Tag Archives: Jorge Polanco

2019 Recaps: Game Twelve


Date:  Sunday, April 14.

Batting stars:  Eddie Rosario was 3-for-4 with a home run (his third), two runs, and two RBIs.  Mitch Garver was 2-for-3 with two doubles.  Byron Buxton was 2-for-4 with a double.  Nelson Cruz was 2-for-4.  Jorge Polanco was 2-for-4.  C. J. Cron was 1-for-3 with a home run.

Pitching stars:  Jose Berrios struck out seven in 6.2 innings, giving up two runs on four hits and a walk.  Taylor Rogers struck out two in a scoreless inning.  Trevor Hildenberger struck out both batters he faced.

Opposition star:  Daniel Norris pitched three innings, giving up one run on six hits and no walks and striking out two.

The game:  The Tigers opened the game with back-to-back singles but did not score.  The Twins got on the board in the bottom of the first.  Max Kepler led off with a double and Cruz hit a one-out single, putting men on first and third.  Rosario singled in a run and another scored on a ground out, giving the Twins a 2-0 lead.

It didn't last long.  In the top of the second, Ronny Rodriguez doubled and Gordon Beckham hit a two-run homer, tying the score 2-2.  The tie didn't last long either, though.   In the bottom of the second, Garver and Buxton doubled to put the Twins up 3-2.  In the third, Rosario doubled and Cron hit a two-run homer to make it 5-2 Twins.

It stayed there until the seventh.  The Twins threatened in the fourth, but a double play prevented them from scoring despite getting three singles.  Rosario led off the seventh with a home run, increasing the lead to 6-2.

The Tigers got back into it in the eighth.  Jeimer Candelario singled, Miguel Cabrera walked, and Christin Stewart doubled, making the score 6-3 and bringing the tying run up to bat with none out.  John Hicks struck out, but Grayson Greiner singled to make the score 6-4.  A hit batsman loaded the bases, but a popup and a ground up kept the score at 6-4 Twins.

The Tigers threatened again in the ninth. JaCoby Jones led off with an infield single and Candelario walked.  Miguel Cabrera struck out, but Stewart walked to load the bases.  Hildenberger then came in to strike out Hicks and Greiner to preserve the victory for the Twins.

WP:  Berrios (2-1).  LP:  Jordan Zimmerman (0-2).  S:  Hildenberger (1).

Notes:  Garver is batting .500.  Polanco is batting .383.  Buxton is batting .324.  Cruz is batting .320.

Berrios has an ERA of 2.30.  Trevor May, despite allowing two runs in a third of an inning today, has an ERA of 2.84.  Rogers has an ERA of 1.17.  Blake Parker is at 1.69.  Hildeberger has an ERA of zero.

Hicks struck out five times in today's game.  Is that the Platinum Sombrero?  It's not good, whatever it is.  I understand that the only other player to strike out five times in a game against the Twins is Reggie Jackson.  Normally being on a list with Reggie Jackson would be a good thing, but not this time.

Despite Rocco Baldelli's statement that there are not defined roles, it's clear that he's using Parker as the closer.  I'm fine with him not making that announcement.  If you never say he's The Closer, then you don't have to explain why he's not the closer if the need arises to take him out of that role, which it appears that it might.  As to why Parker is the closer, I really don't have much of a clue, but for the most part the Twins have gotten away with it.

Hildenberger's role seems to be The Guy Who Comes In To Pitch With The Bases Loaded.  That would seem to me to be a much more difficult role than The Closer.  If I recall correctly, he's succeeded at it three out of four times, which strikes me as pretty darn good.  He sure came through with a couple of clutch strikeouts in this game.  I know Hicks and Greiner aren't exactly Ruth and Gehrig, but in a situation where just a bloop single ties the game, those are some big strikeouts to get.

The Twins made a number of excellent defensive plays in this game.  There's not much more to say about that, other than that it sure is fun to be watching a good defensive team again.  Berrios benefited from that excellent defense.  He didn't appear to be sharp early, and was bailed out by his defense a couple of times, but of course still pitched a fine game.

Record:  The Twins are 8-4, in first place in the American League Central, 1.5 games ahead of Cleveland and Detroit.

Projected Record:  We're still on track for 158-4!

2019 Recap: Game Nine


Date:  Tuesday, April 9.

Batting stars:  Mitch Garver was 4-for-5 with two home runs and three runs.  Jorge Polanco was 3-for-5 with a home run (his second) and a triple, scoring twice and driving in two.  Eddie Rosario was 2-for-4 with a home run (his second), a double, and a walk, scoring twice and driving in two.  Jonathan Schoop was 2-for-5 with two home runs and four RBIs.  Byron Buxton was 2-for-5 with a double and a stolen base (his third), scoring twice.

Pitching star:  Trevor May pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.  Trevor Hildenberger retired the only man he faced, which would not normally get him star mention, but it was a very big out.

Opposition stars:  Amed Rosario was 3-for-5 with a double.  Michael Conforto was 2-for-3 with a home run (his third), a double, and two walks, scoring three times.  Brandon Nimmo was 2-for-4 with a home run, a double, and a walk, scoring twice.  Pete Alonso was 2-for-5 with two home runs (his fourth and fifth) and three RBIs.

The game:  Garver opened the second inning with a home run, giving the Twins a 1-0 lead.  It lasted until the bottom of the second, when Conforto doubled and scored on Rosario's double to tie it 1-1.  The Twins took the lead back with a four-run third.  Polanco tripled and scored on a wild pitch.  Willians Astudillo singled and Rosario and Garver hit back-to-back home runs to put the Twins up 5-1.  The Mets got two of the runs back in the bottom of the third, with home runs by Nimmo and Conforto cutting the margin to 5-3.

In the fourth, Buxton doubled and scored on a Max Kepler single to put the Twins up 6-3.  In the fifth, Nimmo led off with a double.  He was still on second with two out, but walks to Conforto and J. D. Davis loaded the bases.  Starter Kyle Gibson came out of the game, and Hildenberger came on to retire Jeff McNeil on a deep fly ball to keep the score 6-3.  Schoop homered in the sixth to increase the lead to 7-3.

Alonso homered in the seventh to make the score 7-4.  The Twins took control of the game in the eighth.  Buxton doubled and scored when Ehire Adrianza reached on an error.  Polanco then hit a two-run homer to make the score 10-4.  The Twins got some insurance in the ninth.  Rosario doubled, Garver singled, and Jason Castro hit a pinch-hit single.  Schoop followed with a three-run homer to make it 14-4.  The extra runs came in handy, as the Mets rallied for four in the bottom of the ninth.  Nimmo walked and Alonso hit a two-run homer.  A single, a walk, and another single loaded the bases with none out.  A walk to McNeil forced in a run and made the score 14-7, still with none out.  At that point, Chase De Jong pulled himself together and got a foul out, a force out, and a foul out to end the game.

WP:  Hildenberger (2-0).  LP:  Jacob deGrom (2-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Garver is batting .467.  Astudillo was 1-for-5 and is batting .421.  Polanco is batting .405.

HildenbergerMay, and Ryne Harper all have ERAs of zero.  Blake Parker has an ERA of 2.25.

Gibson pitched 4.2 innings, allowing three runs on six hits and three walks.  He did strike out six.  He was pulled one out shy of qualifying for a win, which shows that Rocco Baldelli is more concerned with team wins than pitcher wins.  It seems obvious that this is how it should be, but we can all think of Twins managers who did not seem to understand that point.

The Twins used six relievers, which is a lot, but none of them pitched more than one inning and four of them pitched less than one inning.  There's no reason all of them except De Jong couldn't pitch again tonight.

De Jong, of course, is the pitcher the Twins just had to have, couldn't get along without, was worth giving up Tyler Austin to have in the majors by Saturday.  This was the first time he's pitched, and quite frankly a position player probably could have done as well as he did.  It's not De Jong's fault that the Twins let Austin go, of course, and I have nothing against him.  I hope he gets another chance, and I hope he pitches well.  But it was still a really stupid thing for the Twins to do.

My guess would be that the number of people who expected the Twins to score fourteen runs in a game that Jacob de Grom started was approximately zero.

Record:  The Twins are 6-3, in second place in the American League Central, a half game behind Cleveland.

Projected record:  We're still on track for 159-3!

2019 Recap: Game Six


Date:  Friday, April 5.

Batting stars:  Jorge Polanco was 5-for-5 with a home run, a triple, and a double.  Jonathan Schoop was 2-for-4.  Max Kepler was 1-for-5 with a two-run homer.

Pitching stars:  Ryne Harper struck out two in 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up one hit.  Trevor Hildenberger struck out two in 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up two hits.  Trevor May pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Rhys Hoskins was 3-for-4 with a walk.  Odubel Herrera was 3-for-5.  Jean Segura was 2-for-5 with a double and two runs.

The game:  The Twins got a one-out triple from Polanco in the first but wasted it.  The Phillies then took control early, scoring five runs in the bottom of the first.  Andrew McCutchen walked and scored on Segura's double-plus-error.  With one out, Hoskins singled in the second run, J. T. Realmuto walked, and Cesar Hernandez drew a two-out walk to load the bases.  That brought a quick end to Jake Odorizzi's night, as Harper came in and gave up a bloop double-plus-error to Maikel Franco that cleared the bases.

The Twins tried to get back into it.  In the third Ehire Adrianza had a pinch-hit single and Kepler hit a two-run homer to cut the margin to 5-2.  Philadelphia got one of the runs back in the bottom of the third on a walk, an error, a single, and a sacrifice fly.  But the Twins kept fighting.  Polanco led off the fifth with a home run.  Eddie Rosario singled.  Martin Perez bunted into a force out, but an error put Perez on second base.  A ground out and Jake Cave's infield single cut the margin to 6-4.

That was as good as it would get.  The Phillies scored once in the bottom of the fifth, as Hernandez and Franco drew two-out walks and Aaron Altherr followed with a double.  They put it out of reach in the seventh with another two-out rally.  McCutchen walked, Segura singled, and Harper walked, loading the bases.  Hoskins then hit a three-run single, with Harper scoring all the way from first when Rosario took his time getting the ball back into the infield.  The score went to 10-4, and that was how it ended.

WP:  Nick Pivetta (0-1).  LP:  Jake Odorizzi (0-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Byron Buxton was again out of the lineup.  He said he could have played; perhaps Baldelli was just being cautious, especially on a wet field.  We hope he'll be back today.

Cory Provus mentioned that Odorizzi was upset when he was taken out.  I don't know if he was upset with the manager or with himself.  I hope it was the latter.  Yes, he had given up just two runs, and you could argue that it was somewhat of a quick hook.  But he wasn't getting much accomplished out there.  I'm not holding it against him--it's one game, and most pitchers will have a stink bomb or two over the course of a season.  It's only when it becomes a trend that it's worrisome.

The Twins just had an overall sloppy game.  I wonder if they expected the game to get rained out and just weren't mentally ready to play.  That's pure speculation, but they issued nine walks, made three errors, and had other mistakes as well.  Again, it happens to everybody once in a while.  It just better not happen very often.

The Twins had brought Harper in to pitch in the first and pulled him for a pinch-hitter in the top of the third, meaning he pitched just 1.1 innings.  I said at the time that I would not have done it that way, and the fact that pinch-hitter Adrianza got a hit and Kepler followed with a two-run homer doesn't change my mind.  I understand why you do it.  He was leading off the inning, and you're trying to score some runs and get back into the game.  The downside of it, though, is what ultimately happened--the Twins went through five relief pitchers in a game they wouldn't win anyway.  Baldelli didn't know that they wouldn't win it, of course, and you don't want to give up on a game in the third inning.  But when you're down 5-0 you know the odds are against you, and I'd argue that letting Harper bat would not have been giving up on the game.  It would just have been giving up one out in the third inning.  Don't get me wrong--I'm not arguing that pinch-hitting was a blatantly stupid move.  I just wouldn't have done it that way.

As it happens, the Twins don't have a long reliever to use today if Michael Pineda falters early.  It's true that, other than Perez, nobody pitched more than 1.1 innings, and so (again other than Perez) they could probably all pitch again today.  But you're not going to use any of them for three or four innings, so if you do get a short start you're going to have to run through them all again.  That would really put the pressure on Jose Berrios to go seven or so on Sunday.  Not that he can't do it, but it's still not an ideal situation.

Record:  The Twins are 4-2, in first place in the American League Central, leading Detroit by percentage points.

Projected record:  We'll just have to settle for 160-2!

2019 Recap: Game Four


Date:  Tuesday, April 2.

Batting stars:  Max Kepler was 2-for-4 with two walks.  Nelson Cruz was 2-for-5 with a double, a walk, and three RBIs.  Jorge Polanco was 2-for-5 with a double and a walk.  C. J. Cron was 2-for-5 with a double.

Pitching stars:  Jose Berrios pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and no walks and striking out four.  Blake Parker pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Adalberto Mondesi was 3-for-5 with a home run, a double, a stolen base, and two RBIs.  Martin Maldonado was 3-for-4.  Ryan O'Hearn was 1-for-3 with a home run.  Brad Keller pitched six innings, giving up three runs on five hits and four walks and striking out five.

The game:  The Royals jumped out to a 1-0 lead within the first two batters of the game, as Whit Merrifield doubled and scored on a Mondesi single.  The Twins tied it in the fourth when Eddie Rosario walked and scored from first on Cron's single.

Kansas City got the lead back in the bottom of the fourth when Chris Owings tripled and scored on a Hunter Dozier sacrifice fly.  The Twins went in front in the fifth.  With one out, Byron Buxton was hit by a pitch and Max Kepler walked.  A fly out moved the runners to second and third and Cruz delivered a two-run double to give the Twins a 3-2 lead.

The Twins missed a chance to increase the lead in the sixth when Cron led off with a double but did not advance past second.  It cost them, as O'Hearn homered in the bottom of the sixth to tie it 3-3.  The Twins missed another chance in the seventh.  Singles by Kepler and Polanco and a walk to Cruz loaded the bases with none out, but a strikeout, a liner to third, and another strikeout ended the inning with no runs scoring.  It again cost them, as Mondesi hit an inside-the-park home run with one out in the eighth to give the Royals a 4-3 lead.

The Twins tied it in the ninth.  Polanco doubled and went to third on a fly ball.  Rosario then singled him in to tie the score 4-4.  Kansas City put two men on with two out in the bottom of the ninth, but Trevor Hildenberger came in to strike out Billy Hamilton and send the game to an extra inning.

In the tenth Willians Astudillo, who had entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the eighth, led off with a single.  He was still at first with two out, but Polanco singled to put men on first and second and Cruz singled to drive home the go-ahead run.  The Royals could manage only a two-out walk in the bottom of the tenth.

WP:  Hildenberger (1-0).  LP:  Brad Boxberger (0-1).  S:  Blake Parker (1).

Record:  The Twins are 3-1, in first place in the American League Central, one game ahead of Cleveland, Detroit, and Kansas City.

Projected record:  We're still on track for 161-1!