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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Even-keeled Twins trying to stay that way in tight race

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The home clubhouse in Minnesota was silent after the final game of the series was lost to Cleveland in distressing fashion, a fifth defeat in the last seven contests for the Twins that let the surging Indians create another tie for the division lead.

As players packed for a road trip, minus the usual upbeat music blaring in the background, the mood in the room was hardly somber or tense. Even having the would-be winning run get thrown out at the plate in the ninth inning and the team’s top relief pitcher give up a grand slam in the 10th did not qualify as a devastating development amid the 162-game grind of baseball.

Particularly not under the supervision of rookie manager Rocco Baldelli, whose perpetually relaxed and upbeat demeanor has had more of an influence on these Twins in his first year than any strategic decision or lineup change.

“We’re in a pretty good frame of mind,” Baldelli said following a 7-3 loss Sunday to the Indians. “You’re going to go through runs where you’re playing good teams. You’re going to go through runs where you’re playing well, winning some games but losing some games that you think you should win. We play so many games here and our guys give a tremendous effort every single night when we’re out there that there’s really nothing more you can ask for. We have a very stable clubhouse, which we’re very fortunate for. We have a lot of guys who show up every day the same way, regardless of whether we win or lose.”

A consideration of a team in the midst of a divisional race.

QLE Posted: August 13, 2019 at 05:00 AM | 5 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: al central, rocco baldelli, twins

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: August 13, 2019 at 05:27 PM (#5871096)
As I pointed out somewhere yesterday, the Twins have 26 of 44 remaining against CHW, KC and Det while Cle has just 16. Cle adds series against the Yanks and most of the NLE. (They have 6 against each other.) The Twins only need to hold it together well enough to beat up on the bad teams.

Twins are 28-9 vs Balt, CHW, Det and KCR. Cle is 31-17.
   2. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 13, 2019 at 08:41 PM (#5871130)
The locals here in MN are in full on panic mode.
   3. Cris E Posted: August 14, 2019 at 12:13 AM (#5871192)
I think the locals mostly get that they're in a trough that seems to happen whenever the inadequate starting pitching pieces (Perez, Kyle Gibson in Mr Hyde mode) and injuries to position players align with playing good teams. If Buxton can stay on the field they'll be better, and when Nelson Cruz returns they'll be much better, and if the starting pitchers get bitten by those spiders again it'll be 1987 all over again.

So, yeah, let's go spiders.
   4. Walt Davis Posted: August 14, 2019 at 02:03 AM (#5871203)
FWIW, fangraphs projected standings still basically calling it a draw -- CLE 24-19 the rest of the way, Twins 24-20 which, yes, puts Cle one up at the end but clearly just a toin coss. That does surprise me a bit given the difference in schedule strengths. They go for Nats and Mets for NL WC but Mets just one up on Cards/Brewers.

In the NL, their playoff odds chart seems to disagree with that -- Cards on 45%, Brewers on 25%, hard to see how that's justified if projected to finish with the same record. The playoff odds also give a small edge to the Twins but see both of them as nearly certain to make the post-season. Cleveland has rocked all the way from 43% on July 13 to 94% a month later. Pretty remarkable. They also consider it highly likely TB takes the other WC spot with a still reasonable 25% chance for the A's.
   5. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: August 14, 2019 at 02:06 AM (#5871204)
I mean. They're a good team. LOVE Baldelli. But they're going to have to play the Yankees in the postseason. This team is going nowhere.

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