Here are three thoughts following the Twins' 4-1 loss to the Cubs in 10 innings:
SHIFT WORKOUT: The Twins have taken shifting to another level. They normally wait to shift until after a pitch is thrown, because 0-0 is when a hitter is most likely to bunt or slap at a ball to beat the shift. On Saturday, the Twins shifted when the count was 1-1 and 0-2. So they clearly are looking at data to determine what a hitter's tendencies are in various counts. In the 10th inning, with Dexter Fowler on first, Molitor was going to out the shift on for Anthony Rizzo as soon as Blaine Boyer got a strike on him. But with a 1-0 count, Rizzo shot a single right where the Twins would have shifted to.
ROUGH FOR BOYER: Blaine Boyer went back and looked as every pitch he threw in the tenth inning and was frustrated. ``If anything (the pitches) were up,'' Boyer said. ``I didn't leave anything over the plate. That one to (Chris) Denorfia was the closest thing I did but even he was out in front. It didn't go my way whatsoever. It's frustrating.'' Fowler led off with a ball off the end of his bat that Brian Dozier booted for an error. The two-run single by Starlin Castro came off a sinker down and in that Castro somehow lifted into left field. Some tough luck, but an inch here or there and Boyer is out of the inning,.
BUXTON'S TAG UP: Molitor made it clear that he had no problem with Byron Buxton's attempt to tag and move to second on Dozier's fly ball in the eighth. He did beat the throw but Castro - he was a pest today - had his foot at the right place. Buxton went back to the dugout and was patted on the backside by more than one teammate for attempting the play. I just believe that what Buxton did is within the context of the aggressive stance Molitor wants his team to take. He had no problem earlier in the season when Torii Hunter tried to steal home. He had no problem with Trevor Plouffe thinking about swiping third base on Friday - even if it took his focus away from reading balls hit back to the pitcher. I think Molitor is willing to accept some outs on the bases and learn by trial and error because it gets them closer to the team he wants them to be.