Tag Archives: clutchiness

1970 Rewind: Game Fifteen

CLEVELAND 5, MINNESOTA 1 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Monday, April 27.

Batting star:  Brant Alyea was 1-for-2 with two walks.

Pitching star:  Bill Zepp pitched four innings, giving up one run on three hits and a walk and striking out three.

Opposition stars:  Ex-Twin Ted Uhlaender was 3-for-5 with a triple and two runs.  Vada Pinson was 2-for-3 with three RBIs.  Ray Fosse was 2-for-3 with a walk.  Sam McDowell was 2-for-4 with two runs.  He also pitched a complete game, giving up one run on six hits and five walks and striking out eight.

The game:  The Indians started the scoring in the third.  McDowell and Uhlaender led off the inning with singles, a ground out advanced them, and a sacrifice fly brought home the first run.  Back-to-back RBI doubles by Tony Horton and Roy Foster made it 3-0 Cleveland.

The Twins got on the board in the fourth.  With one out, Tony Oliva tripled and scored on Alyea's single.  Rich Reese followed with another single, but the Twins could do no more and it was 3-1.  The Twins got a pair of two-out walks in the sixth, but could do nothing with those, either.

The Indians added a run in the seventh when Uhlaender tripled and scored on Pinson's two-out single.  The Twins started the eighth with a walk and an error but McDowell struck out the next three batters.  In the ninth, McDowell and Uhlaender hit one-out singles and ex-Twin Graig Nettles walked to load the bases.  A sacrifice fly brought home the game's final run.  The Twins got two on in the ninth, but again did not score.

WP:  McDowell (3-2).

LP:  Dave Boswell (0-2).

S:  None.

Notes:  Frank Quilici was again at second base in the absence of Rod Carew.  Leo Cardenas took Carew's number two spot in the lineup.

Minnie Mendoza pinch-hit for Boswell in the third.  Bob Allison pinch-hit for Zepp in the seventh.  Rick Renick pinch-hit for Tom Hall in the ninth.

Alyea was batting .395.  Oliva was 1-for-4 and was batting .338.  Cesar Tovar was 0-for-5 and was also batting .338.  Harmon Killebrew was 1-for-4 and was batting .333.  Zepp had an ERA of 2.25.  Hall gave up no runs in two-thirds of an inning and had an ERA of 2.57.

George Mitterwald was 0-for-4 and was batting .159.  Cardenas was 1-for-5 and was batting .193.  Boswell pitched three innings, giving up three runs on six hits and a walk and striking out two.  His ERA was 5.40.

The Twins stranded eleven runners and were 1-for-9 with men in scoring position.

We don't have pitch counts in 1970, but with five walks and eight strikeouts McDowell clearly threw a lot of pitches.  This was his fifth start and his third complete game.  He had pitched 39.1 innings to this point, and had walked 20 and struck out 40.

The Twins did not keep their "win four, lose two" streak going, as their winning streak was snapped at two games.

Record:  The Twins were 10-5, in second place in the American League West, one game behind California.

1970 Rewind: Game Five

CALIFORNIA 3, MINNESOTA 2 IN CALIFORNIA

Date:  Thursday, April 16.

Batting stars:  Harmon Killebrew was 2-for-2 with a double and two walks.  Tony Oliva was 1-for-3 with a triple and a walk.  Brant Alyea was 1-for-3 with a walk.

Pitching stars:  Tom Hall struck out three in 2.1 scoreless innings, giving up two hits.  Stan Williams pitched two shutout innings, walking one and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Aurelio Rodriguez was 2-for-4 with a triple.  Joe Azcue was 2-for-4.  Rudy May pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on six hits and five walks and striking out six.  Ken Tatum struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up one hit.

The game:  Each team had two on in the first.  Rodriguez hit a two-out triple in the second.  The Twins had two on in the third and again in the fourth.  But there was no scoring until the bottom of the fourth.  Jay Johnstone led off with a double, Roger Repoz walked, and Azcue got an infield single to load the bases.  An error brought home one run, a double brought home another, and Sandy Alomar's RBI single made it 3-0.

The Twins got a man to second in the fifth and in the sixth but did not score.  The Angels opened the sixth with two singles but did not score.  In the eighth Killebrew singled and scored on Oliva's triple.  Alyea walked, putting the tying run on base, but Leo Cardenas hit into a double play.  A run scored, making it 3-2, but there was no one on and a strikeout ended the inning.  Charlie Manuel hit a one-out single in the ninth but never moved past first base.

W:  May (1-0).

L:  Dave Boswell (0-1).

S:  Tatum (2).

Notes:  Rick Renick and Manuel were used as pinch-hitters for pitchers.  Jim Holt pinch-ran for Alyea in the eighth and stayed in the game in left field.  Jim Kaat was used as a pinch-runner for Manuel in the ninth.

Alyea was batting .538.  Killebrew was batting .400.  Oliva was batting .348.  Mitterwald was 0-for-4 and was batting .300.

Rich Reese was 0-for-3 and was batting .111.

Hall and Williams each had an ERA of zero.

Boswell pitched 3.2 innings, giving up three runs (one earned) on six hits and three walks and striking out two.  His ERA was 2.45.

There were plenty of missed opportunities on both sides.  Each team stranded nine men.  The Twins were 0-for-10 with men in scoring position.  California was 2-for-10 in those situations.

It was the first time all season the Twins played on back-to-back days, and also their first loss.

Ken Tatum was the Angels' closer (to the extent closers were a thing at that time) in 1969 and 1970.  He did very well in that role, but was traded over the off-season to Boston in a trade for Tony Conigliaro.  He was never a closer again, although he did pick up thirteen more saves to give him a career total of 52.  The story goes that he was never the same pitcher after breaking Paul Blair's nose with a pitch, but that happened on May 31 of 1970 and he was still a pretty good pitcher the rest of that season.  He was involved in trades for some pretty big names for that era.  In addition to Tony Conigliaro, he was also involved in a trade that included Reggie Smith, Bernie Carbo, and Rick Wise.  After baseball, he became a school administrator in the Birmingham area and later retired there.

Aurelio Rodriguez has all the vowels in his first name.  It would be really cool if there was a player named Aurelio Figueroa.

Record:  The Twins were 4-1.  By percentage points, there were in first place in the American League West, but they were a half-game behind the 6-2 Angels.

2003 Rewind: ALDS, Game Three

NEW YORK 3, MINNESOTA 1 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Saturday, October 4.

Batting stars:  A. J. Pierzynski was 1-for-3 with a home run.  Shannon Stewart was 1-for-3 with a walk.

Pitching stars:  Kenny Rogers struck out three in 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up a hit and a walk.  J. C. Romero pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up a hit and a walk.  Juan Rincon pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up a walk and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Roger Clemens pitched seven innings, giving up one run on five hits and a walk and striking out six.  Juan Rivera was 3-for-4.  Bernie Williams was 2-for-3 with a double and two walks.  Hideki Matsui was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer.  Mariano Rivera struck out three in two perfect innings.

The game:  Williams doubled leading off the second and Matsui hit a one-out two-run homer to give the Yankees the early lead.  It went to 3-0 in the third on singles by Rivera, Derek Jeter, and Williams.  A. J. Pierzynski led off the bottom of the third with a home run to cut the lead to 3-1.

And that's where it stayed.  The Twins got a pair of two-out singles in the fifth, but pinch-hitter Michael Ryan struck out to end the inning.  Doug Mientkiewicz led off the sixth with a single-plus-error but was stranded on second.  Mariano Rivera again came into the game at the start of the eighth inning and the Twins could again do nothing against him.

WP:  Clemens.  LP:  Kyle Lohse.  S:  Rivera.

Notes:  The Twins again used the same lineup.  Ryan pinch-hit for Luis Rivas in the fifth.  Denny Hocking went in to play second base.  Lew Ford pinch-hit for Hocking in the eighth.  Chris Gomez went in to play second base.

Lohse started and pitched five innings, giving up three runs on six hits and two walks and striking out five.  He threw 105 pitches in those five innings.  The Yankees of that era made you work, as have the Yankees in many eras.

The Twins were 0-for-6 with men in scoring position.

The Twins had held New York to eight runs over the three games.  The trouble was the Twins had only scored five, and had scored just one in each of the last two games.  The record of teams scoring one run is better than that of teams scoring zero, but it's still not very good.

The Twins would send Johan Santana, who was still dealing with an injured hamstring, to the mound to try to save the season the next day.  He would face David Wells for New York.

Record:  The Twins were 1-2 in the best-of-five series.

2003 Rewind: ALDS, Game One

MINNESOTA 3, NEW YORK 1 IN NEW YORK

Date:  Tuesday, September 30.

Batting stars:  Corey Koskie was 2-for-4 with a double.  Shannon Stewart was 2-for-5 with a double.

Pitching stars:  Johan Santana pitched four shutout innings, giving up three hits and two walks and striking out three.  J. C. Romero pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up a hit and a walk and striking out one.  LaTroy Hawkins struck out four in two shutout innings, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Derek Jeter was 2-for-3 with a walk.  Aaron Boone was 2-for-4 with a double.  Bernie Williams was 2-for-4.  Alfonso Soriano was 2-for-5 with a double and a stolen base.  Mike Mussina pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and three walks and striking out six.

The game:  Stewart opened the game with a ground-rule double, but was stranded at third base.  The Twins got on the board in the third, however.  One-out singles by Cristian Guzman and Stewart put men on first and third, and Luis Rivas hit a sacrifice fly, putting the Twins up 1-0.

The Yankees got a pair of two-out walks in the third but stranded them.  The Twins loaded the bases with two out in the fourth but also stranded them.  New York got a two-out double in the fifth but again could score.

The Twins added to their lead in the sixth.  Matthew LeCroy led off with a single.  With one out, Torii Hunter circled the bases on a triple-plus-error, giving the Twins a 3-0 lead.  The Yankees had men on first and second with none out in the seventh and did not score.  The Twins had men on first and second with one out in the eighth but were also turned aside.  It was still 3-0 going to the ninth.

New York did not go away quietly.  Williams led off with a single.  With one out, Boone doubled, putting men on second and third and bringing the tying run up to bat.  Ruben Sierra flied out, but Soirano singled, making it 3-1, putting the tying run on base, and bringing the deciding run up to bat.  But Nick Johnson grounded to third and game one belonged to the Twins.

WP:  Hawkins (1-0).  LP:  Mussina (0-1).  S:  Eddie Guardado (1).

Notes:  No spring training lineup here.  All the regulars played the whole game.  It was Stewart in left, Jacque Jones in right, and LeCroy at DH.

Santana had a hamstring injury which limited him to four innings.  The bullpen stepped up and came through.  Rick Reed was the first man out of the pen, and while the Twins might have hoped he would fill up some innings he pitched to just three batters, retiring the first two before giving up a double to Soriano.  First Romero and then Hawkins picked up the slack.  Closer Eddie Guardado had the worst game of any of the pitchers, but managed to get the job done.

Mussina had gone 2-0, 1.20 against the Twins in two starts (15 innings).  For his career he was 22-6, 3.09.  The Twins didn't exactly knock him all over the park, but they scored enough runs to win.

The Twins stranded 8 and were 1-for-6 with men in scoring position.  The Yankees stranded 10 and were 1-for-10 with men in scoring position.

Ah, those wonderful, innocent days of youth, when we actually thought the Twins had a chance to beat the Yankees in a playoff series.

Record:  The Twins were 1-0 in the best-of-five playoff series.

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Nine

DETROIT 9, MINNESOTA 2 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Saturday, August 2.

Batting stars:  Michael Restovich was 2-for-4 with a double.  Denny Hocking was 2-for-4 with a double.

Pitching star:  Joe Mays pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up a hit and a walk.

Opposition stars:  Alex Sanchez was 2-for-3 with two stolen bases (his thirty-first and thirty-second) and a walk.  Craig Monroe was 2-for-4 with a three-run homer, a double, a walk, and two runs.  Ramon Santiago was 2-for-4 with a stolen base (his fifth) and two RBIs.  Warren Morris was 2-for-5 with a triple, a double, and three RBIs.  Mike Maroth pitched 5.1 innings, giving up one run on nine hits and three walks and striking out three.

The game:  The Twins loaded the bases in the first and had men on first and third in the second, but were turned aside each time.  It cost them, as the Tigers scored four in the third.  Morris doubled and scored on a Bobby Higginson single.  Kevin Witt singled and Monroe hit a three-run homer to make it 4-0 Detroit.

The Twins put two on in the third and again in the fourth but remained scoreless.  They finally broke through in the sixth when Restovich singled and scored from first on a Hocking double.  They got another run in the seventh when Doug Mientkiewicz walked and scored from first on an A. J. Pierzynski double, cutting the lead to 4-2.

That was as good as it got for the Twins, though.  The Tigers put it away in the eighth, scoring five times.  Carlos Pena hit a one-out triple.  A walk and a hit batsmen loaded the bases with two out.  Ramon Santiago scored two with a single, a walk re-loaded the bases, and Morris hit a three-run triple.  It was 9-2, and that's how it ended.

WP:  Maroth (6-15).  LP:  Rick Reed (5-10).  S:  None.

Notes:  Matthew LeCroy started behind the plate in place of Pierzynski.  Hocking was at third in the continuing absence of Corey Koskie.  Dustan Mohr was in left, Restovich in right, and Stewart at DH.

Pierzynski pinch-hit for LeCroy in the seventh and stayed in the game at catcher.  Jacque Jones pinch-hit for Mohr in the seventh and stayed in the game in left field.  Todd Sears repalced Mientkiewicz at first base in the ninth.  Alex Prieto pinch-hit for Luis Rivas in the ninth.

Restovich was batting .400.  Stewart was batting .317.  Jones was 0-for-1 and was batting .309.  Pierzynski was 1-for-2 and was batting .305.

Reed pitched seven innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and one walk and striking out five.

Mays lowered his ERA to 6.42.

As you can see above, the Twins missed lots of scoring chances in this game.  They stranded twelve and were 1-for-15 with men in scoring position.

I'd forgotten how hot Restovich was when he first came up.  He obviously didn't bat .400, but he had a fine season and one would've thought he'd be in line for more playing time in 2004.  Instead he started the season in Rochester.  He was up for about two months but got just 47 at-bats.  Granted that the Twins had JonesHunter, and Stewart, along with Lew Ford, to play the outfield.  Still, given that their most-used DH in 2004 was Jose Offerman, it seems like there should've been more at-bats available for Restovich.

Tiger players with a Twins connection include Warren Morris, Craig Monroe, Eric Munson, Matt Walbeck, and Maroth.

The Twins again missed a chance to go over .500.

Record:  The Twins were 54-55, in third place in the American League Central, 4.5 games behind Kansas City.  They were 3.5 games behind second-place Chicago.

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Two

MINNESOTA 6, CLEVELAND 5 IN CLEVELAND

Date:  Friday, July 25.

Batting stars:  Doug Mientkiewicz was 3-for-5 with two doubles and two RBIs.  Shannon Stewart was 3-for-5 with a double.  Torii Hunter was 2-for-5 with two RBIs.

Pitching star:  Eddie Guardado struck out two in a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Milton Bradley was 3-for-4 with a double.  Ryan Ludwick was 2-for-4 with a home run, a double, and two RBIs.  Coco Crisp was 2-for-5.

The game:  It was all Indians early.  In the first Crisp doubled, an error put men on first and third, and Bradley hit a two-run double to put Cleveland up 2-0.  In the second, Ben Broussard walked, went to second on a ground out, and scored on Crisp's single to make it 3-0.  In the third Bradley singled and scored from first on Ludwick's double to increase the lead to 4-0.

The Twins started coming back in the fourth.  Singles by HunterA. J. Pierzynski, and Jacque Jones loaded the bases with one out.  All the Twins could do, though, was score on a ground out to cut the lead to 4-1.  They scored again in the fifth, but again missed a chance to do more damage.  Cristian Guzman walked and scored on Stewart's double.  Luis Rivas walked and Mientkiewicz singled to again load the bases, this time with none out.  But again, all the Twins could do was score on a ground out, so they remained behind at 4-3.

Ludwick homered leading off the bottom of the sixth to make it 5-3.  In the seventh the first two Twins struck out, but Rivas walked and scored from first on a Mientkiewicz double and Hunter followed with an RBI single to tie it 5-5.

The Twins took their only lead in the ninth.  Guzman singled and stole second.  With two out Mientkiewicz came through with a double to make it 6-5 Twins.  The Indians went down in order in the bottom of the ninth.

WP:  LaTroy Hawkins (8-2).  LP:  Danys Baez (0-7).  S:  Guardado (24).

Notes:  Denny Hocking was at third base in the continued absence of Corey Koskie.  Stewart was again in right and Morneau was again the DH.

Stewart raised his average to .310.  Jones was 1-for-4 and was also batting .310.

Kenny Rogers pitched six innings, giving up five runs (four earned) on eight hits and a walk and striking out four.  James Baldwin pitched two-thirds of an inning without giving up a run to make his ERA 2.35.  Hawkins retired both men he faced to make his ERA 2.55.

Jake Westbrook started for Cleveland.  He pitched 6.2 innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and three walks and striking out six.

Stewart was 15-for-27 in his last seven games.  He had three doubles, a home run, and four walks over that stretch.  He had also scored at least one run in each of those games.

This was Ludwick's first home run as an Indian.  He had hit one for Texas the year earlier, when he was up for a month.  He wouldn't get regular playing time in the majors until 2007, when he was St. Louis.  He ended with 154 major league homers, with a high of 37 in 2008.  That was the year he made his only all-star team and also won his only Silver Slugger award.  That year really stands out for him.  He batted .299/.375/.591, compared to career numbers of .260/.330/.451.  His next highest numbers in all those categories came in 2012, when he batted .275/.346/.531 with 26 homers.

Despite the chances they missed, the Twins stranded just seven and went 4-for-14 with men in scoring position.

The win moved the Twins back to .500.  Could they get above it this time?

Record:  The Twins were 51-51, in third place in the American League Central, 5.5 games behind Kansas City.  They were 1.5 games behind second-place Chicago.

Lara Recaps: Game Thirteen

LARA 6, MARGARITA 5 IN LARA (10 INNINGS)

Batting stars:  Gorkys Hernandez was 3-for-5 with two RBIs.  Ildemaro Vargas was 3-for-6 with a double and two RBIs.  Josmar Cordero was 2-for-2 with a walk.

Pitching stars:  Nestor Molina pitched four innings, giving up one run on two hits and three walks and striking out four.  Yapson Gomez struck out two in two perfect innings.  Leonel Campos pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk and striking out one.  Derian Gonzalez pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  David Rodriguez was 3-for-4 with a home run (his second), a walk, and two RBIs.  Eguy Rosario was 2-for-5.  Henry Centeno pitched 5.1 innings, giving up one run on five hits and two walks and striking out one.

The game:  Cordero singled home a run in the eighth to tie it 3-3.  In the top of the tenth, a wild pitch scored one run and Rodriguez singled home another to make it 5-3.  In the bottom of the tenth, with two out, Lara got consecutive RBI singles by Hernandez, Deiner Lopez, and Vargas to win the game.

WP:  Gonzalez (1-0).  LP:  Alfred Gutierrez (2-2).  S:  None.

Notes:  Cordero is batting .414.  Vargas is batting .355.  Gabriel Moreno is batting .342.  Yordanys Linares and Carlos Rivero are each batting .333.  Yonathan Mendoza is batting .325.  Jecksson Flores is batting .318.  Jose Tabata is batting .308.

Jesus Sanchez gave up a run in one inning and has an ERA of 2.79.  Gomez has an ERA of zero.  Campos has an ERA of 2.35.

Each team used seven pitchers.

Lara stranded 12 and Margarita stranded 11.

Record:  Lara is 9-4  in first place in the West Division, two games ahead of Magallanes.

Next game:  Lara hosts Zulia tonight.

Gigantes Recaps: Game Sixteen

ESTRELLAS 5, GIGANTES 0 AT GIGANTES

Batting stars:  None.

Pitching stars:  Montana DuRapau struck out two in two perfect innings.  Randy Rosario pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.  Fernando Romero pitched a perfect inning and struck out all three batters he faced.

Opposition stars:  Rainel Rosario was 2-for-3 with two home runs and three RBIs.  Socrates Brito was 2-for-4 with two doubles.  Jeremy Pena was 2-for-4 with a home run, his second.  Domingo Acevedo struck out three in three shutout innings, giving up a hit and two walks.  Joey Payamps struck out four in two shutout innings, giving up one hit.

The game:  Estrellas scored single runs in the second and third and three in the eighth to put it away.  Rosario hit a two-run homer and Pena a solo shot in the eighth.

WP:  Payamps (2-1).  LP:  Scott Harkin (0-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Logan Moore was 0-for-1 and is batting .375.  Kelvin Gutierrez was 1-for-3 and is batting .364.  Ronald Guzman was 0-for-3 and is batting .323.

DuRapau and Romero each has an ERA of zero.  Rosario has an ERA of 1.29.

The Gigantes used three pinch-hitters and a pinch-runner.

The Gigantes were 0-for-8 with men in scoring position.

There was a 1:14 minute rain dealy.  There was supposed to be a second game, making it a doubleheader, but it was postponed.

Record:  The Gigantes are 8-9, but are only a game and a half behind first-place Estrellas.  They are a half game behind fifth-place Licey.

Next game:  The Gigantes host the Toros del Este today.

2003 Rewind: Game Sixty-six

ARIZONA 9, MINNESOTA 2 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Saturday, June 14.

Batting stars:  Corey Koskie was 2-for-3 with two walks.  Cristian Guzman was 2-for-5.

Pitching star:  Juan Rincon struck out four in 3.1 scoreless innings of relief, giving up two hits and no walks.

Opposition stars:  Miguel Batista struck out seven in six innings, giving up an unearned run on four hits and three walks.  Alex Cintron was 3-for-4 with two doubles, a walk, and three runs.  Luis Gonzalez was 3-for-5 with a double and four RBIs.  Carlos Baerga was 2-for-4 with two doubles, two runs, and two RBIs.  Rod Barajas was 2-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs.

The game:  Cintron hit a one-out double and scored on Gonzalez' two-out single to put the Diamondbacks on the board in the first inning.  The Twins had a pair of singles in the bottom of the first but did not score.  Back-to-back doubles by Baerga and Barajas made it 2-0 in the second.  The Twins again put two on in the bottom of the second but did not score.

Arizona broke it open in the fifth.  Tony Womack singled, Cintron walked, and Junior Spivey was hit by a pitch to load the bases.  Gonzalez doubled in two runs.  An intentional walk to Mark Grace re-loaded the bases.  A force out at home made two outs, but back-to-back ground-rule doubles by Baerga and Barajas brought in four more runs, making the score 8-0 Diamondbacks.

The Twins got on the board in the sixth.  Koskie singled and an error put men on first and third with none out, but Torii Hunter's RBI ground out produced the only run of the inning.  In the seventh, consecutive one-out singles by Luis RivasLew Ford, and Guzman produced another run.  Koskie walked to load the bases, but Justin Morneau grounded into a double play to end the inning.

Arizona added a run in the ninth on a double by Cintron and a single by Gonzalez.

WP:  Batista (4-3).  LP:  Joe Mays (7-4).  S:  None.

Notes:  Matthew LeCroy was behind the plate in place of A. J. Pierzynski.  Morneau was the DH.

Ford replaced Jacque Jones in left field in the sixth inning.  Tom Prince pinch-hit for Doug Mientkiewicz in the sixth and stayed in the game behind the plate, with LeCroy moving to first base.

Morneau was 0-for-4 and was batting .400.  Jones was 0-for-3 and was batting .307.

Mays started for the Twins and pitched 4.2 innings.  As you can see, he didn't do badly for the first four, but his line was eight runs, eight hits, two walks, and four strikeouts.

Guzman had two hits in each of the last four games.  He was 8-for-19 with a triple.  He raised his average from .255 to .268.

The Twins stranded 10 and were 1-for-9 with men in scoring position.

I remember Batista, but I'd forgotten he was around so long.  He played in eighteen seasons, playing until he was 41.  2003 was right about in the middle of his career.  He never had a season in which he didn't have at least one relief appearance, but he was primarily a starter through 2008 with the exception of 2005, when he made 71 appearances out of the bullpen for Toronto.  2003 was probably his best season:  he was 10-9, 3.54, 1.33 WHIP.  He was never great, but with a few exceptions he was never really bad, either.  For his career he was 102-115, 4.48, with an ERA+ of 100.  He appeared in 658 games, 248 of them starts.  He pitched 1956.1 innings.  Control, or rather a lack of it, contributed to keeping him from being better:  he walked 4.1 per nine innings and the only things he ever led the league in were walks (96 in 2004) and wild pitches (14 in 2006).  A guy who can be counted on to be average has value, and that value kept Miguel Batista in the majors for quite a long time.

Record:  The Twins were 38-28, in first place in the American League Central, five games ahead of Kansas City.

Gigantes Recap: Game Four

ESCOGIDO 3, GIGANTES 1 AT ESCOGIDO

Batting star:  Ronald Guzman was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk.

Pitching stars:  Dustin Crenshaw struck out six in five innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on seven hits and a walk.  Raynel Espinal pitched a perfect inning, striking out one.  Marcos Molina pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Joe Dunand was 2-for-3 with a double.  Denyi Reyes pitched four shutout innings, giving up two hits and striking out two.

The game:  Escogido scored three in the first and that was all they needed.  Chas McCormick singled, stole second, and scored on a Cesar Puello single.  An error and a walk loaded the bases.  With one out, Julio Y. Rodriguez had an RBI single and Dunand hit a sacrifice fly, making it 3-0 Escogido.

The Gigantes had a man on second with one out in the first, a man on third with one out in the second, and a man on second with one out in the sixth, but did not score.  They finally got on the board in the ninth.  Guzman and Rafael Lantigua started the inning with singles, bringing the tying run to the plate.  A ground out and a sacrifice fly brought home one run, but they also made two outs, and a strikeout ended the game.

WP:  Franklyn Kilome (1-0).  LP:  Crenshaw (0-1).  S:  Steven Wilson (1).

Notes:  Lantigua is batting 1.000.  Abiatal Avelino was 0-for-3 and is batting .417.  Guzman is batting .375.  Carlos Peguero is batting .333.

Espinal has an ERA of zero.  Randy Rosario pitched a third of an inning without giving up a run and has an ERA of zero.  Yunior Marte retired both men he faced and has an ERA of zero.

Gigantes manager Luis Urueta was ejected in the seventh inning.  He was thrown out by the first base umpire following a walk.  I don't know what the call was that prompted him to get tossed.

The Gigantes were 0-for-8 with men in scoring position.  Escogido was not that much better at 2-for-11.

Record:  The Gigantes are 2-2, tied for fourth with Escogido.  The Toros del Este remain in first place, but are still just 1-0 due to rainouts.

Next game:  Following an off day, the Gigantes host Licey on Friday.