Tag Archives: extreme batting averages

Random Rewind: 2016, Game Twelve


Date:  Sunday, April 17.

Batting stars:  Trevor Plouffe was 3-for-4 with a double and a walk.  Oswaldo Arcia was 3-for-5 with a walk.  Miguel Sano was 2-for-4 with a double.  Joe Mauer was 2-for-4 with two walks.

Pitching stars:  Kyle Gibson pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on four hits and two walks and striking out four.  Kevin Jepsen pitched a perfect inning, striking out one.  Trevor May pitched a perfect inning, striking out two.  Michael Tonkin struck out four in two perfect innings.

Opposition stars:  Nick Tropeano pitched 5.2 innings, giving up one run on five hits and two walks and striking out three.  Fernando Salas struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up a walk.  Albert Pujols was 1-for-5 with a two-run homer, his second.

The game:  Yunel Escobar led off with a walk and Pujols hit a two-out two-run homer in the first inning, giving the Angels a 2-0 lead.  For a while it looked like that would be enough, as the Twins managed just one single in the first three innings.  In the fourth, however, Sano and Plouffe hit back-to-back doubles to get the Twins on the board at 2-1.  The Twins got a pair of two-out singles in the sixth, but nothing came of it.  In the seventh the Twins got three two-out singles, but Eduardo Nunez was thrown out trying to score from second on the last one, so the score remained 2-1 heading to the eighth.

Sano and Plouffe opened the inning with back-to-back singles, putting men on first and third (Byron Buxton had pinch-run for Sano).  Arcia hit into a double play, but it scored a run to tie it 2-2.  The Twins loaded the bases in the ninth but did not score, sending the game to extra innings.

The pitchers were in control until the bottom of the twelfth.  Mauer led off with a walk.  Buxton bunted into a forceout, but it had the advantage of making Buxton the runner.  He stole second with two out and Arcia delivered a run-scoring single to put the Twins in the win column.

WP:  Tonkin (1-0).  LP:  Cory Rasmus (0-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  John Ryan Murphy was behind the plate in place of Kurt Suzuki.  Eduardo Nunez was at shortstop.  He and Eduardo Escobar shared the position, with Escobar playing more games there (71-51), but Jorge Polanco took over the position in August.

Oswaldo Arcia was in left in place of Eddie Rosario.  Rosario was planned to be the regular left fielder, but he missed time due to injury and also filled in at center, as he did in this game, due to the ineffectiveness at bat of Buxton,   Robbie Grossman actually spent the most time in left field, 75 games to 57 for Rosario.

Sano was in right field.  You probably remember the brilliant plan of the Twins' brain trust to put him out there regularly.  Plouffe was the incumbent third baseman and the Twins refused to either trade him or move him to another position.  I know Twins fans loved Plouffe, and I liked him, too, but he was nothing special as a ballplayer and certainly not worth forcing Sano to the outfield.  Had they traded him prior to the season they might have gotten something worth having for him--not a superstar or anything, but a useful player of some sort.  As it happened, he had a mediocre season for a terrible team, he became a free agent after the season, and the Twins got nothing for him.  Thank you, Terry Ryan.  Max Kepler would eventually take over in right field.

I always love the extreme batting averages you get early in the season.  Nunez was batting .556--he would finish at 2.96.  Mauer was batting .372--he would finish at .261.  Plouffe was batting .302--he would finish at .260.  On the low end, Murphy was batting .056--he would finish at .146.  Rosario was batting .146--he would finish at .269.  Buxton was batting .154--he would finish at .225.  Brian Dozier was batting .167--he would finish at .268.  ByungHo Park was also batting .167--he would finish at .191.  Sano was batting .179--he would finish at .236.  The Twins batted .251 as a team, eleventh in the league.  Boston led at .282, fifteen points higher than second-place Detroit.

Dozier led the team with 42 home runs.  Sano was second with 25.  Remarkably, the Twins had eleven players with double-digit home runs:  Kepler 17, Plouffe 12, Park 12, Nunez 12, Mauer 11, Grossman 11, Buxton 10, Rosario 10, and Kennys Vargas 10.  The Twins hit 200 home runs, which was eighth in the league.  Baltimore led with 253, thirty more than second-place Seattle.

Ervin Santana was the ace of the staff despite a 7-11 record, as he posted an ERA of 3.38 and a WHIP of 1.22.  The rest of the rotation was, well, not good:  Tyler Duffey, 9-12, 6.43, Gibson, 6-11, 5.07, Ricky Nolasco, 4-8, 5.13, Jose Berrios, 3-7, 8.02, Tommy Milone, 3-5, 5.71, Hector Santiago, 3-6, 5.58, and Phil Hughes, 1-7, 5.95.  They weren't all in the rotation at the same time, obviously, but I don't have the time or, frankly, the interest to figure out all the comings and goings of the rotation that year.  Other than Santana it was pretty much garbage in, garbage out.

They did have a few decent pitchers in the bullpen, at least.  Brandon Kintzler had 17 saves and posted an ERA of 3.15.  Ryan Pressly was 6-7, 3.70 with a save.  Taylor Rogers was 3-1, 3.96.  On the other hand, Kevin Jepsen, who was supposed to be the closer, went 2-5, 6.16.  He did get seven saves.

The Twins were dead last in the league in ERA at 5.08, well behind the next worst team (Oakland, 4.51).  They were also dead last in WHIP at 1.45, again well behind the next worst team (Los Angeles, 1.39).

It's amazing how much a team's personnel changes in four years.  Granted, this was a terrible team, so there should have been lots of changes.  But of the seventeen players the Twins used in this game (six pitchers, eleven position players), only four remain with the team:  SanoBuxtonRosario, and May.

There were two future Twins who played for the Angels:  C. J. Cron and Mike Morin.

You may recall that the Twins opened with nine losses, then won their next four.  This was the third of the four wins.  It's rather remarkable that random.org got us a win out of this team.

Record:  The Twins were 3-9, in fifth (last) place in the American League Central, already five games behind Chicago.  They would finish 59-103, in fifth place, 35.5 games behind Cleveland.

The Angels were 5-7, tied for third in the American League West, 1.5 games ahead of Texas.  They would finish 74-88, in fourth place, 21 games behind Texas.

Random record:  The Twins are 54-49 in Random Rewind games.

Random Rewind: 2006, Game Twenty-two


Date:  Friday, April 28.

Batting star:  Shannon Stewart was 2-for-4.

Pitching stars:  Matt Guerrier pitched 2.2 scoreless innings, giving up two hits and three walks and striking out one.  Jesse Crain struck out two in 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up a hit and a walk.

Opposition stars:  Nate Robertson struck out seven in seven shutout innings, giving up five hits and a walk.  Marcus Thames was 3-for-4 with a home run (his third), a double, and a walk, scoring twice and driving in two.  Ivan Rodriguez was 3-for-4 with a walk.  Placido Polanco was 3-for-5 with two runs.  Carlos Guillen was 2-for-4 with a double and four RBIs.  Craig Monroe was 2-for-5 with two doubles.  Chris Shelton was 1-for-4 with a home run (his tenth) and a walk.

The game:  The Twins put men on first and second with one out in the first, but did not score.  The Tigers loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the first on singles by Polanco, Rodriguez, and Magglio Ordonez, but could only get a sacrifice fly to take a 1-0 lead.  The Twins got a two-out double from Michael Cuddyer in the second, but did not score.  Thames hit a home run with one out in the second to make it 2-0 Detroit.  The Twins opened the third with two singles, but did not score.

The Tigers then took control of the game.  Singles by Polanco and Rodriguez and a walk to Ordonez loaded the bases with none out.  Carlos Guillen hit a bases-clearing double.  The bases were literally cleared, because Guillen was thrown out trying to stretch it to a triple.  Shelton then hit a home run and Monroe doubled, still all with none out.  The Monroe double finally chased starter Brad Radke from the game, but by then it was 6-0 Detroit.

After all their early scoring threats, the Twins only once got a man past first after that.  Tony Batista hit a one-out double in the seventh, but did not get past second base.  The Tigers scored three more in the seventh.  Doubles by Monroe and Thames plated one run.  Curtis Granderson walked, Polanco had an RBI single, and walks to Rodriguez and Ordonez forced home the ninth run.

WP:  Robertson (3-2).  LP:  Radke (2-3).  S:  None.

Notes:  Mike Redmond was behind the plate in place of Joe Mauer, who missed a couple of days.  Cuddyer was at first in place of Justin Morneau, who missed a couple of days.  Juan Castro was the starting shortstop at the beginning of the season, later to be replaced by Jason Bartlett.  Batista was the starting third baseman at the beginning of the season, later to be replaced by Nick Punto.  Stewart was the starting left fielder at the beginning of the season, but injuries would force him out of the lineup.  Lew Ford, who would take Stewart's place in left field, was in right in this game.  Right field, of course, was normally the province of Cuddyer.

Despite the lopsided score, the Twins made only one non-pitcher substitution.  Luis Rodriguez entered the game at first base in the eighth.  Cuddyer went to right, Ford went to center, and Torii Hunter came out of the game.

The Twins had some really good batting averages early in the season.  Redmond was batting .375--he would finish at .341.  Rodriguez was batting .368--he would finish at .235.  Castillo was batting .365--he would finish at .296.  Stewart was batting .356--he would finish at .293.  As alluded to earlier, he would also finish on the DL.  Mauer, who did not play in this game, would bat .321.

There were also a couple of really bad batting averages early in the season.  Rondell White was batting .145--he would finish at .246.  Hunter was batting .190--he would finish at .278.

The Twins would lead the league in batting average at .287.  They were next-to-last in home runs at 143.  Morneau led the team with 34.  Hunter had 31 and Cuddyer 24.  Mauer was the only other player in double digits, with 13.

This was Radke's last season.  He was no longer the ace of the staff, of course, but he was still usually a dependable pitcher.  Not in this game, obviously--this was his lowest game score of the season.  But he finished 12-9, 4.32, which you'll take in the rotation any time.  The ace was Johan Santana (19-6, 2.77).  Francisco Liriano joined the rotation in mid-May and pitched really well through the end of July, but then was able to make only two more starts.  He went 12-3, 2.16.  Boof Bonser joined the rotation in late May and went 7-6, 4.22.  Others who made double-digit starts were Carlos Silva (11-15, 5.94) and Scott Baker (5-8, 6.37).

2006, as you probably remember, was the season the Twins stumbled and bumbled early in the year, then got hot and came back to win the division by one game over Detroit.  It's really pretty amazing how they remade so much of the team on the fly, partly due to injuries and partly due to signing retreads who had to be replaced.

We haven't had a lot of rewind games where the Twins got blown out.  This was the first game of a four-game losing streak.  The Twins would get outscored in those four games 41-3.  Game-by-game, it was 9-0, 18-1, 6-0, and 8-2.  I suspect the game logs were not pretty.

Record:  The Twins were 9-13, in fourth place in the American League Central, six games behind Chicago.  They would finish 96-66, in first place, one game ahead of Detroit.

The Tigers were 14-9, in second place in the American League Central, 1.5 games behind Chicago.  They would finish 95-67, in second place, one game behind Minnesota.

Random rewind:  The Twins are 36-30 in Random Rewind games.

Random Rewind: 1961, Game Six


Date:  Tuesday, April 18.

Batting stars:  Lenny Green was 4-for-4 with a stolen base, his second.  Jim Lemon was 2-for-4 with a home run and a double.

Pitching stars:  Jim Kaat pitched 7.1 innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on three hits and three walks and striking out six.  Bill Pleis pitched 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up a walk and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Dave Hillman pitched two shutout innings, giving up two hits and a walk.  Pumpsie Green was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.

The game:  In the first, Green singled, went to third on a stolen-base-plus-error, and scored on a Bob Allison single to put the Twins up 1-0.  In the third, Zoilo Versalles singled, was bunted to second, and scored on a Don Mincher single to make it 2-0 Twins.  It stayed there until the sixth, when Lemon homered to make it 3-0.

The Twins loaded the bases in the seventh but did not score.  Still, the Red Sox had only one hit to this point, and the lead looked secure.  In the eighth, however, Green doubled and Rip Repulski singled, putting men on first and third with none out.  A ground out scored a run, Gary Geiger walked, and Jackie Jensen was hit by a pitch, loading the bases with two out.  Frank Malzone grounded to short, but the ball was booted by Versalles, allowing a run to score and cutting the margin to 3-2 with the bases still loaded and Carl Yastrzemski up to bat.  He flied to center, however, ending the inning.

The Twins again left the bases loaded in the ninth, so the lead remained just one.  Green drew a one-out walk, but Lou Clinton fanned and Chuck Schilling popped to short to end the game.

WP:  Kaat (1-0).  LP:  Billy Muffett (0-1).  S:  Pleis (1).

Notes:  Mincher was at first base in place of Harmon Killebrew, who missed a couple of weeks.  Billy Gardner was the starting second baseman at this point in the season, but would be replaced later by Billy Martin, who the Twins acquired in a trade for Billy Consolo.  Reno Bertoia was the starting third baseman at this point, but would be traded for Bill Tuttle, who would take his place at third.

The only non-pitcher substitute was Dan Dobbek, going in to replace Lemon in left field in the eighth inning.

This early in the season there are always extreme batting averages.  Versalles was batting .429--he would finish at .280.  Allison was batting .375--he would finish at .245.  Green raised his average to .304--he would finish at .285.  Earl Battey, who was batting just .211 at this point, would lead the team with an average of .302.

On the other end, Bertoia was batting .150.  He would leave the Twins with an average of .212.

Killebrew would lead the team in home runs with 46.  Allison was second with 29, followed by Battey (17) and Lemon (14).  The Twins were fourth in home runs in the ten-team league.

The Twins rotation in 1961 was Pedro Ramos (11-20, 3.95), Camilo Pascual (15-16, 3.46), Jack Kralick (13-11, 3.61), and Kaat (9-17, 3.90).  Ray Moore led in saves with 14.  Ramos, who led the team in starts with 34, also had two saves.

Muffett, who started for Boston, pitched six innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and a walk and striking out none.  He would go on to go 3-11, 5.67.  He played from 1957-1962.  He had good years in 1957 (3-2, 2.25, 1.09 WHIP in 23 relief appearances (44 innings)) and 1960 (6-4, 3.24, 1.22 WHIP in 11 starts and 27 relief appearances (112.2 innings)).  In the other years, though, he was not good at all.  His next lowest season ERA was 4.93 in 1958 and his next lowest WHIP was 1.47 in 1961.  For his career, he was 16-23, 4.33, 1.43 WHIP.  He was in 125 games, 32 of them starts, and pitched 376.1 innings.  He went into coaching after that, and continued to be a major league coach through 1994.

The Twins were off to a fine start in their inaugural season.  I suspect this fueled some high hopes, which were ultimately to be dashed.

Record:  The Twins were 5-1, in first place in the American League, one game ahead of Cleveland.  They would finish 70-90, in seventh place, 38 games behind New York.

The Red Sox were 2-2, in fifth place in the American League, two games behind Minnesota.  They would finish 76-86, in sixth place, 33 games behind New York.

Random Record:  The Twins are 34-27 in Random Rewind games.

Random Rewind: 2004, Game Eight


Date:  Wednesday, April 14.

Batting stars:  Henry Blanco was 4-for-4 with a home run (his third), two doubles, three runs, and three RBIs.  Doug Mientkiewicz was 2-for-4 with a double.  Nick Punto was 2-for-5.  Corey Koskie was 1-for-5 with a home run, his second.

Pitching stars:  Aaron Fultz pitched two perfect innings.  J. C. Romero pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Casey Blake was 2-for-4 with a walk and two runs.  Matt Lawton was 2-for-5 with two RBIs.  Omar Vizquel was 2-for-5.  Victor Martinez was 1-for-4 with a home run, his second.

The game:  The Indians got on the board first, scoring once in the second inning on singles by Blake, Travis Hafner, and Ben Broussard.  The Twins came right back to take the lead in the third.  Michael Ryan led off with a single and Blanco followed with a two-run homer.  Cristian Guzman then tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly to give the Twins a 3-1 lead.

They added to the lead in the fifth.  Blanco led off with a single.  He was caught stealing (!), but an error allowed him to get to second anyway.  Guzman then doubled him home and later scored on a fly out-plus-error, making the score 5-1.

Cleveland chipped away at the lead.  In the bottom of the fifth Coco Crisp doubled and scored on Lawton's single.  In the sixth Blake singled, Hafner walked, and a couple of productive outs brought home a run, cutting the margin to 5-3.

The Twins got one of the runs back in the seventh on doubles by Blanco and Shannon Stewart.  They put the game out of reach in the eighth.  Mientkiewicz doubled and Jose Offerman walked.  RBI singles by Jacque Jones and Lew Ford followed, and a run-scoring double by Blanco gave the Twins a 9-3 advantage.  Koskie homered in the ninth to make it 10-3.

It wasn't quite over, though.  Martinez led off the ninth with a home run and Broussard walked.  The next two batters went out, but RBI singles by Lawton and Omar Vizquel narrowed the Twins lead to 10-6 before Blake struck out to end the game.

WP:  Carlos Silva (1-0).  LP:  Jeff D'Amico (1-1).  S:  Juan Rincon (1).

Notes:  Punto was at second base in place of Luis Rivas.  Stewart was in left, but injuries would limit him to just 71 games there--Ford actually played more in left, with 81 games.  Ryan was in center field in place of Torii Hunter, who missed a few weeks in April.  This was the year Joe Mauer missed most of the season, so Blanco was the regular catcher.

Offerman had the most games at DH, but the Twins really didn't have a regular DH.  Offerman was there 39 times, Matthew LeCroy 30, Ford 26, Stewart 21, Justin Morneau 11, Hunter 10, Ryan 10, and 11 others had a single-digit number of games there.

Ford came in to play center field in the seventh inning, replacing Ryan.

This early in the season there are some extreme batting averages.  Punto was batting .412--he would finish at .253.  Mientkiewica was batting .317--he would finish at .246.  Blanco was batting .364--he would finish at .206.  Offerman was batting .333--he would finish at .256.  Stewart was also batting .333--he would finish at .304.

On the other end, Koskie was batting .167--he would finish at .251.  Ryan was batting .167--he would finish at .239.

This was Silva's second start of the season, and it was his first year as a starter.  He pitched five innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and two walks and striking out one.

This was Joe Nathan's first year as the Twins' closer.  He had pitched three scoreless innings coming into this game, but here he allowed three runs on three hits and two walks in two-third of an inning and was bailed out by Rincon.  Nathan would not give up another run until June 6.

Cleveland had three runs advance due to defensive indifference in the ninth inning.  I don't know if they keep records like that, but I would think that has to be fairly close to the record.

Record:  The Twins were 4-4, tied for third place in the American League Central, 2 games behind Detroit.  They would finish 92-70, in first place, 9 games ahead of Chicago.

The Indians were 3-6, in fifth (last)place in the American League Central, 3.5 games behind Detroit.  They would finish 80-82, in third place, 12 games behind Minnesota.

Random Rewind: 1986, Game Eight


Date:  Tuesday, April 15.

Batting star:  Steve Lombardozzi was 2-for-2 with two doubles and two RBIs.

Pitching star:  Pete Filson pitched 3.1 innings of relief, giving up one run on six hits and no walks and striking out three.

Opposition stars:  Moose Haas pitched a complete game, giving up two runs on five hits and a walk and striking out five.  Alfredo Griffin was 4-for-5 with a stolen base and two runs.  Dwayne Murphy was 2-for-3 with a hit-by-pitch and two RBIs.  Tony Phillips was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Bill Bathe was 2-for-5 with a double, two runs, and two RBIs.  Dusty Baker was 2-for-5.  Carney Lansford was 2-for-5.

The game:  Jose Canseco doubled leading off the second.  An error and a double play put the Athletics up 1-0.  With one out in the bottom of the second Mark Salas and Gary Gaetti singled and the two of them pulled off a double steal, putting men on second and third.  Lombardozzi then delivered a two-out ground-rule double to put the Twins up 2-1.

That was as good as it got for the Twins.  With one out in the fifth Griffin singled and scored from first on Bathe's double to tie it.  Phillips then singled and a sacrifice fly gave the Athletics a 3-2 lead.  Oakland took control in the sixth.  Canseco walked and Griffin hit a two-out single, putting men on first and second.  The Athletics then had four consecutive RBI singles, by Bathe, Phillips, Murphy, and Baker, to take a 7-2 advantage.

The Twins did not get a man past first base after the second inning.  Oakland added a run in the ninth on singles by Bruce Bochte and Lansford and an infield out.

WP:  Haas (2-0).  LP:  Bill Latham (0-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Mickey Hatcher was in left field.  Randy Bush was the primary left fielder, playing ninety games there.  Billy Beane had sixty-four, Hatcher had forty-five, and Mark Davidson had twenty.

Jeff Reed pinch-hit for Lombardozzi in the eighth.  Ron Washington pinch-hit for Greg Gagne in the eighth.  In the ninth Reed went behind the plate, Washington went to second base, Chris Pittaro came in to play shortstop, and Salas came out of the game.

This early in the season there were extreme batting averages on both ends.  Roy Smalley led the team at .379--he finished at .246.  Gary Gaetti was batting .357--he finished at .287.  Kent Hrbek was at .345--he finished at .267.

On the other end of the scale, Gagne was batting .045--he would finish at .250.  Hatcher was batting .050--he would finish at .278.  Lombardozzi was batting .125--he would finish at .227.  Salas was batting .138--he would finish at .233.

Latham started the game for the Twins.  He pitched 4.2 innings, allowing three runs on six hits and a walk and striking out two.

The Twins pitchers on this day were LathamDennis Burtt, and Filson.  If anyone has memories of any of those pitchers, please contribute them, because I don't.  I remembered that Filson came over in a trade with the Yankees, but that's it.

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

Record:  The Twins were 3-5, in sixth place in the American League West, two games behind Seattle.  They would finish 71-91, in sixth place, twenty-one games behind California.

The Athletics were 4-4, tied for fourth place in the American League West, one game behind Seattle.  They would finish 76-86, tied for third, sixteen games behind California.