CHICAGO 11, MINNESOTA 10 IN CHICAGO (13 INNINGS)
Date: Friday, September 7.
Batting stars: Michael Cuddyer was 3-for-6 with a walk and two runs. Justin Morneau was 3-for-7 with two runs and two RBIs. Jason Bartlett was 3-for-7 with two runs. Torii Hunter was 2-for-6 with a walk. Nick Punto was 2-for-6 with a double. Chris Heintz was 2-for-6. Jason Tyner was 2-for-6. Rondell White was 1-for-3 with a three-run homer, his third.
Pitching stars: Carlos Silva pitched six innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and no walks and striking out two. Pat Neshek struck out two in a scoreless inning, giving up one hit. Carmen Cali pitched as scoreless inning, giving up one hit.
Opposition stars: Jim Thome was 3-for-6 with a home run (his twenty-fourth), a walk, and four RBIs. Luis Terrero was 2-for-2 with a walk. Alex Cintron was 2-for-4 with a home run (his second) and two runs. Jerry Owens was 2-for-4 with a double and a stolen base, his twenty-fourth. Juan Uribe was 2-for-6 with a two-run homer, his sixteenth. Josh Fields was 2-for-6 with a double and two RBIs. Darin Erstad was 2-for-6 with a double. A. J. Pierzynski was 2-for-7. Bobby Jenks struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up one hit.
The game: The Twins started the game with three singles, the last a run-scoring hit by Hunter. An RBI ground out followed, putting the Twins up 2-0. The White Sox got on the board in the bottom of the first on Thome's RBI single and took the lead in the second on Uribe's two-run homer.
The Twins got the lead back in the fourth, when RBI singles by Garrett Jones and Heintz made it 4-3. There was no more scoring until the seventh, when Cintron homered to tie it 4-4. It stayed 4-4 through eight.
The ninth inning was one of the craziest ones anyone will ever see. In the top of the inning, singles by Punto and Bartlett put men on first and third. An error gave the Twins the lead. Morneau and Cuddyer followed with RBI singles and White hit a three-run homer to put the Twins up 10-4 going to the bottom of the ninth.
With a solid lead, Ron Gardenhire brought in Julio DePaula to pitch. He gave up three consecutive singles to load the bases with none out. Fields doubled home two runs and Thome hit a three-run homer, cutting the Twins' lead to one at 10-9. Still, Joe Nathan was coming into the game, so all should be well. Not quite. Paul Konerko walked and pinch-runner Scott Podsednik stole second. He went to third on a wild pitch and Erstad doubled, tying the score.
The Twins put two on in the tenth but did not score. Neither team threatened after that until the thirteenth. Juan Rincon started the inning by walking Terrero. He was bunted to second and Thome was intentionally walked. An error loaded the bases and Pierzynski singled to bring home the deciding run.
WP: Heath Phillips (1-1). LP: Rincon (3-3). S: None.
Notes: Heintz was behind the plate in place of Joe Mauer, who missed several games due to injury. Nick Punto was at second base, as Luis Castillo had been traded to the Mets. Punto was usually on third in 2007, but Brian Buscher, who had come up in late July, manned that position in this game. Tyner was in left in place of Jason Kubel.
Jones was at DH, one of eight players with double-digit games at DH. Kubel played the most games there with 36, followed by Tyner (26), Jeff Cirillo (24), Mauer (19), White (19), Mike Redmond (18), Morneau (14), and Jones (13).
The only non-pitcher substitution was White pinch-hitting for Jones in the eighth and remaining in the game at DH.
Castillo was the only Twin to bat .300, checking in at .304. Mauer was close at .293. The Twins batted .264, which was ninth in the league. New York led at .290.
Morneau led the team in homers with 31. Hunter had 28, Cuddyer 16, and Kubel 13. The Twins hit 118 homers, next-to-last in the league. New York led there, too, at 201.
Johan Santana was the staff ace at 15-13, 3.33. Silva was 13-14, 4.19. Boof Bonser was third in starts, at 30, but went 8-12, 5.10. Others to make double-digit starts were Scott Baker (9-9, 4.26), Matt Garza, (5-7, 3.69), Kevin Slowey (4-1, 4.73), and Ramon Ortiz (4-4, 5.14).
The bullpen had three reliable pitchers. Nathan (4-2, 1.88, 37 saves) was the closer, set up by Matt Guerrier (2-4, 2.35) and Neshek (7-2, 2.94). Rounding out the bullpen were Dennys Reyes (2-1, 3.99, but with a WHIP of 1.88) and Rincon (3-3, 5.13).
The Twins were fourth in ERA at 4.15. Boston led the way at 3.87. The Twins were also fourth in WHIP at 1.34. Boston led there, too, at 1.27.
I wonder what the record is for most runs scored in the ninth inning when the score was tied going into the ninth and was still tied after it.
This was the fifth of a six-game losing streak for the Twins. It was their ninth loss in eleven games. They would win the next three, then lose four more.
Record: The Twins were 69-72, in third place in the American League Central, 12 games behind Cleveland. They would finish 79-83, in third place, 17 games behind Cleveland.
The White Sox were 60-81, in fifth (last) place in the American League Central, 21 games behind Cleveland. They would finish 72-90, in fourth place, 24 games behind Cleveland.
Random Record: The Twins are 48-48 in Random Rewind games.