Bad, worse, worst

13 Aug

This week has been bad for the Twins. Really bad. They’re no longer in first place bad. Here’s a rundown of what’s happened and what’s upcoming this week:

Sunday August 5:

Finished off sweep of the Royals

Broke franchise record for homers in a season with Jason Castro’s homer his 11th of the season

Monday:

Started series with the Braves

Walkoff homer by Sano won game

Kepler also homered his 31st

Tuesday:

Lost to Braves 12-7

Two homers for Cruz he has 32

First three batters of Braves lineup got 10 hits 8 RBI

Wednesday:

Lost to Braves 11-7

Sano hit 20th homer

First three batters of Braves lineup had 8 more hits and 5 more RBI

Thursday:

Started series with Indians losing 7-5

Cruz left game with strained left wrist

Gibson gave up 5 runs in 4 1/3 innings and 6 walks

Friday:

Lost 6-2

Castro with 12th homer

Smeltzer went 4 1/3 innings giving up 6 runs

Puig with 3 hits

Saturday:

Won 4-1

Kepler homered his 32nd

Puig 3 hits including a homer

Odorizzi with his 13th win

Ruptured tendon in wrist for Cruz

Sunday:

Lost 7-3

Grand slam in 10th by Carlos Santana off Rogers

Tied for first with Cleveland

Monday:

Twins off

Indians win 6-5 vs. Red Sox

Carlos Santana with walkoff homer

Indians in first by 1/2 game

Tuesday:

Start two game series with Brewers tonight and Wednesday afternoon

Perez starts tonight

Gibson starts Wednesday

Thursday:

Start 4 game series with Rangers

If you want to listen to the podcast feel free to do so here: https://anchor.fm/joe-gunderson5/episodes/Bad–worse–worst-e4rhck

You can also find it in these places:

Podcoin, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Breaker, Overcast, PocketCasts, and RadioPublic

Whoa Nellie!

5 Aug

Hello fellow Twins fans!,

I hope your week has gone as well as if not better than our Twins week has gone! Here are the highlights and news:

  1. Took three of four vs. the White Sox
  2. 11 homers in the series
  3. Nelson Cruz with 4 homers, Max Kepler with three in the series

Took two three vs. the Marlins

  1. Buxton homered on Tuesday becoming 11th player on the team to reach double digits in homers
  2. Garver hit his 20th homer
  3. Kepler got up to his 30th homer in series

Swept the Kansas City Royals this weekend

  1. Cruz hit four more homers and had 10 RBIs in the series, now has 30 homers
  2. Devin Smeltzer got first MLB win on Sunday going six innings in a 2-0 shutout

Roster news:

  1. Traded for Sam Dyson from the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday. In two appearances has allowed six earned runs in 2/3 of an inning since being acquired and now is on IL with biceps tendinitis
  2. Michael Pineda to IL with a triceps strain
  3. Byron Buxton put on IL with mild shoulder separation
  4. C. J. Cron activated from IL

For this and more details about the week that was, check out this week’s podcast at the link below or wherever you listen to podcasts:

https://anchor.fm/joe-gunderson5/episodes/Whoa-Nellie-Cruz-e4rhck

Bullpen issues and trade deadline talk

27 Jul

Hey everyone,

It was another lackluster week for our Twins in the win/column as they went 3-4. Since the last post they played the last three of a four game series vs. Oakland and then a three game series vs. the New York Yankees and the first of a four game series vs. the Chicago White Sox. There’s also been quite a lot of roster changes this week and there may be more to come as the days up to July 31st lead up to MLB’s trade deadline. Here’s a rundown of what happened:

On Friday July 19th the Twins played game two of their series vs. the A’s losing 5-3. Starter Jake Odorizzi went 5 innings giving up three runs. Marwin Gonzalez hit a three run home run for the Twins only scoring of the night. Reliever Ryne Harper pitched an inning and gave up two runs and the A’s took the lead for good.

Saturday Twins ace Jose Berrios faced A’s lefty Brett Anderson. He went 5 2/3 innings not giving up any runs but did throw 113 pitches striking out 4 walking 3. Miguel Sano hit a home run in the 7th to tie the game and Jonathan Schoop hit a sacrifice fly to give the Twins the lead. Unfortunately, closer Taylor Rogers could not hold it giving up the tying and go ahead runs in the 9th. The Twins loaded the bases in their half of the 9th but catcher Mitch Garver hit into a game ending double play and they lost 5-4.

Before this game recently DFA’d pitcher Mike Morin was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for cash considerations.

On Sunday the Twins salvaged the final game of the series vs. Oakland winning 7-6. Max Kepler hit his 24th homer of the season and later played hero of the night when he hit the game winning single knocking in Ehrie Adrianza who had tripled just beforehand. The series in a 2-2 split and left them only three games ahead of the Indians for first place in the AL Central. Before this games the Twins lost a couple of more pitchers with them trading recently DFA’d Matt Magill to the Mariners and lefty Aldaberto Mejia being claimed off waivers by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

On Monday they started a three game series vs. the Yankees. Before the game they placed first baseman C. J. Cron on the injured list with a recurring thumb injury. Rookie pitchers Cody Stashak and Lewis Thorpe were recalled from Triple-A.

As for the game, the Twins hit 5 solo homers, two by catcher Mitch Garver. The first homer of the night, by Jorge Polanco, won me a Bombasota shirt from SKOR North because I happened to guess he’d hit it. They have a daily contest on Twitter to guess who will hit the first home run. Anyway, this was maybe the last appearance for veteran lefty C. C. Sabathia vs. the Twins and he was touched up for 6 runs in 4 innings of work. Also of note, the Twins turned a triple play in this game in the first inning and Lewis Thorpe got his first MLB win in his first MLB relief appearance pitching 2 2/3 innings giving up one run on four hits.

Tuesday was a game for the ages. It was a back and forth 10 inning affair that featured four more homers by the Twins, two by Miguel Sano, the bullpen blowing an 8-2 Twins lead and several lead changes in the late innings.

The bullpen pitched 5 innings giving up 9 runs! However, none of those were given up by rookie Cody Stashak who pitched two scoreless innings in his MLB debut. There was a controversial pitch that was called a ball that looked to be a strike that would’ve ended the inning with the Twins still leading. However, Yankees second baseman took advantage of the call and hit a two run go ahead double off of Tyler Duffey and lead to Twins manager Rocco Baldelli being ejected for arguing.

In the 8th inning Miguel Sano hit a go ahead two run homer that looked like would win the game for the Twins but once again closer Taylor Rogers couldn’t hold it giving up a two run homer to ex Twin Aaron Hicks. The Twins would get one run in the bottom of the 9th to tie it but the Yankees got two in the 10th for the final margin of victory 14-12. The Twins loaded the bases in the bottom of the 10th but Hicks robbed Max Kepler of a game winning hit with a diving catch in the left centerfield gap to end the game.

On Wednesday the Twins designated reliever Blake Parker for assignment and then went out and lost 10-7 to the Yankees to lose the series 2-1. Jake Odorizzi had a start he’d like to forget giving up 9 runs in 4 innings. The Twins did get 6 runs in 3 2/3 innings on Yankees starter J. A. Happy but were held to only one more run the rest of the game.

Yesterday, Thursday, the Twins moved on to start a four game series vs. the White Sox in Chicago and put a beat down on the Pale Hose 10-3. They hit 5 more homers in this game. Kepler and Sano each hit one and veteran DH Nelson Cruz hit 3! The first time in his career he’s hit that many in a game. The team has 199 homers on the season as of the writing of this entry. Jose Berrios had a much better outing than his last one going 7 innings giving up two runs and striking out eight for his 9th win. This leaves the Twins 62-40 on the year with three games vs. the Sox and two vs. the Marlins left in the month of July. Here about all this and trade deadline possibilities on this week’s podcast! You can find the podcast below or by going to Podcoin, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Breaker, Overcast, PocketCasts or RadioPublic

https://anchor.fm/joe-gunderson5/episodes/Bullpen-issues-and-trade-deadline-talk-with-friend-Brad-Johnson-e4od7g

Is it coming apart?

19 Jul

Hello readers!

I hope today finds you well. The state of the Twins isn’t all roses right now to be honest. This past week they came back from the all-star break and have played three games vs. Cleveland, two against the New York Mets and the first of four against the Oakland Athletics. They took two of three against the Indians, were surprisingly swept by the Mets and won last night against the A’s.

In the Indians series the bullpen, that’s right the BULLPEN, was the saving grace the first two games. In the first game, Kyle Gibson started but only lasted 3 2/3 innings before being taken out because he couldn’t get the Indians out without a ton of pitches thrown. He threw 80 pitches in that time. That’s way, way too many. However, the bullpen came in and only allowed two hits to Cleveland over the next 5 1/3. The score turned in favor of the Twins after instant replay overturned a double play which allowed shortstop Jorge Polanco to come up and he hit a two run double to put the Twins ahead 4-3. Catcher Mitch Garver hit a solo homer in the 8th to make what would be the final score 5-3.

In game two of the series, Jake Odorizzi went 5 1/3 innings and Max Kepler hit two homers off of Indians starter/ace Trevor Bauer to lead the Twins to a 6-2 victory. Kepler’s two homers came in his first two at bats and combined with the last time he faced Bauer earlier this year where he hit three homers, he became the first player in Major League Baseball history to hit five home runs against the same pitcher in a single season and they were in five consecutive at bats! This game wasn’t sealed however until backup outfielder Jake Cave came up and hit a two run double and the Twins won 6-2. The only bad note in this game is that starting center fielder Byron Buxton had to be removed from the game after making a diving catch where he landed face first on the ground and sustained a concussion and was placed on the seven day concussion injured list two days later.

In game three of the series on Sunday the Twins lost 4-3. Jose Berríos struggled with his control and was only able to complete 5 innings. The game was lost in the late innings of this game on a Carlos Santana home run on a curve ball hung by Trevor May. The Twins won the series two games to one.

After an off day on Monday the Twins played a two game series against the circus known as the New York Mets and it looked like they forgot they were playing to be honest. They lost both games. They lost game one 3-2. Jonathan Schoop, the regular second baseman had an up and down game. He committed an error leading to the Mets first run. Then later in the game he hit a solo home run kind of making up for that. However, late in the game he tweaked an intercostal muscle on a swing and had to be removed and hasn’t played since.

Game two on Wednesday was a terrible mess. The Twins committed two errors in the game and the Mets at one point scored nine unanswered runs and seven unearned runs and the Twins lost 14-4. One of those errors was a routine fly ball that was dropped by left fielder Eddie Rosario. Pitcher Matt Magill was designated for assignment on Thursday morning after his performance in that game. He gave up four hits in a row helping the Mets put the game out of reach. By designating Magill for assignment, he’s now temporarily in limbo as to what will happen to him. Another team could outright claim him, he can be traded or after three days he can be sent to the minor leagues or released by the Twins if the first two things don’t happen. This loss also marked the first time this season that the Twins lost three games in a row.

Last night, Thursday, the Twins took an early 1-0 lead only to see Oakland erase it and take a three run lead into the 7th. With two guys on Eddie Rosario, who didn’t start the game, came up as a pinch hitter and blasted a three run homer to put the Twins ahead 4-3. Solo homers by catcher Mitch Garver and first baseman C. J. Crown made the final margin of victory 6-3. Closer Taylor Rogers pitched the last two innings for the save.

The biggest negative take away from this week to me is that the Twins must improve their defense. They’ve lost games because of it. It has to get better. It might be time to call on old manager Tom Kelly and ask him about his drill he dubbed “Good Morning America!” Basically, he made the team do defensive drills until either he got tired of watching or he felt they got the message about how important it is. Here’s a link to an article talking about it: https://www.twincities.com/2012/02/27/tom-kellys-grueling-infield-drill-still-serves-as-a-wake-up-call-for-twins-wvideo/

That pretty much sums up the past week. Looking ahead the Twins finish their current series vs. the A’s this weekend then the Yankees come to town for three and then they go on a seven game road trip to Chicago to play four against the White Sox then down to Miami for three to play the Marlins. Hopefully better things are to come!

Quick book recommendation, if you can still find a copy of the out of print book, take a look at “I Love This Game!” by hall of famer, the one and only Kirby Puckett. You might be able to find it on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2JQt229

Take care everyone and listen to this week’s podcast here:

Rough defense but timely hitting https://anchor.fm/joe-gunderson5/episodes/Rough-defense-but-timely-hitting-e4m6a6

The first podcast is up!

11 Jul

Hey everyone!

Well here is the first show! It’s very short and just introduces the show and what to expect. There are some notes you may want to be aware of:

-Preview of the podcast and what to expect.                                                                      

-Second half of the season starts Friday July 12, 2019. Team record is 56-33. 

-Former MLB pitcher and author of “Ball Four” Jim Bouton died at 80. You can buy his book here: https://amzn.to/30pSiTi                                                                

Former Twin David Ortiz underwent a third surgery related to shooting he was injured in. Read about it here: https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/27167970/ortiz-third-surgery-complications 

https://anchor.fm/s/c4911e4/podcast/rss

Baseball terms you’ll want to know if you follow the blog and podcast

11 Jul

Baseball terms the common fan might not know:

BABIP: batting average on balls in play: frequency at which a batter reaches base after putting the ball in play.

Walk to strikeout ratio: number of walks divided by the number of strikeouts a player gets

Ground ball to fly ball ratio: number of ground outs divided by the number of fly outs a player gets

OBP: on base percentage: times a player reaches base divided by at bats plus walks, plus hit by pitches, plus sacrifice flys.

Slugging percentage: total bases achieved on hits divided by at bats.

OPS: On base plus slugging percentage: on base percentage plus slugging percentage

FIP: fielding independent pitching: a metric, scaled to resemble ERA, that focuses on events within a pitcher’s control-home runs, walks and strikeouts-but also uses in its denominator the number of outs the team gets which is not entirely within the pitcher’s control.

xFIP: This variant substitutes a pitcher’s own home run percentage with the league average

Inherited runners: number of runners on base when a new pitcher enters a game

IRA: number of inherited runners allowed to score

Quality start: game in which a starting pitcher completes 6 innings and gives up only 3 runs or less

WHIP: Walks and hits per innings pitched. Average number of walks and hits allowed by the pitcher per inning

Well hello there Twins fans! A little about myself and what to expect.

7 Jul

Hello to all who read this,

First of all, thank you for stopping by. I hope that I can bring something different and/or unique to the growing blogging and podcasting world.

I’ll be trying to post regularly and produce and post podcast episodes weekly. The blog will be my take on whatever is happening with the team, whatever minor league affiliate notes I come across that I find interesting or important as well as significant things that happen in MLB as a whole. Also, I love reading books and I’ll post about ones I’ve read or am reading with every post, whether it’s Twins related or not. To that end, my first recommendation is to check out the one I just finished called “Winning Ugly” by Todd Radom. It chronicles the different eras of baseball and the uniforms of said eras, specifically focusing on ones considered by most to be ugly. The Twins had a couple of candidates in the book. The red uniforms they very briefly wore in the late 1990’s dubbed the “Dairy Queen Specials” and also the powder blues that were around for the 70’s until 1986. I don’t agree that those were ugly but their home whites of that era I didn’t particularly care for. Anyway, if you like uniforms you’ll like this book I think. You can find it on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2JuA1O4

As for the podcast. It will be much of the same BUT I’m hoping to have friends cohost with me hopefully most of the time so you’ll get their takes as well. You’ll be able to listen to it here and through any place you get your podcasts from.

If you want to you can follow the blog and podcast or myself on Twitter at you can at @TwinsNationPod or myself @BigJoeGun and Facebook at https://m.facebook.com/Twins-Nation-Podcast-717931528638611/?ref=bookmarks

Well, I hope I’ve piqued your interest and we can have some fun! Look for the first podcast towards the end of this coming week. Take care and Go Twins!