Category Archives: 2015 Twins Game Recaps

March 30, 2016: Game Logs

Here's who we've got so far...

Su: Twayn
M: hungry joe
W: spookymilk
F: davidwatts
Sa: nibbish

Home Run Derby: Usually me, but whatevs
All-Star Game: Rhubarb

Probably interested: CoC

Game recaps have been pretty sparse, of course, but if anyone wants to speak up in favor of scheduled recaps, go ahead. Otherwise, I think that's the kind of thing that can be figured out during the each of the logs themselves.

GOSO: Royals 6, Twins 1

Molitor had suggested starting Torii Hunter in right field, or having him pinch-hit, or sending a replacement out to allow him to walk to the dugout to a big ovation, but the 40-year-old Hunter rejected all such notions. Molitor even called Hunter again Sunday morning to make sure he hadn’t changed his mind, but the veteran said he didn’t want a manufactured “moment.”

“I’ve had my moment,” he said.

This Twins season was full of surprises, but this tidbit about Torii demurring from the spotlight might be the most surprising thing to occur this season. Maybe he is gaining some wisdom in his old age, which makes me believe that he is more likely to retire. Supposedly, we'll find out after the college football season.

As for the game, this had a real spring training road game feel to it. Ricky Nolasco was only allowed 50 pitches and pitched like he hadn't been on the mound in months (which was nearly true). The young kids were all in the lineup with a few veteran bench players getting a chance to play an entire game since most of them hadn't played much this month while the Twins were still in contention.

The highlight of the game was Max Kepler getting his first major league hit on a single to right field. What was real surprising is he was batting third, which should give you some idea of what the Twins feel about his future as a hitter.

As for some end of the year stuff, it was nice to see Sano keep his OPS above .900 despite him cooling off late in the season. It was hard to say how much of that was the hamstring that was bothering him, but still, a .916 OPS at age 22 is pretty much off the charts good.

While it may not be surprising that a middle infielder finished second the team in OPS, the fact that it was Eduardo Escobar probably is to many. He took off in the second half once the Twins finally decided to stick with him at shortstop while All-Star Brian Dozier slumped to a .639 OPS in the second half.

I have some more thoughts on this surprising run later, but I think it's safe to say the Twins are better now than they were at the beginning of the season. I also have some grievances I would like to air, but I'll save that for Festivus.

Game 160 recap. GOSO, probably.

The game started off great. 1 early run, batters getting on base, Ervin Santana keeping the Royals at bay. But then the bats went silent. The Royals eked out a run. Then another and another and by the time the Twins bats woke up it was too late.

Santana was tagged with the loss, but that is stupid because he pitched a great game. 7/4/2*/2*/3/3. The 2 gets an asterisk because Big Erv left the game with a runner on base and Glen Perkins imploded and allow the run to score and gave the loss to Santana.

With the Angels and Astros winning the Twins are 2 back with 2 to play. There is still a chance, but we are deep in the weeds and need to plug a 5 iron into the hole from 150 yards out. 😥

Game 156: Minnesota 4, Cleveland 2


Facing the reigning Cy Young winner, Corey Kluber, the Twins swung early & often and their first five hits went: double (Mauer), double (Sano), homerun (Plouffe), double (Hunter), double (Rosario). These five players accounted for all eight of the hits for the Twins - Brian Dozier added a sacrifice fly and a BB, Herrrmaaann reached twice (BB & HBP) and Escobar also had a BB.

Eddie further celebrated his 24th Birthday with a couple of singles, going 3-4. Despite 114 K's to only 14 BB's, Rosario's had a very nice rookie year: .270/.290/.463 with 18 Doubles, 15 Triples, 12 Homeruns, 49 RBI's, 56 Runs and 11 Stolen bases.

Tommy Milone, tapped to start in place of an ill Phil Hughes a mere four hours before the game, rebounded nicely from his previous two starts at the beginning of September (the results of which - combined with Hughes' return from the DL and Duffy's effectiveness - caused a move to the bullpen). He gave Molitor & Co. 5 2/3 quality innings, allowing only two earned runs on four hits, no walks and four strikeouts. In the sixth, Kipnis blasted a fly ball to deep centerfield that it appeared Hicks had a play on. Instead, he leapt & missed it and the ball caromed off the wall, allowing Kipnis to reach third base. The Indian's rookie SS phenom, Francisco Lindor, then added his second RBI of the night (first was a 1st inning HR) by grounding out to SS. That was all they'd get as the Twins bullpen went on to shut the Cleveland lineup down. Boyer, Fien, Perkins & Jepsen pitched 3 1/3 innings of shutout baseball, allowing only two hits and striking out three (two by Perk-n-Play - yay!).

With this win, the Twins have guaranteed themselves the first .500 or better season in five years. Considering I couldn't find any/we didn't do any predictions this year, I'd say none of us expected much from this club to begin the season. That they're still in the playoff hunt with six games to play is a minor miracle.

For Funzies:
2014 Predictions
2013 Predictions

Game 155: Twins 7, Tigers 1

And now we're down to one week left and the Twins are still in this thing. The Twins are still just 1 1/2 games back. Of course, it seems like they've been 1 1/2 games back for a couple weeks. They could be leading the wildcard after Tuesday's games. At this point in the season, anything can happen and the Twins can't be considered out of it until they're officially eliminated.

Look at 2009. The Twins were 3 games back with 4 to play and only 1 game left with the Tigers. The Twins went on win the division in an epic Game 163 in the final regular-season game in the Metrodome.

As for Sunday, the Twins did what they really need to do a lot of for the next week, which is score early and often. The Twins take pride in being resilient, but they really haven't shown that characteristic during games much. In fact, they haven't won a game in which they didn't score first since Sept. 5 in Houston, and that game ended with Byron Buxton making a sliding/diving catch on a line drive with the tying run at third and the winning run at second.

Fortunately, the Twins have been very good at scoring first as of late. They did so again Sunday with six runs in the second inning. It was the 14th time in the last 20 games the Twins have scored first. What was really nice to see was it started with the bottom of the lineup. The much maligned Kurt Suzuki got the Twins on the board first with an RBI single, then Buxton, getting a rare start, came up with two on and no outs. He attempted to bunt the first pitch in an obvious bunting situation, especially with a struggling No. 9 hitter at the plate. However, he got a slow curve on the next pitch and lined it into left-center for an RBI double. The top of the order kept the hit parade going to give Ervin Santana more than enough runs.

On Aug. 25, Santana was pulled in the third inning of an eventual 11-7 win over the Rays. His ERA at that point on the season was 6.05 for the pitcher who had been given the biggest free-agent contract in franchise history.  After that start, pitching coach Neil Allen put Santana through some drills to help him make an adjustment in his mechanics. Since then, he's been terrific. He's pitched at least 7 innings and not allowed more than 2 runs in his last 6 starts. The Twins have won 6 of those games. The one loss was when Kevin Jepsen blew the save with help from a bad decision on a throw by Aaron Hicks and then Paul Molitor went all pinch runner crazy and the Twins ended up losing to the Tigers in 12 innings.

Santana didn't look like he was as sharp as he's been, but his biggest problem was a high pitch count early in the game, but he still managed to get through 7 innings on 105 pitches, which is right where you want a starter to be at. He pretty much made it look easy once he got the big lead, and he might have gotten some help from the Tigers, who might find it hard to get motivated to make big comebacks in games that are essentially meaningless to them and their season.

If a team wants to go on a long winning streak, they need to find ways to win without constantly using their best relievers. On Sunday, Michael Tonkin was the only other pitcher used with him throwing the final two innings.

The fun part of the game was seeing several firsts. While Buxton's double early in the game was probably more crucial to the victory, it was nearly as exciting to see him hit his first major league home run late in the game. The fact that it came on a high fastball from a hard-throwing right-handed reliever made it even more exciting.

Miguel Sano finally found a ballpark big enough for him to get his first major league triple. He hit a rocket shot to right-center field to the deepest part of probably the biggest AL ballpark. What was even better is that it came with two outs in the ninth and with rookie Max Kepler on deck pinch hitting for Torii Hunter. Sano's triple extended the inning so that Kepler could get his first major league at-bat. He ended up striking out, but at least he finally got a chance to bat after sitting on the bench for a week.

Game 153 recap. Do I have to?

MIN 4 2 0

DET 6 13 3


Thats right, the Twins scored 4 runs on 2 hits. One of the hits was an almost Grand Slam by Eddie Rosario. The ball hit the top of the wall and Rosario got his 15th triple of the year. He now has more triples (15) than walks (14) this year. Crazy.

Rosario then tagged up on an ball hit about 110 feet to the right side of second base. Ian Kinsler's "holy moses this guy is tagging up!" throw short hopped the catcher and it was 4-0 Twins and it looked like the Twins were on cruise control and the Tigers were planning golf outings in the Carribean.

The Mike Pelfrey wobbled a bit. Pelf was rock solid the first four innings but gave up a bunch of hits in the 5th, but only 1 run and his night was through. In hindsight it might have been better to try to get 6 innings out of him because the bullpen was leaky again (except Blaine Boyer of all people).

Casey Fien and Glen Perkins manged to allow 7 base runners and 5 runs in their 5 out combined appearance. Once could say its just a one time thing for Perk but he has been struuuuuug-gling since July. He may say he is healthy, but it may be time to just shut him down for the year.

I keep telling myself competitive September baseball is fun, but then a soul crushing loss to a bad baseball team happens and wonder why go through the emotions. Then I look at the box scores are the last 4 years and see something like this actual lineup and think" yeah this year is pretty good".