2019 Game 118: Cleveland at Minnesota

Starting Lineups

Win Probability: 59.9%

The Twins pumped the brakes on their four-game skid with a rain-delayed win over Cleveland last night. Jake Odorizzi stepped up as the stopper, tossing five and two-thirds scoreless innings. Even the bullpen got into the act, giving up just one run over the remainder of the game. I have to say that while it's been hard to watch the team play what we now consider sub-par baseball for the past month, and especially hard to watch Cleveland loom larger and larger in the rearview mirror, I still think this team is fundamentally sound. Yes, the offense needs to be more productive in the early innings and more clutch with RISP in the late innings. The starting rotation needs to be more efficient and go an inning or so deeper into games to take pressure off the bullpen. And the bullpen itself needs a zero tolerance policy - we will only tolerate putting zeros on the board.

We have Berrios starting today, Cleveland has recent AAA call-up Aaron Civale taking the ball. That and home field advantage probably account for our high win probability. Play ball!

66 thoughts on “2019 Game 118: Cleveland at Minnesota”

  1. I'm sure it's been working out more often than not, but it seems like shift is missing a lot of weak grounders in key spots lately

  2. Dick "If the Twins only hit 1HR per game they will break the record"

    Yeah - but they won't stay in front of this years Yankees if they do that.

    1. You can say "AAA pitcher", but he was one of the best starters in AAA and in his two major league starts had shut down the Tigers and the Rangers. Granted that the Tigers aren't much, but Texas is fifth in the league in scoring. It's discouraging to see the Twins batters struggle, but Civale does not exactly look like a replacement level pitcher.

  3. I get the impression that much of the Bomba Squad is getting frustrated, is trying too hard, and that is often resulting in them getting themselves out. They need to just stay within themselves.

      1. Off the bat I thought he was scoring for sure. Then, he was thrown out by so much that I assumed he got an awful read off the bat. By replay, it looked like he got a good jump but is just a very slow pinch-runner (which I recall being a topic of conversation last season when he repeatedly ran for Grossman).

    1. No, especially not in that situation. We'd have had a tie game with runners on second and third and one out. That's a pretty good situation. No need to take what sounds like a foolish chance.

    2. Dazzle is trying hard not to be openly critical while still making it clear he thought that was not a good idea.

      1. And while we'll never know what would've happened otherwise, that decision cost us the last good chance we had to win the game.

            1. Atteberry is talking about how difficult the third base coach's job is and all the factors he has to consider. That's all true, but that's why they hire professionals to do it rather than putting someone like me out there. Of course it's a tough job. Every job in major league baseball is a tough job. It's not an excuse.

                1. Agreed.

                  Plus, Lindor had the ball. He already knew half of the play and still could have held him.

    3. Diaz hasn’t banked enough goodwill for me to buy this garbage. I mean, I don’t know what else these guys could say, but closing ranks and calling the decision “gutsy” when the eventual explanation seems more like hindsight justification is not a good look. Maybe I’m feeling more disillusioned than is necessary, but it sure as shit doesn’t make me feel any better to read about the ‘perfect relay’ being the only thing that kept the Twins from walking it off there. 1 out. Runners on 2nd & 3rd. Stoopid.

      From LEN3’s gamer:

      Francisco Lindor’s relay throw arrived in time to get Adrianza at the plate by at least a dozen feet. It was a gutsy call by Diaz that went the wrong way.

      Cleveland’s relay was perfect. Naquin’s throw to Lindor was 91.9 miles per hour and traveled 161 feet. Lindor got rid of the ball in sixth-tenths of a second and it traveled 166 feet at 90.6 mph.

      Diaz said he’d take that chance any day.

      “Then you’ve got to tip your cap,” Diaz said. “Anything deviating from that, we win. It’s how it goes.”

      Twins manager Rocco Baldelli was fine with the decision.

      “We’re going to back his calls and his instincts out there as our third base coach,” Baldelli said. “And again, they made a perfect relay, and we gave ourselves a chance to win the game if they don’t make that play.”

    4. For this instance, no. With 1 out, I didn't like it. I don't think it was a terribly obvious call, like sending Cron the other day, but not a risk to take at that point, especially with how poor Hand was pitching. Twins were missing more bad pitches than they were actually getting hits on. He was awful.

      As for overall, including this game, Twins have made 13 outs at home this season. The average is 11. Twins are also above average in number of times they've had runners at 1st when a double is hit and at second when a single is hit, so you would expect an averagely aggressive team to be a little above average in number of outs made at home. Of course, such a small sample of 13 outs, it's hard to get a good read on it, but overall, I think the numbers say he's been about average.

      1. I disagree that the numbers say anything. Do we know how many close plays were at home this season? Are those numbers even available?

        Let's say the average team has made 11 outs at home in an average of 20 close plays at the plate. Let's also say the Twins have made 13 outs in 15 close plays. Then we would be well below average. We could also be above average. The numbers are meaningless.

        I think this is a situation where we can trust our eyes. Sure seems like we have had more than our fair share of dumb sends by the third base coach. I could be wrong in comparison to other teams, but we don't have enough data to project this based upon numbers. So, the numbers right now are meaningless and say nothing.

        1. Trusting our eyes can be a little tricky too, though. I suspect we tend to remember the times where the third base coach got a runner thrown out more than we do the times a runner was just barely safe.

          1. Agree complete on this Jeff A. I just think that if runner is thrown out by 10 ft it is obviously a stupid send, no matter what the situation. In the situation in question, it is incredibly dumb. Gotta think the 3rd base coach runs through the situation before the ball is even put in play. I would be thinking "only if it's an above 50% gamble do I send him". It was at best a 5% chance he scores and that is only if the ball is thrown in the stands or the catcher drops it.

            1. Oh, I agree (as I said earlier) that this particular instance was a very bad mistake. By the way, when this play was going on, I had a flashback to this game. The first time the Twins ever scored a run off Troy Percival. Pinch-runner Dustan Mohr scored from first on a double. The throw beat him by a mile, but he banged into Bengie Molina and Molina dropped the ball. Does anyone else remember that game?

              1. I do remember that game. At least in that case there were two outs. And you could crash into the catcher, so while that almost never worked, it was more likely.

  4. How in the world can you give up a bunt single when everyone in the ball park is expecting a bunt?

      1. It wasn't a perfect bunt because Rodgers fucking over charged it off the mound and let it get past him.

  5. Great - now our closer has had an appearance as bad as all of our starters.

    Christ this team. 2nd and 3rd with one out - fucking sac fly wins the game - 2 game lead split series.

    Instead - our fucking idiot 3rd base coach sends the guy to be out by a mile - Schoop shits himself and Rodgers can't even get a single out.

    Does an easy schedule matter if we play like shit?

    1. Does an easy schedule matter if we play like shit?

      Losing a one-game wild card elimination would be a fitting enough end to the second half of this season, but missing the postseason altogether would be legendarily fitting.

      1. Astros just blew a 2 run lead to the Orioles in the 9th. Their fans have a nice division cushion to soften the blow

  6. I think we have a clear tipping point to look back on in case we end up in the wild card game instead of winning the division.

    1. That's a perfect "just so" story, of course.

      Something something tomorrow's starting pitcher. And tommorow is a "can't lose"-type situation at the Major League level (not vouching for Tuesday).

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