Tag Archives: B bullpen

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Sixty-one


Date:  Saturday, September 27.

Batting stars:  Michael Ryan was 4-for-4 with a two-run homer (his fifth) and two runs.  Cristian Guzman was 2-for-3 with two RBIs.  Jacque Jones was 1-for-3 with a home run, his sixteenth.

Pitching star:  Brad Radke pitched five innings, giving up one run on eight hits and one walk, striking out three.

Opposition stars:  Craig Monroe was 4-for-5 with a double and three RBIs.  Warren Morris was 2-for-5 with a double and three runs.  Carlos Pena was 2-for-5 with four RBIs.  Brian Schmack pitched three shutout innings of relief, giving up three hits and no walks and striking out one.

The game:  The Twins again treated this like a spring training game and it cost them in the end, although they may not have cared.  It looked good early.  Shannon Stewart reached on a two-base error, went to third on a passed ball, and scored on a sacrifice fly, giving the Twins a run before they had a hit.  The Twins had men on second and third with one out in the third but did not score, so it was 1-0 through three.

The Twins appeared to take control in the fourth.  Consecutive doubles by Corey KoskieTorii Hunter, and A. J. Pierzynski made it 3-0.  Singles by Ryan and Guzman plated two more runs to make it 5-0.  The Tigers left the bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth, and the Twins added some more runs in the fifth.  Jones led off with a home run, Koskie walked, and Ryan hit a two-out two-run homer to give the Twins an 8-0 lead.  Detroit got on the board in the bottom of the fifth, when Morris doubled and scored on a Monroe single, but it was still 8-1 and the game appeared to be well in hand.

It didn't work out that way.  In the seventh Morris singled, Bobby Higginson reached on an error, Monroe doubled home one, and Pena singled home two to cut the lead to 8-4.  In the eighth, four walks brought home a run, Monroe had an RBI single,  and Pena brought home two with a single, tying the score 8-8.

The Twins got a leadoff double from Justin Morneau in the ninth but left him on third.  With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Alex Sanchez walked, stole second and third, and scored on a wild pitch.  The first Twins run and the last Tigers run scored without a hit, but the last one decided the game in favor of Detroit.

WP:  Fernando Rodney (1-3).  LP:  Jesse Orosco (2-2).  S:  None.

Notes:  It was essentially the regular lineup, with Stewart in left and Ryan in right.  As yesterday, however, most of them came out a little over halfway through the game.

Michael Restovich pinch-ran for Stewart in the third inning and stayed in the game in left field.  Lew Ford pinch-ran for Hunter in the fourth inning and stayed in the game in center field.  Michael Cuddyer pinch-ran for Koskie in the fifth and stayed in the game at third base.  Denny Hocking pinch-hit for Luis Rivas in the sixth and stayed in the game at first base.  Justin Morneau pinch-hit for DH Jacque Jones in the sixth inning.  Alex Prieto replaced Doug Mientkiewicz in the batting order in the sixth inning and went to second base.  Rob Bowen replaced Pierzynski behind the plate in the sixth inning.  Chris Gomez pinch-hit for Guzman in the seventh and stayed in the game at shortstop.

Ryan was batting .379.  Ford was 0-for-3 and was batting .319.  Pierzynski was 1-for-3 and was batting .312.  Stewart was 1-for-2 and was batting .307.  Jones was 1-for-3 and was batting .304.

Bowen was 1-for-2 and was batting .125.  Prieto was 0-for-1 and was batting .111.

After Radke was done the Twins went with the B bullpen:  Carlos PulidoJuan RinconJ. C. Romero, and Orosco.  Orosco's ERA went up to 7.68.

Gary Knotts started for Detroit.  He pitched 3.2 innings, giving up five runs (four earned) on eight hits and no walks and striking out two.

This was the only year Brian Schmack would be in the majors, and this was the last game of his career.  At least he got to end on a high note.  He was 29 and had spent three years in AAA.  He had been in AA before the Tigers brought him up in late August.  He was 1-0, 3.46, 1.39 WHIP in 11 games (13 innings).

The walk Radke gave up was the only walk he allowed in the month of September (35 innings).

Detroit would not set an expansion era record for worst record.  They could still tie the record for most losses with a loss in their last game.

Record:  The Twins were 90-71, in first place in the American League Central, five games ahead of Chicago.  The White Sox had clinched second place.

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Fifty-nine


Date:  Thursday, September 25.

Batting stars:  Justin Morneau was 1-for-5 with a two-run homer, his fourth.  Michael Cuddyer was 1-for-3 with two walks.

Pitching stars:  Johan Santana pitched five shutout innings, giving up two hits and a walk and striking out three.  J. C. Romero pitched a perfect inning, striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Nate Robertson pitched seven innings, giving up one run on five hits and three walks and striking out five.  Dmitri Young was 2-for-3 with two walks.  Carlos Pena was 2-for-5.  Shane Halter was 1-for-2 with a home run, his twelfth.  Craig Monroe was 1-for-5 with a home run, his twenty-second.  Chris Mears struck out three in two perfect innings.

The game:  The Twins put men on first and second with two out in the second but did not score.  In the third, however, singles by Lew FordCuddyer, and Matthew LeCroy got the Twins on the board with a 1-0 lead.

The Tigers did very little for six innings.  In the seventh, however, Young and Pena led off with singles.  A bunt moved them to second and third and a ground out scored one.  Andres Torres then walked and went to second on defensive indifference.  Ramon Santiago delivered a two-run double to give Detroit a 3-1 lead.

The Twins went back in front in the eighth.  Ford walked, went to second on a ground out, and stole third.  Cuddyer then walked.  A sacrifice fly made it 3-2 and Morneau hit a two-run homer to make it 4-3 Minnesota.

The lead didn't last, as Monroe hit a one-out homer in the bottom of the eighth to tie it 4-4.  The Tigers had a man on third with two out in the tenth but did not score.  In the eleventh, however, Halter hit a two-out home run to win it for Detroit.

WP:  Mears (1-3).  LP:  Brad Thomas (0-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  The Tigers were trying to avoid breaking the 1962 Mets record for worst record in the expansion era.  The Twins, who were simply getting ready for the playoffs, certainly didn't put up as much resistance as they might have.  Not to say that the players weren't trying, but they were definitely using a B or even C lineup and bullpen.  LeCroy was behind the plate in place of A. J. Pierzynski.  Morneau was at first base in place of Doug Mientkiewicz.  Denny Hocking was at short in place of Cristian Guzman.  Cuddyer was at third in place of Corey Koskie.  Michael Restovich was in left, Dustan Mohr in center, and Ford in right.  Michael Ryan was the DH.  Substitutes were Rob Bowen replacing LeCroy at catcher in the sixth and Chris Gomez replacing Luis Rivas at second in the seventh.  The relief pitchers used were Carlos PulidoGrant BalfourJesse OroscoJuan RinconJ. C. Romero, and Thomas.

Ryan was 1-for-3 and was batting .346.  Ford was 1-for-4 and was batting .328.  Bowen was 0-for-1 and had a batting average of zero (0-for-4).

Orosco retired the only man he faced to make his ERA 7.56.  Thomas gave up one run in 1.2 innings to make his ERA 10.13.  This was only his second appearance of the season.

This was the only major league win of Chris Mears' career.  2003 was his only season in the majors.  He went 1-3, 5.44, 1.48 WHIP.  He appeared in 29 games (3 starts) and pitched 41.1 innings.  He would spend the next two seasons in the minors before ending his playing career.  He was born in Ottawa and pitched for Team Canada in the 1999 Pan American Games, the 2001 World Cup, and the 2006 Olympic qualifying tournament.  He later scouted for the Red Sox.

I have to wonder about the "defensive indifference" ruling on Andres Torres in the seventh.  It was a 1-1 game with two out and men on first and third.  Did the Twins really not care if Torres took second.  I mean, I know it was a meaningless game for them, but still, you play the game.  Were they really not holding him on or something?  It just seems strange.

The loss snapped an eleven-game winning streak for the Twins.  Again, I know it was a meaningless game for them, and the logical thing for them to do is get ready for the playoffs.  Emotionally, though, I'm sure I was upset the that the winning streak ended with B and C players on the field and Brad Thomas on the mound.

Record:  The Twins were 89-70, in first place in the American League Central, six games ahead of Chicago and Kansas City.