Tag Archives: good bullpen

Random Rewind: 2005, Game Twenty-four

LOS ANGELES 2, MINNESOTA 1 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Sunday, May 1.

Batting star:  Shannon Stewart was 2-for-4 with a home run, his second.

PItching stars:  Johan Santana pitched eight innings, giving up two runs on two hits and two walks and striking out seven.  Juan Rincon pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Bartolo Colon pitched 7.1 scoreless innings, giving up two hits and no walks and striking out seven.  Vladimir Guerrero was 1-for-4 with a home run, his sixth.  Jose Molina was 1-for-3 with a home run.

The game:  There were no hits on either side until the fourth, when Guerrero hit a two-out home run to give the Angels a 1-0 lead.  The Twins got their first hit in the fifth when Stewart led off with a single, but nothing came of it.  Molina led off the sixth with a home run to make it 2-0.

The Twins threatened in the eighth.  With one out, Jacque Jones singled, Michael Cuddyer singled, and pinch-hitter Joe Mauer walked, loading the bases.  PInch-hitter Matthew LeCroy hit into a double play, and the inning was over.  The Twins got on the board when Stewart led off the ninth with a home run, but the next three batters went out and the game was over.

WP:  Colon (4-2).  LP:  Santana (4-1).  S:  Francisco Rodriguez (6).

Notes:  Mike Redmond was behind the plate in place of Joe Mauer.

Luis Rivas was at second base.  He was still the regular second baseman at this point, but was about at the end of the run.  By the end of the season, Nick Punto would be the regular second baseman.

Juan Castro was at shortstop.  He did end up playing the most games there, 73, but by the end of the season would be replaced by Jason Bartlett.

Lewwwwww Ford was in right field, with Jones moving to DH.  LeCroy and Ford did most of the DHing in 2005, playing 63 and 44 games there, respectively.

Justin Morneau was batting .400.  He would finish at .239.  This was his first full season.  Jones was batting .352--he would finish at .249.  Mauer was batting .304--he would finish at .294, which led the team.  LeCroy was batting .302--he would finish at .260.  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.  LeCroy hit 17, Torii Hunter 14, Cuddyer 12, and Stewart 10.  The Twins hit 134 home runs, which was twelfth in the league.  Texas led with 260, well ahead of second-place New York at 229.

Santana was the clear ace of the staff, going 16-7, 2.87.  Carlos Silva was 9-8, 3.44--this was the year he walked an incredible 9 batters in 188.1 innings.  Two of the walks were intentional, so you could say he really only walked 7.  Brad Radke was 9-12, 4.04 and Kyle Lohse was 9-13, 4.18.  The weak link was Joe Mays, who was 6-10, 5.65.  The Twins kept him in the rotation until September, when he finally replaced by rookie Scott Baker.

The Twins had an excellent bullpen.  Joe Nathan was 7-4, 2.70, 43 saves.  The team's only other save went to Jesse Crain, who was 12-5, 2.71.  Juan Rincon was 6-6, 2.45 and J. C. Romero was 4-3, 3.47.  Matt Guerrier also contributed, going 0-3, 3.39.

The Twins were fifth in the league in ERA at 3.71.  Cleveland led at 3.61.  The Twins were second in WHIP at 1.23, just behind Cleveland's 1.22.

I wonder what the record is for most runs in a game where all the runs came by solo home runs.  I don't suppose this is all that close, but it would be interesting to know.

This loss snapped a five-game winning streak.  They would lose two more, then win the next four.

Record:  The Twins were 15-9, in second place in the American League Central, 2.5 games behind Chicago.  They would finish 83-79, in third place, 16 games behind Chicago.

The Angels were 14-11, in first place in the American League West, one game ahead of Oakland.  They would finish 95-67, in first place, seven games ahead of Oakland.

Rewind record:  The Twins are 55-50 in Random Rewind games.

Random Rewind: 2009, Game One Hundred Forty-seven

MINNESOTA 3, DETROIT 0 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Friday, September 18.

Batting stars:  Jason Kubel was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs.  Delmon Young was 2-for-4 with a double.  Jose Morales was 2-for-4.  Michael Cuddyer was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his twenty-seventh.

PItching stars:  Brian Duensing pitched 6.1 scoreless innings, giving up four hits and one walk and striking out one.  Jon Rauch pitched a scoreless inning and struck out one.  Joe Nathan pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Rick Porcello pitched six innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and a walk and striking out one.  Curtis Granderson was 2-for-4 with a double.  Marcus Thames was 2-for-4 with a double.

The game:  There were no threats until the bottom of the fourth, when Kubel hit a one-out single and Cuddyer followed with a two-run homer.  The Twins scored again in the sixth when Kubel led off with a double and Young scored him with a one-out double.

That was it for the scoring.  The Tigers got two men on base for the first time in the seventh inning when Thames and Brandon Inge hit consecutive one-out infield singles.  Jose Mijares relieved Duensing and retired the next two batters.  Rauch hit a batter in the eighth but was otherwise not in trouble.

Nathan came on in the ninth and made things interesting--with two out he walked Alex Avila and gave up a double to Granderson, bringing the tying run to the plate.  But Aubrey Huff hit a weak liner back to Nathan and the game belonged to the Twins.

Notes:  Denard Span was in center, with Young in left and Carlos Gomez on the bench.  Gomez was often in center field in 2009, with Span moving to left.  Kubel, often used at DH, was in right, with Cuddyer at first base and Justin Morneau on the bench.  Matt Tolbert was at third base, as Joe Crede's season had ended at this point.  Nick Punto was at second base, a position he shared that year with Alexi Casilla.  Jose Morales was the DH.

Gomez came in to play center in the eighth inning, with Span moving to right.  Casilla pinch-ran for Kubel in the eighth.

The leading batter was Joe Mauer at .373.  He would finish at .365 and win the Most Valuable Player award.  Morales was batting .368.  He would finish at .311, going just 5-for-32 after this game.  Span was batting .307; he would finish at .311.  Kubel was batting .303; he would finish at .300.

The Twins had a really good bullpen.  In addition to Nathan, they had Mijares (2-2, 2.34, 1.18 WHIP), Matt Guerrier (5-1, 2.36, 0.97), and Rauch (5-1, 1.72, 1.21).  Rauch, of course, didn't join the team until late August, acquired from Arizona for Kevin Mulvey.

This was a pretty big game at the time.  The Twins were trying to chase down the Tigers for the division championship.  As you'll recall, they went to a game 163 before finally winning the division.  Our game today was the Twins' fifth consecutive win.  They closed the season winning seventeen of their last twenty-one games.

Record:  The Twins were 75-72, in second place in the American League Central, three games behind Detroit.  They would finish 87-76, in first place, one game ahead of Detroit.

The Tigers were 78-69, in first place in the American League Central, three games ahead of Minnesota.  They would finish 86-77, in second place, one game behind Minnesota.

1991 Rewind: Game Forty-three

KANSAS CITY 5, MINNESOTA 1 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Sunday, May 26.

Batting stars:  Gene Larkin was 2-for-4.  Chili Davis was 2-for-4.  Chuck Knoblauch was 1-for-3 with a walk.

Pitching stars:  Carl Willis pitched three shutout innings, giving up one hit and striking out one.  Steve Bedrosian pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk.  Rick Aguilera pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.

Opposition stars:  Bret Saberhagen pitched a complete game, giving up one run on eight hits and two walks and striking out two.  Brian McRae was 3-for-5 with a home run (his fourth), a stolen base (his fourth), two runs and two RBIs.  Brent Mayne was 2-for-4.  George Brett was 2-for-4.  Kirk Gibson was 2-for-5 with a double.

The game:  The Royals jumped on Twins starter Kevin Tapani for three runs in the first inning.  They got the first two of them before anyone was retired:  McRae singled, Gibson had an RBI double, Brett singled, and Danny Tartabull had an RBI single.  Following a pop up, Mayne singled home the third run of the inning.  Kansas City added another run in the second when McRae led off the inning with a homer to make the score 4-0.  They got their final run in the fourth when Terry Shumpert doubled and scored on McRae's single.

Meanwhile, the Twins were not doing much of anything off Saberhagen.  They got a man to second base in the third, when Knoblauch and Shane Mack drew two-out walks.  They did it again in the seventh when Davis reached on an error and Larkin had a two-out single.  They actually got two hits in the same inning in the eighth, when Knoblauch singled with one out and Kirby Puckett singled with two out.

The Twins did get on the board in the ninth, when they opened the inning with consecutive singles by DavisBrian Harper, and Larkin.  Another hit would've brought the tying run to the plate, but instead a strikeout and a double play ended the game.

WP:  Saberhagen (5-3).  LP:  Tapani (2-5).  S:  None.

Notes:  With a day game, Mack was in left, replacing Dan Gladden.  He batted second, with Knoblauch moving up to the leadoff spot.  Larkin was in right field.  Al Newman was at short, replacing Greg Gagne.

Harper was 1-for-4 and was batting .368.  Puckett was 1-for-4 and was batting .326.  Davis raised his average to .313.

Tapani lasted just four innings, giving up five runs on nine hits and a walk and striking out one.  It was his first really bad game of the season, but he hadn't been pitching as well lately.  His ERA went up steadily from 2.10 on April 27 to now 3.79.

The Twins bullpen did really well.  Five shutout innings, giving up two hits and a walk.  Much of that was Willis, as set forth above.  His ERA was now 3.48.  Aguilera's ERA went to 1.69.

George Brett was off to a very slow start, and in fact would not have a particularly good year.  He had won the batting title in 1990, batting .329.  At this point in 1991, however, he was batting just .224.  He would end the season at .255 with an OPS of .729.  Well, he was thirty-eight.  He would play for two more seasons at about the same level of production, then retire at age forty.  He was mostly a DH at this point, with Bill Pecota having taken over at third base.  Pecota would bat .286 with an OPS of .756--I don't know how this compared to his PECOTA projection.

This was an odd-numbered year, so naturally Saberhagen was having a good season.  Actually, when you look at the stats, the odd-even thing is not nearly as pronounced as legend has made it out to be.  It shows up in his won-lost record more than anywhere else, indicating that it may have been a function of luck as much as anything.  It's true that, throughout most of his career, his ERA was lower in odd-numbered years than in even, but most of the time the difference is not all that great.  It made for a good story, though.

The Twins had now lost six of seven and eight of eleven.  One suspects people were saying "same old Twins".

Record:  The Twins were 20-23, sixth in the American League West, 6.5 games behind Texas.  They remained a half game behind fifth-place Chicago.  They were one game ahead of last-place Kansas City.

2019 Recap: Game Fifty-two

MINNESOTA 7, CHICAGO 0 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Sunday, May 26.

Batting stars:  Max Kepler was 2-for-4 with a home run (his twelfth), a double, two runs, and four RBIs.  Eddie Rosario was 1-for-4 with a three-run homer, his sixteenth.

Pitching stars:  Jake Odorizzi struck out nine in 5.1 scoreless innings, giving up one hit and one walk.  Tyler Duffey struck out six in two shutout innings, giving up three hits and a walk.

Opposition star:  Charlie Tilson was 2-for-4.

The game:  The White Sox put men on first and second with two out in the third, but Yoan Moncada struck out to end the threat.  With one out in the bottom of the third, Byron Buxton singled, went to third on a stolen base-plus-error, and scored on Kepler's double.  Jorge Polanco walked, and with two out Rosario hit a three-run homer to give the Twins a 4-0 lead.  While you can never put a game in the bank in the third inning, it really did feel like the game was over at that point.

They kept playing, of course.  There were no threats, however, until the seventh, when Jose Abreu walked and Yonder Alonso doubled, putting men on second and third with none out.  But Eloy Jimenez lined to right, Jose Rondon fanned, and Yolmer Sanchez flied out, leaving Chicago off the board.  In the bottom of the seventh, one-out singles by Willians Astudillo and Juan Castro and a two-out home run by Kepler gave Minnesota a 7-0 lead.  The White Sox put two men on in the ninth but did not score.

WP:  Odorizzi (7-2).  LP:  Dylan Covey (0-4).  S:  None.

Notes:  Marwin Gonzalez was in left field, with Rosario at DH.  Luis Arraez was at second and Astudillo at third, with Jonathan Schoop and Miguel Sano on the bench.

Arraez was 0-for-3 and is batting .389.  Polanco was 0-for-3 with a walk and is batting .335.  Odorizzi has an ERA of 2.16.  Matt Magill retired both men he faced and has an ERA of 1.54.  Taylor Rogers retired the only man he faced and has an ERA of 1.31.  Duffey has an ERA of 2.63.

With Nelson Cruz out, Rocco seems to be using the DH spot to give various starting players a rest.  That makes sense.  They don't have anyone on the bench who's really a DH-type, and they've got a couple of guys who, as Gordo used to say, "can play around", so you might as well take advantage of that.

The Twins used four relief pitchers yesterday, three of them for less than an inning.  Rocco seems to have done that sort of thing a lot lately, using multiple relief pitchers for one or two batters.  As a general rule I'm not a huge fan of that, but it certainly appears to be working.  The Twins have five relief pitchers with ERAs under two (six if you count Zack Littell).  I know ERA isn't necessarily the best way to evaluate a relief pitcher, but that still is pretty darn good.

It's been nice to see the Twins bring in some mopup relievers who can actually get the job done in the last few games.

We've reached Memorial Day, one of the traditional markers of how the season is going.  The Twins are 36-16, twenty games over  .500, and are in the lead by ten games.  I said early on that the Twins had a chance this year, but I most definitely did not expect this.

Record:  The Twins are 36-16, first in the American League Central, leading Cleveland by ten games.  They have won six in a row and eleven of their last twelve.

Projected record:  We're still on track for 146-16!