Minnesota Twins: 3 things the Twins must do to get back into the ALDS
By Chris Schad
Use your best arms (aka better bullpen management)
Personally, I’m about to call Kemps and see if they can do the whole missing person thing on the side of one of their cartons. Has anybody seen Taylor Rogers lately? Maybe Trevor May? How about Sergio Romo? Oh, he pitched in Game 2 when it was out of hand? Well, that’s cool.
So now that I’m done telling jokes, the really funny thing has been Rocco Baldelli‘s management of his bullpen during this series. The Twins have put themselves in big holes thanks to who he’s put in and when he’s put them in.
Consider Game 1. When the two teams went to their bullpens, the Twins had a chance in the game in a 4-4 tie. Baldelli’s answer here was putting in Cody Stashak, who served up a pair of bombs that eventually put the Twins in a 7-4 hole. After turning to Kyle Gibson, who hasn’t been effective since June, his latest bullpen blunder put the game out of reach in an eventual 10-4 defeat.
Game 2 was more of the same for the Twins’ skipper. After Randy Dobnak succumbed to the “Uber” chants of the Bleacher Creatures in Yankee Stadium, Baldelli went to Tyler Duffey. This would have been a solid choice if Duffey hadn’t thrown 25 high-stress pitches the night before. The result was a grand slam from Didi Gregorius, that served as a death blow in a 8-2 loss.
In either scenario, Baldelli didn’t go to one of his best relievers, instead opting to save them for a late-game situation. That situation never came because the ones he decided to put in were ineffective.
With the Twins having no room for error, Baldelli needs to go all-in on his best relievers. This may mean putting Romo in in the sixth and maybe asking Rogers to go for a two-inning stint to keep the game within reach. This could set the Twins up for failure or overuse, but at this point, there is nothing else to lose but the season.