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Thiéres Rabelo

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  1. Box Score Happ: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K (62.5% strikes) Home Runs: none Top 3 WPA: Jeffers .512, Rogers .169, Polanco .104 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Happ struggles early but settles in nicely Eight pitches. Eight pitches were all it took for this game to have its first runs on the board. Happ was off to a horrendous start, which is not news. Coming into tonight’s game, 21.3% of all earned runs given up by the southpaw in the season happened during the first inning of games. That became a little worse when Phil Gosselin doubled and then scored on a Jose Iglesias’ single. Then it became a lot worse a few moments later when old friend Kurt Suzuki hit a two-out, two-run bomb to the left field corner, making it 3-0 Angels. Facing righty Alex Cobb, the offense loaded the bases during the bottom of the first inning but couldn’t capitalize. They went down in order in the second frame, but not before Happ had given up yet another home run in the top of the inning to Jack Mayfield, extending the Angels’ lead to four. With the four early runs allowed, the Twins’ starter took the lead of Robbie Ray for most earned runs allowed by any left-handed pitcher in the American League. Minnesota got one run back in the third inning with Jorge Polanco keeping his hot streak alive and well with a double, and being pushed across by a single from Trevor Larnach. Fortunately, that was also the inning when Happ had started to settle in. After the awful first two innings, he went on to pitch four scoreless frames. Before he departed, the Twins manufactured another run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Max Kepler hit a bullet to lead off the inning (110 MPH exit velocity), then Polanco singled to move him to third. With men on the corners, a fantastic defensive play from Mayfield at third prevented the Twins from maybe scoring a couple of runs. Instead, Josh Donaldson grounded into a double-play, but that was enough to score Kepler from third and cut Los Angeles’ lead to 4-2. Offense keeps pushing for a rally The Twins continued to peck their way into this game. Cobb came back to the mound for the bottom of the sixth, but he left the game with a blister before throwing a single pitch. With Steve Cishek pitching, Miguel Sanó led off the inning with a double, and Nick Gordon singled to right to bring the big man home, putting Minnesota within a run. Minnesota kept hitting the ball hard. After Alexander Colomé delivered a scoreless seventh inning, Donaldson hit a single in the bottom of the inning, the Twins’ 11th hit of the night. However, they couldn’t add on, thanks to Mayfield’s impressive defensive display at the hot corner. While the Twins were able to produce baserunners, most of them were stranded by the Angel defense. Juan Minaya worked out of a jam in the top of the eighth to keep this a one-run game. Then, with a series of great at-bats, the offense came through in the home half. Sanó worked an eight-pitch at-bat to draw a leadoff walk, prompting a pitching change. Joe Maddon brought in star closer Raisel Iglesias to try to keep the Angels ahead. After he got the first out of the inning, Gordon responded with a single, his second of the night. Then Ryan Jeffers came through with his most clutch hit yet! A single to left, just out of the reach of Mayfield, was enough to score Sanó from second. After an errant throw home, Suzuki tried to catch Gordon advancing to third base, but he was way off the mark, allowing the Twins’ rookie to score sliding and give the Twins their first lead of the night, 5-4. Taylor Rogers came in to pitch the ninth inning and, despite giving up a bloop single to David Fletcher, managed to retire the side and secure the Twins win. This was his ninth save of the season, the 50th in his career. He's now even closer to enter the top 10 in career saves in Senators/Twins franchise history, ranking 13th at the moment. Postgame Interviews Nick Gordon Ryan Jeffers Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT Colomé 0 26 22 0 11 59 Duffey 16 0 38 0 0 54 Alcala 23 24 0 0 0 47 Coulombe 0 5 0 32 0 37 Rogers 19 0 0 0 18 37 Thielbar 0 17 16 0 0 33 Robles 19 7 0 0 0 26 Minaya 0 0 0 0 20 20
  2. Down by four runs early on, the Twins never gave up and managed to rally back to beat the Angels and even the series, one game a piece. Ryan Jeffers' clutch hit and Nick Gordon's aggressive baserunning sealed the deal late. Box Score Happ: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K (62.5% strikes) Home Runs: none Top 3 WPA: Jeffers .512, Rogers .169, Polanco .104 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Happ struggles early but settles in nicely Eight pitches. Eight pitches were all it took for this game to have its first runs on the board. Happ was off to a horrendous start, which is not news. Coming into tonight’s game, 21.3% of all earned runs given up by the southpaw in the season happened during the first inning of games. That became a little worse when Phil Gosselin doubled and then scored on a Jose Iglesias’ single. Then it became a lot worse a few moments later when old friend Kurt Suzuki hit a two-out, two-run bomb to the left field corner, making it 3-0 Angels. Facing righty Alex Cobb, the offense loaded the bases during the bottom of the first inning but couldn’t capitalize. They went down in order in the second frame, but not before Happ had given up yet another home run in the top of the inning to Jack Mayfield, extending the Angels’ lead to four. With the four early runs allowed, the Twins’ starter took the lead of Robbie Ray for most earned runs allowed by any left-handed pitcher in the American League. Minnesota got one run back in the third inning with Jorge Polanco keeping his hot streak alive and well with a double, and being pushed across by a single from Trevor Larnach. Fortunately, that was also the inning when Happ had started to settle in. After the awful first two innings, he went on to pitch four scoreless frames. Before he departed, the Twins manufactured another run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Max Kepler hit a bullet to lead off the inning (110 MPH exit velocity), then Polanco singled to move him to third. With men on the corners, a fantastic defensive play from Mayfield at third prevented the Twins from maybe scoring a couple of runs. Instead, Josh Donaldson grounded into a double-play, but that was enough to score Kepler from third and cut Los Angeles’ lead to 4-2. Offense keeps pushing for a rally The Twins continued to peck their way into this game. Cobb came back to the mound for the bottom of the sixth, but he left the game with a blister before throwing a single pitch. With Steve Cishek pitching, Miguel Sanó led off the inning with a double, and Nick Gordon singled to right to bring the big man home, putting Minnesota within a run. Minnesota kept hitting the ball hard. After Alexander Colomé delivered a scoreless seventh inning, Donaldson hit a single in the bottom of the inning, the Twins’ 11th hit of the night. However, they couldn’t add on, thanks to Mayfield’s impressive defensive display at the hot corner. While the Twins were able to produce baserunners, most of them were stranded by the Angel defense. Juan Minaya worked out of a jam in the top of the eighth to keep this a one-run game. Then, with a series of great at-bats, the offense came through in the home half. Sanó worked an eight-pitch at-bat to draw a leadoff walk, prompting a pitching change. Joe Maddon brought in star closer Raisel Iglesias to try to keep the Angels ahead. After he got the first out of the inning, Gordon responded with a single, his second of the night. Then Ryan Jeffers came through with his most clutch hit yet! A single to left, just out of the reach of Mayfield, was enough to score Sanó from second. After an errant throw home, Suzuki tried to catch Gordon advancing to third base, but he was way off the mark, allowing the Twins’ rookie to score sliding and give the Twins their first lead of the night, 5-4. Taylor Rogers came in to pitch the ninth inning and, despite giving up a bloop single to David Fletcher, managed to retire the side and secure the Twins win. This was his ninth save of the season, the 50th in his career. He's now even closer to enter the top 10 in career saves in Senators/Twins franchise history, ranking 13th at the moment. Postgame Interviews Nick Gordon Ryan Jeffers Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT Colomé 0 26 22 0 11 59 Duffey 16 0 38 0 0 54 Alcala 23 24 0 0 0 47 Coulombe 0 5 0 32 0 37 Rogers 19 0 0 0 18 37 Thielbar 0 17 16 0 0 33 Robles 19 7 0 0 0 26 Minaya 0 0 0 0 20 20 View full article
  3. The Mets, under new ownership, were aggressive in the market last winter and landed some key pieces. However, injuries have taken a toll on their season, and winning the division isn't a certainty. They haven't been to the postseason in four years, and if they want to have a relevant October, they need to add at least a starting pitcher and one more bat. Minnesota has exactly what they need. Will the clubs find the right price? What's their situation? The Mets' presence in October looks pretty likely, although it's not a sure thing. They went into the All-Star break leading the NL East by 3.5 games over the Philadelphia Phillies, with a record of 47-40. After a slow start in April, they exploded to go 17-9 in May. This helped them improve from the fourth-worst record in the NL to the top of their division by the end of the month. Winning the division – something they did last in 2015 – appears to be the safest way for them to make it into the postseason. The Los Angeles Dodgers (56-35) and the San Diego Padres (53-40), the two clubs currently in ownership of the two wild card spots, both have records considerably better than New York at this point. If one of them manages to win the NL West, the San Francisco Giants (currently at 57-32) suddenly become the Mets' competition for the wild card. New York finished the first half of the season with a winning record within the division, 19-18. But against their two main threats, the Phillies and the Braves, they are at 14-10. The Braves, unfortunately, lost Ronald Acuña Jr. for the season due to a torn ACL, so their already-average offensive productivity (100 wRC+) may take a dip during the second half. With the Mets having one of baseball's best pitching staffs, making the right additions in this trade deadline could be key to put them over the top in the NL East. Steven Cohen, the team's new boss since last October, is baseball's richest team owner with a net worth that has reached the $16 billion thresholds last April, according to Forbes. Not three months after acquiring Francisco Lindor from Cleveland last January, Cohen demonstrated his business aggressiveness and locked him up in late March with a 10-year, $341 million extension. Not only this proves his total commitment to building a World Series-caliber team, but it also puts the Mets into a very convenient position when they need to lure free agents or top trade targets into the club. Trading for and then signing Lindor to an extension wasn't the only move from the Mets for this season. Over the winter, they made some key free-agent additions, such as keeping Marcus Stroman, as well as All-Star starter Taijuan Walker, former All-Star catcher James McCann, and our dear Trevor May. The Mets being in a position of entering a pennant race after the trade deadline additions is certainly not an accident. What do they need? As good as the Mets' pitching staff has been, they could still use some help. Their starting rotation has produced 9.9 fWAR (4th most in baseball) while also having the second-best ERA, with 2.98, and the best FIP, at 3.36. However, they did that relying basically on three arms: Stroman, Walker, and Jacob deGrom, who's having one of the most dominant seasons a starting pitcher has had in years, possibly decades. Outside of the trio mentioned above, if you put together all the other pitchers who started at least one game for the Mets this season, they have a combined 4.62 ERA and 4.61 FIP. If they don't pursue pitching help now, that's the kind of productivity they'll be relying on should any severe injuries happen to one of their top three starters. Carlos Carrasco and Noah Syndergaard have slight chances of returning to the team this season, but that definitely shouldn't be something to count on. If you're the Mets, shopping for a solid starter to strengthen your rotation in the second half and into October should be your top priority. Next on their list are, of course, bats. The Mets as a team have had a very poor offense – to sugarcoat it – throughout this season, ranking 17th in wRC+ (93) and 25th in OPS (.683), while striking out 24.4% of the time, which represents the 10th highest percentage in baseball. They've produced the second-fewest runs in all of baseball so far this season, with a total of 327. deGrom, who constantly doesn't get run support from New York's lineup, has a .758 OPS, which is higher than those of seven of the eight qualified hitters in the team. Lindor appears to have found his mojo this month, but he's had an abysmal first three months as a Met, being booed several times by the fans. J.D. Davis has been sidelined for most of the season, which creates a huge gap in their lineup. Even though he's expected to be activated very soon, you have no idea what version of him is coming back from the injured list. So it makes a lot of sense to look for some help at third base. Besides, if he does come back hitting as well as he was in April, they can easily move him to one of their corner outfield spots. Good pitching is never enough, but so far, the Mets haven't been linked to any significant relief pitching rumors. They appear to be satisfied with what their bullpen is bringing to the table, a staff with a 2.12 WPA so far this season, the 12th-best in baseball. Seven of their eight most-used relievers this season have a sub-four ERA. Which Twins are the best fit? Having that in mind, the Twins may immediately become the best trading partner available for New York, as they can kill two birds with one stone by dealing with Minnesota. Josh Donaldson might not be a frontrunner, but he would be the perfect fit for the Mets. Earlier this month, it was reported that both sides started preliminary talks. However, things didn't progress. Nonetheless, 'The Bringer of Rain' is undeniably an upgrade over veteran Jonathan Villar, the Mets' primary hot corner starter this season. Donaldson's .831 OPS for the season (1.035 over his last 30 games) are considerably above Villar's .745. Besides, even with some of his defensive metrics being below his career average right now, Donaldson still provides the Mets much better defense. José Berríos is the next big thing the Twins have to offer. The former All-Star is not an ace, as we all know, but he is absolutely solid and, at 27 and under team control for this season and next, the upside is huge. After 18 starts this season, 'La Makina' is posting some career numbers, such as 3.48 ERA, 3.40 FIP, and 1.10 WHIP. In several metrics, Berríos is a superior pitcher to Walker himself, providing more strikeouts and giving up fewer walks. Having Berríos as their number three or four starter would make the Met rotation much, much scarier. Adding Berríos would also be huge for New York because both Stroman and Syndergaard will be free agents at the end of the season. The upside that he brings to the table is so significant that some Mets fans even consider him the 'condition' to accept all the potential downside of bringing in Donaldson, such as the age, the injury history, and the high salary. However, names like Kris Bryant, Adam Frazier, and Eduardo Escobar might get in the way of them making another blockbuster trade, such as the one they did with Cleveland in January. Who could the Twins get back? In mid-June, New York-based SNY presented this package in exchange for Berríos: Ronny Mauricio, a 20-year-old shortstop, is currently the organization's #2 prospect, while J.T. Ginn (RHP) is their #6, and Junior Santos (RHP) their #11. While this is a package containing some of your best-ranked prospects, looking at their productivity in the minors this season makes you think. Santos', who's only 19, still hasn't had a very good season in the Mets' system, with a 4.37 career ERA so far. On the other hand, Ginn has a solid 2.48 ERA this season, his first out of college, but the sample might still be too small to judge him. Mauricio is a very attractive piece, even though he doesn't have eye-popping numbers so far. However, it's uncertain how much the Twins would be willing to have the most valuable trade piece be a shortstop. This position already accounts for four of the team's top 30 prospects list, including their #1, Royce Lewis, and #7, Keoni Cavaco. Not to mention that Nick Gordon just made the big league team and is doing pretty well. But those are all more of a wondering than it is a reason to say no. It's hard to imagine that the Mets would toss in anything more than this for Berríos. Would they be willing to add a low-end prospect to the package in exchange for Donaldson? As much as Berríos and Donaldson would be the perfect fit for them, perhaps they won't be willing to go any higher than something similar to what's been suggested above. They could probably land a better third baseman with those same pieces if they decide to trade with some other team. At the same time, I also feel like the Twins could get a better return in exchange for Berríos. That is if they're really willing to deal him – which we aren't sure they are. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  4. What's their situation? The Mets' presence in October looks pretty likely, although it's not a sure thing. They went into the All-Star break leading the NL East by 3.5 games over the Philadelphia Phillies, with a record of 47-40. After a slow start in April, they exploded to go 17-9 in May. This helped them improve from the fourth-worst record in the NL to the top of their division by the end of the month. Winning the division – something they did last in 2015 – appears to be the safest way for them to make it into the postseason. The Los Angeles Dodgers (56-35) and the San Diego Padres (53-40), the two clubs currently in ownership of the two wild card spots, both have records considerably better than New York at this point. If one of them manages to win the NL West, the San Francisco Giants (currently at 57-32) suddenly become the Mets' competition for the wild card. New York finished the first half of the season with a winning record within the division, 19-18. But against their two main threats, the Phillies and the Braves, they are at 14-10. The Braves, unfortunately, lost Ronald Acuña Jr. for the season due to a torn ACL, so their already-average offensive productivity (100 wRC+) may take a dip during the second half. With the Mets having one of baseball's best pitching staffs, making the right additions in this trade deadline could be key to put them over the top in the NL East. Steven Cohen, the team's new boss since last October, is baseball's richest team owner with a net worth that has reached the $16 billion thresholds last April, according to Forbes. Not three months after acquiring Francisco Lindor from Cleveland last January, Cohen demonstrated his business aggressiveness and locked him up in late March with a 10-year, $341 million extension. Not only this proves his total commitment to building a World Series-caliber team, but it also puts the Mets into a very convenient position when they need to lure free agents or top trade targets into the club. Trading for and then signing Lindor to an extension wasn't the only move from the Mets for this season. Over the winter, they made some key free-agent additions, such as keeping Marcus Stroman, as well as All-Star starter Taijuan Walker, former All-Star catcher James McCann, and our dear Trevor May. The Mets being in a position of entering a pennant race after the trade deadline additions is certainly not an accident. What do they need? As good as the Mets' pitching staff has been, they could still use some help. Their starting rotation has produced 9.9 fWAR (4th most in baseball) while also having the second-best ERA, with 2.98, and the best FIP, at 3.36. However, they did that relying basically on three arms: Stroman, Walker, and Jacob deGrom, who's having one of the most dominant seasons a starting pitcher has had in years, possibly decades. Outside of the trio mentioned above, if you put together all the other pitchers who started at least one game for the Mets this season, they have a combined 4.62 ERA and 4.61 FIP. If they don't pursue pitching help now, that's the kind of productivity they'll be relying on should any severe injuries happen to one of their top three starters. Carlos Carrasco and Noah Syndergaard have slight chances of returning to the team this season, but that definitely shouldn't be something to count on. If you're the Mets, shopping for a solid starter to strengthen your rotation in the second half and into October should be your top priority. Next on their list are, of course, bats. The Mets as a team have had a very poor offense – to sugarcoat it – throughout this season, ranking 17th in wRC+ (93) and 25th in OPS (.683), while striking out 24.4% of the time, which represents the 10th highest percentage in baseball. They've produced the second-fewest runs in all of baseball so far this season, with a total of 327. deGrom, who constantly doesn't get run support from New York's lineup, has a .758 OPS, which is higher than those of seven of the eight qualified hitters in the team. Lindor appears to have found his mojo this month, but he's had an abysmal first three months as a Met, being booed several times by the fans. J.D. Davis has been sidelined for most of the season, which creates a huge gap in their lineup. Even though he's expected to be activated very soon, you have no idea what version of him is coming back from the injured list. So it makes a lot of sense to look for some help at third base. Besides, if he does come back hitting as well as he was in April, they can easily move him to one of their corner outfield spots. Good pitching is never enough, but so far, the Mets haven't been linked to any significant relief pitching rumors. They appear to be satisfied with what their bullpen is bringing to the table, a staff with a 2.12 WPA so far this season, the 12th-best in baseball. Seven of their eight most-used relievers this season have a sub-four ERA. Which Twins are the best fit? Having that in mind, the Twins may immediately become the best trading partner available for New York, as they can kill two birds with one stone by dealing with Minnesota. Josh Donaldson might not be a frontrunner, but he would be the perfect fit for the Mets. Earlier this month, it was reported that both sides started preliminary talks. However, things didn't progress. Nonetheless, 'The Bringer of Rain' is undeniably an upgrade over veteran Jonathan Villar, the Mets' primary hot corner starter this season. Donaldson's .831 OPS for the season (1.035 over his last 30 games) are considerably above Villar's .745. Besides, even with some of his defensive metrics being below his career average right now, Donaldson still provides the Mets much better defense. José Berríos is the next big thing the Twins have to offer. The former All-Star is not an ace, as we all know, but he is absolutely solid and, at 27 and under team control for this season and next, the upside is huge. After 18 starts this season, 'La Makina' is posting some career numbers, such as 3.48 ERA, 3.40 FIP, and 1.10 WHIP. In several metrics, Berríos is a superior pitcher to Walker himself, providing more strikeouts and giving up fewer walks. Having Berríos as their number three or four starter would make the Met rotation much, much scarier. Adding Berríos would also be huge for New York because both Stroman and Syndergaard will be free agents at the end of the season. The upside that he brings to the table is so significant that some Mets fans even consider him the 'condition' to accept all the potential downside of bringing in Donaldson, such as the age, the injury history, and the high salary. However, names like Kris Bryant, Adam Frazier, and Eduardo Escobar might get in the way of them making another blockbuster trade, such as the one they did with Cleveland in January. Who could the Twins get back? In mid-June, New York-based SNY presented this package in exchange for Berríos: Ronny Mauricio, a 20-year-old shortstop, is currently the organization's #2 prospect, while J.T. Ginn (RHP) is their #6, and Junior Santos (RHP) their #11. While this is a package containing some of your best-ranked prospects, looking at their productivity in the minors this season makes you think. Santos', who's only 19, still hasn't had a very good season in the Mets' system, with a 4.37 career ERA so far. On the other hand, Ginn has a solid 2.48 ERA this season, his first out of college, but the sample might still be too small to judge him. Mauricio is a very attractive piece, even though he doesn't have eye-popping numbers so far. However, it's uncertain how much the Twins would be willing to have the most valuable trade piece be a shortstop. This position already accounts for four of the team's top 30 prospects list, including their #1, Royce Lewis, and #7, Keoni Cavaco. Not to mention that Nick Gordon just made the big league team and is doing pretty well. But those are all more of a wondering than it is a reason to say no. It's hard to imagine that the Mets would toss in anything more than this for Berríos. Would they be willing to add a low-end prospect to the package in exchange for Donaldson? As much as Berríos and Donaldson would be the perfect fit for them, perhaps they won't be willing to go any higher than something similar to what's been suggested above. They could probably land a better third baseman with those same pieces if they decide to trade with some other team. At the same time, I also feel like the Twins could get a better return in exchange for Berríos. That is if they're really willing to deal him – which we aren't sure they are. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  5. Box Score Maeda: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K (68.8% strikes) Home Runs: Donaldson (14) Bottom 3 WPA: Rogers -.542, Jeffers -.366, Kirilloff -.192 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Bats show up early, Baddoo overpowers them In game one of the doubleheader, Minnesota’s lineup couldn’t figure out how to get to the Tigers pitching. They managed to get only two total hits the Twins were shut out. But in game two, things were different and it didn’t take long this time. Nelson Cruz hit a two-out double off Tyler Alexander shortly before Josh Donaldson brought him home with a liner to center. It was a rocket, too, leaving his bat at 108 MPH. Minnesota surpassed its hits total from the first game during the second inning when Miguel Sanó hit a double, but that threat was short-lived. Detroit, however, made the most of their opportunity in that same inning. A ghost from Kenta Maeda’s last start came back to haunt him, as he failed to retire the leadoff hitter, issuing a walk. Despite retiring his next two batters, he loaded the bases on a single and a hit-by-pitch. Akil Badoo made him pay and, on the next at-bat, the former Twins prospect tripled to clear the bases, putting the Tigers ahead, 3-1. Donaldson brings the rain, puts the rally in motion The Twins were far from done. While Maeda settled in and delivered back-to-back 1-2-3 innings, Minnesota tied it up, scoring a run in two consecutive innings. First, Donaldson got his second hit and run batted in of the game, with a leadoff home run in the fourth, to put the Twins within one. Oh, and potential Donaldson buyers at the trade deadline are going to be happy to know that this was an even stronger blast, leaving his bat at 113 MPH. Digging into their bullpen, the Tigers couldn’t avoid the Twins’ comeback. Minnesota loaded them up early in the fifth, after Andrelton Simmons and Jorge Polanco hit back-to-back singles, prompting Detroit’s second pitching change of the night, and Trevor Larnach drew a walk. Cruz hit a 107 MPH chopper that was understandably bobbled by second baseman Harold Castro, allowing Simmons to score and tied the game. After giving up that triple against Baddoo in the second, Maeda never allowed another Tiger to reach, retiring the final ten batters he saw. In fact, minus the second inning, he allowed only one baserunner to reach in this game, a single in the first inning. It was the third consecutive start in which he induced at least 15 swings and misses. Both bullpens didn’t allow any further scoring during regulation. Hansel Robles, topping at 99.6 MPH, pitched two scoreless innings. The only Tiger to reach against him was Eric Haase, who got hit by a pitch on the helmet by a 95 MPH four-seamer. Scary stuff. But fortunately, he seemed fine, as he stood up. Detroit medical staff did decide to remove him from the game. Ghost runners will haunt The 8th inning, which was also an extra-inning (2021 baseball, right?), was very peculiar, and I’m not talking about the ghost runner. Let’s begin with the fact that, after being hit by a pitch, Cruz stole another base. For the first time since 2015, Nelly has at least three stolen bases in the same season! But in all seriousness. Cruz’s presence at second put a lot of pressure on Tigers’ reliever Joe Jiménez, who now had two runners in scoring position, with Nick Gordon, the ghost runner, advancing to third on a sac-fly. Facing Ryan Jeffers, Jiménez threw a wild pitch, allowing both runners to move up and Gordon to score. Minnesota was back on top and headed to the bottom of the inning with a 4-3 lead. Then disaster struck. Jonathan Schoop tied the game against Taylor Rogers with a one-out single, scoring Derek Hill from third base. Rogers struck out Baddoo to open the inning and then did the same to Robbie Grossman. When facing Miguel Cabrera, the All-Star reliever managed to induce weak contact from Miggy, who popped up to center. But neither Gordon and Simmons could get to the ball. It dropped and Schoop was rewarded, scoring the winning run all the way from first base, in heartbreaking fashion (from the Twins' perspective). Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet TUE WED THU FRI SAT TOT Burrows 0 0 0 0 32 32 Rogers 0 0 0 0 21 21 Robles 0 0 0 0 18 18 Thielbar 0 0 0 0 0 0 Duffey 0 0 0 0 0 0 Colomé 0 0 0 0 0 0 Coulombe 0 0 0 0 0 0 Alcala 0 0 0 0 0 0
  6. The Twins managed to come back from a two-run deficit and led by one in extra innings, but with an unbelievable play that ended the game, the Tigers won the nightcap and swept the split doubleheader with a walk-off. Box Score Maeda: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K (68.8% strikes) Home Runs: Donaldson (14) Bottom 3 WPA: Rogers -.542, Jeffers -.366, Kirilloff -.192 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Bats show up early, Baddoo overpowers them In game one of the doubleheader, Minnesota’s lineup couldn’t figure out how to get to the Tigers pitching. They managed to get only two total hits the Twins were shut out. But in game two, things were different and it didn’t take long this time. Nelson Cruz hit a two-out double off Tyler Alexander shortly before Josh Donaldson brought him home with a liner to center. It was a rocket, too, leaving his bat at 108 MPH. Minnesota surpassed its hits total from the first game during the second inning when Miguel Sanó hit a double, but that threat was short-lived. Detroit, however, made the most of their opportunity in that same inning. A ghost from Kenta Maeda’s last start came back to haunt him, as he failed to retire the leadoff hitter, issuing a walk. Despite retiring his next two batters, he loaded the bases on a single and a hit-by-pitch. Akil Badoo made him pay and, on the next at-bat, the former Twins prospect tripled to clear the bases, putting the Tigers ahead, 3-1. Donaldson brings the rain, puts the rally in motion The Twins were far from done. While Maeda settled in and delivered back-to-back 1-2-3 innings, Minnesota tied it up, scoring a run in two consecutive innings. First, Donaldson got his second hit and run batted in of the game, with a leadoff home run in the fourth, to put the Twins within one. Oh, and potential Donaldson buyers at the trade deadline are going to be happy to know that this was an even stronger blast, leaving his bat at 113 MPH. Digging into their bullpen, the Tigers couldn’t avoid the Twins’ comeback. Minnesota loaded them up early in the fifth, after Andrelton Simmons and Jorge Polanco hit back-to-back singles, prompting Detroit’s second pitching change of the night, and Trevor Larnach drew a walk. Cruz hit a 107 MPH chopper that was understandably bobbled by second baseman Harold Castro, allowing Simmons to score and tied the game. After giving up that triple against Baddoo in the second, Maeda never allowed another Tiger to reach, retiring the final ten batters he saw. In fact, minus the second inning, he allowed only one baserunner to reach in this game, a single in the first inning. It was the third consecutive start in which he induced at least 15 swings and misses. Both bullpens didn’t allow any further scoring during regulation. Hansel Robles, topping at 99.6 MPH, pitched two scoreless innings. The only Tiger to reach against him was Eric Haase, who got hit by a pitch on the helmet by a 95 MPH four-seamer. Scary stuff. But fortunately, he seemed fine, as he stood up. Detroit medical staff did decide to remove him from the game. Ghost runners will haunt The 8th inning, which was also an extra-inning (2021 baseball, right?), was very peculiar, and I’m not talking about the ghost runner. Let’s begin with the fact that, after being hit by a pitch, Cruz stole another base. For the first time since 2015, Nelly has at least three stolen bases in the same season! But in all seriousness. Cruz’s presence at second put a lot of pressure on Tigers’ reliever Joe Jiménez, who now had two runners in scoring position, with Nick Gordon, the ghost runner, advancing to third on a sac-fly. Facing Ryan Jeffers, Jiménez threw a wild pitch, allowing both runners to move up and Gordon to score. Minnesota was back on top and headed to the bottom of the inning with a 4-3 lead. Then disaster struck. Jonathan Schoop tied the game against Taylor Rogers with a one-out single, scoring Derek Hill from third base. Rogers struck out Baddoo to open the inning and then did the same to Robbie Grossman. When facing Miguel Cabrera, the All-Star reliever managed to induce weak contact from Miggy, who popped up to center. But neither Gordon and Simmons could get to the ball. It dropped and Schoop was rewarded, scoring the winning run all the way from first base, in heartbreaking fashion (from the Twins' perspective). Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet TUE WED THU FRI SAT TOT Burrows 0 0 0 0 32 32 Rogers 0 0 0 0 21 21 Robles 0 0 0 0 18 18 Thielbar 0 0 0 0 0 0 Duffey 0 0 0 0 0 0 Colomé 0 0 0 0 0 0 Coulombe 0 0 0 0 0 0 Alcala 0 0 0 0 0 0 View full article
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  8. Box Score Maeda: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K (61.9% strikes) Home Runs: none Top 3 WPA: Maeda .288, Kepler .170, Robles .119 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Both starters began this game in a real pitchers’ duel. Making his fifth big league start, Manning no-hit the Twins lineup through three innings, on 34 pitches. Maeda had to work a bit harder, struggling to retire leadoff batters and surpassing 50 pitches in that same span. He did manage to fan six through three scoreless frames, but he also relied on some good defense to bale him out. Like when Ben Rortvedt caught former Twins prospect Akil Baddoo trying to steal second base during the first inning to complete a double play. Speaking of Rortvedt, here’s a fun stat brought by MLB.com beat writer Do-Hyoung Park: After three innings of work, both offenses managed to produce only three runners combined. Maeda continued to have a hard time with leadoff hitters, as four out of five reached. But he also missed a ton of bats, producing 17 swings and misses in this game, his third-highest total in a game this season. Strangely, Rocco Baldelli pulled him after five innings, with his pitch count at 84. He concluded his shutout with seven punch outs, all of them on swinging strikes, which makes it 31 consecutive swinging strikeouts for him. Manning took his no-hit bid into the fifth inning, still under 60 pitches, retiring nine consecutive Minnesota batters at one point. Then the Twins threatened for the first time in the game, with Jorge Polanco drawing a walk and being sent to third by a Max Kepler opposite field single. However, he took care of the next two batters and kept the game scoreless through five. The offense comes through big in the sixth Jorge Alcala pitched a quick, scoreless sixth inning. Then, the Twins offense finally managed to break Manning’s dominance. Luis Arraez jumped on the first pitch he saw for a leadoff single. Josh Donaldson drew a walk immediately afterward which forced A.J. Hinch to pull his rookie. Reliever Ian Krol took over, but he couldn’t take care of the inherited runners. He balked, advancing both of them, before giving up an RBI-single to Trevor Larnach. Nelson Cruz hit a sac-fly to push Donaldson across and double the Twins' lead. But they weren’t done. Alex Kirilloff drew a walk after falling behind 0-2 in the count and kept the threat going. Kepler, who’s having a scorching-hot month of July, cleared the bases with a two-out triple, scoring Larnach and Kirilloff, making it 4-0 Minnesota. Oh, and it wasn’t without the help of some vintage Robbie Grossman defense out in left field. The bullpen kept things interesting. Caleb Thielbar took over for Alcala in the seventh and managed to close out the inning, in spite of giving up a single. However, after allowing a leadoff single to Baddoo in the eighth, he saw Grossman hit a two-run bomb to left, cutting the Twins’ lead in half. Baldelli had enough and brought Hansel Robles into the game at once. Not only did he end the threat in the eight, but he also closed out the game with a scoreless ninth, earning his ninth save of the season. Robles has now had back-to-back scoreless outings, after giving runs in four consecutive games. The Twins record is now 37-50 and they have the chance to win the series this Saturday. The first pitch is scheduled for 1:10 pm CT, with Bailey Ober on the mound for Minnesota. Postgame Interviews Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT Thielbar 29 0 20 0 20 69 Law 0 0 50 0 0 50 Rogers 31 0 0 6 0 37 Robles 12 0 0 0 24 36 Duffey 17 0 0 15 0 32 Alcala 0 0 0 0 23 23 Colomé 0 14 0 0 0 14 Coulombe 0 12 0 0 0 12
  9. Kenta Maeda and Tigers’ starter Matt Manning both pitched five innings of shutout baseball before Minnesota’s offense ambushed the Detroit rookie for four runs in the sixth inning. The Twins have a chance to win the series on Saturday afternoon. Box Score Maeda: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K (61.9% strikes) Home Runs: none Top 3 WPA: Maeda .288, Kepler .170, Robles .119 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Both starters began this game in a real pitchers’ duel. Making his fifth big league start, Manning no-hit the Twins lineup through three innings, on 34 pitches. Maeda had to work a bit harder, struggling to retire leadoff batters and surpassing 50 pitches in that same span. He did manage to fan six through three scoreless frames, but he also relied on some good defense to bale him out. Like when Ben Rortvedt caught former Twins prospect Akil Baddoo trying to steal second base during the first inning to complete a double play. Speaking of Rortvedt, here’s a fun stat brought by MLB.com beat writer Do-Hyoung Park: After three innings of work, both offenses managed to produce only three runners combined. Maeda continued to have a hard time with leadoff hitters, as four out of five reached. But he also missed a ton of bats, producing 17 swings and misses in this game, his third-highest total in a game this season. Strangely, Rocco Baldelli pulled him after five innings, with his pitch count at 84. He concluded his shutout with seven punch outs, all of them on swinging strikes, which makes it 31 consecutive swinging strikeouts for him. Manning took his no-hit bid into the fifth inning, still under 60 pitches, retiring nine consecutive Minnesota batters at one point. Then the Twins threatened for the first time in the game, with Jorge Polanco drawing a walk and being sent to third by a Max Kepler opposite field single. However, he took care of the next two batters and kept the game scoreless through five. The offense comes through big in the sixth Jorge Alcala pitched a quick, scoreless sixth inning. Then, the Twins offense finally managed to break Manning’s dominance. Luis Arraez jumped on the first pitch he saw for a leadoff single. Josh Donaldson drew a walk immediately afterward which forced A.J. Hinch to pull his rookie. Reliever Ian Krol took over, but he couldn’t take care of the inherited runners. He balked, advancing both of them, before giving up an RBI-single to Trevor Larnach. Nelson Cruz hit a sac-fly to push Donaldson across and double the Twins' lead. But they weren’t done. Alex Kirilloff drew a walk after falling behind 0-2 in the count and kept the threat going. Kepler, who’s having a scorching-hot month of July, cleared the bases with a two-out triple, scoring Larnach and Kirilloff, making it 4-0 Minnesota. Oh, and it wasn’t without the help of some vintage Robbie Grossman defense out in left field. The bullpen kept things interesting. Caleb Thielbar took over for Alcala in the seventh and managed to close out the inning, in spite of giving up a single. However, after allowing a leadoff single to Baddoo in the eighth, he saw Grossman hit a two-run bomb to left, cutting the Twins’ lead in half. Baldelli had enough and brought Hansel Robles into the game at once. Not only did he end the threat in the eight, but he also closed out the game with a scoreless ninth, earning his ninth save of the season. Robles has now had back-to-back scoreless outings, after giving runs in four consecutive games. The Twins record is now 37-50 and they have the chance to win the series this Saturday. The first pitch is scheduled for 1:10 pm CT, with Bailey Ober on the mound for Minnesota. Postgame Interviews Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT Thielbar 29 0 20 0 20 69 Law 0 0 50 0 0 50 Rogers 31 0 0 6 0 37 Robles 12 0 0 0 24 36 Duffey 17 0 0 15 0 32 Alcala 0 0 0 0 23 23 Colomé 0 14 0 0 0 14 Coulombe 0 12 0 0 0 12 View full article
  10. The Twins visited a last-placed Royals team, coming off a then league-worst nine consecutive losses. Even though Minnesota built an early three-run lead, J.A. Happ struggled badly, allowing six runs, and the Twins simply couldn’t bounce back. They drop four in a row and are now back at last place. Box Score Happ: 4.1 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 4 K Home Runs: None Bottom 3 WPA: Happ -.405, Cruz -.135, Arraez -.092 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Unsurprisingly, J.A. Happ and Brady Singer both struggled early in the game, making this a high-scoring affair very quickly. Minnesota manufactured three runs in the top of the first: Luis Arraez and Josh Donaldson hit back-to-back doubles to open the game and Trevor Larnach scored both of them with a grounder towards the mound. Singer made an awful throw to home plate, which not only allowed Donaldson to score but also Larnach to reach second. Alex Kirilloff joined the party and pushed Larny across on a single, a couple of at-bats later. But that wouldn’t last. As a matter of fact, Happ pitched an incredibly good first inning, retiring the top of the Kansas City order on only seven pitches. For a moment, things actually looked like they were going to go smoothly for a change. But it’s the 2021 Twins we’re talking about. After the offense went down in order in the top of the second, the ballgame was tied before a single out could be recorded. Happ gave up four consecutive hits to open the home second, including a leadoff home run to Salvador Pérez and a couple of doubles. Singer wasn’t sharp either and the Twins threatened in the following inning, loading the bases for Max Kepler. He struck out to end the inning, failing to end his slump. Also in the third, the Royals took their first lead of the game. Pérez hit a one-out single and was followed by a home run by Hanser Alberto. The Royal lineup ambushed Happ once again in the fifth, with three consecutive hits to start the inning. The third one, an RBI-single by Carlos Santana, gave Kansas City a 6-3 lead. Happ was done shortly after that and he has now allowed 47 runs in his last 47 innings. Could he be the next Twins starter to be DFA’d, joining Matt Shoemaker? The offense even tried to start a rally during the sixth inning. Royals reliever Jake Brentz loaded the bases without recording an out, but all the Twins could get was one run, with Arraez grounding into a double play to score Kepler. Tyler Duffey and Alexander Colomé provided a couple of rather uneventful, scoreless innings, while Danny Coulombe pitched himself in and out of a jam in the seventh. Their effort kept the Twins within two runs, with a chance to win it. But then Taylor Rogers, out of all people, struggled with his command during the eighth. He tossed two wild pitches in the inning, allowing Nicky Lopez -- who had hit a double off him -- to advance from second to third and then score standing. Donaldson managed to reach in the ninth, but the threat never materialized. Postgame interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT Coulombe 0 0 43 0 0 16 59 Duffey 23 0 15 0 0 13 51 Thielbar 30 0 0 16 0 0 46 Robles 0 0 0 0 34 0 34 Law 0 0 0 0 32 0 32 Colomé 0 0 0 14 0 17 31 Rogers 0 0 0 0 0 22 22 Alcala 0 0 0 0 19 0 19 Jax 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 View full article
  11. Box Score Happ: 4.1 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 4 K Home Runs: None Bottom 3 WPA: Happ -.405, Cruz -.135, Arraez -.092 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Unsurprisingly, J.A. Happ and Brady Singer both struggled early in the game, making this a high-scoring affair very quickly. Minnesota manufactured three runs in the top of the first: Luis Arraez and Josh Donaldson hit back-to-back doubles to open the game and Trevor Larnach scored both of them with a grounder towards the mound. Singer made an awful throw to home plate, which not only allowed Donaldson to score but also Larnach to reach second. Alex Kirilloff joined the party and pushed Larny across on a single, a couple of at-bats later. But that wouldn’t last. As a matter of fact, Happ pitched an incredibly good first inning, retiring the top of the Kansas City order on only seven pitches. For a moment, things actually looked like they were going to go smoothly for a change. But it’s the 2021 Twins we’re talking about. After the offense went down in order in the top of the second, the ballgame was tied before a single out could be recorded. Happ gave up four consecutive hits to open the home second, including a leadoff home run to Salvador Pérez and a couple of doubles. Singer wasn’t sharp either and the Twins threatened in the following inning, loading the bases for Max Kepler. He struck out to end the inning, failing to end his slump. Also in the third, the Royals took their first lead of the game. Pérez hit a one-out single and was followed by a home run by Hanser Alberto. The Royal lineup ambushed Happ once again in the fifth, with three consecutive hits to start the inning. The third one, an RBI-single by Carlos Santana, gave Kansas City a 6-3 lead. Happ was done shortly after that and he has now allowed 47 runs in his last 47 innings. Could he be the next Twins starter to be DFA’d, joining Matt Shoemaker? The offense even tried to start a rally during the sixth inning. Royals reliever Jake Brentz loaded the bases without recording an out, but all the Twins could get was one run, with Arraez grounding into a double play to score Kepler. Tyler Duffey and Alexander Colomé provided a couple of rather uneventful, scoreless innings, while Danny Coulombe pitched himself in and out of a jam in the seventh. Their effort kept the Twins within two runs, with a chance to win it. But then Taylor Rogers, out of all people, struggled with his command during the eighth. He tossed two wild pitches in the inning, allowing Nicky Lopez -- who had hit a double off him -- to advance from second to third and then score standing. Donaldson managed to reach in the ninth, but the threat never materialized. Postgame interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT Coulombe 0 0 43 0 0 16 59 Duffey 23 0 15 0 0 13 51 Thielbar 30 0 0 16 0 0 46 Robles 0 0 0 0 34 0 34 Law 0 0 0 0 32 0 32 Colomé 0 0 0 14 0 17 31 Rogers 0 0 0 0 0 22 22 Alcala 0 0 0 0 19 0 19 Jax 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
  12. Yeap! It's always nice! If you do come, make sure to visit the "Nordeste" beaches as well, because they're even better than the ones from Rio!
  13. Luis Arráez exploded with a three-hit night, all for extra bases, to help Minnesota overcome a bullpen night and beat Cleveland to even the series at a game apiece. Griffin Jax navigated through some ups and downs and managed to earn his first big league win. Box Score Coulombe (starter): 1.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K (71.8% strikes) Jax (primary): 4.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 2 K (65.3% strikes) Home Runs: Kirilloff (6) Top 3 WPA: Arráez .445, Cruz .119, Kirilloff .095 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Lefty Danny Coulombe started tonight’s bullpen game, but he was roughed up in a hurry — with the help of some bad fielding behind him. Cleveland struck first, scoring three quick runs on two hits in the top of the first inning. Amed Rosario hit a solo home run five pitches into the game to score the first run. Then, Jorge Polanco made a costly error charging for the ball, allowing old friend Eddie Rosario to reach with two outs. Bobby Bradley made Minnesota pay, hitting a 436-feet bomb to center. Minnesota got one run back in the home half of the first inning. Luis Arráez hit a leadoff triple, with a little help from right fielder Josh Naylor, who lost the ball against the sun. Josh Donaldson scored Arráez with a sacrifice fly. Coulombe settled in nicely in the second frame, retiring the first two batters he faced on eight pitches before handing over the ball to Griffin Jax. Combined, Coulombe and Jax retired eight consecutive batters after that first inning home run. Then the offense put together an amazing display in the home half of the third inning. Nick Gordon led off with a double but was thrown out trying to go to third base on an Andrelton Simmons fielder’s choice. With Simmons on, Arráez hit his second triple of the night, with yet another awful misplay from the Cleveland outfield, scoring Simmons. This time he went oppo and became the first Twin to have two triples in a game since Aug. 30, 2017, when Ehire Adrianza did it. Donaldson followed up with a single to push Arráez across, earning himself his second RBI of the night and bringing the go-ahead run to the plate. Alex Kirilloff stepped into the batter’s box and… remember when he was struggling against offspeed pitches? Well, I bet Cal Quantrill was sorry to find out that that might not be a thing anymore. The Cleveland starter threw two consecutive changeups against Kirilloff only to watch the second one be obliterated. A 409-feet bomb that left Kirilloff’s bat at 104 mph, making it 5-3 Twins. Jax pitched himself into a jam during the fourth inning. Struggling with his command, he loaded the bases with only one out, throwing only six strikes on 18 pitches. After striking out Bradley Zimmer, it seemed like he would get out of the mess unharmed, but Austin Hedges jumped on his fastball for a two-out single to tie the game. After the offense went down in order in the home fourth, Jax was having a much smoother fifth frame. However, "Rosie" (of course) hit a solo shot to right to put Cleveland back ahead by one run. He was booed. Bats tie it up, retake the lead When Simmons (single) and Donaldson (walk) reached to start the bottom half of the fifth, Terry Francona had enough of Quantrill and brought in the bullpen. Nelson Cruz hit a weak flare to short with two-outs, just far enough to score Simmons from second and tie the game again. Jax pitched his best inning of the game, delivering an eight-pitch scoreless sixth. He was done after that, ending the night with 4 1/3 innings, on 75 pitches (49 for strikes), allowing three runs. Reliever Nick Wittgren needed only three pitches to get through Max Kepler and Ryan Jeffers to start the bottom of the sixth. However, he was about to get into trouble. NicknGordon singled to center for his second hit of the night and was followed by a single from Simmons, with once again some sloppy defense from Cleveland. Then, it was up to Arráez to make that inning count, and he absolutely didn’t disappoint. With his third extra-base hit of the night, he put the Twins back ahead, 8-6. While the offense didn’t produce much for the remainder of the game, the relievers who took to the mound did an outstanding job. Alexander Colomé and Taylor Rogers took care of the seventh and eighth with a couple of 1-2-3 innings, with neither of them needing more than nine pitches. Plus, they combined for 80% strikes. Hansel Robles allowed a solo shot to Naylor and nearly saw Zimmer reach second, but Kepler bailed him out with a perfect one-hop throw to Simmons for the tag. Robles earned his seventh save of the season, in nine opportunities, helping Jax earn his first big league win. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT Jax 0 0 0 0 0 75 75 Alcalá 18 20 0 0 10 0 48 Coulombe 0 0 16 0 0 32 48 Colomé 0 7 30 0 0 7 44 Shoemaker 0 32 0 0 11 0 43 Thielbar 0 19 12 0 4 0 35 Rogers 0 16 0 0 8 9 33 Duffey 21 0 11 0 0 0 32 Robles 0 0 21 0 0 10 31 View full article
  14. Box Score Coulombe (starter): 1.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K (71.8% strikes) Jax (primary): 4.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 2 K (65.3% strikes) Home Runs: Kirilloff (6) Top 3 WPA: Arráez .445, Cruz .119, Kirilloff .095 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Lefty Danny Coulombe started tonight’s bullpen game, but he was roughed up in a hurry — with the help of some bad fielding behind him. Cleveland struck first, scoring three quick runs on two hits in the top of the first inning. Amed Rosario hit a solo home run five pitches into the game to score the first run. Then, Jorge Polanco made a costly error charging for the ball, allowing old friend Eddie Rosario to reach with two outs. Bobby Bradley made Minnesota pay, hitting a 436-feet bomb to center. Minnesota got one run back in the home half of the first inning. Luis Arráez hit a leadoff triple, with a little help from right fielder Josh Naylor, who lost the ball against the sun. Josh Donaldson scored Arráez with a sacrifice fly. Coulombe settled in nicely in the second frame, retiring the first two batters he faced on eight pitches before handing over the ball to Griffin Jax. Combined, Coulombe and Jax retired eight consecutive batters after that first inning home run. Then the offense put together an amazing display in the home half of the third inning. Nick Gordon led off with a double but was thrown out trying to go to third base on an Andrelton Simmons fielder’s choice. With Simmons on, Arráez hit his second triple of the night, with yet another awful misplay from the Cleveland outfield, scoring Simmons. This time he went oppo and became the first Twin to have two triples in a game since Aug. 30, 2017, when Ehire Adrianza did it. Donaldson followed up with a single to push Arráez across, earning himself his second RBI of the night and bringing the go-ahead run to the plate. Alex Kirilloff stepped into the batter’s box and… remember when he was struggling against offspeed pitches? Well, I bet Cal Quantrill was sorry to find out that that might not be a thing anymore. The Cleveland starter threw two consecutive changeups against Kirilloff only to watch the second one be obliterated. A 409-feet bomb that left Kirilloff’s bat at 104 mph, making it 5-3 Twins. Jax pitched himself into a jam during the fourth inning. Struggling with his command, he loaded the bases with only one out, throwing only six strikes on 18 pitches. After striking out Bradley Zimmer, it seemed like he would get out of the mess unharmed, but Austin Hedges jumped on his fastball for a two-out single to tie the game. After the offense went down in order in the home fourth, Jax was having a much smoother fifth frame. However, "Rosie" (of course) hit a solo shot to right to put Cleveland back ahead by one run. He was booed. Bats tie it up, retake the lead When Simmons (single) and Donaldson (walk) reached to start the bottom half of the fifth, Terry Francona had enough of Quantrill and brought in the bullpen. Nelson Cruz hit a weak flare to short with two-outs, just far enough to score Simmons from second and tie the game again. Jax pitched his best inning of the game, delivering an eight-pitch scoreless sixth. He was done after that, ending the night with 4 1/3 innings, on 75 pitches (49 for strikes), allowing three runs. Reliever Nick Wittgren needed only three pitches to get through Max Kepler and Ryan Jeffers to start the bottom of the sixth. However, he was about to get into trouble. NicknGordon singled to center for his second hit of the night and was followed by a single from Simmons, with once again some sloppy defense from Cleveland. Then, it was up to Arráez to make that inning count, and he absolutely didn’t disappoint. With his third extra-base hit of the night, he put the Twins back ahead, 8-6. While the offense didn’t produce much for the remainder of the game, the relievers who took to the mound did an outstanding job. Alexander Colomé and Taylor Rogers took care of the seventh and eighth with a couple of 1-2-3 innings, with neither of them needing more than nine pitches. Plus, they combined for 80% strikes. Hansel Robles allowed a solo shot to Naylor and nearly saw Zimmer reach second, but Kepler bailed him out with a perfect one-hop throw to Simmons for the tag. Robles earned his seventh save of the season, in nine opportunities, helping Jax earn his first big league win. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT Jax 0 0 0 0 0 75 75 Alcalá 18 20 0 0 10 0 48 Coulombe 0 0 16 0 0 32 48 Colomé 0 7 30 0 0 7 44 Shoemaker 0 32 0 0 11 0 43 Thielbar 0 19 12 0 4 0 35 Rogers 0 16 0 0 8 9 33 Duffey 21 0 11 0 0 0 32 Robles 0 0 21 0 0 10 31
  15. Box Score Berríos: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K (68,9% strikes) Home runs: Larnach (4) Top 3 WPA: Robles .311, Arráez .206, Jeffers .174 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Berríos has a tough start, but finishes off strong The game got busy in a hurry. Minnesota loaded the bases before Texas starter Mike Foltynewicz could record an out, with Luis Arráez and Trevor Larnach drawing walks, and Jorge Polanco hitting a single in between. Nelson Cruz took advantage of that, finding the right field gap on a 0-2 sinker, and to put the first run on the board. The Texas just got sloppy and the Twins scored two more runs. Playing his first big league game in nearly three weeks, Max Kepler grounded to center and score Polanco, while the Rangers defense couldn’t turn in the double play. Then Foltynewicz had a wild throwing error which allowed Ryan Jeffers to reach safely an Larnach scored, making it 3-0 Minnesota very, very quickly. José Berríos entered the game with a nice lead, but it didn’t last long. Isiah Kiner-Falefa hit a leadoff single, just before Berríos recorded two quick outs. But then he lost Joey Gallo on a four-pitch walk, and both runners scored on back-to-back singles. In the second inning, the Rangers’ batters drove Berríos’ pitch count through the roof with some quality at-bats. It took him 55 pitches to complete the first two innings of the game. As the offense started to get quiet, José started to settle in, but not before he gave up back-to-back singles to leadoff the fourth inning, allowing Jose Trevino to tie the game on a sac-fly. But that was all the instability Berríos would have for the night, as he managed to get the final out in spite of a runner on third, and cruised through the fifth on only nine pitches. Of course, he got some hel from the offense, which provided him with a little more run support. Larnach destroyed this baseball and Minnesota regained the lead, 4-3. At 92 pitches, Berríos was asked to come back to pitch the sixth, facing the bottom part of the Ranger lineup, and he managed to finish strong. Maintaining velocity and with no command issues whatsoever, José had yet another 1-2-3 inning, completing his quality start. He finished this game retiring seven batters in a row, with a total of 103 pitches (71 for strikes). Did he just increase his trade value or earned himself an even bigger paycheck to stay in Minnesota? Alcalá gives up the lead, Rogers and Robles help take the game to extras Twins’ bats struggled to get their momentum going for the better part of this game. After Larnach’s home run, nine consecutive Minnesota batters were retired. Jorge Alcalá took over in relief of Berríos, and after getting two outs on four pitches, he gave up a game-tying home run to Adolis García. Fortunately, the Twins bullpen managed to limit the damage to that one run in regulation. Taylor Rogers and Hanel Robles came up big, pitching a couple of 1-2-3 innings to keep the game tied and take it to extras. Rogers keeps adding his impressive resumé, on his way to become one of the Twins greatest relievers. Before regulation was done, in the top of the ninth, the offense threatened Texas’ star reliever Ian Kennedy. Alex Kirilloff made a mistake running the paths and got caught digging for second after Texas failed to turn in another double play. Had he been less aggressive, maybe he could’ve scored on Nick Gordon’s double that came immediately after his at-bat. Texas’ bullpen blows up in the 10th (that’s right) With Kennedy gone, Minnesota seized the opportunity and ambushed Josh Sborz. Arráez got behind in the count 0-2, but he jumped on the third pitch and ended up on third base, scoring Willians Astudillo, who started the innnig at second. Sborz couldn’t handle the pressure. He walked Polanco, who later stole second. He decided to intentionally walk Cruz and loaded the bases with one out. He managed to get the second out by striking out Kepler, but then Jeffers and Kirilloff drew walks that added two more runs, putting the Twins up 7-4. Tyler Duffey came in to close out the game and got himself in thin ice. Gallo scored the runner on second with a single and Nick Solak followed with another single, bringing the winning run to the plate with only one out. But he retired the last two batters to secure the win. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet SUN MON TUE WED FRI TOT Alcalá 0 19 0 10 18 47 Colomé 24 0 0 20 0 44 Shoemaker 43 0 0 0 0 43 Dobnak 40 0 0 0 0 40 Thielbar 0 0 0 38 0 38 Robles 0 17 0 0 20 37 Duffey 0 10 0 0 20 30 Rogers 0 0 0 15 12 27 Farrell 0 24 0 0 0 24
  16. The Twins opened a three-game series in Arlington with a nail-biter, beating the Rangers 7-5 in extra innings. José Berríos picked up a quality start and Luis Arráez hit a clutch triple in the 10th. Box Score Berríos: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K (68,9% strikes) Home runs: Larnach (4) Top 3 WPA: Robles .311, Arráez .206, Jeffers .174 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Berríos has a tough start, but finishes off strong The game got busy in a hurry. Minnesota loaded the bases before Texas starter Mike Foltynewicz could record an out, with Luis Arráez and Trevor Larnach drawing walks, and Jorge Polanco hitting a single in between. Nelson Cruz took advantage of that, finding the right field gap on a 0-2 sinker, and to put the first run on the board. The Texas just got sloppy and the Twins scored two more runs. Playing his first big league game in nearly three weeks, Max Kepler grounded to center and score Polanco, while the Rangers defense couldn’t turn in the double play. Then Foltynewicz had a wild throwing error which allowed Ryan Jeffers to reach safely an Larnach scored, making it 3-0 Minnesota very, very quickly. José Berríos entered the game with a nice lead, but it didn’t last long. Isiah Kiner-Falefa hit a leadoff single, just before Berríos recorded two quick outs. But then he lost Joey Gallo on a four-pitch walk, and both runners scored on back-to-back singles. In the second inning, the Rangers’ batters drove Berríos’ pitch count through the roof with some quality at-bats. It took him 55 pitches to complete the first two innings of the game. As the offense started to get quiet, José started to settle in, but not before he gave up back-to-back singles to leadoff the fourth inning, allowing Jose Trevino to tie the game on a sac-fly. But that was all the instability Berríos would have for the night, as he managed to get the final out in spite of a runner on third, and cruised through the fifth on only nine pitches. Of course, he got some hel from the offense, which provided him with a little more run support. Larnach destroyed this baseball and Minnesota regained the lead, 4-3. At 92 pitches, Berríos was asked to come back to pitch the sixth, facing the bottom part of the Ranger lineup, and he managed to finish strong. Maintaining velocity and with no command issues whatsoever, José had yet another 1-2-3 inning, completing his quality start. He finished this game retiring seven batters in a row, with a total of 103 pitches (71 for strikes). Did he just increase his trade value or earned himself an even bigger paycheck to stay in Minnesota? Alcalá gives up the lead, Rogers and Robles help take the game to extras Twins’ bats struggled to get their momentum going for the better part of this game. After Larnach’s home run, nine consecutive Minnesota batters were retired. Jorge Alcalá took over in relief of Berríos, and after getting two outs on four pitches, he gave up a game-tying home run to Adolis García. Fortunately, the Twins bullpen managed to limit the damage to that one run in regulation. Taylor Rogers and Hanel Robles came up big, pitching a couple of 1-2-3 innings to keep the game tied and take it to extras. Rogers keeps adding his impressive resumé, on his way to become one of the Twins greatest relievers. Before regulation was done, in the top of the ninth, the offense threatened Texas’ star reliever Ian Kennedy. Alex Kirilloff made a mistake running the paths and got caught digging for second after Texas failed to turn in another double play. Had he been less aggressive, maybe he could’ve scored on Nick Gordon’s double that came immediately after his at-bat. Texas’ bullpen blows up in the 10th (that’s right) With Kennedy gone, Minnesota seized the opportunity and ambushed Josh Sborz. Arráez got behind in the count 0-2, but he jumped on the third pitch and ended up on third base, scoring Willians Astudillo, who started the innnig at second. Sborz couldn’t handle the pressure. He walked Polanco, who later stole second. He decided to intentionally walk Cruz and loaded the bases with one out. He managed to get the second out by striking out Kepler, but then Jeffers and Kirilloff drew walks that added two more runs, putting the Twins up 7-4. Tyler Duffey came in to close out the game and got himself in thin ice. Gallo scored the runner on second with a single and Nick Solak followed with another single, bringing the winning run to the plate with only one out. But he retired the last two batters to secure the win. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet SUN MON TUE WED FRI TOT Alcalá 0 19 0 10 18 47 Colomé 24 0 0 20 0 44 Shoemaker 43 0 0 0 0 43 Dobnak 40 0 0 0 0 40 Thielbar 0 0 0 38 0 38 Robles 0 17 0 0 20 37 Duffey 0 10 0 0 20 30 Rogers 0 0 0 15 12 27 Farrell 0 24 0 0 0 24 View full article
  17. Box Score Ober: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K (71,2% strikes) Home Runs: Cruz (12), Sanó (13), Donaldson 2 (10) Bottom 3 WPA: Shoemaker -.352, Duffey -.174, Larnach -.130 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Some great news brought in some optimism for Twins fans earlier today. The club announced that struggling starter Matt Shoemaker would be sent to the bullpen and rookie Bailey Ober would start tonight’s game. Could this mean that Shoemaker’s stint in Minnesota is close to an end? Ober took advantage of another opportunity, making his third start of the season. It didn’t take very long for this one to become special for him. He pitched through the first two innings quickly, on only 28 pitches. After giving up a leadoff single to Martín Maldonado in the third, he struck out the next batter, then his fifth punchout of the game, already his career-high. However, he did pitch himself into a small jam during that same inning. Michael Brantley doubled on a 0-2 curveball, putting two runners in scoring position right away. No team in baseball has allowed more 0-2 hits than the Twins this season. Alex Bregman pushed a run across on a sac-fly, but Ober limited the damage to that one run. Fortunately, while Ober navigated through his ups and downs, he got some early run support to make things a bit less difficult for him. Minnesota hit a solo home run in each of the first three innings. Nelson Cruz picked up right where he left off on Thursday night, taking José Urquidy deep after a nice, seven-pitch at-bat. With that dinger, his 12th of the year, he tied Miguel Sanó for the team-lead. But Miggy wouldn’t just sit there and take that. He had something to say about that. Then, when Houston cut the Twins’ lead in half in the top of the third, Josh Donaldson brought the rain and with a solo shot of his own, he gave Ober the two-run lead back, making it 3-1 Minnesota. After pitching a quick, scoreless fourth, Ober’s pitch count was still under 60. He earned himself the chance to pitch into the fifth inning for the first time in his big league career. José Altuve homered to the corner of the left field, on a ball that ricocheted off the foul pole into the limestone. Immediately after that, Brantley singled and suddenly Ober was in a potentially tough situation. Ober didn’t shy away from the challenge, as he managed to retire both batters that followed, including a strikeout against red-hot Yordan Álvarez (Ober’s seventh in the game) to close the inning, after a tough seven-pitch at-bat with a man on. You couldn’t ask for a better learning opportunity for the rookie, who was pulled right after this, in line for his first major league win. Rocco Baldelli decided not to bring Ober back to the sixth, even though he was still at 73 pitches (52 for strikes). Jorge Alcalá took over, making his fourth appearance in the last five days. After falling behind 3-0 on the count, he was later taken deep by Yuli Gurriel, who tied the game with a leadoff home run. He retired the side on ten pitches next. In spite of the game-tying home run, Alcalá is still having a very positive month of June, in which he has as many strikeouts as innings pitched (five) and has yet to give up a walk. While the offense struggled to produce baserunners, Tyler Duffey took over to pitch the seventh. He looked off from the beginning and even got one of the trainers to check on him on the mound after he retired the leadoff man. Command started to elude him and the inning became really sloppy. He walked Altuve and hit Brantley just before Bregman grounded out to bring Altuve home, making it 4-3 Astros. Donaldson ties the game, Shoemaker chokes it After the offense went down in order in the bottom of the seventh, it was time for Shoemaker’s first appearance out of the bullpen in a Twins uniform. Very convincingly, he pitched a 12-pitch, 1-2-3 inning. Which immediately raised the question: could the Twins find value (or trade value, for that matter) for him in relief pitching? Donaldson decided he wasn’t done being on fire, so in the bottom of the eighth, he brought the rain again. That’s three home runs in less than 24 hours for him, or five at-bats, to be more precise. But the question some of us were asking ourselves about Shoemaker after the eight was quickly answered in the ninth. Looking completely lost, he gave up two runs on three hits, in what seemed to be one of his worst outings as a Twin. A leadoff single to Myles Straw, followed by an RBI-double to Maldonado, and an RBI-single to Brantley later, while recording only one out. Former Twin Ryan Pressly didn’t have an easy task, as it took him 20 pitches to close out the game, but he did manage to retire Minnesota batters in order. Postgame Interviews Bailey Ober: Rocco Baldelli: Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet SUN TUE WED THU FRI TOT Jax 0 23 51 0 0 74 Duffey 14 0 0 20 22 56 Farrell 13 19 0 23 0 55 Alcalá 10 21 0 7 15 53 Shoemaker 0 0 0 0 35 35 Colomé 0 9 25 0 0 34 Robles 15 0 0 11 0 26 Rogers 0 20 0 0 3 23
  18. Bailey Ober had his best outing in the majors and the Twins once again showed they had some fight in them late, but the now reliever Matt Shoemaker allowed Houston to regain the lead with a two-run ninth and Minnesota drops the series opener against the Astros at Target Field. Box Score Ober: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K (71,2% strikes) Home Runs: Cruz (12), Sanó (13), Donaldson 2 (10) Bottom 3 WPA: Shoemaker -.352, Duffey -.174, Larnach -.130 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Some great news brought in some optimism for Twins fans earlier today. The club announced that struggling starter Matt Shoemaker would be sent to the bullpen and rookie Bailey Ober would start tonight’s game. Could this mean that Shoemaker’s stint in Minnesota is close to an end? Ober took advantage of another opportunity, making his third start of the season. It didn’t take very long for this one to become special for him. He pitched through the first two innings quickly, on only 28 pitches. After giving up a leadoff single to Martín Maldonado in the third, he struck out the next batter, then his fifth punchout of the game, already his career-high. However, he did pitch himself into a small jam during that same inning. Michael Brantley doubled on a 0-2 curveball, putting two runners in scoring position right away. No team in baseball has allowed more 0-2 hits than the Twins this season. Alex Bregman pushed a run across on a sac-fly, but Ober limited the damage to that one run. Fortunately, while Ober navigated through his ups and downs, he got some early run support to make things a bit less difficult for him. Minnesota hit a solo home run in each of the first three innings. Nelson Cruz picked up right where he left off on Thursday night, taking José Urquidy deep after a nice, seven-pitch at-bat. With that dinger, his 12th of the year, he tied Miguel Sanó for the team-lead. But Miggy wouldn’t just sit there and take that. He had something to say about that. Then, when Houston cut the Twins’ lead in half in the top of the third, Josh Donaldson brought the rain and with a solo shot of his own, he gave Ober the two-run lead back, making it 3-1 Minnesota. After pitching a quick, scoreless fourth, Ober’s pitch count was still under 60. He earned himself the chance to pitch into the fifth inning for the first time in his big league career. José Altuve homered to the corner of the left field, on a ball that ricocheted off the foul pole into the limestone. Immediately after that, Brantley singled and suddenly Ober was in a potentially tough situation. Ober didn’t shy away from the challenge, as he managed to retire both batters that followed, including a strikeout against red-hot Yordan Álvarez (Ober’s seventh in the game) to close the inning, after a tough seven-pitch at-bat with a man on. You couldn’t ask for a better learning opportunity for the rookie, who was pulled right after this, in line for his first major league win. Rocco Baldelli decided not to bring Ober back to the sixth, even though he was still at 73 pitches (52 for strikes). Jorge Alcalá took over, making his fourth appearance in the last five days. After falling behind 3-0 on the count, he was later taken deep by Yuli Gurriel, who tied the game with a leadoff home run. He retired the side on ten pitches next. In spite of the game-tying home run, Alcalá is still having a very positive month of June, in which he has as many strikeouts as innings pitched (five) and has yet to give up a walk. While the offense struggled to produce baserunners, Tyler Duffey took over to pitch the seventh. He looked off from the beginning and even got one of the trainers to check on him on the mound after he retired the leadoff man. Command started to elude him and the inning became really sloppy. He walked Altuve and hit Brantley just before Bregman grounded out to bring Altuve home, making it 4-3 Astros. Donaldson ties the game, Shoemaker chokes it After the offense went down in order in the bottom of the seventh, it was time for Shoemaker’s first appearance out of the bullpen in a Twins uniform. Very convincingly, he pitched a 12-pitch, 1-2-3 inning. Which immediately raised the question: could the Twins find value (or trade value, for that matter) for him in relief pitching? Donaldson decided he wasn’t done being on fire, so in the bottom of the eighth, he brought the rain again. That’s three home runs in less than 24 hours for him, or five at-bats, to be more precise. But the question some of us were asking ourselves about Shoemaker after the eight was quickly answered in the ninth. Looking completely lost, he gave up two runs on three hits, in what seemed to be one of his worst outings as a Twin. A leadoff single to Myles Straw, followed by an RBI-double to Maldonado, and an RBI-single to Brantley later, while recording only one out. Former Twin Ryan Pressly didn’t have an easy task, as it took him 20 pitches to close out the game, but he did manage to retire Minnesota batters in order. Postgame Interviews Bailey Ober: Rocco Baldelli: Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet SUN TUE WED THU FRI TOT Jax 0 23 51 0 0 74 Duffey 14 0 0 20 22 56 Farrell 13 19 0 23 0 55 Alcalá 10 21 0 7 15 53 Shoemaker 0 0 0 0 35 35 Colomé 0 9 25 0 0 34 Robles 15 0 0 11 0 26 Rogers 0 20 0 0 3 23 View full article
  19. Randy Dobnak started out with four very solid innings, but then a couple of really bad ones, combined with yet another poor offensive display against a lefty, put the game out of reach for Minnesota. Box Score Dobnak: 6.0 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 3 K Home Runs: Garver (8) Bottom 3 WPA: Dobnak -.252, Donaldson -.165, Kirilloff -.083 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Making his second one of the season, Dobber cruised through the first four innings of play on only 43 pitches, 27 of which went for strikes. Even though he still allowed a ton of hard-hit balls, only two of those actually became hits. Besides, the balls that weren’t hit hard were hit for really weak contact, as he averaged 87.8 exit velocity through four. It’s not like the offense was completely unproductive against Kris Bubic during that span, as three runners reached in the first, for instance. But the lefty did stabilize and had a positive stretch in which he retired seven out of eight consecutive batters. It was only in the fourth, when Mitch Garver hit this monster, 424-feet second-decker, that the game had its first run. Royals take the lead in the fifth, blow the game wide open in the seventh With only seven pitches, Dobnak retired the first two batters he faced in the fifth inning. Everything seemed fine, but, then, disaster struck. He gave up a walk to Hunter Dozier, before allowing three consecutive hits. The Royals scored three runs on a double from Michael Taylor and back-to-back singles from Whit Merrifield and Carlos Santana. The first Royal run came after a very aggressive send from the Royals’ third base coach, Vance Wilson. Garver couldn’t hold on to that pitch to the plate. With only 68 pitches, Dobnak was brought back to pitch the sixth and did a nice job again, appearing to be right back on track. He did give up a double to Adalberto Mondesí, but it was a quick, 12-pitch inning. Dobber was on his way to a quality start and more. But that was the closest he ever got. After yet another frustrating 1-2-3 inning from the offense against Bubic in the sixth, Dobber was back at it in the top of the seventh. But not for long, as he gave up three consecutive singles right away, to load the bases with no outs, which was enough for Rocco Baldelli to pull him. Cody Stashak came in and couldn’t take care of the inherited runners, as all of them scored on a double and a sac-fly. Giving up a walk and back-to-back singles of his own, Stashak allowed Kansas City to add two more runs, making it a five-run seventh inning, 8-1 Royals. The Twins nearly started a rally when Bubic was finally gone. Tyler Zuber came in in relief and gave up three consecutive one-out walks to load the bases. He was immediately removed from the game and Kyle Zimmer took over, facing pinch-hitter Trevor Larnach. He hit a flyball over Dozier’s head to drive in a run and keep the bases loaded for Josh Donaldson. Jorge Polanco scored from third during Donaldson’s at-bat, after a Zimmer wild pitch. So, the Twins were one hit away from cutting the Royal lead to only two. But that didn’t happen and they settled for two runs. Polanco reached for the third time of the night when he hit a leadoff double in the ninth. Larnach kept the rally going by drawing a two-out walk, with Donaldson on-deck. But the third baseman's struggles continued, as he struck out, to finish the night with 0-for-5 and two punch outs. Counting tonight, Donaldson has a .337 OPS in his last seven games. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT Stashak 0 0 0 0 34 34 Robles 0 13 20 0 0 33 Farrell 16 0 0 0 17 33 Rogers 0 26 0 0 0 26 Colomé 8 13 0 0 0 21 Thielbar 0 2 16 0 0 18 Duffey 0 0 15 0 0 15 Alcala 14 0 0 0 0 14 View full article
  20. Box Score Dobnak: 6.0 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 3 K Home Runs: Garver (8) Bottom 3 WPA: Dobnak -.252, Donaldson -.165, Kirilloff -.083 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Making his second one of the season, Dobber cruised through the first four innings of play on only 43 pitches, 27 of which went for strikes. Even though he still allowed a ton of hard-hit balls, only two of those actually became hits. Besides, the balls that weren’t hit hard were hit for really weak contact, as he averaged 87.8 exit velocity through four. It’s not like the offense was completely unproductive against Kris Bubic during that span, as three runners reached in the first, for instance. But the lefty did stabilize and had a positive stretch in which he retired seven out of eight consecutive batters. It was only in the fourth, when Mitch Garver hit this monster, 424-feet second-decker, that the game had its first run. Royals take the lead in the fifth, blow the game wide open in the seventh With only seven pitches, Dobnak retired the first two batters he faced in the fifth inning. Everything seemed fine, but, then, disaster struck. He gave up a walk to Hunter Dozier, before allowing three consecutive hits. The Royals scored three runs on a double from Michael Taylor and back-to-back singles from Whit Merrifield and Carlos Santana. The first Royal run came after a very aggressive send from the Royals’ third base coach, Vance Wilson. Garver couldn’t hold on to that pitch to the plate. With only 68 pitches, Dobnak was brought back to pitch the sixth and did a nice job again, appearing to be right back on track. He did give up a double to Adalberto Mondesí, but it was a quick, 12-pitch inning. Dobber was on his way to a quality start and more. But that was the closest he ever got. After yet another frustrating 1-2-3 inning from the offense against Bubic in the sixth, Dobber was back at it in the top of the seventh. But not for long, as he gave up three consecutive singles right away, to load the bases with no outs, which was enough for Rocco Baldelli to pull him. Cody Stashak came in and couldn’t take care of the inherited runners, as all of them scored on a double and a sac-fly. Giving up a walk and back-to-back singles of his own, Stashak allowed Kansas City to add two more runs, making it a five-run seventh inning, 8-1 Royals. The Twins nearly started a rally when Bubic was finally gone. Tyler Zuber came in in relief and gave up three consecutive one-out walks to load the bases. He was immediately removed from the game and Kyle Zimmer took over, facing pinch-hitter Trevor Larnach. He hit a flyball over Dozier’s head to drive in a run and keep the bases loaded for Josh Donaldson. Jorge Polanco scored from third during Donaldson’s at-bat, after a Zimmer wild pitch. So, the Twins were one hit away from cutting the Royal lead to only two. But that didn’t happen and they settled for two runs. Polanco reached for the third time of the night when he hit a leadoff double in the ninth. Larnach kept the rally going by drawing a two-out walk, with Donaldson on-deck. But the third baseman's struggles continued, as he struck out, to finish the night with 0-for-5 and two punch outs. Counting tonight, Donaldson has a .337 OPS in his last seven games. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT Stashak 0 0 0 0 34 34 Robles 0 13 20 0 0 33 Farrell 16 0 0 0 17 33 Rogers 0 26 0 0 0 26 Colomé 8 13 0 0 0 21 Thielbar 0 2 16 0 0 18 Duffey 0 0 15 0 0 15 Alcala 14 0 0 0 0 14
  21. Box Score Dobnak: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K Home Runs: Refsnyder (1) Top 3 WPA: Dobnak .170, Refsnyder .142, Kepler .071 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) After seven unpleasant relief appearances that had him be optioned earlier this month, Randy Dobnak was called up from St. Paul this Friday to join the team in Cleveland. During his stint with the Saints, he had three starts, two of which were really solid, giving him a 3.38 ERA. From the looks of his outing tonight, the confidence he got from that Triple-A stint made all the difference. It only took Dobber 38 pitches to get through the first three innings, in which he retired nine of the eleven batters he faced. He allowed only one hit, to José Ramírez in the first, but that was it. The only other Cleveland runner to reach in that span did so with the help of a Luis Arráez fielding error. He missed bats quite nicely, causing Indian hitters to whiff four times. Also, he displayed an impressive improvement on his sinker, which touched 94mph on the radar gun. That’s nearly two miles per hour faster than the highest velocity he ever got from his two-seamer, back in 2019. At the top of the third, Rob Refsnyder hit his first home run as a Twin, to make it 1-0 Minnesota. That was home run number 60 for the Twins on the year, tying them for most in the American League with Boston. His command started to slightly fail him late in the third, as he got behind in the count twice. Cesar Hernández reached on an Arráez error and old friend Eddie Rosario had the chance to put Cleveland ahead. The former Twin got ahead on the count, 2-0, which could potentially destabilize Dobnak. But Rosie’s trademark impatience had him grounding out to end the inning. Out of a potential jam, Dobber was about to receive an incredible welcome back to the majors gift. The offense ambushes Cleveland pitching and scores nine runs in the fourth Not even in his wildest dreams could Dobnak have asked for a better return to the majors. The Twins offense ganged up on Cleveland starter Triston McKenzie, loading the bases twice in the inning before he could record a second out. A couple of walks and a single in between to open the inning allowed Trevor Larnach to push two runs across on a groundout. Startled, McKenzie couldn’t find the zone anymore, allowing Mitch Garver and Refsnyder to walk and reload them up, with only one out. McKenzie got pulled right there, but it was worthless. A single from Andrelton Simmons and a walk from Josh Donaldson and a double from Max Kepler scored four more runs against Cleveland reliever Phil Maton. Then, Alex Kirilloff joined the party. The Twins weren’t done and Miguel Sanó doubled to score Kirilloff from second, making it 10-0 Twins. Minnesota nearly batted around twice in the inning and every Twin but Arráez and Larnach reached on either a single or a walk. This was the first time in almost four years that the Twins scored nine runs in one inning. Now with substantial run support, Dobnak had the tranquility to go through the rest of his start unbothered. He wasn’t as sharp as in the first portion of the night, but he still delivered three scoreless innings, making this the third start of his career in which he pitched at least six innings without an earned run. The last time Dobber pitched at least six scoreless was on Aug. 5 of last year, against the Pirates. With the Twins rotation entering tonight’s game ranking dead last in the majors in fWAR during the month of May (-0.2), Dobnak just made his case for a permanent role in it. What do the Twins have to lose anyway? Minnesota’s bullpen had yet another good performance on the week. Entering tonight, according to FanGraphs, Twins relievers had produced 0.3 fWAR in the previous seven days, while also striking out a league’s second-best 12.5 batters per nine. Jorge Alcalá and Luke Farrell took care of business in relief of Dobnak and retired nine of the final eleven batters they faced. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT Stashak 0 35 0 19 0 54 Rogers 0 27 0 22 0 49 Farrell 0 0 0 0 38 38 Alcala 18 0 7 0 10 35 Colomé 0 19 15 0 0 34 Robles 0 17 0 14 0 31 Duffey 0 5 0 25 0 30 Thielbar 0 0 10 0 0 10
  22. The offense took care of this game with an amazing nine-run fourth inning. But perhaps the greatest story of the night for the Twins was the incredibly solid start from Randy Dobnak, who alongside the bullpen helped Minnesota to shut out the Cleveland in the series opener. The Twins win back-to-back games for the first time since May 3. Box Score Dobnak: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K Home Runs: Refsnyder (1) Top 3 WPA: Dobnak .170, Refsnyder .142, Kepler .071 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) After seven unpleasant relief appearances that had him be optioned earlier this month, Randy Dobnak was called up from St. Paul this Friday to join the team in Cleveland. During his stint with the Saints, he had three starts, two of which were really solid, giving him a 3.38 ERA. From the looks of his outing tonight, the confidence he got from that Triple-A stint made all the difference. It only took Dobber 38 pitches to get through the first three innings, in which he retired nine of the eleven batters he faced. He allowed only one hit, to José Ramírez in the first, but that was it. The only other Cleveland runner to reach in that span did so with the help of a Luis Arráez fielding error. He missed bats quite nicely, causing Indian hitters to whiff four times. Also, he displayed an impressive improvement on his sinker, which touched 94mph on the radar gun. That’s nearly two miles per hour faster than the highest velocity he ever got from his two-seamer, back in 2019. At the top of the third, Rob Refsnyder hit his first home run as a Twin, to make it 1-0 Minnesota. That was home run number 60 for the Twins on the year, tying them for most in the American League with Boston. His command started to slightly fail him late in the third, as he got behind in the count twice. Cesar Hernández reached on an Arráez error and old friend Eddie Rosario had the chance to put Cleveland ahead. The former Twin got ahead on the count, 2-0, which could potentially destabilize Dobnak. But Rosie’s trademark impatience had him grounding out to end the inning. Out of a potential jam, Dobber was about to receive an incredible welcome back to the majors gift. The offense ambushes Cleveland pitching and scores nine runs in the fourth Not even in his wildest dreams could Dobnak have asked for a better return to the majors. The Twins offense ganged up on Cleveland starter Triston McKenzie, loading the bases twice in the inning before he could record a second out. A couple of walks and a single in between to open the inning allowed Trevor Larnach to push two runs across on a groundout. Startled, McKenzie couldn’t find the zone anymore, allowing Mitch Garver and Refsnyder to walk and reload them up, with only one out. McKenzie got pulled right there, but it was worthless. A single from Andrelton Simmons and a walk from Josh Donaldson and a double from Max Kepler scored four more runs against Cleveland reliever Phil Maton. Then, Alex Kirilloff joined the party. The Twins weren’t done and Miguel Sanó doubled to score Kirilloff from second, making it 10-0 Twins. Minnesota nearly batted around twice in the inning and every Twin but Arráez and Larnach reached on either a single or a walk. This was the first time in almost four years that the Twins scored nine runs in one inning. Now with substantial run support, Dobnak had the tranquility to go through the rest of his start unbothered. He wasn’t as sharp as in the first portion of the night, but he still delivered three scoreless innings, making this the third start of his career in which he pitched at least six innings without an earned run. The last time Dobber pitched at least six scoreless was on Aug. 5 of last year, against the Pirates. With the Twins rotation entering tonight’s game ranking dead last in the majors in fWAR during the month of May (-0.2), Dobnak just made his case for a permanent role in it. What do the Twins have to lose anyway? Minnesota’s bullpen had yet another good performance on the week. Entering tonight, according to FanGraphs, Twins relievers had produced 0.3 fWAR in the previous seven days, while also striking out a league’s second-best 12.5 batters per nine. Jorge Alcalá and Luke Farrell took care of business in relief of Dobnak and retired nine of the final eleven batters they faced. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT Stashak 0 35 0 19 0 54 Rogers 0 27 0 22 0 49 Farrell 0 0 0 0 38 38 Alcala 18 0 7 0 10 35 Colomé 0 19 15 0 0 34 Robles 0 17 0 14 0 31 Duffey 0 5 0 25 0 30 Thielbar 0 0 10 0 0 10 View full article
  23. Box Score Shoemaker: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 K Home Runs: Donaldson (4) Bottom 3 WPA: Shoemaker -.166, Donaldson -132, Polanco -.092 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Shoemaker can’t benefit from the good defense behind him Matt Shoemaker had another awful start. The long ball really hurt him, again, as he gave up three extra-base hits, including three home runs. This shouldn’t come as a great surprise, since opposing hitters are posting a .518 SLG against him this year, a career-worst. He gave up a double during the first inning, but he went on to retire the next seven batters. Then Ramon Laureano hit a solo shot off of him in the third, to score the game’s first run. After going through the first two innings rather quietly, the offense immediately threatened, with Ben Rortvedt and Luis Arráez hitting back-to-back singles to open the bottom of the third. However, Minnesota was unable to capitalize. A’s starter Frankie Montas managed to dominate the Twins’ bats, limiting them to three hits in the first five innings. If the offense couldn’t help Shoemaker much, the defense behind him surely did all they could: But it wasn’t enough. Shoemaker gave up a leadoff walk in the fifth inning, which was followed by a two-run home run by catcher Sean Murphy. He then retired the next five batters, getting one out away from recording a quality start. But he walked Matt Champman in the sixth, before giving up a soul-crushing two-run, two-out home run, making it 5-0 Oakland. Shoemaker now accounts for ten of Minnesota’s league-worst 55 home runs allowed. Seventh inning rally falls short, A’s homer again Donaldson put the Twins on the board with a solo shot to lead off the bottom of the sixth, before Montas retired the side. Then, in the seventh, Willians Astudillo and Max Kepler renewed the hopes of Twins fans, when both of them reached to open the inning. Minnesota was one sing away from getting back in the game, but, again, they couldn’t capitalize. At this point, the Twins were 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position. Entering this game, Minnesota’s offense was posting a .652 OPS with men in scoring, one of their greatest struggles this season. Making his fourth appearance of the season for the Twins, Derek Law took over in the seventh and pitched a clean, 1-2-3 inning, in which he threw only sliders. 13 of them. But Mark Canha ended his scoreless streak by hitting a leadoff home run to open the eighth, making it 6-1 Oakland. He took care of the remaining batters, only giving up a walk to Chapman. After his two innings pitched tonight, Law has the second-best ERA (3.60) among active Twins relievers. Caleb Thielbar pitched a clean ninth, but the offense was quiet again in the bottom of the inning and that was the game. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT Thielbar 0 41 0 0 29 70 Law 0 19 13 0 35 67 Anderson 0 0 54 0 0 54 Alcala 0 12 0 16 0 28 Rogers 0 0 0 20 0 20 Duffey 0 0 16 0 0 16 Colomé 0 0 15 0 0 15 Robles 0 0 0 12 0 12
  24. Once again the Twins offense was quiet and Matt Shoemaker, who was one out away from a quality start, ended up allowing five runs on three homers. Oakland crushed Minnesota to take the series opener at Target Field and the Twins now have the worst record in baseball. Box Score Shoemaker: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 K Home Runs: Donaldson (4) Bottom 3 WPA: Shoemaker -.166, Donaldson -132, Polanco -.092 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Shoemaker can’t benefit from the good defense behind him Matt Shoemaker had another awful start. The long ball really hurt him, again, as he gave up three extra-base hits, including three home runs. This shouldn’t come as a great surprise, since opposing hitters are posting a .518 SLG against him this year, a career-worst. He gave up a double during the first inning, but he went on to retire the next seven batters. Then Ramon Laureano hit a solo shot off of him in the third, to score the game’s first run. After going through the first two innings rather quietly, the offense immediately threatened, with Ben Rortvedt and Luis Arráez hitting back-to-back singles to open the bottom of the third. However, Minnesota was unable to capitalize. A’s starter Frankie Montas managed to dominate the Twins’ bats, limiting them to three hits in the first five innings. If the offense couldn’t help Shoemaker much, the defense behind him surely did all they could: But it wasn’t enough. Shoemaker gave up a leadoff walk in the fifth inning, which was followed by a two-run home run by catcher Sean Murphy. He then retired the next five batters, getting one out away from recording a quality start. But he walked Matt Champman in the sixth, before giving up a soul-crushing two-run, two-out home run, making it 5-0 Oakland. Shoemaker now accounts for ten of Minnesota’s league-worst 55 home runs allowed. Seventh inning rally falls short, A’s homer again Donaldson put the Twins on the board with a solo shot to lead off the bottom of the sixth, before Montas retired the side. Then, in the seventh, Willians Astudillo and Max Kepler renewed the hopes of Twins fans, when both of them reached to open the inning. Minnesota was one sing away from getting back in the game, but, again, they couldn’t capitalize. At this point, the Twins were 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position. Entering this game, Minnesota’s offense was posting a .652 OPS with men in scoring, one of their greatest struggles this season. Making his fourth appearance of the season for the Twins, Derek Law took over in the seventh and pitched a clean, 1-2-3 inning, in which he threw only sliders. 13 of them. But Mark Canha ended his scoreless streak by hitting a leadoff home run to open the eighth, making it 6-1 Oakland. He took care of the remaining batters, only giving up a walk to Chapman. After his two innings pitched tonight, Law has the second-best ERA (3.60) among active Twins relievers. Caleb Thielbar pitched a clean ninth, but the offense was quiet again in the bottom of the inning and that was the game. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT Thielbar 0 41 0 0 29 70 Law 0 19 13 0 35 67 Anderson 0 0 54 0 0 54 Alcala 0 12 0 16 0 28 Rogers 0 0 0 20 0 20 Duffey 0 0 16 0 0 16 Colomé 0 0 15 0 0 15 Robles 0 0 0 12 0 12 View full article
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