Tag Archives: Trevor Hildenberger

Happy Birthday–December 15

Nig Clarke (1882)
Eddie Robinson (1920)
Ray Herbert (1929)
Haywood Sullivan (1930)
Sammy Esposito (1931)
Stan Bahnsen (1944)
Art Howe (1946)
Mike Proly (1950)
Bud Bulling (1952)
Mo Vaughn (1967)
Rick Helling (1970)
Kevin Cameron (1979)
Ryan Pressly (1988)
Trevor Hildenberger (1990)
Ryan Eades (1991)

Continue reading Happy Birthday–December 15

2019 Recap: Game Forty-two

MINNESOTA 8, LOS ANGELES 7 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Wednesday, May 15.

Batting stars:  Ehire Adrianza was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and two RBIs.  Jorge Polanco was 2-for-4 with a triple.  Jonathan Schoop was 2-for-4.  Jason Castro was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer (his sixth) and a walk.  Byron Buxton was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his second.

Pitching star:  Jake Odorizzi pitched 5.1 innings, giving up three runs on nine hits and two walks and striking out three.

Opposition stars:  Brian Goodwin was 4-for-4 with two doubles and two runs.  Tommy La Stella was 4-for-5 with a home run (his eleventh) and a walk.  Jared Walsh was 3-for-5.  Jonathan Lucroy was 2-for-4 with a home run (his sixth), a double, and a walk.  David Fletcher was 2-for-5.

The game:  The Angels threatened in the first two innings but did not score.  They started the game with a walk and a single, but a line out and a double play ended the threat.  Goodwin had a leadoff double in the second, but nothing came of that, either.  The Twins got on the board in the bottom of the second.  C. J. Cron reached on a strikeout/wild pitch, Schoop had an infield single, and Adrianza hit a two-run double to give the Twins a 2-0 lead.

The Angels immediately cut it to 2-1 in the third on La Stella's home run.  It then stayed 2-1 until the fifth, when the Twins had a big inning.  Castro walked and Buxton hit a two-run homer to make it 4-1.  With one out, Polanco tripled and scored on Eddie Rosario's double.  A wild pitch moved Rosario to third and a Willians Astudillo sacrifice fly scored him to give the Twins a 6-1 advantage.

The Angels again immediately cut it to 6-3 in the sixth when Goodwin singled and Lucroy homered.  The Twins got the two runs back in the bottom of the sixth when Adrianza singled and Castro homered.  It was 8-3 through six and it looked like it should be an easy Twins win.  Los Angeles got one in the seventh on two singles and a sacrifice fly, but it was still a comfortable 8-4 lead going to the ninth.

It got uncomfortable in a hurry.  Trevor Hildenberger started the inning and got the first out, but then gave up doubles to Goodwin and Lucroy and a single to Fletcher, making the score 8-6.  Mike Morin came in and gave up a single to Walsh.  He struck out Luis Rengifo, but La Stella singled to load the bases and Mike Trout was hit by a pitch to force in a run, cutting the margin to 8-7 and bringing up Shohei Otani.  Otani, however, grounded to short and the Twins escaped with a victory.

WP:  Odorizzi (6-2).  LP:  Trevor Cahill (2-4).  S:  Morin (1).

Notes:  With Nelson Cruz still out, Polanco was the DH and Adrianza was at short.  Willians Astudillo was at third, with Marwin Gonzalez given the day off.  It seems odd to give Gonzalez a day off with Miguel Sano presumably returning to third base soon, but then I don't know just what Rocco Baldelli might have in mind over the next few games.

Polanco raised his average to .331.

Blake Parker retired the only man he faced and his ERA is now 1.17.  Ryne Harper gave up two hits but did not allow a run in two-thirds of an inning and has an ERA of 1.50.  Morin also gave up two hits but did not allow a run in two-thirds of an inning and has an ERA of 1.80.  Matt Magill gave up a walk but no runs in two-thirds of an inning and has an ERA of 2.35.  Trevor May gave up a run on two hits in a full inning and has an ERA of 2.76.

Odorizzi did not have one of his best games, especially compared to the way he's been pitching recently.  He was constantly in trouble and finally, in the sixth, couldn't get out of it.  On the other hand, it wasn't reasonable to think he would keep pitching as well as he had been, and he got through 5.1 innings keeping the Twins in the game.  It's not what you want, but if that's as bad as it gets he'll be in good shape.  His ERA is now 2.63.

The Twins' bullpen did not have one of its best games, either, but they did do a good job cleaning up each other's messes.  They then created messes of their own, of course.  But May came in with men on first and third and one out and got out of the inning with neither runner scoring.  Magill came in with men on first and third and one out and allowed only one to score on a sacrifice fly.  Parker came in with men on first and second and two out and retired the man he faced.  Even Morin came in with men on first and second and one out and only allowed one to score.

My first thought for the ninth was that Rocco should've left Parker in.  But Parker had pitched 1.1 innings the night before, and the Twins had a four run lead.  If you can't trust Hildenberger for one inning with a four run lead there's no point in having him on the team.  As it turned out, unfortunately, you can't and there's not, at least not right now.  Hildenberger is kind of a puzzle.  He has stretches where he seems unhittable, and he has other stretchers where he seems to be throwing batting practice.  I wonder if there's some sort of flaw in his delivery that he slips into sometimes and has a hard time getting out of again.  That's just speculation, of course.  But I can't blame the Twins for wanting him to go to Rochester until he gets straightened out.

It was asked if the Twins didn't have someone in Rochester better to bring up than Austin Adams.  The answer, in my opinion, is no, they really don't.  Kohl Stewart, maybe, but I suspect the Twins want him to continue starting.  Devin Smeltzer has made two really good starts for the Red Wings, but it's only two starts, so I suspect a) they want him to get more experience before bringing him up and b) they want him to continue starting as well.  Adams appears to be a replacement-level pitcher at best.  He will presumably try to fill the Fernando Romero groundskeeper role, but I'm not sure I wouldn't rather have another position player on the team instead.

Record:  The Twins are 27-15, first in the American League Central, 4.5 games ahead of Cleveland.

Projected record:  We're still on track for 147-15!

2019 Recap: Game Twenty-five

MINNESOTA 4, BALTIMORE 1 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Sunday, April 28.

Batting stars:  Max Kepler was 2-for-4 with a home run (his seventh) and two runs.  Byron Buxton was 1-for-3 with a home run.  Marwin Gonzalez was 1-for-2 with two walks.

Pitching stars:  Kyle Gibson pitched seven innings, giving up one run on three hits and no walks and striking out six.  Trevor Hildenberger pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit and striking out one.  Blake Parker struck out two in a perfect inning.

Opposition star:  Chris Davis was 1-for-2 with a home run, his third.

The game:  Jonathan Villar led off the game with a double for the Orioles but did not score.  It cost them, as Kepler led off the bottom of the first with a home run to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  It went to 4-0 in the third.  Buxton led off the inning with a home run and Kepler followed with a double.  The next two batters went out, but walks to Eddie Rosario and C. J. Cron loaded the bases and Gonzalez delivered a two-run single.

Meanwhile, Gibson was in control.  Through six innings, Baltimore only once got a man to third base.  With two out in the seventh, Davis hit a home run to cut the lead to 4-1, but that was as good as it got for them.  They got only one more hit, a two-out double in the eighth, and did not get the tying run up to bat.

WP:  Gibson (2-0).  LP:  Dylan Bundy (0-4).  S:  Parker (5).

Notes:  Mitch Garver was 0-for-3 and is batting .372.  Jorge Polanco was 1-for-4 and is batting .337.  Hildenberger has an ERA of 1.93.  Parker's ERA is 1.08.

It came as something of a surprise to me that Kepler has seven home runs already.  He must have gotten them when I wasn't paying attention or something.  His career high is twenty, set last year.  One would think he has a good chance of bettering that this season.

This was Gibson's second consecutive solid start.  Both came against Baltimore, of course.  If he can sustain that over his next couple of outings, it will be a really good sign for the Twins' rotation.

In fact, this next week and a half or so will tell us a lot about just how good the Twins are.  They host Houston for four, have three in New York with the Yankees, and then go to Toronto for three.  If they can handle that stretch of games, we just may have something this season.

Record:  The Twins are 16-9, first in the American League Central, two games ahead of Cleveland.

Projected record:  We're still on track for 153-9!

 

2019 Recaps: Game Twelve

MINNESOTA 6, DETROIT 4 IN MINNESOTA

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

MINNESOTA 14, NEW YORK METS 8 IN NEW YORK

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

PHILADELPHIA 10, MINNESOTA 4 IN PHILADELPHIA

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!