He started his rehab assignment with St. Paul on April 31st and played four games in St. Paul before being activated from the IL on Friday. 
    Polanco the under-rated All-Star
    Jorge Polanco has been flying under the radar and while carrying a batting average of .211, he has an eight-game hitting streak, and six of his last fourteen RBIs in two games alone (May 1st and May 3rd). 
    In his appearance against the Rays on May 1st, Polanco went 4-for-5 with two doubles and four RBI, rocketing the Twins to a 9-3 win. Among the stars of the Twins team, Polanco is potentially one of the better players on the team that doesn’t get talked about enough. He also doesn’t talk about himself. He is focused on being a team member and contributing to the game overall. He sets goals for himself that he doesn’t talk about, and even with solid defense and hitting, he still doesn’t reach all his goals. 
    In a previous press conference Manager, Rocco Baldelli talked about the significance that Polanco has on the field. 
    "He's such a solid contributor for us on the field," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. "He does everything almost kind of under the radar. Personality-wise, he's a wonderful human being, but he's a quiet guy, and that's just who he is. So we probably don't talk about him enough."
    And just as this writer was deep-diving into Polanco’s stats,  Polanco hit his third home run of the year, 451 feet according to Baseball Savant off of Kaprielian’s slider to center field to give the Twins a 1-0 lead in the sixth. 
    Close Calls and a Marginal Lead
    Things started to heat up in the seventh inning as it looked like the Athletics were going to get into the action after a deep liner to center field that slid between Buxton and Nick Gordon, allowing Christian Bethancourt to get a double. The A’s momentum was brought to a screeching halt when Max Kepler stopped a fly ball by Brian McKinney to end the inning.
    In the bottom of the eighth, Royce Lewis got the second hit of his MLB career, a double off the wall in right-center. He was promptly picked off when a bunt was missed. Even with a challenge to New York, the call remained, and a frustrated Lewis returned to the dugout. Pitcher A.J. Puk had a tough time in the eighth, bobbling a ball hit back to him off of the bat of Gilberto Celestino who advanced to first and waited for a chance to advance, but to no avail. 
    Heading into the ninth, the Twins had no insurance runs and a marginal lead, but Jhoan Duran came back out to finish what he started in the eighth frame. It wasn't without stress though. Just like Friday's game, this game brought extra anxiety in the ninth as Duran walked a batter and then hit another. The last out seemed to take forever. As Ryan Jeffers framed strike two to Bethancourt, the Twins were looking at one remaining strike to complete the game. Bethancourt continued to foul-off balls prolonging the pain of the ninth before Duran threw him with a 100mph fastball to get him swinging to end the game!
    Sonny Gray and the bullpen pulled off a combined shutout and guarantee a series win. Can they come back tomorrow and complete the sweep? 
    Who is your favorite reliever in our Bullpen right now? Are you nervous about all the ninth inning bases loaded?
    What’s Next? 
    The Twins finish up the series tomorrow on Mother’s day against Oakland before Houston arrives at Target Field. Pitching matchups for the series include: 
    Sunday  1:10 central: Chris Paddack (1-2, 3.15 ERA) vs RHP Dalton Jefferies (1-4, 4.81 ERA) 
    Postgame Interviews
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

      TUE WED THU FRI SAT TOT               Coulombe 0 26 0 0 12 38 Thielbar 18 0 18 0 0 36 Jax 0 0 15 0 19 34 Duran 0 0 0 0 31 31 Duffey 18 0 0 11 0 29 Pagán 0 0 0 28 0 28 Stashak 11 0 0 0 0 11 Smith 0 0 0 6 0 6 Sands 0 0 0 0 0 0  
     
     
  9. Like
    Sherry Cerny got a reaction from In My La Z boy for an article, Twins 2, Athletics 1: Game of Firsts Ends in Twins Win   
    Box Score
    SP: Josh Winder: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K (80 pitches, 55 strikes (68.75%))
    Home Runs:  Jose Miranda (1), Byron Buxton (9)
    Top 3 WAR: Josh Winder (.231), Emilio Pagan (.156), Byron Buxton (.128)

    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Woe is We…Ailments
    Carlos Correa has been getting into the swing of things (pun fully intended) the past two weeks and it’s been fun to watch. He got off to a slow start but had a seven-game hitting streak by Thursday.  The slugger is hitting .255 with a .320 OBP, with five doubles, two homers, 11 RBI and 12 runs so far this season. When he was hit on the hand during the final game of the Orioles series, everyone was worried that he may be out for a considerable amount of time. 
    While waiting on the results of a CT scan, tons of speculation circled the injury debating whether it was broken, dislocated, or a bruise. Hoping for the best, and as a Twins fan, always expecting the worst. 
    Not only was Correa being scratched from play at this time, but the team is also working through a small stint of COVID-19 in the club house, taking out Luis Arraez, Rocco Baldelli, and Dylan Bundy. 
    Luckily, the CT scan showed no fractured bones for Correa. With the news that it is "just a bruise" and he wouldn't be put on the Injured List, he attempted to ask into the lineup. Jayce Tingler said No.   
    With all the bad news hitting the Twins this week, the ailments and injuries have allowed for some major roster moves that gave Twins fans a morale boost. Royce Lewis, who missed the past two seasons, 2020 with the pandemic and 2021 due to his torn ACL, joined the Twins and made his MLB debut. 
    Another Day Another Debut Royce Lewis (and Twins fans) have been waiting for this day since he was drafted by the Twins with the first overall pick in the2017 draft. There were a few bumps on the road to the Show, but he has arrived, and Lewis joined his teammates on the field donning #23, once worn by fan-favorite Nelson Cruz before he was traded to Tampa Bay. Some have a “too soon” feeling,  all in fun of course, but maybe it’s a good omen for the young player and Cruz’s talent will rub off on him. 
    Lewis has been tearing it up in St. Paul this season, showing that he is more than ready and capable for this call-up. His at-bats are some of the most impressive thus far with 21 hits (including 11 doubles) helping catapult his team to an above .500 April. While he didn't take Correa's roster spot, he did take Luis Arraez's spot, with Arraez officially going on the Covid-IL. It’s a good problem to have when you can be sad for one player potentially being hurt, but now the team has aces up their sleeve who can come in and take their place. Luckily for the fans, Correa is okay, and Lewis still got to make his debut and gain some experience. 
    Lewis had a successful night at third base in support of Friday night's starter Josh Winder. In the first inning, on his fourth pitch, Winder threw a fastball to Sheldon Neuse which came off the tip of the bat, a hopper right to shortstop, giving Lewis his first major league put-out, throwing to Jose Miranda to get out Neuse at first base.
    Lewis started out his hitting career with the Twins with a ground out to third base, but Lewis left first base with a huge smile on his face and the glow didn’t disappear all night. Lewis made contact every time he was at bat tonight, finally getting the first hit of his Major League career in the bottom of the eighth.
    While Lewis did not get a chance to score, all-in-all it was a fantastic night for the Twins top prospect and fans are ready for more!
    Warm nights, Hot performances
    In the second inning, Jose Miranda connected for his first major-league home run. Miranda drilled a Zach Logue’s fastball, hitting the ball into second deck in left field. The velocity on the home run was 105.5 MPH. 
    Trevor Larnach has not let up on offense. He collected another double tonight, his ninth of the season. Larnach has been beyond impressive at the plate and with his defense. In the second inning, Elvis Andrus hit a one-hopper to Larnach in left, who fielded the ball and threw it home to Gary Sanchez to get out the runner easily. 
    Byron Buxton was in the game as the Designated Hitter on Friday, and while fans would rather see him in center field, it doesn’t matter where he is, he makes an impact. Buxton hit his ninth home run, putting him in fourth place in the American League this season. 
    The Starters and the Bullpen are on Fire
    Josh Winder had his second start of the season. This was his first start at Target Field. On this night, the mound was his, and he started out hot again, with a ground out and two strikeouts in the first inning. 
    Winder followed that up by striking out Jed Lowrie and Sean Murphy for a 1-2-3 inning. His pitching didn’t let up. By the top of the fifth inning, the rookie had four straight strikeouts and four 1-2-3 innings before Elvis Andrus hit a ground ball to Lewis who made a great stop and threw to Miranda for the out. 
    Winder carried the Twins through six innings, only allowing an unearned run and that came at the end of his night in the sixth inning. Wes Johnson came out to give his rookie some advice, and Winder was able to regain composure and finish out the inning. His night ended when Gary Sanchez threw out Sheldon Neuse on a steal attempt. 
    The bullpen started out great with Joe Smith and Tyler Duffey who got the team through innings seventh and eighth innings. Fans held their breath as Emilio Pagan took the mound and loaded the bases in the top of the ninth. With bases full and Chad Pinder's count full, Pagan got a swinging strike to end the game. 
    What was your favorite moment of the game? 
    What’s Next? 
    The Twins finish out their series this weekend with Oakland before Houston comes to town on Tuesday and meets up with Correa for the first time in a different uniform. Remaining pitching matchups for this series include: 
    Saturday 1:10 pm: Sonny Gray (coming off IL) vs RHP James Kaprielian (0-1, 18.00 ERA) Sunday 1:10 pm: Chris Paddock (1-2, 3.15 ERA) vs RHP Dalton Jefferies (1-4, 4.81 ERA)  Postgame Interview 
     
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

      MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT               Pagán 27 0 0 0 28 55 Thielbar 0 18 0 18 0 36 Jax 15 0 0 15 0 30 Duffey 0 18 0 0 11 29 Coulombe 0 0 26 0 0 26 Stashak 0 11 0 0 0 11 Duran 10 0 0 0 0 10 Smith 2 0 0 0 6 8 Sands 0 0 0 0 0 0  
     
  10. Like
    Sherry Cerny got a reaction from The Mad King for an article, Twins 2, Athletics 1: Game of Firsts Ends in Twins Win   
    Box Score
    SP: Josh Winder: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K (80 pitches, 55 strikes (68.75%))
    Home Runs:  Jose Miranda (1), Byron Buxton (9)
    Top 3 WAR: Josh Winder (.231), Emilio Pagan (.156), Byron Buxton (.128)

    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Woe is We…Ailments
    Carlos Correa has been getting into the swing of things (pun fully intended) the past two weeks and it’s been fun to watch. He got off to a slow start but had a seven-game hitting streak by Thursday.  The slugger is hitting .255 with a .320 OBP, with five doubles, two homers, 11 RBI and 12 runs so far this season. When he was hit on the hand during the final game of the Orioles series, everyone was worried that he may be out for a considerable amount of time. 
    While waiting on the results of a CT scan, tons of speculation circled the injury debating whether it was broken, dislocated, or a bruise. Hoping for the best, and as a Twins fan, always expecting the worst. 
    Not only was Correa being scratched from play at this time, but the team is also working through a small stint of COVID-19 in the club house, taking out Luis Arraez, Rocco Baldelli, and Dylan Bundy. 
    Luckily, the CT scan showed no fractured bones for Correa. With the news that it is "just a bruise" and he wouldn't be put on the Injured List, he attempted to ask into the lineup. Jayce Tingler said No.   
    With all the bad news hitting the Twins this week, the ailments and injuries have allowed for some major roster moves that gave Twins fans a morale boost. Royce Lewis, who missed the past two seasons, 2020 with the pandemic and 2021 due to his torn ACL, joined the Twins and made his MLB debut. 
    Another Day Another Debut Royce Lewis (and Twins fans) have been waiting for this day since he was drafted by the Twins with the first overall pick in the2017 draft. There were a few bumps on the road to the Show, but he has arrived, and Lewis joined his teammates on the field donning #23, once worn by fan-favorite Nelson Cruz before he was traded to Tampa Bay. Some have a “too soon” feeling,  all in fun of course, but maybe it’s a good omen for the young player and Cruz’s talent will rub off on him. 
    Lewis has been tearing it up in St. Paul this season, showing that he is more than ready and capable for this call-up. His at-bats are some of the most impressive thus far with 21 hits (including 11 doubles) helping catapult his team to an above .500 April. While he didn't take Correa's roster spot, he did take Luis Arraez's spot, with Arraez officially going on the Covid-IL. It’s a good problem to have when you can be sad for one player potentially being hurt, but now the team has aces up their sleeve who can come in and take their place. Luckily for the fans, Correa is okay, and Lewis still got to make his debut and gain some experience. 
    Lewis had a successful night at third base in support of Friday night's starter Josh Winder. In the first inning, on his fourth pitch, Winder threw a fastball to Sheldon Neuse which came off the tip of the bat, a hopper right to shortstop, giving Lewis his first major league put-out, throwing to Jose Miranda to get out Neuse at first base.
    Lewis started out his hitting career with the Twins with a ground out to third base, but Lewis left first base with a huge smile on his face and the glow didn’t disappear all night. Lewis made contact every time he was at bat tonight, finally getting the first hit of his Major League career in the bottom of the eighth.
    While Lewis did not get a chance to score, all-in-all it was a fantastic night for the Twins top prospect and fans are ready for more!
    Warm nights, Hot performances
    In the second inning, Jose Miranda connected for his first major-league home run. Miranda drilled a Zach Logue’s fastball, hitting the ball into second deck in left field. The velocity on the home run was 105.5 MPH. 
    Trevor Larnach has not let up on offense. He collected another double tonight, his ninth of the season. Larnach has been beyond impressive at the plate and with his defense. In the second inning, Elvis Andrus hit a one-hopper to Larnach in left, who fielded the ball and threw it home to Gary Sanchez to get out the runner easily. 
    Byron Buxton was in the game as the Designated Hitter on Friday, and while fans would rather see him in center field, it doesn’t matter where he is, he makes an impact. Buxton hit his ninth home run, putting him in fourth place in the American League this season. 
    The Starters and the Bullpen are on Fire
    Josh Winder had his second start of the season. This was his first start at Target Field. On this night, the mound was his, and he started out hot again, with a ground out and two strikeouts in the first inning. 
    Winder followed that up by striking out Jed Lowrie and Sean Murphy for a 1-2-3 inning. His pitching didn’t let up. By the top of the fifth inning, the rookie had four straight strikeouts and four 1-2-3 innings before Elvis Andrus hit a ground ball to Lewis who made a great stop and threw to Miranda for the out. 
    Winder carried the Twins through six innings, only allowing an unearned run and that came at the end of his night in the sixth inning. Wes Johnson came out to give his rookie some advice, and Winder was able to regain composure and finish out the inning. His night ended when Gary Sanchez threw out Sheldon Neuse on a steal attempt. 
    The bullpen started out great with Joe Smith and Tyler Duffey who got the team through innings seventh and eighth innings. Fans held their breath as Emilio Pagan took the mound and loaded the bases in the top of the ninth. With bases full and Chad Pinder's count full, Pagan got a swinging strike to end the game. 
    What was your favorite moment of the game? 
    What’s Next? 
    The Twins finish out their series this weekend with Oakland before Houston comes to town on Tuesday and meets up with Correa for the first time in a different uniform. Remaining pitching matchups for this series include: 
    Saturday 1:10 pm: Sonny Gray (coming off IL) vs RHP James Kaprielian (0-1, 18.00 ERA) Sunday 1:10 pm: Chris Paddock (1-2, 3.15 ERA) vs RHP Dalton Jefferies (1-4, 4.81 ERA)  Postgame Interview 
     
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

      MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT               Pagán 27 0 0 0 28 55 Thielbar 0 18 0 18 0 36 Jax 15 0 0 15 0 30 Duffey 0 18 0 0 11 29 Coulombe 0 0 26 0 0 26 Stashak 0 11 0 0 0 11 Duran 10 0 0 0 0 10 Smith 2 0 0 0 6 8 Sands 0 0 0 0 0 0  
     
  11. Like
    Sherry Cerny got a reaction from operation mindcrime for an article, Twins Daily Minnesota Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month: April 2022   
    When the Twins Daily Writers sat down to review the minor league relief pitchers, it was a tough decision with all the strong numbers from this month. Who would be the pitcher of the month? 
    Especially with it being so early, the four minor league affiliates: The St. Paul Saints (12-10), Wichita Wind Surge (12-8), Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (11-7) and Cedar Rapids Kernels (15-4) are teams Major League pipelines dream of. Stacked with talent and above .500 in early April, the relievers chosen this month have been responsible for a lot of the success of their teams. 
    The Minor Leagues have implemented the pitch clock which has put a little more pressure on pitching, but these pitchers aren’t letting that phase them. The pitching is solid in the minor leagues, and pitchers like Osiris German, Evan Sisk, and Hunter McMahon continue to grow in their potential while others take a commanding lead in the first month of the season.  With so many outstanding choices on the mound, let's see how Twins Daily writers voted.
    Honorable Mention #2: Denny Bentley LHP  6G, 0.96 ERA, 0.64 WHIP, 9.1 IP, 4H, 2BB, 13K
    Bentley is back in Iowa after splitting his time between Iowa and Florida last season and was on the opening day roster. Bentley has been impressive in his just 9 1/3 innings pitched with two saves and 0.96 ERA. In his second game of the season, he got his first win versus the Quad City River Bandits after relieving Sean Mooney. 
    In his following appearance, Bentley’s a top 3 reliever for the month, he’s had several 1-2-3 innings, or at least zero-run innings. His ERA and WHIP have dropped considerably in 2022 compared to 2021. His discipline continues to grow, and his stats continue to be strong. 
    Bentley was drafted in 2018 by the Twins in the 33rd round of the 2018 draft out of Howard College, a Junior College in Big Springs, Texas. With the exception of not playing baseball in 2020 along with the rest of the minor leagues, he has been with the Twins since being drafted.  
    Honorable Mention #1: Austin Schulfer RHP 7G, 0.00 ERA, .71 WHIP, 11.1 IP, 5H, 3BB, 14K
    Austin is in his second season with the Surge but has been making an impact on minor league baseball since his time with the Kernels in 2019. Early in that season, he and teammate Jose Martinez recorded the 15th combined no-no in Cedar Rapids history. 
    Last year, he was in the Wind Surge starting rotation and led the Twins minor leagues in innings pitched has given him experience and confidence. Schulfer’s April is off to a great start, registering one of the lowest WHIP’s among the other April award contenders at 0.71 and striking out 14 hitters in 11 innings. He also recorded three saves in his seven games pitched. 
    Schulfer was the only UW-Milwaukee player drafted in 2018. He was picked by the Twins in the 19th round, 574th overall. Before coming to the Twins he left UWM in 2018 leading his college team in innings pitched (91.1) and wins (6). 
    Relief Pitcher of the Month: Tyler Viza 12G, 0.97 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, 12.1 IP, 9H, 3BB, 21K
    Tyler Viza’s first month with the Twins has been nothing short of spectacular. Viza has pitched in only six games for the Surge and is already making an impact. He has three wins and struck out 21 hitters in just over 12 innings. 
    Viza was drafted in 2013 by the Phillies in the 32nd round. He stayed with them through 2019 when he became a free agent. He signed with the Padres who were hurting for starting pitching.  Viza was signed as a free agent on March 20 to the Twins, just two weeks before opening day, out of the independent American Association. 
    The bullpen pitching of the minor league teams has been a huge asset to the Twins affiliates so far in April.
    If you were to rank your top 3 for the month of April, are these the three you would have ranked? In the same order? Who are you looking forward to making the Minor League Awards next month? 
  12. Like
    Sherry Cerny got a reaction from ToddlerHarmon for an article, Twins Daily Minnesota Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month: April 2022   
    When the Twins Daily Writers sat down to review the minor league relief pitchers, it was a tough decision with all the strong numbers from this month. Who would be the pitcher of the month? 
    Especially with it being so early, the four minor league affiliates: The St. Paul Saints (12-10), Wichita Wind Surge (12-8), Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (11-7) and Cedar Rapids Kernels (15-4) are teams Major League pipelines dream of. Stacked with talent and above .500 in early April, the relievers chosen this month have been responsible for a lot of the success of their teams. 
    The Minor Leagues have implemented the pitch clock which has put a little more pressure on pitching, but these pitchers aren’t letting that phase them. The pitching is solid in the minor leagues, and pitchers like Osiris German, Evan Sisk, and Hunter McMahon continue to grow in their potential while others take a commanding lead in the first month of the season.  With so many outstanding choices on the mound, let's see how Twins Daily writers voted.
    Honorable Mention #2: Denny Bentley LHP  6G, 0.96 ERA, 0.64 WHIP, 9.1 IP, 4H, 2BB, 13K
    Bentley is back in Iowa after splitting his time between Iowa and Florida last season and was on the opening day roster. Bentley has been impressive in his just 9 1/3 innings pitched with two saves and 0.96 ERA. In his second game of the season, he got his first win versus the Quad City River Bandits after relieving Sean Mooney. 
    In his following appearance, Bentley’s a top 3 reliever for the month, he’s had several 1-2-3 innings, or at least zero-run innings. His ERA and WHIP have dropped considerably in 2022 compared to 2021. His discipline continues to grow, and his stats continue to be strong. 
    Bentley was drafted in 2018 by the Twins in the 33rd round of the 2018 draft out of Howard College, a Junior College in Big Springs, Texas. With the exception of not playing baseball in 2020 along with the rest of the minor leagues, he has been with the Twins since being drafted.  
    Honorable Mention #1: Austin Schulfer RHP 7G, 0.00 ERA, .71 WHIP, 11.1 IP, 5H, 3BB, 14K
    Austin is in his second season with the Surge but has been making an impact on minor league baseball since his time with the Kernels in 2019. Early in that season, he and teammate Jose Martinez recorded the 15th combined no-no in Cedar Rapids history. 
    Last year, he was in the Wind Surge starting rotation and led the Twins minor leagues in innings pitched has given him experience and confidence. Schulfer’s April is off to a great start, registering one of the lowest WHIP’s among the other April award contenders at 0.71 and striking out 14 hitters in 11 innings. He also recorded three saves in his seven games pitched. 
    Schulfer was the only UW-Milwaukee player drafted in 2018. He was picked by the Twins in the 19th round, 574th overall. Before coming to the Twins he left UWM in 2018 leading his college team in innings pitched (91.1) and wins (6). 
    Relief Pitcher of the Month: Tyler Viza 12G, 0.97 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, 12.1 IP, 9H, 3BB, 21K
    Tyler Viza’s first month with the Twins has been nothing short of spectacular. Viza has pitched in only six games for the Surge and is already making an impact. He has three wins and struck out 21 hitters in just over 12 innings. 
    Viza was drafted in 2013 by the Phillies in the 32nd round. He stayed with them through 2019 when he became a free agent. He signed with the Padres who were hurting for starting pitching.  Viza was signed as a free agent on March 20 to the Twins, just two weeks before opening day, out of the independent American Association. 
    The bullpen pitching of the minor league teams has been a huge asset to the Twins affiliates so far in April.
    If you were to rank your top 3 for the month of April, are these the three you would have ranked? In the same order? Who are you looking forward to making the Minor League Awards next month? 
  13. Like
    Sherry Cerny got a reaction from nclahammer for an article, Twins 9, Rays 1: Garlick Powers Twins to Win   
    Box Score
    SP: Chris Archer: 4 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K (79 pitches, 46 strikes (58.2%))
    Home Runs: Kyle Garlick 2 (3), Max Kepler (5)

    Top 3 WPA: Kyle Garlick (.316), Gilbert Celestino (.73), Carlos Correa (.60)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

     
    Chris Archer Returns to Tampa Bay
    Chris Archer was acquired by the Twins from Tampa Bay on March 28 of this season, Saturday, he pitched against the team that he spent eight seasons with. While the asset for the Twins was knowing that Archer knows what to throw to his former teammates, the Rays also know what he will throw, which caught up to the pitcher in the bottom of the second when Taylor Walls hit a home run into right-center field off Archer’s slider in the second inning but is the only run that he gave up during his return to Tropicana.
    In Archer’s first start against his former team, the Rays lineup made him work for every pitch that was thrown, but he completed four innings with the help of his defense and certainly calm demeanor. 
    Rocco Baldelli has been limiting his pitches to around 60 during his first three games this season. The Twins are easing Archer into the season after spending most of 2021 injured with right forearm tenderness. Archer’s confidence continued to grow, allowing him to throw a season-high of 79 pitches. He managed to work through four innings and only allowed two hits and one solo-home run before being relieved by Cody Stashak.
    The Bullpen did an amazing job of going five scoreless innings holding Tampa Bay to just one run for this game. 
    Last Minute Roster Changes Assist in Game Win
    The further the Twins have gone into April, the more injuries have popped up along the way. This series both Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton missed starting different games due to injuries. In their absence, other players have been stepping up figuratively and literally to get their chance at staying on the roster. 
    Trevor Larnach replaced Buxton today in the lineup. Buxton was a late scratch for today’s game after he received a contusion from being hit in the hand during the game Friday. Larnach’s hitting against lefties has continued to improve and in his first at-bat, he walked, making McClannahan work.
    The Twins kept Larnach in the line-up even after the McClannahan had retired, allowing him to help the Twins continue to work towards the win, getting a double in the top of the seventh scoring Celestino giving the Twins a little padding with a 4-1 lead. 
    Larnach’s performance has continued to improve substantially over the past two weeks as he puts in the work to show why he should stay after they reduce the roster in May. 
    Sano is back in the lineup after missing games with a sore knee. Batting eighth in the lineup, he wasn’t able to find his stride in the game and struck out with each at-bat.  Frustrating, for not only Sano, but for the team as well. Sano typically thrives at Tropicana Field with hits and RBIs, making it one of his more successful parks to play in, but just couldn’t seem to get anything going. 
    Bailey Ober was placed on the 10-day IL on Saturday and brought up Cole Sands to take his place. Sands most likely will be making his MLB debut with the team after the Rays series when they travel to Baltimore to face the Orioles. 
    Kyle Garlick was the MVP of the game today as he smashed two home runs, a solo homer in the first inning, and a two-run shot in the sixth inning to give the Twins a 3-1 lead. Garlick had his first career multi-home run game of his career today and after his second home run, the Rays removed McClannahan bringing out JP Feyereisen to finish out the inning. Kyle Garlick was taken out after hitting his second home run. He returned to the dugout and the Twins brought in Max Kepler for defensive purposes, and because they would be facing right-handed pitchers the rest of the game.
     
    Kepler wasted no time getting in on the action hitting a single in his first at-bat and joining the player he replaced by hitting a home run deep to right-centerfield. 
    Not Finished YET
    The Twins used the ninth inning to give Twins fans a show, getting seven hits and four runs before leaving the bases loaded. The Twins have been on a hot streak lately winning eight of their last nine decisions and potentially could close out this series with a win. 
    What’s Next? 
    The Twins have a get-away day game tomorrow to complete the series with the Rays before heading to the east coast for a four-game series against the Orioles at historic Camden Yards. Pitching matchups for tomorrow: 
    Sunday 12:10: Chris Paddack (0-2, 5.00) vs Josh Flemming LHP (2-2) Postgame Interview 
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

     
  14. Like
    Sherry Cerny got a reaction from mikelink45 for an article, Twins 9, Rays 1: Garlick Powers Twins to Win   
    Box Score
    SP: Chris Archer: 4 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K (79 pitches, 46 strikes (58.2%))
    Home Runs: Kyle Garlick 2 (3), Max Kepler (5)

    Top 3 WPA: Kyle Garlick (.316), Gilbert Celestino (.73), Carlos Correa (.60)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

     
    Chris Archer Returns to Tampa Bay
    Chris Archer was acquired by the Twins from Tampa Bay on March 28 of this season, Saturday, he pitched against the team that he spent eight seasons with. While the asset for the Twins was knowing that Archer knows what to throw to his former teammates, the Rays also know what he will throw, which caught up to the pitcher in the bottom of the second when Taylor Walls hit a home run into right-center field off Archer’s slider in the second inning but is the only run that he gave up during his return to Tropicana.
    In Archer’s first start against his former team, the Rays lineup made him work for every pitch that was thrown, but he completed four innings with the help of his defense and certainly calm demeanor. 
    Rocco Baldelli has been limiting his pitches to around 60 during his first three games this season. The Twins are easing Archer into the season after spending most of 2021 injured with right forearm tenderness. Archer’s confidence continued to grow, allowing him to throw a season-high of 79 pitches. He managed to work through four innings and only allowed two hits and one solo-home run before being relieved by Cody Stashak.
    The Bullpen did an amazing job of going five scoreless innings holding Tampa Bay to just one run for this game. 
    Last Minute Roster Changes Assist in Game Win
    The further the Twins have gone into April, the more injuries have popped up along the way. This series both Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton missed starting different games due to injuries. In their absence, other players have been stepping up figuratively and literally to get their chance at staying on the roster. 
    Trevor Larnach replaced Buxton today in the lineup. Buxton was a late scratch for today’s game after he received a contusion from being hit in the hand during the game Friday. Larnach’s hitting against lefties has continued to improve and in his first at-bat, he walked, making McClannahan work.
    The Twins kept Larnach in the line-up even after the McClannahan had retired, allowing him to help the Twins continue to work towards the win, getting a double in the top of the seventh scoring Celestino giving the Twins a little padding with a 4-1 lead. 
    Larnach’s performance has continued to improve substantially over the past two weeks as he puts in the work to show why he should stay after they reduce the roster in May. 
    Sano is back in the lineup after missing games with a sore knee. Batting eighth in the lineup, he wasn’t able to find his stride in the game and struck out with each at-bat.  Frustrating, for not only Sano, but for the team as well. Sano typically thrives at Tropicana Field with hits and RBIs, making it one of his more successful parks to play in, but just couldn’t seem to get anything going. 
    Bailey Ober was placed on the 10-day IL on Saturday and brought up Cole Sands to take his place. Sands most likely will be making his MLB debut with the team after the Rays series when they travel to Baltimore to face the Orioles. 
    Kyle Garlick was the MVP of the game today as he smashed two home runs, a solo homer in the first inning, and a two-run shot in the sixth inning to give the Twins a 3-1 lead. Garlick had his first career multi-home run game of his career today and after his second home run, the Rays removed McClannahan bringing out JP Feyereisen to finish out the inning. Kyle Garlick was taken out after hitting his second home run. He returned to the dugout and the Twins brought in Max Kepler for defensive purposes, and because they would be facing right-handed pitchers the rest of the game.
     
    Kepler wasted no time getting in on the action hitting a single in his first at-bat and joining the player he replaced by hitting a home run deep to right-centerfield. 
    Not Finished YET
    The Twins used the ninth inning to give Twins fans a show, getting seven hits and four runs before leaving the bases loaded. The Twins have been on a hot streak lately winning eight of their last nine decisions and potentially could close out this series with a win. 
    What’s Next? 
    The Twins have a get-away day game tomorrow to complete the series with the Rays before heading to the east coast for a four-game series against the Orioles at historic Camden Yards. Pitching matchups for tomorrow: 
    Sunday 12:10: Chris Paddack (0-2, 5.00) vs Josh Flemming LHP (2-2) Postgame Interview 
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

     
  15. Like
    Sherry Cerny got a reaction from Dman for an article, Twins 9, Rays 1: Garlick Powers Twins to Win   
    Box Score
    SP: Chris Archer: 4 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K (79 pitches, 46 strikes (58.2%))
    Home Runs: Kyle Garlick 2 (3), Max Kepler (5)

    Top 3 WPA: Kyle Garlick (.316), Gilbert Celestino (.73), Carlos Correa (.60)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

     
    Chris Archer Returns to Tampa Bay
    Chris Archer was acquired by the Twins from Tampa Bay on March 28 of this season, Saturday, he pitched against the team that he spent eight seasons with. While the asset for the Twins was knowing that Archer knows what to throw to his former teammates, the Rays also know what he will throw, which caught up to the pitcher in the bottom of the second when Taylor Walls hit a home run into right-center field off Archer’s slider in the second inning but is the only run that he gave up during his return to Tropicana.
    In Archer’s first start against his former team, the Rays lineup made him work for every pitch that was thrown, but he completed four innings with the help of his defense and certainly calm demeanor. 
    Rocco Baldelli has been limiting his pitches to around 60 during his first three games this season. The Twins are easing Archer into the season after spending most of 2021 injured with right forearm tenderness. Archer’s confidence continued to grow, allowing him to throw a season-high of 79 pitches. He managed to work through four innings and only allowed two hits and one solo-home run before being relieved by Cody Stashak.
    The Bullpen did an amazing job of going five scoreless innings holding Tampa Bay to just one run for this game. 
    Last Minute Roster Changes Assist in Game Win
    The further the Twins have gone into April, the more injuries have popped up along the way. This series both Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton missed starting different games due to injuries. In their absence, other players have been stepping up figuratively and literally to get their chance at staying on the roster. 
    Trevor Larnach replaced Buxton today in the lineup. Buxton was a late scratch for today’s game after he received a contusion from being hit in the hand during the game Friday. Larnach’s hitting against lefties has continued to improve and in his first at-bat, he walked, making McClannahan work.
    The Twins kept Larnach in the line-up even after the McClannahan had retired, allowing him to help the Twins continue to work towards the win, getting a double in the top of the seventh scoring Celestino giving the Twins a little padding with a 4-1 lead. 
    Larnach’s performance has continued to improve substantially over the past two weeks as he puts in the work to show why he should stay after they reduce the roster in May. 
    Sano is back in the lineup after missing games with a sore knee. Batting eighth in the lineup, he wasn’t able to find his stride in the game and struck out with each at-bat.  Frustrating, for not only Sano, but for the team as well. Sano typically thrives at Tropicana Field with hits and RBIs, making it one of his more successful parks to play in, but just couldn’t seem to get anything going. 
    Bailey Ober was placed on the 10-day IL on Saturday and brought up Cole Sands to take his place. Sands most likely will be making his MLB debut with the team after the Rays series when they travel to Baltimore to face the Orioles. 
    Kyle Garlick was the MVP of the game today as he smashed two home runs, a solo homer in the first inning, and a two-run shot in the sixth inning to give the Twins a 3-1 lead. Garlick had his first career multi-home run game of his career today and after his second home run, the Rays removed McClannahan bringing out JP Feyereisen to finish out the inning. Kyle Garlick was taken out after hitting his second home run. He returned to the dugout and the Twins brought in Max Kepler for defensive purposes, and because they would be facing right-handed pitchers the rest of the game.
     
    Kepler wasted no time getting in on the action hitting a single in his first at-bat and joining the player he replaced by hitting a home run deep to right-centerfield. 
    Not Finished YET
    The Twins used the ninth inning to give Twins fans a show, getting seven hits and four runs before leaving the bases loaded. The Twins have been on a hot streak lately winning eight of their last nine decisions and potentially could close out this series with a win. 
    What’s Next? 
    The Twins have a get-away day game tomorrow to complete the series with the Rays before heading to the east coast for a four-game series against the Orioles at historic Camden Yards. Pitching matchups for tomorrow: 
    Sunday 12:10: Chris Paddack (0-2, 5.00) vs Josh Flemming LHP (2-2) Postgame Interview 
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

     
  16. Like
    Sherry Cerny got a reaction from The Mad King for an article, Twins 9, Rays 1: Garlick Powers Twins to Win   
    Box Score
    SP: Chris Archer: 4 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K (79 pitches, 46 strikes (58.2%))
    Home Runs: Kyle Garlick 2 (3), Max Kepler (5)

    Top 3 WPA: Kyle Garlick (.316), Gilbert Celestino (.73), Carlos Correa (.60)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

     
    Chris Archer Returns to Tampa Bay
    Chris Archer was acquired by the Twins from Tampa Bay on March 28 of this season, Saturday, he pitched against the team that he spent eight seasons with. While the asset for the Twins was knowing that Archer knows what to throw to his former teammates, the Rays also know what he will throw, which caught up to the pitcher in the bottom of the second when Taylor Walls hit a home run into right-center field off Archer’s slider in the second inning but is the only run that he gave up during his return to Tropicana.
    In Archer’s first start against his former team, the Rays lineup made him work for every pitch that was thrown, but he completed four innings with the help of his defense and certainly calm demeanor. 
    Rocco Baldelli has been limiting his pitches to around 60 during his first three games this season. The Twins are easing Archer into the season after spending most of 2021 injured with right forearm tenderness. Archer’s confidence continued to grow, allowing him to throw a season-high of 79 pitches. He managed to work through four innings and only allowed two hits and one solo-home run before being relieved by Cody Stashak.
    The Bullpen did an amazing job of going five scoreless innings holding Tampa Bay to just one run for this game. 
    Last Minute Roster Changes Assist in Game Win
    The further the Twins have gone into April, the more injuries have popped up along the way. This series both Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton missed starting different games due to injuries. In their absence, other players have been stepping up figuratively and literally to get their chance at staying on the roster. 
    Trevor Larnach replaced Buxton today in the lineup. Buxton was a late scratch for today’s game after he received a contusion from being hit in the hand during the game Friday. Larnach’s hitting against lefties has continued to improve and in his first at-bat, he walked, making McClannahan work.
    The Twins kept Larnach in the line-up even after the McClannahan had retired, allowing him to help the Twins continue to work towards the win, getting a double in the top of the seventh scoring Celestino giving the Twins a little padding with a 4-1 lead. 
    Larnach’s performance has continued to improve substantially over the past two weeks as he puts in the work to show why he should stay after they reduce the roster in May. 
    Sano is back in the lineup after missing games with a sore knee. Batting eighth in the lineup, he wasn’t able to find his stride in the game and struck out with each at-bat.  Frustrating, for not only Sano, but for the team as well. Sano typically thrives at Tropicana Field with hits and RBIs, making it one of his more successful parks to play in, but just couldn’t seem to get anything going. 
    Bailey Ober was placed on the 10-day IL on Saturday and brought up Cole Sands to take his place. Sands most likely will be making his MLB debut with the team after the Rays series when they travel to Baltimore to face the Orioles. 
    Kyle Garlick was the MVP of the game today as he smashed two home runs, a solo homer in the first inning, and a two-run shot in the sixth inning to give the Twins a 3-1 lead. Garlick had his first career multi-home run game of his career today and after his second home run, the Rays removed McClannahan bringing out JP Feyereisen to finish out the inning. Kyle Garlick was taken out after hitting his second home run. He returned to the dugout and the Twins brought in Max Kepler for defensive purposes, and because they would be facing right-handed pitchers the rest of the game.
     
    Kepler wasted no time getting in on the action hitting a single in his first at-bat and joining the player he replaced by hitting a home run deep to right-centerfield. 
    Not Finished YET
    The Twins used the ninth inning to give Twins fans a show, getting seven hits and four runs before leaving the bases loaded. The Twins have been on a hot streak lately winning eight of their last nine decisions and potentially could close out this series with a win. 
    What’s Next? 
    The Twins have a get-away day game tomorrow to complete the series with the Rays before heading to the east coast for a four-game series against the Orioles at historic Camden Yards. Pitching matchups for tomorrow: 
    Sunday 12:10: Chris Paddack (0-2, 5.00) vs Josh Flemming LHP (2-2) Postgame Interview 
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

     
  17. Like
    Sherry Cerny got a reaction from Richie the Rally Goat for an article, Twins 9, Rays 1: Garlick Powers Twins to Win   
    Box Score
    SP: Chris Archer: 4 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K (79 pitches, 46 strikes (58.2%))
    Home Runs: Kyle Garlick 2 (3), Max Kepler (5)

    Top 3 WPA: Kyle Garlick (.316), Gilbert Celestino (.73), Carlos Correa (.60)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

     
    Chris Archer Returns to Tampa Bay
    Chris Archer was acquired by the Twins from Tampa Bay on March 28 of this season, Saturday, he pitched against the team that he spent eight seasons with. While the asset for the Twins was knowing that Archer knows what to throw to his former teammates, the Rays also know what he will throw, which caught up to the pitcher in the bottom of the second when Taylor Walls hit a home run into right-center field off Archer’s slider in the second inning but is the only run that he gave up during his return to Tropicana.
    In Archer’s first start against his former team, the Rays lineup made him work for every pitch that was thrown, but he completed four innings with the help of his defense and certainly calm demeanor. 
    Rocco Baldelli has been limiting his pitches to around 60 during his first three games this season. The Twins are easing Archer into the season after spending most of 2021 injured with right forearm tenderness. Archer’s confidence continued to grow, allowing him to throw a season-high of 79 pitches. He managed to work through four innings and only allowed two hits and one solo-home run before being relieved by Cody Stashak.
    The Bullpen did an amazing job of going five scoreless innings holding Tampa Bay to just one run for this game. 
    Last Minute Roster Changes Assist in Game Win
    The further the Twins have gone into April, the more injuries have popped up along the way. This series both Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton missed starting different games due to injuries. In their absence, other players have been stepping up figuratively and literally to get their chance at staying on the roster. 
    Trevor Larnach replaced Buxton today in the lineup. Buxton was a late scratch for today’s game after he received a contusion from being hit in the hand during the game Friday. Larnach’s hitting against lefties has continued to improve and in his first at-bat, he walked, making McClannahan work.
    The Twins kept Larnach in the line-up even after the McClannahan had retired, allowing him to help the Twins continue to work towards the win, getting a double in the top of the seventh scoring Celestino giving the Twins a little padding with a 4-1 lead. 
    Larnach’s performance has continued to improve substantially over the past two weeks as he puts in the work to show why he should stay after they reduce the roster in May. 
    Sano is back in the lineup after missing games with a sore knee. Batting eighth in the lineup, he wasn’t able to find his stride in the game and struck out with each at-bat.  Frustrating, for not only Sano, but for the team as well. Sano typically thrives at Tropicana Field with hits and RBIs, making it one of his more successful parks to play in, but just couldn’t seem to get anything going. 
    Bailey Ober was placed on the 10-day IL on Saturday and brought up Cole Sands to take his place. Sands most likely will be making his MLB debut with the team after the Rays series when they travel to Baltimore to face the Orioles. 
    Kyle Garlick was the MVP of the game today as he smashed two home runs, a solo homer in the first inning, and a two-run shot in the sixth inning to give the Twins a 3-1 lead. Garlick had his first career multi-home run game of his career today and after his second home run, the Rays removed McClannahan bringing out JP Feyereisen to finish out the inning. Kyle Garlick was taken out after hitting his second home run. He returned to the dugout and the Twins brought in Max Kepler for defensive purposes, and because they would be facing right-handed pitchers the rest of the game.
     
    Kepler wasted no time getting in on the action hitting a single in his first at-bat and joining the player he replaced by hitting a home run deep to right-centerfield. 
    Not Finished YET
    The Twins used the ninth inning to give Twins fans a show, getting seven hits and four runs before leaving the bases loaded. The Twins have been on a hot streak lately winning eight of their last nine decisions and potentially could close out this series with a win. 
    What’s Next? 
    The Twins have a get-away day game tomorrow to complete the series with the Rays before heading to the east coast for a four-game series against the Orioles at historic Camden Yards. Pitching matchups for tomorrow: 
    Sunday 12:10: Chris Paddack (0-2, 5.00) vs Josh Flemming LHP (2-2) Postgame Interview 
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

     
  18. Like
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    Box Score
    SP: Chris Archer: 4 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K (79 pitches, 46 strikes (58.2%))
    Home Runs: Kyle Garlick 2 (3), Max Kepler (5)

    Top 3 WPA: Kyle Garlick (.316), Gilbert Celestino (.73), Carlos Correa (.60)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

     
    Chris Archer Returns to Tampa Bay
    Chris Archer was acquired by the Twins from Tampa Bay on March 28 of this season, Saturday, he pitched against the team that he spent eight seasons with. While the asset for the Twins was knowing that Archer knows what to throw to his former teammates, the Rays also know what he will throw, which caught up to the pitcher in the bottom of the second when Taylor Walls hit a home run into right-center field off Archer’s slider in the second inning but is the only run that he gave up during his return to Tropicana.
    In Archer’s first start against his former team, the Rays lineup made him work for every pitch that was thrown, but he completed four innings with the help of his defense and certainly calm demeanor. 
    Rocco Baldelli has been limiting his pitches to around 60 during his first three games this season. The Twins are easing Archer into the season after spending most of 2021 injured with right forearm tenderness. Archer’s confidence continued to grow, allowing him to throw a season-high of 79 pitches. He managed to work through four innings and only allowed two hits and one solo-home run before being relieved by Cody Stashak.
    The Bullpen did an amazing job of going five scoreless innings holding Tampa Bay to just one run for this game. 
    Last Minute Roster Changes Assist in Game Win
    The further the Twins have gone into April, the more injuries have popped up along the way. This series both Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton missed starting different games due to injuries. In their absence, other players have been stepping up figuratively and literally to get their chance at staying on the roster. 
    Trevor Larnach replaced Buxton today in the lineup. Buxton was a late scratch for today’s game after he received a contusion from being hit in the hand during the game Friday. Larnach’s hitting against lefties has continued to improve and in his first at-bat, he walked, making McClannahan work.
    The Twins kept Larnach in the line-up even after the McClannahan had retired, allowing him to help the Twins continue to work towards the win, getting a double in the top of the seventh scoring Celestino giving the Twins a little padding with a 4-1 lead. 
    Larnach’s performance has continued to improve substantially over the past two weeks as he puts in the work to show why he should stay after they reduce the roster in May. 
    Sano is back in the lineup after missing games with a sore knee. Batting eighth in the lineup, he wasn’t able to find his stride in the game and struck out with each at-bat.  Frustrating, for not only Sano, but for the team as well. Sano typically thrives at Tropicana Field with hits and RBIs, making it one of his more successful parks to play in, but just couldn’t seem to get anything going. 
    Bailey Ober was placed on the 10-day IL on Saturday and brought up Cole Sands to take his place. Sands most likely will be making his MLB debut with the team after the Rays series when they travel to Baltimore to face the Orioles. 
    Kyle Garlick was the MVP of the game today as he smashed two home runs, a solo homer in the first inning, and a two-run shot in the sixth inning to give the Twins a 3-1 lead. Garlick had his first career multi-home run game of his career today and after his second home run, the Rays removed McClannahan bringing out JP Feyereisen to finish out the inning. Kyle Garlick was taken out after hitting his second home run. He returned to the dugout and the Twins brought in Max Kepler for defensive purposes, and because they would be facing right-handed pitchers the rest of the game.
     
    Kepler wasted no time getting in on the action hitting a single in his first at-bat and joining the player he replaced by hitting a home run deep to right-centerfield. 
    Not Finished YET
    The Twins used the ninth inning to give Twins fans a show, getting seven hits and four runs before leaving the bases loaded. The Twins have been on a hot streak lately winning eight of their last nine decisions and potentially could close out this series with a win. 
    What’s Next? 
    The Twins have a get-away day game tomorrow to complete the series with the Rays before heading to the east coast for a four-game series against the Orioles at historic Camden Yards. Pitching matchups for tomorrow: 
    Sunday 12:10: Chris Paddack (0-2, 5.00) vs Josh Flemming LHP (2-2) Postgame Interview 
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

     
  19. Like
    Sherry Cerny got a reaction from deanlambrecht for an article, Twins 6, White Sox 4: Twins End White Sox Series Sweep with a Bang   
    But they battled back, scoring one run off of White Sox ace Lucas Giolito and tying up the game on a home run by Byron Buxton in the seventh inning. They threatened to take the lead in the eighth inning but left the bases loaded when Luis Arraez grounded out to second base. 
    That didn't stop the Twins from having faith. Byron Buxton came up to bat in the 10th inning to get a three-run homerun to walk it off!
    Box Score
    SP: Chris Archer: 3 IP,3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K (61 pitches, 32 strikes (52.4%))
    Home Runs: Byron Buxton 2 (6)
    Top 3 WPA: Byron Buxton (.761), Jhoan Duran (.227), Max Kepler (.168) 
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Larnach’s Series
    Trevor Larnach’s series versus the White Sox has been one of consistency. Since the game in Kansas City versus the Royals, Larnach has had a hit every game, responsible for two of the RBIs in the Saturday afternoon game giving the Twins a seven-run lead in the bottom of the fourth. He did not fare as well at the plate today, striking out twice (looking, once with the bases loaded, and once with runners on second and third) but still found a way to contribute. 
    As Archer struggled to maintain control in the third inning, with bases loaded, Andrew Vaughn singled a sharp line drive to Larnach in left-field, who threw a cannon home to Jose Godoy to end the inning. 
    Godoy Makes Twins Debut
    Jose Godoy’s contract was added to the Twins’ roster yesterday and made his debut with the Twins today. The former Seattle Mariner had 40 at-bats last year ending the season with a .162 batting average. Ryan Jeffers was scratched from the line-up two hours before game time for a knee contusion and Gary Sanchez is still out with abdominal tightness. 
    Godoy saw five pitches in his first at-bat, striking out.  Godoy’s first and second appearances he struck out, but rounded out his first game with the Twins being walked by Aaron Bummer, before being sent home off Byron Buxton game-tying two-run home run. Then he walked again in the 10th inning, coming around again on Buxton's game-winning home run. 
    His defense and chemistry with Archer was impressive to watch. The rookie catcher was able to frame pitches on a consistent basis and has good reaction time. Godoy showed his speed and agility as he ran to catch a foul off Grandal’s bat at the top of the third. Interference from the fence made for a hard catch, but Archer and Godoy got Grandal to swing at a high fast ball striking him out with the next pitch.
    He did, however, commit a cardinal sin in the 8th inning. With the winning run on third base and one out, he squared to bunt but popped out to White Sox pitcher Kendall Graveman. 
    Postgame Postscript: We learned after the game that Jeffers took a ball off his knee earlier this series and had a left knee contusion and that Rocco really did not want to use him. That proved to be important as there was that opportunity in the 8th inning to pinch hit for Godoy in the bat in which he popped out on a bump. So the Twins entered today's game with three catchers on the active roster, but only one was truly active. 
    Bats Show Signs of Life
    The Twins line-up was consistent over the series and through today battling rain and cold to keep their bats swinging, a nice change of pace from the earliest part of the season’s start. With the exception of a few players getting strikeouts early, by the 6th inning, at a minimum, almost every bat made contact with a pitch. Even Miguel Sano who was 0-for-8 through the series ended up getting a single into right field in the second inning. 

    Giolito Returns But Doesn’t Last Long
    The Twins have been having trouble scoring runs, so the last thing they need is to face a preseason Cy Young Award candidate. Not only was today’s opposing pitcher, Lucas Giolito, a candidate, he opened the season as one of the favorites at 13-2 odds.
    However, he was also making his first start after a stay on the 10-day injured list for an abdominal strain, and that rust showed a bit in the first inning. Giolito threw 26 pitches that inning, only half of which were strikes, and walked two Twins. But with the bases loaded, he escaped untarnished by striking out Trevor Larnach on two changeups and a fastball. 
    The story was similar in the third inning. This time, a walk, and a couple of singles loaded the bases, and the Twins cashed in a run on a sacrifice fly by Gio Urshela. But Giolito escaped further damage by fooling young left-handed hitters - this time both Larnach and Nick Gordon - with his changeup and fastballs away. 
    Still, he had already thrown 65 pitches through three innings, and due to his stint on the injured list, it was expected he would only throw 70-80 pitches in his second outing this year. Sure enough, after an efficient fourth inning, his day was over. 
    Gordon’s Growth
    Nick Gordon played in his 12th game today, starting at shortstop as manager Rocco Baldelli gave Carlos Correa a day off. He entered today with a 694 OPS in 26 plate appearances. He will likely never show a lot of power, and a .261 batting average is nothing special, but he is getting on base almost 35% of the time.
    Almost any evaluation of Gordon’s future and performance are tied to the wide range of expectations attached to him. If your expectations are tied to his selection in the first round of the 2014 draft, or of his family pedigree, you’re likely going to be disappointed. If, on the other hand, your expectations of him were set by his performance and health issues in AAA as recently as 2019, you might be delighted by his sudden progression as a valuable bench asset. 
    To both camps, I’d suggest it is time to take a look at him with fresh eyes. He’s a 26-year-old who is likely to never post a big OPS because he will likely never hit for power. But he gets on base, he is capable (though not outstanding) in several key defensive roles, and as a left-handed hitter, he is more likely to get a decent matchup versus right-handed pitchers. Plus, he’s an asset on the base paths.
    All that makes him an ideal super-utility player, which is exactly the role he is fulfilling this year. If he can show that he can raise his batting average closer to .300, he might improve to the point where he could be a regular starter. Fortunately for him, his performance and usefulness should provide plenty of opportunities to show his development in the super-utility role.
    Winder Unleashed
    After nearly a week without making an appearance, long reliever and promising prospect Josh Winder made an appearance when Chris Archer only lasted three innings. He gave up one run over four innings, striking out two and giving up three hits. Maybe most notably, after struggling with his control in his first appearance, he walked none and threw strikes in 42 of his 61 pitches. 
    Winder is working as the long reliever but is a starting pitching prospect long-term. We saw today what we have seen from him so far: he is a slider-first pitcher who turns to his fastball to keep hitters off-balance. It seems to be working well in a relief role, but it will be interesting to see how it plays when he has to face a lineup a second time. Certainly today that was in question, as he gave up a home run on his second time through the order. 
    But for the most part, we likely won’t see him face batters more than once in his current role with the Twins. We might get a better sense of that if he was starting in St. Paul, but he’s now fulfilling an important role with the major league club. Regardless, it’s nice to see another Twins pitching prospect having some success in the majors. 
    Postgame Postscript: We learned after the game that the plan was always for Archer to be limited to only 50-60 pitches, and he was told that after his last start in Kansas City. We also learned from Rocco that this decision was specific to Archer; they're not planning right now on similar planned short starts with the rest of the rotation. He also hinted that they wanted to do this now, when they still had a 28-man roster. It'll be interesting to see if Winder eventually does go down to St. Paul as part of the mandatory roster trimming that will happen next week, or whether he'll continue in this role in which he's having success. 
    Clutch Buxton
    Byron Buxton had a fantastic series, hitting every chance he got, and coming through whenever the team needed him. His 3-run home run came on a 3-1 count with runners on second and third base and one out. White Sox closer Liam Hendricks, in his second inning of work, pitched to Buxton in that situation rather than give him a free pass to first base and load the bases for Luis Arraez. It’s not clear that strategy would have fared any better, but they likely would choose a different path given another chance.
    Postgame Postscript: As expected (and completely appropriate) postgame interviews centered entirely around Buxton doing godlike things. Baldelli called Buxton the best player in the world right now, and marveled at some of the things he did. But you might be surprised at what he wanted to breakdown: it was Buxton's first, game-tying home run in the 8th.  Here it is, because he breaks down what  we are seeing pretty nicely.
    "He's facing a left-hander who as we saw earlier in the game, is one of the best left-handers in the game. Gets a ton of groundballs. He's a really hard guy to drive the ball in the air against. And he's a guy that normally pitches all the right-handers in, pound 'em in. And he decided to go away to Buck.
    And it took a few pitches, but Buck identifies what's going on. Completely changes what he's trying to do at the plate. And lines a ball over the right field fence. I mean, there's nothing typical or everyday or normal about that. That's very, very special. And I don't want to stop talking about it, because it's so impressive. Even for people who watch this level of baseball everyday. To see what he's doing it's just awesome."
    What’s Next? 
    The Twins will enjoy an off day at home on Monday before starting a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers at Target Field. Pitching matchups for the series include: 
    Tuesday 6:40: Chris Paddock (0-2, 5.00) vs LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (0-1, 5.27 ERA) Wednesday 6:40: Joe Ryan (2-1, 1.69 ERA) vs RHP Michael Pineda (1-0, 0.00 ERA)  Thursday 12:10: Bailey Ober  (1-1, 2.81 ERA) vs LHP Tarik Skubal (1-1, 2.30 ERA) Postgame Interview 
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

  20. Like
    Sherry Cerny got a reaction from Karbo for an article, Twins 6, White Sox 4: Twins End White Sox Series Sweep with a Bang   
    But they battled back, scoring one run off of White Sox ace Lucas Giolito and tying up the game on a home run by Byron Buxton in the seventh inning. They threatened to take the lead in the eighth inning but left the bases loaded when Luis Arraez grounded out to second base. 
    That didn't stop the Twins from having faith. Byron Buxton came up to bat in the 10th inning to get a three-run homerun to walk it off!
    Box Score
    SP: Chris Archer: 3 IP,3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K (61 pitches, 32 strikes (52.4%))
    Home Runs: Byron Buxton 2 (6)
    Top 3 WPA: Byron Buxton (.761), Jhoan Duran (.227), Max Kepler (.168) 
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Larnach’s Series
    Trevor Larnach’s series versus the White Sox has been one of consistency. Since the game in Kansas City versus the Royals, Larnach has had a hit every game, responsible for two of the RBIs in the Saturday afternoon game giving the Twins a seven-run lead in the bottom of the fourth. He did not fare as well at the plate today, striking out twice (looking, once with the bases loaded, and once with runners on second and third) but still found a way to contribute. 
    As Archer struggled to maintain control in the third inning, with bases loaded, Andrew Vaughn singled a sharp line drive to Larnach in left-field, who threw a cannon home to Jose Godoy to end the inning. 
    Godoy Makes Twins Debut
    Jose Godoy’s contract was added to the Twins’ roster yesterday and made his debut with the Twins today. The former Seattle Mariner had 40 at-bats last year ending the season with a .162 batting average. Ryan Jeffers was scratched from the line-up two hours before game time for a knee contusion and Gary Sanchez is still out with abdominal tightness. 
    Godoy saw five pitches in his first at-bat, striking out.  Godoy’s first and second appearances he struck out, but rounded out his first game with the Twins being walked by Aaron Bummer, before being sent home off Byron Buxton game-tying two-run home run. Then he walked again in the 10th inning, coming around again on Buxton's game-winning home run. 
    His defense and chemistry with Archer was impressive to watch. The rookie catcher was able to frame pitches on a consistent basis and has good reaction time. Godoy showed his speed and agility as he ran to catch a foul off Grandal’s bat at the top of the third. Interference from the fence made for a hard catch, but Archer and Godoy got Grandal to swing at a high fast ball striking him out with the next pitch.
    He did, however, commit a cardinal sin in the 8th inning. With the winning run on third base and one out, he squared to bunt but popped out to White Sox pitcher Kendall Graveman. 
    Postgame Postscript: We learned after the game that Jeffers took a ball off his knee earlier this series and had a left knee contusion and that Rocco really did not want to use him. That proved to be important as there was that opportunity in the 8th inning to pinch hit for Godoy in the bat in which he popped out on a bump. So the Twins entered today's game with three catchers on the active roster, but only one was truly active. 
    Bats Show Signs of Life
    The Twins line-up was consistent over the series and through today battling rain and cold to keep their bats swinging, a nice change of pace from the earliest part of the season’s start. With the exception of a few players getting strikeouts early, by the 6th inning, at a minimum, almost every bat made contact with a pitch. Even Miguel Sano who was 0-for-8 through the series ended up getting a single into right field in the second inning. 

    Giolito Returns But Doesn’t Last Long
    The Twins have been having trouble scoring runs, so the last thing they need is to face a preseason Cy Young Award candidate. Not only was today’s opposing pitcher, Lucas Giolito, a candidate, he opened the season as one of the favorites at 13-2 odds.
    However, he was also making his first start after a stay on the 10-day injured list for an abdominal strain, and that rust showed a bit in the first inning. Giolito threw 26 pitches that inning, only half of which were strikes, and walked two Twins. But with the bases loaded, he escaped untarnished by striking out Trevor Larnach on two changeups and a fastball. 
    The story was similar in the third inning. This time, a walk, and a couple of singles loaded the bases, and the Twins cashed in a run on a sacrifice fly by Gio Urshela. But Giolito escaped further damage by fooling young left-handed hitters - this time both Larnach and Nick Gordon - with his changeup and fastballs away. 
    Still, he had already thrown 65 pitches through three innings, and due to his stint on the injured list, it was expected he would only throw 70-80 pitches in his second outing this year. Sure enough, after an efficient fourth inning, his day was over. 
    Gordon’s Growth
    Nick Gordon played in his 12th game today, starting at shortstop as manager Rocco Baldelli gave Carlos Correa a day off. He entered today with a 694 OPS in 26 plate appearances. He will likely never show a lot of power, and a .261 batting average is nothing special, but he is getting on base almost 35% of the time.
    Almost any evaluation of Gordon’s future and performance are tied to the wide range of expectations attached to him. If your expectations are tied to his selection in the first round of the 2014 draft, or of his family pedigree, you’re likely going to be disappointed. If, on the other hand, your expectations of him were set by his performance and health issues in AAA as recently as 2019, you might be delighted by his sudden progression as a valuable bench asset. 
    To both camps, I’d suggest it is time to take a look at him with fresh eyes. He’s a 26-year-old who is likely to never post a big OPS because he will likely never hit for power. But he gets on base, he is capable (though not outstanding) in several key defensive roles, and as a left-handed hitter, he is more likely to get a decent matchup versus right-handed pitchers. Plus, he’s an asset on the base paths.
    All that makes him an ideal super-utility player, which is exactly the role he is fulfilling this year. If he can show that he can raise his batting average closer to .300, he might improve to the point where he could be a regular starter. Fortunately for him, his performance and usefulness should provide plenty of opportunities to show his development in the super-utility role.
    Winder Unleashed
    After nearly a week without making an appearance, long reliever and promising prospect Josh Winder made an appearance when Chris Archer only lasted three innings. He gave up one run over four innings, striking out two and giving up three hits. Maybe most notably, after struggling with his control in his first appearance, he walked none and threw strikes in 42 of his 61 pitches. 
    Winder is working as the long reliever but is a starting pitching prospect long-term. We saw today what we have seen from him so far: he is a slider-first pitcher who turns to his fastball to keep hitters off-balance. It seems to be working well in a relief role, but it will be interesting to see how it plays when he has to face a lineup a second time. Certainly today that was in question, as he gave up a home run on his second time through the order. 
    But for the most part, we likely won’t see him face batters more than once in his current role with the Twins. We might get a better sense of that if he was starting in St. Paul, but he’s now fulfilling an important role with the major league club. Regardless, it’s nice to see another Twins pitching prospect having some success in the majors. 
    Postgame Postscript: We learned after the game that the plan was always for Archer to be limited to only 50-60 pitches, and he was told that after his last start in Kansas City. We also learned from Rocco that this decision was specific to Archer; they're not planning right now on similar planned short starts with the rest of the rotation. He also hinted that they wanted to do this now, when they still had a 28-man roster. It'll be interesting to see if Winder eventually does go down to St. Paul as part of the mandatory roster trimming that will happen next week, or whether he'll continue in this role in which he's having success. 
    Clutch Buxton
    Byron Buxton had a fantastic series, hitting every chance he got, and coming through whenever the team needed him. His 3-run home run came on a 3-1 count with runners on second and third base and one out. White Sox closer Liam Hendricks, in his second inning of work, pitched to Buxton in that situation rather than give him a free pass to first base and load the bases for Luis Arraez. It’s not clear that strategy would have fared any better, but they likely would choose a different path given another chance.
    Postgame Postscript: As expected (and completely appropriate) postgame interviews centered entirely around Buxton doing godlike things. Baldelli called Buxton the best player in the world right now, and marveled at some of the things he did. But you might be surprised at what he wanted to breakdown: it was Buxton's first, game-tying home run in the 8th.  Here it is, because he breaks down what  we are seeing pretty nicely.
    "He's facing a left-hander who as we saw earlier in the game, is one of the best left-handers in the game. Gets a ton of groundballs. He's a really hard guy to drive the ball in the air against. And he's a guy that normally pitches all the right-handers in, pound 'em in. And he decided to go away to Buck.
    And it took a few pitches, but Buck identifies what's going on. Completely changes what he's trying to do at the plate. And lines a ball over the right field fence. I mean, there's nothing typical or everyday or normal about that. That's very, very special. And I don't want to stop talking about it, because it's so impressive. Even for people who watch this level of baseball everyday. To see what he's doing it's just awesome."
    What’s Next? 
    The Twins will enjoy an off day at home on Monday before starting a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers at Target Field. Pitching matchups for the series include: 
    Tuesday 6:40: Chris Paddock (0-2, 5.00) vs LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (0-1, 5.27 ERA) Wednesday 6:40: Joe Ryan (2-1, 1.69 ERA) vs RHP Michael Pineda (1-0, 0.00 ERA)  Thursday 12:10: Bailey Ober  (1-1, 2.81 ERA) vs LHP Tarik Skubal (1-1, 2.30 ERA) Postgame Interview 
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

  21. Like
    Sherry Cerny got a reaction from tarheeltwinsfan for an article, Twins 6, White Sox 4: Twins End White Sox Series Sweep with a Bang   
    But they battled back, scoring one run off of White Sox ace Lucas Giolito and tying up the game on a home run by Byron Buxton in the seventh inning. They threatened to take the lead in the eighth inning but left the bases loaded when Luis Arraez grounded out to second base. 
    That didn't stop the Twins from having faith. Byron Buxton came up to bat in the 10th inning to get a three-run homerun to walk it off!
    Box Score
    SP: Chris Archer: 3 IP,3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K (61 pitches, 32 strikes (52.4%))
    Home Runs: Byron Buxton 2 (6)
    Top 3 WPA: Byron Buxton (.761), Jhoan Duran (.227), Max Kepler (.168) 
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Larnach’s Series
    Trevor Larnach’s series versus the White Sox has been one of consistency. Since the game in Kansas City versus the Royals, Larnach has had a hit every game, responsible for two of the RBIs in the Saturday afternoon game giving the Twins a seven-run lead in the bottom of the fourth. He did not fare as well at the plate today, striking out twice (looking, once with the bases loaded, and once with runners on second and third) but still found a way to contribute. 
    As Archer struggled to maintain control in the third inning, with bases loaded, Andrew Vaughn singled a sharp line drive to Larnach in left-field, who threw a cannon home to Jose Godoy to end the inning. 
    Godoy Makes Twins Debut
    Jose Godoy’s contract was added to the Twins’ roster yesterday and made his debut with the Twins today. The former Seattle Mariner had 40 at-bats last year ending the season with a .162 batting average. Ryan Jeffers was scratched from the line-up two hours before game time for a knee contusion and Gary Sanchez is still out with abdominal tightness. 
    Godoy saw five pitches in his first at-bat, striking out.  Godoy’s first and second appearances he struck out, but rounded out his first game with the Twins being walked by Aaron Bummer, before being sent home off Byron Buxton game-tying two-run home run. Then he walked again in the 10th inning, coming around again on Buxton's game-winning home run. 
    His defense and chemistry with Archer was impressive to watch. The rookie catcher was able to frame pitches on a consistent basis and has good reaction time. Godoy showed his speed and agility as he ran to catch a foul off Grandal’s bat at the top of the third. Interference from the fence made for a hard catch, but Archer and Godoy got Grandal to swing at a high fast ball striking him out with the next pitch.
    He did, however, commit a cardinal sin in the 8th inning. With the winning run on third base and one out, he squared to bunt but popped out to White Sox pitcher Kendall Graveman. 
    Postgame Postscript: We learned after the game that Jeffers took a ball off his knee earlier this series and had a left knee contusion and that Rocco really did not want to use him. That proved to be important as there was that opportunity in the 8th inning to pinch hit for Godoy in the bat in which he popped out on a bump. So the Twins entered today's game with three catchers on the active roster, but only one was truly active. 
    Bats Show Signs of Life
    The Twins line-up was consistent over the series and through today battling rain and cold to keep their bats swinging, a nice change of pace from the earliest part of the season’s start. With the exception of a few players getting strikeouts early, by the 6th inning, at a minimum, almost every bat made contact with a pitch. Even Miguel Sano who was 0-for-8 through the series ended up getting a single into right field in the second inning. 

    Giolito Returns But Doesn’t Last Long
    The Twins have been having trouble scoring runs, so the last thing they need is to face a preseason Cy Young Award candidate. Not only was today’s opposing pitcher, Lucas Giolito, a candidate, he opened the season as one of the favorites at 13-2 odds.
    However, he was also making his first start after a stay on the 10-day injured list for an abdominal strain, and that rust showed a bit in the first inning. Giolito threw 26 pitches that inning, only half of which were strikes, and walked two Twins. But with the bases loaded, he escaped untarnished by striking out Trevor Larnach on two changeups and a fastball. 
    The story was similar in the third inning. This time, a walk, and a couple of singles loaded the bases, and the Twins cashed in a run on a sacrifice fly by Gio Urshela. But Giolito escaped further damage by fooling young left-handed hitters - this time both Larnach and Nick Gordon - with his changeup and fastballs away. 
    Still, he had already thrown 65 pitches through three innings, and due to his stint on the injured list, it was expected he would only throw 70-80 pitches in his second outing this year. Sure enough, after an efficient fourth inning, his day was over. 
    Gordon’s Growth
    Nick Gordon played in his 12th game today, starting at shortstop as manager Rocco Baldelli gave Carlos Correa a day off. He entered today with a 694 OPS in 26 plate appearances. He will likely never show a lot of power, and a .261 batting average is nothing special, but he is getting on base almost 35% of the time.
    Almost any evaluation of Gordon’s future and performance are tied to the wide range of expectations attached to him. If your expectations are tied to his selection in the first round of the 2014 draft, or of his family pedigree, you’re likely going to be disappointed. If, on the other hand, your expectations of him were set by his performance and health issues in AAA as recently as 2019, you might be delighted by his sudden progression as a valuable bench asset. 
    To both camps, I’d suggest it is time to take a look at him with fresh eyes. He’s a 26-year-old who is likely to never post a big OPS because he will likely never hit for power. But he gets on base, he is capable (though not outstanding) in several key defensive roles, and as a left-handed hitter, he is more likely to get a decent matchup versus right-handed pitchers. Plus, he’s an asset on the base paths.
    All that makes him an ideal super-utility player, which is exactly the role he is fulfilling this year. If he can show that he can raise his batting average closer to .300, he might improve to the point where he could be a regular starter. Fortunately for him, his performance and usefulness should provide plenty of opportunities to show his development in the super-utility role.
    Winder Unleashed
    After nearly a week without making an appearance, long reliever and promising prospect Josh Winder made an appearance when Chris Archer only lasted three innings. He gave up one run over four innings, striking out two and giving up three hits. Maybe most notably, after struggling with his control in his first appearance, he walked none and threw strikes in 42 of his 61 pitches. 
    Winder is working as the long reliever but is a starting pitching prospect long-term. We saw today what we have seen from him so far: he is a slider-first pitcher who turns to his fastball to keep hitters off-balance. It seems to be working well in a relief role, but it will be interesting to see how it plays when he has to face a lineup a second time. Certainly today that was in question, as he gave up a home run on his second time through the order. 
    But for the most part, we likely won’t see him face batters more than once in his current role with the Twins. We might get a better sense of that if he was starting in St. Paul, but he’s now fulfilling an important role with the major league club. Regardless, it’s nice to see another Twins pitching prospect having some success in the majors. 
    Postgame Postscript: We learned after the game that the plan was always for Archer to be limited to only 50-60 pitches, and he was told that after his last start in Kansas City. We also learned from Rocco that this decision was specific to Archer; they're not planning right now on similar planned short starts with the rest of the rotation. He also hinted that they wanted to do this now, when they still had a 28-man roster. It'll be interesting to see if Winder eventually does go down to St. Paul as part of the mandatory roster trimming that will happen next week, or whether he'll continue in this role in which he's having success. 
    Clutch Buxton
    Byron Buxton had a fantastic series, hitting every chance he got, and coming through whenever the team needed him. His 3-run home run came on a 3-1 count with runners on second and third base and one out. White Sox closer Liam Hendricks, in his second inning of work, pitched to Buxton in that situation rather than give him a free pass to first base and load the bases for Luis Arraez. It’s not clear that strategy would have fared any better, but they likely would choose a different path given another chance.
    Postgame Postscript: As expected (and completely appropriate) postgame interviews centered entirely around Buxton doing godlike things. Baldelli called Buxton the best player in the world right now, and marveled at some of the things he did. But you might be surprised at what he wanted to breakdown: it was Buxton's first, game-tying home run in the 8th.  Here it is, because he breaks down what  we are seeing pretty nicely.
    "He's facing a left-hander who as we saw earlier in the game, is one of the best left-handers in the game. Gets a ton of groundballs. He's a really hard guy to drive the ball in the air against. And he's a guy that normally pitches all the right-handers in, pound 'em in. And he decided to go away to Buck.
    And it took a few pitches, but Buck identifies what's going on. Completely changes what he's trying to do at the plate. And lines a ball over the right field fence. I mean, there's nothing typical or everyday or normal about that. That's very, very special. And I don't want to stop talking about it, because it's so impressive. Even for people who watch this level of baseball everyday. To see what he's doing it's just awesome."
    What’s Next? 
    The Twins will enjoy an off day at home on Monday before starting a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers at Target Field. Pitching matchups for the series include: 
    Tuesday 6:40: Chris Paddock (0-2, 5.00) vs LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (0-1, 5.27 ERA) Wednesday 6:40: Joe Ryan (2-1, 1.69 ERA) vs RHP Michael Pineda (1-0, 0.00 ERA)  Thursday 12:10: Bailey Ober  (1-1, 2.81 ERA) vs LHP Tarik Skubal (1-1, 2.30 ERA) Postgame Interview 
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

  22. Like
    Sherry Cerny got a reaction from Melissa for an article, Women of the Diamond: The Fans   
    My love for baseball is what got me into writing about it. The more I watched, the more I learned. I have been a fan of the Twins since as far back as I can recall, but I didn’t start truly watching until right before the strike in 1994. As I grew in my love for the sport, the more I loved the interaction with fans. That was easy when I was home in Minnesota, but after a life-altering move to the east coast, I had to find new ways to communicate with fans. I found twitter in 2012 and other fans. It made me feel like I was home. 
    The more I watched the games, the more I had to say on Twitter, but 120 characters didn't seem to be enough for me. I knew how hard it could be for women in journalism, but I knew I wanted to say more. Lately, there has been a lot of emphasis on women in sports, and when I reached out with my desire to be a writer, Twins Daily immediately took me under their wing to get me started. As I continued to grow in followers, content, and fans, I noticed that more women worked in baseball and as fans. 
    Baseball is the second most popular sport in the United States behind Football and seventh in the world. Baseball also has one of the most gender-even fan bases. Men make up 55% of the fan base, and Women make up 45% of the fan base. This past week, even in a state that competes with other major professional leagues, the Minnesota Twins home opener drew in more than 35,000 fans after a 99-day lockout and a shortened spring training. Almost half of those were women.  
    I was there with my mom and waiting to meet up with a group of women I met on Twitter and attending the game. Female baseball fans are a particular type of woman: passionate, competitive, complex, and loving. We are independent and strong and can speak our minds, especially during a bad call. 
    We started our Twins Twitter group to talk about the Twins and baseball in general. We decided to meet up and say hi to each other and meet in person. After all, we have spent hours talking about the game, the players, the organization, and the rules. Our group ranges from all areas, professions and ages. We have different views on the game's rules and how plays, contracts, and rosters are made. We all have different views on life, but we all come together and agree on one thing: we love Twins baseball.  
    We all have memories stemming from childhood, talking about our favorite players of yesteryear: Trevor Plouffe,  Brad Radke, LaTroy Hawkins, Justin Morneau, and now fanning over players like Byron Buxton, Joe Ryan, Carlos Correa, and Max Kepler. This season's line-up, the trades, and the acquisitions left our mouths watering for the home opener after the excruciating 99-day lockout.
    To say the lockout unhinged us may be an understatement. None of us could imagine a world without baseball, relying on rumors, old stories, and hopes of what was to come. The day finally arrived, though, and as I walked around the stadium, I noticed the number of women in attendance, and it made my heart full. 
    I arrived through Gate 34 as the Mariners were taking batting practice. Crowded around the railing were tons of people hoping to catch a ball, so I moseyed on over to watch the kids holler and wave in hopes of getting a big leaguer's attention for the coveted official MLB ball. Harley was there with her dad, Alex. She had just caught a ball, and in a pink hat that was just a little too big for her, she jumped up and down in excitement at her first ball from a major league player. Her dad took her ball and placed it in her bag as she turned around, almost hoping for more balls to be thrown her way. 
    Harley was here for her second home opener and arrived early like the rest of us to catch some batting practice and watch the players. Not bad for a four-year-old. She doesn't know the players yet, but that's okay; she is more excited about watching the game, catching the balls, and getting snacks. She has plenty of time to learn the other stuff, and dad Alex is an avid fan who encourages her fandom. She's more interested in catching more balls than speaking to me but allowed me a little extra time to ask what her favorite food was at the stadium, and she said Cotton Candy, which earned an emphatic high five from me because that's my favorite too. 
    She went on to tell me that she played baseball outside of the stadium, and she enjoyed it.
    That's the thing about baseball, it's fun, and it's for everyone. Seeing her excitement for the day and what it entailed showed me that we have not only future generations of fans but also future generations of women who will grow in the game. She has core memories that she will be able to share with her kids and traditions that will lead her to keep the game alive for generations to come. 
     "They'll watch the game, and it'll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come, Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good and could be again." 
     - Terrance Mann Field of Dreams
    The impact of baseball has erased many things like sadness during a pandemic, made things whole like bringing us together after, and kept things constant in a world that seems unsure. 
    Melissa and Pamela have been coming to games together since before they had their kids. This year is different. This is the first time they brought their daughters along for the experience and joined in the home opener's annual tradition. Melissa was excited about all the new food showcased this season, and they were all excited for the team as a whole.  
    I love when I run into baseball fans who understand baseball's business and don't get too attached to the players. When I asked if any of the trades bothered them, they said, "no. Not really". They were excited about the team and the potential they have. 
    I could tell that the girls, Amanda, Taylor, and Anglea, the daughters of Pamela and Melissa, were raised in Twins Territory and shared the passion with their moms. Their first opening day was a little chilly, but they didn't let that stop them from stopping to take pictures and taking in the sights on the greens inside gate 34. They knew just as much about the team, and we're excited to join in the tradition.
    Baseball is all about traditions and transcends years. Traditions are something that brings us and keeps us close, and give us something to look forward to every year. Since they were kids, Jenny, Katie, Tiffany, and Marcy have not only been Twins fans but have been coming to the season opener since as far back as they can remember, to the Metrodome era. They don't have season tickets, but they make sure that they get together to make it to opening day and many other games as a group. They enjoy cheering on their favorite players in a fun, reverberant fashion. 
    They cheer on the players as they take their place on the field, and fans around them know that they are there for the players. They want the team as a whole to succeed, specifically with better fielding and hopefully pitching. They are passionate about this team and start to recall the previous series and games they have been at. They were even at the last regular-season game in the Metrodome on October 6th, where the Twins won a fantastic 12-inning game, 6-5, to reach the postseason. As they reminisced about the games they attended, there was talk about a sign they had during one of the games, and Marcy quickly shut down the conversation in a "we don't talk about Bruno"-esque fashion. Like unspoken rules in baseball, some things are sacred and not discussed. 
    They had so many memories of their favorite players, Torii Hunter, Michael Cuddyer, and Joe Mauer the stories and years seem to overlap. That's what this game does. It creates core memories, memories that carry on after we are gone. 
    That's what Jane is doing, carrying on her father's traditions with her. Jane is bundled up, sitting in the shadows of 111 with her phone, earphones, a device she was listening to the game on, and a scorebook. She took in the game, kept score on her score sheet, and watched the players and the umps. If anyone can rattle off stats like they were nothing, it’s her. 
    I just sat in awe, watching her and listening to her story. Her dad took her to games since the Twins were at the Met when it opened in 1961. She remembers going to games with her dad there. He would bring his scorebook and keep track, he taught her how to do the same, and it's how she fell in love with the game. If there is a fan that I genuinely aspire to be like, it's Jane. 
    Jane is quiet, probably early 60's, and remembers all the greats: Tony Oliva, Kirby Puckett, Jim Kaat, but her favorite player? Joe Mauer. I was a little taken aback by the statement. I know the millennials love him for many reasons, but Jane has her reasons too. She used to watch Joe in college, so she watched Joe Mauer grow up in the game. Her fondest memories are every time he would get a personal, division, or league record. She knows so much about the team that to her, Joe Mauer is the definition of Minnesota baseball, and so is Jane. 
    There are so many amazing things about baseball and its fans. It truly creates bonds that countermand politics, religion, and economics. While I hope to see the women I interviewed on opening day again, all of them made an impact on me that I will carry with me forever. It was fantastic to see the game through other women's eyes. 
    As for our group? We talk every day, through every game, and it's one of the best things that ever happened to me.  We grieve over losses, cheer over wins, and gripe about bad calls and the things we think should be done differently. We have some of the smartest women in the group, and I never knew how fun sports could be once you found a group with which you can share experiences. We genuinely have a bond that can’t be broken because it all centers around something we all love. 
    In a sport typically a "man world," women are closing in on evening out the gap from fans to correspondents, journalists, players, and now MLB coaches. The ceiling has been shattered, and I am so glad to be a part of a generation of women actively growing in baseball. 
    Follow my friends to talk Twins baseball with some of the savviest minds in Minnesota: 
    @TrstTheJrny24 @Vollmsy @Tyann98 @KaitMBee @mntwinsfan07 @Shaylarz @Melissa_Berman @tacosnbaseball @tonderk  
  23. Like
    Sherry Cerny got a reaction from Melissa for an article, Twins 6, White Sox 4: Twins End White Sox Series Sweep with a Bang   
    But they battled back, scoring one run off of White Sox ace Lucas Giolito and tying up the game on a home run by Byron Buxton in the seventh inning. They threatened to take the lead in the eighth inning but left the bases loaded when Luis Arraez grounded out to second base. 
    That didn't stop the Twins from having faith. Byron Buxton came up to bat in the 10th inning to get a three-run homerun to walk it off!
    Box Score
    SP: Chris Archer: 3 IP,3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K (61 pitches, 32 strikes (52.4%))
    Home Runs: Byron Buxton 2 (6)
    Top 3 WPA: Byron Buxton (.761), Jhoan Duran (.227), Max Kepler (.168) 
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Larnach’s Series
    Trevor Larnach’s series versus the White Sox has been one of consistency. Since the game in Kansas City versus the Royals, Larnach has had a hit every game, responsible for two of the RBIs in the Saturday afternoon game giving the Twins a seven-run lead in the bottom of the fourth. He did not fare as well at the plate today, striking out twice (looking, once with the bases loaded, and once with runners on second and third) but still found a way to contribute. 
    As Archer struggled to maintain control in the third inning, with bases loaded, Andrew Vaughn singled a sharp line drive to Larnach in left-field, who threw a cannon home to Jose Godoy to end the inning. 
    Godoy Makes Twins Debut
    Jose Godoy’s contract was added to the Twins’ roster yesterday and made his debut with the Twins today. The former Seattle Mariner had 40 at-bats last year ending the season with a .162 batting average. Ryan Jeffers was scratched from the line-up two hours before game time for a knee contusion and Gary Sanchez is still out with abdominal tightness. 
    Godoy saw five pitches in his first at-bat, striking out.  Godoy’s first and second appearances he struck out, but rounded out his first game with the Twins being walked by Aaron Bummer, before being sent home off Byron Buxton game-tying two-run home run. Then he walked again in the 10th inning, coming around again on Buxton's game-winning home run. 
    His defense and chemistry with Archer was impressive to watch. The rookie catcher was able to frame pitches on a consistent basis and has good reaction time. Godoy showed his speed and agility as he ran to catch a foul off Grandal’s bat at the top of the third. Interference from the fence made for a hard catch, but Archer and Godoy got Grandal to swing at a high fast ball striking him out with the next pitch.
    He did, however, commit a cardinal sin in the 8th inning. With the winning run on third base and one out, he squared to bunt but popped out to White Sox pitcher Kendall Graveman. 
    Postgame Postscript: We learned after the game that Jeffers took a ball off his knee earlier this series and had a left knee contusion and that Rocco really did not want to use him. That proved to be important as there was that opportunity in the 8th inning to pinch hit for Godoy in the bat in which he popped out on a bump. So the Twins entered today's game with three catchers on the active roster, but only one was truly active. 
    Bats Show Signs of Life
    The Twins line-up was consistent over the series and through today battling rain and cold to keep their bats swinging, a nice change of pace from the earliest part of the season’s start. With the exception of a few players getting strikeouts early, by the 6th inning, at a minimum, almost every bat made contact with a pitch. Even Miguel Sano who was 0-for-8 through the series ended up getting a single into right field in the second inning. 

    Giolito Returns But Doesn’t Last Long
    The Twins have been having trouble scoring runs, so the last thing they need is to face a preseason Cy Young Award candidate. Not only was today’s opposing pitcher, Lucas Giolito, a candidate, he opened the season as one of the favorites at 13-2 odds.
    However, he was also making his first start after a stay on the 10-day injured list for an abdominal strain, and that rust showed a bit in the first inning. Giolito threw 26 pitches that inning, only half of which were strikes, and walked two Twins. But with the bases loaded, he escaped untarnished by striking out Trevor Larnach on two changeups and a fastball. 
    The story was similar in the third inning. This time, a walk, and a couple of singles loaded the bases, and the Twins cashed in a run on a sacrifice fly by Gio Urshela. But Giolito escaped further damage by fooling young left-handed hitters - this time both Larnach and Nick Gordon - with his changeup and fastballs away. 
    Still, he had already thrown 65 pitches through three innings, and due to his stint on the injured list, it was expected he would only throw 70-80 pitches in his second outing this year. Sure enough, after an efficient fourth inning, his day was over. 
    Gordon’s Growth
    Nick Gordon played in his 12th game today, starting at shortstop as manager Rocco Baldelli gave Carlos Correa a day off. He entered today with a 694 OPS in 26 plate appearances. He will likely never show a lot of power, and a .261 batting average is nothing special, but he is getting on base almost 35% of the time.
    Almost any evaluation of Gordon’s future and performance are tied to the wide range of expectations attached to him. If your expectations are tied to his selection in the first round of the 2014 draft, or of his family pedigree, you’re likely going to be disappointed. If, on the other hand, your expectations of him were set by his performance and health issues in AAA as recently as 2019, you might be delighted by his sudden progression as a valuable bench asset. 
    To both camps, I’d suggest it is time to take a look at him with fresh eyes. He’s a 26-year-old who is likely to never post a big OPS because he will likely never hit for power. But he gets on base, he is capable (though not outstanding) in several key defensive roles, and as a left-handed hitter, he is more likely to get a decent matchup versus right-handed pitchers. Plus, he’s an asset on the base paths.
    All that makes him an ideal super-utility player, which is exactly the role he is fulfilling this year. If he can show that he can raise his batting average closer to .300, he might improve to the point where he could be a regular starter. Fortunately for him, his performance and usefulness should provide plenty of opportunities to show his development in the super-utility role.
    Winder Unleashed
    After nearly a week without making an appearance, long reliever and promising prospect Josh Winder made an appearance when Chris Archer only lasted three innings. He gave up one run over four innings, striking out two and giving up three hits. Maybe most notably, after struggling with his control in his first appearance, he walked none and threw strikes in 42 of his 61 pitches. 
    Winder is working as the long reliever but is a starting pitching prospect long-term. We saw today what we have seen from him so far: he is a slider-first pitcher who turns to his fastball to keep hitters off-balance. It seems to be working well in a relief role, but it will be interesting to see how it plays when he has to face a lineup a second time. Certainly today that was in question, as he gave up a home run on his second time through the order. 
    But for the most part, we likely won’t see him face batters more than once in his current role with the Twins. We might get a better sense of that if he was starting in St. Paul, but he’s now fulfilling an important role with the major league club. Regardless, it’s nice to see another Twins pitching prospect having some success in the majors. 
    Postgame Postscript: We learned after the game that the plan was always for Archer to be limited to only 50-60 pitches, and he was told that after his last start in Kansas City. We also learned from Rocco that this decision was specific to Archer; they're not planning right now on similar planned short starts with the rest of the rotation. He also hinted that they wanted to do this now, when they still had a 28-man roster. It'll be interesting to see if Winder eventually does go down to St. Paul as part of the mandatory roster trimming that will happen next week, or whether he'll continue in this role in which he's having success. 
    Clutch Buxton
    Byron Buxton had a fantastic series, hitting every chance he got, and coming through whenever the team needed him. His 3-run home run came on a 3-1 count with runners on second and third base and one out. White Sox closer Liam Hendricks, in his second inning of work, pitched to Buxton in that situation rather than give him a free pass to first base and load the bases for Luis Arraez. It’s not clear that strategy would have fared any better, but they likely would choose a different path given another chance.
    Postgame Postscript: As expected (and completely appropriate) postgame interviews centered entirely around Buxton doing godlike things. Baldelli called Buxton the best player in the world right now, and marveled at some of the things he did. But you might be surprised at what he wanted to breakdown: it was Buxton's first, game-tying home run in the 8th.  Here it is, because he breaks down what  we are seeing pretty nicely.
    "He's facing a left-hander who as we saw earlier in the game, is one of the best left-handers in the game. Gets a ton of groundballs. He's a really hard guy to drive the ball in the air against. And he's a guy that normally pitches all the right-handers in, pound 'em in. And he decided to go away to Buck.
    And it took a few pitches, but Buck identifies what's going on. Completely changes what he's trying to do at the plate. And lines a ball over the right field fence. I mean, there's nothing typical or everyday or normal about that. That's very, very special. And I don't want to stop talking about it, because it's so impressive. Even for people who watch this level of baseball everyday. To see what he's doing it's just awesome."
    What’s Next? 
    The Twins will enjoy an off day at home on Monday before starting a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers at Target Field. Pitching matchups for the series include: 
    Tuesday 6:40: Chris Paddock (0-2, 5.00) vs LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (0-1, 5.27 ERA) Wednesday 6:40: Joe Ryan (2-1, 1.69 ERA) vs RHP Michael Pineda (1-0, 0.00 ERA)  Thursday 12:10: Bailey Ober  (1-1, 2.81 ERA) vs LHP Tarik Skubal (1-1, 2.30 ERA) Postgame Interview 
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

  24. Like
    Sherry Cerny got a reaction from h2oface for an article, Twins 6, White Sox 4: Twins End White Sox Series Sweep with a Bang   
    But they battled back, scoring one run off of White Sox ace Lucas Giolito and tying up the game on a home run by Byron Buxton in the seventh inning. They threatened to take the lead in the eighth inning but left the bases loaded when Luis Arraez grounded out to second base. 
    That didn't stop the Twins from having faith. Byron Buxton came up to bat in the 10th inning to get a three-run homerun to walk it off!
    Box Score
    SP: Chris Archer: 3 IP,3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K (61 pitches, 32 strikes (52.4%))
    Home Runs: Byron Buxton 2 (6)
    Top 3 WPA: Byron Buxton (.761), Jhoan Duran (.227), Max Kepler (.168) 
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Larnach’s Series
    Trevor Larnach’s series versus the White Sox has been one of consistency. Since the game in Kansas City versus the Royals, Larnach has had a hit every game, responsible for two of the RBIs in the Saturday afternoon game giving the Twins a seven-run lead in the bottom of the fourth. He did not fare as well at the plate today, striking out twice (looking, once with the bases loaded, and once with runners on second and third) but still found a way to contribute. 
    As Archer struggled to maintain control in the third inning, with bases loaded, Andrew Vaughn singled a sharp line drive to Larnach in left-field, who threw a cannon home to Jose Godoy to end the inning. 
    Godoy Makes Twins Debut
    Jose Godoy’s contract was added to the Twins’ roster yesterday and made his debut with the Twins today. The former Seattle Mariner had 40 at-bats last year ending the season with a .162 batting average. Ryan Jeffers was scratched from the line-up two hours before game time for a knee contusion and Gary Sanchez is still out with abdominal tightness. 
    Godoy saw five pitches in his first at-bat, striking out.  Godoy’s first and second appearances he struck out, but rounded out his first game with the Twins being walked by Aaron Bummer, before being sent home off Byron Buxton game-tying two-run home run. Then he walked again in the 10th inning, coming around again on Buxton's game-winning home run. 
    His defense and chemistry with Archer was impressive to watch. The rookie catcher was able to frame pitches on a consistent basis and has good reaction time. Godoy showed his speed and agility as he ran to catch a foul off Grandal’s bat at the top of the third. Interference from the fence made for a hard catch, but Archer and Godoy got Grandal to swing at a high fast ball striking him out with the next pitch.
    He did, however, commit a cardinal sin in the 8th inning. With the winning run on third base and one out, he squared to bunt but popped out to White Sox pitcher Kendall Graveman. 
    Postgame Postscript: We learned after the game that Jeffers took a ball off his knee earlier this series and had a left knee contusion and that Rocco really did not want to use him. That proved to be important as there was that opportunity in the 8th inning to pinch hit for Godoy in the bat in which he popped out on a bump. So the Twins entered today's game with three catchers on the active roster, but only one was truly active. 
    Bats Show Signs of Life
    The Twins line-up was consistent over the series and through today battling rain and cold to keep their bats swinging, a nice change of pace from the earliest part of the season’s start. With the exception of a few players getting strikeouts early, by the 6th inning, at a minimum, almost every bat made contact with a pitch. Even Miguel Sano who was 0-for-8 through the series ended up getting a single into right field in the second inning. 

    Giolito Returns But Doesn’t Last Long
    The Twins have been having trouble scoring runs, so the last thing they need is to face a preseason Cy Young Award candidate. Not only was today’s opposing pitcher, Lucas Giolito, a candidate, he opened the season as one of the favorites at 13-2 odds.
    However, he was also making his first start after a stay on the 10-day injured list for an abdominal strain, and that rust showed a bit in the first inning. Giolito threw 26 pitches that inning, only half of which were strikes, and walked two Twins. But with the bases loaded, he escaped untarnished by striking out Trevor Larnach on two changeups and a fastball. 
    The story was similar in the third inning. This time, a walk, and a couple of singles loaded the bases, and the Twins cashed in a run on a sacrifice fly by Gio Urshela. But Giolito escaped further damage by fooling young left-handed hitters - this time both Larnach and Nick Gordon - with his changeup and fastballs away. 
    Still, he had already thrown 65 pitches through three innings, and due to his stint on the injured list, it was expected he would only throw 70-80 pitches in his second outing this year. Sure enough, after an efficient fourth inning, his day was over. 
    Gordon’s Growth
    Nick Gordon played in his 12th game today, starting at shortstop as manager Rocco Baldelli gave Carlos Correa a day off. He entered today with a 694 OPS in 26 plate appearances. He will likely never show a lot of power, and a .261 batting average is nothing special, but he is getting on base almost 35% of the time.
    Almost any evaluation of Gordon’s future and performance are tied to the wide range of expectations attached to him. If your expectations are tied to his selection in the first round of the 2014 draft, or of his family pedigree, you’re likely going to be disappointed. If, on the other hand, your expectations of him were set by his performance and health issues in AAA as recently as 2019, you might be delighted by his sudden progression as a valuable bench asset. 
    To both camps, I’d suggest it is time to take a look at him with fresh eyes. He’s a 26-year-old who is likely to never post a big OPS because he will likely never hit for power. But he gets on base, he is capable (though not outstanding) in several key defensive roles, and as a left-handed hitter, he is more likely to get a decent matchup versus right-handed pitchers. Plus, he’s an asset on the base paths.
    All that makes him an ideal super-utility player, which is exactly the role he is fulfilling this year. If he can show that he can raise his batting average closer to .300, he might improve to the point where he could be a regular starter. Fortunately for him, his performance and usefulness should provide plenty of opportunities to show his development in the super-utility role.
    Winder Unleashed
    After nearly a week without making an appearance, long reliever and promising prospect Josh Winder made an appearance when Chris Archer only lasted three innings. He gave up one run over four innings, striking out two and giving up three hits. Maybe most notably, after struggling with his control in his first appearance, he walked none and threw strikes in 42 of his 61 pitches. 
    Winder is working as the long reliever but is a starting pitching prospect long-term. We saw today what we have seen from him so far: he is a slider-first pitcher who turns to his fastball to keep hitters off-balance. It seems to be working well in a relief role, but it will be interesting to see how it plays when he has to face a lineup a second time. Certainly today that was in question, as he gave up a home run on his second time through the order. 
    But for the most part, we likely won’t see him face batters more than once in his current role with the Twins. We might get a better sense of that if he was starting in St. Paul, but he’s now fulfilling an important role with the major league club. Regardless, it’s nice to see another Twins pitching prospect having some success in the majors. 
    Postgame Postscript: We learned after the game that the plan was always for Archer to be limited to only 50-60 pitches, and he was told that after his last start in Kansas City. We also learned from Rocco that this decision was specific to Archer; they're not planning right now on similar planned short starts with the rest of the rotation. He also hinted that they wanted to do this now, when they still had a 28-man roster. It'll be interesting to see if Winder eventually does go down to St. Paul as part of the mandatory roster trimming that will happen next week, or whether he'll continue in this role in which he's having success. 
    Clutch Buxton
    Byron Buxton had a fantastic series, hitting every chance he got, and coming through whenever the team needed him. His 3-run home run came on a 3-1 count with runners on second and third base and one out. White Sox closer Liam Hendricks, in his second inning of work, pitched to Buxton in that situation rather than give him a free pass to first base and load the bases for Luis Arraez. It’s not clear that strategy would have fared any better, but they likely would choose a different path given another chance.
    Postgame Postscript: As expected (and completely appropriate) postgame interviews centered entirely around Buxton doing godlike things. Baldelli called Buxton the best player in the world right now, and marveled at some of the things he did. But you might be surprised at what he wanted to breakdown: it was Buxton's first, game-tying home run in the 8th.  Here it is, because he breaks down what  we are seeing pretty nicely.
    "He's facing a left-hander who as we saw earlier in the game, is one of the best left-handers in the game. Gets a ton of groundballs. He's a really hard guy to drive the ball in the air against. And he's a guy that normally pitches all the right-handers in, pound 'em in. And he decided to go away to Buck.
    And it took a few pitches, but Buck identifies what's going on. Completely changes what he's trying to do at the plate. And lines a ball over the right field fence. I mean, there's nothing typical or everyday or normal about that. That's very, very special. And I don't want to stop talking about it, because it's so impressive. Even for people who watch this level of baseball everyday. To see what he's doing it's just awesome."
    What’s Next? 
    The Twins will enjoy an off day at home on Monday before starting a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers at Target Field. Pitching matchups for the series include: 
    Tuesday 6:40: Chris Paddock (0-2, 5.00) vs LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (0-1, 5.27 ERA) Wednesday 6:40: Joe Ryan (2-1, 1.69 ERA) vs RHP Michael Pineda (1-0, 0.00 ERA)  Thursday 12:10: Bailey Ober  (1-1, 2.81 ERA) vs LHP Tarik Skubal (1-1, 2.30 ERA) Postgame Interview 
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

  25. Like
    Sherry Cerny got a reaction from The Mad King for an article, Twins 6, White Sox 4: Twins End White Sox Series Sweep with a Bang   
    But they battled back, scoring one run off of White Sox ace Lucas Giolito and tying up the game on a home run by Byron Buxton in the seventh inning. They threatened to take the lead in the eighth inning but left the bases loaded when Luis Arraez grounded out to second base. 
    That didn't stop the Twins from having faith. Byron Buxton came up to bat in the 10th inning to get a three-run homerun to walk it off!
    Box Score
    SP: Chris Archer: 3 IP,3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K (61 pitches, 32 strikes (52.4%))
    Home Runs: Byron Buxton 2 (6)
    Top 3 WPA: Byron Buxton (.761), Jhoan Duran (.227), Max Kepler (.168) 
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Larnach’s Series
    Trevor Larnach’s series versus the White Sox has been one of consistency. Since the game in Kansas City versus the Royals, Larnach has had a hit every game, responsible for two of the RBIs in the Saturday afternoon game giving the Twins a seven-run lead in the bottom of the fourth. He did not fare as well at the plate today, striking out twice (looking, once with the bases loaded, and once with runners on second and third) but still found a way to contribute. 
    As Archer struggled to maintain control in the third inning, with bases loaded, Andrew Vaughn singled a sharp line drive to Larnach in left-field, who threw a cannon home to Jose Godoy to end the inning. 
    Godoy Makes Twins Debut
    Jose Godoy’s contract was added to the Twins’ roster yesterday and made his debut with the Twins today. The former Seattle Mariner had 40 at-bats last year ending the season with a .162 batting average. Ryan Jeffers was scratched from the line-up two hours before game time for a knee contusion and Gary Sanchez is still out with abdominal tightness. 
    Godoy saw five pitches in his first at-bat, striking out.  Godoy’s first and second appearances he struck out, but rounded out his first game with the Twins being walked by Aaron Bummer, before being sent home off Byron Buxton game-tying two-run home run. Then he walked again in the 10th inning, coming around again on Buxton's game-winning home run. 
    His defense and chemistry with Archer was impressive to watch. The rookie catcher was able to frame pitches on a consistent basis and has good reaction time. Godoy showed his speed and agility as he ran to catch a foul off Grandal’s bat at the top of the third. Interference from the fence made for a hard catch, but Archer and Godoy got Grandal to swing at a high fast ball striking him out with the next pitch.
    He did, however, commit a cardinal sin in the 8th inning. With the winning run on third base and one out, he squared to bunt but popped out to White Sox pitcher Kendall Graveman. 
    Postgame Postscript: We learned after the game that Jeffers took a ball off his knee earlier this series and had a left knee contusion and that Rocco really did not want to use him. That proved to be important as there was that opportunity in the 8th inning to pinch hit for Godoy in the bat in which he popped out on a bump. So the Twins entered today's game with three catchers on the active roster, but only one was truly active. 
    Bats Show Signs of Life
    The Twins line-up was consistent over the series and through today battling rain and cold to keep their bats swinging, a nice change of pace from the earliest part of the season’s start. With the exception of a few players getting strikeouts early, by the 6th inning, at a minimum, almost every bat made contact with a pitch. Even Miguel Sano who was 0-for-8 through the series ended up getting a single into right field in the second inning. 

    Giolito Returns But Doesn’t Last Long
    The Twins have been having trouble scoring runs, so the last thing they need is to face a preseason Cy Young Award candidate. Not only was today’s opposing pitcher, Lucas Giolito, a candidate, he opened the season as one of the favorites at 13-2 odds.
    However, he was also making his first start after a stay on the 10-day injured list for an abdominal strain, and that rust showed a bit in the first inning. Giolito threw 26 pitches that inning, only half of which were strikes, and walked two Twins. But with the bases loaded, he escaped untarnished by striking out Trevor Larnach on two changeups and a fastball. 
    The story was similar in the third inning. This time, a walk, and a couple of singles loaded the bases, and the Twins cashed in a run on a sacrifice fly by Gio Urshela. But Giolito escaped further damage by fooling young left-handed hitters - this time both Larnach and Nick Gordon - with his changeup and fastballs away. 
    Still, he had already thrown 65 pitches through three innings, and due to his stint on the injured list, it was expected he would only throw 70-80 pitches in his second outing this year. Sure enough, after an efficient fourth inning, his day was over. 
    Gordon’s Growth
    Nick Gordon played in his 12th game today, starting at shortstop as manager Rocco Baldelli gave Carlos Correa a day off. He entered today with a 694 OPS in 26 plate appearances. He will likely never show a lot of power, and a .261 batting average is nothing special, but he is getting on base almost 35% of the time.
    Almost any evaluation of Gordon’s future and performance are tied to the wide range of expectations attached to him. If your expectations are tied to his selection in the first round of the 2014 draft, or of his family pedigree, you’re likely going to be disappointed. If, on the other hand, your expectations of him were set by his performance and health issues in AAA as recently as 2019, you might be delighted by his sudden progression as a valuable bench asset. 
    To both camps, I’d suggest it is time to take a look at him with fresh eyes. He’s a 26-year-old who is likely to never post a big OPS because he will likely never hit for power. But he gets on base, he is capable (though not outstanding) in several key defensive roles, and as a left-handed hitter, he is more likely to get a decent matchup versus right-handed pitchers. Plus, he’s an asset on the base paths.
    All that makes him an ideal super-utility player, which is exactly the role he is fulfilling this year. If he can show that he can raise his batting average closer to .300, he might improve to the point where he could be a regular starter. Fortunately for him, his performance and usefulness should provide plenty of opportunities to show his development in the super-utility role.
    Winder Unleashed
    After nearly a week without making an appearance, long reliever and promising prospect Josh Winder made an appearance when Chris Archer only lasted three innings. He gave up one run over four innings, striking out two and giving up three hits. Maybe most notably, after struggling with his control in his first appearance, he walked none and threw strikes in 42 of his 61 pitches. 
    Winder is working as the long reliever but is a starting pitching prospect long-term. We saw today what we have seen from him so far: he is a slider-first pitcher who turns to his fastball to keep hitters off-balance. It seems to be working well in a relief role, but it will be interesting to see how it plays when he has to face a lineup a second time. Certainly today that was in question, as he gave up a home run on his second time through the order. 
    But for the most part, we likely won’t see him face batters more than once in his current role with the Twins. We might get a better sense of that if he was starting in St. Paul, but he’s now fulfilling an important role with the major league club. Regardless, it’s nice to see another Twins pitching prospect having some success in the majors. 
    Postgame Postscript: We learned after the game that the plan was always for Archer to be limited to only 50-60 pitches, and he was told that after his last start in Kansas City. We also learned from Rocco that this decision was specific to Archer; they're not planning right now on similar planned short starts with the rest of the rotation. He also hinted that they wanted to do this now, when they still had a 28-man roster. It'll be interesting to see if Winder eventually does go down to St. Paul as part of the mandatory roster trimming that will happen next week, or whether he'll continue in this role in which he's having success. 
    Clutch Buxton
    Byron Buxton had a fantastic series, hitting every chance he got, and coming through whenever the team needed him. His 3-run home run came on a 3-1 count with runners on second and third base and one out. White Sox closer Liam Hendricks, in his second inning of work, pitched to Buxton in that situation rather than give him a free pass to first base and load the bases for Luis Arraez. It’s not clear that strategy would have fared any better, but they likely would choose a different path given another chance.
    Postgame Postscript: As expected (and completely appropriate) postgame interviews centered entirely around Buxton doing godlike things. Baldelli called Buxton the best player in the world right now, and marveled at some of the things he did. But you might be surprised at what he wanted to breakdown: it was Buxton's first, game-tying home run in the 8th.  Here it is, because he breaks down what  we are seeing pretty nicely.
    "He's facing a left-hander who as we saw earlier in the game, is one of the best left-handers in the game. Gets a ton of groundballs. He's a really hard guy to drive the ball in the air against. And he's a guy that normally pitches all the right-handers in, pound 'em in. And he decided to go away to Buck.
    And it took a few pitches, but Buck identifies what's going on. Completely changes what he's trying to do at the plate. And lines a ball over the right field fence. I mean, there's nothing typical or everyday or normal about that. That's very, very special. And I don't want to stop talking about it, because it's so impressive. Even for people who watch this level of baseball everyday. To see what he's doing it's just awesome."
    What’s Next? 
    The Twins will enjoy an off day at home on Monday before starting a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers at Target Field. Pitching matchups for the series include: 
    Tuesday 6:40: Chris Paddock (0-2, 5.00) vs LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (0-1, 5.27 ERA) Wednesday 6:40: Joe Ryan (2-1, 1.69 ERA) vs RHP Michael Pineda (1-0, 0.00 ERA)  Thursday 12:10: Bailey Ober  (1-1, 2.81 ERA) vs LHP Tarik Skubal (1-1, 2.30 ERA) Postgame Interview 
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

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