Tag Archives: Byron Buxton

Game 8: twins @ fenway

Happy "Byron Buxton is not seriously injured" day to all who observe.

A simple sigh of relief is customary on this most holy of baseball days, but some other local observances vary.

Karl Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards intend to drop unholy amounts to buckets on the unsuspecting Memphis Grizzlies. Sonny Gray, meanwhile, has opted to strike out Red Sox by the dozen. I simply intend to drink a beer and soak in the celebratory atmosphere of Byron Buxton finally getting good news about an injury for once.

What's in everyone's glass on this fine Saturday afternoon? By all means, drop a note about any other sports-related happenings you happen to be taking in.

Game 3: Seattle @ Minnesota

Remember  how awesome this was?

Losing the first two games by one run each sure makes it easy to look for the little things that could have maybe gone the other way to flip the result. This was not a little thing, Buxton turned around that fastball and earned that flip of the bat and should have earned a flip of the outcome.

Just watch it again. He's so good.

Today's pitchers:

Ober vs. Marco Gonzalez

I'm very interested in what Bailey Ober's season will look like.  Repeating the good parts of a rookie year is sometimes a challenge. On the other hand, there were good parts about a Twins pitcher last year!

 

 

Happy Birthday–December 18

Ty Cobb (1886)
Dick Coffman (1906)
Gino Cimoli (1929)
Moose Skowron (1930)
Zoilo Versalles (1939)
Steve Hovley (1944)
Drew Coble (1947)
Roy Howell (1953)
Jim Clancy (1955)
Scott Bailes (1961)
Willie Blair (1965)
Joe Randa (1969)
Jose Rodriguez (1974)
Byron Buxton (1993)

Drew Coble was an American League umpire from 1982-1999.

We would also like to wish a very happy birthday to cheaptoy.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–December 18

Game 129: brewers @ twins

I'm honestly surprised that this game is going off on time. It was pretty rainy a couple hours west in my neck of the woods a few hours ago. Regardless, we press on.

Charlie Barnes starts tonight. He strikes me as maybe the tenth best starter to log a start for the Twins this year, but it would be nice if he could do just enough to support a lineup that suddenly looks reasonably major league capable.

Buxton's back, that's good enough for me. Go twins!

Happy Birthday–December 18

Ty Cobb (1886)
Dick Coffman (1906)
Gino Cimoli (1929)
Moose Skowron (1930)
Zoilo Versalles (1939)
Steve Hovley (1944)
Drew Coble (1947)
Roy Howell (1953)
Jim Clancy (1955)
Scott Bailes (1961)
Willie Blair (1965)
Joe Randa (1969)
Jose Rodriguez (1974)
Byron Buxton (1993)

Drew Coble was an American League umpire from 1982-1999.

We would also like to wish a very happy birthday to cheaptoy.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–December 18

2019 Recap: Game Eighty-seven

MINNESOTA 15, TEXAS 6 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Friday, July 5.

Batting stars:  Marwin Gonzalez was 3-for-4 with a double, a hit-by-pitch, two runs and two RBIs.  Jonathan Schoop was 3-for-5 with a home run (his fourteenth), two doubles, two runs, and four RBIs.  Mitch Garver was 2-for-4 with a home run (his thirteenth), a double, a walk, and three runs.  Max Kepler was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.  Jorge Polanco was 2-for-5 with a two-run homer, his thirteenth.  Luis Arraez was 2-for-5 with a home run, his second.  C. J. Cron was 2-for-5 with two doubles, two runs, and two RBIs.  Byron Buxton was 2-for-5 with two doubles and two runs.

Pitching stars:  Martin Perez pitched six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and two walks and striking out three.  Kohl Stewart retired all four men he faced.

Opposition stars:  Logan Forsythe was 2-for-4 with a home run (his fourth) and two runs.  Rougned Odor was 2-for-4 with a double.  Delino DeShields was 2-for-4 with a double.  Shin-Soo Choo was 1-for-5 with a two-run homer, his thirteenth.

The game:  The Twins started the scoring in the second and did so in a big way.  Garver led off with a double and scored on Gonzalez' single.  A double play made it look like the scoring might end right there, but Arraez followed with a home run, Schoop and Buxton hit back-to-back doubles, Kepler singled, and Polanco hit a two-run homer.  It was 6-0 and the Twins lead would never be threatened.

The Twins kept the scoring going.  Buxton doubled with one out in the fourth and scored on a Kepler single.  In the fifth Gonzalez was hit by a pitch and scored on Schoop's two-out two-run homer.  It was 9-0 through six.

The Rangers tried to get back into the game in the seventh.  Martin Perez, who had cruised through six innings, walked Nomar Mazara to open the seventh.  Singles by Forsythe and Asdrubal Cabrera plated one run and Odor's RBI double made it 9-2.  Ryne Harper came in and allowed a run-scoring ground out, then with two down gave up a homer to Choo, making the score 9-5.

No problem.  Garver led off the bottom of the seventh with a home run.  Gonzalez singled, Cron doubled, and Schoop delivered a two-out two-run double to make it 12-5.  Forsythe homered in the eighth to cut the margin to 12-6, but the Twins added a few more in the bottom of the eighth. Miguel Sano singled, Garver walked, Gonzalez doubled home one and Cron doubled home two.  Texas went down in order in the ninth.

WP:  Perez (8-3).  LP:  Adrian Sampson (6-6).  S:  None.

Notes:  Arraez was at third base in this game, with Gonzalez in left and Sano on the bench.  Sano entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the fourth, as Nelson Cruz left the game.  According to news reports, Cruz had discomfort in his foot because his shoe was too tight.  I don't know why he couldn't simply put on a bigger shoe, but it obviously didn't matter for the outcome of the game.

Arraez actually lowered his average by going 2-for-5--he's now batting .413.  Polanco went up to .314.  Tyler Duffey gave up a run in two-thirds of an inning and has an ERA of 2.60.

As noted above, Perez pitched very well for six innings.  In retrospect you can say he was left in the game too long, but his pitch count wasn't high and there were no obvious signs that he was tiring.  Sometimes a guy just loses it quickly.

Stewart pitched the last 1.1 innings.  It had been widely assumed that he was going to be Sunday's starter, but that seems very unlikely now.  Maybe that never was the plan, or maybe Rocco thought it was better to save the rest of the bullpen now and figure something else out for Sunday.  The pitcher who started in Rochester Tuesday, and so would be going on regular rest Sunday, was Devin Smeltzer.  He did pretty well in his two earlier major league starts, so it would not be surprising to see him back for the Sunday start.

This was the kind of game we saw a lot the first couple of months of the season and haven't seen much lately.  Will this be the start of a hot streak?  The Twins had a game like this Saturday and we hoped it might be the start of a hot streak, but instead it was just a one-off.  So I guess we'll see.

The win guarantees that the Twins will go into the all-star break not having more than a two-game losing streak.  That's pretty remarkable.

Record:  The Twins are 55-32, first in the American League Central, 6.5 games ahead of Cleveland.

Projected record:  We're still on track for 130-32!

Game 82: twins @ white sox

Happy Buxton day!

That's right, our long nightmare is over. Byron Buxton has returned. It's hard to overstate how much better having our favorite fleetfooted fielder back helps matters, but let me try...

With Buxton, we are basically assured of winning the World Series. Without him, we'd be hard pressed to stay out of the cellar.

Marwin is back, too, and I've got to say, he was missed quite a bit, too. Having a guy who can play six positions while providing a bit of power and fair contact skills adds a lot of value. GGettingboth of these guys back on the same day makes this team a LOT better, instantly.

As Philo noted, Berrios did his job of giving the bullpen a break yesterday, now it's time to capitalize with a nice winning streak heading into the all star game.

2019 Recap: Game Sixty-eight

MINNESOTA 2, KANSAS CITY 0 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Friday, June 14.

Batting stars:  Ehire Adrianza was 2-for-4.  Mitch Garver was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his eleventh.

Pitching stars:  Kyle Gibson pitched eight shutout innings, giving up two hits and no walks and striking out six.  Taylor Rogers pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.

Opposition star:  Brad Keller pitched seven shutout innings, giving up three hits and three walks and striking out six.

The game:  This really was an old-fashioned pitchers' duel.  There was not even a real threat to score until the fifth, when MIguel Sano reached on an error with one out and Adrianza singled.  A double play took the Twins out of the inning.  The Twins put men on first and second in the sixth when Byron Buxton was hit by a pitch and Max Kepler walked, but a strikeout, a pair of fly outs ended that threat.  In the seventh, Sano and Adrianza were again on first and second with one out, and again a double play ended the inning.

Finally, in the eighth, the Twins said, "Enough of this."  Kepler drew a one-out walk, and with two down Garver hit a two-run homer for the only runs of the game.  The Royals went down in order in the ninth.

WP:  Gibson (7-3).  LP:  Jake Diekman (0-4).  S:  Rogers (7).

Notes:  Adrianza was at shortstop, with Jorge Polanco at DH and Nelson Cruz out of the lineup.

Buxton was hit on the wrist by a pitch.  Apparently he's day-to-day.  I've said this before, but I'm always worried about hand and wrist injuries in a batter.  It seems like players and teams never let them heal properly.  Everyone, including the player, says that the player can play, and in fact he can.  He just can't play well, especially at the plate.  The Twins have a big division lead and Kepler can cover center field for a while.  He's not going to be as good as Buxton there, but he'll get by.  Let's give Buxton enough time for the wrist to be fully healed before we run him back out there.

Polanco was 0-for-3 with a walk and is batting.335.  Garver is batting .318.  Rogers has an ERA of 2.17.

Gibson apparently did not have any command issues last night.  He did not walk anyone and threw just eighty-eight pitches in eight innings.  He could have pitched the ninth, but Rogers has been the Twins' most reliable relief pitcher and hasn't pitched for a while.  Plus, had Gibson started the ninth and someone reached base, Rogers would have come in anyway, and most pitchers (and managers) prefer having the reliever start the inning if possible.  So, a perfectly understandable decision and, as it turned out, a good one.

Record:  The Twins are 46-22, first in the American League Central, eleven games ahead of Cleveland.

Projected record:  We're still on track for 140-22!

2019 Recap: Game Sixty-six

SEATTLE 9, MINNESOTA 6 IN MINNESOTA (10 INNINGS)

Date:  Wednesday, June 12.

Batting stars:  MIguel Sano was 2-for-4.  Marwin Gonzalez was 2-for-5 with a home run, his eighth.  Mitch Garver was 2-for-5.  Byron Buxton was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his ninth.  Max Kepler was 1-for-5 with a home run, his sixteenth.

Pitching stars:  Jose Berrios pitched 6.2 innings, giving up one run on seven hits and two walks and striking out six.  Ryan Eades struck out two in 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up two hits.

Opposition stars:  Daniel Vogelbach was 4-for-5 with a home run, his seventeenth.  Mallex Smith was 3-for-6 with two doubles.  Omar Narvaez was 2-for-4 with a double.  Dee Gordon was 2-for-5 with two doubles and two runs.  Shed Long was 1-for-4 with a three-run homer and a walk, scoring twice.  Tommy Milone struck out six in six innings, giving up three runs on four hits and no walks.

The game:  It was a pitchers' duel for seven innings.  The Mariners had runners all over the place for seven innings, but only scored when Vogelbach hit a leadoff home run in the sixth.  The Twins tied it 1-1 when Gonzalez homered with one out in the eighth.

The Mariners appeared to take control of the game with a five-run eighth.  A walk, a single, and a sacrifice fly scored the first run. A single, an error, and a three-run homer by Long scored four more.  It was 6-1, and it looked like the Twins were done.

Twins batters had other ideas.  Kepler homered with one out, and the Twins then put together four singles, with RBIs going to Garver and Gonzalez, to cut the lead to 6-4.  They struck again in the ninth, as Sano led off with a single and Buxton hit a two-run homer to tie it 6-6.

But as quickly as the Twins got back into the game, they got back out of it in the tenth.  A ground-rule double, a walk, and a bunt put men on second and third with one down.  The Twins then made three errors, leading to three runs, and the game was gone.

WP:  Anthony Bass (1-1).  LP:  Tyler Duffey (1-1).  S:  Roenis Elias (6).

Notes:  Jorge Polanco was 1-for-5 and is batting .339.  Garver is batting .321.  Mike Morin retired the only man he faced and has an ERA of 1.32.  Ryan Eades has an ERA of zero.  The three runs against Duffey were all unearned, so his ERA is now 2.29.

It would seem that there is plenty of blame to go around for this one.  The batters made a nice comeback, but for seven innings they did nothing against a couple of undistinguished pitchers.  The bullpen melted down in the eighth, but Eades came in to right the ship and the tenth inning can't be entirely blamed on Duffey.  The defense, normally reliable, let the team down in both the eighth and the tenth.  They say that you win as a team and you lose as a team, and the Twins lost as a team last night.

The exceptions are Eades, as mentioned above, and Berrios.  Berrios allowed nine baserunners, but only one scored.  It was mentioned that on the radio that he is stranding runners at a 78% rate, and that went up last night.  I wonder if he's trying to pace himself, only going max effort when there are men on base.  I'm not sure that allowing this many baserunners is sustainable for a season, but it's working for him so far.

I suspect one reason the Twins struggled against Milone is simply that you don't see pitchers like that much any more.  With all the emphasis on power arms, a soft tosser who can hit his spots and mix his pitches can be pretty effective, just because you rarely face pitchers like that.  Ryne Harper probably benefits from that, too.  I understand the preference for hard throwers, and as a general rule I agree with it.  Sometimes, though, we need to remember that the point is to get batters out, and any way you can do that is a good way.

Anyway, turn the page, put it in the rearview mirror, etc.  Cleveland lost yesterday, too, and we're still tied for the best record in the league.  As I heard someplace, you can't win them all.

Record:  The Twins are 44-22, first in the American League Central, 10.5 games ahead of Cleveland.

Projected record:  We'll just have to settle for 140-22!