All posts by Jeff A

Mazatlan Recap: Game Two


Batting star:  Chris Roberson was 3-for-5.

Pitching stars:  Edgar Torres pitched six innings, giving up one run on six hits and three walks and striking out four.  Marco Antonio Rivas retired all five men he faced, striking out two.

Opposition stars:  Josuan Hernandez was 2-for-3 with a walk.  Esteban Quiroz was 2-for-4.  Santiago Gutierrez pitched five innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on five hits and two walks and striking out three.  Irving Machuca pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up a walk.  Juan Gamez pitched 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up two hits and a walk.

The game:  It was scoreless until the fifth.  Mazatlan got on the board first, as Issmael Salas singled, an error put men on first and third, and Ricardo Valenzuela singled home a run.  A sacrifice fly made it 2-0 and Roberson's RBI single made it 3-0 Mazatlan.

Leandro Castro homered for Los Mochis in the sixth to make it 3-1.  Los Mochis took the lead in the seventh.  Rodolfo Amador walked, Juan Camacho singled, and a wild pitch brought home a run to make it 3-2.  A hit batsman and an error loaded the bases.  Josuan Hernandez' infield single tied the game, and Quiroz delivered a two-run single to put Los Mochis ahead 5-3.

Mazatlan had a chance in the eighth.  Edson Garcia singled, Anthony Giansanti hit a one-out single, and Ricky Alvarez' RBI single made it 5-4.  A hit batsman loaded the bases, but Ramon Rios hit into a double play to end the inning.  They got the tying run into scoring position in the ninth, but a force out and a line out ended the game.

WP:  Fabian Cota (1-0).  LP:  Felipe Arredondo (0-1).  S:  Gamez (1).

Notes:  All nine Mazatlan hits were singles.

Salas is batting .500.  Valenzuela is batting .333.  Roberson is batting .300.

For some reason, this time the temperature was listed in Fahrenheit.  It was 92, with a wind at nine miles perhour.

Record:  Mazatlan is 1-1, tied for third, one game behind Hermosillo and Obregon.

Next game:  Mazatlan is again at Los Mochis tonight.

2003 Rewind: Game Sixteen


Date:  Friday, April 18.

Batting stars:  Jacque Jones was 2-for-3 with a double.  Matthew LeCroy was 1-for-1 with a double and two RBIs.  Corey Koskie was 1-for-3 with two walks.

Pitching stars:  None.

Opposition stars:  Roger Clemens struck out eight in six innings, giving up one run on five hits and three walks.  Robin Ventura was 3-for-5 with two home runs (his fourth and fifth), three runs, and four RBIs.  Alfonso Soriano was 3-for-5 with a home run (his sixth) and two RBIs.  Hideki Matsui was 2-for-5 with a double and two runs.  Jorge Posada was 2-for-5 with a double and two runs.  Raul Mondesi was 1-for-2 with a home run (his fourth), two walks, and two RBIs.

The game:  Soriano led off the game with a home run, putting the Yankees up 1-0 (of course).  The Twins put two on with one out in the bottom of the first, but nothing came of it.  Ventura homered with one out in the second to make it 2-0.

The Twins had a chance for a big inning in the second, but could only score one.  Bobby Kielty walked and A. J. Pierzynski singled, putting men on first and third with none out.  But Michael Cuddyer hit into a double play, scoring Kielty but otherwise taking the Twins out of the inning.  Mondesi homered with two out in the fourth to get the run back and make the score 3-1.

The Twins got a man to second in the fourth and again in the fifth but could do nothing after that.  New York put the game away in the sixth.  Bernie Williams and Matsui opened the inning with singles.  Jorge Posada drove in one with a ground rule double and Ventura singled home another.  That chased Brad Radke from the game.  Tony Fiore came in, threw a wild pitch, then gave up a sacrifice fly.  Soriano had a run-scoring single to make the score 7-1 Yankees.

New York piled on in the seventh.  With two out Posada singled and Ventura hit a two-run homer, his second of the game, increasing the lead to 9-1.  The Twins scored a few in the eighth to make things sound a little better.  Denny Hocking and Koskie singled to start the inning.  With one out, LeCroy hit a two-run double and Kielty followed with a run-scoring double, cutting the margin to 9-4.  But in the ninth, Chris Latham singled, Matsui had an RBI double, and two wild pitches made the final tally 11-4.

WP:  Clemens (3-0).  LP:  Radke (1-2).  S:  None.

Notes:  Cuddyer was in right field.  Kielty was the DH.

Dustan Mohr pinch-hit for Jones in the seventh and stayed in the game in left field.  Tom Prince came in to replace A. J. Pierzynski behind the plate in the eighth.  LeCroy replaced Doug Mientkiewicz at first base in the eighth.  Hocking replaced Cristian Guzman at shortstop in the eighth.

Kielty was 1-for-3 and was batting .382.  Jones raised his average to .350.  Prince walked in his only plate appearance and remained at .333.  Guzman was 0-for-3 and was batting .327.  Koskie raised his average to .308.

Mohr was 0-for-2 and was batting .115.  Hocking was 1-for-2 to raise his average to .154.  Torii Hunter was 0-for-4 and was batting .155.

Juan Rincon allowed two runs in 2.1 innings and had an ERA of 2.00.

Radke allowed seven runs on on nine hits and a walk in five innings.  His ERA was 7.84.  Tony Fiore allowed two runs in 1.2 innings.  His ERA was 7.88.

Three of Radke's four starts have had game scores under 50.  Two of them have had game scores under 25.

Ex-Twin Chris Latham came in to play center field for the Yankees in the seventh.

Clemens was forty in 2003, but was still one of the best pitchers in baseball.  He went 17-9, 3.91, 1.21 WHIP in 33 starts (211.2 innings).  He made the all-star team for the ninth time.

Ventura, on the other hand, was on the decline, although you couldn't prove it by this game.  The Yankees would trade him to the Dodgers at the July deadline for Bubba Crosby and Scott Proctor.  These were two of just 14 home runs he would hit on the season, his lowest total since 1997, when he was injured much of the year.  His OPS of .741 was the lowest since his first full season in 1990.  He thirty-five, which is old in baseball but not that old.  But he was just about done.  He would play only one more season.

Having lost the first game of a four-game series, the Twins were hoping the string of sweeps would not continue.

Record:  The Twins were 9-7, third in the American League Central, 3.5 games behind Kansas City.

Happy Birthday–October 17

Buck Ewing (1859)
Paul Derringer (1906)
Red Rolfe (1908)
Howie Moss (1918)
Johnny Klippstein (1927)
Jim Gilliam (1928)
Pete Cimino (1942)
Dan Pasqua (1961)
John Mabry (1970)
John Rocker (1974)
Gil Velazquez (1979)
Carlos Gonzalez (1985)
Chris Mazza (1989)

Howie Moss hit 279 minor league homers in a thirteen-year career.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–October 17

Mazatlan Recap: Game One

Winter baseball has started, with the Mexican League the first league to begin play.  I have done lots of things in covering the Mexican League, from doing recaps of every game to doing nothing at all.

I would love to do recaps of every game again, but I simply don't have time for that.  But I don't like doing nothing at all, either.  So I thought, this year, I would try following one team from each winter league.  The team will be selected by  For the Mexican League, it is the Venados de Mazatlan.

I come into this knowing nothing about that team, so I'll be learning along with you.  That is, if anyone actually reads these recaps.  The season started last night, so here we go.


Batting star:  Issmael Salas was 2-for-3 with a walk.

Pitching stars:  Francisco Rios struck out five in five shutout innings, giving up two hits and three walks.  Ivan Zavala pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Eddy Martinez was 2-for-4.  Adrian Hernandez struck out six in 2.1 perfect innings.  Erubiel Armenta pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one walk.

The game:  Mazatlan started the scoring in the second.  Ricky Alvarez and Salas singled and Ramon Rios was hit by a pitch, loading the bases with none out.  A wild pitch brought home the first run.  Ricardo Valenzuela singled home the second run, and an error brought home a third, giving Mazatlan a 3-0 lead.  Mazatlan added a run in the fourth.  With one out, Alvarez walked and went to second on a wild pitch.  Salas singled him to third, and a force out brought him home to make it 4-0.  It went to 5-0 in the fifth.  Carlos Munoz and Anthony Giansanti walked, a ground out moved them to second and third, and Rios hit a sacrifice fly to bring home the run.

Los Mochis got on the board in the seventh.  Walks to Leandro Castro and Saul Soto put men on first and second with one out.  Carlos Soto then singled home a run.  They added one more in the ninth.  With two out Saul Soto singled, Fernando Inzunza walked, and Juan Uriarte singled, making the score 5-2.  A hit batsman loaded the bases and brought the winning run up to bat, but Josuan Hernandez struck out to end the game.

WP:  Rios (1-0).  LP:  Daniel Duarte (0-1).  S:  Ryan Newell (1).

Notes:  Newell faced two batters, hitting the first one but striking out the second to end the game.

Looking at the box score, it appears that the Mexican League does not have a three-batter minimum rule.  They may have a mound visit rule, though, because the play-by-play always notes mound visits.

Mazatlan used eight pitchers, six of them in the last three innings.

It was 32 degrees in Los Mochis, with a 21 mile-an-hour wind.  I don't know whether they're allowing fans, but it would not have been a pleasant night to be at the old ball park.  Unless that's 32 Celsius, of course, in which case it would've been about 90 degrees fahrenheit.  And, as I look at it, that's probably the case, as the forecast for Los Mochis today is a high of 103.  That's not very pleasant, either, but I could handle 90 degrees for baseball a lot better than 32.

Next game:  Mazatlan plays Los Mochis again tonight.

Record:  Mazatlan is 1-0, tied for first with Monterrey, Hermosillo, Obregon, and Guasave.

For some reason, it is not easy to find the Mexican League standings.

2003 Rewind: Game Fifteen


Date:  Thursday, April 17.

Batting stars:  Chris Gomez was 3-for-4.  Torii Hunter was 2-for-3 with two doubles and a walk.  Michael Cuddyer was 2-for-3 with a triple, a walk, and two runs.  Bobby Kielty was 2-for-4 with two home runs, his second and third.  Corey Koskie was 1-for-4 with a home run and two runs.

Pitching stars:  Kenny Rogers struck out nine in eight shutout innings, giving up seven hits and no walks.  Tony Fiore pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Eugene Kingsale was 2-for-3.  Omar Infante was 2-for-4.

The game:  The Twins did not have a big inning, but just eased out to a comfortable lead.  In the first, a single by Cristian Guzman and a double by Hunter led to a run.  Kielty homered leading off the second to make it 2-0.  Koskie homered with one out in the third to make it 3-0.  In the fourth, Cuddyer led off with a triple and scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-0.

I don't know if there's ever been a game in which a team scored exactly one run in each inning, and sadly this would not be one.  The score remained 4-0 until the eighth.  The Tigers had a threat in the fifth when Infante led off with a double and Kingsale had an infield single with one out.  A strikeout and a ground out ended the threat, and Detroit would not threaten again.

The Twins got their final two runs in the eighth.  Kielty again lead off the inning with a home run.  With one out Cuddyer walked, went to third on a Gomez single, and scored on a sacrifice fly.

WP:  Rogers (2-0).  LP:  Jeremy Bonderman (0-3).  S:  None.

Notes:  Gomez was at second base in place of Luis Rivas.  Kielty was in center field, with Hunter at DH.  Cuddyer was in right field.  The Twins made no position player substitutions.

Gomez was batting .467.  Kielty was batting .387.  Guzman was batting .347.  Jacque Jones was 0-for-4 and was batting .333.  Koskie was batting .306.

Rogers lowered his ERA to 3.50.  That was as low as it would get all season.  By game scores this was his second-best game of the season, topped only by a game in Kansas City in mid-August.

Six of the Tigers' starters had batting averages below .200:  Eric Munson (.175), Infante (.167), Carlos Pena (.167), Dean Palmer (.118), Brandon Inge (.091), and Hiram Bocachica (.045).

Jeremy Bonderman started for Detroit.  He pitched six innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on ten hits and a walk and striking out four.

This was the fifth consecutive series sweep the Twins were involved in at the start of the season.  They had been on the winning end of three and the losing end of two.  I don't know what the record is.  Of course, the year the Orioles started 0-21, they must have been on the losing end of several sweeps.

Record:  The Twins were 9-6, tied for second in the American League Central with Chicago, 2.5 games behind Kansas City.

Happy Birthday–October 16

Art Devlin (1879)
Goose Goslin (1900)
Boom-Boom Beck (1904)
Matt Batts (1921)
Dave DeBusschere (1940)
Tim McCarver (1941)
Don Hood (1949)
Brian Harper (1959)
Kevin McReynolds (1959)
Billy Taylor (1961)
Darren Reed (1965)
Josias Manzanillo (1967)
Jonathan Schoop (1991)
Bryce Harper (1992)

Goose Goslin was a star for the franchise in the 1920s, when it played in Washington.

Better known as a basketball player, Dave DeBusschere pitched for the White Sox from 1962-1963.

It clearly doesn't mean anything, but it seems like kind of an odd coincidence that Brian Harper and Bryce Harper were born on the same day.

We would also like to wish a very happy birthday to spookymilk’s daughter, Sour Cream.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–October 16

2003 Rewind: Game Fourteen


Date:  Wednesday, April 16.

Batting stars:  Corey Koskie was 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.  Cristian Guzman was 2-for-3 with a double, a hit-by-pitch, and two runs.  A. J. Pierzynski was 2-for-4 with a double.  Jacque Jones was 2-for-4 with a stolen base, his third.

Pitching stars:  Rick Reed pitched six innings, giving up two runs on six hits and a walk and striking out five.  Johan Santana retired all four batters he faced, striking out one.  Eddie Guardado pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Wil Ledezma retired all seven batters he faced, striking out three.  Bobby Higginson was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk.

The game:  The Tigers put a man on second with two out in the first and did not score.  The Twins put men on second and third with one out in the first and did not score.  The Twins got on the board in the second when Bobby Kielty and Pierzynski started the inning with back-to-back doubles, putting Minnesota up 1-0.  They got one more in the third.  Guzman was hit by a pitch and Koskie singled, putting men on first and third with none out.  Torii Hunter then hit into a double play which scored a run and made it 2-0.

The Twins put together a two-out rally in the fourth.  Jones and Guzman singled with two down and Koskie hit a two-run double to increase the lead to 4-0.  The Tigers cut the lead in half in the fifth.  Eric Munson singled and scored on a one-out double by Matt Walbeck.  With two out, Bobby Higginson hit an RBI single and it was 4-2.

And there it stayed.  Detroit did not get a hit after the fifth inning.  They did get a pair of two-out walks in the seventh, but Santana came in to retire Carlos Pena on a fly ball.  Detroit did not get a baserunner after that.

WP:  Reed (1-2).  LP:  Adam Bernero (0-3).  S:  Guardado (6).

Notes:  Kielty was at DH in this game.

The Twins made no in-game lineup substitutions.

Kielty was 1-for-3 and was batting .370.  Jones raised his average to .358.  Guzman raised his average to .341.  Koskie raised his average to .311.

Dustan Mohr was 0-for-4 and was batting .125.  Hunter was 0-for-4 and was batting .137.

Juan Rincon pitched two-thirds of an inning without giving up a run.  He and Santana each had an ERA of zero.  Guardado lowered his ERA to 1.35.

Tiger players with a Twins connection are Walbeck and Munson.  Craig Paquette was drafted by them but did not sign.

Bernero pitched 5.2 innings, giving up four runs on ten hits and two walks.  He struck out none.  Detroit had a 1-12 record at this point in the season.

The Twins had won three, lost six, and now had won five.  They would go for the series sweep the next day.  If they got it, it would be the fifth consecutive series sweep they had been involved in to start the season.

Record:  The Twins were 8-6, tied for second with Chicago in the American League Central, 3.5 games behind Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game Thirteen


Date:  Tuesday, April 15.

Batting stars:  Cristian Guzman was 2-for-3 with a triple and two walks.  Matthew LeCroy was 2-for-3 with a walk.  Torii Hunter was 2-for-4 with a home run and two runs.  Luis Rivas was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs.  Doug Mientkiewicz was 2-for-4 with a double.

Pitching stars:  Kyle Lohse struck out eight in 6.1 innings, giving up four runs (two earned) on three hits and two walks.  J. C. Romero pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk.  Eddie Guardado struck out two in a scoreless inning, giving up two hits.

Opposition stars:  Carlos Pena was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer, a walk, and two runs.  Dmitri Young was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.

The game:  Hunter homered leading off the second to put the Twins up 1-0.  They put two on with two out in the third but did not score.  It cost them, as the Tigers took the lead in the fourth.  With one out, Ramon Santiago doubled and Pena hit a two-run homer, giving Detroit a 2-1 lead.

The Twins tied it in the fifth.  Rivas singled with one out in the first and Guzman hit a two-out triple.  The Twins went into the lead to stay in the sixth.  They opened the inning with singles by HunterMientkiewicz, and LeCroy to take a 3-2 advantage.  With two out, Rivas hit an RBI double and Jacque Jones delivered a two-run single, making the score 6-2.

The Tigers did not go away quietly.  Pena walked and Young reached on an error to start the seventh.  With one out, Eric Munson hit a two-run double to cut the lead to 6-4 and bring the tying run to the plate.  LaTroy Hawkins came in to retire the next two batters and end the inning.  Detroit still wasn't done.  Young led off the ninth with a double and Shane Halter hit a two-out single, bringing the go-ahead run to bat.  But Craig Paquette flied out and the Twins won.

WP:  Lohse (2-1).  LP:  Mike Maroth (0-4).  S:  Guardado (5).

Notes:  Michael Cuddyer remained in right field.  Dustan Mohr replaced him for defense in the ninth.

Jones was 1-for-5 to drop his average to .347.  Guzman raised his average to .317.  Mientkiewicz raised his average to .314.

Hunter raised his average to .149.  Cuddyer went 0-for-4 and was batting .167.  A. J. Pierzynski was 0-for-4 and was batting .179.

Lohse had an ERA of 1.69.  Hawkins retired both men he faced and had an ERA of zero.  Romero's ERA was 2.57.  Guardado was at 1.59.

Rivas was 8-for-16 with a triple and a double in the last four games.

The Twins had stretched their winning streak to four games.  Would this be their fifth consecutive series sweep?  We shall see.

Record:  The Twins were 7-6, tied for second with Chicago in the American League Central, 4.5 games behind Kansas City.

Happy Birthday–October 14

Joe Start (1842)
Paul Radford (1861)
Ivy Olson (1885)
Oscar Charleston (1896)
Harry Brecheen (1914)
Ken Heintzelman (1915)
Tom Cheney (1934)
Tommy Harper (1940)
Frank Duffy (1946)
Al Oliver (1946)
Ed Figueroa (1948)
Kiko Garcia (1953)
Willie Aikens (1954)
Jesus Vega (1955)
Joe Girardi (1964)
Midre Cummings (1971)
Ryan Church (1978)
Boof Bonser (1981)
Carlos Marmol (1982)
Willians Astudillo (1991)

Outfielder Oscar Charleston is considered by some to have been the greatest player in Negro League history.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–October 14