Tag Archives: First place

2003 Rewind: Game Forty-three


Date:  Sunday, May 18.

Batting starsDenny Hocking was 3-for-4 with two doubles.  Todd Sears was 2-for-2 with a walk.  Dustan Mohr was 2-for-3.

Pitching stars:  Kyle Lohse pitched 6.1 innings, giving up two runs on six hits and four walks and striking out four.  LaTroy Hawkins pitched 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up one hit and striking out one.  Eddie Guardado struck out three in a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk.

Opposition stars:  Esteban Loaiza pitched six innings, giving up one run on eight hits and three walks and striking out three.  Jose Valentin was 2-for-3 with a two-run homer (his ninth) and two walks.  D'Angelo Jimenez was 2-for-3.

The game:  The Twins had two on with two out in the first and had a runner on third with one out in the second, but it was the White Sox who scored first.  Joe Crede led off the third with a double and Valentin hit a two-out two-run homer to put the Chicago up 2-0.

The Twins loaded the bases in the third but did not score.  The White Sox loaded the bases in the fifth but did not score.  The Twins finally got on the board in the bottom of the fifth.  Hocking led off with a double and Sears delivered a two-out single that cut the lead to 2-1.

Each team got a man to third with one out in the seventh and did not score.  With one out in the eighth, Torii Hunter and Mohr each singled, putting men on first and third.  A wild pitch tied the score and an error put the Twins ahead 3-2.

Chicago put two on with two out in the ninth, but Guardado struck out Tony Graffanino to end the game.

WP:  Hawkins (3-0).  LP:  Tom Gordon (2-3).  S:  Guardado (10).

Notes:  Chris Gomez was at second base in place of Luis Rivas.  Hocking was in right field.  Sears was the DH.  Tom Prince was behind the plate in place of A. J. Pierzynski.

Mientkiewicz came out in the third inning after hitting a double in the second.  He apparently was injured, as he would not play again until May 24.  Mohr entered the game and went to right field, with Hocking moving to first base.  Matthew LeCroy pinch-hit for Sears in the eighth.  Bobby Kielty pinch-hit for Gomez in the eighth.  Rivas then pinch-ran for Kielty and stayed in the game at second.  Pierzynski pinch-hit for Prince in the eighth and stayed in the game at catcher.

Jones was 1-for-4 and was batting .347.  Sears raised his average to .333.  LeCroy was 0-for-1 and was batting .310.

Hocking's big day raised his average to .188.

Lohse's ERA was 3.22.  Hawkins lowered his ERA to 1.35.  Guardado lowered his ERA to 1.53.

As you can see from the game summary, both teams missed numerous opportunities.  The White Sox stranded nine and were 1-for-9 with men in scoring position.  The Twins stranded nine and were 1-for-15 with men in scoring position.

The Twins swept the series, outscoring Chicago 24-6.  Eighteen of those runs came in the first game.  The Twins had now won five of six, eleven of fourteen. and fifteen of nineteen.  The hot streak moved them into first place.

Record:  The Twins were 25-18, in first place, a half game ahead of Kansas City.


2019 Game 112: Atlanta Braves vs. Minnesota Twins

The wife is on a business trip, and I've got two little rugrats, so I'll be keeping this brief. A pretty decent Braves team is coming through Minnesota starting a three game series tonight. This will be immediately followed by a four game series against the Spiders. Safe to say this will be a very important homestand. Thankfully, they started it off right with a sweep against the Royals. Let's continue the current trend.

The Twins will face a very sharp rightie (and Cy Young candidate) in Soroka tonight. The Twins counter his stinky pitches with their very own Odor Eater.

2019 Recap: Game Four


Date:  Tuesday, April 2.

Batting stars:  Max Kepler was 2-for-4 with two walks.  Nelson Cruz was 2-for-5 with a double, a walk, and three RBIs.  Jorge Polanco was 2-for-5 with a double and a walk.  C. J. Cron was 2-for-5 with a double.

Pitching stars:  Jose Berrios pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and no walks and striking out four.  Blake Parker pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Adalberto Mondesi was 3-for-5 with a home run, a double, a stolen base, and two RBIs.  Martin Maldonado was 3-for-4.  Ryan O'Hearn was 1-for-3 with a home run.  Brad Keller pitched six innings, giving up three runs on five hits and four walks and striking out five.

The game:  The Royals jumped out to a 1-0 lead within the first two batters of the game, as Whit Merrifield doubled and scored on a Mondesi single.  The Twins tied it in the fourth when Eddie Rosario walked and scored from first on Cron's single.

Kansas City got the lead back in the bottom of the fourth when Chris Owings tripled and scored on a Hunter Dozier sacrifice fly.  The Twins went in front in the fifth.  With one out, Byron Buxton was hit by a pitch and Max Kepler walked.  A fly out moved the runners to second and third and Cruz delivered a two-run double to give the Twins a 3-2 lead.

The Twins missed a chance to increase the lead in the sixth when Cron led off with a double but did not advance past second.  It cost them, as O'Hearn homered in the bottom of the sixth to tie it 3-3.  The Twins missed another chance in the seventh.  Singles by Kepler and Polanco and a walk to Cruz loaded the bases with none out, but a strikeout, a liner to third, and another strikeout ended the inning with no runs scoring.  It again cost them, as Mondesi hit an inside-the-park home run with one out in the eighth to give the Royals a 4-3 lead.

The Twins tied it in the ninth.  Polanco doubled and went to third on a fly ball.  Rosario then singled him in to tie the score 4-4.  Kansas City put two men on with two out in the bottom of the ninth, but Trevor Hildenberger came in to strike out Billy Hamilton and send the game to an extra inning.

In the tenth Willians Astudillo, who had entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the eighth, led off with a single.  He was still at first with two out, but Polanco singled to put men on first and second and Cruz singled to drive home the go-ahead run.  The Royals could manage only a two-out walk in the bottom of the tenth.

WP:  Hildenberger (1-0).  LP:  Brad Boxberger (0-1).  S:  Blake Parker (1).

Record:  The Twins are 3-1, in first place in the American League Central, one game ahead of Cleveland, Detroit, and Kansas City.

Projected record:  We're still on track for 161-1!

Game 26: A’s vs. Twins


Jharel Cotton (2-3, 5.00 ERA, 3.56 FIP) vs. Kyle Gibson (0-3, 8.06 ERA, 6.99 FIP)

The FIRST PLACE Minnesota Twins finish up the series against the A's at noon today. Quite a difference a year makes as the Twins were a depressing 7-18 at this point last year and, uhhh, it wouldn't get any better from there. It was starting to look like things were headed to 2016 there for awhile, but there's apparently nothing like the AL west (and the Royals) to help turn things back around. Even better, after the first two games of this series, the Twins are back to .500 at home.

Unfortunately, however, Kyle Gibson takes the mound today. I'm on record as preferring he lose his spot in the rotation to Berrios and be given a comfy seat in the bullpen. There's just something about the way he pitches that bugs me and the bad results certainly make that irritation seem much worse. Also, Berrios.

I don't know anything about Jharel Cotton, probably because he's only had 10 starts for the perennially irrelevant A's. It looks like he's struggling with command this year, walking 4 per nine. That should bode well for the Twins who've, from the eye test at least (too lazy to look it up), are showing a rather patient approach these days.