Tag Archives: Joe Randa

2003 Rewind: Game Forty


Date:  Thursday, May 15.

Batting stars:  Cristian Guzman was 4-for-7 with a triple.  Luis Rivas was 2-for-5 with two runs.  Corey Koskie was 2-for-5 with two walks.  A. J. Pierzynski was 2-for-6 with a triple.

Pitching stars:  Juan Rincon pitched a perfect inning.  LaTroy Hawkins pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk and striking out one.  Eddie Guardado pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.  Tony Fiore pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits.

Opposition stars:  Mike Defelice was 2-for-3 with a triple and a double.  Raul Ibanez was 2-for-7 with two runs.  Desi Relaford was 2-for-7 with a stolen base, his sixth.  Angel Berroa was 2-for-7.  Carlos Beltran was 1-for-4 with a home run (his fifth) and three walks.

The game:  Michael Tucker led off the game with a double and Beltran hit a one-out home run, putting the Royals up 2-0.  The Twins played catch-up the rest of the day.

They got on the board in the third on two-out walks to Doug Mientkiewicz and Koskie and an RBI single by Todd Sears.  Kansas City got the run back in the fourth when Ibanez singled, went to third on Ken Harvey's double, and scored on a sacrifice fly.  The Twins cut the margin to 3-2 in the fifth on singles by Rivas and Guzman and a sacrifice fly.  The tied it in the sixth when Torii Hunter singled and scored on Guzman's triple.

The Royals went back in front in the seventh.  Relaford led off with a single and scored on Defelice's triple.  A pair of walks loaded the bases with one out and a balk brought home a run to make it 5-3 Kansas City.  The Twins got out of the inning with no further damage and got one of the runs back in the bottom of the seventh when Guzman tripled and scored on a ground out.  With two out in the eighth Rivas and Guzman singled, Mientkiewicz walked to load the bases, and Koskie walked to bring in the tying run.  Denny Hocking struck out to leave the bases loaded. Neither team scored in the ninth, so we went to extra innings.

This was back when men were men, and we didn't have any ridiculous "start the inning with a man on second" nonsense.  The Royals put together a couple of threats.  A hit batsman and a walk put two on with two out in the ninth.  Defelice hit a one-out double in the eleventh.  The Twins had men on first and third with one out in the twelfth, but a double play ended the inning.  Kansas City had men on first and second with one out in the thirteenth.

The dam finally broke in the fourteenth.  Joe Randa led off with a double and Beltran walked.  Mike Sweeney singled to load the bases.  Raul Ibanez then singled home a run.  A sacrifice fly brought home a second, and RBI singles by Relaford and Berroa made it 9-5.  The Twins could not rally in the bottom of the inning.

WP:  D. J. Carrasco (3-1).  LP:  Johan Santana (2-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Sears was again at first base and Mientkiewicz in right field.  Dustan Mohr was again in left in place of Jacque Jones.  Bobby Kielty was the DH.  It seems odd to me that Kielty, an outfielder, would be the DH while Mientkiewicz, a first baseman, was in right field.  It's hard to second-guess a decision like that when we're this far removed from it, though, and Gardy may have had a good reason for doing it this way.

Denny Hocking pinch-ran for Sears in the seventh and stayed in the game in right field, with Mientkiewicz going to first base.  Jones pinch-hit for Rivas in the twelfth.  Chris Gomez came in to play second base in the thirteenth.

Jones was 0-for-1 and was batting .338.  Hocking was 0-for-2 and was batting .087.

Kenny Rogers started for the Twins and pitched 6.1 innings, giving up five runs (four earned) on seven hits and a walk and striking out six.  J. C. Romero did not give up a run in two-thirds of an inning to make his ERA 3.38.  Rincon's ERA was 1.37.  Hawkins' ERA was 1.53.  Guardado's ERA was 1.72.  Johan Santana was charged with all four fourteenth-inning runs in his third inning of work, making his ERA 2.56.  Fiore lowered his ERA to 6.16.

Miguel Ascencio started for the Royals.  He pitched 5.1 innings, giving up three runs on five hits and three walks and striking out five.

Both starting catchers hit a triple in this game.  I don't know how often that's happened, but it certainly seems unusual.  Pierzynski had three triples in 2003 and twenty-four for his career.  It was Defelice's only triple of the season and one of nine he had in his career.

I had remembered Joe Randa as something of a Twins-killer, but he really wasn't.  His career numbers against them are .275/.315/.404, not terrible but nothing special, either.  Those are actually below his overall career numbers of .284/.339/.426.

The battle of the top two teams in the division was evenly split, so the Twins remained where they had been before the series.

Record:  The Twins were 22-18, in second place in the American League Central, 2.5 games behind Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game Twenty-one


Date:  Thursday, April 24.

Batting stars:  A. J. Pierzynski was 2-for-3.  Torii Hunter was 2-for-4.

Pitching star:  Brad Radke pitched an eight-inning complete game, giving up two runs on four hits and one walk and striking out four.

Opposition stars:  Chris George pitched six innings, giving up one run on five hits and two walks and striking out three.  Jason Grimsley pitched two shutout innings, giving up one hit and striking out one.  Carlos Febles was 2-for-3 with a stolen base.  Mike Sweeney was 1-for-2 with a home run (his fourth) and a stolen base.

The game:  The Twins got a pair of one-out singles in the first but did not score.  Neither team threatened after that until the fourth, when Sweeney hit a two-out home run to put the Royals up 1-0.  The Twins tied it in the sixth with a two-out rally:  Bobby Kielty walked and singles by Corey Koskie and Hunter plated the run.

Kansas City went back in front in the bottom of the sixth.  Febles led off with a single and scored from first on a one-out double by Joe Randa.

And that was it.  The Royals did not get a man on base after the sixth, but it didn't matter.  The Twins got a couple of singles, but never advanced a man past first base.

WP:  George (3-1).  LP:  Radke (1-3).  S:  Mike MacDougal (9).

NotesMichael Cuddyer was again in right field.  Kielty was again the DH.  There were no in-game lineup substitutions.

Kielty was 1-for-3 with a walk and was batting .340.  Cuddyer was 0-for-3 and was batting .193.

Radke lowered his ERA to 6.28.  This was the first of three complete games Radke had in 2003.  He had 37 for his career.  By game scores this was his second-best game of the season, topped only by a complete game shutout on August 26.

After a lowpoint of .111 on April 11, Hunter finally climbed above the Mendoza line to stay at .216.  It seems like he was pretty hot-and-cold in 2003, posting averages by month of :.217, .269, .273, .229, .233, and .284.  On thinking about it, though, I wonder just how unusual that really is.  Everyone bounces up and down over the course of a season--how much variance is "normal" and how much is "unusual"?  I don't really know.

I kind of remember Joe Randa as a Twins killer, but he really wasn't.  He batted .275/.315/.404 for his career against the Twins and .264/.293/.431 against them in 2003.  His overall career numbers are .284/.339/.426, so he actually was worse against the Twins than against the rest of MLB.  Maybe I just remember a few big hits he got or something.

I didn't actually go through his whole career to check, but this has to be one of the best games Chris George ever pitched.  By game scores it was the second-best of the season, topped only by his first game of the season, when he pitched 6.2 innings and also gave up one run on five hits.  He made eighteen starts in 2003 and had an ERA of 7.11 with a WHIP of 1.75.  Somehow he went 9-6, which is probably why he was allowed to make 18 starts.  It's not like this was just a bad year--for his career he was 14-20, 6.48, 1.66 WHIP in 237.1 innings (47 games, 44 starts).  His "best" season was his first one, 2001, when he went 4-8, 5.59, 1.37 WHIP in 13 starts.  In his defense, he was rushed to the majors at age 21 on the strength of 18 AA starts in which he went 8-5, 3.14, but with a WHIP of 1.47.  He was on the Omaha/Kansas City shuttle from 2001--2004, spent all of 2005 in Omaha, then became a free agent.  He was with several organizations after that, but never made it to the majors.  Would more time in the minors when he was younger have helped?  It's hard to say.  It wouldn't have hurt, but at the same time, his career AAA numbers are 66-73, 4.95, 1.52 WHIP in 1223 innings.  It seems more likely that he just was never that good in the first place.

This made six losses in a row for the Twins, and was the seventh series sweep they'd been involved in at the start of the season.

Record:  The Twins were 9-12, in third place in the American League Central, eight games behind Kansas City.