Category Archives: Minnesota Twins

Game 100: Brooklyn Dodgers at Los Angeles Senators

Los Angeles Senators

Celebrating 70 Years of Baseball in the City of Angels

All credit to "Tom" over at Ghosts of DC.

Griffith declared he has assurances from Los Angeles officials that a written proposal for transfer of the Washington franchise would be forthcoming before the Nats 5-man board of directors meets on Friday.
“I am sure we will have a Los Angeles offer to consider in addition to those received from San Francisco and Louisville,” Griffith said. “That is the word I received by telephone from Kenneth Hahn, Los Angeles county supervisor.”

Included in the Los Angeles proposal, Griffith said, would be guarantees of a stadium seating “at least 50,000, perhaps larger, with parking for 20,000 cars, and low stadium rental.”

The Louisville proposal offering use of the new Fairgrounds Stadium seating nearly 32,000, which could be expanded to 40,000, was made, Griffith said, by William Henry, Fairgrounds superintendent. It was accompanied by a letter from Kentucky Governor A. B. (Happy) Chandler.
The mayor of San Francisco authorized that city’s bid for the Washington franchise, Griffith said. It emphasized the availability of a $5 million bond issue, already passed, into which to build a stadium for the stipulated purpose of inviting major league baseball.

The negotiations and bidding war was heating up (by the way, Happy Chandler was also the former commissioner of Major League Baseball and a U.S. Senator). On Wednesday, October 17th, the Post reported the official offer received by the team.

Los Angeles officials yesterday telegraphed Calvin Griffith an offer of a new $11,000,000 stadium and appropriated $2,000,000 with which to buy out their minor league franchise in a new move to lure his Washington team to that city.

Griffith said he was disappointed at the County Board’s failure to spell out its proposal in complete detail for submission to the Friday meeting of the Washington Club’s board of directors.
“I’m not going out there to work out any plans,” said Griffith, president of the Washington club. “They are the ones seeking a franchise. We’re not.”

Griffith was non-commital on the question as to whether construction of a new, municipal stadium in Washington would be sufficient to keep the Nats in the Capital. “We’ll answer that question and a lot of others on Friday.”

The good news, albeit temporary, was that Griffith didn’t like the deal offered by Los Angeles. He ended up passing that year and the Senators would stay in Washington for the 1957 season.

After the 1957 season, L.A. successfully lured the Dodgers from Brooklyn with San Francisco pulling in their rival Giants. The Senators lost their negotiating position slightly and rebuffed an attempt by Minneapolis to bring them to town for the 1958 season.

Major League Baseball expanded after the 1960 season by adding a new franchise in Minneapolis. Still stuck in D.C. with an old stadium and lagging attendance, Calvin requested that his team swap with the new expansion team. The Senators would become the Minnesota Twins and Washington would get a new, even crappier Senators team, complete with a roster of unrecognizable players. The Twins would go on to face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1965 World Series.

Maybe alternate history helps the current iteration of the club salvage a win & avoid a sweep. We'll see what Erv has for them tonight.

"With Clayton Kershaw on the disabled list with a lower back strain, manager Dave Roberts will insert righty Brock Stewart into the Dodgers' starting rotation."

"Stewart, ranked by MLBPipeline.com as the Dodgers' No. 10 prospect, will make his first start this season on Wednesday against the Twins..."

Source

Game 94: New York Yankees at Minnesota Twins

This started as a response to sean's comment in the CoC, but I realized I had a game log to write, so I moved it over here. The response/question I began morphed into this: It is now July 19th, and after 93 games, the Twins are 47-46, two games back of the Indians in the Central and (now) a game-and-a-half behind the Yankees for the 2nd Wild Card spot. The Yankees, at 48-44, are in 3rd place in the AL East and currently hold the 2nd Wild Card spot. They're buying.*

[placeholder for a poll question ... to be inserted once I learn how to create a poll] Should the Twins:
A) Buy (starting pitching, relief pitching, pitching pitching)
B) Sell (Santana, Dozier, Kintzler .... uhm, yeah)
C) Neither (Play it out and see where the chips fall)

I keep reading all of these click-bait analysis (analyses?) of teams who should be sellers at the trade-deadline, who on their roster is/should be available, teams who are/might/should be interested, and what those teams might have to offer in return. Lots and lots of pitching being discussed, but I HAVE NOT SEEN ONE MENTION of the Twins as a team that should be involved in either end of the equations.

There was a graphic shown during the game last night which broke the season thus far into nine, 10-game blocks. Though it was late, I recall that in each of those 10-game blocks, the Twins were basically playing .500 baseball: lots of 5-5, 4-6, 6-4 blocks. They've never won more than 4 games in a row, and never lost more than 4 games in a row. They've never been more than 3 games up in the Central, nor have they been more than 3 games back. Also of note, with 422 RS and 488 RA, a -66 Run Differential, their Pythagorean W-L is currently 40-53...

After last season, if you'd told me this club would be an 82-win team, irrespective of where they finish in the standings, I'd have been pretty content (maybe even 'happy'). I've now seen half a season of these guys, and watched what's happening in the rest of the American League and the Twins' play against each of the front-runners: 1-5 vs. Houston, 2-5 vs. Boston, 5-8 vs. Cleveland, and 2-3 vs. the leading WC clubs - a combined 10-21 against the current field of playoff teams...ugh.

So, I hold no illusions that the team, as currently constructed, is a team that could win in the post season. According to multiple sources, during the last offseason, the Twins shopped (or took phone calls for) their admittedly limited assortment of players with value to other squads. In the end, they did not move Dozier or Santana and basically signed a few roster-filler arms for the bullpen, a utility-infielder and a couple of catchers. It did not appear that they were making moves to contend in 2017. Now that they are contending, what should they do?

One thing I believe they should continue to do is feed innings to José Berríos. He has allowed an average of 5 runs over has past four starts, but at this point in his first "full" year with the big club, I expect some bumps and think they'll only help him get better long term. He's currently sitting at 8-3, 120 ERA+, 1.151 WHIP and 4.01 FIP. He's been worth 1.1 WAR in 12 starts and could conceivably reach 200 IP and 200 K's for the season (though very unlikely - averaging ~ 6 IP/GS and 5.83 K/GS with maybe a dozen or so starts left this year). No matter the final outcome (either today, or in 2017) I'm happy to note that he's been their second best starter this year.

*

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Game 76: Minnesota @ Boston

Wide-eyed Rookie v. Reigning Cy Young Award winner

-or-

Mejia v. Porcello.

Let's hope last night's defensive lapses and poor decision-making on the base paths were simply an aberration due to the wet conditions and localized lightning strikes.

Let's hope the bullpen continues to pitch well competently.

Let's also hope that the boys bring their bats and see the early-June 2017 (5.00 ERA) Porcello because last night, they sorta made Drew Pomeranz look like circa-2016 Porcello.

Finally, let's also hope that the young "core" of Polanco, Kepler & Sanó can get their mojo back, who after good-to-great months of April & May are respectively slashing .231/.273/.308, .217/.244/.349 and .239/.309/.466 for June.

Game 15: Cleveland at Minnesota

After a 5-1 start, the Twins have now dropped 6 of 8, are 3-7 over their past 10 and are 7-7 (.500) overall. This record is tied with Cleveland for 3rd in the Central Division and 1.5 games behind first place Detroit.  They're also a cool .500 at home and on the road, 4-4 and 3-3 respectively.

Today's Focus: Pitching

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Young lefty, Adalberto Mejia (0-1, 4.05 ERA, 1.65 WHIP) takes the mound for the Twins this evening, having shown significant improvement in his second start last week against Chicago, giving up 1 run on 4 hits while striking out 4 (and walking 3).

Cleveland sends former 1st rounder (3rd overall) Trevor Bauer (0-2, 8.44 ERA, 1.59 WHIP) against the Twins who, after an unspectacular first outing against Arizona (5.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER -- he did strikeout 7) followed with an even worse performance in Detroit on Friday (5.0, 8, 6, 6 w/ 6 SO).

Cleveland starters are last in MLB in ERA (5.86), 27th in WHIP (1.39) and tied for 2nd in Hits allowed (85). As a team, they're 28th in ERA (4.94), 23rd in WHIP (1.37) and 2nd in Hits allowed (131) ... so ... let's WAKE UP THE BATS!!!

Twins starters are 2nd in ERA (3.18) in MLB and 2nd in WHIP (1.06), and as a team, lead the majors in WHIP (1.04), sit in 2nd in the AL in ERA (2.98) and 3rd place overall. They're 29th in Hits allowed (95) but are tied for 27th in SO (93) ... so ... yay for good defense?

Also ... I have little hope that the Wild will win even 1 game, let alone their series against St. Louis. However, I hope they take heart and abide:

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Game 43: Minnesota at Baltimore

J. Berrios

SSS, but 2-0, 0.59 ERA, 0.39 WHIP, 15:2 K:BB

.082/.167/.122 against ... nice.

-v-

C. Tillman

also SSS, but 1-0, 3.52 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 12:7 K:BB

.267/.348/.333 against

 

Game 1 featured offense. Game 2 featured defense. Game 3 features special teams combo platter? At 13-5, the Twins have the best road winning percentage in all of baseball. I suppose it goes without saying that 14-5 is better ... no?

 

Game 36: Rockies at Twins (Day Game)

Marquez v. Santana

Potential for a long day of baseball - fine by me.

26th man for the day will be Drew Rucinski.

Was glad to see Mike Redmond back in the dugout - love that guy.

- edited -

Cheaptoy's Gem of an Intro:

DOUBLEHEADER ALERT! I figure one game log can serve both easily enough.

Game 1: German Marquez (1-2, 4.88 ERA, 3.37 FIP) vs. Ervin Santana (6-1, 1.50 ERA, 4.19 FIP)

Game 2: Tyler Chatwood (3-5, 5.25 ERA, 5.31 FIP) vs. Jose Berrios (1-0, 1.17 ERA, 2.78 FIP)

The Twins definitely have the best combination of starters ready to go for today's day-night doubleheader with Santana and Berrios. Despite the crowded bullpen, not all of those guys are very good so having at least one of the starters go deep into their game will be a big help. The Twins also could really use some good starting pitching after getting a couple of craptacular starts in a row. I think we all knew pitching would be a weakness for this squad, and while maybe it isn't totally dire (Duffey, Breslow, Rodgers and Kintzler look to be mostly bright spots in the bullpen while the starters appear to be about 60% competent) we were pretty much correct as the Twins have accumulated -2.3 WAR from the pitchers so far this year, most of which can be attributed to the bullpen.

Fortunately, the new administration looks to be much more willing to make a change when it's needed. Under Terry Ryan 2.0, I would have expected another few starts being given to Gibson before a move was considered. It will be interesting to see what they do with Phil Hughes, who quite frankly looks like he's at the end of his career. He hasn't been good since his first year here and injuries look to have drained his velocity.

As for the games today, Santana rebounded incredibly well in his last outing coming off of his only bad start of the season to date. While I know he'll have bad games here and there the rest of the way, he looks locked in on the mound and gives the team that top of the rotation guy who can come in after a couple losses and give the team a good chance to keep moving forward.

Jose Berrios had a heck of a 2017 dayview that I wish had happened the first week of the season. But, can't change that. Hopefully he can build on that first outing and keep his confidence up on his way to mowing down some Rockies hitters. I haven't seen a ton of him over his young career, but he looks to be one of those guys that is a lot of fun to watch when he's rolling.

First game is at noon and the second is at 7.

Game 31: Minnesota Twins @ Chicago White Sox

Phil Hughes (4-1, 4.32 ERA, 93 ERA+, 4.33 FIP, 1.38 WHIP, 6:21 BB:SO, 33.1 IP)
-v-
Derek Holland (3-2, 2.02 ERA, 192 ERA+, 3.68 FIP, 1.04 WHIP, 12:30 BB:SO, 35.2 IP)

I can't touch free's open from last night, so I won't even try.

Also ... "Guaranteed Rate Field" ... I know, I know, this is just the logical result of "Fenway Park" and "Wrigley Field*" (but seriously)?

*

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Game 21: Twins at Rangers

The Tale of Two Lefty's
Hector Santiago (2-1, 2.19 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 4 BB:17 SO's through 24.2 IP, 3.65 RS/9)
-vs-
Cole Hamels (1-0, 2.77 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 9 BB:14 SO's through 26 IP, 7.62 RS/9)

I actually think Santiago's a better pitcher than I'd given him credit for. As cheaptoy noted, this is probably due to the fact that someone was willing to trade him to the Twins in exchange for Ricky Nolasco.

Fun Fact: Mauer is 0-12 facing Hamels - most at-bats without a hit against any pitcher... so, he's due?

After some early miscues and missed opportunities, the Twins nearly managed a 'GreekHouse call' last night, falling only 1 run short of the necessary 8. Sure wouldn't mind them accomplishing that goal this evening.

Last year the team was never over .500 (closest they'd get was 17.5 games back at 46-66, a .411 winning percentage) through 20 games, they were already 6-14. At 10-10, the fellas are in 4th place, but only 1.5 games behind 1st place Detroit. A win puts the Twins back over .500 on the season.