Tag Archives: bad pitching

Random Rewind: 1987, Game Fifty-seven


Date:  Tuesday, June 9.

Batting stars:  Dan Gladden was 3-for-5 with two stolen bases, his tenth and eleventh.  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-4 with a double, scoring once and driving in one.  Tim Laudner was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his fifth.  Mark Davidson was 1-for-2 with a triple, two walks, and a stolen base (his sixth), scoring once.

Pitching stars:  Joe Niekro struck out six in 6.1 innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on nine hits and three walks.  Keith Atherton struck out four in 2.2 perfect innings.

Opposition stars:  Willie Wilson was 2-for-5 with a double and a stolen base (his fifteenth), driving in one.  Jaime Quirk was 2-for-4 with a double and a run.  Kevin Seitzer was 1-for-4 with a walk and a stolen base (his third), scoring once.

The game:  With one out in the first Seitzer walked and Danny Tartabull singled.  A passed ball moved the runners up and a ground out put the Royals up 1-0.  The Twins loaded the bases with two out in the first and had two on with two out in the second, but the score did not change.

It changed in the third.  Puckett led off with a double.  Gaetti singled to put men on first and third, Gene Larkin singled home the tying run, and a sacrifice fly made it 2-1 Twins.  The Twins had two on in the fourth and Kansas City had two on in the fifth, but it stayed 2-1.

Until the bottom of the fourth.  Tom Brunansky hit a one-out double and Laudner hit a two-out two-run homer to make it 4-1 Twins.  The Royals again put two on in the sixth, but did not score again until the seventh, when Quirk and Wilson hit back-to-back doubles to cut the margin to 4-2.  They had men on first and third with one out, but could do no more damage.

The Twins added a run in the eighth.  Davidson led off with a walk and Randy Bush and Gladden singled, loading the bases with none out.  A sacrifice fly was all they could get out of it, but it was enough.  Atherton retired the last eight Kansas City batters to preserve the victory.

WP:  Niekro (4-4).  LP:  Danny Jackson (2-8).  S:  Atherton (1).

Notes:  Al Newman started at shortstop in place of Greg Gagne and led off, with Gladden batting second.  Gene Larkin played first base in place of Kent HrbekDavidson was in right field, with Tom Brunansky at DH and Roy Smalley out of the lineup.

This was Niekro's first start as a Twin.

Puckett raised his average to .319.  He would finish at .332    Larkin was batting .362.  He would finish at .266.

On the other end of the scale, Laudner was batting .163.  He would finish at .191.  Newman was batting .193.  He would finish at .221.  The Twins batted .261, tenth in the league.  Boston led at .278.

Kent Hrbek led in home runs with 34.  Brunansky was second at 32 and Gaetti was right behind at 31.  Puckett hit 28, Laudner 16, Bush 11, and Gagne 10.  The Twins hit 196 home runs, fifth in the league.  Detroit led with 225.

As you recall, the Twins rotation was Frank Viola (17-10, 2.90) and Bert Blyleven (15-12, 4.01) and not much else.  The rest of it was Les Straker (8-10, 4.37), Mike Smithson (4-7, 5.94), and Niekro (4-9, 6.26).  The bullpen wasn't much better.  The closer, Jeff Reardon, was 8-8, 4.48, although he had 31 saves.  The only reliever with a sub-four ERA was Juan Berenguer at 3.94.  The Twins were eleventh in ERA at 4.63, with Toronto leading at 3.74.  The Twins were tenth in WHIP at 1.42.  Toronto led there, too, at 1.30.

This was the fourth game of a seven-game winning streak for the Twins.  They would win ten of eleven.

Record:  The Twins were 31-26, in second place in the American League West, one percentage point behind Kansas City.  They would finish 85-77, in first place, two games ahead of Kansas City.

The Royals were 30-25, in first place in the American League West, one percentage point ahead of Minnesota.  They would finish 83-79, in second place, two games behind Minnesota.

Rewind record:  The Twins are 57-52 in Random Rewind games.

Random Rewind: 2016, Game Twelve


Date:  Sunday, April 17.

Batting stars:  Trevor Plouffe was 3-for-4 with a double and a walk.  Oswaldo Arcia was 3-for-5 with a walk.  Miguel Sano was 2-for-4 with a double.  Joe Mauer was 2-for-4 with two walks.

Pitching stars:  Kyle Gibson pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on four hits and two walks and striking out four.  Kevin Jepsen pitched a perfect inning, striking out one.  Trevor May pitched a perfect inning, striking out two.  Michael Tonkin struck out four in two perfect innings.

Opposition stars:  Nick Tropeano pitched 5.2 innings, giving up one run on five hits and two walks and striking out three.  Fernando Salas struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up a walk.  Albert Pujols was 1-for-5 with a two-run homer, his second.

The game:  Yunel Escobar led off with a walk and Pujols hit a two-out two-run homer in the first inning, giving the Angels a 2-0 lead.  For a while it looked like that would be enough, as the Twins managed just one single in the first three innings.  In the fourth, however, Sano and Plouffe hit back-to-back doubles to get the Twins on the board at 2-1.  The Twins got a pair of two-out singles in the sixth, but nothing came of it.  In the seventh the Twins got three two-out singles, but Eduardo Nunez was thrown out trying to score from second on the last one, so the score remained 2-1 heading to the eighth.

Sano and Plouffe opened the inning with back-to-back singles, putting men on first and third (Byron Buxton had pinch-run for Sano).  Arcia hit into a double play, but it scored a run to tie it 2-2.  The Twins loaded the bases in the ninth but did not score, sending the game to extra innings.

The pitchers were in control until the bottom of the twelfth.  Mauer led off with a walk.  Buxton bunted into a forceout, but it had the advantage of making Buxton the runner.  He stole second with two out and Arcia delivered a run-scoring single to put the Twins in the win column.

WP:  Tonkin (1-0).  LP:  Cory Rasmus (0-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  John Ryan Murphy was behind the plate in place of Kurt Suzuki.  Eduardo Nunez was at shortstop.  He and Eduardo Escobar shared the position, with Escobar playing more games there (71-51), but Jorge Polanco took over the position in August.

Oswaldo Arcia was in left in place of Eddie Rosario.  Rosario was planned to be the regular left fielder, but he missed time due to injury and also filled in at center, as he did in this game, due to the ineffectiveness at bat of Buxton,   Robbie Grossman actually spent the most time in left field, 75 games to 57 for Rosario.

Sano was in right field.  You probably remember the brilliant plan of the Twins' brain trust to put him out there regularly.  Plouffe was the incumbent third baseman and the Twins refused to either trade him or move him to another position.  I know Twins fans loved Plouffe, and I liked him, too, but he was nothing special as a ballplayer and certainly not worth forcing Sano to the outfield.  Had they traded him prior to the season they might have gotten something worth having for him--not a superstar or anything, but a useful player of some sort.  As it happened, he had a mediocre season for a terrible team, he became a free agent after the season, and the Twins got nothing for him.  Thank you, Terry Ryan.  Max Kepler would eventually take over in right field.

I always love the extreme batting averages you get early in the season.  Nunez was batting .556--he would finish at 2.96.  Mauer was batting .372--he would finish at .261.  Plouffe was batting .302--he would finish at .260.  On the low end, Murphy was batting .056--he would finish at .146.  Rosario was batting .146--he would finish at .269.  Buxton was batting .154--he would finish at .225.  Brian Dozier was batting .167--he would finish at .268.  ByungHo Park was also batting .167--he would finish at .191.  Sano was batting .179--he would finish at .236.  The Twins batted .251 as a team, eleventh in the league.  Boston led at .282, fifteen points higher than second-place Detroit.

Dozier led the team with 42 home runs.  Sano was second with 25.  Remarkably, the Twins had eleven players with double-digit home runs:  Kepler 17, Plouffe 12, Park 12, Nunez 12, Mauer 11, Grossman 11, Buxton 10, Rosario 10, and Kennys Vargas 10.  The Twins hit 200 home runs, which was eighth in the league.  Baltimore led with 253, thirty more than second-place Seattle.

Ervin Santana was the ace of the staff despite a 7-11 record, as he posted an ERA of 3.38 and a WHIP of 1.22.  The rest of the rotation was, well, not good:  Tyler Duffey, 9-12, 6.43, Gibson, 6-11, 5.07, Ricky Nolasco, 4-8, 5.13, Jose Berrios, 3-7, 8.02, Tommy Milone, 3-5, 5.71, Hector Santiago, 3-6, 5.58, and Phil Hughes, 1-7, 5.95.  They weren't all in the rotation at the same time, obviously, but I don't have the time or, frankly, the interest to figure out all the comings and goings of the rotation that year.  Other than Santana it was pretty much garbage in, garbage out.

They did have a few decent pitchers in the bullpen, at least.  Brandon Kintzler had 17 saves and posted an ERA of 3.15.  Ryan Pressly was 6-7, 3.70 with a save.  Taylor Rogers was 3-1, 3.96.  On the other hand, Kevin Jepsen, who was supposed to be the closer, went 2-5, 6.16.  He did get seven saves.

The Twins were dead last in the league in ERA at 5.08, well behind the next worst team (Oakland, 4.51).  They were also dead last in WHIP at 1.45, again well behind the next worst team (Los Angeles, 1.39).

It's amazing how much a team's personnel changes in four years.  Granted, this was a terrible team, so there should have been lots of changes.  But of the seventeen players the Twins used in this game (six pitchers, eleven position players), only four remain with the team:  SanoBuxtonRosario, and May.

There were two future Twins who played for the Angels:  C. J. Cron and Mike Morin.

You may recall that the Twins opened with nine losses, then won their next four.  This was the third of the four wins.  It's rather remarkable that random.org got us a win out of this team.

Record:  The Twins were 3-9, in fifth (last) place in the American League Central, already five games behind Chicago.  They would finish 59-103, in fifth place, 35.5 games behind Cleveland.

The Angels were 5-7, tied for third in the American League West, 1.5 games ahead of Texas.  They would finish 74-88, in fourth place, 21 games behind Texas.

Random record:  The Twins are 54-49 in Random Rewind games.