2003 Rewind: Game Sixty-five


Date:  Friday, June 13.

Batting star:  Cristian Guzman was 2-for-4.

Pitching stars:  Johan Santana struck out seven in seven innings, giving up one run on two hits and a walk.  LaTroy Hawkins pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits and striking out one.  Eddie Guardado pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.

Opposition stars:  Brandon Webb struck out eight in six innings, giving up three runs on six hits and a walk.  Eddie Oropesa struck out two in two perfect innings.

The game:  The Diamondbacks got two on with one out in the first inning but did not score.  That was the only threat until the sixth, when the Diamondbacks got on the board.  Tony Womack was hit by a pitch, Alex Cintron singled, a bunt moved the runners up, and Junior Spivey hit a sacrifice fly to put Arizona ahead 1-0.

The Twins came back in the bottom of the sixth.  With one out Jacque Jones and Guzman singled.  With two out, Justin Morneau had an RBI single, and on the throw home runners went to second and third.  Torii Hunter then delivered a two-run single, making it 3-1 Twins.

And that was it.  All the scoring came in the sixth inning.  The Diamondbacks opened the eighth with two singles, and a bunt moved the runners to second and third, but a popup and a strikeout ended the inning.  Arizona brought the tying run to the plate with two out in the ninth following a strikeout/wild pitch, but a fly out ended the game.

WP:  Santana (4-1).  LP:  Webb (3-2).  S:  Guardado (19).

Notes:  Denny Hocking was at second base in place of Luis Rivas.  Bobby Kielty was in right field.  Morneau was the DH.

Morneau was 1-for-3 and was batting .545.  Jones was 1-for-4 and was batting .311.

Hocking was 0-for-3 and is batting .167.

Santana lowered his ERA to 2.32.  Hawkins went to 2.27.  Guardado went to 2.51.

Santana, after two excellent starts, was sent back to the bullpen for another month, finally joining the starting rotation to stay on July 11.  At this point in the season, the Twins' rotation was Brad Radke (5-6, 5.61), Kyle Lohse (6-4, 2.91), Kenny Rogers (5-2, 4.67), Rick Reed (3-6, 4.37), and Joe Mays (7-3, 5.21).  I understand that some of those guys are veteran starters.  But with a rotation like that, you can't find starts for Johan Santana?  Reports were that Santana was upset about being sent back to the bullpen, and one can certainly understand why.

This must have been one of the few good games Eddie Oropesa had in the majors.  He was with Philadelphia in 2001 and went 1-0, 4.74, 1.74 WHIP in 30 games.  And he wasn't a young guy they were hoping would get better--he was 29 in his rookie year.  In 2002, with Arizona, he appeared in 32 games and went 2-0, 10.30, 2.13 WHIP.  He was back with the Diamondbacks in 2003 and went 3-3, 5.82, 1.68 WHIP in 47 games.  He moved on to San Diego in 2004 and went 2-1, 11.00, 2.11 WHIP in 16 games.  Add it all together and you get career numbers of 8-4, 7.34, 1.86 in 125 games.  He did not make it back to the majors, but pitched in Mexico in 2005, in the Northern League in 2006, and in the Netherlands in 2007.  You'd think that would be the end, but he came back in 2014 to pitch in 12 games in the Netherlands.  He's a testament to the proposition that if you're a left-handed pitcher, someone will almost always give you a chance.  I also assume that he's probably a really nice guy, because if he was a jerk he wouldn't have kept getting chances, left-handed or not.

Record:  The Twins were 38-27, in first place in the American League Central, five games ahead of Kansas City.

3 thoughts on “2003 Rewind: Game Sixty-five”

  1. I think every other day Gleeman had a post begging the Twins to free Johan.

    Mays was terrible, but his win / loss record and the sunk contract kept getting him starts.

    1. I don't think it would have been enough, but an extra year of starting would have helped his case for the HOF.

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