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Thiéres Rabelo

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  1. Like
    Thiéres Rabelo got a reaction from USAFChief in Royals 5, Twins 4: An Early Three-Run Lead Goes to Waste, Playoff Hopes Diminish   
    The Twins built an early lead but couldn’t hold on to it nor take advantage of the opportunities they created on offense, going 3-for-13 from scoring position. They drop the series opener in Kansas City and are now one step closer to mathematical elimination from playoff contention.
    Image courtesy of Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Dylan Bundy, 4 2/3 IP, 4H, 4R, 4ER, 1BB, 2K (65 pitches, 42 strikes, 64.6%)
    Home Runs: none
    Bottom 3 WPA: Luis Arraez (-.197), Mark Contreras (-.195), Jose Miranda (-.171)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    For the second time in the past seven days, the Twins’ offense got the upper hand against Royals’ starting pitcher Zack Greinke in the early going and managed to build a nice three-run lead. When these two teams met last week, said three-run lead came right in the first inning, whereas tonight, it took Minnesota a little longer.
    Despite stranding a couple of runners in the first inning, after José Miranda and Nick Gordon hit back-to-back two-out singles, Minnesota’s lineup didn’t slow down. In the second inning, they were back at it with back-to-back singles from Jake Cave and Gilberto Celestino. Matt Wallner then made it three hits in a row with a long double to the right field corner to score Cave. Celestino showed have scored on a Luis Arráez flyout, but somehow he decided not to tag up.
    No worries there because Carlos Correa did some two-out damage before the inning was over. He jumped on a 2-1 four-seamer to find the gap at short and score both runners. He continues to have his best month on the season, by far, slashing .361/.425/.667 (1.092) before tonight’s game. Too bad we most likely won’t be able to see if that hot streak would’ve extended into October…
    Bundy is solid at first, can’t hold on to the lead, and the game goes back and forth
    Meanwhile, Dylan Bundy delivered two perfect innings to open the game, but his shutout wouldn’t last long. After a leadoff double by Gordon went to waste in the top of the third, Bundy also allowed a leadoff double in the home half to Edward Olivares. He did strike out a pair after that, but he couldn’t shut the door on the inning, allowing a two-run home run to MJ Melendez that cut the Twins’ lead to one.
    Bundy settled in in the fourth but couldn’t deliver another scoreless frame in the fifth. Hunter Dozier tied the game with a one-out solo home run to left, shortly before Nate Eaton followed that with a single of his own. Eaton moved to third on a wild pitch by Bundy, and after the starter departed the game, he scored on a Bobby Witt Jr single off Griffin Jax that gave Kansas City their first lead of the night, 4-3.
    After the shaky start, Greinke found a way to keep the Twins offense on a leash for most of the time, despite allowing a few hits. It was only during the sixth inning that the bats were able to capitalize again: Urshela led off the inning with a double, and Greinke was done for the night after striking out Gary Sanchez. Against reliever Amir Garrett, doubled himself and scored Urshela to tie the game. The Twins also took the lead briefly when Wallner hit a ground ball that was initially called safe at first, scoring Cave from third. But Kansas City challenged the play, and it got overturned, ending the inning.
    Caleb Thielbar tossed a scoreless bottom of the sixth, but Michael Fulmer couldn’t keep the game tied in the seventh. He gave up back-to-back one-out doubles that nearly scored the go-ahead run for the Royals. Correa’s arm prevented Melendez from scoring with a phenomenal throw home. However, on the very next at-bat, Salvador Perez hit a flare to shallow right, scoring Witt Jr from second to put the Royals back on top.
    The Twins had a golden opportunity during the eighth inning when Urshela and Sánchez both reached after getting hit by pitches with only one out. Then both moved into scoring position on a Cave fly out but ended up stranded when Mark Contreras struck out. Despite having the top of their lineup back in the ninth, the Twins went down in order to end the game.
    What’s Next?
    The series continues on Wednesday night, with game two scheduled to start at 7:10 pm CDT. Minnesota will bring Bailey Ober (3.49 ERA) to the mound to square off Daniel Lynch (5.15 ERA).
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
      TUE FRI SAT SUN MON TUE TOT                 Henriquez 0 0 0 0 73 0 73 López 0 0 32 0 34 0 66 Moran 40 0 15 5 0 0 60 Fulmer 0 11 17 0 0 23 51 Sanchez 0 0 49 0 0 0 49 Pagán 0 0 31 0 15 0 46 Jax 0 22 13 0 0 4 39 Thielbar 0 15 0 0 0 23 38 Duran 0 16 0 17 0 0 33 Megill 0 0 0 0 0 17 17  
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  2. Like
    Thiéres Rabelo got a reaction from glunn in Guardians 4, Twins 3: Cold Offense, Defensive Miscues, Cost the Twins the Game   
    Bailey Ober had a fine start in his return from the injured list, delivering five solid shutout innings. The offense came through early but went ice-cold for the rest of the game, and Cleveland took advantage of a couple of defensive miscues to steal the game late.
    Image courtesy of David Richard-USA TODAY Sports Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Bailey Ober, 5 IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 1BB, 5K (70 pitches, 47 strikes, 67.1%)
    Home Runs: none
    Bottom 3 WPA: Griffin Jax (-.305), Jhoan Duran (-.239), Nick Gordon (-.123)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Ober looks sharp in his return, tosses five scoreless
    Bailey Ober was activated from the 60-day injured list earlier on Friday and was set to make his first big league start since June 1. That last start, which came a few days before he was placed on the 15-day injured list due to a right groin strain, didn’t make for a very good impression, as he gave up five runs in a 5-0 loss to a fourth-place Detroit team. But since returning to action on a minor league rehab assignment, he looked sharp, maintaining a 3.24 ERA through four starts in the minors. That good performance carried on into tonight’s game.
    Ober looked fantastic to start this game. It took him only 32 pitches to get through the first three innings, and he didn’t allow a single hit in that span. Despite not missing a lot of bats and allowing some hard contact, Ober made sure to induce bad-quality contact. Cleveland hitters couldn’t figure him out earlier, and the only Guardians baserunner came when José Ramírez got hit on the foot during the bottom of the first.
    The offense came through in response to Ober’s hot start. José Miranda nearly hit a home run in the first after a tremendous 12-pitch at-bat, but he had to settle for a double. Cleveland starter Triston McKenzie got on a roll and retired six consecutive batters after that Miranda double, but he ran into trouble during the third inning. Luis Arráez and Carlos Correa hit back-to-back two-out singles, and Miranda made McKenzie pay. With another double, the rookie pushed Arráez across to score the game’s first run.
    The bats weren’t done. Gio Urshela led off the top of the fourth with a ground ball single, and a couple of at-bats later, Jake Cave crushed the first pitch he saw on the at-bat for a 412-feet two-run bomb, making it 3-0 Minnesota. That poor ball – may it rest in peace – left his bat at 105.2 MPH.
    Ober found himself in his only jam of the game in the bottom of the fourth. Ramírez reached for the second time on the night by drawing a one-out walk, then suddenly reached third when Óscar González knocked a two-out single. Ober calmly struck out the last batter to end the threat, though. He came back for the fifth, his final inning of the night, and completed his shutout on 14 pitches.
    As solid as he had been this season before he got injured – he maintained a 3.25 ERA through the first six of his seven starts before tonight – this was actually Ober’s first shutout of the season. Now, the Twins have gotten three shutout starts from their starters in the last four games, which have combined for a total of 19 innings.
    Cleveland takes advantage of mistakes, takes the lead
    It wasn’t just the starting pitching that started clicking for the Twins in the last few days. Coming into tonight’s game, Minnesota’s bullpen had pitched nine consecutive shutout innings in the previous three games. Michael Fulmer came into tonight’s game in relief of Ober, and he extended that streak to ten innings with a scoreless sixth in which he pitched around a Ramírez double.
    But that streak came to an end during the seventh inning, and it all started with a fielding error. Andrés Giménez reached on a throwing error by Nick Gordon to lead off the inning. He was moved up to third on an Owen Miller single next and scored the Guardians’ first run on a Myles Straw one-out single off Griffin Jax (who was replacing Caleb Thielbar). Had Gordon not made the fielding error, not only would Gimenez not have scored, but Cleveland wouldn’t have tied the game. Jax retired Steven Kwan for the second out of the inning, but he couldn’t get Amed Rosario, who lined to center for a two-run single, to tie it up.
    After the Cave home run in the fourth, the offense couldn’t figure out McKenzie anymore, going 1-for-12 against him before he departed the game. The bats also went down in order in the top of the eighth, allowing Cleveland to snatch the lead in the home half of the inning. And once again, they took advantage of a Minnesota mistake. Before he could record a single out, Jhoan Duran lost the first two batters on back-to-back singles. Then, on a wild pitch in which Gary Sánchez couldn’t find the ball behind him, pinch-runner Ernie Clement had time to round third and score the winning run.
    Postgame interview
    What’s Next?
    On Saturday, both teams will be back on the field for a doubleheader. Game one is set to begin at 12:10 pm CDT, with rookie Louie Varland (3.38 ERA) taking on staff ace Shane Bieber (2.91 ERA). Then, with first pitch scheduled for 6:10 pm CDT, Josh Winder (3.83 ERA) gets the start of game two, facing Konnor Pilkington (4.30 ERA).
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
      MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT               Moran 0 40 0 0 0 40 Jax 0 0 0 18 22 40 Thielbar 0 0 12 12 15 39 Duran 0 0 0 19 16 35 Fulmer 0 0 0 21 11 32 López 0 0 17 0 0 17 Megill 0 0 0 14 0 14 Pagán 0 0 0 0 0 0 Sanchez 0 0 0 0 0 0  
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  3. Like
    Thiéres Rabelo got a reaction from glunn in Twins 4, Royals 0: Gray Tosses Seven Scoreless, and Minnesota Gets a Series Win   
    It had been two weeks since the last time the Twins won a series, but they finally did it again. With another brilliant game by a starting pitcher, the Twins got an easy win over the Royals and can now go for a sweep tomorrow night.
    Image courtesy of Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports  
    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Sonny Gray, 7 IP, 3H, 0R, 0ER, 1BB, 8K (91 pitches, 64 strikes, 70.3%)
    Home Runs: None
    Top 3 WPA: Sonny Gray (.300), Gary Sanchez (.137), Carlos Correa (.098)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Some early offense gives Gray support to throw seven shutout innings
    In last night’s game, the Twins built a comfortable six-run lead, but they actually didn’t score a run until the third inning. Tonight, things looked different from the get-go, as the Twins wasted no time putting some runs on the board. After Sonny Gray breezed through the top of the first with only eight pitches, the offense ambushed Royals starter Zack Greinke and manufactured three runs in the bottom of the inning.
    Luis Arraez and Carlos Correa opened up the inning with back-to-back singles, and suddenly, the Twins had men on the corners. Jose Miranda then grounded into a double play and scored Arráez from third. This could’ve been the moment when Greinke would get out of the jam, but five more Minnesota hitters would reach before the veteran could close out the inning. Gio Urshela drew a four-pitch walk, then was sent to third on a Nick Gordon single. Gary Sánchez then stepped up to the batter’s box and hit a long double to deep center, bringing home both, Urshela and Gordon.
    While the bats were quiet down by Greinke, who retired nine consecutive batters, Gray had no trouble dominating the Royals' hitting either. By the end of the fourth inning, he had tossed only 54 pitches, striking out five and allowing only a hit and a walk. That was also when Royals hitters began to make some hard contact off him, but, fortunately, it wasn’t quality contact. The only exception was a rocket hit by Ryan O'Hearn to lead off the fifth (104.5 MPH exit velocity) that had .820 xBA, but it was caught by Gilberto Celestino in a fine defensive play at the track.
    Four innings was all the Royals could get from Greinke, and the Twins offense was quick to pose a threat against the Kansas City bullpen in the fifth, despite not capitalizing. Miranda drew a walk, and Urshela got hit by a pitch, suddenly giving the Twins another scoring opportunity – and prompting a second pitching change from the Royals in the inning. Still, at that point, the Twins lineup had failed to get a hit since the first inning, when they got five of them. Gray, on the other hand, came back to pitch a couple more scoreless frames, completing seven innings of shutout ball, allowing only three hits, walking only one batter, and fanning eight.
    Offense adds on in the 7th, bullpen shuts the door
    After six innings without a hit, the Twins offense delivered a couple of hits in the seventh and scored an insurance run in the process. Kyle Garlick, who replaced Arráez after the first inning, hit a leadoff single and was replaced by pinch-runner Billy Hamilton. Correa sent him to third with a double, and he scored on an Urshela sac-fly, making it 4-0 Twins.
    It was all up to the bullpen now, and they managed to protect the four-run lead. Caleb Thielbar pitched around a leadoff single to complete a scoreless eighth on 12 pitches, and Jorge Lopez closed out the game in the ninth with no trouble, also pitching around a leadoff single. The Twins win their first series since the final week of August when they took two out of three against the Boston Red Sox. They are now back above the .500 mark, sitting at 71-70, and they pick up a game on the Chicago White Sox.
    Postgame interview
    What’s Next?
    The third game of the series is tomorrow, also starting at 6:40 pm CDT. Said game will wrap up Minnesota’s homestand, as the team takes to the road for eight games in seven days in Cleveland and Kansas City after that. Dylan Bundy (4.68 ERA) toes the rubber for Minnesota in the final game of this homestand, with Daniel Lynch (5.14 ERA) starting for Kansas City.
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
      SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT               Moran 0 0 0 40 0 40 López 0 18 0 0 17 35 Pagán 33 0 0 0 0 33 Duran 0 27 0 0 0 27 Thielbar 0 15 0 0 12 27 Fulmer 0 18 0 0 0 18 Megill 14 0 0 0 0 14 Jax 0 8 0 0 0 8 Cotton 0 0 0 0 0 0 Sanchez 0 0 0 0 0 0    
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  4. Like
    Thiéres Rabelo got a reaction from glunn in Yankees 5, Twins 4 (12 innings): Varland Dazzles in Debut, but It’s Not Enough   
    In a four-hour marathon, the Yankees walked off the Twins in 12 innings at the Bronx. Louie Varland had a lovely big-league debut, but the bullpen relinquished the lead twice.
    Image courtesy of Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Louie Varland, 5 1/3 IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 1BB, 7K (80 pitches, 55 strikes, 68.8%)
    Home Runs: Jose Miranda (14)
    Bottom 3 WPA: Trevor Megill (-.570), Griffin Jax (-.254), Gio Urshela (-.201)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Varland is sharp in his major league debut (pulled too early?)
    There probably isn’t a much tougher way to start your major league career than the one Louie Varland had to. Called up for the first time on Tuesday, the St. Paul native had been the most anticipated Twins prospect since… what? Byron Buxton? Some might go even a little further and say… Joe Mauer? Either way, the amount of expectation this kid had to burden was enormous.
    Then, you look at all the elements surrounding today’s game. The Twins have been constantly crushed by the New York Yankees for the past two decades; they have been Minnesota’s perennial foes in the postseason in that same span; they haven’t lost a single series against the Twins since 2018, and not one at home since 2014. The list goes on.
    This game, in particular, is even more crucial short-term, as the Twins started the day a game and a half back from the Guardians for the division first place. Not being competitive in this Bronx series could be the end of the season for the Twins. Is that pressure enough for the 24-year-old Minnesotan?
    Before Varland even stepped on the Yankee Stadium mound, the offense made a good effort to relieve some of the pressure and perhaps calm him down. Luis Arraez jumped on the game’s second pitch and doubled against starter Domingo German. After a Carlos Correa strikeout, José Miranda hit a laser to the deep left corner for a home run, making it 2-0 Twins early.
    Whether or not the run support made a difference for Varland at that point, making him less nervous, we’ll never know. But the fact is that he had a nearly perfect first time through the order to begin his big-league career, retiring the first eight batters he faced. He also struck out three of those batters, including American League MVP frontrunner Aaron Judge for his first-ever MLB strikeout. That’s a heck of a greeting card.
    Varland’s first hit given up was an Oswald Peraza two-out double in the third, but he responded to that with an inning-ending groundout, his third of the game. Then, the offense came through for him again with some more run support. In the top of the fourth, Germán got two quick outs, but the bottom third of Minnesota’s lineup did some two-out damage.
    Jake Cave, Gary Sanchez, and Gilberto Celestino hit three consecutive singles, and, with that, another run scored, making it 3-0 Twins. The Yankees responded quickly, though, with Judge getting back at Varland in the bottom of the same inning with a leadoff home run, cutting the Twins’ lead to two. Varland displayed some impressive nerves after that, retiring batters three through five of the Yankee lineup, including back-to-back strikeouts following the Judge home run.
    Varland pitched into the sixth, facing two batters: he lost Peraza for a leadoff single but came back to strike out Oswaldo Cabrera. Before he could face Judge (the tying run) a third time in this game, Rocco Baldelli decided to call it a game for him. Griffin Jax was brought in, and he got Judge to pop out for the second out, but before he could finish the inning, Gleyber Torres hit a two-run home run that tied the game.
    Baldelli’s decision to pull Varland when he did cause mixed feelings throughout Twins Twitter. Twins Daily’s writers Nick Nelson and Seth Stohs, for example, had opposing views of Baldelli’s call (here and here). Do you think Varland should’ve stayed to face Judge and Torres? Use the comment section to give your opinion.
    Bats quiet down, bullpen trio takes the game into extras
    The Twins’ offense couldn’t bother the Yankees again for the better part of the game, with the only exception coming during the eighth inning. Miranda snapped an 0-for-9 skid with a one-out single, and Nick Gordon followed him up with a single of his own, posing the first Minnesota threat since the fourth inning. Unfortunately for the Twins, both runners ended up being stranded.
    Fortunately for them, though, the bullpen did a fine job maintaining this a tied game for the remainder of regulation. After Jax blew the lead in the sixth, Caleb Thielbar, Jorge Lopez, and Jhoan Duran did a fantastic job preventing New York from scoring. With Duran pitching in the ninth, Sánchez made a huge play catching Tim Locastro trying to steal second with a laser throw for the second out that Jermaine Palacios somehow caught and kept the tag on as Locastro came off the base. Then, after Isiah Kiner-Falefa singled and reached third with a steal and a throwing error, Correa ended the inning with a crucial defensive move.
    Celestino puts the Twins ahead, but the Yankees tie it, walk it off
    With Celestino starting the 10th inning at second base, Arráez hit a single to shallow right, and the outfielder was waved around. However, he hesitated a bit heading from third to home and was caught by catcher Jose Trevino with plenty of time. Duran pitched a scoreless 10th, and the game headed for the 11th. After the offense went down in order in the top of the inning, the Yankees loaded the bases in the bottom after an intentional walk to Judge and a walk to Torres. A beautiful 3-2-3 double play prevented the winning run from scoring and paved the way for another inning.
    Came the 12th inning, the Twins put some pressure on reliever Ron Marinaccio, with Cave drawing a leadoff walk. With a Sánchez strikeout, New York had a double play in order, but Celestino had other plans. He hit a sharp groundball to right, deep enough to score ghost runner Jermaine Palacios from second, snatching the lead back for the Twins. Arráez drew a walk to load the bases before the inning was done, but Correa and Miranda couldn’t take advantage.
    That lead didn’t last long, though. Kiner-Falefa hit a ground ball off Trevor Megill to lead off the bottom of the 12th, and former Twin Marwin Gonzalez scored from second. Trevino then hit a one-out single that sent Kiner-Falefa to third and, despite getting Peraza to fly out for the second out, Megill couldn’t retire Cabrera, who hit a grounder to short, past a diving Gordon, to bring Kiner-Falefa home and end the game.
    What’s Next?
    Game two of the doubleheader is about to start with Joe Ryan (3.88 ERA) on the mound for Minnesota and Gerrit Cole (3.28 ERA) starting for the Yankees. Currently, Minnesota still has the chance to split the series, as both teams are back on the field tomorrow for game four of the series.
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
      SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT               Sanchez 70 0 0 0 0 70 Duran 0 20 0 0 28 48 Megill 0 0 27 0 20 47 Fulmer 0 14 0 0 16 30 Thielbar 0 15 0 0 11 26 Pagán 0 0 22 0 0 22 Jax 0 8 0 0 12 20 López 0 0 0 0 15 15 Davis 0 0 11 0 0 11 Moran 0 0 0 0 0 0  
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  5. Like
    Thiéres Rabelo got a reaction from glunn in White Sox 4, Twins 3: Minnesota Gives Up the Lead Twice, Gets Walked Off   
    With the chance of tying Cleveland for the AL Central first place, the Twins had the lead twice against the White Sox in Chicago, but they ended up giving up both those leads and ended up being walked off in the series opener.
    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Sonny Gray, 4 IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 1BB, 2K (59 pitches, 40 strikes, 67.8%)
    Home Runs: none
    Bottom 3 WPA: Jorge Lopez (-.367), Caleb Thielbar (-.205), Gary Sanchez (-.116)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Gordon, Offense Put Chicago on the Ropes Early
    Nick Gordon has been living what can perhaps be considered the hottest offensive streak of his major league career – and he simply doesn’t look like he wants to slow down. Coming into tonight’s game, he had been slashing .364/.391/.682 (1.073) for his previous seven games. The White Sox decided to have a bullpen game, bringing Joe Kelly to open the game. Gordon and the Twins took advantage of that.
    After the four first batters faced by Kelly, Minnesota had loaded the bases with one out, bringing red-hot Gordon to the plate. The Twins’ second baseman smacked his 22nd double to the right field corner, scoring Carlos Correa and Max Kepler. That was all the Twins could get, as Kelly stranded both remaining runners with a couple of strikeouts, but it was a great start for Minnesota nonetheless.
    Davis Martin, who was originally scheduled to start tonight’s game for Chicago, took over in relief of Kelly in the second inning. Still, Minnesota’s offense continued to push forward but failed to add on. Luis Arraez, who singled in the first, hit a two-out double, seemingly putting the August slump behind him. Correa drew a walk after him, and suddenly, the Twins were posing a threat once again, but Kepler lined out, and the inning was over.
    Gray Tosses Three Solid but Struggles with Command in the Fourth
    Sonny Gray gave up a two-out single in the bottom of the first, but that was pretty much all the White Sox could get off him for the first three innings, as he retired seven consecutive batters after that single. Then, in the fourth inning, things abruptly changed for him.
    Andrew Vaughn led off the inning with a double, but it didn’t look too serious after Gray induced back-to-back ground ball outs. But Yasmani Grandal hit a bloop single off the glove of Gio Urshela to score Vaughn. That was when things spiraled out of control for Gray, who started having command issues. Grandal moved to second on a wild pitch, then A.J. Pollock and Leury Garcia reached on a walk and a single, respectively, to load the bases.
    Facing Josh Harrison, all Gray needed was another out to end the threat. Instead, he (barely) brushed Harrison’s forearm with a fastball, and the game was tied. Gray got the final out to limit the damage, but, despite his pitch count not having reached 60, Rocco Baldelli decided he was done. At four innings pitched, this was Gray’s shortest start since July 14, tied for his third shortest start of the season.
    During the seventh inning, it was reported that Gray left the game due to some right hamstring tightness. The injury must have been caused by the last play of the third inning when Gray fielded a comebacker on the infield before throwing to Arráez at first. He clearly grabbed his hamstring after the play.
    Bullpen does a Good Job, Gordon Comes Through Again…
    After Gray’s injury, the bullpen had their work cut out for them, having to throw at least five innings. Michael Fulmer gave up back-to-back two-out singles in the fifth but eventually got the final out. Then, Griffin Jax and Jhoan Duran combined for a couple of quick, scoreless frames. Came the eighth inning, with the game tied, the offense showed up again.
    After the productive first two innings, the Twins’ lineup went quietly for most of the game, going 2-for-17 after Correa’s second-inning walk. But the bats came back to life in the eighth. Facing reliever Jimmy Lambert, Kepler got an infield leadoff single but ended up at second base on a throwing error from Harrison. Jose Miranda followed that with a single of his own, moving Kepler to third. Gordon stepped up to the plate and got his third run batted in on a ground out, putting the Twins back in front.
    …but the Sox Tied the Game, Walk it off
    After four consecutive scoreless appearances and nine out of the previous ten, Caleb Thielbar came in to try and keep the one-run lead in the bottom of the eighth. After retiring Eloy Jimenez to open the inning, he couldn’t get past Grandal, who crushed a game-tying solo shot to the left field corner.
    Gilberto Celestino got a single in the top of the ninth, but the Twins couldn’t capitalize. Then, with Jorge López pitching in the bottom of the inning, Chicago loaded the bases on back-to-back singles and a hit batter that caused the benches to clear. Next, López seemingly hit Abreu, ending the game, but after a challenge, the call was overturned, as the ball actually hit Abreu’s bat.
    It was no use, though. As the Abreu at-bat continued, the former AL MVP hit into a groundout that could’ve led to an inning-ending double play, but Correa couldn’t fire the throw to first, allowing Romy Gonzalez to score the winning run.
    Postgame interview
    What’s Next?
    Game two of the series is scheduled for tomorrow, with the first pitch at 6:15 pm CDT. Tyler Mahle (4.17 ERA) toes the rubber for Minnesota, while Dylan Cease (2.27 ERA) gets the start for Chicago.
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
      MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT               Moran 0 0 52 0 0 52 Jax 17 8 0 0 20 45 Thielbar 15 13 0 0 13 41 Megill 0 23 14 0 0 37 Fulmer 0 13 0 0 17 30 Duran 14 0 0 0 11 25 López 9 0 0 0 13 22 Pagán 0 21 0 0 0 21  
    View full article
  6. Yikes
    Thiéres Rabelo got a reaction from RpR in Red Sox 6, Twins 5: Down Five Runs, Twins Fight Back but Rally Falls Short   
    An early grand slam helped put the Red Sox ahead by five runs. The Twins never gave up, though, and they managed to make this a one-run game and to put the winning run at first base, but they couldn’t capitalize. The winning streak ends at five.
    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Joe Ryan, 5 IP, 8H, 5R, 5ER, 1BB, 8K (100 pitches, 69 strikes, 69.0%)
    Home Runs: Luis Arraez (8)
    Bottom 3 WPA: Carlos Correa (-.335), Joe Ryan (-.263), Luis Arráez (-.137)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Boston burns Ryan early
    Things didn’t click for Joe Ryan on Wednesday night, and his start was stained pretty early in the game. After a couple of scoreless innings, including a 1-2-3 second, the Twins’ starter was ambushed in the top of the third. Despite getting ahead on the count against all of them, Ryan failed to retire the first four batters he faced, and Boston took advantage of that.
    Kevin Plawecki and Tommy Pham got back-to-back singles to start the inning, the latter with a tough eight-pitch at-bat. When Alex Verdugo hit a grounder towards first, Jose Miranda decided to throw home to prevent Plawecki from scoring, allowing Verdugo to reach and load the bases with no outs. Xander Bogaerts wasted no time and destroyed a low-hanging slider down the middle for a grand slam.
    A flyout following the grand slam didn’t help much: despite getting ahead J.D. Martinez 0-2, Boston’s designated hitter took him deep for a second time in the evening, making it 5-0 Red Sox. With Michael Wacha having tossed two perfect innings to start the game, it was hard to imagine Minnesota would have the energy for a comeback. Their only chance would be to do some damage quickly.
    Twins get two runs back, can’t complete a rally
    By retiring Nick Gordon and Gilberto Celestino to open the bottom of the third, Wacha made it eight consecutive batters retired to start the game. Sandy Leon broke the streak with a bloop single to center and salvaged the inning, with Luis Arráez stepping up to the plate. He fought hard to turn a 1-2 count into a full count before hitting a liner to right for a two-run shot to put the Twins back in contention.
    Ryan remained in the game and pitched for two more innings. He got into a jam to begin the fourth, when he gave up a leadoff single and hit a batter, but pitched around those to end the inning. The offense started putting together another potential rally in the bottom of the inning when Kyle Garlick reached on a fielding error from second, and Gio Urshela singled, but Gordon struck out, ending the inning. Ryan also tossed a scoreless fifth to conclude his outing at exactly 100 pitches, his highest-scoring start in over three weeks.
    Moran has another good outing, maintains great season numbers
    Making his first big league appearance since August 2, Jovani Moran seemed to have picked up right where he left off when he last appeared in the majors. He couldn’t prevent Boston from scoring, with Plawecki hitting a leadoff double in the sixth and scoring later on a Bogaerts two-out double to right.
    Outside of those two extra-base hits allowed, Moran’s outing was brilliant. He struck out five batters through the sixth and seventh innings, then induced three groundball outs in a 1-2-3 eighth to complete three innings of one-run ball without any walks. He now has a 2.05 ERA through 21 appearances this season, making up for a fantastic second season in the majors.
    Too bad the offense couldn’t capitalize on several opportunities they’ve created. They had two men on in the sixth after a Correa walk and a Max Kepler double but came out empty-handed. Then, in the seventh, the Twins had men on the corners with one out after a Gordon leadoff double and a Gary Sanchez one-out walk. However, all they could get was a single run that came on an Arráez sac-fly.
    Gordon comes through again, but it’s not enough
    Gordon’s epic display last night was an indicator that this kid is ready for stardom, and he continued to swing the bat brilliantly tonight. His second hit of the night was a huge one in the eighth inning that made things very interesting. Kepler and Urshela both reached with a single each, making Gordon the tying run when he stepped up to the batter’s box.
    Gordon jumped on the first pitch for a long double that hit the right field wall, deep enough to push both runners across and make this a one-run game. Unfortunately, Gordon was caught at third trying to stretch a double into a triple, and the inning was over.
    Despite Gordon’s baserunning blunder, his two runs batted in in the eighth proved vital for Minnesota’s chances. After Trevor Megill delivered a scoreless top of the ninth (throwing 12 strikes in 14 pitches), Celestino led off the bottom of the inning with a chopper that Bogaerts couldn’t glove in time. Then, Sánchez drew a five-pitch walk, his second of the night, to put two men on with no outs for Arráez. Sadly, for Minnesota, Arráez flied out, and Correa grounded into a double play next, ending the game. The offense finished the night going 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position after Correa's double play.
    What’s Next?
    On Thursday, the Twins have a day off that they’ll use to travel to South Side Chicago, where they’ll begin a three-game set against the White Sox. Game one of the series is scheduled for Friday, with first pitch at 7:10 pm CDT. Sonny Gray (3.04 ERA) takes the mound for the Twins, with Davis Martin (4.62 ERA) starting for Chicago.
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
      SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT               Megill 35 0 0 23 14 72 Moran 0 0 0 0 52 52 Thielbar 22 0 15 13 0 50 Pagán 0 22 0 21 0 43 Jax 8 0 17 8 0 33 Fulmer 0 15 0 13 0 28 Duran 13 0 14 0 0 27 López 0 0 9 0 0 9    

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  7. Like
    Thiéres Rabelo got a reaction from glunn in Twins 9, Giants 0: Offense Shows Some Life, Twins Crush the Giants   
    Finally! The Twins demolished the Giants with eight early runs and snapped a six-game losing streak. Joe Ryan tossed six shutout innings, allowing only two hits, making up for a perfect Friday night at Target Field.
    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Joe Ryan, 6 IP, 2H, 0R, 0ER, 3BB, 8K (106 pitches, 68 strikes, 64.2%)
    Home Runs: Carlos Correa (15), Gary Sánchez (12), Kyle Garlick (9)
    Top 3 WPA: Carlos Correa (.207), Joe Ryan (.156), Kyle Garlick (.095)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Twins get an early lead, nearly lose it
    The Twins entered tonight’s trying to prevent their losing streak from reaching seven games, which would represent their longest one since April 26, 2018. This current six-game losing streak is the longest one since the shortened 2020 season when they lost six in a row in the final week of August. Furthermore, tonight’s game marked the one-week anniversary since their last win, a week in which they were outscored 29-12. Could tonight finally be the one they would put an end to all of those narratives?
    Not only had it been a whole week since the last time the Twins won a game, but it had also been a week since they had a two-run lead in a game (seriously, how did we make it through this week without losing our minds?). That changed right from the get-go tonight. After a long but scoreless top of the first by Joe Ryan, the offense decided to show up early: leadoff man Kyle Garlick got hit by Giants’ starter Alex Wood, and, immediately after that, Carlos Correa hit a two-run bomb to deep left field. That was Correa’s first dinger since August 13.
    Seeing some runs on the board early on might’ve been a relief, but it felt like it would all melt away soon. After a 20-pitch first, Ryan struggled once again to put away batters quickly in the second. Despite facing the bottom half of the San Francisco lineup, he allowed Brandon Crawford (walk) and Austin Slater (double) to reach, and suddenly, the Giants had two men in scoring position with one out. Ryan managed to induce a pop out and a fly out to end the threat, but not before his pitch count had been driven to 45 pitches.
    Minnesota scores six runs on five hits in the third
    Ryan settled in nicely in the top of the third, finishing off the top of the Giants’ order on 15 pitches. In retribution, the offense decided to put the game away. They loaded the bases with no outs on three consecutive singles (Sandy León, Garlick, and Correa) for José Miranda. The rookie couldn’t make it four in a row, but he hit a line drive long enough to bring León home from third.
    When Wood struck out Gio Urshela for the second out, it felt like he would limit the damage to a minimum, but Minnesota’s bats had other plans. Jorge Polanco was hit on the foot, and once again, the bases were juiced. Gilberto Celestino stepped up to the plate and was a few feet away from hitting a grand slam, but he settled for a bases-clearing double off the center field wall to make it 6-0 Twins.
    And they weren’t done! As former Twin Zack Littell was warming up to replace Wood, Gary Sánchez also went yard for a two-run laser to right, his 12th home run of the season and the first one since August 10. This eight-run lead was the largest one the Twins had built since August 16, when they crushed the Royals at Target Field for a 9-0 win.
    Such a comfortable lead helped Ryan. He faced the minimum with only 24 pitches in the fourth and fifth innings; to start the sixth, he lost the first two batters he faced by giving up a leadoff walk to Tommy La Stella and hitting Wilmer Flores on the elbow. But after a mound visit, he retired the next three batters, including a couple of punch outs, for a total of eight in the game. Ryan completed six without allowing a run, making this the first time he’s tossed at least six shutout innings in a game since April 27. Also, for only the fifth time this season, he surpassed the 100-pitch mark with 106, his second-lengthiest start of the season.
    Bullpen is spotless, offense adds on
    Emilio Pagán took over for Ryan in the seventh, and he delivered two scoreless frames, allowing only one hit. This was his third multi-inning appearance in his last four outings, possibly confirming his new role as a long middle man. After his eighth inning, the offense added another run to this blowout: Garlick jumped on the first pitch of his at-bat for a solo home run. Michael Fulmer came in to pitch the ninth, and he sealed the deal on 12 pitches.
    Postgame interview
    What’s Next?
    Both teams take the field again tomorrow for game two, with the first pitch scheduled for 6:15 pm CDT. Sonny Gray (3.10 ERA) will toe the rubber for Minnesota, while Alex Cobb (3.99 ERA) will try to avoid a series loss for the Giants.
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
      MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT               Fulmer 12 0 23 0 12 47 Pagán 0 14 0 0 28 42 Megill 0 8 0 23 0 31 Smeltzer 0 0 27 0 0 27 Duran 0 0 0 20 0 20 Jax 14 0 0 6 0 20 López 0 0 0 18 0 18 Thielbar 12 0 0 0 0 12  
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  8. Like
    Thiéres Rabelo reacted to DocBauer in Rocco Baldelli's future   
    Going to try and say all of my thoughts clearly and succinctly, even though they might not be popular. And for MY thoughts, I have to at least touch on the FO because I think they are tied to Rocco.
    I largely love and support most everything the FO has done since day one in regard to drafts and the entire revamp of the milb system. I think they've mostly made very smart trades. But I've been critical when they've made mistakes, IMO. And without re-visiting this past offseason, I didn't hate the Bundy signing, but really didn't like the Archer signing. I really liked the idea of Cueto. That's been proven to be an error. I love the Gray trade, and the trade acquisitions. I hated not brining in a RH bat and trusting in Celestino. And I really like the potential of Celestino, but I wanted someone more experienced/proven. And I absolutely hated NOT adding a proven pen arm! All of this to say....
    ...Rocco has had to deal with the roster presented to him and do the best he can. So, bullet points:
    1] Injuries have been extremely detrimental to the club. I just don't see how that can be argued. We can forever discuss Paddack...who might turn out great in the long run...but Winder, AK, Larnach, etc, the injuries have just compiled. Ever think, for a moment, that losing Garlick would be major? He filled a certain role. Depth became obliterated in late June, early July. I mean, Sands of all people was actually looking like a potential middle inning arm and gets hit on the arm by a hard liner. What happens next? When Cave is your 7th or 8th OF, how do you even construct a viable lineup?
    2] The idea of just trusting in the pen on the cheap is smart if you can do it right. But ONE addition just wasn't smart! Now, it's nobody's fault that Alcala was injured. But it IS someone's fault that Pagan was allowed to turn a potential 8-10 game lead was turned in to a 2-3 game lead. Is that on Rocco or stubbornness from the FO? And while I have disagreed at times with Rocco's choices, he can only deal with what he has on hand.
    3] Managing the TEAM on a daily basis is where I have issues with Rocco. I can question a few pen moves here and there, but he might be way more right than I am. But some silly base running and defensive miscues here and there make me wonder about concentrating on the basics. It's one thing to be a player's manager, but it's another thing....especially being a former player...to NOT work on the basics and drill things in to your players to do just do things right! Is that so much to ask?
    4] We can talk all day about stretching SP out. The game has changed. Late in the season, Rocco has been clear about allowing opportunity to do so. But the pitchers have to respond! Is "saving" arms worthwhile? Is that on Rocco or the FO? I understand Archer being limited and Ryan as a rookie, but is there a point earlier in the season to bridge the gap? I suppose it goes back to the pen again.
    5] Rocco is a former player, and young enough to remember what it's like to play the game. And he's actually done a few more bunts and such to try and make things happen. But when you are the worst team in baseball at advancing runners from 2B with less than 2 outs, why don't you try something different? Is Leon the ONLY bunter on the team? 
    6] HATE my opinion or not, I think the FO and Rocco are still "learning on the job". The FO has rebuilt the system the system, but are still in the "oh crap, we we need to look at THIS as a mistake. And Rocco needs to trust in himself more as a former player to just trust his gut as that former player to stick with a pitcher earlier in the year, or bunt to move a runner when the offense is struggling, or hit and run, etc. 
    I think the best thing Rocco can do is quit being a "manager" every once in a while and just remember what it's like to be a "ballplayer". DRILL your team once in a while. You often win due to the small things. If you don't like the team you've been given, then have the guts to tell the FO what you need! It took until late July  before he stated he wanted some long relief options. Duh! Is that on Rocco or the FO?
    Rocco is going nowhere for 2023. Again, as much as nobody wants to hear it, I think Rocco and the FO are learning and growing together. And if they can take everything they've seen in 2022, they have  an opportunity to build a great 2023. The FO has an opportunity to add. Rocco has the opportunity to grow from everything from pitching handling to lineups and approach. That doesn't happen? Changes will have to be made.
  9. Like
    Thiéres Rabelo got a reaction from glunn in Astros 5, Twins 3: Late Rally Falls Short Again, Twins Drop 5th Consecutive   
    Facing the Astros’ juggernaut pitching staff, the Twins’ offense was once again dominated, despite a late rally bringing the tying run to the plate. Dylan Bundy was solid through five, but a rough sixth inning cost Minnesota the game.
    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Dylan Bundy, 5 IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 1BB, 0K (66 pitches, 44 strikes, 66.6%)
    Home Runs: none
    Bottom 3 WPA: Max Kepler (-.301), Michael Fulmer (-.200), José Miranda (-.088)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Bundy tosses five solid innings, gives Twins a chance
    Right out of the gate, this game seemed doomed for the Twins. Houston starter Framber Valdez had a 1-2-3 first inning that took him only 14 pitches. Then, when Dylan Bundy took the mound for the bottom half, José Altuve took him deep on his very first pitch, putting the Astros on the board right away. Fortunately, Bundy settled in and retired six of the next seven batters faced, only giving up a walk.
    Meanwhile, the offense attempted to put something together and managed to get two men on base during the second inning after a walk by Luis Arráez followed by a Gilberto Celestino single. They kept pushing until they manufactured the tying run in the next inning. Sandy León led off the third with a walk, and, suddenly, Minnesota had two men in scoring position after a Jorge Polanco double. Former Astro Carlos Correa hit a liner to left, and León tagged and scored.
    Martín Maldonado broke Bundy’s hot streak with a leadoff double to start the bottom of the third. He was eventually brought home by an Altuve single and a Yuli Gurriel sac fly, regaining the lead for Houston. Once again, Bundy didn’t lose control: by retiring Alex Bregman on a lineout to conclude the third, he began a streak of seven consecutive batters retired, keeping this a one-run game into the sixth. With tonight’s start, Bundy has completed five consecutive starts in which he gives up three earned runs or less.
    Houston breaks it open against Fulmer
    Bundy departed the game after two trips through the order, despite having thrown only 66 total pitches. Should he have been kept in the game, given his pitch count? His 8.53 season ERA in the third time through the order sure isn’t very encouraging, so Rocco Baldelli decided to activate the bullpen, bringing Michael Fulmer to pitch the sixth.
    Houston added a run after Yordan Álvarez stretched a single into a double after a defensive miscue by the Twins’ outfield. He also moved up to third on a wild pitch, which allowed him to score on a Bregman sac fly. Fulmer couldn’t stop the bleeding, giving up another double, this time to Kyle Tucker with two outs. Then, Trey Mancini blasted a two-run shot to right field, making it 5-1 Astros.
    With Valdez completing seven innings, the Twins’ struggling offense was once again severely uninspired to spark a rally. Devin Smeltzer came in to eat up the final two innings and did a fine job at it, tossing two scoreless frames. After reliever Bryan Abreu pitched a scoreless eighth, Rafael Montero came in to try to close out the game,
    Montero failed to retire the first four batters he faced, and the Twins scored a couple of runs: Arráez doubled Gio Urshela home after he had hit a leadoff single; then, Arráez himself was brought home from second on a Jake Cave fielder’s choice (a ball that was bobbled by Altuve). But when Max Kepler grounded into a double play, Montero had no trouble retiring Gary Sanchez for the game’s final out.
    Postgame interview
    What’s Next?
    On Thursday, these two teams play the final game of the series, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:10 pm CDT. To try and avoid the sweep, the Twins turn to Chris Archer (4.02 ERA), who will be facing Luis Garcia (4.09 ERA). After the game, the Twins head back to Minnesota for a six-game homestand.
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
      SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT               Smeltzer 45 0 0 0 27 72 Pagán 0 39 0 14 0 53 Fulmer 0 0 12 0 23 35 Jax 11 0 14 0 0 25 Megill 0 15 0 8 0 23 Thielbar 11 0 12 0 0 23 López 9 0 0 0 0 9 Duran 0 0 0 0 0 0    

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  10. Like
    Thiéres Rabelo got a reaction from glunn in Rangers 7, Twins 0: Another Flat Sunday for The Twins' Offense   
    The Twins’ offense couldn’t get anything going against Rangers starter Kohei Arihara, their bullpen got ambushed for five runs, and a solid start by Joe Ryan went to waste.
    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Joe Ryan, 6 1/3 IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 6K (88 pitches, 56 strikes, 63.3%)
    Home Runs: none
    Bottom 3 WPA: Trevor Megill (-.174), Nick Gordon (-.111), Carlos Correa (-.065)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Gladden and Tovar are inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame
    Before first pitch, Twins legends Dan Gladden and César Tovar were honored by the organization with their induction into the club’s Hall of Fame. You can watch Gladden’s emotional speech by clicking here, courtesy of Bally Sports North. The late Tovar, who past away in 1994, was represented by his son César Tovar Jr. during the ceremony. What are your favorite memories of Gladden and Tovar in a Twins uniform?
    Starters overpower opposing offenses
    Both starting pitchers dominated their opposing lineups with somewhat ease. Joe Ryan no-hit the Rangers through three on only 29 pitches, with a fantastic 75.9% of strikes and five strikeouts in his first time through the order. During that same span, Rangers starter Kohei Arihara was almost just as brilliant, as he kept the Twins scoreless despite giving up a couple of singles.
    Ryan’s first mistake came in the fourth inning. He fell behind 3-1 on the count trying to get leadoff man Marcus Semien to chase down and away. On the next pitch, he went up and in, and Semien made him pay: a 418-feet bomb to left put the Rangers on the scoreboard first. Ryan didn’t let that affect him, as he retired the next three batters on nine pitches, including a punchout.
    Unfortunately for the Twins, their bats were a no-show for most of the game. After the Max Kepler leadoff single in the second, Minnesota’s lineup went 0-for-14 against Arihara, with the only runner produced by the Twins coming off a hit-by-pitch on Jorge Polanco. Fortunately, what was lacking on offense was compensated on defense, as a couple of nice defensive moves by Polanco and Kepler helped get Ryan out of a two-men on and no outs jam in the top of the sixth.
    Ryan himself made a fine catch on a comebacker to end the sixth inning, and he was allowed to get to the seventh. Then, for a fourth consecutive inning, he allowed the leadoff man to reach with an Adolis García single – only his second hit allowed on the day. He retired the next batter, and Rocco Baldelli decided to remove him from the game.
    Texas breaks the game open with good baserunning, home run
    After the single to lead off the seventh against Ryan, García stole second and was suddenly on third after a groundout. When Trevor Megill took over, he hit Leody Taveras, who also stole second. Megill managed to strike out Kole Calhoun for the inning’s second out, but he couldn’t finish things off. He gave up three consecutive singles, and Texas scored three more runs to make it 4-0. It would’ve been four if the Twins hadn’t challenged and overturned a tag play at home to end the inning.
    In the same inning, the Twins nearly put together a rally for themselves. Arihara came back with a healthy 65 pitch count, but he lost the first two batters of the seventh in Polanco and José Miranda, who hit back-to-back singles. This prompted manager Chris Woodward to pull him from the game. With Tim Beckham pinch-hitting for Nick Gordon, a fifth pitch of the at-bat was initially called a ball that was going to load the bases with one out. Instead, first base umpire Malachi Moore said he went around for a swinging strike. Beckham ended up striking out, and Gio Urshela flied out, ending the Twins' threat.
    With Emilio Pagán pitching in the eighth, Nathaniel Lowe obliterated a splitter deep into the right field for a 424-feet solo shot, making it 5-0 Rangers. This was basically the final nail in the coffin for the Twins in the afternoon, but the Rangers didn’t stop there. By opening the ninth inning with three consecutive singles, Texas pushed another run across on a Brad Miller RBI. With men on the corners, Semien flied out to right, deep enough to score Bubba Thompson from third.
    With the postponement of Sunday's Guardians game against the White Sox, the Twins (62-57) are still just a game and a half behind Cleveland (64-56) and one game ahead of Chicago (62-59).
    Postgame interviews
    What’s Next?
    The series continues on Monday, with both teams squaring off at Target Field starting at 6:10 pm CDT. The Twins will get Sonny Gray (3.11 ERA) to the mound for this final game, while Texas will turn to Cole Ragans (5.02 ERA) for the start. After wrapping up the Rangers series, Minnesota heads to Texas for a three-game set against the Houston Astros starting on Tuesday before coming back to the Twin Cities for a six-game homestand.
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
      WED THUR FRI SAT SUN TOT               Pagán 35 0 0 0 39 74 Megill 13 0 24 0 15 52 López 0 0 20 9 0 29 Duran 18 0 10 0 0 28 Thielbar 0 0 17 11 0 28 Fulmer 23 0 0 0 0 23 Jax 12 0 0 11 0 23 Sands 0 0 0 0 0 0    

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  11. Like
    Thiéres Rabelo got a reaction from USAFChief in Twins 4, Royals 0: Stellar Defense, Brilliant Bullpen Ensure the Series Sweep   
    Last night, the Twins secured their first series win in almost two weeks. Today, despite losing starter Tyler Mahle to an injury during the third inning, they closed out the series with another win, representing their first three-game sweep since May 22.
    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Tyler Mahle, 2 1/3 IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 1BB, 1K (42 pitches, 29 strikes, 69.0%)
    Home Runs: Jose Miranda (12)
    Top 3 WPA: José Miranda (.177), Tyler Mahle (.115), Max Kepler (.069)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)
    Twins jump to an early three-run lead
    Coincidentally, the last time the Twins swept an opponent in a three-game set was against this same Royals team. Having won eight of the previous twelve matchups against Kansas City on the year, Minnesota would guarantee at least a season series tie with a win this afternoon. In order to do that, they quickly jumped to an early lead on a couple of swings in the first two innings of the game.
    After Twins starter Tyler Mahle pitched around a leadoff walk to conclude the top of the first inning, the offense was off to a slow start to the bottom half. Royals’ Daniel Lynch got two outs on two pitches to begin his start, and the opening inning seemed doomed for Minnesota right away. However, Luis Arráez worked a short single against Lynch to keep the inning alive, and cleanup hitter José Miranda followed him with a two-run home run to left center.
    Mahle threw a scoreless 1-2-3 top of the second, and the bats responded with more run support. Gilberto Celestino lined a leadoff single to center, and the Twins cashed in on a Royals fielding blunder. When Michael Massey made a throwing error to second on a Max Kepler hit, Celestino was able to move to third and be waved in by third base coach Tommy Watkins, scoring Minnesota’s third run of the matchup.
    Mahle leaves the game in the third inning
    Other than the leadoff walk in the first, Mahle navigated through the first two innings rather uneventfully, but something seemed off with his velocity. He struck out Nate Eaton on three pitches to start the third inning, but in the middle of his next at-bat, he departed the game with an apparent injury. Later on, the clubhouse announced that he left the game due to some right shoulder fatigue.
    Having tossed 42 total pitches, his overall velocity averaged 86.1 MPH, with his four-seamer averaging 89.3 MPH. Compared to his season averages, his overall average was down over a full mile per hour (87,2 MPH on the year), and the four-seamer specifically was down over four miles per hour (93,4 MPH on the year). Making his first appearance since Sunday’s nightmarish outing, Emilio Pagán bounced back nicely and delivered two scoreless frames in relief of Mahle.
    Bullpen, outstanding defense, hold on to the win
    Pagán allowed a couple of hits during the fourth inning, but he was bailed out by some fantastic defense behind him. First, Nick Gordon stole a deep single from Bobby Witt Jr. with a tremendous diving catch in the corner of the left field. Then, after Salvador Pérez and Vinnie Pasquantino hit back-to-back one-out singles, Pagán induced a groundball double play against Brent Rooker, beautifully turned in by Arráez and Miranda to end the inning.
    Fortunately for Pagán and whoever came in to pitch after him, the offense added one more run to the Twins’ lead. After flashing the leather at the top of the fourth, Gordon also made his offensive contribution. Gary Sánchez drew a one-out walk, and a couple of at-bats later, Gordon jumped on the first pitch he saw for a double that brought Sánchez home, making it 4-0 Minnesota. Pagán departed the game in the fifth, after getting the inning’s first out, with Griffin Jax taking over. With an inherited runner, he induced an inning-ending groundball double play on his first pitch. He also breezed through the sixth, tossing a 1-2-3 inning on eleven pitches and two strikeouts. Pagán and Jax nearly completed four innings of shutout ball, making for a brilliant afternoon by the bullpen.
    When Jhoan Duran took over to pitch the seventh, it seemed like things were about to change. Pérez and Pasquantino, once again, hit back-to-back singles to open the inning and suddenly had the chance to make this a one-run game with a swing of the bat. Duran struck out the next batter before Celestino made yet another brilliant defensive move for the Twins defense, taking a hit away from Massey with a diving catch. Michael Fulmer was made to work hard to get through the eighth, but eventually stranded two runners to give Trevor Megill a four-run lead in the ninth. Topping at 100.5 MPH, Megill had no trouble to toss a 1-2-3 inning and secure the win.
    With its first three-game winning streak since June 27, Minnesota now improves to 61-55 and have the chance to climb into a virtual tie at first place of the American League Central with the Cleveland Guardians later tonight, in case of a Cleveland loss.
    Postgame interviews
    What’s Next?
    Minnesota has the day off tomorrow, and they begin a four-game set against the Texas Rangers on Friday, also at Target Field. Game one is scheduled for 7:10 pm CDT on Friday, and neither team has named a starter just yet.
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
      SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT               Pagán 9 10 0 0 35 54 Fulmer 0 20 0 7 23 50 Duran 19 0 10 0 18 47 Jax 13 0 14 0 12 39 Megill 0 26 0 0 13 39 Thielbar 13 0 8 17 0 38 López 19 0 13 0 0 32 Sands 0 0 0 19 0 19    

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  12. Like
    Thiéres Rabelo got a reaction from Theo Tollefson in Blue Jays, Twins Broadcasters and Writers Remember Vin Scully   
    This is an absolutely amazing story, @Theo Tollefson! Thank you for this!
  13. Like
    Thiéres Rabelo got a reaction from glunn in Twins 4, Tigers 1: Debutants Do Their Part, Twins Take the Series Win   
    Minnesota’s pitchers combined for a fantastic afternoon on the mound, and the offense came through when needed, despite some early struggles, helping the Twins to secure a series victory against the Tigers at Target Field.
    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Joe Ryan, 5 IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 9K (78 pitches, 63 strikes, 80.8%)
    Home Runs: none
    Top 3 WPA: Sandy León (.200), Joe Ryan (.155), Michael Fulmer (.079)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Four new ballplayers joined the Twins at Tuesday’s trade deadline, three pitchers (Tyler Mahle, Jorge López, and Michael Fulmer) and a catcher (Sandy León). With Minnesota’s pitching going through an incredibly rough patch for weeks now, it was natural for the pitcher trades to be celebrated the most. But it was the lone bat acquired in those deals to make some noise first.
    After going down in order in the first inning, the offense set the wheels in motion in the second. TD’s hitter of the month of July, José Miranda kicked things off with a leadoff single shortly before Nick Gordon drew a one-out walk. Lefty Tyler Alexander managed to retire Jake Cave for the second out, but he couldn’t dodge the León bullet. Batting eighth in his very first at-bat as a Twin, León drove in both runners with a double to the left-field corner.
    Unfortunately for the Twins, the offense couldn’t do much outside that second inning. Alexander pitched three perfect innings around it, keeping the Twins bats on a leash. Fortunately for the Twins, though, Joe Ryan had a tremendous start to this game – perhaps another impact brought to the table by León. Ryan tossed four scoreless innings to open this game, allowing only two hits while striking out seven.
    During the fifth, he had some issues, causing him to hit two batters and allowing Riley Greene to push the leadoff runner across, scoring Detroit’s first run. Ryan limited the damage to the one run by striking out the next two batters for a total of nine through five. Also, TD’s Nick Nelson found this gem:
    Came the sixth inning, and Rocco Baldelli decided it was time to have another new Twin make his debut for Minnesota. Fulmer needed only 13 pitches, nine of which were strikes, to toss a scoreless frame with a punch out. He also caught former teammate Harold Castro trying to steal second to end the inning. In the home sixth, Byron Buxton led things off with a walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and was pushed across by a Carlos Correa single, making it 3-1 Minnesota.
    While Caleb Thielbar and Jhoan Duran did a fine job keeping the lead intact through the seventh and eighth innings, the bats had a hard time adding on. Cave and León got back-to-back hits in the seventh (León’s first multi-hit game of the season), but both runners ended up being stranded. But they managed to get one more insurance run for Jorge Lopez to have an easier time trying to get his first save as a Twin in the ninth.
    Buxton led off the eighth with a single, shortly before Jorge Polanco got his first hit of the afternoon, a one-out single. Miranda drew a walk to load the bases with one out, and the Twins had the chance to break the game open. Gio Urshela hit a sac-fly to center to score Buxton from third, but that was all Minnesota got, as Gordon struck out next to end the inning. López stepped up for his first save opportunity with Minnesota and he breezed through the ninth, retiring the side on seven pitches, concluding a perfect debut for the new fellows.
    Postgame interview
    What’s Next?
    The Twins continue their homestand on Thursday when they start a four-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays at Target Field. The first pitch of game one is scheduled for tomorrow at 6:40 pm CDT, with Sonny Gray (3.41 ERA) taking the mound for Minnesota and Alek Manoah (2.43 ERA) starting for Toronto.
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
      SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT               Pagán 20 20 0 16 0 56 Jax 11 0 20 24 0 55 Duran 11 0 10 0 19 40 Megill 7 23 0 8 0 38 Fulmer 0 0 23 0 13 36 Duffey 28 0 0 7 0 35 Moran 0 16 0 10 0 26 Thielbar 0 7 0 0 11 18 López 0 0 0 0 7 7  
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    Thiéres Rabelo got a reaction from glunn in Twins 7, Padres 4: Correa’s Clutch Homer Sparks Late-Inning Rally   
    The Twins snapped the three-game losing streak and evened the series against the Padres in San Diego behind a fantastic offensive display in the eighth inning, set in motion by a clutch two-run home run by Carlos Correa. Sonny Gray had a solid start, and the bullpen was mostly solid for four innings.
    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Sonny Gray, 5 IP, 5H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 5K (79 pitches, 52 strikes, 65.8%)
    Home Runs: Byron Buxton (26), Carlos Correa (13)
    Top 3 WPA: Griffin Jax (.187), Byron Buxton (.173) Sonny Gray (.147)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Both starting pitchers displayed dominance for the first portion of this game, especially San Diego’s Joe Musgrove. The former Pirate retired the first eight batters he faced and ten of the first eleven. Sonny Gray wasn’t just as sharp and got some vital help from a beautiful 6-4-3 double play turned in by the Twin defense in the second, which prevented a run from scoring later that same inning. San Diego struck first when Manny Machado hit a two-out solo home run in the third on a gorgeous swing, his eighteenth of the season.
    But it wouldn’t take long for the Twins to respond. In the top of the fourth, they almost tied the game when Carlos Correa crushed a fastball for a long foul ball that was just foul. Musgrove needed to do something to avoid that kind of contact, and he was almost successful at it against Byron Buxton, who fell behind 0-2 on two swinging strikes. But came the third pitch of the at-bat, he returned to his four-seamer, and Buxton got all of it. He obliterated that pitch (111.1 MPH exit velocity) for a game-tying solo shot.
    Gray didn’t show any signs that the home run he gave up affected him, as he pitched a perfect fourth with two strikeouts. But Musgrove came back for the fifth and had his shakiest inning in the game, allowing Minnesota to take its first lead of the series. Jose Miranda was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, and he would end up scoring the go-ahead run after a Nick Gordon single and a Gilberto Celestino line drive to right. This could’ve been an even more productive inning for Minnesota, with two men on and the top of the lineup coming up, but Luis Arraez and Correa both struck out to end the inning.
    Gray delivered another solid scoreless frame in the fifth, pitching around a leadoff single to He-Seong Kim, and he was pulled from the game at 79 pitches. With today’s outing, he has back-to-back starts in which he allows one earned run or less for the first time since June 15. It’s a relief to see him perform this well against such a strong opponent, especially after a few rocky starts this month. Before today’s game, he had allowed three or more earned runs in four of his previous six games, which drove his season ERA to near four.
    Minnesota caught a huge break during the seventh inning. After a C.J. Abrams one-out single against Trevor Megill that broke an 0-for-8 skid for the Padres offense, left-fielder Jurickson Profar hit a hard groundball that would much likely tie the game or at least send Abrams to third. However, the ball hit second base umpire Jerry Layne, and Abrams was forced to stay at second base. Megill departed the game right away, and Griffin Jax came in to brilliantly get the final two outs of the inning.
    Correa’s home run sparks a five-run inning
    Arráez got his first hit of the day in the eighth inning with a one-out single to right. Correa would bat after him, having struck out in each one of his previous three at-bats. Just as the Fox commentators were talking about his possible “Golden Sombrero,” he crushed a 2-2 four-seamer up the middle for a 414-feet home run, making it 4-1 Minnesota.
    The Twins blitz continued. After a pitching change that brought Dinelson Lamet to pitch for the Padres, Correa’s homer was followed by a Buxton single (and a stolen base by him) and a Jorge Polanco walk. With only one out, Kyle Garlick grounded into a force out which was going to be a double play, but Abrams made a throwing error to first, allowing Buxton to score. Lamet couldn’t stop the bleeding, and two more runs would score on two hits. First, Miranda hit a long single to drive in Garlick and allow him to stretch it into second. Then, Gordon hit a long line drive to left that bounced and reached the seats, scoring Miranda on a ground rule double, making it 7-1 Minnesota.
    After Emilio Pagan, Megill, and Jax combined for two scoreless, Jhoan Duran cruised through the bottom of the eighth on eleven pitches. Then, despite the six-run lead, Tyler Duffey scared us all. He retired the first batter he faced at the bottom of the ninth, but gave up a walk and hit a batter in the next two at-bats. Then, Profar hit a three-run home run, keeping San Diego's hopes alive. Fortunately, Duffey was able to strike out Machado and induce a game-ending groundout against Eric Hosmer.
    What’s Next?
    The rubber game of the series is scheduled for tomorrow at 3:10 pm CDT. Dylan Bundy (5.02 ERA) takes the mound for the Twins, while Sean Manaea (4.33 ERA) gets the start for the Padres.
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
    Duffey 25 0 0 0 28 53 Moran 0 21 0 25 0 46 Cano 0 46 0 0 0 46 Cotton 0 33 0 13 0 46 Duran 32 0 0 0 11 43 Pagán 20 0 0 0 20 40 Jax 12 0 0 0 11 23 Smith 17 0 0 0 0 17 Megill 0 10 0 0 7 17    

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    Thiéres Rabelo got a reaction from glunn in Brewers 10, Twins 4: Tellez Is Too Rowdy for the Twins   
    First baseman Rowdy Tellez drove in six runs on two home runs and almost single-handedly catapulted the Brewers to another win and the series sweep. Chris Archer struggled with his command and had one of his worst starts of the year.
    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Chris Archer, 3 IP, 3H, 6R, 6ER, 6BB, 2K (78 pitches, 36 strikes, 46.1%)
    Home Runs: Jose Miranda (9), Kyle Garlick (8)
    Bottom 3 WPA: Chris Archer (-.309), Jharel Cotton (-.191), Luis Arraez (-.067)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Things did not look good at all for Minnesota after the first inning of this game. Reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes cruised through the top of the inning on 16 pitches, with the only Twins baserunner coming after a fielding error on the outfield. Then, Chris Archer struggled badly, allowing each of the first four batters he faced to reach. After a Christian Yelich leadoff walk and a single by Willy Adames, Rowdy Tellez crushed the first pitch he saw for a three-run home run.
    The Twins provided a quick response, though. At the top of the second, José Miranda homered off Burnes in the very first pitch of the inning, putting Minnesota on the board, and starting Burnes’ nightmare inning. The Twins lineup made the All-Star starter work twice as hard to get through the second inning – it took him 32 pitches to complete the frame.
    After the Miranda home run and an Alex Kirilloff groundout, Minnesota’s bottom third of the lineup got three consecutive hits that scored two more runs and tied the game. Kyle Garlick doubled to right and scored after Nick Gordon did the same thing. Gordon himself scored too on a Gary Sanchez liner to center. The Twins were back at the top of the lineup with only one out and a man on, but they couldn’t capitalize.
    In fact, Burnes really settled down starting right there, in the second inning. He struck out Luis Arráez and Carlos Correa to get out of the jam, but that wasn’t all. Those two strikeouts began a hot streak for the Crew’s ace, as he went on to retire thirteen straight Minnesota batters.
    Archer, bullpen give up seven runs on two home runs
    Archer tossed a couple of scoreless innings, in the second and in the third, but the Brewers ambushed him again in the fourth, and he was done. Despite facing the bottom half of the Milwaukee lineup, he struggled to throw strikes and surrendered three consecutive walks. Jharel Cotton took over, trying to put out the fire, but he ultimately couldn’t do it. After a strikeout, he gave up a loaded bases walk to Yelich that gave the Brewers the lead.
    Then, Adames hit a sac-fly to left to score Luis Urias from third, making it 5-3 Milwaukee. He was one out away from keeping the game open. Then, Tellez happened. Again. After a hard-fought seven-pitch at-bat, the big man destroyed a changeup at the heart of the plate (111.8 MPH exit velocity) for a three-run dong that blew the game wide open.
    Making his first appearance since July 14, Yennier Cano took over in relief of Cotton in the fifth. Since being sent down to Triple-A Saint Paul, Cano improved very much, maintaining a 3.85 ERA through eleven appearances and allowing only one earned run in five appearances (six innings) in July for the Saints. He got called up last Friday and got his first look back at majors today.
    He retired Hunter Renfroe to start the fifth, but he was really shaky for the remainder of the inning. Kolten Wong hit a double off him, and Urías blasted a two-run shot to make it 10-3 Milwaukee, basically putting the game out of reach. Cano continued in the game for the sixth inning, and things looked much smoother for him. He tossed a scoreless frame on 16 pitches, pitching around a leadoff walk to Tellez.
    Twins get one back but can’t spark a rally
    Minnesota’s second home run of the afternoon was also leadoff fashion. Garlick took Jake McGee deep in the first pitch of the seventh inning, cutting the Brewers’ lead to six. Following that homer, Gordon drew a four-pitch walk off the same McGee, with the top of the lineup coming up. But the Milwaukee reliever managed to retire the next three batters faced to end the threat.
    Miranda got his third hit of the afternoon in the eighth inning, making it three-consecutive games with at least three hits. His season numbers are now up to .281 AVG and .799 OPS, but he’s even better in his recent games, slashing .377/.431/.642 (1.073) in his last 15 games. The YouTube broadcast fellows said he doesn’t stand a chance at winning rookie of the year. Could they be wrong?
    What’s Next?
    Tomorrow the Twins have their second off day this week as they head for South California, where they’ll start a three-game set against the Padres in San Diego. Game one is scheduled to start at 8:40 pm CDT on Friday, with Joe Ryan (2.89 ERA) taking the mound for Minnesota and Blake Snell (4.75 ERA) toeing the rubber for the Padres.
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
      SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT               Moran 28 0 0 0 21 49 Cano 0 0 0 0 46 46 Cotton 0 11 0 0 33 44 Duran 11 0 0 32 0 43 Duffey 11 0 0 25 0 36 Smith 0 16 0 17 0 33 Jax 0 13 0 12 0 25 Pagán 2 0 0 20 0 22 Megill 7 0 0 0 10 17  
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    Thiéres Rabelo got a reaction from glunn in Rangers 6, Twins 5: Good Defense, Good Hitting, One Bad Inning   
    The Twins had a promising start to the series opener against the Rangers, especially on defense, but a Sonny Gray meltdown in the fifth inning was enough for Texas to secure a come-from-behind win.
    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Sonny Gray, 4 2/3 IP, 4H, 5R, 5ER, 2BB, 0K (82 pitches, 47 strikes, 57.3%)
    Home Runs: Carlos Correa (10), Ryan Jeffers (6)
    Bottom 3 WPA: Caleb Thielbar (-.320), Sonny Gray (-.192), Gio Urshela (-.139)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Texas’ defensive miscues help Minnesota’s offense
    Some early offensive productivity led to two quick runs for Minnesota – but also to a few stranded runners. Luis Arráez reached on a fielding error to lead off the game, and exactly three pitches into Carlos Correa’s at-bat, he hit a two-run home run to give the Twins the lead. They also had a promising start to the second inning, with Nick Gordon hitting a leadoff double and Arráez drawing a two-out walk, but Correa couldn’t come through this time.
    As Sonny Gray faced the minimum through two thanks to some sharp defense behind him, the Twins took advantage of some more poor fielding from Texas to add on. Byron Buxton led off the third inning by reaching on a fielding error by Corey Seager, who couldn’t glove a routine ground ball. Then, catcher Jonah Heim made a throwing mistake trying to pick off Buxton, who ended up reaching third.
    Buxton dove head first into third and apparently had his hand spiked by third baseman  Josh Smith, but he remained in the game. Max Kepler then hit a slow ground ball that found the gap, allowing Buxton to score easily from third. The Rangers weren’t done making errors, as Kepler advanced to second on a Jon Gray wild pitch, but the Rangers starter managed to retire the net three batters to end the inning.
    Twins defense put on a highlight reel topped by a Buxton gem
    The Rangers couldn’t figure things out on defense, allowing the Twins to build an important early lead. The Twins, on the other hand, played some superb defense in support of Sonny Gray. Jorge Polanco and Correa, with his cannon of an arm, turned in a vital double play to put on the breaks to a potential Ranger rally.
    Polanco made an outstanding off-balance throw to Arráez to avoid a leadoff single by Kole Calhoun in the third, helping keep Sonny Gray’s pitch count as low as 33 after three. But no play (maybe in history) was more impressive than Buxton’s diving catch against the center-field track, behind a leaping Gordon, stealing a sure extra-base hit from Marcus Semien. That might’ve been the most impressive defensive play of his career so far.
    Sonny Gray struggles badly in the 5th; Rangers score six runs
    Sonny Gray was incredibly solid for the first four innings of the game. He completed said innings on 50 pitches, throwing 72.0% strikes, and allowing only a hit and a walk. But things completely fell apart during the fifth inning, and the Rangers exploded for six total runs.
    Failing to throw strikes, Sonny Gray loaded the bases with no outs with back-to-back singles and a walk. Then, he hit former Twin Mitch Garver, putting Texas on the board. Texas would score two more runs on a Leody Taveras sacrifice fly and a Josh Smith, tying the game. Sonny Gray got the second out before he departed the game, leaving two runners on for Caleb Thielbar.
    Thielbar couldn’t prevent the Rangers from scoring: Corey Seager hit a three-run home run, giving the Rangers their first lead of the night, 6-3. Sonny Gray finished the night with five runs, all earned. He threw 32 pitches in the fifth with an awful 34.4% strikes. What might have happened with him?
    Garver will have surgery, but wanted to play against the Twins 
    During the game, Evan Grant from the Dallas Morning Star posted on Twitter that he had confirmed that Mitch Garver will have season-ending surgery on his right flexor tendon. 
    Mid-game, the Rangers broadcasters talked about Garver and said that the team had given him the option of going on the IL or playing this series against his old team, and Garver wanted to play. Garver DHd and batted eighth for the Rangers. He went 0-for-2, walked, and was hit by a pitch to drive in a run. 
    Garver was certainly a professional with the Twins, and earned his stripes from "Senior Sign" to "Silver Slugger" all while treating Twins Daily and the fans tremendously. Obviously, we at Twins Daily wish Garver well with the surgery and look forward to the Sauce returning healthy in 2023. 
    Twins get within one on a Jeffers home run, but it's not enough
    If Minnesota had hopes to rally back they probably should strike back soon – and that’s precisely what they did. Gordon led off the sixth inning with his second double of the night and after Gio Urshela quickly flew out, Ryan Jeffers crushed a 412-feet bomb to the bullpen area, a home run that left his bat at 102.8 MPH.
    The offense produced some more baserunners in the following two innings, but couldn’t capitalize. The Twins bullpen kept Minnesota’s chances alive, but the rally fell short in the ninth. Things could’ve been different if a Buxton fair ball down the third-base line hadn’t been called a foul ball by Angel Hernandez.
    What’s Next?
    Game two of the series is scheduled for tomorrow at 3:05 pm CDT, and it’s likely to be a low-scoring one: the Twins bring Devin Smeltzer (3.04 ERA) to the mound, who’s coming off three consecutive quality starts, while Texas will have old friend Martín Pérez (2.34 ERA) start the game for them, having the best season of his career so far.
    Postgame interview
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
      MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT               Cotton 0 21 0 0 42 63 Pagán 18 0 23 0 10 51 Jax 26 0 17 0 0 43 Thielbar 0 11 8 0 13 32 Duffey 13 18 0 0 0 31 Duran 20 0 9 0 0 29 Megill 0 2 22 0 0 24 Moran 0 0 8 0 0 8    

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  17. Like
    Thiéres Rabelo got a reaction from glunn in White Sox 9, Twins 8: In a Wild Game, Chicago Walks Off the Twins in 10   
    The Twins gave up the lead five times throughout this game and ended up being walked off in the 10th inning. They fail to complete the sweep and lose their first game against the White Sox of the year.
    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Joe Ryan, 4.0 IP, 5H, 3R, 2ER, 2BB, 3K (85 pitches, 56 strikes, 65.8%)
    Home Runs: Jorge Polanco, 2 (12), Gio Urshela (8)
    Bottom 3 WPA: Trevor Megill (-.350), Emilio Pagan (-.230), Jovani Moran (-.195)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    For the third consecutive game, the Twins managed to load the bases in the first inning and came up empty-handed. Well, at least we thought so at first. After a Luis Arraez leadoff single and a couple of walks, from Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler, Alex Kirilloff grounded in what was first ruled as an inning-ending double play. However, someone at the Twins dugout noticed that Tim Anderson didn’t have the ball in his glove when he tagged Kepler at second, so the call on the field was overturned and Arráez run scored.
    The lead didn’t last long, though, as Joe Ryan struggled with his command in the first inning. Despite getting first-pitch strikes against four of the five batters he faced, it took him 29 pitches to get through the first. He lost Anderson to a leadoff walk and he scored shortly after that on a Jose Abreu double. Fortunately, that was all Chicago got in that inning.
    Minnesota got back on top in the second inning on three consecutive one-out hits. Gio Urshela hit a single to center and scored at the next at-bat on a long Ryan Jeffers double to deep center. Then, Arráez got his second hit of the afternoon with an RBI single to shallow center, making it 3-1 Twins. Arraez even moved to second after a wild pitch from old friend Lance Lynn, but the former Twin struck out Polanco and Byron Buxton to end the threat.
    The game continued to go back and forth. Ryan settled down after the long first inning, pitching a couple of scoreless with almost the same number of pitches (31) it took him to complete the first. But he failed to remain sharp during the fourth, which would end up being his final inning in this game. After Lynn retired eight consecutive Twins, Ryan began the fourth giving up a leadoff single to Gavin Sheets. Facing Eloy Jimenez next, Ryan managed to get an 0-2 count but ended up allowing a game-tying two-run homer.
    The Twins provided quick response in the following inning. Seemingly unstoppable right now, Arráez got his third hit of the day on the second pitch he saw to lead off the fifth. Then Polanco also jumped on an early pitch and smashed it to right field for a two-run dong, putting the Twins back on top, 5-3. Ryan has now allowed three or more runs in four of his last starts. He didn’t come back to pitch in the bottom of the fifth, with Emilio Pagán taking over in his relief – and he soon blew the lead. Three of the first four hitters he faced reached safely, including Andrew Vaughn, who hit a leadoff single, and Luis Robert, who hit a rocket for a game-tying two-run shot.
    This went on for a couple more innings. In the seventh, Polanco hit his second home run of the night, a leadoff shot against reliever Kendall Graveman. This is Polo’s first multi-HR game of the season. But the White Sox would naturally tie the game again in the bottom of the inning. Griffin Jax allowed three hits, including an RBI single to Jiménez, making it 6-6.
    Minnesota regained the lead in the eighth – because of course they would. Jose Miranda hit his 12th double of the season to lead off the inning. Then, Urshela went yard for the Twins’ third home run of the afternoon. It was 8-6 Twins with six outs to go. Could the bullpen hold on to this lead? Not really. In the bottom of the inning, Vaughn crushed a two-run bomb off Trevor Megill and the game was tied for the fifth in the game, 8-8.
    Jhoan Duran pitched a scoreless ninth, becoming only the second Twins pitcher not to allow a run to score in the whole game, alongside Caleb Thielbar's clean sixth. The game went to extra innings and Minnesota put some pressure when Miranda drew a leadoff walk, but they couldn’t capitalize. Jovani Moran pitched in the 10th and he allowed Josh Harrison to walk and ghost runner Adam Engel to move up to third on a passed ball. Then, Leury Garcia brought home the winning run on a single to end the game.
    What’s Next?
    Minnesota has a day off on Thursday when they will be traveling to Texas. On Friday, they start a weekend series against the Rangers in Arlington, with Sonny Gray (2.47 ERA) scheduled to start against Jon Gray (3.96 ERA). The first pitch for game one is scheduled for 7:05 pm CDT.
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
      SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT               Cotton 38 0 0 21 0 59 Pagán 10 0 18 0 23 51 Jax 0 0 26 0 17 43 Duffey 0 0 13 18 0 31 Duran 0 0 20 0 9 29 Moran 0 18 0 0 8 26 Megill 0 0 0 2 22 24 Thielbar 0 0 0 11 8 19  
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  18. Like
    Thiéres Rabelo got a reaction from Squirrel in Twins 3, Orioles 2: Twins Walk Off Orioles on a Buxton Homer   
    The Twins had 21 consecutive batters retired on a brutal night against a tough Oriole pitching staff, but on a couple of swings late in the ninth, they walked off Baltimore to win the series opener.
    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Joe Ryan, 7.0 IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 7K (89 pitches, 64 strikes, 71.9%)
    Home Runs: Byron Buxton (21)
    Top 3 WPA: Byron Buxton(.594), Joe Ryan (.315), Luis Arraez (.137)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    An outstanding pitcher’s duel took place at Target Field tonight. Starters Joe Ryan and Spenser Watkins brilliantly dominated their opposing lineups for most of this game, and both teams scored only one run each after seven innings.
    The Twins' offense created a clear threat in the first inning, despite coming out of it with only one run. Luis Arraez hit a leadoff double, and shortly after that Minnesota loaded the bases with one out, with a Carlos Correa single and a Max Kepler walk. However, the Twins couldn’t capitalize: Jose Miranda hit a two-out ground ball to left that scored Arráez, but Correa was caught at home by a beautiful assist from left fielder Ryan McKenna, ending the inning.
    Watkins would follow that shaky first inning by retiring 15 Twins in a row, making it five straight perfect innings, completely shutting down the Twins' offense. He departed the game after the sixth inning.
    Ryan was just as efficient as Watkins, having retired the first eight batters he saw. The only two mistakes he made came both with two outs in the third inning when he gave up a walk to Jorge Mateo, which was followed by an RBI double by Cedric Mullins to tie the game. But that didn’t get to Ryan and he was back on track right away. After the Mullins double, he held the Baltimore bats to a 1-for-8, including a three-strikeout 1-2-3 fifth. After five innings, both offenses had combined for only five total hits.
    Twins hitters didn’t only have to deal with a hot night from Watkins, but also some good Oriole defense. Several balls were decently hit but ended up right on the gloves of the well-positioned Baltimore shift. Also, McKenna robbed Arráez of an extra-base hit in the bottom of the sixth with a fantastic diving catch – it had a .036 xBA, according to Statcast.
    Ryan completed seven innings, cementing one of his most dominating starts of the year. After 89 pitches, it was up to the bullpen in the eighth to keep this a close game until the offense would spark a game-winning rally. Caleb Thielbar gave up a leadoff double to the man of the night, McKenna, who would later score after a groundout and a fielder’s choice, giving Baltimore its first lead of the night. Juan Minaya, who was called up for the team earlier today, did a fine job getting the final out in the eighth, then pitching a scoreless top of the ninth.
    The biggest issue was that, despite a good night from the bullpen, the offense still couldn’t break through. Even after Watkins departed the game, Twins bats still couldn’t get on base, with 21 consecutive Minnesota hitters sent down. With the bullpen keeping this an open game, the Twins got their final chance in the bottom of the ninth.
    Facing reliever Jorge Lopez, Arráez broke the streak and reached base with a leadoff single, becoming the first Twins baserunner since the first inning. Then, Buxton stepped up to the plate and, despite falling 0-2 on the count, crushed a hanging slider to deep left to win the game.
    What’s Next?
    The Twins can secure the series win tomorrow when Sonny Gray (2.17 ERA) duels with Jordan Lyles (4.94 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 pm CDT.
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
      MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT               Minaya 0 0 30 0 27 57 Moran 0 34 0 20 0 54 Duffey 0 12 0 28 0 40 Jax 0 21 16 0 0 37 Pagán 0 22 14 0 0 36 Duran 0 0 33 0 0 33 Thielbar 0 10 11 0 12 33 Cotton 24 0 8 0 0 32    

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    Thiéres Rabelo got a reaction from SwainZag in Twins 6, Rockies 0: It’s Payback Time in Minneapolis   
    One night after being shut out by the Rockies, the Twins bounced back brilliantly, shutting out the same Rockies, while also scoring six runs. They held off Colorado to one hit all night, as Chris Archer and the bullpen had a magnificent evening.
    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Chris Archer , 5.0 IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 1BB, 5K (78 pitches, 51 strikes, 65.4%)
    Home Runs: none
    Top 3 WPA: Chris Archer (.261), Luis Arraez (.096), Byron Buxton (.078)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    In last night’s game, the Twins offense got shut out for the 10th time this season, more than any team in the majors this year. Against Rockies’ ace
    Germán Márquez, they were held to only three hits the entire game, sadly wasting a very solid start from Dylan Bundy. Frustrating to say the least. But tonight, things were bound to be different and that was largely thanks to a particular centerfielder returning to the lineup.
    After three consecutive games away from the starting lineup,
    Byron Buxton returned and he made his presence in the very first pitch he saw. After Luis Arráez hit a leadoff double to left, Buxton followed that with a hustle triple to center, celebrating a ton after he dove head first into third. Apparently, Minnesota’s offense got more energy in tonight’s first two at-bats than they did in the entire game on Friday night.
    Still in the first, they could’ve added on when
    Max Kepler drew a one-out walk to put men on the corners, but Antonio Senzatela struck out the next two batters to end the threat. Minnesota’s offense was hungry, though, and they picked up where they left off in the second inning. Gary Sanchez and Nick Gordon hit back-to-back singles to open the inning, and after Gio Urshela sent his longtime teammate to third on a sac-fly, Arráez hit the Twins’ third single of the inning to easily score Sánchez.
    Posting a 2.00 ERA in June before this game,
    Chris Archer was once again solid as a rock. He shut out the Rockies offense through five, allowing only one hit and a walk. The only time he was in fact in danger was in the second inning, when he surrendered a leadoff single to C.J. Cron, followed by a walk to Ryan McMahon. But after that, he went on to retire twelve Rockies in a row.
    This was just the third time in the season he completed five innings (all of them this month), finishing one pitch shy of matching his season-high 79 pitches in a game. Archer has Arráez to thank, for, in his final pitch, the Twins second baseman made a fine defensive play to avoid a single by Elias Diaz.
    Before Archer officially departed the game, the bats provided some more run support, to try and ensure he would end up with the win. Carlos Correa hit a one-out single and was followed by a Kepler walk. After a mound visit, Senzatela gave up a long single to Kyle Garlick that scored Correa and sent Kepler to third. Alex Kirilloff stepped up to the plate and couldn’t get a hit himself, but he batted in Kepler with a sac-fly, making it 4-0 Twins.
    Following a complete meltdown on Wednesday’s game against the Guardians, the Twins bullpen didn’t allow any runs for the third consecutive game. Jharel Cotton took over for Archer in the sixth and he didn’t have a clean, easy outing, as he allowed back-to-back one-out walks, but managed to pitch around them to end the inning. Then Griffin Jax was fantastic in the seventh, striking out the side on 12 pitches with some nasty stuff.
    In that same seventh inning, the offense scored a couple more runs to put the game out of Colorado’s reach. Reliever Carlos Estevez had gotten two quick outs when Kepler drew his third walk of the night, a season-high for him. Garlick followed him with a single, then Kirilloff hit a long double to right, pushing both runners across. His three runs batted in in the night are also a season-high for him.
    Tyler Thornburg came into this game, making it the first time this season he’s pitched on back-to-back games. He had a 25-pitch eighth in which he was briefly in a jam when he gave up two consecutive one-out walks. He managed to get out of it and was brought back to the ninth. This time around he had a much easier time, finishing off the Rockies on ten pitches.
    What’s Next?
    The series goes for its rubber game on Sunday afternoon, with the first pitch scheduled for 1:10 pm CDT, when rookie Joe Ryan (3.00 ERA) squares off against Ryan Feltner (5.46 ERA).
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
      TUE WED THU FRI SAT TOT               Cotton 11 28 0 0 25 64 Smith 0 21 26 0 0 47 Jax 27 7 0 0 12 46 Duran 27 0 17 0 0 44 Thornburg 0 0 0 7 35 42 Pagán 17 24 0 0 0 41 Duffey 0 0 0 28 0 28 Thielbar 0 15 12 0 0 27  

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    Thiéres Rabelo got a reaction from glunn in Guardians 11, Twins 10: Another Bullpen Meltdown Wastes a Great Offensive Night   
    In a wild back-and-forth battle, the Twins hit four home runs and scored ten runs, but that wasn’t enough. It was a tough evening for Minnesota on the mound, as Cleveland homered three times and rallied for four runs in the ninth to take the series victory.
    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Sonny Gray, 4.0 IP, 8H, 4R, 3ER, 0BB, 4K (85 pitches, 59 strikes, 69.4%)
    Home Runs: Carlos Correa, 2 (7), Max Kepler (7), Gio Urshela (6)
    Bottom 3 WPA: Jharel Cotton (-.476), Griffin Jax (-.453), Emilio Pagan (-.285)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    With four combined runs scored by both teams in the first three innings, this game was off to a busy start. The Twins offense went off very early, with Carlos Correa hitting a solo home run in the game’s second at-bat. Then, in the second inning, Minnesota added another run after Gio Urshela and Trevor Larnach hit back-to-back singles, allowing Ryan Jeffers to push Urshela across the plate with a double on a liner to deep left.
    Cleveland nearly gained some momentum at the top of the third. Sonny Gray had retired seven of the first eight batters he faced, including a stretch of six consecutive. But Myles Straw hit a one-out double shortly before Steven Kwan hit an RBI triple to bring him home, cut the Twins’ lead in half, and still pose a threat at third base. Despite the two extra-base hits, Gray was able to cool down and retire the next two batters to end the inning.
    The Twins' response was quick, as Correa saw three pitches to lead off the bottom of the third and crushed his second dinger of the night, making it 3-1 for Minnesota. This was Correa’s first multi-home run game of the season, the 11th in his career. Following the home run, Max Kepler drew a walk, but the Twins couldn’t take advantage and settled for the one run.
    Twins extend the lead to four, but Gray can’t hold on to it
    Minnesota was able to extend their lead a bit more in the bottom of the fourth inning after Gray delivered another scoreless frame. Urshela led off the inning with a hustle triple that Straw couldn’t field. Jeffers followed him with a pretty RBI bunt that Guardians starter Triston McKenzie couldn’t glove, scoring Minnesota’s fourth run.
    Jeffers himself got to third base on a Nick Gordon single. Batting next, Luis Arraez, a career 0-for-9 against McKenzie, couldn’t get his first hit against the Cleveland starter, but he hit a sac-fly deep enough to bring Jeffers home, making it 5-1 for Minnesota.
    After four solid innings from Gray, the Cleveland offense started a rally in the fifth and jumped right back in this game. Austin Hedges hit a leadoff home run to cut the lead down to three. Then, Straw, Kwan, and Amed Rosario hit three consecutive singles off Gray, adding another run and ending his start.
    Gray departed the game leaving two runners on and no outs for Caleb Thielbar. Kwan scored from third on a one-out balk from Thielbar, making it a one-run game, but the Twins’ reliever managed to strike out the next two batters to brilliantly get out of an inherited jam and put an end to the Cleveland (first) rally.
    Cleveland rallies again, snatches the lead for the first time
    The long ball continued to work for the Twins, as they hit their third home run of the night. Kepler punished McKenzie’s second pitch of the fifth inning to hit a leadoff dong that gave Minnesota some breathing room. 
    Thielbar and Joe Smith combined to pitch a scoreless sixth, but it wasn’t without a fight from the Guardians, who managed to produce a couple of baserunners before Smith could get the final two outs. For the first time in the game, in the bottom of the sixth, the offense didn’t score a run and that would prove costly later on.
    Jharel Cotton took the mound in the seventh and after three consecutive scoreless appearances (including one last night), he was ambushed, allowing Cleveland to take the lead for the first time in the game. Rosario hit a leadoff home run to cut the Twins' lead down to one, then, shortly after José Ramírez was hit by a pitch, Oscar González hit a two-run bomb to left, making it 7-6 for Cleveland.
    Twins rally back for four runs in the seventh, but the bullpen blows the lead in the ninth
    The Twins offense didn’t score in the sixth when Minnesota had a two-run lead, but they did when it mattered the most. Relievers Anthony Gose and Anthony Castro needed only six pitches to get the first two outs in the bottom of the seventh. But Minnesota’s bats weren’t done.
    Kepler drew his second walk of the night, then moved to third on a Gary Sanchez single. A mound visit didn’t help Castro, as he gave up a game-tying RBI single to Alex Kirilloff, who ended up on second after Sánchez hustled to third, nearly getting tagged by Ramírez. With a tied ballgame, Urshela gave the Twins some much-needed insurance by hitting a three-run bomb to center.
    Emilio Pagan was trying to redeem himself from the rough outing he had the night before when he blew the lead by giving up a game-tying two-run home run in the eighth. Tonight, he flawlessly struck out the side in the eighth, protecting the Twins’ lead. However, as he was brought back for the ninth, things got ugly for him. Rosario, Ramírez, and Josh Naylor got three consecutive hits against him to open the inning – the latter an RBI double to make it 10-8 Minnesota.
    Rocco Baldelli removed Pagán from the game immediately, bringing Griffin Jax into the game. With no outs and with runners on second and third, Jax got ahead in the count against González, but a bloop single to center was enough to score both runners. González advanced to third on a sac bunt and scored right after that on an Owen Miller sac-fly that gave the Guardians the lead, 11-10. A 1-2-3 effort by reliever Emmanuel Clase secured the win for the Guardians at the bottom of the ninth.
    What’s Next?
    Tomorrow at 12:10 pm CDT these two teams get back on the field with Minnesota trying to prevent a series sweep. The Twins turn to Devin Smeltzer (3.52 ERA) to start the game, while Cleveland brings Zach Plesac (4.41 ERA) to the mound.
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
      SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT               Jax 0 16 0 27 7 50 Cotton 10 0 0 11 28 49 Thielbar 0 31 0 0 15 46 Pagán 0 0 0 17 24 41 Duran 0 0 0 27 0 27 Duffey 0 25 0 0 0 25 Smith 0 0 0 0 21 21 Thornburg 0 0 0 0 0 0  
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    Thiéres Rabelo got a reaction from glunn in Diamondbacks 7, Twins 1: Twins Punished by the Long Ball, Drop Rubber Game   
    Seven fantastic innings from Diamondbacks’ starter Merrill Kelly, combined with a bad outing by the Twins’ bullpen, resulted in a tough loss for Minnesota in the rubber game of the series. The Twins conclude their West Coast trip with three wins out of six games.
    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Chris Archer, 4.0 IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 3 K (61 pitches, 38 strikes, 62.2%)
    Home Runs: none
    Bottom 3 WPA: Caleb Thielbar (-.140), Carlos Correa (-.133), Griffin Jax (-.069)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    No team in baseball has had better productivity from the top of their order this season. Coming into this game, Minnesota’s batters one, two, and three ranked first in the majors in both OPS (.854) and wRC+ (147), according to Fangraphs. They also led the American League in runs scored, with 142. This fact became evident right out of the gate this afternoon.
    Very early in this game, the Twins’ A-B-C trio (Luis Arraez, Byron Buxton, and Carlos Correa ) were already threatening the Diamondbacks. Arráez fell behind in the count but managed to smack a double to left that was barely fair shortly before being sent to third by a Buxton single next. With men on the corners and no outs, Correa couldn’t get a base hit of his own, but his double play grounder was enough to bring Arráez home, scoring the game’s first run.
    But that hot start was met by a cold stretch. After the single by Buxton in the first, the Twins' offense went 1-for-15, entirely dominated by D-Backs starter Merrill Kelly. Jose Miranda started the sixth inning with a leadoff single, but Kelly went on to retire the next three batters to end the threat.
    Chris Archer, on the other hand, didn’t have a brilliant start, but it wasn’t bad at all. The Twins starter, who flew in his father to watch him pitch, tossed four innings and allowed two runs on a couple of solo home runs, both by Christian Walker, one in the second and one in the fourth. This was the first time this month Archer allowed more than one run in a game. Rocco Baldelli decided not to bring him back for the fifth inning, sticking to the club’s conservative approach with him this year. At 61 pitches, today’s start is tied for his second-shortest of the season.
    The Twins bullpen gets wrecked
    Archer’s start wasn’t long, but it kept the Twins in the game. Unfortunately for Minnesota, their bullpen wasn’t on a good day.
    Griffin Jax took over in the fifth and immediately allowed a leadoff home run to Pavin Smith. He retired the next three batters on ten pitches and kept this a two-run game.
    As the offense once again couldn’t figure out Kelly and didn’t take advantage of the leadoff single by Miranda in the sixth, the Arizona offense punished Caleb Thielbar hard. Facing batters two, three, and four to begin the inning, he loaded the bases with only one out. With Thielbar struggling to throw strikes, Buddy Kennedy swung on a 3-0 four-seamer for a grand slam, giving the D-Backs a 7-1 lead. After an excellent month of May and four solid appearances this month, Thielbar allowed more than two runs in a game for the first time since April 26.
    Tyler Duffey took over when Thielbar gave up his second walk of the inning, and he got the final out of the sixth, besides tossing a couple of scoreless frames afterward. He now has 5 1/3 innings in his last three appearances, allowing only one run in that span.
    Kelly had one more inning of dominance in him, and he tossed a scoreless seventh. He departed the game after that, keeping the Twins offense to a 3-for-23 since the Buxton single in the first inning. Sadly for the Twins, Kelly’s departure from the game didn’t make things any easier. D-Backs reliever Joe Mantiply pitched a scoreless eighth and Noe Ramirez got the first two outs in the ninth. He did give up two walks, prompting Arizona's manager Torey Lovullo to bring Ian Kennedy to get the final out and secure the win.
    What’s Next?
    After a six-game road trip to the West Coast, the Twins head back home for a six-game homestand. They take the day off tomorrow, then host the Guardians for a three-game series starting on Tuesday. Joe Ryan (2.81 ERA) is set to start in game one, while Cleveland’s starter has yet to be determined. The first pitch of the first game is scheduled for 6:40 pm CDT.
    Postgame interviews
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
      WED THU FRI SAT SUN TOT               Thielbar 4 0 0 0 31 35 Duffey 0 0 9 0 25 34 Thornburg 0 0 33 0 0 33 Jax 11 0 0 0 16 27 Cotton 16 0 0 10 0 26 Smith 15 0 0 0 0 15 Duran 13 0 0 0 0 13 Pagán 0 0 0 0 0 0
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    Thiéres Rabelo got a reaction from glunn in Twins 9, Rays 4: Buxton Homers Twice, Twins Offense Crushes The Rays   
    In yet another inspired night by the offense, who had Byron Buxton homer twice, the Twins got a convincing win against the Rays to start the series. Devin Smeltzer had a quality start, despite not finishing it the way he wanted.
    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Devin Smeltzer, 6.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K (96 pitches, 61 strikes, 63.5%)
    Home Runs: Byron Buxton, 2 (17), Carlos Correa (5)
    Top 3 WPA: Byron Buxton (.198), Devin Smeltzer (.110), Jorge Polanco (.082)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Over the last seven days, the Twins offense has experienced a spike in productivity. Coming into this game, they had baseball’s second-best OPS in that span, at .945. The bats continued to impress at the beginning of this game. Despite capitalizing on only one run, five of the first eleven Minnesota batters reached safely.
    They quickly jumped to a 1-0 lead with a second-decker from Byron Buxton five pitches into the game. According to Aaron Gleeman, that home run raised Buxton’s SLG to .702 since May 26, when he snapped a 0-for-30 slump. It was Byron’s fifth homer in the past six games – only his second of the season as a designated hitter.
    Despite having several batters reach base, the Twins failed to bring them home. Through four innings, Minnesota went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and left five men on base. Fortunately for them, Devin Smeltzer put together another lovely outing.
    The Rays tied the game in the top of the second on an Isaac Paredes long solo home run. Smeltzer gave up a leadoff walk to start the third but then followed that up brilliantly: he retired nine consecutive batters on only 35 pitches. He completed five innings of one-run ball with only 70 pitches. All he needed at that moment was some run support.
    Twins explode for six runs in the fifth
    Tampa Bay starter Drew Rasmussen kept the Twins scoring on a leash during the first four innings, but his start was wrecked in the fifth inning. Minnesota crushed him scoring four runs on six hits, four of them for extra bases – not to mention a walk drawn by Trevor Larnach.
    Buxton led the way hitting his second solo home run of the night, smashing a low-hanging slider for a line drive that barely cleared the centerfield wall into the Twins bullpen. With that dinger, Buxton became only the fourth player in Twins history with back-to-back multi-homer games, joining Don Mincher, Kirby Puckett, and Eddie Rosario.
    Two more runs came in the following three at-bats when Carlos Correa hit a double to left, then was pushed across by Max Kepler, thanks to a fielding error. Kepler himself scored next, with Jorge Polanco hitting a double to left, making it 4-1 Minnesota.
    A mound visit didn’t help Rasmussen, as he gave up a walk to Trevor Larnach. Gary Sánchez then hit a grounder to left that third baseman Yandy Díaz couldn’t glove, allowing Polanco to score the fifth run and Larnach to go to third. That was the end of the night for Rasmussen, but not the end of the Twins' scoring spree.
    Now facing old friend Ralph Garza Jr., Nick Gordon got a two-out single off the end of the bat to bring home Sánchez. At this point, Luis Arráez was the only Twin not to reach base on the night. That, of course, would change as he followed Gordon’s RBI single with one of his own. He hit a liner to right that scored Gio Urshela from second, making 7-1 Twins.
    Smeltzer pitches into the seventh, departs after being roughed up
    After five brilliant innings, Smeltzer pitched yet another scoreless frame in the sixth inning. His streak of consecutive retired batters reached eleven before he gave up a two-out single to Harold Ramírez. He struck out Díaz to end the inning with a healthy 84-pitch count, which made the decision to bring him back for the seventh a no-brainer.
    Unfortunately for him, his almost impeccable start was stained, and he had to leave the game before he could record a single out in the inning. Randy Arozarena hit a long flyball to deep center that could’ve been gloved, but Gordon failed to. It took Kepler too long to get to the ball that bounced off the centerfield wall, which allowed Arozarena to score an inside-the-park home run.
    On the very next pitch, Vidal Bruján hit a bullet to deep left, out of Larnach’s reach, for another home run. Even after a mound visit, Smeltzer seemed a bit off, and after an eight-pitch at-bat, he gave up a walk to Paredes, prompting Rocco Baldelli to pull him from the game. Griffin Jax came into the game and, with three strikeouts, made sure the Rays didn’t score anymore.
    The Twins bullpen needed some damage control after Thursday’s meltdown against the Yankees. Jax striking out the side and preventing a Rays rally in the seventh was a good start. Then, in the eighth, Baldelli made the odd choice of bringing Joe Smith into the game (he tossed 26 pitches the night before). He had a blown save on Thursday night, giving up a game-tying two-run home run.
    Maybe one way to reason for bringing Smith into this game is that he could regain some confidence. Coming into tonight’s game, he had an awful 8.44 ERA in his previous seven appearances. He could use a good outing here. But he wasn’t off to a good start, giving up back-to-back singles to Manuel Margot and Ramírez. Margot would end up scoring on an Arozarena groundout, but Smith managed to keep the damage to the one run.
    Correa adds on some insurance
    Garza Jr. settled down and finished his outing by retiring seven out of eight batters, keeping the Twins offense scoreless in the sixth and the seventh innings. But once he departed the game, the Twins bats were back at scoring some more runs.
    Arráez hit a leadoff single to open the eighth and, a couple of at-bats later, Correa took reliever Calvin Faucher deep for his fifth home run of the year, breaking the game open once again. Then, it was up to Emilio Pagán, who had no trouble closing out the game with a perfect ninth, making it his fourth scoreless appearance in the last five games.
    What’s Next?
    Both teams are back on the field tomorrow, with the first pitch scheduled for 1:10 pm CDT. No starter has been officially determined by the Twins yet, while the Rays will turn to rookie righty Shane Baz, who will be making his season debut.
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
      MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT               Smith 0 0 0 26 24 50 Cano 0 33 0 13 0 46 Jax 0 0 27 0 14 41 Megill 0 38 0 0 0 38 Moran 0 0 0 36 0 36 Pagán 0 0 15 0 15 30 Duffey 0 19 0 0 0 19 Duran 0 0 0 15 0 15 Thielbar 0 0 14 0 0 14 Cotton 0 0 0 13 0 13  
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    Thiéres Rabelo got a reaction from glunn in Twins 8, Yankees 1: Minnesota’s Offense Routs the Yankees, Even the Series   
    Everything clicked for the Twins on Wednesday night. Chris Archer had yet another solid start, and the offense had one of its best performances of the season, helping Minnesota to even the series with a rout of the Yankees.
    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Chris Archer, 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 2 K (70 pitches, 42 strikes, 60.0%)
    Home Runs: Ryan Jeffers (4), Byron Buxton (13)
    Top 3 WPA: Chris Archer (.159), Gio Urshela (.147), Byron Buxton (.100)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Unlike last night, when the Yankees scored four early runs against starter Cole Sands, they were held scoreless through four tonight against Chris Archer and some excellent fielding.
    Coming off his best start of the season, Archer was still hungry. He pitched three clean innings on 41 pitches, not allowing a hit nor using more than 17 pitches in any of them. He had some trouble with his command in the second inning, allowing two walks, but the defense also provided a crucial double play.
    It felt like his good outing was doomed during the fourth inning. He gave up a leadoff walk to Aaron Judge, then Giancarlo Stanton reached on a throwing error by Nick Gordon and was followed by a Josh Donaldson one-out walk to load the bases. Facing Gleyber Torres, Archer was able to induce a stunning inning-ending double play.
    By the time Archer completed four no-hit innings for the Twins, Yankees starter Nestor Cortés had pitched three perfect innings to start the game. Things would change for him in the following two innings.
    Minnesota manufactured two runs in the home half of the fourth, taking its first lead in the series. Still struggling to find his mojo, Byron Buxton fought a hard battle with Cortés, hitting a leadoff single after nine pitches. Carlos Correa singled right after him, then Gio Urshela, a couple of at-bats later, scored Buxton from second with a deep single to deep right.
    Cortés couldn’t stop the bleeding, allowing another single, this time to José Miranda, on the very next at-bat, good enough to score Correa from second. Max Kepler nearly batted in another run for the Twins when he singled to center, but Aaron Hick’s arm was too strong for Urshela to score from second.
    Archer’s no-hit bid and shutout were both finished in the fifth when Hicks hit a leadoff single and later scored on a sac-fly. Fortunately, he was able to finish off the inning, and, for the first time this year, he has recorded back-to-back starts with at least five innings pitched. Have we reached the point in which Twins fans no longer need to doubt him?
    After Archer delivered five frames of one-run ball, it was time the offense added some insurance, and that didn’t take long to happen. Ryan Jeffers snapped an 0-for-21 slump by obliterating a cutter from Cortés into a 440 ft bomb to left, making it 3-1 Twins.
    Then, Buxton joined the party. Having hit only one home run since May 15, he took Cortés deep for the second time in the inning, making it 4-1 Twins and ending Cortés’ night. Since May 3, this is only the second multi-hit game for Buxton – but the second one in the last six days.
    The Twins put themselves in a great position to win the game in the following two innings. Now facing the Yankee bullpen, Urshela and Miranda opened the sixth inning with back-to-back doubles. Then, both of them were brought home on a Kepler groundout and a Trevor Larnach double.
    While Griffin Jax tossed two scoreless innings in relief of Archer, the offense continued to be productive. Buxton, Correa, and Jorge Polanco drew three consecutive walks to start the home seventh, allowing Miranda to bat in a couple more runs with his third hit of the night, making it 8-1 Twins.
    During the Bally Sports North broadcast, reporter Audra Martin brought up a fun story about Miranda. According to her, the Twins star prospect was approached by Correa in mid-May when he was struggling, batting only .094 for his first 14 games in the majors. Since the two infielders had that conversation during the Kansas City series, Miranda is batting .390.
    With a comfortable lead, Emilio Pagán and Caleb Thielbar had no trouble closing out the game. A fielding error by Miranda to start the ninth was erased by yet another double play turned by the Twins defense, their fourth of the night.
    What’s Next?
    The rubber game of the series is tomorrow, with the first pitch scheduled for 6:40 pm CDT. The Twins turn to Dylan Bundy (5.57 ERA) to try and secure another series win, while the Yankees will have ace Gerrit Cole (2.78 ERA) on the mound.
    Postgame Interview
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
      SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT               Cano 39 0 0 33 0 72 Duffey 0 28 0 19 0 47 Megill 0 0 0 38 0 38 Jax 0 9 0 0 27 36 Pagán 0 0 0 0 15 15 Thielbar 0 0 0 0 14 14 Cotton 0 13 0 0 0 13 Smith 0 13 0 0 0 13 Duran 0 8 0 0 0 8 Moran 0 0 0 0 0 0  
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    Thiéres Rabelo got a reaction from USAFChief in Twins 10, Royals 7: Polanco, Correa Provide Power in Twins Win   
    Eight total pitches were needed and the Royals presented a threat until late in the ninth inning, but the Twins held on to win the game behind a great offensive performance. Gary Sánchez and Gio Urshela, both with three hits, were two of the six Minnesota batters with a multi-hit game.
    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Bailey Ober, 3.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K (61 pitches, 38 strikes, 62.2%)
    Home Runs: Jorge Polanco (5), Carlos Correa (3)
    Top 3 WPA: Trevor Megill (.298), Jorge Polanco (.181), Gio Urshela (.163)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    Two important players made returns tonight. Since being activated from the injured list on May 21, Bailey Ober made his first start at Target Field, his first home start since April 28. Also, Jorge Polanco was back on the starting lineup after missing the last three games with some soreness in his right ankle. The latter was instrumental for the Twins’ early offensive outburst.
    After Ober delivered a scoreless top of the first, Minnesota put together a four-run performance in the home half. After a leadoff single by Luis Arráez, Polanco smashed a one-out, two-run home run to deep right, making it 2-0 Twins. This was Polanco’s first extra-base hit since May 13, his fifth homer of the season. That Arráez’s single drove his batting average to .352, which, according to Bally Sports North, is the second-highest average through May among any Twins infielder since 1983.
    The Twins scored two more runs in that same inning, with four consecutive Minnesota batters reaching safely with two outs. Gary Sánchez grounded to center, and Trevor Larnach drew a walk, allowing Gio Urshela to drive in his old Yankee buddy and send Larnach to third. Next, Nick Gordon singled to left to bring Larnach home. The inning could’ve been even better for Minnesota, for Ryan Jeffers drew a walk next, loading the bases for Arráez, but he struck out.
    Minnesota’s two-out productivity at the plate continued in the second inning. Although they couldn’t add on any more runs, the Twins loaded the bases with two outs again with a Max Kepler single, another Sánchez single, and a Larnach walk. This is the first time this season in which Sánchez has back-to-back multi-hit games.
    The Royals end Ober’s night, tie the game
    After pitching two scoreless innings on 30 pitches, including a 1-2-3 second, Ober struggled in the third, and his start was cut short. After striking out Emmanuel Rivera on three pitches to open the inning, he gave up back-to-back singles to Nicky Lopez and Whit Merrifield. He got the second out by striking out Andrew Benintendi but then saw Bobby Witt Jr. triple and Hunter Dozier single to score three runs.
    It took Ober 31 pitches to conclude the third, and he was done at only 61 total pitches. Another player returning from injury, Danny Coulombe, who was activated today, took over to pitch the fourth, making his first big-league appearance since May 10. Unfortunately for him, he also struggled, allowing the first three batters he faced to reach and the Royals to tie the game on a Lopez RBI single. Before being removed from the game, he retired only one batter, giving up two hits and two walks. Trevor Megill came in and induced an inning-ending double play on one pitch.
    Things could’ve been worse for the Twins in the fourth if it wasn’t for a pretty defensive play by Urshela. With one out and men on the corners, he caught a bullet from Merrifield for a lineout that would’ve scored Rivera from third and given the Royals the lead if it had been a base hit.
    Twins get back on top; bullpen, despite not being brilliant, shuts the door
    Minnesota didn’t take long to respond. Carlos Correa jumped on the first pitch he saw to hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the fourth, making it 5-4 Twins. The offense got some momentum off the Correa home run and followed it with a couple more hits, both singles. Larnach hit a sac-fly deep enough to score Polanco from third, giving the Twins a two-run lead.
    Both bullpens settled down and shut down the opposing offenses for the next couple of innings. Hats off to Megill, who took over for the struggling Coulombe in the fourth and pitched two more scoreless frames before handing the ball over to Joe Smith in the seventh.
    On the other hand, Smith didn’t have the best of outings. Failing to throw strikes, he couldn’t even finish an entire inning, which included a leadoff home run to Witt Jr. that brought the Royals within one. After that, he walked a couple of batters, something incredibly rare this season. Before tonight’s game, he had given up two total walks the entire season (17 appearances). Caleb Thielbar came in to get the inning’s final out.
    Jhoan Duran didn’t have a brilliant outing either, throwing less than 53% strikes and giving up a single and a walk, but he managed to close out the top of the eighth after a mound visit. To be fair, the home plate umpire took a called third strike away from him that maybe extended the inning more than it should.
    A one-run lead would be too dangerous for a group of relievers that has been struggling in high-leverage situations of late, so the offense once again came through and broke the game wide open. Facing reliever Joel Payamps, the bats scored four more runs in the bottom of the eighth, to provide some insurance.
    Kepler tripled to deep center in what could just as easily have been an inside-the-park home run, had the Royal defense not been quick enough. Payamps intentionally walked Larnach, and Urshela hit an RBI single next, scoring Kepler. Gordon hit a bases-clearing double to score Larnach and Urshela and scored himself on an Arráez two-out single moments later.
    A 10-5 lead should be more than enough for Yennier Cano to close out the game with no worries. However, he gave up a solo home run to M.J. Melendez, then a two-out RBI double to Rivera. Suddenly, the Twins’ lead was down to three and Rocco Baldelli didn’t want to risk it. Emilio Pagán was brought in to get the final out, in a save situation. He struck out Lopez on three pitches.
    What’s Next?
    Tomorrow at 1:10 pm CDT both teams will be back on the field for game 3. Chris Archer (3.86 ERA) takes on the mound for the Twins facing Brady Singer (1.83 ERA).
    Postgame Interview
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
      MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT               Jax 33 0 23 0 0 56 Pagán 28 0 21 0 3 52 Duffey 0 12 0 31 0 43 Coulombe 0 15 0 0 24 39 Smith 17 0 3 0 18 38 Megill 0 0 8 0 26 34 Thielbar 3 0 30 0 1 34 Duran 0 14 0 0 19 33 Cano 0 0 0 16 17 33  

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    Thiéres Rabelo got a reaction from glunn in Twins 6, Royals 4: Smeltzer, Miranda and Defense Push Twins to the Win   
    The Twins put together a good offensive performance early and survived a late rally from the Royals to take game one of the series in Kansas City. Devin Smeltzer had another convincing start and rookie Jose Miranda hit a clutch double late.
    Box Score
    Starting Pitcher: Devin Smeltzer, 5.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K (74 pitches, 47 strikes, 63.5%)
    Home Runs: none
    Top 3 WPA: Devin Smeltzer (.180), Jose Miranda (.180), Jhoan Duran (.170)
    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

    After dropping two out of three in their last series against the Royals, the Twins were poised not to let that happen again this time. To try and accomplish that, they picked up where they left off in Oakland on Wednesday and put together a great offensive display early.
    Despite posting a solid 3.30 ERA for the year, Royals starter Daniel Lynch was over the place to begin this game. Only two of his thirteen pitches were strikes, allowing the first three Minnesota batters to reach. After Byron Buxton walked and Carlos Correa singled to lead off, Kyle Garlick grounded to left to easily score Buxton from second.
    One at-bat later, Gary Sánchez refused to slow down and hit yet another extra-base hit, making it four games in a row with at least one such hit. He doubled to left to score Correa. Then, Gio Urshela scored Garlick from third on a sac-fly, giving the Twins a 3-0 lead in the first inning.
    The Royals got one run back on three hits against Devin Smeltzer in the bottom of the first, but the Twins immediately responded in the second. Once again Lynch struggled with his command and three of the first four Minnesota batters reached, loading the bases for Garlick. Coming into this game, Garlick was posting a 1.187 OPS against lefties. Despite not getting a hit, he did get a good enough contact to score Jose Miranda from third on a sac-fly, making it 4-1 Twins.
    Smeltzer pitches into the sixth with the help of stellar defense behind him
    Smeltzer’s night could’ve gone downhill very early in this game, as he gave up three hits in the first inning. Fortunately, he was able to limit the damage to only the one run, stranding two runners. Then he would go on to toss 4 1/3 solid innings, with great help from his fielders.
    He retired the side on ten pitches in the second and pitched around a leadoff walk in the second. Jorge Polanco provided a great contribution when he started a lovely 4-3 double play on an Andrew Benintendi grounder. After another quick inning in the fourth, the Twins defense continued flashing the leather.
    The first two outs of the fifth inning came on a couple of great defensive plays. Polanco got Nicky Lopez on a beautiful throw to first and Gilberto Celestino caught Dairon Blanco trying to stretch a single into a double.
    Smeltzer came back to face only one batter in the sixth and he was removed from the game with only 74 pitches. He probably never looked more comfortable on the big league level than he does right now, with his ERA dropping to 1.74 after two starts. Is he here to stay? Do his low strikeouts numbers so far worry you at all?
    Royals get within one, but Miranda comes up clutch
    The bullpen looked shaky right from the get-go, with Griffin Jax giving up a walk against the first batter he saw and getting behind 2-0 in the count against the next one. He came around and ended up striking out both remaining batters to end the fifth, but the struggles continued in the next inning.
    Tyler Duffey had allowed only one run in his previous ten outings. Before this ten-game stretch, he had given up two runs in a game on April 19, against this same Royals team, also at Kauffman Stadium, in a blown save that eventually would represent the series loss for Minnesota.
    Two pitches into the game, Duffey gave up a leadoff home run to Carlos Santana to cut the Twins lead to one. Failing to get ahead on the counts, gave up a single to Emmanuel Rivera and a double to Kyle Isbel. Rocco Baldelli had enough and pulled him. Jhoan Duran came in in his relief inheriting two runners in scoring position. Whit Merrifield scored Rivera from third on a sac-fly before Duran could end the inning, making it a one-run game.
    Polanco and Sánchez were quickly retired to start the eighth inning, but the Twins offense still had some fight in them. Urshela and Max Kepler worked out crucial two-out walks against reliever Dylan Coleman, allowing Miranda to come up clutch.
    With his second-inning single, Miranda snapped an 0-for-20 slump, and this time he wanted more. He stepped up to the plate and jumped on the second pitch for a double, lining to center where Isbell couldn’t make the play, allowing both runners to score.
    It was up to Emilio Pagán in the ninth to try and secure the win. He had yet to allow an earned run this month and that happened on a Rivera one-out, solo home run to deep center. With already two outs, he allowed back-to-back singles, to Isbell and Merrifield, bringing the winning run to the plate. After a mound visit, he got behind in the count 3-0 against Benintendi, but beautifully came back to strike him out looking to end the ball game.
    What’s Next?
    Tomorrow at 6:10 pm CDT both teams will be back on the field for game 2.  The Twins turn to Joe Ryan (2.39 ERA), who will face Brad Keller (2.89 ERA).
    Postgame Interview
    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
      MON TUE WED THU FRI TOT               Winder 0 78 0 0 0 78 Cano 25 0 19 0 0 44 Jax 25 0 0 0 18 43 Duran 0 0 23 0 16 39 Duffey 20 0 0 0 18 38 Pagán 0 0 0 0 19 19 Thielbar 0 16 0 0 0 16 Stashak 0 0 13 0 0 13 Smith 0 0 0 0 0 0


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