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  1. The Twins woes with runners in scoring position did them in again tonight, as they game themselves plenty of scoring chances, but went 0-for-9 with RISP and failed to cash in on any of them and fell to the Texas Rangers by a score of 3-1.Box Score Thorpe: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K Home Runs: Garver (6) Bottom 3 WPA: Polanco -.188, Kepler -.174, Simmons -.130 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs): Download attachment: Screen Shot 2021-05-05 at 10.20.39 PM.png Garver goes deep Mitch Garver got the scoring started with one out in the bottom of second when he blasted an 88-mph fastball into the second deck in left-center field. After hitting just two home runs in 23 games in 2020, Garver is back on his 2019 home run pace, as this was already his sixth so far this season. Twins blow great scoring chance in the 4th After giving up the lead in the top of the inning, the Twins offense was poised to take it right back in the bottom of the inning. Nelson Cruz got the inning started with a sharp ground ball single to center field and was followed by a ground-rule double off the bat of Kyle Garlick, his first of two doubles on the evening. Mitch Garver then drew a walk to load the bases with nobody out. However, the Twins somehow found a way to not score any runs as Jorge Polanco struck out, followed by a force out at home off the bat of Max Kepler and a ground ball to short from Miguel Sano to get out of the inning. Even though the score was still tied, at the time it felt that was an opportunity that would haunt the Twins late in the ballgame. Lewis Thorpe makes 2nd start of the season After a rough 2020, Lewis Thorpe had to earn his way back in the Twins good graces with a strong spring training performance. As a result, Thorpe has earned the spot starter role for the Twins early in season. After giving up two runs in four innings in his first start, Thorpe gave the Twins another solid outing, as he allowed three runs over five plus. The outing had a chance to be better than it resulted, as Thorpe had given up just one run through five. However, Baldelli kept him in one inning too long as Thorpe gave up a walk and a single before getting pulled to start the sixth. Cody Stashak came in to relieve Thorpe, but failed to strand either runner, as both came around to score giving the Rangers a 3-1 lead. Alex Colome throws two shutout innings in reduced role It has been a very rough start to the 2021 season for newly acquired Alex Colome, who began the season as the Twins closer. In less than a month, he’s already not getting high leverage spots, but he’s filling more of a middle relief role as he was used to pitch multiple innings in a game the Twins were losing. So, it was only fitting that this was the appearance that Colome was able to keep the opposing team off the scoreboard. While it was nice to keep the Twins in the ballgame, it sure would have been better to have a few more outings like this earlier in the season when he was protecting a Twins lead in the final inning, but I digress. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet Click here to see the bullpen usage over the past five days (link opens a Google Sheet). Click here to view the article
  2. Box Score Thorpe: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K Home Runs: Garver (6) Bottom 3 WPA: Polanco -.188, Kepler -.174, Simmons -.130 Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs): Garver goes deep Mitch Garver got the scoring started with one out in the bottom of second when he blasted an 88-mph fastball into the second deck in left-center field. After hitting just two home runs in 23 games in 2020, Garver is back on his 2019 home run pace, as this was already his sixth so far this season. https://twitter.com/BallySportsNOR/status/1390103662530375686 Twins blow great scoring chance in the 4th After giving up the lead in the top of the inning, the Twins offense was poised to take it right back in the bottom of the inning. Nelson Cruz got the inning started with a sharp ground ball single to center field and was followed by a ground-rule double off the bat of Kyle Garlick, his first of two doubles on the evening. Mitch Garver then drew a walk to load the bases with nobody out. However, the Twins somehow found a way to not score any runs as Jorge Polanco struck out, followed by a force out at home off the bat of Max Kepler and a ground ball to short from Miguel Sano to get out of the inning. Even though the score was still tied, at the time it felt that was an opportunity that would haunt the Twins late in the ballgame. Lewis Thorpe makes 2nd start of the season After a rough 2020, Lewis Thorpe had to earn his way back in the Twins good graces with a strong spring training performance. As a result, Thorpe has earned the spot starter role for the Twins early in season. After giving up two runs in four innings in his first start, Thorpe gave the Twins another solid outing, as he allowed three runs over five plus. The outing had a chance to be better than it resulted, as Thorpe had given up just one run through five. However, Baldelli kept him in one inning too long as Thorpe gave up a walk and a single before getting pulled to start the sixth. Cody Stashak came in to relieve Thorpe, but failed to strand either runner, as both came around to score giving the Rangers a 3-1 lead. Alex Colome throws two shutout innings in reduced role It has been a very rough start to the 2021 season for newly acquired Alex Colome, who began the season as the Twins closer. In less than a month, he’s already not getting high leverage spots, but he’s filling more of a middle relief role as he was used to pitch multiple innings in a game the Twins were losing. So, it was only fitting that this was the appearance that Colome was able to keep the opposing team off the scoreboard. While it was nice to keep the Twins in the ballgame, it sure would have been better to have a few more outings like this earlier in the season when he was protecting a Twins lead in the final inning, but I digress. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet Click here to see the bullpen usage over the past five days (link opens a Google Sheet).
  3. After the Minnesota Twins took the first two games of the series, on Thursday and Friday night, they were looking to clinch the series win on Saturday, against the Texas Rangers. Despite yet another poor outing from Jose Berrios, the Twins were able to do just that, defeating Texas 12-7 thanks to yet another great offensive outburst from the lineup. With the New York Yankees taking care of business against the Cleveland Indians earlier today, the Twins lead, in the American League Central, is back up to 2.5 games.Box Score Berrios: 4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 62.0% strikes (57 of 92 pitches) Home Runs: Cron (20), Sano (23) Multi-Hit Games: Kepler (2 for 5, BB), Sano (3 for 6, HR), Polanco (3 for 5, BB), Gonzalez (3 for 5), Cron (2 for 4, HR), Cave (3 for 5) WPA of +0.1: Duffey .208, May .156, Gonzalez .151, Cron .139 WPA of -0.1: Berrios -.366, It was a fast start for the Twins, who busted open the floodgates before the Rangers even came to the plate, scoring six, count’em six, runs in the top of the first inning. Max Kepler leadoff the inning with a groundout to Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor, but that was quickly followed by singles from Miguel Sano and Jorge Polanco. The inning looked like it was going to come to a quick end, however, when Eddie Rosario hit a groundball to Rangers first baseman Logan Forsythe. Forsythe went to second with the throw, getting Polanco, but the return throw was a little high, and deflected off the glove of Rangers pitcher Ariel Jurado, who was coving first on the play. With the extra life, the Twins took full advantage. Mitch Garver, Luis Arraez, and Marwin Gonzalez combined to go walk, single, double to bring the score to 4-0, Twins. C.J. Cron followed that up with his 20th home run of the season, tying the 1964 Twins for the team record, for the most players with 20 home runs in a season, at six. Old friend Danny Santana answered back in the bottom of the first with a two-run home run of his own, cutting the Twins lead back down to four. Believe it or not, Santana has morphed himself into a whole new hitter in 2019, as he has already hit 21 home runs this season. For comparison, Santana hit just 38 home runs in the nine combined season he played for the Twins, and their minor league affiliates, between 2008 and 2016. The Twins answered right back in the top of the second, adding a couple more runs, to extend their lead back up to six. With the top of the order leading off for the second straight inning, the Twins had three straight runners reach bases with nobody out. Eddie Rosario was able to drive in Kepler from third, with a sac-fly to Rangers center fielder Danny Santana. In the next at-bat, Mitch Garver was able to beat out a potential double-play ball, bringing in the Twins second run of the inning. Unfortunately for the Twins, the Rangers were up to the tasks tonight, as they themselves, punched right back in the bottom of the second. Rougned Odor drew a leadoff walk, which set the table for a rough inning for Jose Berrios, and the Twins defense. Logan Forsythe followed up the Odor walk by drilling a groundball to third baseman Miguel Sano. Sano was unable to field the grounder, and the Rangers quickly had runners on second and third with nobody out. After a Isiah Kiner-Falefa RBI-single, a Jose Trevino strikeout out, and a Shin-Soo Choo RBI-groundout, Danny Santana connected on his second, two-run home run of the evening, off of Jose Berrios. Due to the Sano error, none of the four Ranger runs in the second inning were earned. After a couple of loud innings to begin the ballgame, it was quiet for a couple innings, until the Twins were able to build on their lead in the fifth. With one out in the inning, the Twins were able to quickly load the bases for Max Kepler, who came through with an RBI-single. Unfortunately, that is all the Twins were able to get in the inning. In the bottom of the inning, the Rangers yet again showed they were up for the fight. After Jose Berrios finally retired Danny Santana to start the inning, he gave up a pair of singles and a pair of walks. That closed the book on Berrios for the night, and Tyler Duffey was brought in to protect a the Twins two-run lead, with the bases loaded and just one out, and that is exactly what he did, striking out Logan Forsythe and getting Isiah Kiner-Falefa to flyout to end the inning. There was some controversy from the Twins dugout in the top of the seventh inning. With one out, and nobody on, C.J. Cron hit a flyball down the right field line that was ruled foul, but upon further review, it appeared as though the ball was clearly fair. However, Rocco Baldelli was instructed not to challenge the call. This was a highly questionably call, not because it would have been an easy overturn, but because the game was in the seventh inning, so there was virtually no risk in challenging and getting the call wrong. This all became a moot point, when the Twins were able to tack on insurance runs in the eighth and ninth innings, thanks to a Mitch Garver RBI-single in the eighth, and this Miguel Sano two-run home run in the ninth. The bullpen was up to the task again tonight for the Twins, who pitch 4 and 2/3 scoreless innings. In addition to Tyler Duffey getting out of the jam earlier, Ryne Harper pitched a scoreless inning, Trevor May was dominant, pitching two perfect innings, and Zack Littell closed the door in the 9th. Bullpen Usage Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days: Next Three Games Sun at TEX, 2:05 pm CT (Perez-Lynn) Mon vs CHW, 7:10 pm CT (Nova-TBD) Tues vs CHW, 7:10 pm CT (Lopez-TBD) Last Game Twins Game Recap (8/16): Twins Prevail Behind Clutch Schoop HR, Great Bullpen Performance Click here to view the article
  4. Box Score Berrios: 4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 62.0% strikes (57 of 92 pitches) Home Runs: Cron (20), Sano (23) Multi-Hit Games: Kepler (2 for 5, BB), Sano (3 for 6, HR), Polanco (3 for 5, BB), Gonzalez (3 for 5), Cron (2 for 4, HR), Cave (3 for 5) WPA of +0.1: Duffey .208, May .156, Gonzalez .151, Cron .139 WPA of -0.1: Berrios -.366, It was a fast start for the Twins, who busted open the floodgates before the Rangers even came to the plate, scoring six, count’em six, runs in the top of the first inning. Max Kepler leadoff the inning with a groundout to Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor, but that was quickly followed by singles from Miguel Sano and Jorge Polanco. The inning looked like it was going to come to a quick end, however, when Eddie Rosario hit a groundball to Rangers first baseman Logan Forsythe. Forsythe went to second with the throw, getting Polanco, but the return throw was a little high, and deflected off the glove of Rangers pitcher Ariel Jurado, who was coving first on the play. With the extra life, the Twins took full advantage. Mitch Garver, Luis Arraez, and Marwin Gonzalez combined to go walk, single, double to bring the score to 4-0, Twins. C.J. Cron followed that up with his 20th home run of the season, tying the 1964 Twins for the team record, for the most players with 20 home runs in a season, at six. https://twitter.com/fsnorth/status/1162896319167385600 Old friend Danny Santana answered back in the bottom of the first with a two-run home run of his own, cutting the Twins lead back down to four. Believe it or not, Santana has morphed himself into a whole new hitter in 2019, as he has already hit 21 home runs this season. For comparison, Santana hit just 38 home runs in the nine combined season he played for the Twins, and their minor league affiliates, between 2008 and 2016. The Twins answered right back in the top of the second, adding a couple more runs, to extend their lead back up to six. With the top of the order leading off for the second straight inning, the Twins had three straight runners reach bases with nobody out. Eddie Rosario was able to drive in Kepler from third, with a sac-fly to Rangers center fielder Danny Santana. In the next at-bat, Mitch Garver was able to beat out a potential double-play ball, bringing in the Twins second run of the inning. Unfortunately for the Twins, the Rangers were up to the tasks tonight, as they themselves, punched right back in the bottom of the second. Rougned Odor drew a leadoff walk, which set the table for a rough inning for Jose Berrios, and the Twins defense. Logan Forsythe followed up the Odor walk by drilling a groundball to third baseman Miguel Sano. Sano was unable to field the grounder, and the Rangers quickly had runners on second and third with nobody out. After a Isiah Kiner-Falefa RBI-single, a Jose Trevino strikeout out, and a Shin-Soo Choo RBI-groundout, Danny Santana connected on his second, two-run home run of the evening, off of Jose Berrios. Due to the Sano error, none of the four Ranger runs in the second inning were earned. After a couple of loud innings to begin the ballgame, it was quiet for a couple innings, until the Twins were able to build on their lead in the fifth. With one out in the inning, the Twins were able to quickly load the bases for Max Kepler, who came through with an RBI-single. Unfortunately, that is all the Twins were able to get in the inning. In the bottom of the inning, the Rangers yet again showed they were up for the fight. After Jose Berrios finally retired Danny Santana to start the inning, he gave up a pair of singles and a pair of walks. That closed the book on Berrios for the night, and Tyler Duffey was brought in to protect a the Twins two-run lead, with the bases loaded and just one out, and that is exactly what he did, striking out Logan Forsythe and getting Isiah Kiner-Falefa to flyout to end the inning. There was some controversy from the Twins dugout in the top of the seventh inning. With one out, and nobody on, C.J. Cron hit a flyball down the right field line that was ruled foul, but upon further review, it appeared as though the ball was clearly fair. However, Rocco Baldelli was instructed not to challenge the call. This was a highly questionably call, not because it would have been an easy overturn, but because the game was in the seventh inning, so there was virtually no risk in challenging and getting the call wrong. This all became a moot point, when the Twins were able to tack on insurance runs in the eighth and ninth innings, thanks to a Mitch Garver RBI-single in the eighth, and this Miguel Sano two-run home run in the ninth. https://twitter.com/fsnorth/status/1162938203151581184 The bullpen was up to the task again tonight for the Twins, who pitch 4 and 2/3 scoreless innings. In addition to Tyler Duffey getting out of the jam earlier, Ryne Harper pitched a scoreless inning, Trevor May was dominant, pitching two perfect innings, and Zack Littell closed the door in the 9th. Bullpen Usage Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days: Next Three Games Sun at TEX, 2:05 pm CT (Perez-Lynn) Mon vs CHW, 7:10 pm CT (Nova-TBD) Tues vs CHW, 7:10 pm CT (Lopez-TBD) Last Game Twins Game Recap (8/16): Twins Prevail Behind Clutch Schoop HR, Great Bullpen Performance
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