Tag Archives: Joe Mays

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Thirty-four

MINNESOTA 8, TEXAS 5 IN TEXAS

Date:  Friday, August 29.

Batting stars:  Doug Mientkiewicz was 4-for-5.  Shannon Stewart was 2-for-5 with a double, two runs, and two RBIs.  Matthew LeCroy was 1-for-3 with a home run (his fifteenth) and a walk.

Pitching stars:  Carlos Pulido pitched two shutout innings, giving up two hits and striking out one.  Grant Balfour pitched two shutout innings, giving up a hit and a walk and striking out one.  LaTroy Hawkins struck out two in a scoreless inning, giving up two hits.  Eddie Guardado pitched a perfect inning and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Mark Teixeira was 2-for-4 with a triple.  Todd Greene was 2-for-4.  Hank Blalock was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Laynce Nix was 1-for-3 with a three-run homer (his fifth) and a walk.

The game:  LeCroy had the game's first hit in the second inning and it was a home run, putting the Twins up 1-0.  The Rangers tied it in the bottom of the second when Teixeira hit a two-out triple and scored on Greene's single.  Texas took a big lead in the third.  Michael Young led off with a double, went to third on a ground out, and scored on a sacrifice fly.  With two out and none on, Rafael Palmeiro doubled, Shane Spencer walked, and Nix hit a three-run homer to put the Rangers ahead 5-1.

The Twins started their comeback in the fifth.  Singles by Torii Hunter and Cristian Guzman were followed by a ground out, putting men on second and third with two down.  Stewart delivered a two-run single, cutting the lead to 5-3.  The Twins sent just three men to the plate in each of the sixth and seventh innings, however, leaving the score 5-3 as we went to the eighth.

In the eighth, Stewart doubled, but was still on second with two out.  Mientkiewicz had an RBI single to make the score 5-4.  Walks to LeCroy and Jacque Jones loaded the bases and a Dazzle Special (wild pitch) tied the score.  Hunter was then intentionally walked to load the bases and A. J. Pierzynski was hit by a pitch to put the Twins up 6-5.  Twins Baseball!!!!

Texas put men on first and third in the eighth but did not score.  In the ninth, Chris Gomez and Luis Rivas singled to put men on first and second.  Mientkiewicz then came through again, getting a two-run single-plus-error to give the Twins an 8-5 lead.  The Rangers went down in order in the ninth.

WP:  Balfour (1-0).  LP:  John Thomson (12-11).  S:  Guardado (30).

Notes:  Denny Hocking remained at third in place of Corey Koskie.  Jones was in left and Stewart in right.

Michael Ryan pinch-hit for Guzman in the eighth.  Gomez went in at shortstop in the ninth.  Dustan Mohr pinch-ran for LeCroy in the eighth.

Ryan was 0-for-1 and was batting .375.  Stewart was batting .314.  Jones was 0-for-3 and was batting .308.  Mientkiewicz raised his average to .303.

Joe Mays lasted just three innings, allowing five runs on five hits and two walks and striking out one.  His ERA was 6.37.  This was his last start of the season.  He would make just one more appearance, then be shut down for the rest of the season.  The bullpen bailed the Twins out, pitching six shutout innings and giving up five hits and a walk and striking out five.

This was Pulido's first appearance in the majors since 1994, a gap of nine years.  In between he played for a few different organizations and also played in Japan, Taiwan, and independent ball.

This was Balfour's first major league win.  In a pennant race, Ron Gardenhire used two pitchers who people had no reason to have much confidence in, and they rewarded him with four shutout innings and a win.

Pulido's ERA was zero.  Balfour's ERA was 1.76.  Hawkins had an ERA of 2.10.

Kansas City and Chicago both lost, so the Twins gained ground on both.

Record:  The Twins were 70-64, in third place in the American League Central, a half game behind both Chicago and Kansas City, who were tied for first.

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Nineteen

CLEVELAND 9, MINNESOTA 6 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Tuesday, August 12.

Batting stars:  Shannon Stewart was 3-for-5 with a double.  Matthew LeCroy was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his eleventh.

Pitching stars:  None.

Opposition stars:  Travis Hafner was 3-for-5 with two doubles and two RBIs.  Ryan Ludwick was 2-for-4 with two home runs (his eighth and ninth), a walk, three runs, and three RBIs.  Jody Gerut was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Jhonny Peralta was 2-for-4.  Casey Blake was 2-for-5 with a home run, his thirteenth.  Ben Broussard was 2-for-5 with a double.  Angel Santos was 1-for-4 with a home run, his third.  Rafael Betancourt struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up one hit.

The game:  Hafner hit a two-run double in the second to put the Indians up 2-0.  The Twins tied it in the third on a two-run strikeout.  With men on second and third, Doug Mientkiewicz struck out.  The ball was not held, and on the throw to first Cristian Guzman scored from third.  The throw from the first baseman was wild, allowing Stewart to score from second and tie it up 2-2.

Cleveland got the lead back in the fourth on Peralta's RBI single.  The Twins took their first and only lead of the game in the fifth when LeCroy hit a two-out two-run homer to put MInnesota up 4-3.

The Indians tied it in the sixth when Ludwick homered.  They went into the lead to stay in the seventh.  Santos led off with a homer, Blake hit a one-out homer, and Ludwick hit a two-out, two-run homer to make it 8-4 Cleveland.

That was pretty much it.  Each team scored in the ninth.  The Indians got an RBI single by Broussard and the Twins got a two-run single by Mientkiewicz.  The Twins had the tying run up to bat with one out, but Corey Koskie fouled out and A. J. Pierzynski fanned to end the game.

WP:  Betancourt (2-1).  LP:  James Baldwin (0-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  LeCroy was behind the plate in place of Pierzynski.  Pierzynski pinch-hit for him in the ninth.  Stewart was in left, Dustan Mohr in right, and Michael Restovich at DH.

Michael Ryan pinch-hit for Guzman in the ninth.  Jacque Jones pinch-hit for Luis Rivas in the ninth.  Chris Gomez pinch-ran for Jones in the ninth.

This was Ryan's first game with the Twins in 2003.  He had played seven games in the majors in 2002.

Ryan was 1-for-1 and was batting 1.000.  Stewart was batting .320.  Restovich was 1-for-3 and was batting .314.  Jones did not have an official at-bat and was batting .305.  Koskie was 1-for-4 and was batting .302.  Pierzynski was 0-for-1 and was batting .300.

Joe Mays started.  He pitched five innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and a walk and striking out three.  His ERA went down to 6.38.

Billy Traber started for Cleveland.  He pitched three innings, giving up two runs on five hits and a walk and striking out three.  This was his rookie season, and the only season in which he pitched more than fifty innings.  He threw 111.2 innings and went 6-9, 5.24, 1.54 WHIP.  He was in 33 games, 18 of them starts.  He had started the season in the bullpen but went into the rotation in early June.  He did substantially better as a reliever:  2-1, 3.52 versus 4-8, 5.68 as a starter.  He then was injured and didn't make it back to the majors until 2006, with Washington.  For his career he was 12-14, 5.65, 1.59 WHIP.

Record:  The Twins were 61-58, in third place in the American League Central, 2.5 games behind Kansas City.  They were two games behind second-place Chicago.

2003 Rewind: Game Sixty-six

ARIZONA 9, MINNESOTA 2 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Saturday, June 14.

Batting stars:  Corey Koskie was 2-for-3 with two walks.  Cristian Guzman was 2-for-5.

Pitching star:  Juan Rincon struck out four in 3.1 scoreless innings of relief, giving up two hits and no walks.

Opposition stars:  Miguel Batista struck out seven in six innings, giving up an unearned run on four hits and three walks.  Alex Cintron was 3-for-4 with two doubles, a walk, and three runs.  Luis Gonzalez was 3-for-5 with a double and four RBIs.  Carlos Baerga was 2-for-4 with two doubles, two runs, and two RBIs.  Rod Barajas was 2-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs.

The game:  Cintron hit a one-out double and scored on Gonzalez' two-out single to put the Diamondbacks on the board in the first inning.  The Twins had a pair of singles in the bottom of the first but did not score.  Back-to-back doubles by Baerga and Barajas made it 2-0 in the second.  The Twins again put two on in the bottom of the second but did not score.

Arizona broke it open in the fifth.  Tony Womack singled, Cintron walked, and Junior Spivey was hit by a pitch to load the bases.  Gonzalez doubled in two runs.  An intentional walk to Mark Grace re-loaded the bases.  A force out at home made two outs, but back-to-back ground-rule doubles by Baerga and Barajas brought in four more runs, making the score 8-0 Diamondbacks.

The Twins got on the board in the sixth.  Koskie singled and an error put men on first and third with none out, but Torii Hunter's RBI ground out produced the only run of the inning.  In the seventh, consecutive one-out singles by Luis RivasLew Ford, and Guzman produced another run.  Koskie walked to load the bases, but Justin Morneau grounded into a double play to end the inning.

Arizona added a run in the ninth on a double by Cintron and a single by Gonzalez.

WP:  Batista (4-3).  LP:  Joe Mays (7-4).  S:  None.

Notes:  Matthew LeCroy was behind the plate in place of A. J. Pierzynski.  Morneau was the DH.

Ford replaced Jacque Jones in left field in the sixth inning.  Tom Prince pinch-hit for Doug Mientkiewicz in the sixth and stayed in the game behind the plate, with LeCroy moving to first base.

Morneau was 0-for-4 and was batting .400.  Jones was 0-for-3 and was batting .307.

Mays started for the Twins and pitched 4.2 innings.  As you can see, he didn't do badly for the first four, but his line was eight runs, eight hits, two walks, and four strikeouts.

Guzman had two hits in each of the last four games.  He was 8-for-19 with a triple.  He raised his average from .255 to .268.

The Twins stranded 10 and were 1-for-9 with men in scoring position.

I remember Batista, but I'd forgotten he was around so long.  He played in eighteen seasons, playing until he was 41.  2003 was right about in the middle of his career.  He never had a season in which he didn't have at least one relief appearance, but he was primarily a starter through 2008 with the exception of 2005, when he made 71 appearances out of the bullpen for Toronto.  2003 was probably his best season:  he was 10-9, 3.54, 1.33 WHIP.  He was never great, but with a few exceptions he was never really bad, either.  For his career he was 102-115, 4.48, with an ERA+ of 100.  He appeared in 658 games, 248 of them starts.  He pitched 1956.1 innings.  Control, or rather a lack of it, contributed to keeping him from being better:  he walked 4.1 per nine innings and the only things he ever led the league in were walks (96 in 2004) and wild pitches (14 in 2006).  A guy who can be counted on to be average has value, and that value kept Miguel Batista in the majors for quite a long time.

Record:  The Twins were 38-28, in first place in the American League Central, five games ahead of Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game Sixty-one

SAN DIEGO 9, MINNESOTA 4 IN SAN DIEGO

Date:  Sunday, June 8.

Batting stars:  Doug Mientkiewicz was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer (his seventh) and two runs.  Torii Hunter was 2-for-4 with a home run (his ninth) and two runs.  Matthew LeCroy was 2-for-4.  Luis Rivas was 2-for-4.

Pitching star:  Joe Mays pitched six innings, giving up two runs on eight hits and two walks and striking out two.

Opposition stars:  Mark Loretta was 4-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs.  Ryan Klesko was 3-for-4 with a two-run homer (his eleventh, two doubles, and a walk.  Sean Burroughs was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Donaldo Mendez was 2-for-4.  Gary Matthews was 2-for-5 with a home run (his third) and two runs.  Brian Buchanan was 1-for-1 with a two-run homer, his third.  Brian Lawrence pitched eight innings, giving up four runs on nine hits and no walks and striking out five.

The game:  The Padres put men on second and third with two out in the first but did not score.  The Twins put men on first and second with two out in the second but did not score.  San Diego got on the board in the third.  Matthews led off with a home run.  Singles by Mark Kotsay, Loretta, and Burroughs plated another, making it 2-0 Padres.  The Twins got one of them back in the fourth on consecutive one-out singles by Mientkiewicz, LeCroy, and Denny Hocking, cutting the lead to 2-1.

The Twins went ahead in the sixth.  Hunter led off with a single and Mientkiewicz followed with a two-run homer, making it 3-2 Twins.  The lead lasted until the seventh.  With one out Loretta singled, Klesko doubled, and an intentional walk loaded the bases.  LaTroy Hawkins gave up a single to Dave Hanses to tie the score, but got out of the inning without further damage.  Hunter then homered with one out in the eighth, giving the Twins a 4-3 lead.

But in the bottom of the eighth, it all fell apart.  Keith Lockhart walked and Matthews singled.  A bunt put men on second and third with one out.  Loretta singled home two and Klesko hit a two-run homer, making in 7-4 San Diego.  Micheal Nakamura then came in and gave up a single to Burroughs and a two-run homer to Buchanan, making it 9-4.  The next two batters went out, but it was too little, too late.  The Twins got a pair of one-out singles in the ninth but could do no more.

WP:  Lawrence (4-7).  LP:  Hawkins (4-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  LeCroy was behind the plate in place of A. J. Pierzynski.  Denny Hocking was at third in place of Corey Koskie.  Lew Ford was in right.

Tom Prince came in for LeCroy in the eighth.  Dustan Mohr and Bobby Kielty were used as pinch-hitters for pitchers.

Mays was 0-for-2 and was batting .333.  Jacque Jones was 1-for-4 and was batting .314.  Mientkiewicz raised his average to .301.

Hocking went 1-for-4 to raise his average to .180.

Mays lowered his ERA to 5.21.  That was the lowest it would be the rest of the season.

Juan Rincon gave up a run in a third of an inning to make his ERA 2.88.

Hawkins was charged with four runs in one inning.  His ERA nearly doubled, from 1.27 to 2.45.

Record:  The Twins were 35-26, in first place in the American League Central, 4.5 games ahead of Kansas City.

 

2003 Rewind: Game Fifty-six

MINNESOTA 6, SAN FRANCISCO 4 IN SAN FRANCISCO

Date:  Tuesday, June 3.

Batting stars:  Doug Mientkiewicz was 3-for-5 with a home run (his sixth), two doubles, two runs, and three RBIs.  Torii Hunter was 2-for-4 with two doubles, a walk, and two runs.  A. J. Pierzynski was 2-for-4.  Cristian Guzman was 2-for-5 with two doubles, a stolen base (his third), and two runs.  Corey Koskie was 2-for-5.

Pitching stars:  Joe Mays pitched six innings, giving up three runs on nine hits and one walk.  He struck out none.  LaTroy Hawkins retired all five men he faced.

Opposition stars:  PItcher Damian Moss was 2-for-2.  Barry Bonds was 2-for-4 with a home run, his fourteenth.  Marquis Grissom was 2-for-5 with a home run, his eighth.  Chad Zerbe pitched two shutout innings, giving up a hit and a walk.

The game:  Doubles by GuzmanHunter, and Mientkiewicz plated two runs and gave the Twins a 2-0 lead in the first inning.  Guzman doubled again in the third, stole third base, and scored on Koskie's single to make it 3-0.

The Giants chipped away at the lead.  Bonds homered in the fourth to cut the margin to 3-1.  In the fifth Marvin Benard doubled and scored on Moss' single to trim the lead to 3-2.  The Twins got one back in the sixth when Mientkiewicz doubled and scored on Pierzynski's single, but San Francisco cut the lead back to one in the bottom of the sixth when Ray Durham singled, went to second on a ground out, and scored on a Benito Santiago single.

In the seventh, however, Hunter drew a two-out walk and Mientkiewicz followed with a two-run homer, putting the Twins up 6-3.  The Giants loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the seventh, but Hawkins came in and got a double play from Rich Aurelia to end the threat.  The only San Francisco hit after that came when Grissom hit a home run with two out in the ninth.

WP:  Mays (7-3).  LP:  Moss (6-4).  S:  Eddie Guardado (16).

Notes:  Mays was 1-for-1 with a walk, and so was batting 1.000.  Jacque Jones was 0-for-5 and was batting .319.  Dustan Mohr was 0-for-4 and was batting .307.

Mays was 7-3 despite an ERA of 5.40.

Johan Santana pitched a third of an inning and did not give up a run, dropping his ERA to 2.65.  Hawkins lowered his ERA to 1.37.  Guardado gave up a run in an inning to make his ERA 1.82.

Moss started for the Giants.  He pitched seven innings, but allowed six runs on twelve hits and two walks, striking out three.  He saved the bullpen, anyway.  This was his only year with the Giants.  He'd had a good year with Atlanta in 2002, going 12-6, 3.42, 1.28 WHIP and finishing fifth in Rookie of the Year voting.  It turned out to be the only good year he had.  He only pitched in the big leagues through 2004 and had a career record of 22-19, 4.50, 1.48 WHIP.  He continued to play through 2010, though, mostly in independent and winter league ball.

The time of the game was 2:36, which is pretty good for a 6-4 game.

The win snapped a four-game losing streak.  Obviously, it was the Twins' first interleague game of the season.

Record:  The Twins were 32-24, in first place in the American League Central, 4.5 games ahead of Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game Thirty-two

MINNESOTA 11, TAMPA BAY 6 IN TAMPA BAY

Date:  Wednesday, May 7.

Batting stars:  Dustan Mohr was 3-for-5.  A. J. Pierzynski was 2-for-4 with a grand slam (his third homer), a double, and five RBIs.  Bobby Kielty was 2-for-4 with a home run (his fifth), two runs, and two RBIs.  Michael Cuddyer was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Cristian Guzman was 2-for-5 with a stolen base.  Corey Koskie was 2-for-5 with a stolen base, his second.  Jacque Jones was 2-for-6 with a double.

Pitching stars:  Juan Rincon pitched 3.1 scoreless innings of relief, giving up two hits and a walk and striking out one.  LaTroy Hawkins struck out two in a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.  J. C. Romero struck out the side in a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Rocco Baldelli was 3-for-5 with a double.  Carl Crawford was 2-for-5 with a double.  Aubrey Huff was 2-for-5 with a double.  Travis Harper pitched 2.2 scoreless innings, giving up two hits and striking out one.

The game:  For all the runs, the scoring was packed into a few big innings.  The Twins started it with four in the first.  With one out they put together six consecutive singles (GuzmanKoskieKieltyTorii HunterMohr, and Michael Cuddyer) plus a sacrifice fly to score the runs.  The Devil Rays loaded the bases in the bottom of the first when Baldelli singled, Huff doubled, and Travis Lee walked, but could only score once on a ground out, making the score 4-1.

It stayed 4-1 until the fourth, when Tampa Bay came storming back to take the lead.  They started the inning with four singles of their own (Lee, Marlon Anderson, Toby Hall, and Al Martin) to score two runs.  A bunt moved the runners up and a ground out scored a run, tying the score.  Crawford then had an RBI double and Baldelli contributed a run-scoring single, giving the Devil Rays a 6-4 lead.

Their momentum lasted until the first batter of the next half-inning.  Kielty led off the fifth with a home run to cut the margin to 6-5.  Hunter walked, Mohr singled, and Cuddyer walked, loading the bases.  Pierzynski then hit a grand slam to put the Twins in front 9-6.  They weren't done in the inning, though.  Chris Gomez singled and scored from first on a Jones double.  Guzman then hit an RBI single to make the score 11-6.

And that's where it stayed.  The Devil Rays put men on second and third with two out in the sixth, but did not score.  That was their only real threat the rest of the game.

WP:  Rincon (1-0).  LP:  Joe Kennedy (2-3).  S:  None.

Notes:  Cuddyer was at first base in place of Doug Mientkiewicz.  Gomez was at second in place of Luis Rivas.  Kielty was the DH.

Mientkiewicz replaced Cuddyer at first base in the eighth inning.

Jones was batting .336.  Kielty raised his average to .318.

Joe Mays started and did okay for three innings.  His line, though was 3.2 innings, six runs, nine hits, and one walk.  His ERA was 6.18.  By game scores this was tied for his second-worst game of the season, topped (or bottomed) only by a start in Chicago on June 30.

On the other hand, Rincon lowered his ERA to 1.15 and Hawkins was at 1.64.

Tampa Bay's starter, Joe Kennedy, fared even worse than Mays.  He pitched four innings and allowed ten runs on thirteen hits and two walks, striking out one.  His game score was -5.  It was, as you would expect, his worst start of the season.

This would be Cuddyer's last game before being sent down.  Oddly, the Twins sent him down just as he was starting to get hot.  He was 5-for-12 with a triple and three walks, raising his average from .197 to .233.  He would hit .306 with an OPS of .827 in Rochester, but would not come back until September.

At this point in the season Koskie had more stolen bases than Guzman, 2 to 1.  It would not stay that way, but the margin was not as big at the end of the season as you might think.  Guzman led the team with 18 stolen bases, but Koskie was fourth with 11.  Guzman was 18-for-27 while Koskie was 11-for-16.  The Twins were seventh in the league in stolen bases with 94.  The were fourth in caught stealing with 44.

The Twins had now won three in a row and seven of eight.

Record:  The Twins were 17-15, in second place in the American League Central, 3.5 games behind Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game Twenty-two

MINNESOTA 6, CHICAGO 1 IN CHICAGO

Date:  Friday, April 25.

Batting stars:  Bobby Kielty was 3-for-4 with a two-run homer (his fourth), a walk, and two runs.  Matthew LeCroy was 2-for-3 with a walk and two RBIs.

Pitching stars:  Joe Mays pitched seven innings, giving up one run on four hits and no walks and striking out three.  LaTroy Hawkins pitched a perfect inning.  J. C. Romero pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Mark Buehrle pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on five hits and two walks and striking out four.  Frank Thomas was 1-for-3 with a home run, his fourth.

The game:  The Twins jumped on Buehrle early, scoring three times in the first inning.  Dustan Mohr led off the game with a double and went to third on a ground out.  Kielty walked and Corey Koskie hit a sacrifice fly to get the Twins on the board.  Torii Hunter had an RBI triple to make it 2-0 and scored on LeCroy's single to make it 3-0.

That remained the score until the seventh, as neither team even threatened in innings two through six.  In fact, the White Sox did not get a baserunner until the fourth, when Thomas was hit by a pitch, and did not get a hit until the sixth, when Sandy Alomar singled.

In the seventh, however, Thomas homered to get Chicago on the board at 3-1.  Magglio Ordonez and Paul Konerko followed with singles, putting the tying run on base.  But Armando Rios hit into a double play and Joe Crede popped up to end the inning.

The Twins got the run back with interest in the eighth.  With one out, Cristian Guzman was hit by a pitch and Kielty followed with a two-run homer.  With two out Hunter reached on an error and Doug Mientkiewicz and LeCroy singled, bringing home another run to make the score 6-1.  The White Sox got only one baserunner after that.

WP:  Mays (3-2).  LP:  Buehrle (2-3).  S:  None.

Notes:  Mohr led off and was in left field in place of Jacque Jones.  Kielty was in right field in place of Michael Cuddyer, who had started most of the games in right field to this point.

Kielty raised his average to .370.  Mohr was 1-for-5 and raised his average to .135.

Hawkins maintained his ERA of zero.

By game scores, this was Mays' best game of the season, at 68.  He'd had a score of 63 on April 2.  He would have only three more starts about fifty and only one above sixty.

The White Sox used two players who would have connections to the Twins:  D'Angelo Jimenez and Crede.

The win snapped a six-game losing streak for the Twins.  So far this season the Twins have won three, lost six, won six, lost six, and now won one.  As we've pointed out, each of the seven series the Twins have played so far has been a sweep.  Having won the first game of this series, the were obviously hoping for another sweep.

Record:  The Twins were 10-12, in third place in the American League Central, seven games behind Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game Two

MINNESOTA 8, DETROIT 1 IN DETROIT

Date:  Wednesday, April 2.

Batting stars:  Corey Koskie was 2-for-3 with a double.  Jacque Jones was 2-for-4 with a home run, two runs, and four RBIs.  A. J. Pierzynski was 2-for-4 with a double.  Torii Hunter was 2-for-5 with a triple and two RBIs.  Cristian Guzman was 2-for-5 with two runs.

Pitching stars:  Joe Mays pitched five innings, giving up a run on two hits and no walks and striking out four.  Johan Santana struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up a hit and a walk.  Mike Fetters pitched a perfect inning.  Latroy Hawkins pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Eric Munson was 1-for-3 with a home run.  Wil Ledezma pitched two shutout innings, giving up a walk.

The game:  The Twins took control early.  In the first inning Guzman singled, went to second on a ground out, took third on a wild pitch, and scored on Koskie's single to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  In the second, Michael Cuddyer led off with a single and Jones hit a two-out two-run homer to put Minnesota up 3-0.

The Tigers got their lone run in the third when Munson led off with a home run.  The Twins responded with three in the fourth.  Pierzynski hit a ground-rule double with one out in the fourth and a balk moved him to third.  With two out, Jones laid down an RBI bunt single.  Guzman then singled and Hunter delivered a two-run triple, making the score 6-1 Twins.

Detroit never threatened after that.  They had only two singles and a walk the rest of the game and never advanced anyone past first base.  The Twins scored in the eighth when Cuddyer walked, went to third on Pierzynski's single, and scored on a sacrifice fly.  They got their final run in the ninth when Denny Hocking scored from first on a Doug Mientkiewicz double.

WPMays (1-0).  LP:  Jeremy Bonderman (0-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Cuddyer was in right field.  Dustan Mohr played the most games in right field, but Cuddyer was the regular for most of April.

Hocking replaced Koskie in the fourth inning.  That's really early for a defensive replacement.  On the other hand, Koskie played the next day, so if it was due to injury or illness it was minor.

Mays pitched really well in this game, but sadly he did not sustain it.  This was his second-best game of the season by game scores.  After this game, there would only be one time when his ERA was below five this season.

Bonderman lasted just four innings for the Tigers, giving up six runs on nine hits and a walk.  He did strike out five.

This was one of five games Fetters would pitch as a Twin.

Record:  The Twins were 2-0, tied for first in the American League Central with Kansas City.

Random Rewind: 2000, Game Thirty-two

MINNESOTA 4, DETROIT 0 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Sunday, May 7.

Batting stars:  Cristian Guzman was 1-for-3 with a triple, two walks, and two runs.  Jacque Jones was 1-for-3 with a walk and two RBIs.

Pitching star:  Joe Mays pitched a complete game shutout, giving up five hits and two walks and striking out five.

Opposition stars:  Willie Blair pitched 4.1 scoreless innings of relief, giving up two hits and two walks and striking out two.  Deivi Cruz was 2-for-3.

The game:  The first was a "Twins Baseball!" kind of inning.  Guzman led off with a walk and went to third on a single by Jay Canizaro.  A one-out sacrifice fly by Ron Coomer got the Twins on the board.  A wild pitch moved Canizaro to second, Corey Koskie walked, and Butch Huskey was hit by a pitch, loading the bases.  Jones then delivered a single, only the second hit of the inning, to put the Twins up 3-0.

The Tigers threatened in the third.  Cruz singled, and with two out Brad Ausmus and Juan Encarnacion walked, loading the bases.  But Juan Gonzalez flied out to end the inning.  The Twins added a run in the fourth when Guzman led off with a triple and scored on a Matt Lawton single.

That was it for the scoring.  Detroit had a chance to at least spoil the shutout when Encarnacion led off with a triple.  But Gonzalez hit a short fly ball, Bobby Higginson fouled to the catcher, and Dean Palmer flied out to end the game.

WP:  Mays (1-4).  LP:  Mark Johnson (0-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Marcus Jensen was the catcher.  The Twins used five catchers in 2000, none of whom got much accomplished at bat until A. J. Pierzynski came up in mid-August.  Jensen (.209/.663 OPS) and Matthew LeCroy (.174/.577) each caught 49 games, with Chad Moeller (.211/.534) right behind at 48.  They also used Danny Ardoin (.125/.550) for 15 games before Pierzynski (.307/.809) catching 32 games.  After that mess for the first four and a half months, he seemed like a Godsend.

Huskey was the DH.  He had signed with the Twins to be the DH, but at this point he was close to losing the job to David Ortiz.  Huskey batted just .223 with an OPS of .660 before being traded to Colorado in mid-July.

Matt Lawton was leading the team in batting at this point at .363.  He would finish at .305, which still led the team.  Jones was batting .337.  He would finish at .285.  Koskie, who was batting .270 at this point, would finish at .300.

On the other end, Canizaro was batting .185, although he would finish at .269.  The Twins had soured on Todd Walker at this point and would trade him to Colorado in the same deal that sent Huskey there.  Walker had batted .316 in 1998 and a still-respectable .279 in 1999, but when he got off to a slow start in 2000 the Twins benched him, sent him to AAA, and then traded him.  His defense was suspect, but as I recall this was a case where the main reason for trading him was that Tom Kelly just didn't like him.  Walker went on to have a very good major league career while the player the Twins got back in the deal, Todd Sears, played just forty major league games.  And it's not like the Twins had a hotshot second baseman knocking at the door to replace him--Canizaro was the regular for 2000 and they then went to Luis Rivas.  I think a lot of TK, but he had his blind spots, and this was one of them.

The Twins batted .270, which was tied for tenth in the league.  Cleveland and Kansas City led at .288.

Jones led the team in homers with 19.  Coomer had 16, Lawton 13, and Ortiz 10.  They finished dead last in home runs with 116, thirty-four behind the next lowest team.  Toronto led the league with 240.  When the juiced ball era came around, the Twins were conscientious objectors.

This was easily Mays' best game of the season.  It was his only shutout and one of two complete games, the other being an eight-inning loss.  He did not have a good year in 2000, going 7-15, 5.56, 1.62 WHIP.  It shows how bad the Twins' pitching was that he was allowed to make 28 starts.  Brad Radke was the staff ace, I guess, but he went 12-16, 4.45, 1.38.  Eric Milton was the other mainstay of the rotation, making 33 starts and going 13-10, 4.86, 1.25.  Others to make double-digit starts were Mark Redman (12-9, 4.76, 1.41), Sean Bergman (4-5, 9.66, 2.12--he made 14 starts!), and J. C. Romero (2-7, 7.02, 1.77).

The bullpen was better than that, but it wasn't particularly good either.  The Twins posted an ERA of 5.14, tied for eleventh in the league.  Toronto led at 4.23.  The Twins were actually eighth in WHIP at 1.50.  Boston led at 1.33.  It was definitely a hitters' year.

This was the year Guzman hit twenty triples.  He led the league, of course, one of three times he did so.

The was the second game of a stretch in which the Twins won five out of six.  They did not have very many of those stretches in 2000.

Record:  The Twins were 14-18, in fourth place in the American League Central, 4.5 games behind Chicago.  They would finish 63-93, in fifth (last) place, 26 games behind Chicago.

The Tigers were 9-21, in fifth (last) place in the American League Central, 8.5 games behind Chicago.  They would finish 79-83, in third place, 16 games behind Chicago.

Random Record:  The Twins are 46-44 in Random Rewind games.