Tag Archives: designated hitters

Random Rewind: 2011, Game Thirty-two


Date:  Sunday, May 8.

Batting stars:  Jason Kubel was 3-for-4 with two RBIs.  Danny Valencia was 2-for-4 with a home run (his third), a stolen base (his second), and three RBIs.

Pitching stars:  Alex Burnett pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit and striking out one.  Joe Nathan struck out two in a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Adrian Gonzalez was 3-for-5 with a home run (his fourth), two runs, and two RBIs.  Jacoby Ellsbury was 3-for-5 with a double and a stolen base (his tenth).  Kevin Youkilis was 2-for-4 with a double and four runs.  David Ortiz was 2-for-4.

The game:  It started well.  Denard Span led off with a single and Trevor Plouffe walked.  With one out Kubel had an RBI single.  A ground out moved men to second and third, and Valencia delivered a two-run single to put the Twins up 3-0.

It wouldn't stay that way for long.  The Red Sox got on the board in the second when Youkilis led off with a double and scored on a pair of ground outs.  They took the lead in the third.  Carl Crawford led off with a triple and scored on a ground out, making it 3-2.  Ellsbury singled, Dustin Pedroia walked, and Gonzalez singled in a run to tie it.  An RBI ground out put Boston ahead, Ortiz singled, and J. D. Drew had a run-scoring single to give the Red Sox a 5-3 lead.

The Twins got a run back in the fourth when Valencia led off with a home run.  In the fifth, however, Gonzalez homered to make it 6-4, Youkilis and Ortiz singled, and another RBI ground out increased the Red Sox lead to 7-4.

Boston put the game away with two in the seventh.  Gonzalez singled, Youkilis reached on an error, and Jed Lowrie hit a two-run double.  The Twins scored one more in the eighth when Plouffe doubled and scored on a Kubel single, but the Twins did not threaten to get back into the game.

WP:  Daisuke Matsuzaka (3-3).  LP:  Carl Pavano (2-4).  S:  None.

Notes:  Joe Mauer was injured much of the season, so Drew Butera was the regular catcher.

The Twins used a variety of players at shortstop, none of whom really got the job done.  Tsuyoshi Nishioka played the most games there (66), as he held the job for most of the second half of the season.  Plouffe, who was the shortstop in this game, played 45 games there.  Others to see time there were Alexi Casilla (36 games) and Matt Tolbert (31).

Span was the centerfielder when healthy, but he also missed a lot of the season due to injury, so Ben Revere played the most games there.  In this game Span was in center, with Revere in left.  Delmon Young played the most games in left.  Michael Cuddyer was in right.

Kubel was the DH.  Jim Thome played the most games at DH with 59--Kubel was second at 37.  The Twins used a total of 18 different players at DH for at least one game.

Tolbert came in to play shortstop in place of Plouffe in the ninth.  Rene Tosoni pinch-hit for Butera in the ninth.

Kubel was batting .351.  He would finish at .273.  Plouffe was batting .300--he would finish at .238.  Among players with a significant number of at-bats, Mauer led the team at .287.  Cuddyer led the team in home runs with twenty.

Pavano started and pitched five innings.  He allowed seven runs on ten hits and a walk and struck out none.  Pavano was very up-and-down in 2011, and this was obviously one of his down stretches.  His ERA at this point of the season was 6.44, but it would end up at 4.30.

This was the second of a nine-game losing streak for the Twins.  They would go 8-19 in May.

Record:  The Twins were 12-20, in fourth place in the American League Central, 9.5 games behind Cleveland.  They would finish 63-99, fifth (last) in the American League Central, 32 games behind Detroit.

The Red Sox were 16-18, in third place in the American League East, four games behind New York.  They would finish 90-72, in third place, seven games behind New York.

Random Rewind: 2004, Game Thirty-one


Date:  Tuesday, May 11.

Batting stars:  Luis Rivas was 3-for-5 with a triple and a double.  Doug Mientkiewicz was 3-for-6.  Cristian Guzman was 2-for-4 with a walk and two runs.  Torii Hunter was 1-for-2 with a two-run homer (his third), a walk, and a hit-by-pitch.

Pitching stars:  Carlos Silva pitched seven innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on eleven hits and no walks and striking out four.  Joe Roa pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits and a walk.  Aaron Fultz pitched two shutout innings, giving up one hit and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Joel Piniero pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on six hits and a walk and striking out three.  Randy Winn was 3-for-5.  Dan Wilson was 3-for-5.  Jolbert Cabrera was 2-for-2 with a stolen base.  Rich Aurilia was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Scott Spiezio was 3-for-6 with a triple and three RBIs.  Bret Boone was 2-for-6.

The game:  It was actually a pitchers' duel most of the game.  In the top of the first Ichiro Suzuki reached on an error, went to second on Boone's single, and scored on an Edgar Martinez single to put the Mariners up 1-0.  The Twins tied it in the bottom of the first on singles by Guzman and Mientkiewicz and a ground out by Corey Koskie.

Seattle got a pair of one-out singles in the second, but it stayed tied until the fourth, when singles by Aurilia, Winn, and Spiezio put the Mariners up 2-1.  The Twins tied it in the sixth when Hunter homered to make it 2-2.

J. C. Romero came on to start the eighth.  John Olerud singles and was bunted to second.  Singles by Wilson, Winn, and Suzuki made it 4-2.  Roa then came on and gave up a two-run triple to Spiezio to give Seattle a 6-2 lead.

It looked bad for the Twins, but they came right back in the bottom of the eighth.  Bert Blyleven's favorite pitcher, Shigatoshi Hasegawa, came in to pitch.  Guzman and Mientkiewicz led off with singles, followed by walks to Michael Cuddyer and Hunter.  Mike Myers came in and hit Jacque Jones with a pitch, making the score 6-4.  J. J. Putz came in.  Lew Ford hit a sacrifice fly and with two out Rivas singled home the tying run.

Each team put two on with one out in the ninth, but the game went to extras.  In the bottom of the eleventh, Shannon Stewart walked and was bunted to second.  Mientkiewicz then delivered an RBI single to win the game for the Twins.

WP:  Fultz (1-1).  LP:  Ron Villone (3-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Hunter was at DH, with Lew Ford in center field.  The Twins didn't really have a regular DH in 2004.  Jose Offerman had the most games there, with 39.  Matthew LeCroy had 30, Ford 26, Stewart 21, and a variety of others with eleven or fewer.

This was the year Joe Mauer was injured most of the season, so Henry Blanco was the regular catcher.

Corey Koskie started the game at third base but came out in the fourth inning, replaced by Cuddyer.  He apparently was injured, as he would not play again until May 27.

Michael Ryan pinch-ran for Hunter in the eighth.  Offerman pinch-hit for Blanco in the eighth.  LeCroy came in to catch in the ninth.

It was kind of a typical Sliva game--two runs, eleven hits, no walks.  He threw 104 pitches.

Romero was a good reliever most of the time in 2004, but he had a few major meltdowns, and this was one of them.  Four earned runs in one-third of an inning.  Roa didn't help him, obviously, but Romero didn't help himself, either.

The teams combined to strand twenty-three runners.  The Twins were 2-for-15 with men in scoring position.

Record:  The Twins were 18-13, tied for first in the American League Central with Chicago.  They would finish 92-70, in first place, nine games ahead of Chicago.

The Mariners were 12-20, in fourth (last) place in the American League West, 9.5 games behind Anaheim.  They would finish 63-99, in fourth (last) place, twenty-nine games behind Anaheim.