Tag Archives: forgotten Twins

Random Rewind: 2015, Game Seventy-four


Date:  Tuesday, July 7.

Batting starsKurt Suzuki was 3-for-4.  Miguel Sano was 2-for-3 with a home run, a walk, and three RBIs.  Joe Mauer was 2-for-4 with a walk and three runs.

Pitching stars:  Kyle Gibson struck out seven in six innings, giving up two runs on six hits and a walk.  Brian Duensing pitched a perfect inning, striking out one.  Ryan O'Rourke pitched a perfect inning, striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Adam Jones was 2-for-4 with two doubles.  J. J. Hardy was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his fifth.  Brad Brach pitched 2.1 scoreless innings, giving up three hits and two walks and striking out two.

The game:  The Orioles put men on second and third with one out in the first inning but did not score.  It was the last time they were in the game.

In the bottom of the first Mauer hit a one-out single, took second on a wild pitch, and scored on a Trevor Plouffe double.  Sano followed with his first major league home run to put the Twins ahead 3-0.  In the third Mauer again singled, again took second on a wild pitch, went to third on a ground out, and scored on a strikeout/passed ball (Twins baseball!) to make it 4-0.  The Twins put it away in the fourth.  Aaron Hicks led off with a double and Suzuki singled.  A sacrifice fly scored a run; with a man on third Mauer was intentionally walked and Plouffe was hit by a pitch, loading the bases.  Sano drew a walk to force in a run and Eddie Rosario singled home two to make it 8-0 Twins.

Baltimore got two in the sixth on Hardy's homer and added one more in the eighth on a Jones double, but again, they never threatened to get back into the game.

WP:  Gibson (7-6).  LP:  Kevin Gausman (1-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Danny Santana was at shortstop.  He started the season as the regular shortstop, but did not hit and was eventually replaced by Eduardo Escobar.  For the season Escobar played slightly more games at short, 71 to 67.

In this game, however, Escobar was in left field.  Rosario, normally in left, moved to right, with Torii Hunter given the day off.

Shane Robinson went to left in the eighth in place of Escobar.

This was the sixth game of Sano's major league career.  He was batting .450 and, as noted above, hit his first major league home run in this game.  He would finish at .269 with 18 home runs.  The Twins did not have a .300 hitter, or anything close to it, in 2015.  In fact, Sano's .269 led the team.  Rosario was next at .267 and Mauer batted .265.  The Twins were next-to-last in batting average at .247.  Detroit led the league at .270.

Brian Dozier led the team with 28 home runs.  Hunter and Plouffe tied for second with 22.  The Twins had eight players with double digit home runs:  Sano had 18, Rosario 13, Escobar 12, Hicks 11, and Mauer 10.  The Twins were tenth in home runs with 156.  Toronto led the league at 232.

Gibson would probably have to be considered the ace of the staff.  He went 11-11, 3.84, 1.29 WHIP in a team-leading 32 starts.  The only other starter with an ERA under four was Tommy Milone, who was 9-5, 3.92, 1.28.  Ervin Santana, who missed the first half of the season, was 7-5, 4.00, 1.30.  The other starters were Mike Pelfrey (6-11. 4.26, 1.48) and Phil Hughes (11-9, 4.40, 1.29).

Glen Perkins was the closer, going 3-5, 3.32, 1.19 with 32 saves.  Others who were reliable relievers include Blaine Boyer (3-6, 2.40, 1.25) and Casey Fien (4-6, 3.55, 1.09).  Doing well in limited duty were Tyler Duffey (5-1, 3.10,  1.31), Kevin Jepsen (1-1, 1.61, 0.89), Ryan Pressly (3-2, 2.93, 1.41), and Michael Tomkin (0-0, 3.47, 1.29).

The Twins were tenth in ERA at 4.07.  Houston led the league at 3.57.  They were twelfth in WHIP at 1.33.  Cleveland led at 1.19.

Baltimore players with a Twins connection include Hardy, Chris Parmelee, Steve Pearce, and Jonathan Schoop.

It seems like more than five years ago that we had people like RobinsonBoyer and Tomkin.  Also playing in this game was J. R. Graham.

This was the middle game of a three-game winning streak.  The Twins would go on to win seven of eight.

Record:  The Twins were 45-39, in second place in the American League Central, 4.5 games behind Kansas City.  They would finish 83-79, in second place, 12 games behind Kansas City.

The Orioles were 43-41, in second place in the American League East, 1.5 games behind New York.  They would finish 81-81, in third place, 12 games behind Toronto.

Random Record:  The Twins are 44-43 in Random Rewind games.

Random Rewind: 2005, Game Ninety-eight


Date:  Sunday, July 24.

Batting stars:  Shannon Stewart was 2-for-4.  Joe Mauer was 1-for-4 with a home run, his seventh.

Pitching star:  Matt Guerrier pitched 2.1 scoreless innings, giving up two hits and a walk.

Opposition stars:  Jeremy Bonderman pitched eight innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and two walks and striking out six.  Magglio Ordonez was 3-for-4 with two doubles and a walk.  Chris Shelton was 3-for-5 with two doubles.  Curtis Granderson was 2-for-3 with a home run (his second), a triple, a walk, and two RBIs.  Ivan Rodriguez was 2-for-4.  Carlos Guillen was 2-for-5 with a home run, his third.

The game:  With two out in the first, Shelton singled and scored from first on Ordonez' double, giving the Tigers a 1-0 lead.  The Twins tied it in the third when Michael Cuddyer tripled and scored on a Stewart single.

Detroit went back in the front in the fourth when Rodriguez singled and Granderson delivered a two-out RBI triple.  The Tigers extended their lead in the fifth.  Guillen led off the inning with a home run, Shelton followed with a double, and Ordonez had a run-scoring single, making the score 4-1.  Granderson homered leading off the sixth, increasing the lead to 5-1.

The Twins did very little offensively from the fourth through the seventh.  They put two men on with one out in the eighth, but a pair of strikeouts ended the threat.  Mauer led off the ninth with a home run.  Torii Hunter then singled and Jacque Jones walked, bringing the tying run to the plate.  But Matthew LeCroy hit into a double play and Justin Morneau grounded out, and the game was over.

WP:  Bonderman (13-6).  LP:  Kyle Lohse (7-9).  S:  Kyle Farnsworth (5).

Notes:  Bret Boone was at second base in one of the fourteen games he played for the Twins.  Luis Rivas started the season at second, but the Twins had lost patience with him by this point and he lost the job.  Nick Punto played the most games at second, with 73.  Rivas had 53, Luis Rodriguez 40, Brent Abernathy 17, Boone 14, and Michael Cuddyer 11.

Juan Castro was at shortstop.  He was the regular there for the first half of the season, but at this point he was just about to lose the job to Jason Bartlett.  Castro played a few more games at short, 73 to 68.  Punto played 34 games there and Rodriguez 10.  One of those ten is this game, as will be seen below.

Lew Ford pinch-hit for Castro in the eighth.  Rodriguez then entered the game at shorstop.

Mauer was batting .311.  He would finish at .294.  The Twins did not have a .300 hitter unless you count players with fewer than 150 at-bats.  The Twins batted .259, which was next-to-last in the league.  Boston led at .281.

Jones led in home runs with 23, with Morneau right behind at 22.  LeCory hit 17, Hunter 14, Cuddyer 12, and Stewart 10.  The Twins were 12th in the league in home runs with 134.  Texas led with 260.

Lohse pitched 5.2 innings and allowed five runs (four earned) on eleven hits and three walks.  He struck out two.  Johan Santana was clearly the staff ace, going 16-7, 2.87, 0.97 WHIP.  Along with Brad Radke (9-12, 4.04, 1.18) and Carlos Silva (9-8, 3.34, 1.17), the Twins had three pretty good starters.  Lohse wasn't awful as a fourth, going 9-13, 4.18, 1.43.  Joe Mays was the fifth starter pretty much all season even though he was awful, going 6-10, 5.65, 1.56 WHIP.  There were only three other pitchers who started games for the Twins, Scott Baker with nine, Francisco Liriano with four, and Dave Gassner with two.  The Twins were fifth in the league in ERA at 3.71; Cleveland led at 3.61.  They were second in WHIP at 1.23; Cleveland led at 1.22.

The Twins had a very good bullpen, with three relievers with ERAs under three, Joe NathanJesse Crain, and Juan Rincon.  Two more were under four, Guerrier and J. C. Romero.  I know ERA isn't all that in evaluating relivers, but still, that's pretty good.

Chris Shelton had a couple of pretty good years as a part-time first baseman, batting .299/.360/.510 in 388 at-bats in 2005 and .273/.340/.466 in 373 at-bats in 2006.  Despite that, the Tigers chose to go with Sean Casey (.296/.353/.393) at first base in 2007.  Shelton spent the entire 2007 season in Toledo and never did get another real chance in the majors.

This game started a stretch in which the Twins would lose eight of nine.

Record:  The Twins were 53-45, in second place in the American League Central, 11.5 games behind Chicago.  They would finish 83-79, in third place, 16 games behind Chicago.

The Tigers were 49-49, in fourth place in the American League Central, 15.5 games behind Chicago.  They would finish 71-91, in fourth place, 28 games behind Chicago.

Rewind Record:  The Twins are 39-39 in Random Rewind games.

Random Rewind: 1988, Game One Hundred Fourteen


Date:  Friday, August 12.

Batting stars:  Kirby Puckett was 3-for-5 with a home run, his seventeenth.  Brian Harper was 3-for-5.  Greg Gagne was 2-for-3 with a walk.  Randy Bush was 1-for-2 with a two-run homer, his twelfth.

Pitching star:  Charlie Lea pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on five hits and three walks and striking out three.

Opposition stars:  Tommy John pitched 5.1 innings, giving up one run on eight hits and three walks and striking out three.  Rickey Henderson was 3-for-5 with two RBIs and three stolen bases (his sixty-fifth, sixty-sixth, and sixty-seventh).  Rafael Santana was 2-for-4.  Ken Phelps was 1-for-4 with a three-run homer, his seventeenth.

The game:  Each team missed a chance in the first.  The Yankees put men on first and third with one out and the Twins had men on first and second with two out, but no one scored.  In the third Henderson had a one-out single, Don Mattingly drew a two-out walk, and Phelps hit a three-run homer, putting New York up 3-0.  The Twins opened the fourth with two singles, but a double play took them out of the inning.  They had men on first and third with two out in the fifth, but again could not score.

The Twins finally got on the board in the sixth.  With one out, Kent Hrbek walked, Gene Larkin singled, and John Christensen delivered an RBI double to make it 3-1.  There were still men on second and third with one out, but there they stayed.  Maybe they're still there, I don't know.  Puckett homered in the seventh to cut the lead to 3-2.  With two out in the eighth, Gagne singled and Bush hit a two-run homer, putting the Twins ahead 4-3.

Juan Berenguer, who had come in to start the eighth, remained in to start the ninth.  He retired Mike Pagliarulo on a fly ball, but walked Don Slaught.  That brought in Jeff Reardon.  He gave up consecutive singles to Jack Clark, Santana, Henderson, and Claudell Washington, putting the Yankees back in front 6-4.  The Twins didn't quit.  In the bottom of the ninth, Harper and Puckett singled.  Gary Gaetti was caught looking, but Hrbek walked to load the bases with one out.  But Larkin hit into a double play and the game was over.

WP:  Steve Shields (3-3).  LP;  Reardon (0-4).  S:  Dave Righetti (18).

Notes:  Tim Laudner was still the primary catcher in 1988, with Harper as his backup.  Christensen was in right field, where Bush had become the regular after the trade of Tom Brunansky.  Al Newman was at second base in place of the injured Tom Herr.

Bush pinch-hit for Newman in the sixth.  Steve Lombardozzi went to second base, with Bush going to right field.  Mark Davidson replaced Bush in right field in the ninth.  John Moses pinch-ran for Hrbek in the ninth.

I guess the Tom Kelly Twins were quite capable of blowing leads to the Yankees, too.

There are some names up there that I hadn't thought of for a long time outside of their birthday posts.

This was Lea's only season as a Twin, and the last season of his career.  He did okay in this game, but overall was not very good in this season, going 7-7, 4.85, 1.59 WHIP.  He'd been a fine pitcher for Montreal from 1982-1984, but he missed two seasons with injuries and was never the same pitcher again.

This was Christensen's third game as a Twin.  He went 1-for-3, making him 3-for-7 (.429).  For the season he was 10-for-38 (.263).  This would be his last major league season.

Other than Christensen, the best batting average among players who played in this game was .355 by Puckett.  The best OPS was Harper at .920, with Puckett right behind at .914,  Gary Gaetti at .902, and Hrbek at .892.

The Yankees used three pitchers in the ninth inning.  Shields started the inning and gave up the two singles.  Neil Allen came in and struck out Gaetti.  Righetti then came in to close it out.

Record:  The Twins were 64-50, in second place in the American League West, 8.5 games behind Oakland.  They would finish 91-71, in second place, thirteen games behind Oakland.

New York was 63-49, in third place in the American League East, four games behind Detroit.  They would finish 85-76, in fifth place, 3.5 games behind Boston.