Tag Archives: bullpen meltdowns

Random Rewind: 2007, Game One Hundred Forty-one


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.

Random Rewind: 1989, Game Forty-seven


Date:  Sunday, May 28.

Batting starsKirby Puckett was 3-for-5 with a stolen base (his fourth) and two RBIs.  John Moses was 2-for-2 with a double, a walk, and a stolen base (his seventh).  Al Newman was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, a stolen base (his seventh), two runs, and two RBIs.  Randy Bush was 2-for-3 with a home run (his fifth), a walk, and two runs.

Pitching star:  Shane Rawley pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on six hits and four walks and striking out four.

Opposition stars:  Rafael Palmeiro was 4-for-5 with two RBIs.  Jeff Kunkel was 2-for-3 with two doubles, a walk, and two runs.  Julio Franco was 2-for-4 with two doubles, a walk, and two RBIs.

The game:  The Twins let this one get away.  The Rangers scored first, as Kunkel led off the game with a double and scored on Palmeiro's single.  The Twins got the run back in the bottom of the firstas Newman led off with a double and scored on Jim Dwyer's single.  The Twins took the lead in the second.  Bush singled, Moses walked, and Newman singled, putting the Twins up 2-1.

It went to 4-1 in the fourth.  Moses hit a one-out double and stole third.  Newman walked and stole second.  With two out, Puckett delivered a two-run single.  The Twins added another run in the sixth.  Tim Laudner walked, was bunted to second, went to third on a passed ball, and scored on a sacrifice fly to make it 5-1 Twins.

The Rangers got one back in the seventh, and it came exactly as had their run in the first--Kunkel doubled and Palmeiro singled.  But Bush homered in the eighth to make it 6-2 Twins going to the ninth inning.  Things looked good for the Twins.

It wasn't to be.  Steve Shields (be honest--do you remember that the Twins had Steve Shields?), who had come in to start the eighth, remained in the game to start the ninth.  He retired the first batter, then game up a single to Cecil Espy.  Espy stole second, but Jeff Stone struck out.  The Twins just needed one more out to win the game.  Scott Fletcher hit an RBI single, making the score 6-3, but Jeff Reardon came in, needing to record just one out with the tying run still in the on-deck circle.  He wouldn't get it.  Palmeiro singled, Ruben Sierra had an RBI double, Julio Franco had a two-run double to tie it, and Rick Leach had an RBI single to put Texas ahead.  Tom Kelly finally brought in Lee Tunnell (be honest--do you remember that the Twins had Lee Tunnell?), who gave up an RBI single to Pete Incaviglia before finally getting the third out of the inning.

The Twins did try to rally in the ninth.  Dan Gladden and Puckett singled, putting the tying run on base with none out, but again, it wasn't to be.  A fly out, a strikeout and a foul out ended the game.

WP:  Cecilio Guante (2-3).  LP:  Reardon (0-2).  S:  Jeff Russell (10).

Notes:  Laudner was at catcher, of course.  Brian Harper had become the regular by 1979, but Laudner still got plenty of playing time, catching 68 games.  Gene Larkin was at first base in place of Kent Hrbek, who was out with an injury.  Newman was at shortstop in place of Greg Gagne.  Moses was in left in place of Dan Gladden.

Gagne came in for defense in the ninth.  Newman moved to second and Wally Backman came out of the game.  Gladden came in for defense in the ninth as well.  Moses moved to right and Bush came out of the game.  Carmelo Castillo pinch-hit for Gagne in the ninth.

Puckett was leading the team in batting at .333.  He would finish at .339.  Moses was batting .325.  He would finish at .281.  Harper, who didn't play in this game, batted .325.  Dwyer was batting .295.  He would finish at .316.  On the other end of the scale, Laudner was batting .196.  He would finish at .222.  The Twins were second in batting at .276, just behind Boston at .277.

Home runs, again, were another story.  Hrbek led the team with 25.  Gary Gaetti hit 19 and Bush 14.  The Twins were tenth in home runs with 117,  California led with 145.

This was the last season of Rawley's career, and as often happens it was not a very good one.  He did well in this game, and actually did okay for the first half of the season, but he ended up 5-12, 5.21, 1.57 WHIP.  Allan Anderson led the team in starts, and while he didn't match his 1988 season he was fine at 17-10, 3.80, 1.36 WHIP.  Roy Smith was 10-6, 3.92, 1.34.  Frank Viola was traded at the July deadline--he was 8-12, 3.79, 1.24 at the time.  Rick Aguilera came over in that trade and did well, going 3-5, 3.21, 1.16 in eleven starts.  The other pitcher to make double digit starts was Mike Dyer, who went 4-7, 4.82, 1.56.  The stalwarts of the bullpen were Reardon (5-4, 4.07, 1.10, 31 saves), Juan Berenguer (9-3, 3.48, 1.35, 3 saves), and Gary Wayne (3-4, 3.30, 1.28, 1 save).  The Twins pitched to a 4.28 ERA, which was twelfth in the league.  Oakland led at 3.09.  The Twins were eleventh in WHIP at 1.40.  Oakland led there, too, at 1.24.

Dwyer was always one of my favorite players, in that odd way that a fan will take a liking to a player for no particular reason.  I was very pleased when he came to the Twins at the end of his career, and he did pretty well for them in a limited role.  I was also pleased when he became a long-time minor league coach and manager in the Twins organization.

It's probably just as well that we weren't doing game logs back in 1979.  An epic meltdown like this--well, it wouldn't have been pretty.

This was the third of a four-game losing streak for the Twins.

Record:  The Twins were 21-26, in sixth place in the American League West, 11 games behind Oakland.  They would finish 80-82, in fifth place, 19 games behind Oakland.

The Rangers were 27-19, in fourth place in the American League West, 4.5 games behind Oakland.  They would finish 83-79, in fourth place, 16 games behind Oakland.

Random record:  The Twins are 46-46 in Random Rewind games.

2019 Recap: Game Sixty-seven


Date:  Thursday, June 13.

Batting stars:  Nelson Cruz was 3-for-4 with a home run (his twelfth), a walk, two runs, and three RBIs.  Ehire Adrianza was 3-for-5.  Jonathan Schoop was 2-for-4 with a double.  Marwin Gonzalez was 2-for-5 with a double.  Jorge Polanco was 2-for-6 with two runs.  C. J. Cron was 1-for-5 with a two-run homer, his fifteenth.

Pitching stars:  Michael Pineda pitched 5.2 innings, giving up one run on two hits and two walks and striking out four.  Ryne Harper pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Yusei Kikuchi pitched five innings, giving up one run on six hits and two walks and striking out four.  Daniel Vogelbach was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Kyle Seager was 2-for-5 with a double.  Dylan Moore was 1-for-1 with a double, a walk, and two RBIs.

The game:  The  Twins loaded the bases with none out in the second and did not score.  At the time it was a big missed opportunity, although it turned out not to matter.  Cruz homered with one out in the third to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  It stayed 1-0 through five.  In the sixth, Vogelbach had an RBI single to tie it 1-1.

It didn't stay tied long.  The Twins exploded for six runs in the bottom of the sixth to take control of the game.  Max Kepler walked, Adrianza singled, and a pickoff error gave the Twins the lead.  A wild pitch and a fielder's choice made it 3-1.  Byron Buxton walked and Polanco singled, again loading the bases.  With one out, Cruz delivered a two-run single.  With two out, Schoop walked and Kepler came through with a two-out single.  The Twins scored six runs without hitting a homer and led 7-1.

They would add three more in the seventh on a Polanco RBI single and Cron's two-run homer to go ahead 10-1.  The Mariners scored two in the eighth and two in the ninth off the back of the Twins bullpen to make the final score look better.

WP:  Harper (2-0).  LP:  Brandon Brennan (2-6).  S:  None.

Notes:  Gonzalez was in left field in place of Eddie Rosario.  Adrianza was at third base in place of Miguel Sano.  Cron batted second in the order, with Gonzalez batting fourth.

Polanco is batting .338.  Harper has an ERA of 1.95.  Mike Morin struck out the only man he faced and has an ERA of 1.29.

With all the runs, we should not forget the good game pitched by Pineda.  Oddly, he had gone six starts in a row giving up exactly three earned runs, which seems like it might be a record of some kind.  Yesterday, however, he gave up just one in 5.2 innings.  Ideally, he'd have been able to at least complete the sixth, but you don't expect "ideal" from the back end of the rotation.  If he could do this every time, you'd take it and be very happy.

The Twins scored six in the sixth without hitting a home run.  My guess is that this may be the biggest inning they've had all year without a homer.  The home runs are fun, and I'm all for them, but it's also good to be able to score runs in other ways.  The more ways you have to score, the more you're likely to score.

Fernando Romero, the latest "fresh arm for the bullpen", faced four batters yesterday and retired exactly none of them.  This was the entirely foreseeable result of bringing a man to the majors who has done nothing to show that he belongs there, simply because the letter "P" appears next to his name on the roster sheet.  I'm not a big fan of carrying thirteen pitchers, but I would complain less about it if the thirteenth pitcher could actually pitch.  If the thirteenth pitcher is of the Chase De Jong/Andrew Vasquez/Austin Adams variety--someone you can't even trust to fill an inning of a blowout--then he's worthless.  You might as well have the extra position player, someone who might actually be able to contribute something.

And to be honest, the twelfth pitcher, Matt Magill, hasn't gotten much accomplished lately, either.  He did well Tuesday night, but in his last five appearances he has pitched 4.2 innings and allowed twelve runs (eleven earned) on twelve hits and five walks.

I'm sure the front office is aware of the problem--it would be hard for them not to be.  And I'm sure they're working on it.  One of the nice things about having an eleven game lead in the division is that they don't have to feel like they have to make a move right now.  They can wait and try to get the player(s) they want on favorable terms.  Whether they'll actually be able to do that is another question, but the point is that there's no reason to panic and make a move just to make a move.  It's much better to wait and make a good move than to do something now just so they can say they did something.

Record:  The Twins are 45-22, first in the American League Central, eleven games ahead of Cleveland.

Projected record:  We're still on track for 140-22!

2019 Recap: Game Twenty-one


Date:  Tuesday, April 23.

Batting stars:  Jonathan Schoop was 2-for-4 with two doubles.  Eddie Rosario was 1-for-4 with a three-run homer, his tenth.

Pitching star:  Ryne Harper retired both batters he faced.

Opposition stars:  Tyler White was 2-for-2 with a walk and two runs.  George Springer was 2-for-3 with two walks, scoring twice and driving in two.  Carlos Correa was 2-for-4 with a double.  Josh Reddick was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs.  Jose Altuve was 1-for-4 with a three-run homer (his ninth) and a walk.  Wade Miley struck out seven in six innings, giving up three runs on three hits and a walk.

The game:  It looked good early.  Mitch Garver led off the game with a single, Nelson Cruz drew a one-out walk, and Rosario followed with a three-run homer, putting the Twins up 3-0.  The Astros got on the board in the third, as White walked, Max Stassi singled, and Springer had an RBI single, but a double play got the inning back under control and the Twins still led 3-1.  It was just a temporary reprieve, however.  In the fifth, Reddick doubled and White singled, putting men on first and third with none out.  Stassi flied out, but Springer had a run-scoring double and Alex Bregman delivered a two-out two-run single to put Houston ahead 4-3.

Meanwhile, the Twins had not had a baserunner since Schoop led off the second with a double.  They hit some balls hard--it's not like there were helpless up there--but still, Miley closed out his evening with fifteen consecutive batters retired.  Hector Rondon came in to start the seventh and retired the first two men he faced.  Then, however, Schoop doubled and Max Kepler came through with a single to tie the score 4-4.  The Twins got men to second and third with two out, but Garver's fly to deep left ended the inning.

And then things fell apart.  Trevor Hildenberger came in to start the seventh.  A single and two walks loaded the bases with one out.  Bregman's sacrifice fly gave the Astros a 5-4 lead.  Adalberto Mejia came in to give up a run-scoring single to Michael Brantley, making the score 6-4.

It didn't get better in the eighth.  Tyler Duffey had come on to get the last out of the seventh and remained in the game.  An error and a single put men on first and third, and another error scored a run.  A passed ball put men on second and third, still with none out.  Stassi and Springer struck out, giving hope that the Twins might at least have a small chance to come back in the ninth.  That hope was dashed as Altuve hit a three-run homer to put the game out of reach at 10-4.  The Twins went down in order in the ninth.

WP:  Rondon (2-0).  LP:  Hildenberger (2-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  With a lefty starting for Houston, Garver was moved to the leadoff spot, with Max Kepler batting eighth.

Garver was 1-for-4 and is batting .405.  Jorge Polanco was 0-for-4 and is batting .372.  Harper lowered his ERA to 2.70.  Hildenberger was charged with two runs on one hit and two walks in two-thirds of an inning, but his ERA is still 2.16.  All four runs off Duffey in 1.1 innings were unearned, so his ERA drops to 1.69.

Rosario's homer made him the first Twin to ever reach ten homers before May 1.  Of course, back in the day, the season didn't start until the middle of April.  Still, it's an achievement, and he deserves credit for it.

I feel like the Twins' bullpen has done fairly well overall, but when it goes south it seems to go clear to Antarctica.  Last night the relief pitchers combined to allow six runs in 2.2 innings.  Four of the runs were unearned, but that's still not good.  They walked three in that span, which obviously contributed to the troubles, especially in the seventh inning.

Twins batters did not have a lot of luck last night.  The play-by-play at b-r.com indicates five deep fly balls for outs, plus one line drive out.  That's not to say that the Twins deserved to win, but had just a couple of those hard-hit balls been hits, things might have gone differently.

It sounds like Kohl Stewart is coming up to make the start tonight against Justin Verlander.  That does not seem like a favorable matchup for the Twins, to put it mildly.  Still, it's baseball.  One never knows what might happen.

Record:  The Twins are 13-8, in first place in the American League Central, 1.5 games ahead of Cleveland and Detroit.

Projected record:  We'll just have to settle for 154-8!