Tag Archives: 2002 rewind

2002 Rewind: Game Sixty-eight


Date:  Saturday, June 15.

Batting stars:  Torii Hunter was 2-for-3 with two doubles and a walk.  Doug Mientkiewicz was 2-for-5 with two doubles.  Eric Milton was 2-for-4.

Pitching stars:  Milton struck out eight in eight innings, giving up two runs on five hits and no walks.  Eddie Guardado pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits.

Opposition stars:  Richie Sexson was 2-for-4 with a home run, his seventeenth.  Geoff Jenkins was 1-for-4 with a triple.  Jayson Durocher struck out four in two shutout innings, giving up one hit and two walks.

The game:  There was no score until the fourth, when the Twins broke through with four runs.  Hunter drove in the first run with a doubleand another run scored on a ground out.  With two out and a man on third, Luis Rivas was intentionally walked to get to Milton.   Milton ruined the strategy with an RBI single and Jacque Jones followed with another RBI single.  Bobby Kielty brought home a run in the fifth with a single.  The Brewers got on the board in the seventh when Sexson homered and added a run in the eighth on a Mark Loretta double.  They brought the tying run up to the plate with one out in the ninth, getting singles from Ronnie Belliard and Sexson, but ex-Twin Alex Ochoa popped up and Jenkins grounded back to the pitcher to end the game.

WP:  Milton (8-5).  LP:  Jamey Wright (1-4).  S:  Guardado (19).

Notes:  Jones raised his average to .319...Hunter raised his average to .304...Kielty was 1-for-3 with a walk and was batting .330...A. J. Pierzynski was 0-for-3 with a walk and was batting .325...Twins pitchers were now 3-for-7 in interleague play...The Twins were now 4-4 in interleague play...You may have noticed that I like highlighting players that most people either have never heard of or have completely forgotten about.  Today it's Jayson Durocher.  He was drafted by the Expos out of high school in 1993.  He was a starter in the low minors through 1997 and didn't do badly, but the Expos were very slow to promote him, leaving him in Class A for four years.  They moved him to the bullpen in 1998 and he did poorly, but maybe he just needed time to adjust, because he did much better in 1999 and reached AAA, doing very well there in seventeen games.  It didn't impress Montreal much, though, as they allowed him to become a free agent.  He was in the minors with San Diego in 2000 and with Texas in 2001, not pitching well at all in the Pacific Coast League.  Milwaukee signed him for 2002 and, back in the International League, he again pitched well.  After pitching well in twenty appearances, the Brewers promoted him in mid-June and, after ten-plus years in the minors, Jayson Durocher was in the big leagues.  He made the most of it, going 1-1, 1.88, 1.00 WHIP with 44 strikeouts in 48 innings.  Unfortunately, that was as good as it would get for him.  He battled injuries in 2003, pitching only six games for the Brewers.  He sat out two years, tried to come back in 2006 in AAA with Texas, but could pitch in only four games before his career ended.  He has been a scout with Tampa Bay, but I could not tell if he still is or not.  It's not a great playing career, but he had one really good season, which is one more than a lot of people ever have.

Record:  Minnesota was 38-30, in first place by five games over Chicago and Cleveland.

2002 Rewind: Game Sixty-six


Date:  Wednesday, June 12.

Batting stars:  Cristian Guzman was 2-for-4 with a double.  Doug Mientkiewicz was 1-for-4 with a triple.  Denny Hocking was 0-for-1 with two walks.

Pitching stars:  Johan Santana struck out eight in 4.2 innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and three walks.  J. C. Romero retired all four men he faced.  Mike Jackson and Eddie Guardado each pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Damian Moss struck out eight in seven shutout innings, giving up two hits and two walks.  Rafael Furcal was 3-for-5 with two doubles and a stolen base, his fifteenth.  Gary Sheffield was 2-for-3 with a home run (his tenth) and a walk.

The game:  Furcal led off the game with a double and scored on Sheffield's single to give the Braves a 1-0 lead.  It stayed 1-0 until the fifth, when Furcal again doubled and scored on a pair of wild pitches.  Sheffield hit a home run in the seventh to make it 3-0. Meanwhile, the Twins had only three hits through eight innings and only once advanced a man as far as second base.  In the ninth, however, Guzman doubled and scored on a Mientkiewicz triple.  Mientkiewicz came home on a ground out to cut the lead to 3-2, but there were now two out and no one on base.  Torii Hunter grounded out to end the game.

WP:  Moss (3-2).  LP:  Santana (1-1).  S:  John Smoltz (19).

Notes:  Jacque Jones was given the day off, with Dustan Mohr in left.  Luis Rivas was moved up to the leadoff spot, going 0-for-3...Matthew LeCroy was again the DH in place of David Ortiz, going 1-for-3...Hocking was at third base, replacing Corey Koskie...LeCroy's average was now .338...Hunter went 0-for-4 and was batting .300...Kielty was 0-for-2 to make his average .333...Mohr was 0-for-3 and was batting .310...A. J. Pierzynski was 1-for-3 and was batting .332...Santana threw 107 pitches in his 4.2 innings...Romero's ERA went down to 0.70...Jackson's ERA was 0.95...To be honest, I don't remember anything about Damian Moss.  He had a good year in 2002, though, going 12-6, 3.42, 1.28 WHIP, and finishing fifth in Rookie of the Year voting.  He had a FIP of 4.77, however, which would've been a warning sign if anyone had known what FIP was in 2002.  He's a native of Australia and signed with the Braves as a free agent.  He did well in the low minors, didn't do much in AAA, then missed all of 1998, presumably due to injury.  He struggled when he came back in 1999, did better in 2000, and had a fine season in AAA in 2001, although he made only sixteen starts.  He made five appearances for the Braves that season and was with them all of 2002, his first full season in the majors.  He tended to walk too many batters, walking 4.5 per nine innings that season (he had a seven-inning no hitter against St. Louis, but was pulled because he had given up seven walks), which was another warning sign.  The Braves may have picked up on some of these warning signs, because after the season they traded him to San Francisco for Russ Ortiz.  He struggled with the Giants in 2003 and was sent to Baltimore at the July trade deadline in a deal that involved Sir Sidney Ponson.  He became a free agent after the season, signed with Tampa Bay, and spent most of the year in the minors, making only five appearances with the big club.  Those would be his last five appearances in the majors.  He kept trying, however, and teams kept giving him chances, hoping he could repeat that 2002 season.  The Devil Rays released him in August of 20034and he signed with Cincinnati.  He was in the minors with Seattle in 2005, was back in the minors with Atlanta briefly in 2006, was in independent ball for most of 2006 and all of 2007, was back in the minors with Atlanta in 2008, and was in AAA with Colorado for 2009 and 2010.  He never really accomplished much in any of those places, but I guess you have to give him credit for persistence.  It appears that he has become an agent, working for Integrity Sports Agency in Dublin, Georgia.

Record:  The Twins were 37-29, in first place by four games over Chicago.

2002 Rewind: Game Sixty-five


Date:  Tuesday, June 11.

Batting stars:  Bobby Kielty was 1-for-2 with a walk.  Matthew LeCroy was 1-for-3 with a double.  Those were the only two Twins hits.

Pitching stars:  LaTroy Hawkins struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up one hit.  Matt Kinney pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one walk and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Tom Glavine pitched seven shutout innings, giving up two hits and one walk and striking out two.  Rafael Furcal was 3-for-5 with a walk.  Vinny Castilla was 2-for-4 with a home run, his ninth.

The game:  The Braves scored once in the third on a Chipper Jones sacrifice fly and once in the fourth on a home run by Keith Lockhart.  They blew the game open in the fifth, scoring seven times.  Andruw Jones hit a two-run homer and Castilla and Matt Franco also homered.  Javy Lopez added a two-run homer in the sixth.  The biggest Twins threat came in the second, when LeCroy led off with a double and Kielty followed with a walk.  A fly out and a double play ended the threat.

WP:  Glavine (11-2).  LP:  Kyle Lohse (6-4).  S:  None.

NotesLeCroy played first base in place of Doug Mientkiewicz...Kielty played center field in place of Torii Hunter...Brian Buchanan was the DH in place of David Ortiz...Tom Prince caught in place of A. J. Pierzynski...Jacque Jones was 0-for-4 to make his average .313...LeCroy's average was now .338.  He couldn't be expected to keep that up, and he sure didn't.  Over the last three months of the season he batted .163...Kielty's average was now .339...Dustan Mohr was 0-for-3 and was batting .315...Luis Rivas was 0-for-3 and was batting .306...Hawkins now had an ERA of 1.37...Tom Glavine was nearly as consistent as Greg Maddux.  He had double-digit wins in every season from 1989-2002, had nine in 2003, and then was back in double digits from 2004-2007.  He won twenty or more games five times and fourteen or more games thirteen times.  His ERA was under four (often well under) every season from 1991-1998, and after posting a 4.12 mark in 1999 he was back under four from 2000-2002.  He made twenty-nine or more starts in every year from 1998-2007 except for the strike year of 1994, when he made twenty-five.  He pitched 180 or more innings a season over that same span, with the strike year of 1994 again being the lone exception (165.1).  He won the Cy Young Award twice and was in the top three four other times.  It has to be a wonderful feeling for a manager to know he has two top-notch starters in his rotation who never get hurt and almost always give you six or seven innings.

Record:  The Twins were 37-28, in first place by five games over Chicago.

2002 Rewind: Game Sixty-Four


Date:  Monday, June 10.

Batting stars:  Matthew LeCroy was 3-for-6.  Corey Koskie was 2-for-5.  A. J. Pierzynski was 2-for-5.

Pitching stars:  Mike Jackson pitched two shutout innings, giving up two hits and a walk and striking out one.  J. C. Romero pitched two shutout innings, giving up two hits.  Tony Fiore struck out three in three shutout innings, giving up one hit and three walks.

Opposition stars:  Vinny Castilla was 4-for-6.  Chipper Jones was 3-for-5 with a two-run homer (his seventh), a double, and two walks.  Kevin Gryboski struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up only a walk.

The game:  The Twins jumped on Atlanta starter Greg Maddux early, scoring five first-innings runs.  They opened the inning with five consecutive singles.  Then came a sacrifice fly, a stolen base-plus-error, then another single.  Maddux then settled down, giving up just three singles and a walk over the next six innings.  Atlanta came back with three in the fifth on a double, three singles, and a ground out.  They tied it in the sixth on Jones' two-run homer.  There was then no more scoring, and really not a lot of big threats, until the fifteenth.  The first two Twins were retired.  Tom Prince. who came into the game in the thirteenth inning after Brian Buchanan pinch-ran for Pierzynski, singled to left.  Cristian Guzman then hit a long double to deep right and Prince was able to score from first with the winning run.

WP:  Fiore (4-1).  LP:  Kerry Ligtenberg (0-3).  S:  None.

Notes:  Jacque Jones was 1-for-6, dropping his average to .318...LeCroy, who had been out for nearly a month, raised his average to .338...Torii Hunter was 1-for-6 and was batting .304...Dustan Mohr was 1-for-6 and was batting .321...Pierzynski raised his average to .332...Luis Rivas was 0-for-4 and was batting .333...The Twins had fourteen hits, thirteen of them singles.  Their only extra-base hit was Guzman's double to end the game...Eric Milton pitched seven innings, giving up five runs on six hits and a walk and striking out two...Jackson dropped his ERA to 0.99...Romero's ERA fell to 0.73...Maddux was thirty-six in 2002, but he showed no signs of losing anything.  He went 16-6, 2.62, 1.20 WHIP.  You obviously don't need me to tell you the Greg Maddux was a great pitcher, but what strikes me when I look at his record is how long he was a great pitcher, and how incredibly consistent he was.  He had fifteen or more wins every year from 1993-2004 and double digit wins for three years after that.  His ERA was under 3.60 (often well under) from 1993-2002.  He pitched over 190 innings every year from 1993-2008.  His WHIP was less than 1.35 (often well under) in every year of that span.  He only once walked more than three batters per nine innings over that span, and that was when he walked 3.1 in 1994.  He won four Cy Young awards and finished in the top five five other times.  He got the benefit of a wide strike zone sometimes, and that was frustrating, but he was still an incredible pitcher for a very long time.

Record:  The Twins were 37-27, in first place, six games ahead of Chicago.

2002 Rewind: Game Sixty-three


Date:  Sunday, June 9.

Batting stars:  Jacque Jones was 3-for-5 with a double.  Cristian Guzman was 2-for-5.  Doug Mientkiewicz was 1-for-2 with three walks.

Pitching star:  LaTroy Hawkins pitched 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up one hit and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Andy Fox was 3-for-5 with three runs and a stolen base, his eleventh.  Derrek Lee was 2-for-4 with two home runs, his eleventh and twelfth.  Julian Tavarez pitched six innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and three walks and striking out four.

The game:  Corey Koskie had an RBI triple in the first to put the Twins ahead 1-0.  Lee tied it with a home run in the second and the Marlins took the lead in the third on a single by Mike Lowell.  Lee homered again in the fourth and took a 3-1 lead.  The Marlins added two more in the fifth, getting run-scoring singles by Lowell and Kevin Millar.  The teams traded sacrifice flies in the seventh, making the score 6-2.  The Twins got one more in the eighth on a home run by A. J. Pierzynski, but did not threaten to get back into the game.

WP:  Tavarez (4-3).  LP:  Rick Reed (6-3).  S:  Vladimir Nunez (15).

Notes:  Jones raised his average to .321...Torii Hunter was 0-for-5 to make his average .308...Dustan Mohr was 0-for-4 and dropped to .327...Pierzynski was 1-for-4 and was batting .330.  The home run was his second...Reed made it through 6.1 innings, but he gave up six runs on ten hits and two walks, striking out three...The Twins stranded eleven runners and went 0-for-10 with men in scoring position...This was the only season Vladimir Nunez got as close, and he couldn't hold the job.  He came up with Arizona, getting a September call-up in 1998.  He was pitching pretty well for them in 1999 when he was traded to Florida in a deal that included Brad Penny and Matt Mantei.  He had been a starter in the minors and the Marlins tried to move him back to that role, but when it didn't go well for the rest of 1999 and didn't go much better in AAA in 2000, they moved him back to the bullpen.  He was very good in a set-up role in 2001 and became the closer and the start of the 2002 season.  He was doing well in that role through this game.  He would blow saves in three of his next five chances, however, and by the end of June he had lost the closer job to Braden Looper.  He was awful for Florida in 2003, did not get a lot better in AAA, and then started bouncing around, playing (mostly in AAA) for Colorado, Texas, St. Louis, Arizona, Pittsburgh, and the White Sox.  He was not in the majors from 2005-2007, but made it back with Atlanta in 2008 and had a half-decent two and a half months with them.  He made just one more big league appearance, in 2009, was in the minors in 2010, and then was done.  For his career he was 21-34, 4.83, 1.42 WHIP, 21 saves in 442 innings (254 games).  It appears that he is now working for The Hot Corner, a baseball instructional facility in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Record:  The Twins were 36-27, in first place by five games over Chicago.

2002 Rewind: Game Sixty-two


Date:  Saturday, June 8.

Batting stars:  Dustan Mohr was 2-for-4 with two doubles.  Jacque Jones was 2-for-4 with a walk and a double.  Torii Hunter was 2-for-4 with a double.

Pitching stars:  Tony Fiore pitched 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up a hit and a walk while striking out one.  Mike Jackson pitched a perfect inning while striking out one.  Eddie Guardado pitched a perfect inning while striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Cliff Floyd was 2-for-4 with a home run (his fourteenth), a double, and a walk.  Mike Lowell was 1-for-3 with a home run (his ninth) and a walk.  Andy Fox was 1-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base, his tenth.

The game:  The Marlins scored in the top of the first, as Luis Castillo led off with a single and scored on Floyd's double.  The Twins tied it in the second when Corey Koskie walked, went to third on a stolen base-plus-error, and scored on a Mohr double.  Hunter's two-run double in the third put the Twins ahead 3-1, but Florida come right back in the top of the fourth, getting back-to-back homers by Floyd and Lowell to tie it 3-3.  Mohr led off the bottom of the fourth with a double and scored on Jones' single to give the Twins a 4-3 advantage.  The Marlins led off the sixth with two walks, but Fiore came in to retire the next three batters to get out of the inning.  In the bottom of the sixth, back-to-back doubles by Luis Rivas and Jones made the score 5-3.  Florida put men on first and third with two out in the seventh, but J. C. Romero came on to retire Cliff Floyd on a ground out and the Marlins did not get a baserunner after that.

WP:  Matt Kinney (2-5).  LP:  Kevin Olsen (0-4).  S:  Guardado (18).

Notes:  Jones raised his average to .316...Hunter went up to .314...Mohr was batting .336...A. J. Pierzynski was 1-for-4 to make his average .331...Romero's ERA fell to 0.79...Jackson now had an ERA of 1.07...Koskie had stolen twenty-seven bases in 2001, more than double what he did in any other year.  He would steal ten in 2002 and eleven in 2003, the only years when he reached double digit stolen bases.  He had seventy-one for his career...Kinney struck out six in five innings, giving up three runs on six hits and two walks...Florida starter Kevin Olsen pitched 4.1 innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and three walks and striking out four...This was one of only ten starts Olsen made in his major league career.  Florida drafted him in the twenty-sixth round in 1998.  He got a September call-up from AA in 2001 and pitched quite well, throwing seven shutout innings against Montreal on October 3.  He appears to have been the fifth starter for Florida at the start of the 2002 season, pitching out of the bullpen when a fifth starter was not needed due to off-days or rainouts.  He did okay in nine relief appearances, but was not very good in eight starts and was sent down in early July.  He was pitching really well in AAA Albuquerque in 2003 and came up to the majors in June.  He made on good appearance and three really bad ones.  In the last one, on June 27, he was hit in the head by a Todd Walker line drive, landing him on the disabled list.  He came back in September and had one really bad outing and two good ones.  He apparently was still dealing with injury in 2004, as he made just ten starts for Albuquerque.  He signed with Pittsburgh for 2005 but never threw a pitch for them all year and was released after the season.  He started 2006 in independent ball and finished it in AA for Oakland, doing very well in thirteen starts.  He made just two bad starts in AAA in 2007, however, before being released.  A quick Google search did not reveal whether the later injuries had to do with concussion symptoms or if they were independent of that.  He might not have done much in the majors anyway, but it's too bad that he couldn't stay healthy so he could find out for sure.

Record:  The Twins were 36-26, in first place by six games over Chicago.

2002 Rewind: Game Sixty-one


Date:  Friday, June 7.

Batting stars:  Torii Hunter was 3-for-4 with a triple and three RBIs.  Bobby Kielty was 2-for-3 with a home run (his fourth) and two walks, scoring three times.  Cristian Guzman was 2-for-3 with two doubles, a hit-by-pitch, and a stolen base, his fifth.

Pitching star:  Johan Santana, making his first major league start of the season, struck out eight in 5.1 innings, giving up one run on four hits and two walks.

Opposition stars:  Derrek Lee was 3-for-4 with a home run (his tenth) and three runs.  Mike Lowell was 2-for-4.  Eric Owens was 1-for-3 with two walks.

The game:  The Twins jumped on Florida starter Ryan Dempster early, scoring five runs in the first inning.  The first run scored on an error, Doug Mientkiewicz and Hunter had RBI singles, David Ortiz hit a sacrifice fly, and Kielty delivered a run-scoring single.  Lee homered with two out in the second to get the Marlins on the board, but the Twins got the run back in the bottom of the second on another RBI single by Hunter.  Hunter struck again in the fourth, belting a run-scoring triple that made the score 7-1.  The Twins eventually built an 11-1 lead through six.  The Marlins got two back in the seventh, loading the bases with none out and then getting two run-scoring ground outs.  It was 12-3 going to the bottom of the ninth, when Florida got four runs off Bob Wells to make the final score look better.

WP:  Santana (1-0).  LP:  Dempster (3-6).  S:  None.

Notes:  Jacque Jones was 2-for-5 with a triple, raising his average to .313...Hunter's average went up to .311...Kielty raised his average to .336...Pierzynski was 1-for-4 with a walk and his average was now .333...Luis Rivas was 1-for-5 to make his average .381...Marlins starter Ryan Dempster pitched four innings, giving up ten runs on eleven hits and four walks while striking out none...Kielty was batting .336/.450/.551 at this point.  He wasn't expected to keep that up all year, and he didn't, but he kept it up quite a while.  He was still batting .327/.453/.528 at the end of July.  A terrible August, in which he batted just .173/.279/.231, took his average below .300.  He still ended up at .291/.405/.484, by far the best numbers he would have in his career...Pitching a scoreless inning for Florida was Oswaldo Mairena, a pitcher of whom I have no memory.  He signed with the Yankees in 1996 and was in their farm system through July of 2000, when he was traded to the Cubs for Glenallen Hill.  A reliever throughout his career, he had done pretty well for the Yankees up to that point.  He did not do very well in AAA Iowa, but still got a September call-up, appearing in two games.  That was it for his Cubs career, as he was traded to Florida the following March for Manny Aybar.  He did well in AA for the Marlins in 2001 but was pretty terrible in AAA that season.  He did somewhat better, but not a lot, in AAA in 2002 and somehow the Marlins thought he deserved half the season in the majors.  He did about what you'd expect him to do, going 2-3, 5.35, 1.49 WHIP in 31 games (33.1 innings).  He stayed in the Marlins organization through 2003.  He was a starter in the Mexican League in 2005, but did not do very well there, either.  He continued to pitch for the Nicaraguan national team for some time after that, playing in the 2007 Pan-American games and the 2008 Americas Baseball Cup.  Not a great career, but he can boast that he was traded for a couple of pretty decent players.

Record:  The Twins were 35-26, in first place by five games over Chicago.

2002 Rewind: Game Sixty


Date:  Thursday, June 6.

Batting stars:  Jacque Jones was 3-for-5 with two doubles and a stolen base, his fifth.  Dustan Mohr was 2-for-4.  Torii Hunter was 1-for-4 with  three-run homer, his fifteenth.

Pitching stars:  Tony Fiore pitched two perfect innings.  Mike Jackson struck out three in a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.  Eddie Guardado struck out two in a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Jim Thome was 2-for-3 and was hit by a pitch.  Ellis Burks was 1-for-3 with a walk.  Matt Lawton was 1-for-4 with a double and a walk.

The game:  Jones singled home a run in the third, but the Twins missed a chance for more, leaving men on second and third.  Cleveland missed a bigger chance in the fourth, leaving the bases loaded.  The Indians didn't miss in the fifth, though, getting an RBI double by Omar Vizquel, a run-scoring single by Ellis Burks, and another run-scoring single by Chris Magruder to go ahead 3-1.  The Twins came right back in the bottom of the fifth.  A. J. Pierzynski and Jones each doubled to make it 3-2, Doug Mientkiewicz singled home a run to tie it, and Hunter hit a three-run homer to put the Twins ahead 6-3.  The Twins bullpen then came in and shut down the Indians the rest of the way, giving up just one single.  The Twins added a run in the seventh on a Corey Koskie single and one more in the ninth on a sacrifice fly by Cristian Guzman.

WP:  Kyle Lohse (6-3).  LP:  Bartolo Colon (7-4).  S:  None.

Notes:  This is the first time since very early in the season the Twins used all nine of their "regular" players...Jones raised his average to .311...Hunter went down to .303...Mohr went up to .331...Pierzynski was 1-for-4 and was batting .335...Luis Rivas was 1-for-2 with a walk and was batting .438...Lohse pitched five innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out three...Jackson's ERA went down to 1.11...Bartolo Colon, who was in his sixth year in the majors at this point, started for Cleveland.  He pitched 4.2 innings, giving up six runs on nine hits and two walks while striking out five...Outfielder Chris Magruder had the most playing time of his career in 2002, getting 258 at-bats.  He was drafted by San Francisco in the second round in 1998.  He did fairly well, but nothing special, in the minors for them, but was traded to Texas in July of 2001 in a deal that involved Andres Galarraga.  He got a September call-up with them, batting .127 in 29 at-bats.  He was traded to Cleveland just as the 2002 season was starting.  He started the season in AAA, but came up to the Indians in late May and stayed the rest of the season.  He played all three outfield positions, starting 63 games, but batted just .217/.261/.353.  He was injured much of 2003, playing just 41 games in AAA and getting a September call-up.  A free agent after the season, he signed with Milwaukee.  He started 2004 in AAA with them, but spent the second half of the season with the Brewers.  He was in Milwaukee for all of 2005, his first full season in the majors.  It was also his last full season in the majors, and in fact his last season as a professional baseball player, as he became a free agent after the season and went unsigned.  For his career, Magruder batted .220/.277/.352 in 540 major league at-bats spread over five seasons.  If he'd been platooned against left-handers, he might have been a useful player, as he batted .280/.310/.444 against them.  Unfortunately for him, roughly two-thirds of his major league at-bats came against right-handers, against whom he batted .188/.261/.302.  He is a cousin of NFL quarterback Jon Kitna.

Record:  The Twins were 34-26, in first place, four games ahead of Chicago.

2002 Rewind: Game Fifty-nine


Date:  Wednesday, June 5.

Batting stars:  Bobby Kielty was 2-for-4 with a home run, his third.  Cristian Guzman was 2-for-4 with a double.  Dustan Mohr was 2-for-4.

Pitching stars:  LaTroy Hawkins pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits and striking out one.  Bob Wells pitched a scoreless inning, walking two.

Opposition stars:  Omar Vizquel was 3-for-4 with a double.  Jim Thome was 2-for-3 with a home run (his eighteenth) and two walks.  C. C. Sabathia pitched 7.1 innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out four.

The game:  With two out in the first, Ellis Burks and Thome hit back-to-back homers to put the Indians up 2-0.  The Indians scored two more in the third, one on an RBI single by Thome, to make it 4-0. John McDonald's RBI triple in the fourth increased the lead to 5-0.  The Twins got on the board with two in the fifth, one scoring on a Tom Prince ground out and the other on a Guzman single.  It stayed 5-2 until the eighth, when Einar Diaz' run-scoring single made it 6-2.  Kielty led off the ninth with a home run to cut the margin to 6-3.  Mohr singled, Jacque Jones flied out, and consecutive singles by A. J. Pierzynski and David Ortiz made it 6-4 with men on first and second.  Guzman flied out, but Doug Mientkiewicz walked to load the bases for Torii Hunter.  One imagines the crowd (such as it was--15,617) going wild.  Hunter worked the count full and fouled off some pitches, building the drama.  On the eleventh pitch of the at-bat, however, he was called out on strikes to end the game.

WP:  Sabathia (5-4).  LP:  Eric Milton (7-5).  S:  David Riske (1).

Notes:  Jones did not start, but was used as a pinch-hitter.  Kielty and Mohr manned the corner outfield positions, with Guzman leading off.  Mientkiewicz moved up to the number two spot...Brian Buchanan was the DH, going 1-for-3 with a double.  Ortiz was used as a pinch-hitter...Prince was the catcher, going 0-for-3.  Pierzynski was used as a pinch-hitter...Given the number of regulars not in the lineup, one might have thought this was a day game.  One would be wrong...Hunter was 1-for-5, dropping his average to .304...Kielty raised his average to .327...Mohr was now batting .326...Luis Rivas was 0-for-3 to drop his average to .429...Twins starter Eric Milton struck out seven in six innings, but he gave up five runs on eight hits and two walks...Hawkins lowered his ERA to 1.51...Ellis Burks was always kind of a favorite of mine, for no particular reason that I can remember.  He was a pretty good ballplayer, though.  He came up to the Red Sox in 1987 at age 22 and was immediately installed as their regular center fielder.  He held the job through 1992.  He made the all-star team in 1990 and also got his only Gold Glove and the first of two Silver Slugger awards.  There's really no difference between his 1990 season and his 1989 season except that he was healthy for the whole season.  He missed a lot of 1992 due to injury and became a free agent.  He played for the White Sox in 1993 and then went to Colorado.  He missed significant time in 1994 and 1995, but then went on to have his best years from age 31 through 37.  The best of them was 1996, when he batted .344 with an OPS of 1.047, stole thirty-two bases, led the league in runs, slugging percentage, and total bases, made his second all-star team, won his second Silver Slugger, and finished third in MVP voting behind Ken Caminiti and Mike Piazza.  He was traded to the Giants at the July trade deadline in 1998 and continued to play well.  His 2000 season, when he again batted .344, rivaled 1996 as his best season, with the main difference being that he only had 393 at-bats.  He moved on to Cleveland in 2001 and continued to play well for two years.  2002, the season we're dealing with here, was his last good year:  he batted .301 with 32 homers and had an OPS of .903.  He was still a productive player when healthy in 2003, but played only fifty-five games.  He played eleven more with the Red Sox in 2004 and then was done.  It was a darn good career, though:  .293/.363/.510 with 352 home runs and 181 stolen bases in exactly 2000 games over 18 seasons.

Record:  The Twins were 33-26. in first place by three games over Chicago.

2002 Rewind: Game Fifty-eight


Date:  Tuesday, June 4.

Batting stars:  Luis Rivas was 4-for-6 with a double, scoring five times and driving in five.  Dustan Mohr was 4-for-6 with a home run (his third), scoring three times and driving in three.  A. J. Pierzynski was 4-for-6 with a triple and a double, scoring four times.  Jacque Jones was 4-for-6 with a home run (his eleventh), a double, and a walk, driving in five.

Pitching stars:  Rick Reed pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on three hits while striking out five.  Jack Cressend pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.  Bob Wells pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.

Opposition stars:  Jim Thome was 2-for-4 with two home runs, his sixteenth and seventeenth.  Ricardo Rincon pitched 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up one hit.

The game:  Torii Hunter singled in a run in the first.  The Twins scored two in the second to make it 3-0.  Thome homered in the fourth to cut the lead to 3-1, but the Twins scored two in the fourth to make it 5-1.  The Twins then made it a blowout.  Mohr hit a two-run homer in a four-run sixth that made it 9-1.  Rivas had a two-run double in a four-run sixth that made it 13-1.  The Twins then scored ten runs in the seventh.  Corey Koskie hit a home run, Rivas had a two-run single, Jones hit a three-run homer, and Bobby Kielty had a two-run double in the inning.

WP:  Reed (6-2).  LP:  Ryan Drese (5-4).  S:  None.

Notes:  The bottom three in the Twins' order, MohrPieryznski, and Rivas, combined to go 12-for-18 with a home run, a triple, and two doubles.  They scored twelve runs and drove in eight...Denny Hocking started at shortstop, going 0-for-2 with a walk...Rivas made his return to the lineup, playing for the first time since April 3.  He appears to have been healthy...Jones raised his average back over .300 at .306...Hunter was 1-for-4 and was batting .307...Kielty was 2-for-2 with two doubles to raise his average to .320...Mohr raised his average to .321...PIerzynski went up to .333...Rivas was batting .545 (6-for-11)...Drese started for Cleveland and pitched three innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and four walks while striking out two...Charles Nagy struggled through two innings, giving up nine runs on eight hits and two walks...Mark Wohlers pitched a third of an inning, giving up five runs on five hits and one walk while striking out one.

Record:  The Twins were 33-25, in first place by four games over Chicago.