Now that the Twins have locked up Sanchez (to a major league deal, no less!), I think we can call this offseason a wrap, right?
Welcome to the Year of the Dog, my friends.
MINNESOTA 2, SEATTLE 1 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Wednesday, August 28.
Batting stars: Doug Mientkiewicz was 3-for-3. Torii Hunter was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his twenty-sixth. Dustan Mohr was 1-for-2 with a walk.
Pitching stars: Johan Santana pitched seven innings, giving up one run on five hits and three walks and striking out five. J. C. Romero pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits and a walk and striking out one. Eddie Guardado pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit and striking out one.
Opposition stars: Joel Pineiro pitched six innings, giving up two runs on eight hits and a walk and striking out three. Bret Boone was 2-for-3 with a home run (his twenty-first) and a walk. Mike Cameron was 3-for-4.
The game: Boone homered in the first inning to give the Mariners a 1-0 lead. Each team put two men on in the second but did not score. Each team put two men on in the fourth and did not score. Seattle put two men on in the sixth and did not score. In the bottom of the sixth, however, Corey Koskie led off with a single and Hunter hit a one-out two-run homer to give the Twins a 2-1 lead. In the eighth the Mariners had two singles and a walk, loading the bases with one out, but John Olerud hit into a double play to end the threat. Cameron hit a leadoff single in the ninth but did not move from first base.
WP: Santana (8-5). LP: Pineiro (13-5). S: Guardado (38).
Notes: Hunter's average was .301.
A. J. Pierzynski was 0-for-3 and was also batting .301.
It was Santana's best start in a month. For his reward, he was sent to the bullpen. Eric Milton was back from the disabled list, someone had to go to the bullpen, and it was the kid. I understand that you weren't going to send Brad Radke or Rick Reed to the pen, but Joe Mays certainly wasn't getting much accomplished. To his credit, while Santana wasn't happy about the situation, he pitched very well in relief in September, posting a 1.50 ERA in 18 innings.
Romero's ERA was 1.51.
Guardado's ERA was 2.62.
Joel Pineiro was in the middle of a three-year run in which he went 36-20, 3.10. He struggled from 2004-2008, but he hung in there, and teams kept giving him chances. In 2009-2010 he put together another good run, going 25-19, 3.64. He pitched in twelve seasons, and in about half of them he was a pretty good pitcher.
Record: The Twins were 80-54, in first place, leading Chicago by sixteen and a half games.
Once again, Bert will do about half the games. Then, we get 24 a piece from Smalley and Blackjack, 12 each from LaTroy and ii, and 6 visits from the Mountie! And of course the Duke reigns over all.
Sliding Billy Hamilton (1866)
Charlie Irwin (1869)
Jimmy Ring (1895)
George Earnshaw (1900)
Larry Goetz (1900)
Lorenzo Ponza (1915)
Chuck Estrada (1938)
Ron Cey (1948)
Rick Auerbach (1950)
Joe Hesketh (1959)
Mark Davidson (1961)
Melido Perez (1966)
Ugueth Urbina (1974)
Alex Gonzalez (1977)
Luis Ugueto (1979)
Russell Martin (1983)
Lorenzo Ponza invented the modern pitching machine.
Larry Goetz was a National League umpire from 1936-1957.
For the night owls.
Men's Tournament - 11:05pm CT
DEN vs. SUI
NOR vs. CAN
USA vs. ITA
GBR vs. JPN
Women's Tournament - 5:05am CT
CHN vs. GBR
USA vs. SUI
KOR vs. JPN
CAN vs. SWE
Per, CH's recommendation, here's a stand-alone post for this discussion. It's religion, so please, tread lightly.
Today being Ash Wednesday, and the start of Lent, I find myself with some genuine questions for non-believers. For myself as a Catholic, Lent is a time to grow. By giving things up, I develop more will power. By taking time to reflect on my failings, I find paths to address them. By recognizing and working on my weaknesses, I grow into a stronger person. By going without, I ensure others don't have to. Etc.
For me, this is both recommended by my religion and a point of personal growth. Having a time set aside each year for this type of thing has a lot of appeal to me. It makes sure I'm actually doing the "hard work" of becoming a better person, not just subscribing to a vague notion of self-improvement (not that I mean to imply that for others; I just know myself, and that I tend to not do what I intend to do towards self-improvement a lot of the the time).
So I'm curious what non-religious people do in this regard? Are there specific sacrifices you make? At certain times? Do you set try to focus on this type of thing, or do you go about it differently?
I look forward to learning more, if you're willing to share. Thanks!
MINNESOTA 5, SEATTLE 2 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Tuesday, August 27.
Batting stars: Torii Hunter was 3-for-4 with a home run, his twenty-fifth. Jacque Jones was 2-for-4 with a home run, his twenty-fourth. A. J. Pierzynski was 2-for-4 with a triple.
Pitching stars: Joe Mays pitched six innings, giving up two runs on nine hits and three walks with one strikeout. LaTroy Hawkins pitched a perfect inning. Eddie Guardado pitched a perfect inning.
Opposition stars: Desi Relaford was 2-for-3 with a double. Carlos Guillen was 2-for-4. Dan Wilson was 2-for-4.
The game: Wilson singled home a run in the first inning to give the Mariners a 1-0 lead. The Twins started the third with a single, a double, and a single, but only scored once, as Pierzynski singled home a run to tie it 1-1. Seattle went ahead 2-1 in the top of the fourth, as Desi Relaford doubled home a run. The Twins took the lead for good in the bottom of the fourth. Hunter tied it with a home run, Doug Mientkiwicz singled, and Pierzynski delivered a two-out run-scoring triple to give the Twins a 3-2 advantage. Jones led off the fifth with a homer to make it 4-2. Hunter drove in the game's final run with an infield single in the seventh. The Mariners missed on a lot of promising starts to innings. They had men on first and second with one out in the second, started the third with two singles, left a man on second in the fourth, had men on first and second starting off the fifth, and got a pair of one-out singles in the sixth. They hit into three double plays and were 2-for-11 with men in scoring position.
WP: Mays (3-5). LP: Ismael Valdez (7-10). S: Guardado (37).
Notes: Hunter got his average back over .300 at .301.
Pierzynski was batting .303. The triple was his fifth of the season. He would hit six in 2002, a quarter of his career total.
Hawkins' ERA went to 2.22.
J. C. Romero pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk. His ERA fell to 1.53.
Guardado's ERA dropped to 2.67.
We will not have a player profile today, and may not have one for the remainder of this series. I enjoy doing them, but they take a lot of time. It's Ash Wednesday, which means the start of Lent coming on, which means mid-week worship services to prepare. Unfortunately, I only get the same number of hours in the day that everyone else does. Such is life.
Record: The Twins were 79-54, in first place, leading Chicago by sixteen and a half games.