Category Archives: Keeping Track

2003 Rewind: Game Twenty-one

KANSAS CITY 2, MINNESOTA 1 IN KANSAS CITY

Date:  Thursday, April 24.

Batting stars:  A. J. Pierzynski was 2-for-3.  Torii Hunter was 2-for-4.

Pitching star:  Brad Radke pitched an eight-inning complete game, giving up two runs on four hits and one walk and striking out four.

Opposition stars:  Chris George pitched six innings, giving up one run on five hits and two walks and striking out three.  Jason Grimsley pitched two shutout innings, giving up one hit and striking out one.  Carlos Febles was 2-for-3 with a stolen base.  Mike Sweeney was 1-for-2 with a home run (his fourth) and a stolen base.

The game:  The Twins got a pair of one-out singles in the first but did not score.  Neither team threatened after that until the fourth, when Sweeney hit a two-out home run to put the Royals up 1-0.  The Twins tied it in the sixth with a two-out rally:  Bobby Kielty walked and singles by Corey Koskie and Hunter plated the run.

Kansas City went back in front in the bottom of the sixth.  Febles led off with a single and scored from first on a one-out double by Joe Randa.

And that was it.  The Royals did not get a man on base after the sixth, but it didn't matter.  The Twins got a couple of singles, but never advanced a man past first base.

WP:  George (3-1).  LP:  Radke (1-3).  S:  Mike MacDougal (9).

NotesMichael Cuddyer was again in right field.  Kielty was again the DH.  There were no in-game lineup substitutions.

Kielty was 1-for-3 with a walk and was batting .340.  Cuddyer was 0-for-3 and was batting .193.

Radke lowered his ERA to 6.28.  This was the first of three complete games Radke had in 2003.  He had 37 for his career.  By game scores this was his second-best game of the season, topped only by a complete game shutout on August 26.

After a lowpoint of .111 on April 11, Hunter finally climbed above the Mendoza line to stay at .216.  It seems like he was pretty hot-and-cold in 2003, posting averages by month of :.217, .269, .273, .229, .233, and .284.  On thinking about it, though, I wonder just how unusual that really is.  Everyone bounces up and down over the course of a season--how much variance is "normal" and how much is "unusual"?  I don't really know.

I kind of remember Joe Randa as a Twins killer, but he really wasn't.  He batted .275/.315/.404 for his career against the Twins and .264/.293/.431 against them in 2003.  His overall career numbers are .284/.339/.426, so he actually was worse against the Twins than against the rest of MLB.  Maybe I just remember a few big hits he got or something.

I didn't actually go through his whole career to check, but this has to be one of the best games Chris George ever pitched.  By game scores it was the second-best of the season, topped only by his first game of the season, when he pitched 6.2 innings and also gave up one run on five hits.  He made eighteen starts in 2003 and had an ERA of 7.11 with a WHIP of 1.75.  Somehow he went 9-6, which is probably why he was allowed to make 18 starts.  It's not like this was just a bad year--for his career he was 14-20, 6.48, 1.66 WHIP in 237.1 innings (47 games, 44 starts).  His "best" season was his first one, 2001, when he went 4-8, 5.59, 1.37 WHIP in 13 starts.  In his defense, he was rushed to the majors at age 21 on the strength of 18 AA starts in which he went 8-5, 3.14, but with a WHIP of 1.47.  He was on the Omaha/Kansas City shuttle from 2001--2004, spent all of 2005 in Omaha, then became a free agent.  He was with several organizations after that, but never made it to the majors.  Would more time in the minors when he was younger have helped?  It's hard to say.  It wouldn't have hurt, but at the same time, his career AAA numbers are 66-73, 4.95, 1.52 WHIP in 1223 innings.  It seems more likely that he just was never that good in the first place.

This made six losses in a row for the Twins, and was the seventh series sweep they'd been involved in at the start of the season.

Record:  The Twins were 9-12, in third place in the American League Central, eight games behind Kansas City.

Happy Birthday–October 22

Kid Carsey (1870)
Bill Carrigan (1883)
Johnny Morrison (1895)
Jumbo Elliott (1900)
Jimmie Foxx (1907)
Wilbur Wood (1941)
Jamie Quirk (1954)
Frank DiPino (1956)
Keith Osik (1968)
Hector Carrasco (1969)
Ichiro Suzuki (1973)
Michael Barrett (1976)
Brad Thomas (1977)
Eli Whiteside (1979)
Robinson Cano (1982)
Darren O'Day (1982)
Carlos Torres (1982)

We would also like to wish very happy anniversary to Daneeka's Ghost and Mrs. Ghost.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–October 22

Mazatlan Recap: Game Five

MAZATLAN 13, NAVOJOA 4 IN MAZATLAN

Batting stars:  Ricardo Valenzuela was 2-for-2 with a walk and two RBIs.  Issmael Salas was 2-for-3 with two walks and three runs.  Ricky Alvarez was 2-for-4 with a home run, three runs, and three RBIs.  Carlos Munoz was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs.  Diego Madero was 2-for-4 with a walk and two RBIs.  Ramon Rios was 2-for-5 with two RBIs.

Pitching stars:  Carlos Morales pitched five innings, giving up two runs on four hits and no walks and striking out four.  Ivan Zavala pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up two hits.  Fernando Burgueno pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.

Opposition stars:  Jorge Flores was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs.  Luis Payan pitched five innings, giving up two runs on four hits and one walk and striking out two.

The game:  Mazatlan opened the scoring in the second.  Munoz led off with a single, and with one out Salas walked and Valenzuela was hit by a pitch, loading the bases.  Madero then delivered a two-run single, making it 2-0.  Navojoa tied it in the fourth.  Jorge Flores singled, Juan Perez doubled, and Victor Mendoza hit a two-run single to make it 2-2.

Mazatlan took control in the sixth.  With one out Munoz doubled, Alvarez walked, and Salas singled, loading the bases.  Valenzuela walked to bring home one run.  An error scored two.  Edson Garcia singled to re-load the bases.  Rios then delivered a single-plus-error to bring home three and give Mazatlan an 8-2 lead.

Mazatlan got two more in the seventh.  Alvarez homered, Salas walked, Valenzuela singled, and a sacrifice fly made it 10-2.  Navojoa got those two back in the eighth.  Flores doubled, Perez was hit by a pitch, and Paul Leon walked to load the bases.  David Vidal singled home one and a force out scored another, but Mazatlan still led 10-4.

Mazatlan ended the scoring with three in the bottom of the eighth.  Anthony Giansanti walked, Jose Luna doubled, and Alvarez singled them both home.  Salas then singled to put men on first and third and a sacrifice fly made the final score 13-4.

WP:  Zavala (1-1).  LP:  Santiago Elizondo (0-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Salas is batting .429.  Valenzuela is batting .417.  Alvarez is batting .300.

Irwin Delgado has an ERA of 2.70.  Morales has an ERA of 3.18.

Record:  Mazatlan is 2-3, tied for fifth place, three games behind Obregon.

Next game:  Mazatlan hosts Navojoa for a doubleheader tonight.

2003 Rewind: Game Twenty

KANSAS CITY 4, MINNESOTA 3 IN KANSAS CITY

Date:  Tuesday, April 22.

Batting stars:  Torii Hunter was 2-for-3 with two walks.  Luis Rivas was 1-for-3 with a home run, a hit-by-pitch, and two runs.

Pitching star:  Mike Fetters pitched two shutout innings, allowing only a hit batsman.

Opposition stars:  Runelvys Hernandez pitched 6.2 innings, giving up one run on three hits and six walks and striking out three.  Angel Berroa was 2-for-3 with a hit-by-pitch.  Carlos Febles was 2-for-3.  Raul Ibanez was 2-for-4 with a double.  Joe Randa was 1-for-4 with a three-run homer, his fourth.

The game:  The Twins drew three walks in the second inning but left the bases loaded.  The Royals scored all their runs in the third.  Febles singled with one out, Tucker walked, and Randa hit a three-run homer.  It did not kill the rally, as Mike Sweeney drew a two-out walk and scored from first on a double by Ibanez.  Kansas City led 4-0.

The Twins got on the board in the fifth when Rivas led off with a home run.  They drew a pair of two-out walks in the inning, but could do nothing with them.  The Twins had men on first and second with two out in the seventh, but again failed to score.

The Twins tried to come back in the ninth.  Rivas was hit by a pitch to start the inning and Jacque Jones walked.  A pair of ground outs made the score 4-2 and put a man on third.  Corey Koskie walked and Hunter singled.  That cut the margin to 4-3, put the tying run on third, and put the go-ahead run on first.  The comeback was not to be, however, as Doug Mientkiewicz struck out to end the game.

WP:  Hernandez (4-0).  LP:  Kenny Rogers (2-1).  S:  Mike MacDougal (8).

Notes:  Bobby Kielty was in right field.  There were no substitutions in the lineup.

Kielty was 0-for-2 with three walks and was batting .340.  Jones was 0-for-4 with a walk and was batting .315.

Rogers pitched six innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and four walks and striking out two.

Fetters kept his ERA at zero.

Rivas hit thirty-four home runs in his career.  That's not a lot, obviously, but it's more than I would've guessed.  He hit eight in 2003.  His career high was ten, in 2004.

As you can see above, the Twins left a lot of men on base.  They stranded twelve and went just 1-for-12 with men in scoring position.

Runelvys Hernandez was off to an awesome start in 2003.  At this point, after five starts, he had pitched 32.2 innings and had an ERA of 1.10.  For the month of April he was 4-0, 1.36.  His season fell apart after that.  He was 0-3, 5.89 in May; missed the month of June, was 1-1, 5.40 in July, and was 2-1, 10.57 in August.  As it turned out, he needed Tommy John surgery and was never a good pitcher again.  He missed all of 2004, was 8-14, 5.52 in 2005, and was 6-10, 6.48 in 2006.  He spent time in the Boston, Yankee, and Pittsburgh organizations in 2007.  He made four starts for Houston in 2008, going 0-3, 8.38.  He pitched in Korea in 2009, in Mexico in 2010, and played winter ball through 2013.  It's hard to know just how good he might have been if he hadn't been injured. He signed with the Royals in December of 1997, but b-r.com doesn't have minor league stats for him until 2001.  Presumably he was in foreign rookie leagues, like the Dominican Summer League, until then.  By 2001 he was twenty-three.  He pitched well in Class A that season and did well in AA as a twenty-four year old in 2002, but if he's got anything at all to recommend him he should do well at that level at that age.  My guess is that the one hot month he had was just that, a hot month, but we'll never know.  He did at least have the one hot month, though, which is one more than a lot of guys get.

The Twins had now lost five in a row.  There would be a rainout the next day, shortening this to a two-game series, so a loss in the next game would make the seventh consecutive series sweep the Twins had been involved in from the start of the season.

Record:  The Twins were 9-11, in third place in the American League Central, seven games behind Kansas City.

Happy Birthday–October 21

Due to personal time constraints, this is a reprint from last year which has not been updated.

Bill Lee (1909)
Bill Bevens (1916)
Whitey Ford (1928)
Johnny Goryl (1933)
Ted Uhlaender (1940)
Bill Russell (1948)
Jerry Garvin (1955)
George Bell (1959)
Franklin Stubbs (1960)
John Flaherty (1967)
Steve Holm (1979)
Casey Fien (1983)
Zack Greinke (1983)

I always find it interesting that anyone who is even rumored to have used PEDs is condemned as a dirty rotten cheater, but Whitey Ford, who admitted to cheating by scuffing baseballs, is acclaimed as a hero and an all-around great guy.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–October 21

2003 Rewind: Game Nineteen

NEW YORK 15, MINNESOTA 1 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Monday, April 21.

Batting stars:  Matthew LeCroy was 2-for-4.  Dustan Mohr was 1-for-4 with a home run, his second.

Pitching star:  Tony Fiore struck out five in 3.2 innings, giving up one run on three hits and three walks.

Opposition stars:  David Wells pitched a complete game, giving up one run on seven hits and a walk and striking out three.  Erick Almonte was 3-for-4 with a double, a walk, and three runs.  Raul Mondesi was 3-for-4 with a double and a hit-by-pitch.  Nick Johnson was 3-for-5 with two home runs (his second and third), a walk, three runs, and four RBIs.  John Flaherty was 2-for-5 with two runs.  Alfonso Soriano was 1-for-5 with a grand slam (his seventh homer) a walk, and two runs.  Bernie Williams was 1-for-5 with a two-run homer (his fifth) and a walk.

The game:  I see no need to give play-by-play of all fifteen of the Yankees' runs.  Johnson hit a two-run homer in a three-run third.  Soriano hit a grand slam in the fourth to make it 7-0.  A walk and five singles in the fifth made it 11-0.  Johnson homered again in the seventh to make it 12-0.

The Twins avoided the shutout when Mohr homered leading off the eighth.  Williams hit a two-run homer in a three-run ninth.

WP:  Wells (3-0).  LP:  Rick Reed (1-3).  S:  None.

Notes:  Tom Prince was behind the plate in place of A. J. PierzynskiLeCroy was at first base in place of Doug Mientkiewicz.  Chris Gomez was at third in place of Corey Koskie.  Mohr was in left field in place of Jacque Jones.  Bobby Kielty was in center in place of Torii Hunter, who was the DH.  Michael Cuddyer was again in right field.

Denny Hocking came in to play third base in the seventh inning.  Gomez moved to second and Luis Rivas came out of the game.

Gomez was 0-for-4 and was batting .391.  Kielty was 1-for-4 and was batting .356.  Prince was 1-for-3 and was batting .333.

Mohr raised his average to .125.  Hocking was 0-for-1 and was batting .133.  Hunter was 1-for-3 with a walk and was batting .179.

By game scores, this was Reed's worst game of the season.  He lasted 4.1 innings and surrendered 11 runs (10 earned) on 10 hits and 3 walks.  He struck out four and had a game score of 2.  His ERA went up to 7.52.  The good news, if you want to call it that, is that this is as high as his ERA would ever go this season.

Fiore got his ERA down to 6.39.

This was the only three-hit game of Erick Almonte's career.  He was the Yankees' starting shortstop from the start of the season until early May, due to an injury to Derek Jeter.  It was the only time he was a starter in his career.  Of his 133 career at-bats, 100 of them came in 2003--he had 4 in 2001 and 29 in 2011, when he was with Milwaukee.  He was in the Yankee organization through 2003, was in the Rockies' chain in 2004, was in Japan in 2005, played independent ball in 2006, was in the Detroit organization from 2007-2008, was with the Brewers from 2009-2012, and played in Mexico in 2013.  His AAA numbers are .283/.361/.424, not bad numbers at all.  In the majors, however, he batted .233/.282/.331.  I don't know about his fielding, but he batted well enough in the minors to think he could've helped someone in the big leagues.  This was his only chance to do it, though, and while he batted .260/.321/.350 he wasn't going to beat out Derek Jeter no matter what he did.

So the Twins have now begun their season with six series sweeps.  They won three, lost six, won six, and now have lost seven.  We'll see if another series sweep awaits when they head to Kansas City.

Record:  The Twins were 9-10, in third place in the American League Central, six games behind Kansas City.

 

Happy Birthday–October 20

Jigger Statz (1897)
Bruce Campbell (1909)
Mickey Mantle (1931)
Juan Marichal (1937)
Dave Collins (1952)
Keith Hernandez (1953)
Jerry Meals (1961)
Rudy Seanez (1968)
Juan Gonzalez (1969)

William Julius "Judy" Johnson was a star third baseman in the Negro Leagues.

Jerry Meals has been a major league umpire since 1998.

It appears that no players associated with the Twins were born on this day.

We also want to wish a very happy birthday to GreekHouse and to freealonzo’s mother.

Mazatlan Recap: Games Three and Four

LOS MOCHIS 9, MAZATLAN 8 IN LOS MOCHIS

Batting stars:  None.  That sounds strange, that you could score eight runs with no batting stars, but Mazatlan hit no home runs and had no one with more than one hit and one walk.

Pitching stars:  None.

Opposition stars:  Josuan Hernandez was 3-for-4 with a home run, a double, three runs, and three RBIs.  Isaac Rodriguez Salazar was 3-for-5 with a double and three runs.  Eddy Martinez was 3-for-5 with a double.  Carlos Soto was 2-for-3.  Esteban Quiroz was 2-for-4 with a grand slam, a double, and six RBIs.  Hector Soto pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk.

The game:  Los Mochis scored in the first inning, as Salazar led off with a double, went to third on a ground out, and scored on a sacrifice fly.  It went to 2-0 in the third when Hernandez and Quiroz hit back-to-back doubles.

Mazatlan got on the board in the fourth when Edson Garcia walked and scored on an error.  They tied it in the fifth when Ramon Rios doubled and scored on a Diego Madero single.  But Los Mochis got the lead right back in the bottom of the fifth when Salazar singled and Hernandez hit a two-run homer, making it 4-2 Los Mochis.

Mazatlan tied it back up in the sixth.  Garcia doubled and Anthony Giansanti walked.  A bunt moved the runners to second and third, a fielder's choice scored one, and a sacrifice fly made it 4-4.  They took the lead in the seventh.  Chris Roberson reached on an error, and with two out singles by Giansanti and Carlos Munoz brought home the tie-breaking run.  A wild pitch scored another to make it 6-4.  It went to 8-4 in the top of the eighth.  Issmael Salas doubled and scored on a Ricardo Valenzuela single.  An error moved Valenzuela to third, and a sacrifice fly brought him home.

Then came the bottom of the eighth.  Saul Soto walked and Juan Camacho singled.  With one out, Salazar singled to load the bases.  Hernandez was hit by a pitch to make it 8-5, and Quiroz hit a grand slam to put Los Mochis ahead 9-8.

Mazatlan went down in order in the ninth and went down to defeat.

WP:  Vidal Sotelo (1-0).  LP:  Ivan Zavala (0-1).  S:  Jose Quezada (1).

Notes:  Ignacio Marrujo started for Mazatlan.  He went 3.1 innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and a walk and striking out one.  Jonas Garibay started for Los Mochis.  He went five innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on four hits and two walks and striking out one.

Record:  Mazatlan was 1-2.

LOS MOCHIS 7, MAZATLAN 5 IN LOS MOCHIS

Batting stars:  Ricky Alvarez was 2-for-4 with two doubles.  Anthony Giansanti was 1-for-3 with two walks.

Pitching stars:  Marco Antonio Rivas pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit and striking out one.  Ryan Newell struck out two in a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Eddy Martinez was 3-for-4 with a home run, a double, and two runs.  Amilcar Gomez was 3-for-4.  Esteban Quiroz was 2-for-4 with a home run, his second.  Leandro Castro was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his second.  Adrian Hernandez pitched two shutout innings, giving up two hits and two walks and striking out one.  Juan Gomez pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk.

The game:  Los Mochis jumped out to the lead early.  With two out, Quiroz homered, Martinez singled, and Castro homered, giving Los Mochis a 3-0 lead.  In the second, again with two out, Gomez and Isaac Rodriguez Salazar singled and Josuan Hernandez hit a two-run triple to make it 5-0.

Mazatlan got back into the game in the third.  Diego Madero walked and Chris Roberson was hit by a pitch.  Edson Garcia then delivered an RBI single, Giansanti followed with another RBI single, and a run scored on a ground out to cut the margin to 5-3.  Los Mochis got one run back in the bottom of the third when Martinez homered, making it 6-3.  It stayed there until the sixth, when Saul Soto homered to make it 7-3.

Mazatlan got back into the game in the eighth.  Giansanti walked, Carlos Munoz singled, and Ricky Alvarez hit an RBI double.  A sacrifice fly made it 7-5.  That was as much as Mazatlan could do, however, as they managed only a walk for the rest of the game and went down 7-5.

WP:  Rafael Ordaz (1-0).  LP:  Carlos Felix (0-1).  S:  Juan Gamez (2).

Notes:  The decisions went to the starters.  Ordaz pitched five innings, giving up three runs on three hits and three walks and striking out none.  Felix pitched 1.2 innings, allowing five runs on six hits and no walks and striking out one.

The attendance at the game was 493.  I have no idea what average attendance is at a Mexican League game.  I also have no idea how many fans they're actually allowing into the games.

Record:  Mazatlan is 1-3, tied for seventh place, three games behind Obregon.

Next game:  Mazatlan comes home to play Navajoa on Tuesday.

2003 Rewind: Game Eighteen

NEW YORK 8, MINNESOTA 2 IN NEW YORK

Date:  Sunday, April 20.

Batting stars:  A. J. Pierzynski was 2-for-3 with a double.  Chris Gomez was 2-for-4.

Pitching stars:  Johan Santana struck out two in 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up one hit and three walks.  Mike Fetters pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.  Eddie Guardado pitched a scoreless inning, striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Mike Mussina struck out eight in seven innings, giving up two runs on five hits and three walks.  Nick Johnson was 2-for-3 with two walks and two runs.  Alfonso Soriano was 2-for-4 with a walk and two runs.  Bernie Williams was 2-for-5 with a home run (his fourth), a double, two runs, and two RBIs.  Jason Giambi was 2-for-5 with a three-run homer, his fourth.  Raul Mondesi was 2-for-5 with a double,

The game:  The Yankees jumped on Twins starter Kyle Lohse, scoring three runs before a man was retired.  Soriano and Johnson singled and Giambi hit a three-run homer.  Williams homered in the third to make it 4-0.

The Twins got on the board in the fourth.  Gomez led off with a single and Corey Koskie walked.  The next two batters went out, but Bobby Kielty walked and Pierzynski had an RBI single.  The Twins missed a chance for more, however, when Koskie was thrown out at the plate.  The Yankees responded with three more in the fifth.  Soriano and Johnson again singled.  Giambi struck out this time, but Williams hit an RBI double and with two out, Jorge Posada hit a two-run double, making the score 7-1 New York.

New York left the bases loaded in the sixth, but added one in the seventh on doubles by Mondesi and Hideki Matsui.  The Twins got their last run in the seventh when Pierzynski doubled and scored on a pair of wild pitches.

WP:  Mussina (4-0).  LP:  Lohse (2-2).  S:  None.

NotesGomez was at short in place of Cristian Guzman.  Michael Cuddyer was in right field.  Bobby Kielty was the DH.

Matthew LeCroy went behind the plate in the eighth in place of A. J. Pierzynski.  Dustan Mohr went to center in the eighth in place of Torii Hunter.  Denny Hocking pinch-hit for Doug Mientkiewicz in the ninth.

Gomez raised his average to .474.  Kielty was 1-for-3 and was batting .366.  Jacque Jones was 0-for-4 and was batting .333.

Mohr was 0-for-1 and was batting .107.  Hocking was 0-for-1 and was batting .143.  Hunter was 0-for-3 and was batting .172.

Lohse lasted 4.1 innings, allowing seven runs on ten hits and a walk while striking out two.  By game scores this was his third-worst game of the season at 16.  He had a 13 (July 8) and a 12 (July 26).

Santana and Fetters each had an ERA of zero.  Guardado's ERA was 1.17.  Tony Fiore gave up a run in one inning and had an ERA of 8.00.

Randy Choate pitched an inning for the Yankees.  He went to spring training for the Twins in 2007.

This was a four-game wrap-around series, so the Twins had one more chance to avoid a series sweep.

Record:  The Twins were 9-9, in third place in the American League Central, 5.5 games behind Kansas City.

Happy Birthday–October 19

Mordecai Brown (1876)
Fred Snodgrass (1887)
Bob O'Farrell (1896)
Al Brazle (1913)
Walt Bond (1937)
Sandy Alomar (1943)
Al Gallagher (1945)
Mark Davis (1960)
Tim Belcher (1961)
Dave Veres (1966)
Keith Foulke (1972)
Horacio Estrada (1975)
Michael Young (1976)
Randy Ruiz (1977)
Jose Bautista (1980)
Rajai Davis (1980)
J. A. Happ (1982)
Josh Tomlin (1984)
Daniel Descalso (1986)
Jordan Lyles (1990)

The Twins chose Tim Belcher with the first pick of the 1983 draft, but he did not sign.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–October 19