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  1. The Twins won’t be in the playoffs, but in their final series at home, they made sure to show their appreciation to fans attending the game at Target Field by securing a series win against the White Sox. Image courtesy of Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports Box Score Starting Pitcher: Josh Winder, 4 2/3 IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 6K (91 pitches, 60 strikes, 65.9%) Home Runs: none Top 3 WPA: Jake Cave (.236), Matt Wallner (.185), Gio Urshela (.158) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Facing mathematical elimination from playoff contention in case of a loss (or a Seattle Mariners win), the Twins got off on the wrong foot, but they put on some fight. After a quick, scoreless first inning, the White Sox jumped to a quick two-run lead on three consecutive singles and a sacrifice fly in the top of the second. It was the first time in the series Chicago was ahead – or even scored a run, for that matter. But that wouldn’t last long. Right in the bottom of that same inning, Minnesota rallied back to snatch the lead, manufacturing three runs. The Twins' response was quick, with the three runs coming on four consecutive hits off Johnny Cueto. Jose Miranda led off the inning with a single, and he scored after a Gio Urshela double and a Jake Cave single. Cueto got a mound visit, but it didn't stop Matt Wallner from hitting a long double that pushed both Urshela and Cave across, making it 3-2 Minnesota. Josh Winder settled in after a rough second inning and delivered two scoreless after that. Then, the offense came through for him once agai, and scored two more runs in the bottom of the fourth. Cueto got ambushed again by the heart of the Twins’ order: Urshela, Cave, and Wallner hit three consecutive off him, enough to score Urshela and leave two men on with no outs. Ryan Jeffers grounded into a double play, and Cave scored Minnesota’s fifth run. Winder pitched himself into a jam in the fifth, and he was pulled before he could complete the inning. Josh Harrison led off the inning with a single, and Winder hit Romy Gonzalez on the next at-bat. The Twins' rookie managed to retire the following two batters, but before he could close out the inning, Jose Abreu hit an RBI single to score Chicago's third run, prompting a pitching change by Rocco Baldelli. Caleb Thielbar came in to close out the fifth, and he also delivered a scoreless sixth. It was time the offense showed up again, and the middle of the lineup got to Cueto again. Urshela (single) and Cava (double) got back-to-back one-out hits, and Cueto decided to intentionally walk Wallner next, loading the bases. He got the second out, but Chicago made a pitching change, and with reliever Jake Diekman pitching, Gilberto Celestino drew a walk to bring home another run, making it once again a three-run game. Michael Fulmer nearly allowed the Sox to rally in the seventh, but he barely escaped, limiting the damage to just one run. Harrison and Gonzalez opened up the inning with back-to-back singles, and Andrew Vaughn hit a one-out single to score Harrison. Fulmer then hit Abreu next to load the bases, but after a mound visit, he managed to get an inning-ending double-play. But once again, the Chicago run was useless, as Miranda doubled in the bottom of the inning to score Carlos Correa, who drew a leadoff walk moments earlier. Arráez drives in a run, ties Judge for the AL batting title lead We’re following Luis Arraez’s chase of Aaron Judge for the Rod Carew American League Batting Title on our social media with the Luis Arráez Watch”. Coming into tonight, Arráez had a .313 batting average, with Judge leading the league with .314. The Twins’ infielder saw his average drop to .312 after starting the game going 0-for-2, but he got a single in the fifth. Then, after Ryan Jeffers drew a leadoff walk in the eighth and pinch-runner Billy Hamilton stole second, Arráez got his second hit of the night and drove in Minnesota’s eighth and final run. With that hit, Arráez drove his batting average back up to .313, and with Judge going 1-for-4 in the Yankees game against the Blue Jays, the two players are now tied for the AL batting average lead, both sitting at .313. Make sure to check Twins Daily’s Twitter and Instagram daily to get all the updates on the AL Batting Title race, as Arráez can become the first Twin to win the title since Joe Mauer did in 2009. Postgame interview What’s Next? The two division foes close out the series on Thursday afternoon, with the first pitch scheduled for 12:10 pm CDT. Minnesota will try to complete the sweep of the South Siders with Louie Varland (5.06 ERA) on the mound, while Chicago will try to avoid it with Lucas Giolito ( 5.05 ERA) starting. After the game, the Twins get on the road for a six-game road trip, three against the Tigers in Detroit and three more against these same White Sox in Chicago. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT Henriquez 0 68 0 0 0 68 Duran 24 0 0 15 0 39 Jax 27 0 0 10 0 37 Megill 0 32 0 0 0 32 Fulmer 9 0 0 0 22 31 Thielbar 13 0 0 0 15 28 López 11 0 0 0 16 27 Moran 0 6 0 0 12 18 Pagán 0 0 0 0 0 0 View full article
  2. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Josh Winder, 4 2/3 IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 6K (91 pitches, 60 strikes, 65.9%) Home Runs: none Top 3 WPA: Jake Cave (.236), Matt Wallner (.185), Gio Urshela (.158) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Facing mathematical elimination from playoff contention in case of a loss (or a Seattle Mariners win), the Twins got off on the wrong foot, but they put on some fight. After a quick, scoreless first inning, the White Sox jumped to a quick two-run lead on three consecutive singles and a sacrifice fly in the top of the second. It was the first time in the series Chicago was ahead – or even scored a run, for that matter. But that wouldn’t last long. Right in the bottom of that same inning, Minnesota rallied back to snatch the lead, manufacturing three runs. The Twins' response was quick, with the three runs coming on four consecutive hits off Johnny Cueto. Jose Miranda led off the inning with a single, and he scored after a Gio Urshela double and a Jake Cave single. Cueto got a mound visit, but it didn't stop Matt Wallner from hitting a long double that pushed both Urshela and Cave across, making it 3-2 Minnesota. Josh Winder settled in after a rough second inning and delivered two scoreless after that. Then, the offense came through for him once agai, and scored two more runs in the bottom of the fourth. Cueto got ambushed again by the heart of the Twins’ order: Urshela, Cave, and Wallner hit three consecutive off him, enough to score Urshela and leave two men on with no outs. Ryan Jeffers grounded into a double play, and Cave scored Minnesota’s fifth run. Winder pitched himself into a jam in the fifth, and he was pulled before he could complete the inning. Josh Harrison led off the inning with a single, and Winder hit Romy Gonzalez on the next at-bat. The Twins' rookie managed to retire the following two batters, but before he could close out the inning, Jose Abreu hit an RBI single to score Chicago's third run, prompting a pitching change by Rocco Baldelli. Caleb Thielbar came in to close out the fifth, and he also delivered a scoreless sixth. It was time the offense showed up again, and the middle of the lineup got to Cueto again. Urshela (single) and Cava (double) got back-to-back one-out hits, and Cueto decided to intentionally walk Wallner next, loading the bases. He got the second out, but Chicago made a pitching change, and with reliever Jake Diekman pitching, Gilberto Celestino drew a walk to bring home another run, making it once again a three-run game. Michael Fulmer nearly allowed the Sox to rally in the seventh, but he barely escaped, limiting the damage to just one run. Harrison and Gonzalez opened up the inning with back-to-back singles, and Andrew Vaughn hit a one-out single to score Harrison. Fulmer then hit Abreu next to load the bases, but after a mound visit, he managed to get an inning-ending double-play. But once again, the Chicago run was useless, as Miranda doubled in the bottom of the inning to score Carlos Correa, who drew a leadoff walk moments earlier. Arráez drives in a run, ties Judge for the AL batting title lead We’re following Luis Arraez’s chase of Aaron Judge for the Rod Carew American League Batting Title on our social media with the Luis Arráez Watch”. Coming into tonight, Arráez had a .313 batting average, with Judge leading the league with .314. The Twins’ infielder saw his average drop to .312 after starting the game going 0-for-2, but he got a single in the fifth. Then, after Ryan Jeffers drew a leadoff walk in the eighth and pinch-runner Billy Hamilton stole second, Arráez got his second hit of the night and drove in Minnesota’s eighth and final run. With that hit, Arráez drove his batting average back up to .313, and with Judge going 1-for-4 in the Yankees game against the Blue Jays, the two players are now tied for the AL batting average lead, both sitting at .313. Make sure to check Twins Daily’s Twitter and Instagram daily to get all the updates on the AL Batting Title race, as Arráez can become the first Twin to win the title since Joe Mauer did in 2009. Postgame interview What’s Next? The two division foes close out the series on Thursday afternoon, with the first pitch scheduled for 12:10 pm CDT. Minnesota will try to complete the sweep of the South Siders with Louie Varland (5.06 ERA) on the mound, while Chicago will try to avoid it with Lucas Giolito ( 5.05 ERA) starting. After the game, the Twins get on the road for a six-game road trip, three against the Tigers in Detroit and three more against these same White Sox in Chicago. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet SAT SUN MON TUE WED TOT Henriquez 0 68 0 0 0 68 Duran 24 0 0 15 0 39 Jax 27 0 0 10 0 37 Megill 0 32 0 0 0 32 Fulmer 9 0 0 0 22 31 Thielbar 13 0 0 0 15 28 López 11 0 0 0 16 27 Moran 0 6 0 0 12 18 Pagán 0 0 0 0 0 0
  3. The Twins have continued to battle themselves and the Guardians for the division. Saturday's second game proved the Twins refuse to go down without a fight. Image courtesy of Ken Blaze, USA Today Box Score Starting Pitcher: Josh Winder 4.2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (82 pitches, 54 strikes (65%)) Home Runs: Nick Gordon (8) Top 3 WPA: Nick Gordon (0.435), Dereck Rodriguez (0.355), Griffin Jax (0.307), Michael Fulmer (0.307) Bottom 3 WPA: Matt Wallner (-0.377), Jermaine Palacios (-0.304), Sandy Leon (-0.286) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Josh Winder and Gary Sanchez started out the first inning finding a rhythm to their game. Winder let a run in immediately in the top of the first but managed to stay in control, finding that stride, and retired the next ten batters through the fourth inning. Winder started his third game against Cleveland this season and his second appearance since coming off the IL for shoulder tightness. The Twins let Winder try and work into the fifth, which was good until a slider to Amed Rosario backed up and didn't break. The red-hot Rosario crushed a three-run home run. Baldelli relieved Winder after Jose Ramirez hit a single and replaced him with Jovani Moran to finish the inning. The bullpen managed to keep the Guardians scoreless after their initial five runs. Even when it got exciting in the ninth and the Guardians made a push with players in scoring position. Steven Kwan was on second when Jorge Lopez uncoiled a wild pitch. Kwan rounded third and slid into home, not realizing that the pitch bounced into a dugout suite. Given another chance, Lopez closed out the inning and sent the game to the tenth. The Twins offense didn't get a hit off of Guardian starter Konor Pilkington until the sixth inning when Jose Miranda recorded a single. That ended the night for the Cleveland lefty. In the seventh inning, they threatened with one out and the bases loaded (after a pitch struck Nick Gordon) but left all three stranded. The Twins haven't been hitting much lately, and when they do get baserunners, they struggle with runners in scoring position. Due to the countless injuries and Triple-A players occupying the roster and line-up, the Twins have the youngest team in MLB. The rookies have received playing time and opportunities. Each has experienced some success to build upon, and each has found plenty of struggles and lessons learned. One player who has really taken advantage of his opportunity in 2022 is Nick Gordon. He regularly played in left of center field most of the season, but with Jorge Polanco on the Injured List and Luis Arraez hobbled, he's been playing a lot of second base of late. Check out this play. Since Terry Francona took over the Guardians coaching position in 2012, the Twins and Guardians have had 194 meetings, with the Twins winning 95 of those and the Guardians winning 99. The Guardians are one of the teams that have consistently given the Twins trouble getting past. The Guardians have been in 25 last-at-bat this season, and seven have been against the Twins. They have also won half of their walk-offs of the season against the Twins (3). Jake Cave came into the game as a pinch hitter and started a five-run eighth inning. After getting to first on an error, the bases loaded up again after Jose Miranda singled and Carlos Correa was hit by a pitch. A Gio Urshela single scored Cave and Miranda and cut the deficit to 5-2. Gary Sanchez scored Correa with a sacrifice fly. With two outs, Nick Gordon crushed a two-run homer that tied the game at five. The Twins managed to stay solid, even bringing back veteran and former Twins farmhand Dereck Rodriguez who had one appearance with the big club back on April 13th against the Dodgers. "Son of Pudge" managed to keep the Guardians at bay, giving the Twins a chance. In the 13th inning, it was Gordon again who gave the Twins a short-lived lead at 6-5 with a sacrifice fly that scored Correa. In 89 2/3 innings this season with Saints this season, he had 88 strikeouts and a 1.35 WHIP to accompany a 7-4 record. Rodriguez wasn’t even at the stadium when the game started, He was on a plane from Minneapolis to Cleveland and suited up and took the field. Right-handed reliever Trevor Megill was placed on the COVID-IL between games with Rodriguez, who is not on the 40-man roster, taking his spot. The Twins management throughout today's games was fantastic and it showed through the remaining portion of the game, but after 24 innings of baseball, the game ended with a Guardians walk-off in the bottom of the 15th inning due to a Jermaine Palacios error on a hard-hit ball from Amed Rosario (of course) allowing Austin Hedges to score, ending the night. With two games left in the series, the Twins remain in an absolutely must-win situation to stay relevant in the division. Do you think they have it in them, or are they done for the season? Pitching Preview Match-Up Cleveland Series: Sunday 12:40pm CST: Joe Ryan (11-8,3.83 ERA) vs. RHP Cody Morris (0-1,2.79 ERA) Monday 12:10 pm CST: Sonny Gray (8-4, 2.91 ERA) vs. RHP Cal Quantrill (12-5, 3.51 ERA) Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet View full article
  4. 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 View full article
  5. Saturday was a long, tough day for the Twins and their fans, but the Twins woke up on Sunday, got dressed, went to the ballpark and just continued to show up. Joe Ryan was fantastic with some help from his defense. Jake Cave gave him an early lead, and they got a couple of huge insurance runs late from a likely source. Image courtesy of Aaron Josefczyk-USA TODAY Sports Box Score SP: Joe Ryan: 7 2/3 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K (95 pitches, 64 strikes (67.4%) Home Runs: Jake Cave (5) Top 3 WPA: Joe Ryan (0.559), Carlos Correa (0.087), Luis Arraez (0.078) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Joe Ryan Does it Again, Well, Not Quite That, but… Earlier in the week, Twins starter Joe Ryan threw seven no-hit innings against the Kansas City Royals at Target Field. While disappointed, it was easy to understand why he was removed after the seventh inning, and it was said often. His next start would be his biggest start of the season. Well, that may or may not still be true - based on the Twins losing the first three games of this series, and being seven games back coming into the day - it was a very important game for the Twins. Saturday was a long day that ended in a double-header sweep at the hands of the Guardians. The Twins had lost eight straight games to Cleveland in key September games. The Twins needed a big outing from Ryan, and he gave it to the Twins. After Saturday, it was important for Ryan to start out well. He had a one-two-three first inning that included a strikeout of Twins Killer Amed Rosario and a Jose Ramirez pop-out. He got two groundouts and a strikeout in the second inning, which does mean that he had nine straight no-hit innings. He walked a guy in the third inning, but no hits again. The fourth inning was again perfect, including a ground out by Rosario and a strikeout of Ramirez. His no-hit streak ended with one out in the bottom of the fifth frame when Tyler Freeman singled. He gave up two more hits and walked two batters, but he even recorded two outs in the eighth inning. After a Myles Straw single, lefty Jovani Moran came on and got Andrew Gimenez to fly out to end the inning and officially close the book on Joe Ryan’s fantastic outing. Defense Comes Through Any great pitching performance is likely to include some help from his defense. In the fifth inning, there were runners on first and second with just one out, but Austin Hedges grounded into a double play. Then in the sixth inning, Straw led off with a double before Gimenez was hit by a pitch. Runners on first and second and nobody out. Amed Rosario stepped to the plate and grounded into a double play. Straw remained at third with Jose Ramirez to bat. The perennial MVP candidate lined a shot to deep center field, but Gilberto Celestino got a great jump and was able to run it down on a full sprint to the warning track to end the threat and maintain a 1-0 lead. But that catch always reminds me of another great Celestino catch, and why not show that one again… Josh Naylor walked to lead off the seventh inning, but with one out, Richie Palacios grounded into an inning-ending double play. Captain Cave… Man! Jake Cave has had a couple of tough years the last two seasons with the Twins, at least offensively. Prior to that, he was a very solid fourth outfielder, but with the Twins injuries the last couple of seasons, he has been forced into more action than was intended, including a lot of ABs against southpaws. Last year, he missed significant time with a fractured back. Removed from the 40-man roster in the offseason, Cave spent most of this season at Triple-A St. Paul. He played great, getting on-base pretty much every game. In 85 games, he hit 273/.370/.509 (.879) with 20 doubles, seven triples and 14 home runs. As impressive, he continued to put up numbers as he watched player after player get called up to the Twins before he was. In fact, he was about the eighth outfielder on the depth chart when he was finally called back up. And, since then, more injuries have meant that he’s again played more than was planned. Now, I’m not here to say that he’s been great. I’m not saying they should bring him back. I’m just saying that he’s filled in admirably and does not deserve the online hate that he often gets. On Sunday afternoon, he gave the Twins their 1-0 lead in the second inning when he hit a solo homer. It was his fifth homer since joining the Twins and his second big home run in this Cleveland series. One general observation from watching him play with the Saints and in his return to the Twins is that he is staying down on the ball and doing a much better job driving the ball to the opposite field, as he did today. He has played solid defense wherever he’s been, and been happy with any opportunities he gets. And no one can ever question his effort. All Rise for Arraez Jovani Moran got the final out of the 8th inning to maintain a 1-0 lead for the Twins, but that isn’t exactly a comfortable lead. A little insurance sure would have been nice! The first two batters in the top of the ninth inning got out, but then Celestino walked. It was followed by a single from Mark Contreras (who had come in an inning earlier as a defensive replacement for Matt Wallner, who had two hits in the game). Nick Gordon then pinch hit for Jermaine Palacios, and he waAll-Starlked to load the bases. That set the stage for All Star Luis Arraez, and he came through with yet another big hit for the Twins. He lined a solid single up the middle to score two runs and give the Twins a 3-0 lead. In addition, Carlos Correa continued his red-hot September. With three hits on Sunday, he had his seventh multi-hit game in the month. Sanchez Helps Duran Jhoan Duran has been, arguably, the most dominant reliever in baseball for much of the second half, if not all year. Obviously, Cleveland’s Emmanuel Clase is in that conversation as well. However, on Sunday, he didn’t display the same kind of control and command as we have seen from him throughout the season. He got the leadoff man (Rosario) out, but then he walked Jose Ramirez, and not intentionally. He started Josh Naylor off with a fastball for a ball. At that point, just four of Duran’s 11 pitches were strikes. Personal opinion and observation… With a 1-0 count, Gary Sanchez called three straight slow(ish) sliders (the upper-80s one that drops more than the other one) and Naylor missed all three for a strikeout. Sanchez continued to call mostly breaking balls and struck out Oscar Gonzalez on the same pitch. Gary Sanchez is not a good defensive catcher. That’s probably putting it fairly nicely. The difference between Sanchez and Ryan Jeffers is very noticeable both by the eye test and by statistical measures. However, have to give credit where credit is due, Sanchez deserves credit for having Duran mix it up. With his fastball command lost in this game, Sanchez recognized it and helped Duran by calling another of his pitches, and fortunately that pitch was on. In the end, he threw 17 pitches, so he ended the game with six straight strikes to end the game with two strikeouts. Pre-Game Transaction Following Saturday’s lengthy double-header, the Twins wanted to make sure they had a long-relief option. Dereck Rodriguez was terrific in his 3 2/3 innings in that role in Saturday’s late game. Unfortunately, for him, that meant that he was optioned back to St. Paul. Ronny Henriquez was set to start on Sunday afternoon for the Saints. Instead, he traveled to Cleveland and was activated shortly before the Twins game started. Veteran Ariel Jurado made the start for the Saints in his place. Henriquez came to the Twins in the Mitch Garver trade to Texas. He turned 22 years old in mid-June, and has a 3-4 record with a 5.66 ERA with the Saints. The hard-throwing Dominican has made 14 starts and come out of the bullpen ten times. While his overall numbers don’t look great, he has been much better of late. Over his past five outings, he is 1-0 with a save. In 21 innings, he has just four walks to go with 24 strikeouts. He has given up just one or two runs in four of his past five appearances. On September 7th, he gave up two runs on one hit and one walk. In five innings, he struck out nine batters. On September 13th, he came out of the bullpen and recorded a four-inning save. He gave up one run on two hits. He walked none and struck out three. In short, if he doesn’t hurt himself with walks, he can be very effective and has some really sharp, nasty stuff. Texas had already placed him on the 40-man roster, so the Twins didn’t need to make an additional 40-man roster move. What’s Next? The Twins had hoped to take at least four (if not five) games in this five-game series. On Monday afternoon, they’ll send RHP Sonny Gray (8-4, 2.83 ERA) to the mound and attempt to win a second game in a row, and in the series. The game will start at 12:05 central time and air on Bally Sports North. Cleveland will counter with RHP Cal Quantrill (12-5, 3.51 ERA). Postgame Interviews Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN TOT Moran 40 0 0 0 15 5 60 Jax 0 0 18 22 13 0 53 Duran 0 0 19 16 0 17 52 Sanchez 0 0 0 0 49 0 49 Fulmer 0 0 21 11 17 0 49 López 0 17 0 0 32 0 49 Thielbar 0 12 12 15 0 0 39 Pagán 0 0 0 0 31 0 31 Henriquez 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 View full article
  6. Box Score SP: Joe Ryan: 7 2/3 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K (95 pitches, 64 strikes (67.4%) Home Runs: Jake Cave (5) Top 3 WPA: Joe Ryan (0.559), Carlos Correa (0.087), Luis Arraez (0.078) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Joe Ryan Does it Again, Well, Not Quite That, but… Earlier in the week, Twins starter Joe Ryan threw seven no-hit innings against the Kansas City Royals at Target Field. While disappointed, it was easy to understand why he was removed after the seventh inning, and it was said often. His next start would be his biggest start of the season. Well, that may or may not still be true - based on the Twins losing the first three games of this series, and being seven games back coming into the day - it was a very important game for the Twins. Saturday was a long day that ended in a double-header sweep at the hands of the Guardians. The Twins had lost eight straight games to Cleveland in key September games. The Twins needed a big outing from Ryan, and he gave it to the Twins. After Saturday, it was important for Ryan to start out well. He had a one-two-three first inning that included a strikeout of Twins Killer Amed Rosario and a Jose Ramirez pop-out. He got two groundouts and a strikeout in the second inning, which does mean that he had nine straight no-hit innings. He walked a guy in the third inning, but no hits again. The fourth inning was again perfect, including a ground out by Rosario and a strikeout of Ramirez. His no-hit streak ended with one out in the bottom of the fifth frame when Tyler Freeman singled. He gave up two more hits and walked two batters, but he even recorded two outs in the eighth inning. After a Myles Straw single, lefty Jovani Moran came on and got Andrew Gimenez to fly out to end the inning and officially close the book on Joe Ryan’s fantastic outing. Defense Comes Through Any great pitching performance is likely to include some help from his defense. In the fifth inning, there were runners on first and second with just one out, but Austin Hedges grounded into a double play. Then in the sixth inning, Straw led off with a double before Gimenez was hit by a pitch. Runners on first and second and nobody out. Amed Rosario stepped to the plate and grounded into a double play. Straw remained at third with Jose Ramirez to bat. The perennial MVP candidate lined a shot to deep center field, but Gilberto Celestino got a great jump and was able to run it down on a full sprint to the warning track to end the threat and maintain a 1-0 lead. But that catch always reminds me of another great Celestino catch, and why not show that one again… Josh Naylor walked to lead off the seventh inning, but with one out, Richie Palacios grounded into an inning-ending double play. Captain Cave… Man! Jake Cave has had a couple of tough years the last two seasons with the Twins, at least offensively. Prior to that, he was a very solid fourth outfielder, but with the Twins injuries the last couple of seasons, he has been forced into more action than was intended, including a lot of ABs against southpaws. Last year, he missed significant time with a fractured back. Removed from the 40-man roster in the offseason, Cave spent most of this season at Triple-A St. Paul. He played great, getting on-base pretty much every game. In 85 games, he hit 273/.370/.509 (.879) with 20 doubles, seven triples and 14 home runs. As impressive, he continued to put up numbers as he watched player after player get called up to the Twins before he was. In fact, he was about the eighth outfielder on the depth chart when he was finally called back up. And, since then, more injuries have meant that he’s again played more than was planned. Now, I’m not here to say that he’s been great. I’m not saying they should bring him back. I’m just saying that he’s filled in admirably and does not deserve the online hate that he often gets. On Sunday afternoon, he gave the Twins their 1-0 lead in the second inning when he hit a solo homer. It was his fifth homer since joining the Twins and his second big home run in this Cleveland series. One general observation from watching him play with the Saints and in his return to the Twins is that he is staying down on the ball and doing a much better job driving the ball to the opposite field, as he did today. He has played solid defense wherever he’s been, and been happy with any opportunities he gets. And no one can ever question his effort. All Rise for Arraez Jovani Moran got the final out of the 8th inning to maintain a 1-0 lead for the Twins, but that isn’t exactly a comfortable lead. A little insurance sure would have been nice! The first two batters in the top of the ninth inning got out, but then Celestino walked. It was followed by a single from Mark Contreras (who had come in an inning earlier as a defensive replacement for Matt Wallner, who had two hits in the game). Nick Gordon then pinch hit for Jermaine Palacios, and he waAll-Starlked to load the bases. That set the stage for All Star Luis Arraez, and he came through with yet another big hit for the Twins. He lined a solid single up the middle to score two runs and give the Twins a 3-0 lead. In addition, Carlos Correa continued his red-hot September. With three hits on Sunday, he had his seventh multi-hit game in the month. Sanchez Helps Duran Jhoan Duran has been, arguably, the most dominant reliever in baseball for much of the second half, if not all year. Obviously, Cleveland’s Emmanuel Clase is in that conversation as well. However, on Sunday, he didn’t display the same kind of control and command as we have seen from him throughout the season. He got the leadoff man (Rosario) out, but then he walked Jose Ramirez, and not intentionally. He started Josh Naylor off with a fastball for a ball. At that point, just four of Duran’s 11 pitches were strikes. Personal opinion and observation… With a 1-0 count, Gary Sanchez called three straight slow(ish) sliders (the upper-80s one that drops more than the other one) and Naylor missed all three for a strikeout. Sanchez continued to call mostly breaking balls and struck out Oscar Gonzalez on the same pitch. Gary Sanchez is not a good defensive catcher. That’s probably putting it fairly nicely. The difference between Sanchez and Ryan Jeffers is very noticeable both by the eye test and by statistical measures. However, have to give credit where credit is due, Sanchez deserves credit for having Duran mix it up. With his fastball command lost in this game, Sanchez recognized it and helped Duran by calling another of his pitches, and fortunately that pitch was on. In the end, he threw 17 pitches, so he ended the game with six straight strikes to end the game with two strikeouts. Pre-Game Transaction Following Saturday’s lengthy double-header, the Twins wanted to make sure they had a long-relief option. Dereck Rodriguez was terrific in his 3 2/3 innings in that role in Saturday’s late game. Unfortunately, for him, that meant that he was optioned back to St. Paul. Ronny Henriquez was set to start on Sunday afternoon for the Saints. Instead, he traveled to Cleveland and was activated shortly before the Twins game started. Veteran Ariel Jurado made the start for the Saints in his place. Henriquez came to the Twins in the Mitch Garver trade to Texas. He turned 22 years old in mid-June, and has a 3-4 record with a 5.66 ERA with the Saints. The hard-throwing Dominican has made 14 starts and come out of the bullpen ten times. While his overall numbers don’t look great, he has been much better of late. Over his past five outings, he is 1-0 with a save. In 21 innings, he has just four walks to go with 24 strikeouts. He has given up just one or two runs in four of his past five appearances. On September 7th, he gave up two runs on one hit and one walk. In five innings, he struck out nine batters. On September 13th, he came out of the bullpen and recorded a four-inning save. He gave up one run on two hits. He walked none and struck out three. In short, if he doesn’t hurt himself with walks, he can be very effective and has some really sharp, nasty stuff. Texas had already placed him on the 40-man roster, so the Twins didn’t need to make an additional 40-man roster move. What’s Next? The Twins had hoped to take at least four (if not five) games in this five-game series. On Monday afternoon, they’ll send RHP Sonny Gray (8-4, 2.83 ERA) to the mound and attempt to win a second game in a row, and in the series. The game will start at 12:05 central time and air on Bally Sports North. Cleveland will counter with RHP Cal Quantrill (12-5, 3.51 ERA). Postgame Interviews Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN TOT Moran 40 0 0 0 15 5 60 Jax 0 0 18 22 13 0 53 Duran 0 0 19 16 0 17 52 Sanchez 0 0 0 0 49 0 49 Fulmer 0 0 21 11 17 0 49 López 0 17 0 0 32 0 49 Thielbar 0 12 12 15 0 0 39 Pagán 0 0 0 0 31 0 31 Henriquez 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
  7. Box Score Starting Pitcher: Josh Winder 4.2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (82 pitches, 54 strikes (65%)) Home Runs: Nick Gordon (8) Top 3 WPA: Nick Gordon (0.435), Dereck Rodriguez (0.355), Griffin Jax (0.307), Michael Fulmer (0.307) Bottom 3 WPA: Matt Wallner (-0.377), Jermaine Palacios (-0.304), Sandy Leon (-0.286) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Josh Winder and Gary Sanchez started out the first inning finding a rhythm to their game. Winder let a run in immediately in the top of the first but managed to stay in control, finding that stride, and retired the next ten batters through the fourth inning. Winder started his third game against Cleveland this season and his second appearance since coming off the IL for shoulder tightness. The Twins let Winder try and work into the fifth, which was good until a slider to Amed Rosario backed up and didn't break. The red-hot Rosario crushed a three-run home run. Baldelli relieved Winder after Jose Ramirez hit a single and replaced him with Jovani Moran to finish the inning. The bullpen managed to keep the Guardians scoreless after their initial five runs. Even when it got exciting in the ninth and the Guardians made a push with players in scoring position. Steven Kwan was on second when Jorge Lopez uncoiled a wild pitch. Kwan rounded third and slid into home, not realizing that the pitch bounced into a dugout suite. Given another chance, Lopez closed out the inning and sent the game to the tenth. The Twins offense didn't get a hit off of Guardian starter Konor Pilkington until the sixth inning when Jose Miranda recorded a single. That ended the night for the Cleveland lefty. In the seventh inning, they threatened with one out and the bases loaded (after a pitch struck Nick Gordon) but left all three stranded. The Twins haven't been hitting much lately, and when they do get baserunners, they struggle with runners in scoring position. Due to the countless injuries and Triple-A players occupying the roster and line-up, the Twins have the youngest team in MLB. The rookies have received playing time and opportunities. Each has experienced some success to build upon, and each has found plenty of struggles and lessons learned. One player who has really taken advantage of his opportunity in 2022 is Nick Gordon. He regularly played in left of center field most of the season, but with Jorge Polanco on the Injured List and Luis Arraez hobbled, he's been playing a lot of second base of late. Check out this play. Since Terry Francona took over the Guardians coaching position in 2012, the Twins and Guardians have had 194 meetings, with the Twins winning 95 of those and the Guardians winning 99. The Guardians are one of the teams that have consistently given the Twins trouble getting past. The Guardians have been in 25 last-at-bat this season, and seven have been against the Twins. They have also won half of their walk-offs of the season against the Twins (3). Jake Cave came into the game as a pinch hitter and started a five-run eighth inning. After getting to first on an error, the bases loaded up again after Jose Miranda singled and Carlos Correa was hit by a pitch. A Gio Urshela single scored Cave and Miranda and cut the deficit to 5-2. Gary Sanchez scored Correa with a sacrifice fly. With two outs, Nick Gordon crushed a two-run homer that tied the game at five. The Twins managed to stay solid, even bringing back veteran and former Twins farmhand Dereck Rodriguez who had one appearance with the big club back on April 13th against the Dodgers. "Son of Pudge" managed to keep the Guardians at bay, giving the Twins a chance. In the 13th inning, it was Gordon again who gave the Twins a short-lived lead at 6-5 with a sacrifice fly that scored Correa. In 89 2/3 innings this season with Saints this season, he had 88 strikeouts and a 1.35 WHIP to accompany a 7-4 record. Rodriguez wasn’t even at the stadium when the game started, He was on a plane from Minneapolis to Cleveland and suited up and took the field. Right-handed reliever Trevor Megill was placed on the COVID-IL between games with Rodriguez, who is not on the 40-man roster, taking his spot. The Twins management throughout today's games was fantastic and it showed through the remaining portion of the game, but after 24 innings of baseball, the game ended with a Guardians walk-off in the bottom of the 15th inning due to a Jermaine Palacios error on a hard-hit ball from Amed Rosario (of course) allowing Austin Hedges to score, ending the night. With two games left in the series, the Twins remain in an absolutely must-win situation to stay relevant in the division. Do you think they have it in them, or are they done for the season? Pitching Preview Match-Up Cleveland Series: Sunday 12:40pm CST: Joe Ryan (11-8,3.83 ERA) vs. RHP Cody Morris (0-1,2.79 ERA) Monday 12:10 pm CST: Sonny Gray (8-4, 2.91 ERA) vs. RHP Cal Quantrill (12-5, 3.51 ERA) Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
  8. 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
  9. The Twins and Guardians meet in Game 2 of their three-game series. A late-inning rally last night on Friday night was not enough to overcome the pitching woes early in the game. From the first pitch on Saturday night, it felt like Groundhogs day, as the Twins fell short despite another late-inning rally. Image courtesy of Bruce Kluckhorn, USA Today Box Score SP: Chris Archer 2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (40 pitches, 24 strikes (60%)) Home Runs: no one Bottom 3 WPA: Max Kepler (-.160), Cole Sands (-.151), Chris Archer (-.130) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Groundhogs Day on the Mound Chris Archer started for the Twins. Two batters into the game, a walk, and a home run from Amed Rosario, the Guardians were ahead 2-0. Archer has rarely completed five innings in a start. Tonight was his shortest start of the year. He pitched just two innings in this game before leaving the game. He was replaced at the top of the third by Cole Sands. Sands just returned from the IL and appeared rushed, unsettled and uncomfortable trying to find the strike zone. In the third inning, his pitches continued to drift out of the strike zone. He walked three and hit two batters to give the Guardians two runs and push the score 4-0. Sands did pitch into the sixth inning and gave up just one more run in his 3 1/3 innings. Pagan and the Bullpen Keep Twins in Games The bullpen continues to step up and set the tone for damage control and give the offense a chance to catch up. Emilio Pagan, who has been known for blowing saves, but he has been absolutely on fire of late. In his past six games, Pagan has a 2.57 ERA, only five hits, and two runs. It is a massive improvement to his earlier season stats. When the starters have been giving up runs early, the bullpen has come in and kept the runs from accumulating. Pete Maki has taken over in the interim as the Pitching Coach, bringing Colby Suggs in as the bullpen coach. Suggs was the run-prevention coordinator, and it seems that his expertise in understanding run defense may be aiding the bullpen. Since Suggs has taken the helm of the bullpen on July 1, it's taken a bit to catch a rhythm, but his techniques seem to be doing the trick. Suggs, certainly understands and pays attention to mechanics and maybe his personality is just what the bullpen needed. New Rules, New…Kepler? MLB has implemented new rules to take place starting in the 2023 season. One of those rules will be not being able to utilize the shift. There must now be two players on either side of second base when the pitch is released, and all four infielders must be inside the infield dirt when the pitcher is on the rubber. No one is probably more relieved about the change to the rule than our own Max Kepler who is extremely well known for hitting into the shift. Tonight, two hits from Kepler were into the shift and the last drive was stopped by acrobatic magic from Andres Gimenez, who was posted far into right field. Kepler has had a great year defensively, but offensively, it’s been one of his worst seasons. Having to recover from Covid in 2021 and a broken toe this season seems to have compounded. Kepler has had a below-normal batting average (.230) than previous seasons. Kepler has been out recently with a hip injury as well. Later in the game, he was robbed of a home run by a leaping Will Benson in left field. Luis Arraez had two doubles tonight, and three hits. It was his 43rd game this season with more than one hit. Arraez and Carlos Correa have been absolutely dominant the past few games, the downfall has been others in the lineup. Twice on Saturday night, Arraez was stranded on base, along with Correa with the guys unable to string together any hits going scoreless until the bottom of the ninth. Just when the collective thought the game was over, veteran Bryan Shaw started handing out hits in the ninth inning, and the Twins came alive. Gio Urshela tagged in on a sacrifice fly from Gary Sanchez to put the Twins on the board, and Jake Cave drove a double into left-centerfield which scored Kyle Garlick with two outs. The Twins offense continued to work Shaw with a rip to right field from Arraez, which scored Cave to push the score 6-3. At that point, Terry Francona came in to make a pitching change. The Twins had forced Emmanuel Clase to come into the game. Clase is a strong closer, but he was not expecting to come in at all. He allowed a run right away when Correa grounded weakly to third base and a bad throw allowed Arraez to score all the way from first. Jose Miranda followed with a line drive single that sent Correa to third base. The intensity rose as Clase as Kepler came up to hit, and after hitting into the shift all night, he hit a hard ground ball to third base (the only defender on the left side of the infield) to end the game. The Twins have their final game of this series with Cleveland on Sunday afternoon. Can the Twins find a way to eek out a win? Do you think there is time to save the season and reach the postseason? Am I a hopeless romantic baseball fan? Let me know in the comments! Pitching Preview Match-Up Cleveland Series: Sunday 1:10pm CST: TBD vs. RHP Shane Bieber (9-8, 2.96 ERA) Post Game Interview Coming soon. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet View full article
  10. Box Score SP: Chris Archer 2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (40 pitches, 24 strikes (60%)) Home Runs: no one Bottom 3 WPA: Max Kepler (-.160), Cole Sands (-.151), Chris Archer (-.130) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Groundhogs Day on the Mound Chris Archer started for the Twins. Two batters into the game, a walk, and a home run from Amed Rosario, the Guardians were ahead 2-0. Archer has rarely completed five innings in a start. Tonight was his shortest start of the year. He pitched just two innings in this game before leaving the game. He was replaced at the top of the third by Cole Sands. Sands just returned from the IL and appeared rushed, unsettled and uncomfortable trying to find the strike zone. In the third inning, his pitches continued to drift out of the strike zone. He walked three and hit two batters to give the Guardians two runs and push the score 4-0. Sands did pitch into the sixth inning and gave up just one more run in his 3 1/3 innings. Pagan and the Bullpen Keep Twins in Games The bullpen continues to step up and set the tone for damage control and give the offense a chance to catch up. Emilio Pagan, who has been known for blowing saves, but he has been absolutely on fire of late. In his past six games, Pagan has a 2.57 ERA, only five hits, and two runs. It is a massive improvement to his earlier season stats. When the starters have been giving up runs early, the bullpen has come in and kept the runs from accumulating. Pete Maki has taken over in the interim as the Pitching Coach, bringing Colby Suggs in as the bullpen coach. Suggs was the run-prevention coordinator, and it seems that his expertise in understanding run defense may be aiding the bullpen. Since Suggs has taken the helm of the bullpen on July 1, it's taken a bit to catch a rhythm, but his techniques seem to be doing the trick. Suggs, certainly understands and pays attention to mechanics and maybe his personality is just what the bullpen needed. New Rules, New…Kepler? MLB has implemented new rules to take place starting in the 2023 season. One of those rules will be not being able to utilize the shift. There must now be two players on either side of second base when the pitch is released, and all four infielders must be inside the infield dirt when the pitcher is on the rubber. No one is probably more relieved about the change to the rule than our own Max Kepler who is extremely well known for hitting into the shift. Tonight, two hits from Kepler were into the shift and the last drive was stopped by acrobatic magic from Andres Gimenez, who was posted far into right field. Kepler has had a great year defensively, but offensively, it’s been one of his worst seasons. Having to recover from Covid in 2021 and a broken toe this season seems to have compounded. Kepler has had a below-normal batting average (.230) than previous seasons. Kepler has been out recently with a hip injury as well. Later in the game, he was robbed of a home run by a leaping Will Benson in left field. Luis Arraez had two doubles tonight, and three hits. It was his 43rd game this season with more than one hit. Arraez and Carlos Correa have been absolutely dominant the past few games, the downfall has been others in the lineup. Twice on Saturday night, Arraez was stranded on base, along with Correa with the guys unable to string together any hits going scoreless until the bottom of the ninth. Just when the collective thought the game was over, veteran Bryan Shaw started handing out hits in the ninth inning, and the Twins came alive. Gio Urshela tagged in on a sacrifice fly from Gary Sanchez to put the Twins on the board, and Jake Cave drove a double into left-centerfield which scored Kyle Garlick with two outs. The Twins offense continued to work Shaw with a rip to right field from Arraez, which scored Cave to push the score 6-3. At that point, Terry Francona came in to make a pitching change. The Twins had forced Emmanuel Clase to come into the game. Clase is a strong closer, but he was not expecting to come in at all. He allowed a run right away when Correa grounded weakly to third base and a bad throw allowed Arraez to score all the way from first. Jose Miranda followed with a line drive single that sent Correa to third base. The intensity rose as Clase as Kepler came up to hit, and after hitting into the shift all night, he hit a hard ground ball to third base (the only defender on the left side of the infield) to end the game. The Twins have their final game of this series with Cleveland on Sunday afternoon. Can the Twins find a way to eek out a win? Do you think there is time to save the season and reach the postseason? Am I a hopeless romantic baseball fan? Let me know in the comments! Pitching Preview Match-Up Cleveland Series: Sunday 1:10pm CST: TBD vs. RHP Shane Bieber (9-8, 2.96 ERA) Post Game Interview Coming soon. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
  11. The Twins took a 30-minute break before getting back on the dirt with the Yankees, who they lost to in Game 1 of a two-game day. After battling for 12 innings, the Twins needed to dig deep to still keep the hopes alive of at least getting a split. Image courtesy of Gary Vasquez, USA Today Box Score SP: Joe Ryan 4 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 3 K ( 89 pitches, 57 strikes (64%)) Home Runs: Carlos Correa (17) Bottom 3 WPA: Kyle Garlick (-0.77), Jose Miranda (-0.65), Gilberto Celestino (-0.50) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) The Yankees have been floundering for the past six weeks, but Aaron Judge and a gang of "Who's That" swept the Twins and have won all three games of this series. The Yankees had not seen Joe Ryan before, so maybe the advantage was in Ryan’s favor. Ryan started the game with a 13-pitch at-bat against Aaron Hicks before getting a ground out. He left the mound having issued 34 pitches in the first inning. He had two walks and faced six batters, but no runs scored. Ryan has been struggling with his off-speed pitches as of late, not breaking where they should or where he wants them to, leaving hanging sliders in prime territory for hitting. The Twins attempted to get something going in the fourth inning and just like the earlier game, they got on the board first thanks to a solo home run from Carlos Correa, but the score didn’t stay there for long. Ryan managed to gather himself, retiring six hitters in a row in the 2nd and 3rd innings. As he crept toward 70 pitches in the bottom of the fourth, with no outs, he loaded the bases. Isiah Kiner-Falefa stepped up to the plate and on pitch one, a slider, he hit the ball deep into left field for his first career grand slam to give the Yankees a 4-1 lead. The most painful part? According to Aaron Gleeman, with runners in scoring position, IFK has now hit more home runs against the Twins than Correa has hit for the Twins. Jovani Moran came in to relieve Ryan in the fifth inning. The lefty kept things copesetic for the club through the sixth inning. The only threat from the Yankees was Estevan Florial hitting a line drive to Jake Cave in left field and Marwin Gonzalez advanced from third to home, but Cave fired off a cannon to home plate, getting Gonzalez out to end the inning. Moran has been exceptional in the past few games that he has made appearances in. In this game, he didn’t allow a run in the two innings and has only allowed seven runs overall this season (in the big leagues, that is), and has a 2.05 ERA. He is effective and gets the job done despite his ERA of 6+ at St. Paul this year. Even Emilio Pagan had an effective outing, not allowing any runs. The Twins offense has been really bad. The Twins tried to manufacture runs throughout the evening, but couldn’t get past the Yankees pitching, led by Gerrit Cole. The seventh inning showed promise with runners on the corners and Correa back up at bat, but Lucas Luetge went hard on Correa and struck him out swinging. Even if the Twins wanted to try and come back into the game, the bottom of the eighth all but sealed the deal for the team when Austin Davis loaded the bases with three walks after two outs. Aaron Hicks hit a line drive to left field for a double to score Kiner-Falefa, Florial, and Oswald Peraza stretching the lead to 7-1. Five of the seven earned runs in this game came from walks. They are right, walks will haunt, especially five of them. As the Twins finish up the series with the Yankees and move into all divisional games coming up, the fight to stay in the race is going to be brutal. Do you think the Twins can pull out of this and still take the division? Final Pitching Match-Up for this Series: Monday 6:40 pm CST: Sonny Gray (7-4, 3.10 ERA) vs. RHP Nestor Cortes (9-4, 2.68 ERA) Postgame Interview Coming soon Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet View full article
  12. Box Score SP: Joe Ryan 4 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 3 K ( 89 pitches, 57 strikes (64%)) Home Runs: Carlos Correa (17) Bottom 3 WPA: Kyle Garlick (-0.77), Jose Miranda (-0.65), Gilberto Celestino (-0.50) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) The Yankees have been floundering for the past six weeks, but Aaron Judge and a gang of "Who's That" swept the Twins and have won all three games of this series. The Yankees had not seen Joe Ryan before, so maybe the advantage was in Ryan’s favor. Ryan started the game with a 13-pitch at-bat against Aaron Hicks before getting a ground out. He left the mound having issued 34 pitches in the first inning. He had two walks and faced six batters, but no runs scored. Ryan has been struggling with his off-speed pitches as of late, not breaking where they should or where he wants them to, leaving hanging sliders in prime territory for hitting. The Twins attempted to get something going in the fourth inning and just like the earlier game, they got on the board first thanks to a solo home run from Carlos Correa, but the score didn’t stay there for long. Ryan managed to gather himself, retiring six hitters in a row in the 2nd and 3rd innings. As he crept toward 70 pitches in the bottom of the fourth, with no outs, he loaded the bases. Isiah Kiner-Falefa stepped up to the plate and on pitch one, a slider, he hit the ball deep into left field for his first career grand slam to give the Yankees a 4-1 lead. The most painful part? According to Aaron Gleeman, with runners in scoring position, IFK has now hit more home runs against the Twins than Correa has hit for the Twins. Jovani Moran came in to relieve Ryan in the fifth inning. The lefty kept things copesetic for the club through the sixth inning. The only threat from the Yankees was Estevan Florial hitting a line drive to Jake Cave in left field and Marwin Gonzalez advanced from third to home, but Cave fired off a cannon to home plate, getting Gonzalez out to end the inning. Moran has been exceptional in the past few games that he has made appearances in. In this game, he didn’t allow a run in the two innings and has only allowed seven runs overall this season (in the big leagues, that is), and has a 2.05 ERA. He is effective and gets the job done despite his ERA of 6+ at St. Paul this year. Even Emilio Pagan had an effective outing, not allowing any runs. The Twins offense has been really bad. The Twins tried to manufacture runs throughout the evening, but couldn’t get past the Yankees pitching, led by Gerrit Cole. The seventh inning showed promise with runners on the corners and Correa back up at bat, but Lucas Luetge went hard on Correa and struck him out swinging. Even if the Twins wanted to try and come back into the game, the bottom of the eighth all but sealed the deal for the team when Austin Davis loaded the bases with three walks after two outs. Aaron Hicks hit a line drive to left field for a double to score Kiner-Falefa, Florial, and Oswald Peraza stretching the lead to 7-1. Five of the seven earned runs in this game came from walks. They are right, walks will haunt, especially five of them. As the Twins finish up the series with the Yankees and move into all divisional games coming up, the fight to stay in the race is going to be brutal. Do you think the Twins can pull out of this and still take the division? Final Pitching Match-Up for this Series: Monday 6:40 pm CST: Sonny Gray (7-4, 3.10 ERA) vs. RHP Nestor Cortes (9-4, 2.68 ERA) Postgame Interview Coming soon Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
  13. With a little help from his friends, Nick Gordon guided the Twins to victory. Box Score Chris Archer: 4 ⅓ IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K Home Runs: Jake Cave (3), Nick Gordon (6), Gary Sánchez (13) Top 3 WPA: Nick Gordon (.509), Jose Miranda (.118), Jake Cave (.085) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Chris Archer took the mound opposite Kutter Crawford on Tuesday. The veteran righty was well-acquainted with the Red Sox; he spent his glory years with the Rays in the same division as his opponent on Tuesday. While the players have largely changed, Boston’s laundry remains an old foe. The early innings were easy to digest; Nick Gordon—after consecutive walks by Max Kepler and Jose Miranda—swung at an outside breaking ball and smoked a Joe Mauer special into left-center field, scoring both runners to give the Twins a 2-0 lead in the 1st frame. Gordon’s eventful night would be far from over. The Twins jabbed once more in the following inning: Jake Cave caught up to a high fastball, packing just enough oomph to will the ball over the left-center field wall. Kiké Hernández, try as he might, could not break free from gravity with enough force to rob Cave’s blast. The solo homer marked Cave’s third long ball since re-joining the Twins. The game stopped to rest in the 3rd inning before continuing its hectic drama; a marvelous defense gem by Carlos Correa provided the sole highlight. The fun started in the 4th inning; the Red Sox, ever aware of Archer’s struggles beyond the early frames, singled, doubled, sac-flied, and walked; a run was on the board, and the situation turned dire in an instant. Archer refused to give in, and a perfectly-placed slider coaxed a ground ball off Trevor Story’s bat; Gordon and Correa turned two, and the threat ended as quickly as it began. Boston’s bats were not deterred, and the 5th inning proved deadly to Archer’s start. A barrage of singles scored a run, knocking Archer out of the game while leaving the inning’s fate to the cleaner, Caleb Thielbar. The lefty—so well-trusted by Rocco Baldelli in these situations—revealed mortality as Xander Bogaerts dumped a game-tying single into left field and Rafael Devers walked. With the threat still at Defcon 1, Michael Fulmer emerged to put out the fire—which he did—but not before another run scored off a wild pitch. It was messy, brutish, and downright ugly, but the Red Sox walked out of the 5th inning with a one-run lead. Remember that sentence earlier about Nick Gordon? With aid from a truly egregious error from Alex Verdugo, the Twins loaded the bases for the second baseman, gifting him a chance to prove himself. In a season that has lacked a true ignitor—the kind of guy whose spark brings a team to life, Gordon has shown flashes of becoming that sort of player; could he do it once more? The count was 0-2, but that didn’t matter; Gordon jumped on a low fastball and crushed a grand slam over the high wall in right field. The home run was so crucial that Gary Sánchez hit a titanic bomb the following frame, and almost no one will remember it. The teams exchanged runs as the outs whittled away—a single here, a double there—but the game’s momentum never budged, and the Twins ended Tuesday's game as the victors. Notes: Nick Gordon is slashing .311/.360/.511 over his last 30 games. Jake Cave is slugging .667 over his last seven games. Chris Archer has crossed the five-inning threshold twice since the end of June. Griffin Jax has not given up an earned run since August 10th; he owns 12 strikeouts over 8 2/3 innings. Post-Game Interviews What’s Next? Joe Ryan and Michael Wacha will lead their respective teams in the game’s final series on Wednesday night. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet View full article
  14. Box Score Chris Archer: 4 ⅓ IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K Home Runs: Jake Cave (3), Nick Gordon (6), Gary Sánchez (13) Top 3 WPA: Nick Gordon (.509), Jose Miranda (.118), Jake Cave (.085) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Chris Archer took the mound opposite Kutter Crawford on Tuesday. The veteran righty was well-acquainted with the Red Sox; he spent his glory years with the Rays in the same division as his opponent on Tuesday. While the players have largely changed, Boston’s laundry remains an old foe. The early innings were easy to digest; Nick Gordon—after consecutive walks by Max Kepler and Jose Miranda—swung at an outside breaking ball and smoked a Joe Mauer special into left-center field, scoring both runners to give the Twins a 2-0 lead in the 1st frame. Gordon’s eventful night would be far from over. The Twins jabbed once more in the following inning: Jake Cave caught up to a high fastball, packing just enough oomph to will the ball over the left-center field wall. Kiké Hernández, try as he might, could not break free from gravity with enough force to rob Cave’s blast. The solo homer marked Cave’s third long ball since re-joining the Twins. The game stopped to rest in the 3rd inning before continuing its hectic drama; a marvelous defense gem by Carlos Correa provided the sole highlight. The fun started in the 4th inning; the Red Sox, ever aware of Archer’s struggles beyond the early frames, singled, doubled, sac-flied, and walked; a run was on the board, and the situation turned dire in an instant. Archer refused to give in, and a perfectly-placed slider coaxed a ground ball off Trevor Story’s bat; Gordon and Correa turned two, and the threat ended as quickly as it began. Boston’s bats were not deterred, and the 5th inning proved deadly to Archer’s start. A barrage of singles scored a run, knocking Archer out of the game while leaving the inning’s fate to the cleaner, Caleb Thielbar. The lefty—so well-trusted by Rocco Baldelli in these situations—revealed mortality as Xander Bogaerts dumped a game-tying single into left field and Rafael Devers walked. With the threat still at Defcon 1, Michael Fulmer emerged to put out the fire—which he did—but not before another run scored off a wild pitch. It was messy, brutish, and downright ugly, but the Red Sox walked out of the 5th inning with a one-run lead. Remember that sentence earlier about Nick Gordon? With aid from a truly egregious error from Alex Verdugo, the Twins loaded the bases for the second baseman, gifting him a chance to prove himself. In a season that has lacked a true ignitor—the kind of guy whose spark brings a team to life, Gordon has shown flashes of becoming that sort of player; could he do it once more? The count was 0-2, but that didn’t matter; Gordon jumped on a low fastball and crushed a grand slam over the high wall in right field. The home run was so crucial that Gary Sánchez hit a titanic bomb the following frame, and almost no one will remember it. The teams exchanged runs as the outs whittled away—a single here, a double there—but the game’s momentum never budged, and the Twins ended Tuesday's game as the victors. Notes: Nick Gordon is slashing .311/.360/.511 over his last 30 games. Jake Cave is slugging .667 over his last seven games. Chris Archer has crossed the five-inning threshold twice since the end of June. Griffin Jax has not given up an earned run since August 10th; he owns 12 strikeouts over 8 2/3 innings. Post-Game Interviews What’s Next? Joe Ryan and Michael Wacha will lead their respective teams in the game’s final series on Wednesday night. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
  15. The Minnesota Twins were able to extend their winning streak to four games Monday night. Dylan Bundy and the bullpen were able to hold the Red Sox bats at bay and Gio Urshela got the go-ahead, bases-clearing double to secure the victory. Box Score SP: Dylan Bundy: 4 2/3 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (86 pitches, 62 strikes (72.1%)) Home Runs: N/A Top 3 WPA: Gio Urshela (.464), Caleb Thielbar (.113), Nick Gordon (.103) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) The Minnesota Twins enter into Monday night’s game on the heels of a three-game sweep of the San Francisco Giants. That sweep had the hometown nine two games back of Cleveland for the AL Central lead. The Twins need to keep things going against a Boston Red Sox team whose record does not look great, but there are plenty of dangerous names up and down their roster. Prior to Monday's game there was a notable bullpen move. Devin Smeltzer was optioned back to St. Paul while fellow lefty Jovani Moran was brought back to the Twins. Before we get to the game, could you take a moment to let us know more about how you like to engage with minor league coverage at Twins Daily? Red Sox break through first, Bundy limits damage As the game ventured into the third inning, the Red Sox began to hit the ball hard. Tommy Pham reached on a line drive single. Alex Verdugo followed up with another hard-hit ball but for a double this time. The double was enough to score Pham. With the score 1-0, Xander Bogaerts would follow up with a single to make it runners on first and third with one out. The inning looked headed straight towards a crooked number, Bundy somehow limited the damage and got out of the inning without allowing any more runs. The fourth inning felt much the same as the third. The Red Sox were going down the lineup and collecting hard hits and hard contact. With one out it was a soft bloop double by Reese McGuire that scored Trevor Story. Once again, it felt like an inning was going sideways for the Twins. Insert Bundy. With a ground out and strike out the Twins starter was able to close out the inning with only one run scored. Cave produces again Red Sox starter Brayan Bello has had very good minor league numbers this season. His ERA has been ugly in the majors at 7.36. At the same time, with a 3.03 FIP it seems there is something better underneath what has happened on the scoreboard for Bello this season in the majors. The right-hander also simply has some nasty stuff. For three innings, Bello looked purely like the 3.03 FIP version of himself. Finally, in the fourth inning, the Twins were able to get their bats going and loaded the bases with no outs. One of this weekend’s heroes, Jake Cave was able to drive in the Twins' first run on a sac fly to center field which brought Jose Miranda home. Unfortunately, that was the only run the Twins could score in that RISP situation. Brings to the forefront again one of the biggest frustration with the Twins' offense this season. Gio with the go-ahead The Twins were able to chase Bello in the fifth after he walk both Luis Arraez and Carlos Correa. After a weird Max Kepler swinging bunt that barely rolled to the front of home plate advanced the runners to second and third, Miranda collected a walk of his own. Kyle Garlick pinch hit for Nick Gordon but wasn’t able to come through after striking out. Then Gio Urshela stepped up to the plate with a fresh John Schreiber brought in to face him. With the count full, Urshela went down and got a low and away slider and was able to poke it down the right field line to clear the bases and put the Twins up 4-2. Bullpen Cruises Monday night was a night where we once again saw the beauty of deadline bullpen addition at work. Caleb Thielbar first came in to help Bundy get out of a jam. Just as Thielbar has done many times again, he did just that getting the final out of fifth and handled the sixth inning as well. Jhoan Duran then came in to take on the heart of the Red Sox lineup. He did so with his patented high-velocity heat. Duran wouldn't have been able to take on that spot if it wasn't for the deadline additions, as he would have been needed to potentially close. Griffin Jax got the eighth and made quick work of it giving up only a single to Story. It was then Jorge Lopez's turn and shut the door with authority getting two ground outs and a strike out to secure the victory for the Twins. What’s Next? The Twins will face off against another young Boston arm in Kutter Crawford. The right hander sports a 5.30 ERA this season over 73.0 innings. The Twins will counter with Chris Archer. Archer will look to bounce back after a rough start against Houston where he surrendered five earned runs. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet THU FRI SAT SUN MON TOT Megill 23 0 35 0 0 58 Pagán 0 28 0 22 0 50 Duran 20 0 13 0 14 47 Thielbar 0 0 22 0 15 37 Jax 6 0 8 0 17 31 Fulmer 0 12 0 15 0 27 López 18 0 0 0 9 27 Moran 0 0 0 0 0 0 View full article
  16. Box Score SP: Dylan Bundy: 4 2/3 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (86 pitches, 62 strikes (72.1%)) Home Runs: N/A Top 3 WPA: Gio Urshela (.464), Caleb Thielbar (.113), Nick Gordon (.103) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) The Minnesota Twins enter into Monday night’s game on the heels of a three-game sweep of the San Francisco Giants. That sweep had the hometown nine two games back of Cleveland for the AL Central lead. The Twins need to keep things going against a Boston Red Sox team whose record does not look great, but there are plenty of dangerous names up and down their roster. Prior to Monday's game there was a notable bullpen move. Devin Smeltzer was optioned back to St. Paul while fellow lefty Jovani Moran was brought back to the Twins. Before we get to the game, could you take a moment to let us know more about how you like to engage with minor league coverage at Twins Daily? Red Sox break through first, Bundy limits damage As the game ventured into the third inning, the Red Sox began to hit the ball hard. Tommy Pham reached on a line drive single. Alex Verdugo followed up with another hard-hit ball but for a double this time. The double was enough to score Pham. With the score 1-0, Xander Bogaerts would follow up with a single to make it runners on first and third with one out. The inning looked headed straight towards a crooked number, Bundy somehow limited the damage and got out of the inning without allowing any more runs. The fourth inning felt much the same as the third. The Red Sox were going down the lineup and collecting hard hits and hard contact. With one out it was a soft bloop double by Reese McGuire that scored Trevor Story. Once again, it felt like an inning was going sideways for the Twins. Insert Bundy. With a ground out and strike out the Twins starter was able to close out the inning with only one run scored. Cave produces again Red Sox starter Brayan Bello has had very good minor league numbers this season. His ERA has been ugly in the majors at 7.36. At the same time, with a 3.03 FIP it seems there is something better underneath what has happened on the scoreboard for Bello this season in the majors. The right-hander also simply has some nasty stuff. For three innings, Bello looked purely like the 3.03 FIP version of himself. Finally, in the fourth inning, the Twins were able to get their bats going and loaded the bases with no outs. One of this weekend’s heroes, Jake Cave was able to drive in the Twins' first run on a sac fly to center field which brought Jose Miranda home. Unfortunately, that was the only run the Twins could score in that RISP situation. Brings to the forefront again one of the biggest frustration with the Twins' offense this season. Gio with the go-ahead The Twins were able to chase Bello in the fifth after he walk both Luis Arraez and Carlos Correa. After a weird Max Kepler swinging bunt that barely rolled to the front of home plate advanced the runners to second and third, Miranda collected a walk of his own. Kyle Garlick pinch hit for Nick Gordon but wasn’t able to come through after striking out. Then Gio Urshela stepped up to the plate with a fresh John Schreiber brought in to face him. With the count full, Urshela went down and got a low and away slider and was able to poke it down the right field line to clear the bases and put the Twins up 4-2. Bullpen Cruises Monday night was a night where we once again saw the beauty of deadline bullpen addition at work. Caleb Thielbar first came in to help Bundy get out of a jam. Just as Thielbar has done many times again, he did just that getting the final out of fifth and handled the sixth inning as well. Jhoan Duran then came in to take on the heart of the Red Sox lineup. He did so with his patented high-velocity heat. Duran wouldn't have been able to take on that spot if it wasn't for the deadline additions, as he would have been needed to potentially close. Griffin Jax got the eighth and made quick work of it giving up only a single to Story. It was then Jorge Lopez's turn and shut the door with authority getting two ground outs and a strike out to secure the victory for the Twins. What’s Next? The Twins will face off against another young Boston arm in Kutter Crawford. The right hander sports a 5.30 ERA this season over 73.0 innings. The Twins will counter with Chris Archer. Archer will look to bounce back after a rough start against Houston where he surrendered five earned runs. Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet THU FRI SAT SUN MON TOT Megill 23 0 35 0 0 58 Pagán 0 28 0 22 0 50 Duran 20 0 13 0 14 47 Thielbar 0 0 22 0 15 37 Jax 6 0 8 0 17 31 Fulmer 0 12 0 15 0 27 López 18 0 0 0 9 27 Moran 0 0 0 0 0 0
  17. The Twins dominated the Giants offensively and defensively this series, a definite confidence booster from what many saw as a "must win" series! Box Score SP: Aaron Sanchez 3.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (81 pitches, 50 strikes (62%)) Home Runs: Jake Cave (2) Top 3 WPA: Jake Cave (.284), Max Kepler (.166), Carlos Correa (.107) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Pitching Payoff Aaron Sanchez started his third game for the Twins since being traded. Sanchez has pitched only nine innings with the club. Sanchez racked up 20+ pitches before getting out of the first inning with the help of his defense. Sanchez got through almost four innings, two times through the line-up, and 81 pitches before hitting Mike Yastrzemski. The Twins challenged the hit-by-pitch and after losing the challenge, with two guys on in scoring position and two outs, Emilio Pagan came in to relieve Sanchez. Pagan walked the first two batters he faced. The second walk tied the game at three. Pagan started the fifth frame as well. Devin Smeltzer replaced Pagan with one out in the fifth inning. He allowed an inherited run to score, but got the Twins out of a jam and then pitched well for two more innings. Smeltzer has been coming in not as a starter, but as a middle reliever for the past few games and he has been holding strong in that position. While it may not be an easy transition for a pitcher to make, he certainly has made it look easy and seamless. Come Back Kings With September coming later this week, the team knows that it’s going to take a full effort from everyone to get back up to first place in the division. The starting line-up Sunday consisted of Nick Gordon playing at second base. Gordon has played second base five times throughout the season, but this was his first game starting at second base. He has become instrumental to the chemistry of this team, a true utility player. He is always up to the challenge. That mentality of “team effort” started right away in the first inning. Carlos Correa and Max Kepler got on base, but both were ultimately stranded and left the inning with no runs. Kepler, who couldn’t get a bunt down, swung at the next pitch and ended up with a short chopper towards the mound that looked how he probably wanted his bunt to. The first baseman attempted to field the ball and during that time, Kepler landed safely on first. The Giants scored first with a hit from former Twins LaMonte Wade Jr. but the Twins answered quickly. Correa, who has been on fire since returning from the series with Houston, came up to the plate and hit a double that scored Gilberto Celestino. Correa was happily disappointed, signaling to the wall, to say, “it should have been a home run”, in any other park, it may have been, but here it was just enough to tie up the game. The Twins stayed in the game offensively with hot bats, and it eventually paid off. In the top of the fourth, a two-run home run from Jake Cave off a slider gave the Twins the lead for the first time. Cave was absolutely clutch this weekend. More than once this weekend he has been in positions to give the Twins the advantage and come out with a win. All of the Twins batted in the next inning starting with Luis Arraez getting a single. He scored on a Max Kepler double. The momentum was real and the hits kept coming! Jose Miranda, Gio Urshela and Cave all followed with run-scoring doubles to help push the score up 8-3 before the inning ended. The next few innings were a little more relaxing. There is always a chance when you are in close contention of a score, that it can get stressful, but this series has been everything that this team and fanbase has needed. It’s given everyone a chance to see exactly what this team is made of, a boost of confidence and a chance to get back first place in the central. A sweep is a great place to start! What’s Next? Boston comes to Minnesota for a three game series, can they keep up the winning momentum? Pitching matchup for the next series: Monday 6:40 pm CST: Dylan Bundy(7-6, 4.56 ERA) vs. RHP Brayan Bello (0-3, 7.36 ERA) Tuesday 6:40 pm CST Chris Archer (2-7, 4.34 ERA) vs. RHP Kutter Crawford (3-5, 5.30 ERA) Wednesday 6:40 pm CST Joe Ryan (10-6, 3.65 ERA) vs. RHP Michael Wacha (9-1, 2.53 ERA) Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet View full article
  18. Box Score SP: Aaron Sanchez 3.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (81 pitches, 50 strikes (62%)) Home Runs: Jake Cave (2) Top 3 WPA: Jake Cave (.284), Max Kepler (.166), Carlos Correa (.107) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Pitching Payoff Aaron Sanchez started his third game for the Twins since being traded. Sanchez has pitched only nine innings with the club. Sanchez racked up 20+ pitches before getting out of the first inning with the help of his defense. Sanchez got through almost four innings, two times through the line-up, and 81 pitches before hitting Mike Yastrzemski. The Twins challenged the hit-by-pitch and after losing the challenge, with two guys on in scoring position and two outs, Emilio Pagan came in to relieve Sanchez. Pagan walked the first two batters he faced. The second walk tied the game at three. Pagan started the fifth frame as well. Devin Smeltzer replaced Pagan with one out in the fifth inning. He allowed an inherited run to score, but got the Twins out of a jam and then pitched well for two more innings. Smeltzer has been coming in not as a starter, but as a middle reliever for the past few games and he has been holding strong in that position. While it may not be an easy transition for a pitcher to make, he certainly has made it look easy and seamless. Come Back Kings With September coming later this week, the team knows that it’s going to take a full effort from everyone to get back up to first place in the division. The starting line-up Sunday consisted of Nick Gordon playing at second base. Gordon has played second base five times throughout the season, but this was his first game starting at second base. He has become instrumental to the chemistry of this team, a true utility player. He is always up to the challenge. That mentality of “team effort” started right away in the first inning. Carlos Correa and Max Kepler got on base, but both were ultimately stranded and left the inning with no runs. Kepler, who couldn’t get a bunt down, swung at the next pitch and ended up with a short chopper towards the mound that looked how he probably wanted his bunt to. The first baseman attempted to field the ball and during that time, Kepler landed safely on first. The Giants scored first with a hit from former Twins LaMonte Wade Jr. but the Twins answered quickly. Correa, who has been on fire since returning from the series with Houston, came up to the plate and hit a double that scored Gilberto Celestino. Correa was happily disappointed, signaling to the wall, to say, “it should have been a home run”, in any other park, it may have been, but here it was just enough to tie up the game. The Twins stayed in the game offensively with hot bats, and it eventually paid off. In the top of the fourth, a two-run home run from Jake Cave off a slider gave the Twins the lead for the first time. Cave was absolutely clutch this weekend. More than once this weekend he has been in positions to give the Twins the advantage and come out with a win. All of the Twins batted in the next inning starting with Luis Arraez getting a single. He scored on a Max Kepler double. The momentum was real and the hits kept coming! Jose Miranda, Gio Urshela and Cave all followed with run-scoring doubles to help push the score up 8-3 before the inning ended. The next few innings were a little more relaxing. There is always a chance when you are in close contention of a score, that it can get stressful, but this series has been everything that this team and fanbase has needed. It’s given everyone a chance to see exactly what this team is made of, a boost of confidence and a chance to get back first place in the central. A sweep is a great place to start! What’s Next? Boston comes to Minnesota for a three game series, can they keep up the winning momentum? Pitching matchup for the next series: Monday 6:40 pm CST: Dylan Bundy(7-6, 4.56 ERA) vs. RHP Brayan Bello (0-3, 7.36 ERA) Tuesday 6:40 pm CST Chris Archer (2-7, 4.34 ERA) vs. RHP Kutter Crawford (3-5, 5.30 ERA) Wednesday 6:40 pm CST Joe Ryan (10-6, 3.65 ERA) vs. RHP Michael Wacha (9-1, 2.53 ERA) Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
  19. The Twins left ten men on base, especially in clutch situations. They weren't able to string hits together. The pitching has been doing well, but the offense has struggled. Box Score SP: Chris Archer: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K (77 pitches, 45 strikes (58%)) Home Runs: None Top 3 WPA: Chris Archer (.133), Jorge Lopez (.133), Jose Miranda (.122) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Chris Archer started for the Twins on Saturday. The right-hander was able to complete five innings and only allowed one earned run. It was one of his best outings of the season. The bullpen really got a nice break with Devin Smeltzer taking on three innings after relieving Archer in the sixth inning. Smeltzer struggled in his first two innings but somehow gave just up one run to give the Rangers the lead. He gave up five singles, and had it not been for the defense, would have given up more runs. The southpaw came back out for the eighth inning and had a great 1-2-3 inning, but the Twins were still trailing 2-1 heading into the ninth. It’s been amazing to see how little the bullpen has been used this week with the longevity of the starting staff and the longer relievers. Even in extra innings, they looked rested, ready and in control on the mound, not indicated by the two runs given up in the tenth inning. The Twins defense was really the main character of the game. The defense has been playing well for the past few games, helping to get the “W” for the team when the score is too close for comfort. In the fourth inning, after the Rangers threatened with more runners in scoring position, Ezequiel Duran hit a slow chopper to Carlos Correa who turned the ball and threw it to Luis Arraez at first base and got the out to end the inning. Jorge Polanco may not have had any production at the plate, but in the ninth inning, he made a beautiful slide to grab a line drive from Marcus Siemen. He calmly stepped on second base and threw to Arraez for a double play to bring up the Twins to what fans hoped would be the end of the night. Rangers starter Glenn Otto did a nice job on the mound tonight, not allowing the Twins to do more to manufacture runs. Also, the Twins pattern of hitting quite poorly overall with runners in scoring position. Opportunities were given to the Twins, but few of them worked out. Otto walked Gary Sanchez which advanced Jake Cave to second base and brought up Arraez who ripped a ball just over a leaping Corey Seager's extended arm and brought Cave home to get the Twins on the board. Max Kepler, who was on base after a walk, was brought home when Jose Miranda came up clutch and tied the game at 2-2. Kepler was on first when the liner was hit to the right centerfield gap. Kepler dashed around second, and Tommy Watkins waved him home. A dropped relay throw allowed Kepler to score on Miranda's single. The Twins got a runner on base in the bottom of the ninth but were unable to score, sending the game to extra frames. The Rangers started out the extra innings with two runs, but The Twins refused to go silently into the night, battling with every single pitch. They were gifted a run with two outs when the pitcher misplayed a soft grounder, allowing Arraez to score and cut the score to 4-3. However, the game ended when Miranda, who has been instrumental in so many late-rally games, hit a fly-out to left field giving the Rangers the win for the night. What’s Next? The Twins still have two more games to finish off with the Rangers before traveling to Houston to face the Astros who are first place in the AL West and have gone 7-for-11. Pitching matchup for the rest of the series: Sunday 1:10pm CST: Joe Ryan (9-5, 3.92 ERA) vs RHP Kohei Arihara (0-1, 4.76 ERA) Monday 6:10pm CST: Sonny Gray(7-3, 3.11 ERA) vs. LHP Cole Ragans (0-2, 5.02 ERA) Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet View full article
  20. Box Score SP: Chris Archer: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K (77 pitches, 45 strikes (58%)) Home Runs: None Top 3 WPA: Chris Archer (.133), Jorge Lopez (.133), Jose Miranda (.122) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Chris Archer started for the Twins on Saturday. The right-hander was able to complete five innings and only allowed one earned run. It was one of his best outings of the season. The bullpen really got a nice break with Devin Smeltzer taking on three innings after relieving Archer in the sixth inning. Smeltzer struggled in his first two innings but somehow gave just up one run to give the Rangers the lead. He gave up five singles, and had it not been for the defense, would have given up more runs. The southpaw came back out for the eighth inning and had a great 1-2-3 inning, but the Twins were still trailing 2-1 heading into the ninth. It’s been amazing to see how little the bullpen has been used this week with the longevity of the starting staff and the longer relievers. Even in extra innings, they looked rested, ready and in control on the mound, not indicated by the two runs given up in the tenth inning. The Twins defense was really the main character of the game. The defense has been playing well for the past few games, helping to get the “W” for the team when the score is too close for comfort. In the fourth inning, after the Rangers threatened with more runners in scoring position, Ezequiel Duran hit a slow chopper to Carlos Correa who turned the ball and threw it to Luis Arraez at first base and got the out to end the inning. Jorge Polanco may not have had any production at the plate, but in the ninth inning, he made a beautiful slide to grab a line drive from Marcus Siemen. He calmly stepped on second base and threw to Arraez for a double play to bring up the Twins to what fans hoped would be the end of the night. Rangers starter Glenn Otto did a nice job on the mound tonight, not allowing the Twins to do more to manufacture runs. Also, the Twins pattern of hitting quite poorly overall with runners in scoring position. Opportunities were given to the Twins, but few of them worked out. Otto walked Gary Sanchez which advanced Jake Cave to second base and brought up Arraez who ripped a ball just over a leaping Corey Seager's extended arm and brought Cave home to get the Twins on the board. Max Kepler, who was on base after a walk, was brought home when Jose Miranda came up clutch and tied the game at 2-2. Kepler was on first when the liner was hit to the right centerfield gap. Kepler dashed around second, and Tommy Watkins waved him home. A dropped relay throw allowed Kepler to score on Miranda's single. The Twins got a runner on base in the bottom of the ninth but were unable to score, sending the game to extra frames. The Rangers started out the extra innings with two runs, but The Twins refused to go silently into the night, battling with every single pitch. They were gifted a run with two outs when the pitcher misplayed a soft grounder, allowing Arraez to score and cut the score to 4-3. However, the game ended when Miranda, who has been instrumental in so many late-rally games, hit a fly-out to left field giving the Rangers the win for the night. What’s Next? The Twins still have two more games to finish off with the Rangers before traveling to Houston to face the Astros who are first place in the AL West and have gone 7-for-11. Pitching matchup for the rest of the series: Sunday 1:10pm CST: Joe Ryan (9-5, 3.92 ERA) vs RHP Kohei Arihara (0-1, 4.76 ERA) Monday 6:10pm CST: Sonny Gray(7-3, 3.11 ERA) vs. LHP Cole Ragans (0-2, 5.02 ERA) Postgame Interview Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
  21. Strong pitching, lots of hits, and big runs. This is what summer nights are supposed to be and what the Twins have continued to bring us over the past three games. The Twins held off the Blue Jays and took game three giving them a 2-1 lead in a big series. Box Score SP: Dylan Bundy: 4 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 1 K (65 pitches, 45 strikes (69%)) Home Runs: Jose Miranda (11) Top 3 WPA: Jorge Polanco (.204), Luis Arraez (.177), Jose Miranda (.163) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Dylan Bundy started the game for the Twins on Saturday. He was able to hold off the Blue Jays through the first three innings, but the second time through the lineup, the Jays had seen enough of Bundy to capitalize on his pitches. Teoscar Hernandez doubled on a sharp line drive earlier and was brought home on a two-run homer from Bo Bichette tying up the game at 2-2 in the fourth inning. Bundy let two runs in but got out of the inning with no further issues. He had six strikeouts in his four innings, his best game since the Fourth of July against the White Sox. On the Blue Jays side, Mitch White started out and did a decent job of trying to keep the Twins off the board. In the third inning Sandy Leon was walked, which got the momentum started. Luis Arraez ripped a ball down the first base line for a double. Both Leon and Arraez were brought home on sacrifice flies from Byron Buxton and Jorge Polanco to get the Twins on the board first. The Twins were seeing doubles. Throughout the game, the team accumulated five doubles. In the fifth inning, Luis Arraez doubled and later scored on a Jorge Polanco double. The Twins led 3-2 through five innings. The momentum of the hits was exciting, giving it almost a playoff feel. Jose Miranda got his 11th home run, Nick Gordon stole a base and scored on a squeeze bunt from Sandy Leon, and Arraez had three hits and stole a base. Jake Cave, who has been on a tear since coming up from Triple-A St. Paul hit a stand up triple giving the Twins a 7-3 lead. The Twins lineups and bullpen in this series have been fun to watch. There is no longer a doom and gloom hanging over the team. The hitters are putting balls into play, the bullpen is controlling the momentum of the other team. The bullpen came in and owned one of the better teams in the league for the second night in a row. Between solid arms and great game management by Rocco Baldelli, the bullpen moved quickly and swiftly through each inning. Trevor Megill was first out of the 'pen and the only reliever to struggle was Griffin Jax, who let two on base with no outs. Baldelli called Jhoan Duran to the mound. The Twins bullpen gave up just one run. Jorge Lopez came in to end the game with the Twins taking game three of the four-game series. What’s Next? The Twins finish out their four game series with the Blue Jays tomorrow, hoping to get a series win against one of the hardest teams in the league. Pitching matchup tomorrow: Sunday 12:10 pm CST: Chris Archer (2-5, 4.05 ERA) vs RHP Kevin Gausmann (8-8, 3.06 ERA) Postgame Interviews Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet View full article
  22. Box Score SP: Dylan Bundy: 4 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 1 K (65 pitches, 45 strikes (69%)) Home Runs: Jose Miranda (11) Top 3 WPA: Jorge Polanco (.204), Luis Arraez (.177), Jose Miranda (.163) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) Dylan Bundy started the game for the Twins on Saturday. He was able to hold off the Blue Jays through the first three innings, but the second time through the lineup, the Jays had seen enough of Bundy to capitalize on his pitches. Teoscar Hernandez doubled on a sharp line drive earlier and was brought home on a two-run homer from Bo Bichette tying up the game at 2-2 in the fourth inning. Bundy let two runs in but got out of the inning with no further issues. He had six strikeouts in his four innings, his best game since the Fourth of July against the White Sox. On the Blue Jays side, Mitch White started out and did a decent job of trying to keep the Twins off the board. In the third inning Sandy Leon was walked, which got the momentum started. Luis Arraez ripped a ball down the first base line for a double. Both Leon and Arraez were brought home on sacrifice flies from Byron Buxton and Jorge Polanco to get the Twins on the board first. The Twins were seeing doubles. Throughout the game, the team accumulated five doubles. In the fifth inning, Luis Arraez doubled and later scored on a Jorge Polanco double. The Twins led 3-2 through five innings. The momentum of the hits was exciting, giving it almost a playoff feel. Jose Miranda got his 11th home run, Nick Gordon stole a base and scored on a squeeze bunt from Sandy Leon, and Arraez had three hits and stole a base. Jake Cave, who has been on a tear since coming up from Triple-A St. Paul hit a stand up triple giving the Twins a 7-3 lead. The Twins lineups and bullpen in this series have been fun to watch. There is no longer a doom and gloom hanging over the team. The hitters are putting balls into play, the bullpen is controlling the momentum of the other team. The bullpen came in and owned one of the better teams in the league for the second night in a row. Between solid arms and great game management by Rocco Baldelli, the bullpen moved quickly and swiftly through each inning. Trevor Megill was first out of the 'pen and the only reliever to struggle was Griffin Jax, who let two on base with no outs. Baldelli called Jhoan Duran to the mound. The Twins bullpen gave up just one run. Jorge Lopez came in to end the game with the Twins taking game three of the four-game series. What’s Next? The Twins finish out their four game series with the Blue Jays tomorrow, hoping to get a series win against one of the hardest teams in the league. Pitching matchup tomorrow: Sunday 12:10 pm CST: Chris Archer (2-5, 4.05 ERA) vs RHP Kevin Gausmann (8-8, 3.06 ERA) Postgame Interviews Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
  23. Minnesota Twins Game Notes are here! You’re probably asking what are Game Notes? Game notes are topics that have come up during a game that we think deserve some more attention. That can be a player, a play and it could be a good thing or a bad thing, a mistake or a great play or anything really. We used to have them at the end of our Game Recaps articles. We made a logo and everything. Well, kind of. It’s a notes icon with some text on it. HEY! That’s what a logo is. We just wanted somewhere to talk about some of the little things that happen in a game that we wanted to expand on. So…this is our 1st separate Game Notes article and it’s about Game 2 between the Minnesota Twins and the Toronto Blue Jays from August 5th, 2022 and it had a pretty crazy ending so...check that out then let us know what you think with a comment or on social media.. Game Notes * Why Didn’t Guerrero Adjust for the Throw to 1st in Extra Innings? Jake Cave swung through strike 3 but Blue Jays C Danny Jansen didn’t catch the ball so Jake took off running to try to get to 1st base before the ball. The ball rolled into foul territory on the 1st base side and when he corralled it and picked it up, his first thought was to try to tag Cave but he was already too far away so he tried to throw to 1st for the out. Jake Cave reaches on a strikeout in the 10th inning - Twitter Video Minnesota Twins vs Toronto Blue Jays August 5th, 2022 Game Highlights 2:31 into the Game Highlights video Cave was in the baseline and Guerrero, Jr. didn’t help his catcher out by trying to give him a better target forcing him to try to lob it over Cave so he threw it high and Guerrero didn’t catch it. Cave was safe at 1st and Nick Gordon advanced to 3rd on the play. It’s obviously a fast play but, and any 1st baseman out there let us know, shouldn’t it be automatic as a 1st baseman when you see a ball go into foul territory on the 1st base side to step to the other side of 1st base for an easier and shorter throw? Jansen could also make a harder throw. If all the catchers and first baseman on the Blue Jays know that a ball in the dirt to the first base side in foul territory means the throw should be to the right (foul territory) side of 1st base every time, this play wouldn’t have been a problem at all. The video of it above is 10 seconds long and Jansen gets the ball around the 4-second mark of the video so Guerrero has plenty of time to move to the foul territory side of 1st base for an easy throw for the out. Blue Jays manager John Schneider on the play: It was interesting to see that and not to see Justin Morneau point that out as a former 1st baseman. Maybe that’s not the case but it sure seems like that would make it easier, doesn’t it? ––––– If you thought Twins fans were bad, try searching Danny Jansen on Twitter to see what Toronto Blue Jays fans think about their catcher. Wow! The pitch landed just past home plate so it’s easy to see why it was a hard play for the catcher to make. He blocked it. That’s his job. Are there any catchers who would expect to catch that pitch? No way, right? It’s going to bounce into their chest protector and they just want to keep it in front of them so they can hopefully get to it quickly and keep the runner/s from advancing. The pitch landed just past home plate. Then go to the throw to first base. Is it an easy throw? Yes would be the obvious answer but it’s not a normal throw for professional baseball players during a game. They’re throwing the ball hard on every play unless it’s a short toss of about 10 feet or so and those throws don’t usually have a runner between them and the throw’s destination. ** What is Nick Gordon doing on that play? He’s going back to 2nd base for some reason. Staying where he was seems more plausible but it’s almost as if he’s tagging up on the play going all the way back to 2nd base. He only advances to 3rd after he sees the ball get away from Guerrero. How far away should he be from 2nd base? A quarter to a third of the way to 3rd base? He was ripped for getting caught off 3rd in the 1st game against Detroit. Did that play a part in what he did here? Was he hesitant to go when the ball hit the dirt? Shouldn’t he go as soon as he sees it bounce away from the catcher? Would he not have made it to 3rd easily? Add in that Jansen knows it’s a force out at 1st while Gordon would need to be tagged out at 3rd and would he even try to make a throw to 3rd? Minnesota Twins vs Detroit Tigers Game Highlights from August 1st, 2022 2:01 in, Nick Gordon is caught off of 3rd base to end the bottom of the 9th *** How ‘bout Gilberto Celestino avoiding the ball as he ran to 2nd in the bottom of the 9th? Gilberto Celestino replaced Gio Urshela as a pinch-runner after Gio singled to lead off the bottom of the 9th. Luis Arraez then hit a ground ball to 2nd and Gilberto had to try to dance around said ground ball while simultaneously trying to get to 2nd as quickly as possible so he wouldn’t be thrown out. The ball ended up going through his legs! That’s some Edwin Moses stuff right there or that's his imitation of Superman landing! ––––– TT ––––– Thank You for reading our TwinsTakes! We’d love to hear your TwinsTakes! So, hit us up on Twitter, Instagram and/or Facebook!!! That’s why it’s…
  24. Box Score SP: Chris Archer 4.1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 8 K (49 pitches, 77 strikes (64%)) Home Runs: Mark Contreras (1) Bottom 3 WPA: Gio Urshela (-.180), Jose Miranda (-.086), Luis Arraez (-.068) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) The game started out slow. Both pitchers went scoreless through the first two innings and in just his eighth MLB start, Mark Contreras came up to bat in the third and ripped his first MLB home run 407 feet to center field, putting the Twins ahead for the first time of the night. The bases quickly loaded the bases. With Luis Arraez, Carlos Correa and Jose Miranda on base and one out, Nick Gordon came to the plate. He hit what the fans, Twins and Gordon himself thought was a grand slam, but alas, after review, the call of Foul Ball was upheld. Gordon did hit a sacrifice fly that brought Arraez home, giving the Twins a 2-0 lead. Akil Baddoo ended the inning with a diving catch off of Gio Urshela’s high fly ball. Carlos Correa scored another run for the club on another Gordon sacrifice fly, but the Tigers pitching staff managed to keep the Twins from scoring a fourth run. Chris Archer started in his third game tonight since returning from the IL. He threw 77 pitches, had a season-high, eight strikeouts. He gave up two earned runs in the top of the fifth before being relieved by Jovani Moran. Archer has not been able to get past the fifth inning, or over 80 pitches (minus one game) throughout the season. Baldelli has spoken previously about Archer and his confidence in the pitcher, noting that he just needs to continue working on stretching out and he sees him improving. Emilio Pagan showed well, striking out two and moving swiftly through the sixth inning with no damage. The trouble came for the Twins in the seventh inning when Griffin Jax gave up three more earned runs which gave the Tigers the lead for the first time in the game and the series. Trevor Megill, Tyler Duffey and Joe Smith all had outstanding outings, allowing no runs. Minus the three runs from Jax, the bullpen did a phenomenal job, a welcome sight for sure. The Twins 40-man roster has experienced a lot of change and injury lately. Most recently, Miguel Sano returned to the 60-day IL with right knee inflammation and Alex Kirilloff was played on the Injured List with right-wrist inflammation. Jake Cave was finally recalled from St. Paul for the first time this season. Cave has been working hard and playing great with the Saints, logging a triple-slash line of .273/.370/.509 with 14 home runs this season. The last time he broke double digits in home runs was in 2018 before his back problems started. He went 2-for-3 for the club with an impressive double. Do you see the Twins pushing forward to be competitive and hanging onto first place in the division? What’s Next? The Twins have a day game to finish out the series with Detroit before a four-game set with Toronto when the Blue Jays come to town. Pitching matchup tomorrow: Wednesday 12:10 pm CST: Joe Ryan (7-4, 3.78 ERA) vs RHP Tyler Alexander (2-4, 4-10 ERA) Postgame Interview
  25. As the trade deadline expired, game time for the Twins approached. The Twins had several roster changes including welcoming back outfielder Jake Cave. The Twins were still on a walk-off high coming into the game and ready to continue the momentum. Box Score SP: Chris Archer 4.1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 8 K (49 pitches, 77 strikes (64%)) Home Runs: Mark Contreras (1) Bottom 3 WPA: Gio Urshela (-.180), Jose Miranda (-.086), Luis Arraez (-.068) Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs) The game started out slow. Both pitchers went scoreless through the first two innings and in just his eighth MLB start, Mark Contreras came up to bat in the third and ripped his first MLB home run 407 feet to center field, putting the Twins ahead for the first time of the night. The bases quickly loaded the bases. With Luis Arraez, Carlos Correa and Jose Miranda on base and one out, Nick Gordon came to the plate. He hit what the fans, Twins and Gordon himself thought was a grand slam, but alas, after review, the call of Foul Ball was upheld. Gordon did hit a sacrifice fly that brought Arraez home, giving the Twins a 2-0 lead. Akil Baddoo ended the inning with a diving catch off of Gio Urshela’s high fly ball. Carlos Correa scored another run for the club on another Gordon sacrifice fly, but the Tigers pitching staff managed to keep the Twins from scoring a fourth run. Chris Archer started in his third game tonight since returning from the IL. He threw 77 pitches, had a season-high, eight strikeouts. He gave up two earned runs in the top of the fifth before being relieved by Jovani Moran. Archer has not been able to get past the fifth inning, or over 80 pitches (minus one game) throughout the season. Baldelli has spoken previously about Archer and his confidence in the pitcher, noting that he just needs to continue working on stretching out and he sees him improving. Emilio Pagan showed well, striking out two and moving swiftly through the sixth inning with no damage. The trouble came for the Twins in the seventh inning when Griffin Jax gave up three more earned runs which gave the Tigers the lead for the first time in the game and the series. Trevor Megill, Tyler Duffey and Joe Smith all had outstanding outings, allowing no runs. Minus the three runs from Jax, the bullpen did a phenomenal job, a welcome sight for sure. The Twins 40-man roster has experienced a lot of change and injury lately. Most recently, Miguel Sano returned to the 60-day IL with right knee inflammation and Alex Kirilloff was played on the Injured List with right-wrist inflammation. Jake Cave was finally recalled from St. Paul for the first time this season. Cave has been working hard and playing great with the Saints, logging a triple-slash line of .273/.370/.509 with 14 home runs this season. The last time he broke double digits in home runs was in 2018 before his back problems started. He went 2-for-3 for the club with an impressive double. Do you see the Twins pushing forward to be competitive and hanging onto first place in the division? What’s Next? The Twins have a day game to finish out the series with Detroit before a four-game set with Toronto when the Blue Jays come to town. Pitching matchup tomorrow: Wednesday 12:10 pm CST: Joe Ryan (7-4, 3.78 ERA) vs RHP Tyler Alexander (2-4, 4-10 ERA) Postgame Interview View full article
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