2002 Rewind: Game One Hundred Forty-seven


Date:  Thursday, September 12.

Batting stars:  Bobby Kielty was 2-for-2 with a home run (his tenth) and two walks.  A. J. Pierzynski was 2-for-4.  David Ortiz was 1-for-4 with a home run, his eighteenth.

Pitching star:  LaTroy Hawkins pitched a perfect inning, striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Jim Thome was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk.  Karim Garcia was 2-for-4 with a home run, his twelfth.  John McDonald was 2-for-3.

The game:  Luis Rivas drew a bases-loaded walk to give the Twins a 1-0 lead in the second inning.  There was no more scoring until the sixth, when Kielty hit a two-run homer in the sixth to make it 3-0.  The Indians got on the board in the bottom of the sixth when Garcia homered to cut the lead to 3-1.  With the bases loaded and one out in the seventh, Omar Vizquel hit a bases-clearing double to put Cleveland up 4-3 and Thome followed with a double to make it 5-3.  Ortiz homered in the eighth to bring the Twins within one at 5-4.  The Twins opened the ninth with singles by Kielty and Pierzynski.  A bunt moved the runners to second and third and Jacque Jones was intentionally walked.  Cristian Guzman hit into a forceout at the plate and Corey Koskie struck out to end the game.

WP:  Jerrod Riggan (2-1).  LP:  Joe Mays (3-7).  S:  Danys Baez (3).

Notes:  Pierzynski raised his batting average to .307.

Mays pitched well until the seventh.  His line, however, is 6.1 innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on eight hits and a walk and striking out four.

The Indians starter was C. C. Sabathia.  He pitched six innings, giving up three runs on five hits and four walks and striking out five.

Jerrod Riggan had one good season in the majors.  It was 2001, when he was with the Mets.  He went 3-3, 3.40, 1.39 WHIP in 47.2 innings (35 games).  He was traded to Cleveland after that season and was up and down three times with the Indians in 2002.  He pitched 33 innings (29 games) and went 2-1, 7.64, 2.16 WHIP.  He made two more appearances in 2003 and then was done.  His career numbers are 5-4, 5.19, 1.71 WHIP in 86.2 innings (67 games).  When I say "done", I mean done in the majors.  He pitched for two seasons in Japan and made 14 appearances in the minors for the Mets in 2005 before his playing career ended.

Record:  The Twins were 85-62, in first place, leading Chicago by thirteen games.

Happy Birthday–February 28

Terry Turner (1881)
Jud Wilson (1897)
Bob Howsam (1918)
George Maloney (1928)
Frank Malzone (1930)
Bill Haller (1935)
Marty Perez (1946)
Mark Wiley (1948)
Tom Gamboa (1948)
Jim Wohlford (1951)
Mike Milchin (1968)
Trent Oeltjen (1983)
Aaron Thompson (1987)
Aroldis Chapman (1988)
Niko Goodrum (1992)

Jud Wilson played in the Negro Leagues from 1922-1945 and had a lifetime batting average of .351.

Bob Howsam was the general manager of the Cincinnati Reds and helped put together the Big Red Machine.

George Maloney was an American League umpire from 1969-1983.

Bill Haller is the older brother of Tom Haller and was an American League umpire from 1963-1982.

Tom Gamboa was a minor league manager who won league championships twice and reached the playoffs four other times in a ten year career.  Unfortunately, he is best known as the Kansas City Royals coach attacked by two White Sox "fans" in Comiskey Park in 2002.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–February 28

2002 Rewind: Game One Hundred Forty-six


Date:  Wednesday, September 11.

Batting stars:  Cristian Guzman was 2-for-4 with a home run (his ninth) and three RBIs.  Corey Koskie was 1-for-3 with a triple and a walk.  Torii Hunter was 1-for-2 with a double and three RBIs.

Pitching stars:  Brad Radke pitched seven innings, giving up one run on three hits and no walks and striking out three.  Bob Wells pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Steve Sparks pitched 4.1 scoreless innings of relief, giving up one hit and two walks and striking out two.  George Lombard was 2-for-4 with a home run, his fifth.  Carlos Pena was 1-for-3 with a home run, his seventeenth.

The game:  The Twins jumped on Tigers starter Mark Redman (an ex-Twin, of course) early.  Cristian Guzman hit a two-run homer in the first inning to give the Twins a 2-0 lead.  They then scored six runs in the second to put the game away.  They had men on first and third with two out.  Guzman singled in a run.  Two walks followed, the latter with the bases loaded to make the score 4-0.  Hunter then hit a three-run double and scored on a Doug Mientkiewicz single to make it 8-0.  Detroit got on the board when Pena ht a home run in the fifth and Lombard homered leading off the ninth to round out the scoring.

WP:  Radke (8-4).  LP:  Redman (8-15).  S:  None.

Notes:  Matthew LeCroy was the DH, rather than David Ortiz.  He was 0-for-2 with two walks.

Tom Prince was the catcher, rather than A. J. Pierzynski.  He was 1-for-3 with a walk.

Denny Hocking was at second base, rather than Luis Rivas.  He was 1-for-4.

As you may have guessed by now, this was a day game.

It was Radke's second consecutive excellent game.  In those two games, he pitched sixteen innings and gave up one run on nine hits and one walk and struck out eight.  In those two games, his ERA came down from 5.15 to 4.44.

Redman lasted only 1.2 innings, giving up eight runs on six hits and three walks and striking out two.  It was his worst game of the season and was also his last appearance of the season.  That leads one to think he may have been injured, but I didn't have time to check that out.

This was one of only two relief appearances for Steve Sparks in 2002.  He made thirty starts that season.

Record:  The Twins were 85-61, in first place, leading Chicago by fourteen games.

Happy Birthday–February 27

Walter Briggs (1877)
Cy Perkins (1896)
Hilton Smith (1907)
Bill Capps (1919)
Buck Elliott (1919)
Johnny Pesky (1919)
Connie Ryan (1920)
John Wockenfuss (1949)
Ron Hassey (1953)
Greg Cadaret (1962)
Pete Smith (1966)
Matt Stairs (1968)
Willie Banks (1969)
Craig Monroe (1977)
Anibal Sanchez (1984)

Denard Span (1984)
Yovani Gallardo (1986)

Walter Briggs was involved in the ownership of the Detroit Tigers from 1920-1952, becoming sole owner in 1935.

Hilton Smith was a star pitcher in the Negro Leagues from 1931-1950.  Some observers considered him the equal of, if not better than, Satchel Paige.

Bill Capps was a third baseman who played in the minors for twenty years, fifteen of them at Class A or below.

Buck Elliott was an outfielder who played in the minors for fourteen years, all but one of them at Class A or below.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–February 27

February 27, 2018: Happy Belated Birthday, Buddy.

"People associate long hair with drug use. I wish people associated long hair with something other than drug use, like an extreme longing for cake. And then strangers would see a long haired guy and say, 'That guy eats cake!' 'He is on bundt cake!' Mothers saying to their daughters, 'Don't bring the cake eater over here anymore. He smells like flour. Did you see how excited he got when he found out your birthday was fast approaching?'"