Category Archives: Keeping Track

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Fifty-eight

MINNESOTA 3, CLEVELAND 2 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Wednesday, September 24.

Batting stars:  Lew Ford was 2-for-4 with a home run (his third), a triple, and two RBIs.  Michael Cuddyer was 2-for-4 with a home run, his third.

Pitching stars:  Kyle Lohse pitched six innings, giving up one run on four hits and no walks and striking out one.  Eddie Guardado pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Victor Martinez was 2-for-4.  Ben Broussard was 1-for-4 with a home run, his sixteenth.  C. C. Sabathia pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and a walk and striking out three.

The game:  The Indians got a man to second base with two out in the first and third, but did not score either time.  They got on the board in the fourth, however, as Broussard hit a one-out home run.  The Twins did not get a man to second base until the fifth and did not score until the sixth, when Ford homered with one out to tie it 1-1.  The Twins then loaded the bases, still with one out, but a popup and a ground out ended the inning.

The Twins took a 2-1 lead in the seventh when Denny Hocking hit a two-out single and scored on a Ford triple.  Cleveland tied it in the eighth.  Jhonny Peralta led off with a walk, went to second on a passed ball, took third on a ground out, and scored on a wild pitch.

Cuddyer led off the bottom of the eighth with a home run to put the Twins back in front.  Martinez hit a one-out single in the ninth for the Indians, but he did not get past first base.

WP:  Jesse Orosco (2-1).  LP:  Rafael Betancourt (2-2).  S:  Guardado (41).

Notes:  It was the day after the Twins clinched so it was even lower down the alphabet than a B lineup.  Matthew LeCroy was behind the plate in place of A. J. Pierzynski.  Justin Morneau was at first in place of Doug Mientkiewicz.  Alex Prieto was at second in place of Luis Rivas.  Hocking was at short in place of Cristian Guzman.  Cuddyer was at third in place of Corey Koskie.  Ford was in center in place of Torii Hunter.  Michael Restovich was in left, Dustan Mohr in right, and Michael Ryan at DH.  Rob Bowen replaced LeCroy at catcher in the seventh.

Ryan was 1-for-4 and was batting .347.  Ford was batting .333.  Restovich was 0-for-3 and was batting .304.

Prieto was 1-for-3 and was batting .167.  Bowen made his first appearance since September 2 and was batting .000 (0-for-3).

Guardado lowered his ERA to 2.80.

Rick Reed gave up a run in 1.2 innings and had an ERA of 5.14.  Orosco retired the only man he faced and lowered his ERA to 7.64.  This would be his only win as a Twin.

Granted that Cleveland wasn't very good and was just playing out the season, it's still kind of impressive that the Twins were able to win playing a bunch of reserves and AAA players.

The Twins had won eleven in a row.

Record:  The Twins were 89-69, in first place in the American League Central, six games ahead of Chicago.

Happy Birthday–March 8

Harry Lord (1882)
Pat Flaherty (1897)
Bobby Goff (1902)
Pete Fox (1909)
Ray Mueller (1912)
Al Gionfriddo (1922)
Carl Furillo (1922)
Jim Bouton (1939)
Jacques Doucet (1940)
Dick Allen (1942)
Jim Rice (1953)
John Butcher (1957)
Mark Salas (1961)
Lance Barksdale (1967)
Mike Moriarty (1974)
Juan Encarnacion (1976)
Hines Ward (1976)

If you have a few minutes to spare, I would very much recommend reading Harry Lord’s biography at baseball-reference.com.

Pat Flaherty pitched in the minors from 1917-1921.  He also played in the NFL from 1923-1928, was a major in the Air Force, and appeared in about 250 movies from 1934 to the 1950s.

Bobby Goff played in the minor leagues for nineteen years, 1923-1941.  He also was a minor league manager and general manager and a major league scout, remaining in baseball until 1972.

Jacques Doucet was the French-language play-by-play announcer for the Montreal Expos from 1972 until the team left.

Lance Barksdale has been a major league umpire since 2000.

NFL star Hines Ward was drafted by the Florida Marlins in 1994, but did not sign.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–March 8

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Fifty-seven

MINNESOTA 4, CLEVELAND 1 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Tuesday, September 23.

Batting stars:  Cristian Guzman was 2-for-3 with a home run (his third), a walk, and two runs.  Corey Koskie was 1-for-2 with a walk.

Pitching star:  Kenny Rogers pitched 8.2 innings, giving up one run on eight hits and no walks and striking out two.

Opposition stars:  Alex Escobar was 2-for-3 with a hit-by-pitch.  Josh Bard was 2-for-4.

The game:  The Indians had men on first and third with one out in the second but did not score.  The Twins had men on first and second with two out in the second but did not score.  In the third, however, Guzman singled and Shannon Stewart and Luis Rivas had back-to-back doubles to get the Twins on the board with a 2-0 lead.

Cleveland got back-to-back hit-by-pitches to start the fourth but did not score.  In the bottom of the fourth the Twins added a run without a hit.  Koskie walked, A. J. Pierzynski reached on an error, Guzman walked, and Stewart hit a sacrifice fly.

The Indians had a man on second with one out in the fifth and men on first and second with none out in the seventh, but did not score.  Guzman homered leading off the bottom of the seventh to make it 4-0.  Cleveland rallied in the ninth, getting singles from Jody Gerut, Escobar, and Josh Bard to make it 4-1 and bring the tying run to the plate.  But Eddie Guardado came in to strike out Greg LaRocca to end the game.

WP:  Rogers (13-8).  LP:  Jake Westbrook (7-10).  S:  Guardado (40).

Notes:  Stewart was in left and Jacque Jones in right.  The Twins made no in-game lineup substitutions.

Pierzynski was 0-for-3 and was batting .309.  Stewart was 1-for-3 and was batting .308.  Jones was 0-for-4 and was batting .303.  Doug Mientkiewicz was 0-for-3 and was batting .300.

Rogers threw 102 pitches.

Guardado lowered his ERA to 2.84.

Westbrook pitched seven innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on six hits and three walks and striking out two.

The strikeout to end the game was Greg LaRocca's last major league at-bat.  He played in a handful of games in three separate seasons.  An infielder, he batted .261/.337/.352 in 100 plate appearances (39 games).  After this season he went to Japan, where he had several successful seasons.

It was the Twins' tenth consecutive win.  Chicago and Kansas City had both won yesterday, when the Twins were off, but they both lost today, so the Twins clinched the division.

Record:  The Twins were 88-69, in first place in the American League Central, six games ahead of Chicago and Kansas City.

Happy Birthday–March 7

Ed Willett (1884)
Dave Danforth (1890)
Andy Phillip (1922)
Bobo Holloman (1923)
Red Wilson (1929)
Galen Cisco (1936)
Jimmie Hall (1938)
J. R. Richard (1950)
Jeff Burroughs (1951)
Albert Hall (1958)
Joe Carter (1960)
Jose Cano (1962)
German Gonzalez (1962)
Mauro Gozzo (1966)
Jeff Kent (1968)
Tyler Ladendorf (1988)

A member of the basketball Hall of Fame, Andy Phillip played minor league baseball in 1947, 1949, and 1952, batting .281 in 123 games.

Bobo Holloman is sometimes referred to as the worst pitcher ever to throw a major league no-hitter.

The father of Robinson Cano, Jose Cano appeared in six games for Houston in 1989.

We would also like to wish a happy birthday to strategery's son.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–March 7

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Fifty-six

MINNESOTA 6, DETROIT 4 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Sunday, September 21.

Batting stars:  Cristian Guzman was 2-for-3 with a triple, a stolen base (his eighteenth), a walk, two runs, and two RBIs.  Shannon Stewart was 2-for-4 with a double and a walk.  Dustan Mohr was 2-for-4 with two runs.

Pitching star:  Brad Radke pitched seven innings, giving up one run on six hits and no walks and striking out six.

Opposition stars:  Dmitri Young was 2-for-4 with a double.  Alex Sanchez was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.  Craig Monroe was 2-for-4.

The game:  The Tigers scored one in the top of the third when Brandon Inge doubled, was bunted to third, and scored on a sacrifice fly.  The Twins bounced back with four in the bottom of the third.  Mohr singled and scored on Guzman's triple.  Stewart followed with an RBI single and went to third on an error.  Denny Hocking then had an RBI single.  The next two batters went out, but Jacque Jones singled and Torii Hunter hit a run-scoring double, putting the Twins up 4-1.

The Twins added two in the sixth Mohr singled, went to third on a pickoff error, and scored on Guzman's single.  Stewart then doubled and Hocking hit a sacrifice fly, making it 6-1.  They needed those runs, because the Tigers rallied in the eighth.  Ramon Santiago and Sanchez singled.  A wild pitch moved them to second and third.  With two out, Young drove in one and another wild pitch brought home another, cutting the lead to 6-3.

Detroit scored again in the ninth.  Danny Klassen singled, went to second on yet another wild pitch, and scored on Sanchez' single.  They tying run was up to bat with two out, but Warren Morris grounded out to end the game.

WP:  Radke (14-10).  LP:  Nate Cornejo (6-17).  S:  Eddie Guardado (39).

Notes:  Hocking was at second base in place of Luis Rivas.  Stewart was in left, Jones in right, and Matthew LeCroy at DH.  The Twins made no in-game lineup substitutions.

A. J. Pierzynski was 1-for-3 and was batting .311.  Stewart was batting .308.  Jones was 1-for-4 and was batting .306.  Doug Mientkiewicz was 1-for-4 and was batting .302.

In his last four starts, Radke had given up six earned runs in thirty innings.  He had not given up a walk in those innings.

Cornejo pitched 5.2 innings, allowing six runs on twelve hits and a walk and striking out two.

This was Danny Klassen's last year in the majors.  He played in parts of five seasons, totaling eighty-five major league games.  He batted .226/.289/.341 in 287 plate appearances.  A middle infielder, he played in AAA through 2008.

Of the three wild pitches, two were thrown by J. C. Romero and one by Guardado.

It was the Twins' ninth straight win.  The Royals beat the White Sox, so the Twins increased their lead.  The magic number was down to two.

Record:  The Twins were 87-69, in first place in the American League Central, 5.5 games ahead of both Chicago and Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Fifty-five

MINNESOTA 7, DETROIT 3 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Saturday, September 20.

Batting stars:  Matthew LeCroy was 3-for-5 with a home run (his seventeenth), a double, and three RBIs.  Dustan Mohr was 1-for-4 with a home run, his tenth.  Doug Mientkiewicz was 1-for-3 with three walks and three runs.

Pitching stars:  Grant Balfour struck out three in a scoreless inning, giving up two hits.  J. C. Romero pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up two hits.  Juan Rincon pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Craig Monroe was 3-for-4 with a home run (his twentieth), two doubles, and two RBIs.  Brandon Inge was 2-for-3 with a walk.  Dmitri Young was 2-for-4.  Alex Sanchez was 2-for-5.  No other Tiger had a hit.

The game:  The Twins jumped out to an early lead.  Shannon Stewart walked and Mientkiewicz doubled, putting men on second and third with one out.  A strikeout followed, but then Corey Koskie hit a two-run single, went to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a Torii Hunter single to make it 3-0.  Mohr homered in the fourth to make it 4-0.

Detroit got on the board in the fifth when Monroe homered, but the Twins got the run back in the bottom of the fifth when LeCroy homered.  The Tigers got back into it in the sixth.  Sanchez led off with a single and went to second on a wild pitch.  Young then delivered a two-out RBI single followed by Monroe's run-scoring double, cutting the margin to 6-3.

That was as good as it would get for Detroit.  The Twins scored one more, in the seventh, when Mientkiewicz walked, went to second on a passed ball, and scored on LeCroy's single.  The Tigers had men on second and third with two out in the eighth, but did not score again.

WP:  Johan Santana (12-3).  LP:  Nate Robertson (1-2).  S:  None.

Notes:  LeCroy was behind the plate in place of A. J. Pierzynski.  Stewart was in left, Mohr in right, and Michael Cuddyer at DH.  There were no in-game lineup substitutions.

Stewart was 0-for-3 and was batting .307.  Mientkiewicz was batting .303.

Santana didn't pitch badly, but he ran into trouble in the sixth.  His line was 5.2 innings, three runs, four hits, two walks, and five strikeouts.

Robertson pitched five innings, allowing six runs on six hits and four walks and striking out four.

The relievers for Detroit were Chris Mears, Erik Eckenstahler, Matt Anderson, and Matt Roney.  That's the kind of bullpen that leads you to be 38-116, which was the Tigers' record after this game.

The Twins had now won eight straight.  The White Sox lost to the Royals, so the Twins edged closer to clinching the division.

Record:  The Twins were 86-69, in first place in the American League Central, 4.5 games ahead of Chicago.  They were 5.5 games ahead of third-place Kansas City.

Happy Birthday–March 5

Sam Thompson (1860)
Jeff Tesreau (1888)
Lu Blue (1897)
Elmer Valo (1921)
Del Crandall (1930)
Phil Roof (1941)
Katsuo Osugi (1945)
Kent Tekulve (1947)
Doug Bird (1950)
Mike Veeck (1951)
Mike Squires (1952)
Steve Ontiveros (1961)
Brian Hunter (1971)
Jeffrey Hammonds (1971)
Ryan Franklin (1973)
Paul Konerko (1976)
Mike MacDougal (1977)
Erik Bedard (1979)
Joe Benson (1988)

Katsuo Osugi was the first player to have a thousand hits in the Japanese Central League and the Japanese Pacific League.

The son of Bill Veeck, Mike Veeck is president of the Goldklang Baseball Group, which owns a variety of minor league teams, including the St. Paul Saints.

We would also like to wish a happy birthday to brianS’ daughter.

We would also like to wish a happy birthday to spookymilk’s father.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–March 5

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Fifty-four

MINNESOTA 6, DETROIT 2 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Friday, September 19.

Batting stars:  A. J. Pierzynski was 4-for-4 with a home run (his eleventh), two runs, and two RBIs.  Torii Hunter was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs.  Luis Rivas was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Shannon Stewart was 2-for-5.

Pitching stars:  Eric Milton pitched seven shutout innings, giving up two hits and no walks and striking out four.  Grant Balfour struck out two in a perfect inning.

Opposition star:  Warren Morris was 2-for-3 with a double.

The game:  The Twins put men on first and third with two out in the first but did not score.  In the second, however, Hunter doubled and Pierzynski followed with a single to make it 1-0.  In the second, singles by Shannon Stewart and Doug Mientkiewicz were followed by a pair of productive ground outs to make it 2-0.

The Twins took control in the fourth.  Hunter and Pierzynski opened the inning with singles.  With one out, Cristian Guzman and Stewart delivered RBI singles.  Rivas walked to load the bases and Mientkiewicz walked to force in a run.  It was 5-0 Twins.

Milton cruised through his seven innings, throwing just 77 pitches.  In the eighth, the bullpen allowed the only two Tiger runs.  Carlos Pena walked, went to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a Morris single.  With two out, singles by Alex Sanchez and Shane Halter produced another run.  A walk to Bobby Higginson loaded the bases, bringing the go-ahead run to the plate.  But Dmitri Young flied to center to end the inning.  Pierzynski homered leading off the ninth to make it 6-2, Detroit went down in order in the ninth.

WP:  Milton (1-0).  LP:  Jeremy Bonderman (6-19).  S:  None.

Notes:  Stewart was in left, Michael Ryan in right, and Jacque Jones was the DH.  Dustan Mohr replaced Ryan in right in the ninth.

Ryan was 0-for-3 and was batting .356.  Pierzynski raised his average to .311.  Stewart went up to .308.  Jones was 1-for-4 and was batting .306.  Mientkiewicz was 0-for-3 and was batting .302.

Milton lowered his ERA to 1.50.

Bonderman pitched 3.1 innings, giving up five runs on ten hits and a walk and striking out two.

Tiger players with Twins connections included Morris, Fernando Rodney, and Craig Monroe.

The Twins did not have a letdown after sweeping the White Sox.  The win was their seventh in a row.  The White Sox were playing the Royals, so one of them had to lose.  It was the Royals, as the White Sox tried to stay in the race.

Record:  The Twins were 85-69, in first place in the American League Central, 3.5 games ahead of Chicago.  They were 5.5 games ahead of third-place Kansas City.

Happy Birthday–March 4

Red Murray (1884)
Jeff Pfeffer (1888)
Dazzy Vance (1891)
Lefty O'Doul (1897)
Buck Canel (1906)
Clyde McCullough (1917)
Mel Queen (1918)
Leo Righetti (1925)
Cass Michaels (1926)
Bob Johnson (1936)
Jack Fischer (1939)
Danny Frisella (1946)
Tom Grieve (1948)
Harry Saferight (1949)
Sam Perlozzo (1951)
Mark Wagner (1954)
Jeff Dedmon (1960)
Tom Lampkin (1964)
Giovanni Carrera (1968)
Dave Stevens (1970)
Mark Wegner (1972)
Sergio Romo (1983)

Born in Argentina, Buck Canel broadcast major league baseball to Latin America for over four decades, calling forty-two World Series.

The father of Dave Righetti, Leo Righetti played in the minors for twelve years, eight of them in AAA.

Harry Saferight made it to the majors with Pittsburgh in 1979, but did not appear in a game.  He got to the on-deck circle three times, but each time the last out was made before he had a chance to bat.

St. Paul native Mark Wegner has been a major league umpire since 1998.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–March 4

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Fifty-three

MINNESOTA 5, CHICAGO 3 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Thursday, September 18.

Batting stars:  Jacque Jones was 2-for-3 with two home runs (his fourteenth and fifteenth), a walk, and four RBIs.  Corey Koskie was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.

Pitching stars:  Kyle Lohse pitched 6.2 innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and no walks and striking out six.  LaTroy Hawkins pitched a perfect inning.  Eddie Guardado pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk.

Opposition star:  Roberto Alomar was 2-for-4.

The game:  Alomar and Carlos Lee opened the game with singles.  They were on second and third with two out.  Carl Everett then singled them both home, giving the White Sox a 2-0 lead in the top of the first.  The Twins bounced right back in the bottom of the first.  Shannon Stewart walked and Jones hit a two-out two-run homer to tie it 2-2 after one.

The Twins struck again in the third, again with two out.  Doug Mientkiewicz doubled and Jones followed with his second two-run homer to make it 4-2 Minnesota.  It went to 5-2 in the fourth when Michael Ryan singled, went to third on an error, and scored on a ground out.

Chicago had men on first and third with one out in the fifth, but Lee grounded into a double play.  They cut the lead to 5-3 in the seventh on doubles by Jose Valentin and Aaron Miles.  With two out in the ninth Aaron Rowand singled and Joe Crede walked, bringing the go-ahead run to the plate.  But Sandy Alomar fouled out and the game went to the Twins.

WP:  Lohse (14-11).  LP:  Bartolo Colon (14-13).  S:  Guardado (38).

Notes:  Stewart was in left, Ryan was in right, and Jones was the DH.  Lew Ford pinch-hit for Ryan in the eighth, with Dustan Mohr going to right field in the ninth.

Ryan was 1-for-3 and was batting .381.  Ford was 0-for-1 and was batting .321.  Jones raised his average to .307.  Stewart was 1-for-4 and was also batting .307.  A. J. PIerzynski was 1-for-3 and was batting .305.  Mientkiewicz was 1-for-4 and was batting .304.

Hawkins lowered his ERA to 1.89.  Guardado lowered his ERA to 2.76.

Colon pitched six innings, giving up five runs (four earned) on seven hits and three walks and striking out one.  He pitched well if you take away the Jones home runs, but as we always say, you can't do that.

The foul popup that ended the game was caught by pitcher Eddie Guardado.  It's unusual for a pitcher to catch any popup, much less a foul popup.  I don't know what happened, but good play, Eddie.

His RBI double was the first hit of Aaron Miles' career.  I don't really remember him, but he played for nine years and played in over 130 games in five of those years.  This was his only season with the White Sox--they traded him to Colorado after the season for Juan Uribe.  He was with the Rockies for two years, then was traded to St. Louis.  He played there for three years, became a free agent, and signed with the Cubs.  He was there for one year, then they traded him to Oakland, but before he could play a game for the Athletics he was traded to Cincinnati.  They released him before he could play a game for them, but he signed back with St. Louis for another year.  He signed with the Dodgers as a free agent and spent one year there.  He was mostly a second baseman.  With the exception of his one year with the Cubs he would usually post a decent batting average and OBP, although with no power.  For his career he batted .281/.320/.352 in 932 games and 3064 plate appearances.

It was the Twins' sixth consecutive win.  While the White Sox were obviously not going to give up, it felt like the series sweep pretty much decided the pennant race.

Record:  The Twins were 84-69, in first place in the American League Central, 3.5 games ahead of Chicago.  They were 4.5 games ahead of third-place Kansas City.