Tag Archives: bret boone

2003 Rewind: Game Forty-nine


Date:  Sunday, May 25.

Batting stars:  Torii Hunter was 2-for-2 with two walks.  A. J. Pierzynski was 2-for-4 with a stolen base.  Chris Gomez was 2-for-4.  Dustan Mohr was 1-for-3 with a home run (his fifth) and a walk.

Pitching stars:  Rick Reed pitched seven innings, giving up one run on five hits and no walks and striking out one.  LaTroy Hawkins pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.  Eddie Guardado pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Ryan Franklin pitched 6.2 innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and four walks and striking out four.  Bret Boone was 2-for-4 with a home run (his twelfth) and a double.

The game:  Jacque Jones led off the game with a walk.  Corey Koskie drew a one-out walk, and Bobby Kielty singled to put the Twins up 1-0.  Mohr homered leading off the second to make it 2-0.

The Mariners had only three hits, all singles, through the first six innings and never got a man past first.  That changed in the seventh, when Boone led off with a home run to cut the Twins lead to 2-1.  The Twins got the run back in the eighth when Kielty singled, went to third on a stolen base-plus-passed ball, and scored on Hunter's single.

Seattle got a one-out double by Boone in the ninth to bring the tying run to the plate.  A pair of fly outs ended the game.

WP:  Reed (3-5).  LP:  Ryan Franklin (3-3).  S:  Guardado (13).

Notes:  Todd Sears was at first base in place of Doug Mientkiewicz.  Mientkiewicz came in for defense in the eighth.  Gomez was at second in place of Luis Rivas.  Kielty was the DH.

Jones was 1-for-4 with a walk and was batting .343.  Mohr was batting .318.  Gomez raised his average to .313.

Hawkins lowered his ERA to 1.19.  Guardado lowered his ERA to 1.74.

This was the first of three stolen bases for Pierzynski in 2003.  Three was his career high, equalled in 2010.  For his career he had 15 stolen bases and was caught stealing 23 times.  I'm no sabremetrician, but I don't think that's a very good percentage.

I know Chris Gomez was a member of the Twins, but I don't have any actual memory of his time with the team.  Does anyone remember, were we excited about him at this point, when he was batting over .300?  Were we thinking he should replace Rivas at second base?  Or did we think that it was just a small sample size fluke, which it turned out to be?  I have no idea.

In his last three starts, Reed had pitched 22 innings and given up 4 runs on 19 hits and 3 walks.  He had lowered his ERA from 5.87 to 4.10.

Sears was sent back to AAA after this game.  He was batting .278/.365/.426, so it wasn't terribly fair, but Mientkiewicz was ready to resume regular duties at first base and there simply wasn't a spot for him.  He would come back for a couple of weeks in late July/early August, but then would be traded to San Diego for Alex Garcia, a middle infielder who couldn't hit.  He spent one year in Class A Quad Cities, then played two years of independent ball.

I don't remember Bret Boone as a slugger, but already hit his twelfth  home run of the season in this game.  He would hit 35 on the season.  He went through 2000, his age thirty-one season, only having hit 20 homers twice (24 in 1998, 20 in 1999).  Then, in his early-to-mid thirties, he hit 37, 24, 35, and 24 home runs.  A suspicious person might wonder if he had some help, although it should be pointed out that I'm aware of no evidence to support that suspicion.

The Twins had won four of five, seven of nine, nine of twelve, and fifteen of twenty, and nineteen of twenty-five.

Record:  The Twins were 29-20, in first place in the American League Central, 2.5 games ahead of Kansas City.

Happy Birthday–April 6

Smokey Joe Williams (1885)
Mickey Cochrane (1903)
Ernie Lombardi (1908)
Phil Regan (1937)
Marty Pattin (1943)
Bert Blyleven (1951)
Kenny Williams (1964)
Bret Boone (1969)
Lou Merloni (1971)

A star in the Negro Leagues, some say that Smokey Joe Williams was a better pitcher than Satchel Paige.

I haven't checked, but my guess is that four Hall-of-Famers born on the same day is the record.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–April 6

June 27, 1988: Random Day in Twins History

I used a random number generator to pick a season from the past with the idea that I would quickly highlight the Twins history that occurred today in that year.  The generator sent me to the year 1988.

Angels 16, Twins 7 - BR boxscore

In a game with an odd 5:10pm start time, the Angels hitters teed off against Minnesota pitchers.  The Twins pitchers combined to allow 24 baserunners in 7 innings.  A performance made all the more shameful when Dan Gladden pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning.  In fact, the Twins ended the game with the following defensive lineup:

P-Gladden; C-Brian Harper; 1B-Kelvin Torve; 2B-Steve Lombardozzi; 3B-Al Newman; SS-Greg Gagne; LF-Mark Davidson; CF-John Moses; RF-Randy Bush

Tony Armas managed to go 0-for-5 for the Angels even though the other eight players in their starting lineup all had scored at least one run and had at least one hit by the fourth inning.  Bob Boone had four hits while batting ninth for the Angels.  It was his first four-hit game in more than four years.  He may have been exacting revenge against the Twins for not signing his son, Bret, after they had drafted him in the 27th round the previous year.  Bret would ultimately get the last laugh with his comically inept cameo in a Twins uniform at the end of his career.

Kirk McCaskill "earned" the win by throwing 102 pitches while staggering through 5 innings and allowing 10 hits and 4 runs.  When asked after the game, McCaskill told reporters, "[T]oday I was pretty sorry."

The Angels 5-run third inning featured two walks and three different hits that made contact with Twins in the infield (Johnnie Ray singled off Torve's glove, Jack Howell singled off Lombardozzi's glove and Devon White singled off starter Fred Toliver's leg).

Torve hit his only Major League homerun in the seventh inning off future-Twins minor league coach Stew Cliburn.  Randy Bush reached base four times (including getting hit by his fifth pitch of the season) and the most important man in America had three hits, including a double.

Finally, reliever Jim Winn made his Twins debut allowing six hits in one inning of relief work after entering after Devon White's abovementioned third inning single with the game tied 3-3 and runners on the corner.  Winn had been a first round pick for the Pirates in 1981 (four spots after the Twins drafted Mike Sodders) and had been signed as AAA filler after getting cut at the end of Spring Training by the White Sox.  He stuck around with the Twins for a month, and then got another cup of coffee in September to end his Major League career.  Tom Kelly managed to use Winn nine times that season in relief and never brought him into another game UNLESS the Twins were already losing.  TK knew how to use a groundskeeper.

Randon Thing I Noticed While Researching This Date: In 1988, Tom Nieto had four singles and a walk in 62 plate appearances as a backup catcher.  If only the Twins could have someone of Brian Harper's ability to come up and replace Butters...