Tag Archives: B lineup

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Fifty-nine

DETROIT 5, MINNESOTA 4 IN DETROIT (11 INNINGS)

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.

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Forty-nine

MINNESOTA 5, CLEVELAND 3 IN CLEVELAND

Date:  Sunday, September 14.

Batting stars:  Doug Mientkiewicz was 2-for-4 with a home run (his eleventh), a stolen base (his fourth), and three RBIs.  A. J. Pierzynski was 2-for-4 with two doubles.

Pitching stars:  Eric Milton pitched five innings, giving up two runs on five hits and no walks and striking out two.  Juan Rincon pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.  LaTroy Hawkins struck out two in a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.  Eddie Guardado struck out two in a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Travis Hafner was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer (his twelfth) and a double.  Jody Gerut was 2-for-4 with a home run, his twenty-second.  Victor Martinez was 2-for-4.  Cliff Lee struck out seven in seven innings, giving up three runs on five hits and a walk.

The game:  Each team got a two-out double in the second, but neither team scored until the fourth, when each team did.  In the top of the fifth Pierzynski doubled and scored on a two-out single by Michael Ryan.  The Indians came back with two in the bottom of the inning, as Martinez singled and Hafner followed with a two-run homer.  The Twins went up 3-2 in the sixth when Shannon Stewart singled and Mientkiewicz hit a two-run homer.  Cleveland again came back in the bottom of the inning, with Gerut hitting a home run to tie it 3-3.

Back-to-back hit-by-pitches gave the Twins two on with none out in the eighth.  A bunt moved the runners to second and third.  A fielder's choice resulted in a man thrown out at the plate and men at first and third with two out, but Mientkiewicz came through with a single to put the Twins up 4-3.  The Twins got an insurance run in the ninth when Corey Koskie singled, went to second on a ground out, and scored on Dustan Mohr's single.  The Indians got only one hit in the last three innings and the game went to the Twins.

WP:  Rincon (5-6).  LP:  Danys Baez (2-9).  S:  Guardado (36).

Notes:  Michael Cuddyer was at third base in place of Koskie.  Koskie came in for defense in the eighth.  Stewart was in left with Ryan in right.  Mohr was in center in place of Torii Hunter.  Hunter came in to play center in the seventh, with Mohr moving to right and Ryan coming out of the game.

I wonder if Ryan was injured, possibly in a collision with Mohr.  He was removed after the first out of the seventh inning, which is an odd time to make a defensive substitution.  That first out is recorded, at b-r.com's play-by-play, as "Flyball: RF-CF (CF-RF)".  I don't know what that means, exactly, but it certainly sounds odd.  Ryan played the next day, so if he was injured it wasn't serious.

There was one other substitution.  Jacque Jones pinch-hit for Luis Rivas in the eighth.  Denny Hocking then pinch-ran for Jones and remained in the game at second base.  I wouldn't have thought of Hocking being faster than Jones, although I wouldn't have thought of him as being much slower, either.  Perhaps Jones was still dealing with a minor injury.

Ryan was 1-for-2 and was batting .407.  Stewart was 1-for-4 and was batting .312.  Mientkiewicz raised his average to .308.  Pierzynski went up to .303.  Jones was 0-for-1 and was batting .302.

This was Milton's first start of the season.  He had missed the entire year up to this point with a knee injury, making just one start in Fort Myers prior to this game.  Given that, he did very well in this game.

Hawkins lowered his ERA to 1.88.  Guardado's ERA went down to 2.85.

It's interesting that, with only fourteen games remaining in a pennant race, Ron Gardenhire held out two of his starters and used a starting pitcher who had not pitched all season.  But it worked.

The White Sox and Royals again both won, so the standings remained unchanged.

Record:  The Twins were 80-69, tied for first in the American League Central with Chicago, 3.5 games ahead of third-place Kansas City.

 

2003 Rewind: Game Eighty-four

CLEVELAND 4, MINNESOTA 1 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Thursday, July 3.

Batting star:  Matthew LeCroy was 2-for-4 with a home run, his eighth.

Pitching star:  Kenny Rogers pitched 6.2 innings, giving up three runs on six hits and four walks and striking out three.

Opposition stars:  C. C. Sabathia pitched a complete game, giving up one run on four hits and one walk and striking out five.  Shane Spencer was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.  Coco Crisp was 2-for-5 with a stolen base (his fifth) and two runs.  Jody Gerut was 1-for-4 with a home run, his ninth.

The game:  Crisp led off the game with a bunt single and scored from first on Milton Bradley's double to give the Indians a 1-0 lead.  The Twins put men on second and third with one out in the second, but a strikeout and a ground out ended the inning.  In the third, ex-Twin Matt Lawton and Bradley drew two-out walks and Spencer singled home a run to make it 2-0.

Crisp scored again in the fifth.  He had a one-out single, stole second, and scored on Spencer's single to make it 3-0.  The Twins put two on with two out in the fifth, but again could do nothing with it.  In the eighth, Gerut hit a leadoff home run to increase the lead to 4-0.

The Twins did not threaten to get back into the game.  Their lone run came on LeCroy's home run with one out in the ninth, but all that did was spoil Sabathia's shutout.

WP:  Sabathia (8-3).  LP:  Rogers (7-4).  S:  None.

Notes:  The Twins used their B lineup against Sabathia, if that's any consolation.  Tom Prince was behind the plate in place of A. J. Pierzynski.  LeCroy was at first base in place of Doug Mientkiewicz.  Dustan Mohr was again in left and Bobby Kielty in right, with Jacque Jones still out.  Lew Ford was in center field, with Torii Hunter as DH.

Ford was 0-for-3 to drop his average to .333.  Corey Koskie was 1-for-3 and was batting .305.

Grant Balfour made his season debut with the Twins in this game, striking out five in 2.1 innings.  He gave up one run on two hits and a walk.  It was not his major league debut--he had appeared in two games in 2001.  He was not a good pitcher for the Twins, but he would become one in 2008 with Tampa Bay and would make the all-star team with Oakland in 2013.  He didn't have his first good season until he was thirty--I guess he's an example of "sometimes it takes guys a while to figure it out."

Sabathia had 38 complete games in his career.  Ten of them came in 2008, and seven of them came in the half-season he pitched for Milwaukee.

The Twins had now lost four in a row and six of eight.  They were starting to be in danger of dropping below .500.  They were also in danger of dropping to third place.

Record:  The Twins were 43-31, in second place in the American League Central, 2.5 games behind Kansas City.  They were just one game ahead of third-place Chicago.

2003 Recaps: Game Sixty-nine

KANSAS CITY 14, MINNESOTA 7 IN KANSAS CITY

Date:  Tuesday, June 17.

Batting stars:  Dustan Mohr was 2-for-4 with a home run (his eighth), a double, a walk, and two runs.  Denny Hocking was 2-for-4 with a double and a walk.  Tom Prince was 2-for-5 with a two-run homer, his second.  Justin Morneau was 1-for-1 with a home run.

Pitching star:  LaTroy Hawkins pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Ken Harvey was 4-for-5 with three doubles and five RBIs.  Raul Ibanez was 3-for-5 with three runs and two RBIs.  Mike Sweeney was 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, two runs, and two RBIs.  Jeremy Affeldt pitched five innings, giving up one run on five hits and five walks and striking out three.

The game:  The Royals scored in the third when Carlos Beltran walked and scored from first on Harvey's double.  The Twins loaded the bases in the third but did not score.  They did tie it in the fifth when Lew Ford walked, went to third on Hocking's double, and scored on a sacrifice fly.  They took the lead in the sixth.  Bobby Kielty singled, stole second, and scored on a Luis Rivas triple.  Hocking's RBI single then made it 3-1 Minnesota.

Kansas City then exploded for twelve runs in the bottom of the sixth.  Two walks and a single loaded the bases.  Consecutive singles by Beltran, Ibanez, and Harvey plated four runs.  A bunt gave the Twins their first out, but singles by Brent Mayne and Carlos Febles scored two more.  Two consecutive hit batsmen brought home another run, Sweeney hit a three-run double, Ibanez had an RBI single, and Harvey had a run-scoring double.  It was 13-3, and the game was pretty much over at that point.

The Twins scored two in the seventh on Prince's two-run homer and one in the eighth on a solo shot by Morneau.  Harvey doubled home a run in the bottom of the eighth and Mohr homered in the ninth to bring us to the final score of 14-7..

WP:  Kris Wilson (3-0).  LP:  Kenny Rogers (5-3).  S:  None.

Notes:  This was the B lineup.  Prince was behind the plate in place of A. J. Pierzynski.  Matthew LeCroy was at first base in place of Doug Mientkiewicz.  Hocking was at short in place of Cristian Guzman.  Ford was in left in place of Jacque Jones.  Kielty was the DH.

Mientkiewicz came in for defense in the sixth inning in place of LeCroy.  Morneau pinch-hit in the eighth and stayed in the game at first base.

Ford was 1-for-4 and was batting .455.  Morneau was 1-for-1 and is batting .364.

Hocking raised his average to .190.

Rogers pitched five innings, allowing seven runs on six hits and four walks and striking out three.  His ERA was 5.14.  Hawkins lowered his ERA to 2.16.  Eddie Guardado allowed a run in one inning to raise his ERA to 3.03.

The Twins stranded 12 runners and were 2-for-9 with men in scoring position.  The Royals stranded 5 and were 8-for-14 with men in scoring position.

This was Morneau's first major league home run.

I wonder what the most runs scored against the Twins in one inning is.  I doubt that it's twelve, but that can't be too far down the list.

The Twins only had two guys who played in this game whose averages were above .300, and they were both guys who hadn't batted much.  However, they had four players who were in the .290s:  Mientkiewicz (.299), LeCroy (.298), Mohr (.297), and Corey Koskie (.291).

The Royals were rapidly gaining ground on the Twins.

Record:  The Twins were 38-31, in first place in the American League Central, two games ahead of Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game Forty-five

MINNESOTA 4, OAKLAND 3 IN OAKLAND

Date:  Wednesday, May 21.

Batting stars:  Dustan Mohr was 3-for-4.  Matthew LeCroy was 2-for-3 with a walk.  Torii Hunter was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his seventh.

Pitching stars:  Kenny Rogers pitched six innings, giving up three runs on nine hits and two walks and striking out three.  LaTroy Hawkins pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.  J. C. Romero pitched a perfect inning.  Eddie Guardado pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Barry Zito pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on five hits and three walks and striking out one.  Eric Brynes was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Miguel Tejada was 2-for-4.

The game:  Brynes led off the game with a walk, followed by singles by Scott Hatteberg and Tejada, loading the bases with one out.  Erubiel Durazo hit a two-out single to score a run and put the Athletics up 1-0.

The Twins put two on with two out in the second but did not score.  In the third, Byrnes led off with a single.  One-out singles by Tejada and Eric Chavez brought a run home to make it 2-0 Oakland.  The Twins tied it in the fourth when LeCroy hit a one-out single and Hunter followed with a two-run homer.  The tie lasted until the bottom of the fourth, when Mark Ellis led off with a single, went to second on a Terrence Long single, went to third on a double play, and scored on a wild pitch, making it 3-2 Athletics.

The Twins had men on first and third with one out in the sixth but did not score.  In the eighth Cristian Guzman singled, went to second on a ground out, and scored on a LeCroy single to tie it 3-3.  Luis Rivas pinch-ran for LeCroy, went to second on a ground out, and scored on Mohr's single to give the Twins their first lead at 4-3.

Oakland got a two-out single in the ninth, but did not more.  The Twins took the game 4-3.

WP:  Hawkins (4-0).  LP:  Chad Bradford (2-3).  S:  Guardado (11).

Notes:  Tom Prince was behind the plate in place of A. J. Pierzynski.  LeCroy was at first base in place of Doug Mientkiewicz.  Denny Hocking was at second base in place of Rivas.  Bobby Kielty was the DH.

Jacque Jones was 1-for-5 and was batting .340.  LeCroy raised his average to .322.  Mohr raised his average to .310.

Hocking was 0-for-4 and was batting .167.

Hawkins lowered his ERA to 1.29.  Romero was at 3.10.  Guardado was at 1.45.

Ron Gardenhire clearly went with the B lineup in this game, but it worked.

The Twins had won four of five, six of eight, and twelve of sixteen.

Record:  The Twins were 26-19, in first place in the American League Central, a half game ahead of Kansas City.

1991 Rewind: Game Twelve

MINNESOTA 4, CALIFORNIA 3 IN CALIFORNIA

Date:  Sunday, April 21.

Batting stars:  Chili Davis was 2-for-3 with a two-run homer (his third) and a walk.  Gene Larkin was 2-for-4 with a double.  Dan Gladden was 2-for-5 with a double and a stolen base.  Kirby Puckett was 1-for-4 with a home run, his second.

Pitching stars:  Scott Erickson pitched 7.1 innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and two walks and striking out five.  Rick Aguilera pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.

Opposition stars:  Luis Polonia was 2-for-4.  Donnie Hill was 2-for-4.  Mark Langston struck out eight in 6.1 innings, giving up three runs on six hits and five walks.  Mark Eichhorn pitched 2.2 scoreless innings, giving up an unearned run on two hits and no walks.  He struck out one.

The game:  Puckett started the scoring with a two-out homer in the first inning, the first time in quite a while the Twins had a lead.  They threatened in the second, as Larkin got a two-out double and Scott Leius walked, but Al Newman was caught looking to end the threat.  The Twins got two in the third, though, as Gladden led off with a double and Davis hit a two-out home run to make the score 3-0.

The Angels came back in the fourth.  Donnie Hill led off with a single and scored on Dave Parker's two-out double.  A passed ball sent Parker to third and an infield single by Junior Felix brought him home.  Jack Howell walked and Max Venable singled to tie the score 3-3.

In the fifth, Gladden singled, stole second, and went to third on a ground out, but Davis watched strike three go by to end the inning.  A pair of walks put men on first and second with one out in the seventh, but a double play ended that inning.

The Twins took the lead back in the eighth.  Davis singled and pinch-hitter Kent Hrbek hit into a force out.  Hrbek then stole second and scored on a Junior Ortiz single-plus-error to put the Twins up 4-3.  It would stand up.  Polonia led off the bottom of the eighth with a double, but was thrown out trying to stretch it to a triple.  California did not threaten after that.  The losing streak was finally over.

WP:  Erickson (1-2).  Eichhorn (0-1).  S:  Aguilera (2).

Notes:  Carmelo Castillo started in right field, with Puckett in center and Shane Mack on the bench.  Mack came in for defense in the eighth, playing center, with Puckett moving to right.  With Erickson pitching, Ortiz was behind the plate instead of Brian Harper.  Larkin started at first base with Hrbek on the bench.  Hrbek stayed in the game after his pinch-hitting appearance and played first.  Newman started at second base, with Chuck Knoblauch on the bench.  After Mike Pagliarulo pinch-hit for Leius in the ninth, Knoblauch came in to play second, with Newman moving to third.

Larkin was 2-for-4 and was batting .429.  Puckett was batting .326.  If he was upset about being moved to right field, he wasn't allowing it to affect his batting.

This was Castillo's first start of the season.  He went 0-for-3 and was hitless in six at-bats on the year.  Gladden raised his average to .083.  Ortiz was 1-for-3 with a walk and was also batting .083.  Newman was 0-for-3 with a walk and was also batting .083.  Hrbek was 0-for-1 and was batting .122.  Leius was 0-for-2 with a walk and was batting .133.  Erickson had an ERA of 2.86.  Aguilera had an ERA of 1.80.

This was one of four stolen bases Hrbek had on the season.  He was also caught stealing four times.  He had thirty-seven stolen bases for his career and was caught stealing twenty-six times.

Ortiz had just twenty-eight hits for the season and just eleven RBIs.  He did not get an RBI here, as there was an error involved.  Hrbek stealing a base and Ortiz getting a hit to bring him home, even with an error, had to be one of the most unusual ways possible for the Twins to finally win a game.

I'm not going to do a full bio, but it seems like people have forgotten what a fine pitcher Mark Langston was.  He was second in Rookie of the Year voting to teammate Alvin Davis in 1984.  He made the all-star team four times, won five Gold Gloves, and finished in the top six in Cy Young voting twice.  He led the league in strikeouts three times.  He made thirty-two to thirty-six starts every year from 1986 to 1993 and pitched 223 to 271 innings each of those seasons.  His career numbers are 179-158, 3.97 in almost 3000 innings (457 games, 428 starts).  I'm not nominating him for the Hall of Fame, but you would certainly want a pitcher like that on your team.

Record:  The Twins were 3-9, in seventh (last) place in the American League West, five games behind the White Sox, They were 2.5 games behind sixth-place Texas.