Tag Archives: .500

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Eight


Date:  Friday, August 1.

Batting stars:  A. J. Pierzynski was 3-for-4 with two doubles.  Shannon Stewart was 3-for-5 with a home run (his ninth), a double, and two RBIs.  Cristian Guzman was 2-for-4 with a double.  Doug Mientkiewicz was 2-for-4 with a walk.

Pitching stars:  Kyle Lohse pitched six innings, giving up three runs on six hits and no walks and striking out two.  James Baldwin pitched three innings, giving up one run on five hits.

Opposition stars:  Ben Petrick was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer.  Carlos Pena was 2-for-4.  Alex Sanchez was 2-for-5 with a stolen base, his thirtieth.

The game:  Sanchez led off the game with a single, went to third on a pair of ground outs, and scored on a Kevin Witt single to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.  The Twins responded with five in the bottom of the first.  Stewart led off with a home run. Rivas singled, stole second, and scored on a Mientkiewicz single.  Jacque Jones singled to put men on first and third and then stole second.  A sacrifice fly scored a run, Michael Restovich walked, and Denny Hocking delivered a single-plus-error that scored two runs, making the score 5-1 Minnesota.

The Twins added three more in the third.  Torii Hunter and Pierzynski singled and Restovich followed with a two-run triple.  Hocking then hit a sacrifice fly to make it 8-1.

It was pretty much over from there.  Petrick hit a two-run homer in the fourth to make it 8-3.  Ramon Santiago homered in the seventh to make it 8-4.  The Twins added a run in the seventh when Hunter walked and scored on a Pierzynski double.  The last run came in the eighth when Guzman doubled and scored on a Stewart single.

WP:  Kyle Lohse (7-9).  LP:  Jeremy Bonderman (4-15).  S:  Baldwin (1).

Notes:  Hocking was at third in the continuing absence of Corey Koskie.  Stewart was in left and Restovich in right.  Jones was the DH.

Alex Prieto pinch-hit for Rivas in the eighth and stayed in the game at second base.

Restovich was batting .375.  Stewart was batting .319.  Jones was 1-for-5 and was batting .310.  Pierzynski was batting .303.

Lohse's ERA was 5.15.  Baldwin's ERA was 2.25.  The three-inning save was the first save of Baldwin's career.  He would get one more, with Texas in 2005.

Stewart was 27-for-56 in his last thirteen games.

Pierzynski was 7-for-10 in his last two games.

Kevin Witt was the Tigers' cleanup hitter.  If you don't remember him, it's understandable.  2003 was the only year he got significant major league playing time, playing in 93 games and getting 270 at-bats.  He wasn't awful, batting .263/.301/.407 with 10 homers, but he wasn't really good, either.  He was 27 that year, so that was probably as good as it was going to get, and as first baseman/DH he wasn't going to contribute enough on defense to get by with that level of offense.  He played a couple of years in Japan and really didn't get much accomplished there, either.  He has been a minor league coach for several seasons, and was with the Jupiter Hammerheads at last report.

When your team needed to get well in 2003, it was good to play Detroit.

The Twins had once again gotten back to .500.  Could they get over the hump this time?

Record:  The Twins were 54-54, in third place in the American League Central, 3.5 games behind Kansas City and Chicago, who were in a virtual tie for first.

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Two


Date:  Friday, July 25.

Batting stars:  Doug Mientkiewicz was 3-for-5 with two doubles and two RBIs.  Shannon Stewart was 3-for-5 with a double.  Torii Hunter was 2-for-5 with two RBIs.

Pitching star:  Eddie Guardado struck out two in a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Milton Bradley was 3-for-4 with a double.  Ryan Ludwick was 2-for-4 with a home run, a double, and two RBIs.  Coco Crisp was 2-for-5.

The game:  It was all Indians early.  In the first Crisp doubled, an error put men on first and third, and Bradley hit a two-run double to put Cleveland up 2-0.  In the second, Ben Broussard walked, went to second on a ground out, and scored on Crisp's single to make it 3-0.  In the third Bradley singled and scored from first on Ludwick's double to increase the lead to 4-0.

The Twins started coming back in the fourth.  Singles by HunterA. J. Pierzynski, and Jacque Jones loaded the bases with one out.  All the Twins could do, though, was score on a ground out to cut the lead to 4-1.  They scored again in the fifth, but again missed a chance to do more damage.  Cristian Guzman walked and scored on Stewart's double.  Luis Rivas walked and Mientkiewicz singled to again load the bases, this time with none out.  But again, all the Twins could do was score on a ground out, so they remained behind at 4-3.

Ludwick homered leading off the bottom of the sixth to make it 5-3.  In the seventh the first two Twins struck out, but Rivas walked and scored from first on a Mientkiewicz double and Hunter followed with an RBI single to tie it 5-5.

The Twins took their only lead in the ninth.  Guzman singled and stole second.  With two out Mientkiewicz came through with a double to make it 6-5 Twins.  The Indians went down in order in the bottom of the ninth.

WP:  LaTroy Hawkins (8-2).  LP:  Danys Baez (0-7).  S:  Guardado (24).

Notes:  Denny Hocking was at third base in the continued absence of Corey Koskie.  Stewart was again in right and Morneau was again the DH.

Stewart raised his average to .310.  Jones was 1-for-4 and was also batting .310.

Kenny Rogers pitched six innings, giving up five runs (four earned) on eight hits and a walk and striking out four.  James Baldwin pitched two-thirds of an inning without giving up a run to make his ERA 2.35.  Hawkins retired both men he faced to make his ERA 2.55.

Jake Westbrook started for Cleveland.  He pitched 6.2 innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and three walks and striking out six.

Stewart was 15-for-27 in his last seven games.  He had three doubles, a home run, and four walks over that stretch.  He had also scored at least one run in each of those games.

This was Ludwick's first home run as an Indian.  He had hit one for Texas the year earlier, when he was up for a month.  He wouldn't get regular playing time in the majors until 2007, when he was St. Louis.  He ended with 154 major league homers, with a high of 37 in 2008.  That was the year he made his only all-star team and also won his only Silver Slugger award.  That year really stands out for him.  He batted .299/.375/.591, compared to career numbers of .260/.330/.451.  His next highest numbers in all those categories came in 2012, when he batted .275/.346/.531 with 26 homers.

Despite the chances they missed, the Twins stranded just seven and went 4-for-14 with men in scoring position.

The win moved the Twins back to .500.  Could they get above it this time?

Record:  The Twins were 51-51, in third place in the American League Central, 5.5 games behind Kansas City.  They were 1.5 games behind second-place Chicago.

2003 Rewind: Game Ninety-eight


Date:  Monday, July 21.

Batting stars:  Torii Hunter was 3-for-4 with a home run, his seventeenth.  Chris Gomez was 3-for-4.  Cristian Guzman was 2-for-4 with a double and a stolen base, his ninth.  Shannon Stewart was 2-for-4 with a double.  Jacque Jones was 2-for-4 with a stolen base, his seventh.

Pitching stars:  Kyle Lohse pitched 6.2 innings, giving up three runs on five hits and two walks and striking out one.  Eddie Guardado pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition star:  Willie Bloomquist was 2-for-4.

The game:  Stewart led off the bottom of the first with a double and scored on a pair of ground outs to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  In the second Jones and Gomez opened with singles and a double play scored a run.  Guzman then doubled and scored on a Stewart single to make it 3-0 Twins.  Hunter homered in the third to give the Twins a 4-0 advantage.

It looked like that would hold up, as the Mariners did not get a man past first for six innings.  With two out in the seventh, however, Mike Cameron doubled, Ben Davis walked, and Mark McLemore hit a two-run double.  Bloomquist singled to put men on the corners, and consecutive RBI singles by Ichiro Suzuki and Randy Winn tied the score.

The Twins put men on first and third in the seventh but did not score.  In the eighth, however, singles by Hunter and Jones again put men on the corners, and this time Gomez delivered an RBI single to put the Twins ahead 5-4.  Seattle went down in order in the ninth.

WP:  Juan Rincon (2-3).  LP:  Arthur Rhodes (2-3).  S:  Guardado (23).

Notes:  A. J. Pierzynski was back behind the plate after missing a couple of games.  Gomez remained at third in place of Corey Koskie.  Stewart was the DH.

Justin Morneau pinch-hit for Luis Rivas in the seventh and walked.  Denny Hocking pinch-ran for him and stayed in the game at second base.

Jones raised his average to .307.  Stewart went up to .301.

LaTroy Hawkins gave up a run in a third of an inning and raised his ERA to 2.64.  Juan Rincon struck out both men he faced to drop his ERA to 2.96.

Joel Piniero started for the Mariners and pitched 6.2 innings.  He gave up four runs on ten hits and a walk and struck out three.

Edgar Martinez walked and singled.  In both cases he was forced at second base.  He did not bat again, as John Mabry pinch-hit for him in the seventh.  I don't know if Martinez injured himself sliding into second or if something else was going on.  He would miss the rest of the series, but would be back in the lineup after that.

The Twins had won five in a row and climbed back to .500.  This was the first time they had won five in a row since May 4-9.

Record:  The Twins were 49-49, in second place in the American League Central, 5.5 games behind Kansas City.  They were a half game ahead of third-place Chicago.