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Mark G

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Everything posted by Mark G

  1. I think the key is Maeda. Until we know if he is sound again, Bundy would be an insurance policy. And I seem to remember Paddock might not be ready for spring training, but later in the season. Again, how will he come back? And Archer appears suited better for long relief than starting, averaging almost exactly 4 innings a start. For that matter, Winder and Ober have spent their share of time on the IL, and maybe this won't be the last time. If the decision were today, I would pick him up. We may or may not be as deep as we think we are when it comes to health.
  2. I seem to remember giving two separate situations then, and I surely gave a separate one today. And the one today involved us issuing the IBB, not the opposition, and using it to pitch to their version of Cave (or at least a lesser batter than the clean up hitter on their team). More than one person told me going for the strike out is better then, and I am wondering if we felt that way last night. Either way, it didn't work for them last time, and it didn't work for us last night. Maybe we should try it now and then.
  3. 10 hits, 6 walks, a hit batsman, and 2 ghost runners equal 3 runs. Take away the solo home run and you have 18 base runners, add in 3 stolen bases, and come out with 2 runs. Frustrating. As an aside: a few days ago I started some talk about why we don't use the IBB more often as part of game strategy in these extra innings situations. When you are the visiting team and are tied in the bottom of the inning with the ghost runner put at 2nd, the IBB sets up a force at every base and allows more options for the defense and that run doesn't mean anything anyway. I was answered, for the most part, with the game has changed today and strike outs are the goal, not potential double plays. Go at the hitters and try for the strike out. And that appears to be our strategy pretty much throughout this season. Today, we have the ghost runner on 2nd and the clean up hitter leading off. Behind him, the bottom 5 of their order is really weak, and setting up a force at every base sounds like a reasonable strategy. We pitch to the clean up hitter and.........wait for it...........he walks us off. Now, I know it is easy to look at this in hind sight, but I was wondering, again, in the moment why we weren't doing it tonight. It is not the first time this year one could question the in game strategy. Maybe it is just me. Alas, our BP appears to be weak tomorrow as well, having used Doran and and Lopez back to back with a fair amount of pitches. They likely will be considered unavailable, and with Archer not noted for his lengthy starts, the pen is going to be needed again. Hopefully Archer will put us in as good a shape as Mahle and Bundy did.
  4. A question: Is it only players who could be back this season that are considered? If you are out for the season you are not? If it is all players, I would rank a healthy Kirilloff ahead of all 3 with the possible exception (it could go either way) of Ober. OF and 1st base and a solid hitter when healthy. If out for the season doesn't count, I would concur with your list.
  5. As an old school guy, it begs a question or two about the new numbers. If RISP is such an important stat and means a lot for run production, why is RBI more and more obsolete as an important stat? Doesn't one lead to the other quite a bit? I would even submit RBI's is more accurate, because you can drive in runs by putting balls in play that are outs, but score someone in the process. That out reflects in your RISP numbers, but produces a run. Just wondering how others feel about the two stats and their importance.
  6. Great start for Mahle; I think he would have done well no matter who he was pitching against the way he was going. But you do have to take a look at that lineup and wonder how they score at all. The bottom 5 range from .108 to .226. The highest average in the lineup was .272 AFTER getting 2 hits. Pretty pathetic. I have high hopes for Bundy tomorrow and Archer after that.
  7. If there is a difference between being hurt and being injured, does that mean injuries don't hurt?
  8. The same team that just went 30-35 in their last 65 games is going to go 31-23 the final third of the season? Including 5-3 against Cleveland, whose pitching staff is, overall, better than ours? (as of right now we lost the 2 to the Dodgers, so we have to go 31-21 the rest of the way). I love the thought, but am lost as to the underlying thought process that makes one believe it will turn around so quickly and so completely. Personally, I think it is a crap shoot, and I have no clue who is going to sneak this one out. If I had to bet, it would be Cleveland based on their pitching, but we could make a run at it just as much as Chicago could, and maybe take Cleveland like you predict. Head to head is the key, as it should be, and we have to step up. I hope you are right on.
  9. Agreed. The Twins had a couple of medium streaks in April and May, and peaked on May 24th at 27-16. Since then we are 30-37, and the longest winning streak we have had is 3.........once. Tough to get excited or overly hopeful with that level of consistency. We do play 23 out of our last 26 games in the division, so it will be decided in September. There is still time, but there will have to be some urgency. Here's hoping.
  10. For a while now I have been seeing them say he is experiencing "chronic" tendinitis in his knee. Now, I am not a doctor, but I know a couple, and the term "chronic" means it isn't going away anytime soon, if ever. It is time to accept what we see is what we get. I don't know if Buck himself is resisting going to DH on more of a full time basis and leaving the field to others (with the exception of late game replacements due to pinch hitting/running, etc.), or is it management that wants to see how much longer he can keep playing? Either way, what they are doing now isn't working.
  11. That is another head scratcher. Beckham is the best option against the best team in baseball? Let me see if I have the bench right: Urshela, Celestino, Buxton, and Leon. Assuming Buck is unavailable (again) (sigh), why Timmy? Unless Urshela is hurt, he must be thinking "was it something I said"? Hell, even Leon takes a walk now and then. I am really rooting for Beckham and Cave; they have put in a long stint in AAA trying to get back and they finally are. I would like to see them do well, but playing both against the Dodgers is just asking too much. Someday I hope to understand all of this, but it won't be today.
  12. Can someone please tell me why Kepler, 0 for his return, is hitting clean up? Get him back in the game and let him work himself back into a groove, but clean up?? That makes as much sense as batting Arraez 7th or 8th. As much as I love the fire he showed the other day, I still just don't get his thinking.
  13. We all know I am not a fan of Rocco, for reasons I have mentioned here before. But, dang, Rocco, you did what you needed to do at that moment, and I am dang proud of you!! I have been waiting for the fire in the belly during a tight race, in a tight game, and you showed you have it. Now, keep it!! Good job, Rocco!!
  14. The perfect execution I was talking about was 2nd and 3rd, no out, and no force anywhere. At that point he was going to see the top of the order no matter what, and a force at every base would be simply more advantageous than no force anywhere. That doesn't change no matter how many times a guy strikes out, or how many strike outs a pitcher has. That is not my opinion, it it the opinion of almost every manager in the game for over a century. The computers apparently say different. Oh well. A question: if the batter was Buxton in either of the at bats I was referring to, do you pitch to him or walk him? He strikes out just as often as the others, and is only hitting .220. That would mean you pitch to him, as you describe it. But I will bet they walk him. I am asking a macro question, not a micro one, when I ask about the strategies used in todays game. If there are 10 time more IBB's in extra innings than in any other inning, why have we only issues 4 all year? And only received 5, not all of which were in extra innings? It is just another example of things that don't happen much anymore. Strike outs and home runs appear to be all anyone cares about. I have wondered why for a while, now, and I appear to be a loner there. Again, oh well.
  15. Not to kick a dead horse here, but I wasn't talking about walking both. You walk Cave, setting up a force at all 3 bases. You pitch to Beckham, and (assuming he doesn't end the game) Contreras hoping to get the ground ball. The walk to Beckham was only after what happened with Cave and his taking 2nd. Rather than have 2nd and third with no out, I would walk Beckham to get a force everywhere. Once you lost Cave, you were going to face Arraez anyway, unless it ends before that. So, while I might be able to get the no walk at all thought, once it got to 2nd and 3rd no out, it ends any doubt about walking Beckham. But there would only be one IBB in either scenario. Overall, I wonder why the strategy is considered taboo; heck, I can't even convince anyone on this site it is still sound. The strategy I described would have been normal for a century. What happened recently to change that? It's almost like when they decided not to actually throw the 4 balls outside before he took his base, they all said what's the use?
  16. As I mentioned, 1st and 3rd, instead of 2nd and third. The double play comes back into play, they hold the runner this time, and the infield only has to come in slightly, because the speed of the runner at 3rd is less. It worked, because they threw low and the catcher couldn't hang on, but the strategy is what I would question. Anyone know what the analytics would say one way or another on this?
  17. I see an awful lot of expectations that Lewis is pretty much a sure thing to come back, and just as strong or stronger than before. I am lost as to the confidence; not the hope, but the confidence. At 23 he has blown out his knee (big time) twice, and there is never a guarantee someone will be the same after that, especially at the SS position. Look at Buck, for example. Fragile would be a kind description of his career and, at 28, has what even the team acknowledges as "chronic" knee issues which keep him playing part time, at least for the near future. What is it about Lewis that makes everyone so confident this will change in his career? We have to plan on him not being the long term SS of the future, and if he is, God bless him. Great. But don't plan on it, especially if you can get a player of Correa's caliber. A bird in the hand is better than 2 in the bush, as my grandpa was fond of reminding me (the bush being the minor leagues today, no matter how promising one or 2 may look). Do what you can to keep Carlos.
  18. Okay, guys, you can stop piling on now. I understand what you are saying, but no one has convinced me the strategy overall, as a part of in game managing, should be dead and gone from the game. As I said, in 106 games our team and all other teams we have played combined has issues 9 IBB's in our 106 games. That is more than individual circumstances, it must be what the analytics are saying overall. And, frankly, I don't get it. Take last night. Someone mentioned the players due up and why one would want to pitch to them. It is precisely that, the 7,8, and 9 hitters, weak hitters on paper, that you would set up the force all around because, as I said, their run doesn't mean anything. Pitching to hitters with no force possible, and already in scoring position, no outs........virtually anything bad can happen when the ball is put in play. You are playing for the strike out, period. Anything other than perfect execution all across the board, and you get..........well, last night. Far wiser people than I have asked the same question on TV multiple times since the inception of the ghost runner on 2nd in extra innings. And none of the former player color commentators have had an answer (at least in the games I have seen) as to why not, because they played in a period when it would have been next to automatic. Bringing the infield in and having no where to go but tag plays everywhere but first is asking for........well, again, last night. That is not to say it works every time it is used, but to never use it? I am curious as to why the computer rejects it out of hand. Same as the sacrifice bunt, maybe? Just seems odd to me, but then I am getting used to being a lone voice in the wilderness on these type of things.
  19. Couldn't agree more, but we have to remember there are certain fundamentals that the computer doesn't believe in, therefore we do not use them or drill them into our team. Bunting runners along, stealing bases, hit and run usage, and taking extra bases in certain situations go against the analytics, so we don't see them much anymore. Actually, the play we scored the run on was not a wise move at all, and if Toronto makes a simple defensive play that all teams make every day, and twice on Sunday, we are out and left with 1st and 3rd instead of 2nd and third. It was obvious the contact play was on, but it was not a play most teams use in that situation, being no outs. You would use it with one out, but not usually with none. As you said, basic fundamentals. We do not have them because we do not use them, and we do not use them because we do not believe they produce desired results. But the lack of them really shows at times.
  20. I remember thinking to myself in the bottom of the 10th, why don't they intentionally walk Cave? His run means nothing, and it sets up a force at every base but home. Then, later, with 2nd and 3rd, why not intentionally walk Beckham to set up a force at every base including home? But they never even considered it, from the looks of it. I have never understood that lack of strategy. So I looked at our stats for the year, and as an entire team we have only been issued 5 intentional walks all season so far. And our pitching staff has only issued 4 ourselves. Seems strange that a strategy so simple is almost gone from the game. Makes me wonder if that is another of the analytics in play.
  21. "The Twins scored 3 runs. That's not going to get you a lot of wins, regardless of how much rage we want to direct at the relievers." Precisely. At the risk of breaking my arm (patting myself on the back), I have been saying since last year we have way too many games with the 3 runs or less stat. Forget any other team scoring or batting numbers; this is the one that counts the most, by far. If we score 10 runs one game, and 2 the next, we are averaging 6 runs a game and are probably 1-1. After tonight we have scored 3 runs or less just over 46% of our games this year. 5 over .500 is probably all we can expect with that level of consistency (inconsistency?). We can definitely tell how much Arraez means to us when he goes into a slump. We have been spoiled by him until now. I hope he gets going again.
  22. Oh, I don't know. We got 3 pitchers and a back up catcher on deadline day. Basically, we are improved by the 3 pitchers, not the back up catcher, so it is natural to speculate how someone like Rocco, who is becoming notorious for his management of pitchers, will handle the new ones, and the only way one can do that is to review how he has handled others. You could argue that is a part of this thread, at least a little, as anything else; not that I ever argue, mind you.
  23. If a starter cannot go through a lineup AT LEAST a 3rd time, we won't talk yet about a 4th, then he is nothing more than a long reliever. Period. When a BP pitches over 40% of the innings pitched in a season, it wears out; those stats don't lie, either. And when you go into a game knowing you are going to use 4 or 5 pitchers each and every game, every one of them has to be on that day to succeed. Tuesday's game should be a shining example of that. It only took one guy having a bad inning to lose the game, solely on that bad inning. Our offense scores 3 runs or less 40 plus percent of the games this year; we simply do not have the margin for error to have one reliever having a bad outing on any given game. Ryan was doing fine, and has proven he has the stamina to go deeper. If even one of the guys coming in after him had a bad day, well, see Tuesday. 18 at bats and take a shower is not a starting pitcher. If the philosophy is piggy back a couple of long relievers and bring in the late inning guys, then go with that, but it means stretching out a lot more of our pen guys to go 3 or so innings. And how many innings in a season can they do, having never done it before? Otherwise, you have what we saw the last two days. 5 pitchers all having to be on every game. Could it possibly, just possibly, be that is a major reason we are only 6 games over .500 in a weak division? Our leading starter has barely over 90 innings pitched......in the first week in August! And the BP has been a major reason we are where we are, wearing out as the season goes. I don't need to see any other analytics than that to see a pretty real problem.
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