MINNESOTA 5, CHICAGO 0 IN CHICAGO
Date: Tuesday, August 20.
Batting stars: Jacque Jones was 2-for-3 with a home run (his twenty-second), a walk, and a stolen base (his sixth). David Ortiz was 2-for-4. Torii Hunter was 1-for-3 with a walk and stolen base, his twenty-first.
Pitching star: Kyle Lohse pitched a complete game shutout, giving up four hits and two walks and striking out eight. He threw 124 pitches.
Opposition stars: Mark Johnson was 1-for-1 with two walks. Matt Ginter pitched 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up one hit. Antonio Osuna pitched a perfect inning.
The game: Jones led off the game with a home run to give the Twins a 1-0 lead. Lohse gave up a pair of singles in the first inning and gave up just two more hits the rest of the game. The Twins took a 4-0 lead in the third. An error and a walk put men on first and second with none out and Cristian Guzman singled home a run. A double steal put men on second and third and Hunter delivered a two-run single. The Twins added one more run in the sixth on a Dustan Mohr single. The White Sox had men on first and third with two out in the first but only had a man in scoring position one other time. That was in the fifth, when a bunt single and an error again put men on first and third with two out. The bunt single was the last hit Chicago would get.
WP: Lohse (11-7). LP: Jim Parque (1-3). S: None.
Notes: Matthew LeCroy made his first appearance since July 31, playing as the DH. He went 0-for-4.
Ortiz played first base, with Doug Mientkiewicz out of the lineup.
Denny Hocking was at third base, with Corey Koskie out of the lineup. He went 0-for-4.
Tom Prince was the catcher, with A. J. Pierzynski out of the lineup. He went 0-for-3.
The 85 game score was easily Lohse's best of the season. His next highest was 68, when he struck out nine in six shutout innings in Seattle on July 6.
Parque started for the White Sox and pitched 5.1 innings, giving up five runs (four earned) on five hits and two walks and striking out four. It was his third start of the season, and he would get only one more.
Memory told me that Jim Parque was a fairly decent pitcher. Memory was wrong, as he had only one season with an ERA under five. The White Sox took him in the first round in 1997. It wasn't entirely his fault. He had an excellent season in high A in 1997 and also made two AAA starts. He wasn't that good in them, but he was twenty-two and in his first year of pro ball. In 1998 he made eight starts at AAA Calgary, going 2-3, 3.94, 1.54 WHIP, and then was rushed to the majors and placed in the White Sox' rotation. As one might expect, he wasn't very good, going 7-5 but with a 5.10 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP. In the rotation for all of 1999, his numbers were similar. 2000, however, seemed to represent a significant improvement, as he went 13-6, 4.28, although still with a high WHIP of 1.49. That was as good as it would get for him, though. An injury forced him to miss most of 2001, as he made only five starts. In 2002 he had a poor year in AAA, but Chicago brought him up anyway and put him in the starting rotation for the month of August. He was a free agent after the season and signed with Tampa Bay. He started 2003 in the Devil Rays' rotation, but after five starts he was sent to AAA, where improved to mediocre. That was his last stint in the majors, but he pitched in AAA for the Diamondbacks in 2004 and for Seattle in 2007. For his career, he was 31-34, 5.42, 1.64 WHIP in 544.1 innings. He appeared in 103 games, 97 of them starts. It's possible that he would've done better if he'd been allowed to learn pitching in the minors. It's also possible that he was just getting things figured out when injuries threw him off track. It's also possible, of course, that he just really was never all that good to begin with. He is the founder of Big League Edge, which proclaims that it is "baseball's premier player developer", of Kent, Washington.
Record: The Twins were 75-52, in first place, leading Chicago by sixteen and a half games.