glunn reacted to RandBalls Stu in Twins Past and Present Remember Queen Elizabeth II
As the world mourns the loss of England’s long-time monarch, Twins Daily reached out to current and former Minnesota Twins for their thoughts.
Image courtesy of Unsplash/Ferdinand Stohr TOM KELLY (MANAGER, 1986-2001): Just a great gal. Broke out of the gate quickly, lightning fast down the stretch, amazing haunches. So powerful. Always left the track in a good mood when she ran. [INFORMED THAT THIS IS NOT QUEEN ELIZABETH II, THE GREYHOUND KELLY WAGERED ON AT ST. CROIX MEADOWS, BUT RATHER THE HUMAN WOMAN] Oh. Well, that’s a shame. What country?
EMILIO PAGAN (PITCHER, 2022): I was fortunate enough to meet her on a visit to Great Britain in 2018. I even threw her a baseball for a photo op. She hit it 440 feet. I tip my cap to her.
ANDRELTON SIMMONS (SHORTSTOP, 2021): 96-year-old woman dies after getting the COVID vaccine? Coincidence? Yeah, right.
JOE MAUER (CATCHER, 2004-2018): Wow. Pretty big deal.
NICK PUNTO (INFIELDER, 2004-10): I slid headfirst into Buckingham Palace once. Guards got all bent out of shape about it and I’m like, “Hey, hustling doesn’t stop at the water’s edge, muchacho.” Anyway, that’s the only other time I had to fight extradition for wanting it more. RIP get money.
JUSTIN MORNEAU (FIRST BASE, 2003-16): As a Canadian, this means one thing: I must take up arms for the crown. If (Glen) Perkins or (Dick) Bremer get in my way, so be it.
GLEN PERKINS (PITCHER, 2006-2017): You know, it’s a complicated legacy. I th—wait a minute, what is (Justin} Morneau doing with…is that a musket?
DICK BREMER (TWINS PLAY-BY-PLAY, 1983-PRESENT): That’s a musket. Take cover, Glen. Fortunately, I’ve been to a St. Cloud State Homecoming or two in my day. [LIGHTS MOLOTOV COCKTAIL, HEAVES FLAMING COUCH AT POLITE YET FERAL SASKATOON HORDE]
BRAD RADKE (PITCHER, 1995-2006): I don’t think she was much of a fisherman, right?
BYRON BUXTON (OUTFIELDER, 2015-PRESENT): England is a country where I’ve never had a devastating injury. Liz is good by me.
ROCCO BALDELLI (MANAGER, 2019-PRESENT): Was following Phish around the country in 2015, just chill vibes for days. They played Alpine Valley and on night 1, the minute they kicked into “Tweezer,” who gets up on stage but the Queen herself? Just started jamming with Trey, couldn’t believe my eyes. Everyone says I was “feeling the effects” so to speak and there’s no video evidence, but I know what I saw. Her Majesty could shred.
DAN GLADDEN (OUTFIELDER, 1987-1991; RADIO ANNOUNCER 2000-PRESENT): America fought a damn war for me not to care about this. I tell you what though, if the Queen came out to the farm and helped me move some earth, lay some sod, get her hands dirty, and maybe punch that egg-sucking bastard Steve Lombardozzi right in the solar plexus, I’d pay my respects.
Image license here.
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glunn reacted to strumdatjag in No Vendors
Maybe I missed this thread (but I don’t think it’s been discussed).
Part of the experience about being at the ballpark has been lost - No more vendors walking through the stands. From the beer guy with umbrella hat at the old Met (who would respond “Milk for you son” when my juvenile friends and I would order a beer in vain), to Wally the Beerman at the Dome to the hotdog guy with a flair at Target Field, and more, the vendors have been part of the experience. But there is no more din of “Hey Hot Dogs” to “Get Your Frosty Malts”. All we have is some guy hustling raffle tickets. Maybe the view of a big play won’t be blocked by a vendor, but I’ll still miss this part of the American baseball experience. Hasta La vista.
glunn reacted to RJA in Is Joe Ryan Who We Thought He Was?
Good article. I love Ryan but I don't think he will ever be a front end starter unless his secondary stuff improves, both in quality and location. Given the fact that they were desperate to have quality starters on the team, fans rushed to annoint him a star last year based on a few games. Now that the bloom is off the rose a bit, some fans are disappointed in him. Even if he doesn't improve his secondary offerings, he will still be a quality part of the rotation. Let's hope he develops into more, but appreciate his talents even if he ends up as a 3 or 4.
glunn reacted to Cody Pirkl in Is Joe Ryan Who We Thought He Was?
Joe Ryan looked like a front end starter to begin the year and has slowly trended in the wrong direction throughout the summer as many analysts predicted. As the Twins bottom out it’s fair to ask: Is Joe Ryan who we thought he was?
Image courtesy of Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports A 7th-round pick taken by Tampa Bay, Joe Ryan was always an interesting prospect. Throwing his fastball as high as 70-80% of the time in the minors, he always dominated with solid ERAs, eye-popping strikeout numbers, and acceptable home run rates. Still, scouts just didn’t buy the long-term performance with Joe Ryan due to his lack of any kind of consistent secondary offerings to pair with his best pitch. As 2022 rolls on, he’s shown more and more that perhaps the league has caught up to him. Were we too quick to anoint him as a staple for the front of the rotation?
When considering this question, there are a few factors we need to keep in mind.
Joe Ryan was essentially a fastball-only pitcher in the minors because he could get away with it. His fastball is deceptive, and it appears that despite his numbers tailing off as the season went on, the league never really figured the pitch out. He’s thrown it three times as much as any of his other offerings and the pitch has allowed a .183 BA against and .328 slugging %. In order to maintain that effectiveness, however, Ryan has finally had to incorporate more offspeed pitches.
Unfortunately, it could be going better. Ryan has allowed a .500+ SLG on every pitch but his fastball this season. As his home run issues have ballooned, the slider is typically the culprit. Having allowed nine HRs on 1,229 fastballs thrown, Ryan has allowed eight on just 431 sliders thrown. In fairness, this is the first Ryan has really had to rely on offspeed stuff, and it’s safe to still call his secondary pitches a work in progress that could easily improve.
I hate chalking anything up to bad luck but Joe Ryan actually has dealt with quite a bit of it this season. Ryan posted a 2.28 ERA in eight starts leading up to May 21. He then missed three weeks with COVID and has since posted a 4.78 mark in 16 starts. His velocity and command were both notably lacking for some time following his absence as he was clearly hit hard by the virus considering the amount of time missed. He was due for a bit of regression, but things certainly seemed to snowball after the IL trip.
Ryan also has an interesting gap in the expected results of his pitch mix versus the actual results. He’s allowed a SLG of .531 on his slider with a .368 expected SLG. His .538 SLG on his changeup is a far cry from the .443 expected mark. Even his curveball has allowed a .524 SLG compared to a .354 expected SLG. It’s hard to say what’s causing this discrepancy, but the expected stats point to Ryan being a much more effective pitcher than what his (still respectable) results have been.
He’s a Rookie
It’s easy to forget Joe Ryan is a rookie under control for five more seasons because the Twins have relied on him so heavily. Very rarely does a pitcher debut and provide consistent results. Many called the Twins front office out this spring for essentially hanging the hopes of the season on two pitchers with less than a year of experience (Ryan and Bailey Ober), and they turned out to be correct. While Ryan has worked out better than Ober due to the volume he’s provided, the Twins were always playing with fire.
Ryan getting his feet wet to the tune of a low-4s ERA in what will probably be 140ish innings in his rookie season would typically be viewed as a massive success. Unfortunately, the Twins relied on him being a front-of-the-rotation starter. As he builds up a bigger workload and makes adjustments back to the league, it’s easy to see him building off of an up-and-down rookie season and at least providing middle-of-the-rotation value to the team in future years.
In short, don’t let the Twins' disappointing end to the season affect your opinion of Joe Ryan. Whether he’s the pitcher we thought he was depends on what you were expecting. As fun as the idea was of a rookie coming up and co-leading the rotation with Sonny Gray en route to a comeback season, that was always the least likely scenario. Instead consider that Ryan has had a solid-to-good debut season, a rarity in Twins territory when it comes to pitchers.
As he soars past his career highs in innings pitched, keep in mind that Joe Ryan still has a good chunk of his Twins career left to adjust and improve, and he’s got a nice foundation to build off of from his 2022 season.
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glunn reacted to Ted Schwerzler in How Dire is the Twins Catching Situation?
The Minnesota Twins are awaiting the return of Ryan Jeffers to their active roster, and while he’s targeting a late-September return, there’s no guarantees. The outlook now is bleak, and there doesn’t seem to be any answers coming soon.
Image courtesy of Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports This offseason Derek Falvey traded Mitch Garver to the Texas Rangers for Isiah Kinger-Falefa. Eventually Minnesota found their backstop when sending Josh Donaldson to the New York Yankees and bringing back Gary Sanchez. The hope was that a change of scenery may help the one-time slugger regain his ability but that hasn’t happened.
There’s no denying that the 29-year-old Sanchez has to be feeling less pressure in Minnesota, but as a free agent after the year, he should see the same struggles in finding a team that wants him. With the Twins, Sanchez has posted a .677 OPS through 99 games, coming in with a below-league-average 95 OPS+. He’s still a poor receiver behind the plate, and while he has made some defensive strides, it’s not enough to make him much of an asset.
Needing an alternative following Jeffers’ thumb injury, the Twins dealt for Sandy Leon from the Cleveland Guardians. He’s now played 16 games for Minnesota, after spending most of his time this season at Triple-A, and he’s been largely unusable. With Caleb Hamilton being thrust into action, a veteran was the preferred option. Leon, save for an outlier 2016 season with the Red Sox, has never been an offensive asset, and the 42 OPS+ here echoes that.
Looking to return with a 93 OPS+, Jeffers has actually posted worse numbers than Sanchez this season. The saving grace is that he appeared to be turning it around prior to the injury. Across his last 21 games before hitting the injured list, Jeffers owned an .871 OPS and had blasted four homers. That 21-game sample size is not unlike the 26-game stretch in 2019 that resulted in a 119 OPS+ and had the Twins intrigued by making him their full-time option.
No matter how this season ends, whether Jeffers makes it back or not, Minnesota looks to be at a loss when it comes to the position. Both Sanchez and Leon will be gone, and Jeffers returns to a massive amount of uncertainty. He’ll be given every opportunity to win the role, and it’s hard to fathom seeing a large amount being spent on the position behind him. That said, we’ve never seen him actually establish himself at the plate in anything but short bursts.
It’s hard to create longevity and certainty at every position across the diamond, but Minnesota has seen black holes for quite some time up the middle of the diamond. Carlos Correa gave them a massive boost at the shortstop position, an area that has been a revolving door for years, but he doesn’t represent longevity. Garver and Jeffers manned the plate for a while, but now we’re left wondering again. Up-the-middle issues are hard to cover up, and both will be necessary to address this winter.
Without a true answer on the farm, and not knowing where they’ll turn in free agency, how comfortable are you believing that Jeffers can be the answer behind the plate when he returns and beyond?
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glunn reacted to CRF in Rule changes for 2023
Ken Rosenthal from the Athletic reported today about MLB voting in new rule changes for 2023. The changes have been widely reported for a while, but it sounds like they'll officially come into MLB after the vote. The changes include implementing a pitch clock, severely limiting the ability to shift infielders, and expanding the size of the bases from 15 inches to 18 inches. There's also a proposed limit on the number of times a pitcher can "disengage" with the mound, which could increase stolen bases. Not sure how I feel about a pitch clock, but it's in use in the minors. I LOVE the shift limitations. Hopefully, they implement that the 3B and SS have to stay on the LF side of 2nd base, and the 2B and 1B have to stay on the RF side of 2nd base. The larger base size will be kind of strange. What do you guys/gals think about the changes?
glunn reacted to milkytoast in Twins 4, Yankees 3: Fourth Time's the Charm
Man, I gave up on this one when it was bases loaded in the 9th and Fulmer pitching. When it finished, somehow I felt relieved rather than happy. Just relieved I didn't need to be angry again like yesterday.
Yay no more Yankees this year! (until the second round of the playoffs 😅)
glunn reacted to wabene in Twins 4, Yankees 3: Fourth Time's the Charm
Hats off to Thielbar, the man is tough as nails and keeps getting it done. He's 35, but are we going to see him again next year? I like his moxie and would give it another go. Boy did he get some gift calls this time. Thought the umps always did us in at Yankee Stadium lol. Fulmer showed some guts as well. Lopez needs to chill out.
glunn reacted to David Youngs in Twins 4, Yankees 3: Fourth Time's the Charm
An ancient philosopher once said "fourth time's the charm." After a frustrating first three games in Yankees Stadium, the Twins snatched a win from the Bronx Bombers, moving to just 1.5 games behind Cleveland in the AL Central.
Image courtesy of Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
SP: Sonny Gray 6 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, BB, 7 K ( 79 pitches, 52 strikes (66%)
Home Runs: Carlos Correa (18)
Top 3 WPA: Carlos Correa (.354), Michael Fullmer (.198), Gary Sanchez (.179)
Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)
If the Twins ever needed a win, it was on Thursday night.
Anchored by a stellar start from Sonny Gray, a quality night from Gary Sanchez, and a clutch homer from Carlos Correa, the Twins snuck away from enemy territory with a hard-fought 4-3 win.
Minus giving up a two-run shot to Miguel Andujar in the second inning, Gray was rock-solid, pounding the zone consistently and relying on sound defense and a sneaky-good spread of strikeouts.
The Twins fought back by putting two runs on the board in the fifth thanks to a pair of hits from some former Yankees. After leading off with a single and advancing on a wild pitch, Gio Urshela scored on a Gary Sanchez double to center field. Two batters later, Nick Gordon knocked an RBI single to left field that scored Sanchez and knotted the game.
That wasn't the final story for the Twins offense; with Jake Cave on base (on a controversial call at first base), Carlos Correa went yard for the second night in a row to give the Twins a lead that would be enough to win the game.
Criticized plenty recently for underwhelming results, it was great to see Correa come in clutch in a big-time moment. A clubhouse leader, Correa's worth has extended far beyond batting average and assists all season.
With a close lead against an infamous offense, the Twins bullpen held true in the back four. Minus a wild pitch from Jorge Lopez that scored a run in the eighth, the pen was solid, allowing just two hits. Griffin Jax pitched a scoreless inning. Lopez came on for the 8th inning and immediately struggled. With a runner on third, he threw a wild pitch. Caleb Thielbar came on to face a pinch-hitting Giancarlo Stanton. After several pitches and foul balls, Thielbar struck out the former MVP on a great curveball.
After Thielbar gave up a single but got the first out of the ninth inning. Michael Fulmer came on and gave up a double to Aaron Hicks. It may have been a good thing for the Twins as the empty base allowed them to walk Aaron Judge to load the bases with just one out. That didn't phase him. Fulmer struck out Gleyber Torres and drew a groundout from "former Twin" Isaiah Kiner-Falefa to secure the win for the Twins and bring some positive momentum prior to a big home series against Cleveland starting on Friday night.
It's time to get out to Target Field. Just a game and half back, the Twins host the Guardians in a three-game series starting tomorrow night at 7:10. RHP Dylan Bundy will face off against RHP Cal Quantrill.
Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
SUN MON TUE WED THU TOT Davis 0 11 0 43 0 54 Duran 20 0 0 28 0 48 Megill 0 27 0 20 0 47 Thielbar 15 0 0 11 19 45 Fulmer 14 0 0 16 12 42 López 0 0 0 15 25 40 Pagán 0 22 0 16 0 38 Jax 8 0 0 12 17 37 Moran 0 0 0 29 0 29 Sanchez 0 0 0 0 0 0
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glunn reacted to bean5302 in Short Starts Are Not a Minnesota Twins Thing
This article couldn't be further off. Other teams rely on pitches to determine starts, not TTO. The TTO concept being implemented in such a hard set fashion is seemingly unique to the Twins.
The Twins set an all time MLB record for the longest time into the season for a pitcher to hit 100 innings. - That is not a trend or similar to other teams. It's an all time record (which makes it exceptional).
Archer, Gray and Bundy all rank at or near the absolute bottom of MLB starters in terms of their average appearance length.
75% of all starters in MLB average at least 5.1 innings. Twins = 20% (Ryan = 5.1)
50% of all starters in MLB average at least 5.2 innings. Twins = 0%
25% of all starters in MLB average at least 6.0 innings. Twins = 0%
Pitches per game? Same story.
75% of all starters in MLB average at least 85 pitches per start. Twins = 20% (Joe Ryan = 87)
50% of all starters in MLB average at least 90 pitches per start. Twins = 0%
25% of all starters in MLB average at least 94 pitches per start. Twins = 0%
Percentile rank by pitches per start.
Joe Ryan 35% (78/120)
Sonny Gray 6% (113/120)
Dylan Bundy 4% (115/120)
Chris Archer 0% (120/120)
The Twins are not part of a baseball trend. The Twins are unique. Other teams allow starters to keep pitching when they're effective. The Twins do not. The Twins pull pitchers who are pitching well because of the false pretense of a major drop off in performance related to TTO and the organization seems to be refusing to alter it's seemingly failed strategy.
glunn reacted to Yawn Gardenhose in Short Starts Are Not a Minnesota Twins Thing
The title of the article is blatantly wrong. I realize what you're implying - that short starts are a league-wide trend - but the plain fact is, short starts are very much a Minnesota Twins thing.
Again with the flawed interpretation of the third-time-through stats...sigh. Let me try this again.
Let's use Archer for example. This season he's faced 15 batters three times in a game. Read that closely - that's not "15 starts he's gone through the order three times." In total in 2022, he's had *15 plate appearances* against a batter who's facing him for the third time. This is such a comically small sample size that it's fundamentally insignificant from a data standpoint. Furthermore, each of these 15 plate appearances were against the #1 or #2 hitters in an opponents' lineup - typically where teams' best players hit.
So again, you're comparing data sets of once through an order and twice through an order - based on facing 9 batters in those samples - against a data set where a pitcher is facing 2 out of the 9 hitters, and 2 of the *best* hitters to boot. Of course the numbers are going to look lopsided when you're comparing two entirely different data sets and assuming a meaningful equivalence between them.
I consider this to be a rudimentary error of data analysis. And yet here we are, watching the Twins completely throw away a chance to win perhaps the worst division in the wild-card era largely because of this demonstrably flawed philosophy. "Total system failure," I'd say.
glunn reacted to Ted Schwerzler in Short Starts Are Not a Minnesota Twins Thing
Every. Single. Game. The same refrain thunders from fans all over Twins Territory. Why aren’t the Minnesota Twins allowing their starting pitchers to go deeper in games? Unfortunately, this isn’t something tied to the organization alone, and there’s a pretty straightforward answer.
Image courtesy of Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
At the Major League Baseball level, most things are about the process working to dictate ideal results. Whether you view the concept of analytics as annoying or not, the reality is that they represent an application of information. When it comes to pitching, hitting, or virtually anything else on a baseball diamond, results are calculated by statistics derived from outcomes.
Every time that Minnesota Twins manager Rocco Baldelli steps onto the field and travels to the pitching mound hand-wringing ensues. Of course this is often because the removal of a starting pitcher is happening in the 5th inning or earlier. It’s not something done on gut feeling or through a knee-jerk reaction, but instead a reflection of what makes sense based on actual results.
Four pitchers have made the vast majority of starts for the Twins this season. Among them, Sonny Gray is the only one you would even consider for a top spot or two in a good rotation. Joe Ryan, while flashing signs of solid stuff, more closely resembles a number three or four pitcher. He’s been pulverized by teams above .500 all season long, and while that’s to be expected given his age and exposure, it doesn’t excuse the reality.
I have been vocal in that Dylan Bundy seems to be found value for Minnesota considering his output in spite of the predictive metrics. He is going to regress. Everything about his outcomes suggests regression will hit him hard. What the Twins have done is dance around having that reality smack them in the face to this point, and pitching him any more than he has would be playing with fire. Chris Archer is that fire that routinely burns both his manager and the bullpen beyond three or four innings. His stuff has been good, but the wheels fall off and things go awry.
Asking pitchers to face a lineup more than two times is not a bad idea, in fact it’s one that should be welcomed. In operating that way however, you need to have a stable of pitchers capable of completing that feat. There’s absolutely no argument to be made that the Twins had those arms when the season started, and now 36 pitchers into the year, they couldn’t be further from that being a possibility.
If there’s criticism to be had, it’s towards Derek Falvey and Thad Levine in failing to adequately supplement their starting staff. Major League Baseball as a whole has trended towards shorter starts for quite some time. Through the first handful of months this season, the average start was lower than five innings for the first time in history. With that reality, you’re effectively asking managers to massage a bullpen for something like four innings on any given night. That requires both high-end arms, as well as solid depth.
Minnesota had no arms capable of going deep into games when the season started, and their answer to a bullpen needing supplemental capabilities was a 38-year-old sidearmer in the form of Joe Smith. It’s great that rookie Jhoan Duran has been amazing, but it’s also been absolutely necessary for the Twins to stay afloat. His win probability added leads the league because of the weight being carried on his shoulders, and Baldelli wasn’t provided any additional answers until August. Jorge Lopez has regressed, and Michael Fulmer has been mediocre. Yes, Griffin Jax is a nice development, and it’s great Caleb Thielbar returned from coaching Division 2 baseball, but what are we doing here?
At the end of the day, the question as to why the Twins don’t allow starters to go deeper into ballgames really becomes why doesn’t Minnesota have better starting pitchers. It’s a process to develop arms, and very few will ever be a true ace. It’s also incredibly difficult to spend dollars on arms with 29 other teams vying for their services, and even less talent finding you desirable.
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glunn reacted to jimbo92107 in Twins 1, Yankees 7: Twins Strikeout in Game 2
Glenn Perkins said it pretty well about Joe Ryan. He needs to throw his off-speed pitches with the same conviction and commitment as his fastball. Have faith that your breaking pitches will break; don't try to steer the ball where you want it to go. This is the sort of thing a pitcher can work on during the long off-season practice sessions.
I do believe Joe Ryan has the potential to be close to an ace. He's got the physical tools and the poise. But he needs to have three off-speed pitches that he can throw for strikes, so he doesn't have to throw over ten pitches to get one guy out.
glunn reacted to Longdistancetwins in Twins 1, Yankees 7: Twins Strikeout in Game 2
Some random observations;
Was at the games and heard Yankee fans admitting that they were fielding a mostly a AAA team, and then being thankful for the good fortune that they were facing the Twins, where that wouldn’t matter.
Got jealous seeing the Yankees steal all those bases. Why can’t we?
Correa really gets a lot of “Cheater” boos. Does that happen in all stadiums except Houston and Target Field?
glunn reacted to Sherry Cerny in Twins 1, Yankees 7: Twins Strikeout in Game 2
The Twins took a 30-minute break before getting back on the dirt with the Yankees, who they lost to in Game 1 of a two-game day. After battling for 12 innings, the Twins needed to dig deep to still keep the hopes alive of at least getting a split.
Image courtesy of Gary Vasquez, USA Today Box Score
SP: Joe Ryan 4 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 3 K ( 89 pitches, 57 strikes (64%))
Home Runs: Carlos Correa (17)
Bottom 3 WPA: Kyle Garlick (-0.77), Jose Miranda (-0.65), Gilberto Celestino (-0.50)
Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)
The Yankees have been floundering for the past six weeks, but Aaron Judge and a gang of "Who's That" swept the Twins and have won all three games of this series. The Yankees had not seen Joe Ryan before, so maybe the advantage was in Ryan’s favor.
Ryan started the game with a 13-pitch at-bat against Aaron Hicks before getting a ground out. He left the mound having issued 34 pitches in the first inning. He had two walks and faced six batters, but no runs scored. Ryan has been struggling with his off-speed pitches as of late, not breaking where they should or where he wants them to, leaving hanging sliders in prime territory for hitting.
The Twins attempted to get something going in the fourth inning and just like the earlier game, they got on the board first thanks to a solo home run from Carlos Correa, but the score didn’t stay there for long.
Ryan managed to gather himself, retiring six hitters in a row in the 2nd and 3rd innings. As he crept toward 70 pitches in the bottom of the fourth, with no outs, he loaded the bases.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa stepped up to the plate and on pitch one, a slider, he hit the ball deep into left field for his first career grand slam to give the Yankees a 4-1 lead.
The most painful part? According to Aaron Gleeman, with runners in scoring position, IFK has now hit more home runs against the Twins than Correa has hit for the Twins.
Jovani Moran came in to relieve Ryan in the fifth inning. The lefty kept things copesetic for the club through the sixth inning. The only threat from the Yankees was Estevan Florial hitting a line drive to Jake Cave in left field and Marwin Gonzalez advanced from third to home, but Cave fired off a cannon to home plate, getting Gonzalez out to end the inning. Moran has been exceptional in the past few games that he has made appearances in. In this game, he didn’t allow a run in the two innings and has only allowed seven runs overall this season (in the big leagues, that is), and has a 2.05 ERA. He is effective and gets the job done despite his ERA of 6+ at St. Paul this year. Even Emilio Pagan had an effective outing, not allowing any runs.
The Twins offense has been really bad. The Twins tried to manufacture runs throughout the evening, but couldn’t get past the Yankees pitching, led by Gerrit Cole.
The seventh inning showed promise with runners on the corners and Correa back up at bat, but Lucas Luetge went hard on Correa and struck him out swinging.
Even if the Twins wanted to try and come back into the game, the bottom of the eighth all but sealed the deal for the team when Austin Davis loaded the bases with three walks after two outs. Aaron Hicks hit a line drive to left field for a double to score Kiner-Falefa, Florial, and Oswald Peraza stretching the lead to 7-1. Five of the seven earned runs in this game came from walks. They are right, walks will haunt, especially five of them.
As the Twins finish up the series with the Yankees and move into all divisional games coming up, the fight to stay in the race is going to be brutal.
Do you think the Twins can pull out of this and still take the division?
Final Pitching Match-Up for this Series:
Monday 6:40 pm CST: Sonny Gray (7-4, 3.10 ERA) vs. RHP Nestor Cortes (9-4, 2.68 ERA)
Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
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glunn reacted to jimbo92107 in Yankees 5, Twins 4 (12 innings): Varland Dazzles in Debut, but It’s Not Enough
Excellent debut by Louie Varland, who looks like a rotation horse. If his arm is okay, I see no reason he can't finish the season in the starting rotation. Who ya got that's better?
Note to Megill: Please learn to finish your follow through in position to field a ground ball, rather than doing an embarrassing little dance to avoid the ball hitting you in the ass.
glunn reacted to Thiéres Rabelo in Yankees 5, Twins 4 (12 innings): Varland Dazzles in Debut, but It’s Not Enough
In a four-hour marathon, the Yankees walked off the Twins in 12 innings at the Bronx. Louie Varland had a lovely big-league debut, but the bullpen relinquished the lead twice.
Image courtesy of Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports Box Score
Starting Pitcher: Louie Varland, 5 1/3 IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 1BB, 7K (80 pitches, 55 strikes, 68.8%)
Home Runs: Jose Miranda (14)
Bottom 3 WPA: Trevor Megill (-.570), Griffin Jax (-.254), Gio Urshela (-.201)
Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)
Varland is sharp in his major league debut (pulled too early?)
There probably isn’t a much tougher way to start your major league career than the one Louie Varland had to. Called up for the first time on Tuesday, the St. Paul native had been the most anticipated Twins prospect since… what? Byron Buxton? Some might go even a little further and say… Joe Mauer? Either way, the amount of expectation this kid had to burden was enormous.
Then, you look at all the elements surrounding today’s game. The Twins have been constantly crushed by the New York Yankees for the past two decades; they have been Minnesota’s perennial foes in the postseason in that same span; they haven’t lost a single series against the Twins since 2018, and not one at home since 2014. The list goes on.
This game, in particular, is even more crucial short-term, as the Twins started the day a game and a half back from the Guardians for the division first place. Not being competitive in this Bronx series could be the end of the season for the Twins. Is that pressure enough for the 24-year-old Minnesotan?
Before Varland even stepped on the Yankee Stadium mound, the offense made a good effort to relieve some of the pressure and perhaps calm him down. Luis Arraez jumped on the game’s second pitch and doubled against starter Domingo German. After a Carlos Correa strikeout, José Miranda hit a laser to the deep left corner for a home run, making it 2-0 Twins early.
Whether or not the run support made a difference for Varland at that point, making him less nervous, we’ll never know. But the fact is that he had a nearly perfect first time through the order to begin his big-league career, retiring the first eight batters he faced. He also struck out three of those batters, including American League MVP frontrunner Aaron Judge for his first-ever MLB strikeout. That’s a heck of a greeting card.
Varland’s first hit given up was an Oswald Peraza two-out double in the third, but he responded to that with an inning-ending groundout, his third of the game. Then, the offense came through for him again with some more run support. In the top of the fourth, Germán got two quick outs, but the bottom third of Minnesota’s lineup did some two-out damage.
Jake Cave, Gary Sanchez, and Gilberto Celestino hit three consecutive singles, and, with that, another run scored, making it 3-0 Twins. The Yankees responded quickly, though, with Judge getting back at Varland in the bottom of the same inning with a leadoff home run, cutting the Twins’ lead to two. Varland displayed some impressive nerves after that, retiring batters three through five of the Yankee lineup, including back-to-back strikeouts following the Judge home run.
Varland pitched into the sixth, facing two batters: he lost Peraza for a leadoff single but came back to strike out Oswaldo Cabrera. Before he could face Judge (the tying run) a third time in this game, Rocco Baldelli decided to call it a game for him. Griffin Jax was brought in, and he got Judge to pop out for the second out, but before he could finish the inning, Gleyber Torres hit a two-run home run that tied the game.
Baldelli’s decision to pull Varland when he did cause mixed feelings throughout Twins Twitter. Twins Daily’s writers Nick Nelson and Seth Stohs, for example, had opposing views of Baldelli’s call (here and here). Do you think Varland should’ve stayed to face Judge and Torres? Use the comment section to give your opinion.
Bats quiet down, bullpen trio takes the game into extras
The Twins’ offense couldn’t bother the Yankees again for the better part of the game, with the only exception coming during the eighth inning. Miranda snapped an 0-for-9 skid with a one-out single, and Nick Gordon followed him up with a single of his own, posing the first Minnesota threat since the fourth inning. Unfortunately for the Twins, both runners ended up being stranded.
Fortunately for them, though, the bullpen did a fine job maintaining this a tied game for the remainder of regulation. After Jax blew the lead in the sixth, Caleb Thielbar, Jorge Lopez, and Jhoan Duran did a fantastic job preventing New York from scoring. With Duran pitching in the ninth, Sánchez made a huge play catching Tim Locastro trying to steal second with a laser throw for the second out that Jermaine Palacios somehow caught and kept the tag on as Locastro came off the base. Then, after Isiah Kiner-Falefa singled and reached third with a steal and a throwing error, Correa ended the inning with a crucial defensive move.
Celestino puts the Twins ahead, but the Yankees tie it, walk it off
With Celestino starting the 10th inning at second base, Arráez hit a single to shallow right, and the outfielder was waved around. However, he hesitated a bit heading from third to home and was caught by catcher Jose Trevino with plenty of time. Duran pitched a scoreless 10th, and the game headed for the 11th. After the offense went down in order in the top of the inning, the Yankees loaded the bases in the bottom after an intentional walk to Judge and a walk to Torres. A beautiful 3-2-3 double play prevented the winning run from scoring and paved the way for another inning.
Came the 12th inning, the Twins put some pressure on reliever Ron Marinaccio, with Cave drawing a leadoff walk. With a Sánchez strikeout, New York had a double play in order, but Celestino had other plans. He hit a sharp groundball to right, deep enough to score ghost runner Jermaine Palacios from second, snatching the lead back for the Twins. Arráez drew a walk to load the bases before the inning was done, but Correa and Miranda couldn’t take advantage.
That lead didn’t last long, though. Kiner-Falefa hit a ground ball off Trevor Megill to lead off the bottom of the 12th, and former Twin Marwin Gonzalez scored from second. Trevino then hit a one-out single that sent Kiner-Falefa to third and, despite getting Peraza to fly out for the second out, Megill couldn’t retire Cabrera, who hit a grounder to short, past a diving Gordon, to bring Kiner-Falefa home and end the game.
Game two of the doubleheader is about to start with Joe Ryan (3.88 ERA) on the mound for Minnesota and Gerrit Cole (3.28 ERA) starting for the Yankees. Currently, Minnesota still has the chance to split the series, as both teams are back on the field tomorrow for game four of the series.
Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT Sanchez 70 0 0 0 0 70 Duran 0 20 0 0 28 48 Megill 0 0 27 0 20 47 Fulmer 0 14 0 0 16 30 Thielbar 0 15 0 0 11 26 Pagán 0 0 22 0 0 22 Jax 0 8 0 0 12 20 López 0 0 0 0 15 15 Davis 0 0 11 0 0 11 Moran 0 0 0 0 0 0
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