When Jose Berrios is Having His Playoff Coming-Out Party, Cancel the Analytics.

Photo: Jim Mone (AP)

Two days later… I’m still not over what happened on Wednesday. The Minnesota Twins defied all odds and lost 18-straight playoff games. Once again, the Twins went out and embarrassed themselves in front of the entire baseball world.

The worst part about the game-2 loss, was Rocco Baldelli’s decision to pull Jose Berrios after five amazing innings and just 75 total pitches. Since his debut in 2016, we’ve waiting for Berrios to do exactly what he did Wednesday. He cruised through five innings, like an ace, and was more fired up than anyone else in the stadium after what would be his final inning. When Rocco Baldelli (who melts down in the playoffs) broke the news, Jose was devastated. It was hard to watch.

What was Rocco telling him? “Hey buddy, I know you’ve been lights out, but you’re about to get lit up next inning so we’re bringing in Stashak and stretching him out for two. Thanks.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m as big of an analytics or statistics guy as almost anyone out there. Berrios has struggled on his third trip through batting lineups this season and there is no denying that.

You still have to send him back out. Once in a while, you have to look past the numbers through the course of a baseball game and consider the human variables playing out in front of you. This isn’t some early-June game, where you’re getting Berrios out early to be cautious. Nope, this was literally the life or death of your season. The Astros could barely touch him, but that didn’t matter because the analytics said he was done.

Maybe this wouldn’t be as big of a problem, if Rocco hadn’t traded out his lights-out starting pitcher (who still had a quarter tank of gas left in his tank), for a 13th round draft pick in Cody Stashak who he needed for TWO INNINGS! I like Stashak a lot. He’s a really good, young talent… but are you serious? You pulled a dealing Jose Berrios for two innings of Cody Stashak? Not Tyler Clippard? Jake Odorizzi? Michael Pineda? I don’t get it.

It’s a damn shame this offense can’t score more than one run per playoff game or we wouldn’t even be discussing this. It’s just an embarrassment all around… again.

Cooper Carlson | Minnesota Sports Fan

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