Tag Archives: Kenny Rogers

2003 Rewind: Game Fifteen


Date:  Thursday, April 17.

Batting stars:  Chris Gomez was 3-for-4.  Torii Hunter was 2-for-3 with two doubles and a walk.  Michael Cuddyer was 2-for-3 with a triple, a walk, and two runs.  Bobby Kielty was 2-for-4 with two home runs, his second and third.  Corey Koskie was 1-for-4 with a home run and two runs.

Pitching stars:  Kenny Rogers struck out nine in eight shutout innings, giving up seven hits and no walks.  Tony Fiore pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Eugene Kingsale was 2-for-3.  Omar Infante was 2-for-4.

The game:  The Twins did not have a big inning, but just eased out to a comfortable lead.  In the first, a single by Cristian Guzman and a double by Hunter led to a run.  Kielty homered leading off the second to make it 2-0.  Koskie homered with one out in the third to make it 3-0.  In the fourth, Cuddyer led off with a triple and scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-0.

I don't know if there's ever been a game in which a team scored exactly one run in each inning, and sadly this would not be one.  The score remained 4-0 until the eighth.  The Tigers had a threat in the fifth when Infante led off with a double and Kingsale had an infield single with one out.  A strikeout and a ground out ended the threat, and Detroit would not threaten again.

The Twins got their final two runs in the eighth.  Kielty again lead off the inning with a home run.  With one out Cuddyer walked, went to third on a Gomez single, and scored on a sacrifice fly.

WP:  Rogers (2-0).  LP:  Jeremy Bonderman (0-3).  S:  None.

Notes:  Gomez was at second base in place of Luis Rivas.  Kielty was in center field, with Hunter at DH.  Cuddyer was in right field.  The Twins made no position player substitutions.

Gomez was batting .467.  Kielty was batting .387.  Guzman was batting .347.  Jacque Jones was 0-for-4 and was batting .333.  Koskie was batting .306.

Rogers lowered his ERA to 3.50.  That was as low as it would get all season.  By game scores this was his second-best game of the season, topped only by a game in Kansas City in mid-August.

Six of the Tigers' starters had batting averages below .200:  Eric Munson (.175), Infante (.167), Carlos Pena (.167), Dean Palmer (.118), Brandon Inge (.091), and Hiram Bocachica (.045).

Jeremy Bonderman started for Detroit.  He pitched six innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on ten hits and a walk and striking out four.

This was the fifth consecutive series sweep the Twins were involved in at the start of the season.  They had been on the winning end of three and the losing end of two.  I don't know what the record is.  Of course, the year the Orioles started 0-21, they must have been on the losing end of several sweeps.

Record:  The Twins were 9-6, tied for second in the American League Central with Chicago, 2.5 games behind Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game Ten


Date:  Friday, April 11.

Batting stars:  Luis Rivas was 3-for-4 with a triple, a stolen base, and two runs.  Matthew LeCroy was 2-for-4 with a double.  Doug Mientkiewicz was 2-for-4.  Cristian Guzman was 2-for-5.

Pitching stars:  LaTroy Hawkins struck out two in a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.  J. C. Romero struck out two in a scoreless inning, giving up a walk.  Eddie Guardado pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition star:  Shannon Stewart was 3-for-5 with a triple, two doubles, and two RBIs.

The game:  It was scoreless until the third.  Tom Wilson led off with a double and Mike Bordick drew a one-out walk.  Stewart then delivered an RBI double and Frank Catalanotto added a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0 Blue Jays.  The lead lasted just a half inning.  Jacque Jones and Guzman started the inning with singles.  Corey Koskie then hit a two-run double to tie it up.  The next two batters went out, but LeCroy hit a two-out run-scoring double to give the Twins a 3-2 lead.

Toronto came back in the fifth.  Bordick singled and Stewart hit an RBI triple to tie the score.  Catalanotto then singled to put the Blue Jays back in front at 4-3.

The Twins went into the lead to stay in the seventh.  Michael Cuddyer drew a one-out walk and scored on a Rivas triple to tie it 4-4.  Jones then hit a sacrifice fly to make it 5-4 Minnesota.  They added a run in the ninth.  Singles by Cuddyer and Rivas put men on the corners with none out, but Cuddyer was thrown out at the plate when Jones hit a grounder to second.  A Guzman infield single loaded the bases, and Koskie hit an RBI ground out.  Toronto got only one hit after the sixth, a one-out seventh inning double by Stewart.

WP:  Kenny Rogers (1-0).  LP:  Cory Lidle (1-2).  S:  Guardado (3).

Notes:  Cuddyer remained in right field.  He was replaced by Dustan Mohr in the ninth inning.  That was the only positional substitution the Twins made.

Jones was 1-for-4 and was batting .333.  He was the only regular over .300.

On the negative side, the Twins still had four regulars below .200.  Torii Hunter went 0-for-5 and was batting .111.  Cuddyer was 1-for-3 to raise his average to .167.  LeCroy went up to .179.  Rivas was up to .192.

Rogers pitched six innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out five.  It was really a fairly typical performance for him in 2003.  He wasn't awful, but he wasn't really good, either.  He was generally good enough to keep the team in the game if they scored a decent number of runs.

Lidle pitched 6.1 innings for Toronto, allowing five runs on seven hits and a walk.  He struck out nine.  2003 was the worst year of his career, as he finished 12-15, 5.75, 1.43 WHIP.  It was his only year as a Blue Jay.  He never really had a good year after leaving Oakland, although he had a couple of not-terrible ones and pitched well for Philadelphia down the stretch in 2004.

The victory snapped a six-game losing streak for the Twins.  Could they get a winning streak going?  We shall see.  They did, at least, move up one spot in the standings.

Record:  The Twins were 4-6, in third place in the American League Central, five games behind Kansas City, which had started the season 8-0.

2003 Rewind: Game Five


Date:  Saturday, April 5.

Batting stars:  Jacque Jones was 3-for-6 with a double.  Bobby Kielty was 2-for-5 with a double, a stolen base, and two RBIs.  Corey Koskie was 1-for-3 with two walks and two runs.

Pitching stars:  Johan Santana pitched two shutout innings, giving up two walks and striking out one.  LaTroy Hawkins pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up two walks and striking out one.  J. C. Romero pitched 2.2 scoreless innings, giving up one hit and two walks and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Roy Halladay pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on eight hits and one walk and striking out three.  Carlos Delgado was 3-for-5 with a double, a walk, and two RBIs.  Shannon Stewart was 2-for-3 with a double, three walks, and two runs.  Chris Woodward was 2-for-5 with a double.  Josh Phelps was 1-for-5 with a home run, his second.

The game:  Stewart led off the game with a double and Delgado hit a two-out RBI single to give the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead.  They had the bases loaded in the second but could not score.  It looked like that would cost them, because the Twins scored two in the bottom of the second.  Koskie singled and scored from first on a Doug Mientkiewicz double.  Kielty followed with an RBI single and the Twins led 2-1.

Toronto again loaded the bases in the third and did not score.  In the fourth, however, Stewart hit a one-out single, was balked to second, and scored on Vernon Wells' ground-rule double.  Delgado followed with a run-scoring single and the Blue Jays led 3-2.

Then came a lot of missed opportunities.  The Twins had two on in the fifth and a leadoff double in the sixth.  The Blue Jays had two on in the seventh.  The Twins had a two-out triple in the seventh.  Still, the score remained 3-2 until the eighth, when Koskie walked and again scored from first on a double, this one by Kielty, tying the score 3-3.

The Twins could not cash in a leadoff double in the ninth.  Toronto loaded the bases in the tenth to no avail.  In the eleventh, however, Phelps hit a one-out home run to put the Blue Jays in the lead to stay.  The Twins went down in order in the bottom of the eleventh.

WP:  Pete Walker (1-0).  LP:  Eddie Guardado (0-1).  S:  Kelvim Escobar (1).

Notes:  Tom Prince was behind the plate in place of A. J. Pierzynski.  Denny Hocking was on second in place of Luis Rivas.  Bobby Kielty was in right field in place of Dustan Mohr.

Pierzynski pinch-hit for Prince in the eighth and remained in the game at catcher.  Michael Cuddyer pinch-hit for Hocking in the eleventh.

Kenny Rogers started for the Twins and pitched just four innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and two walks and striking out two.  The Twins bullpen really came through, throwing six shutout innings before the Phelps home run in the eleventh.

The real story of the game, as you may have gathered, was missed opportunities.  The Twins stranded eleven and went 2-for-14 with men in scoring position.  The Blue Jays stranded fifteen and went 3-for-13 with men in scoring position.  The deciding run, of course, was not on a hit with men in scoring position.

There were three Blue Jays who either had or would play for the Twins:  Orlando Hudson, Greg Myers, and Shannon Stewart.

Record:  The Twins were 3-2, in second place in the American League Central, two games behind Kansas City.

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Forty-two


Date:  Friday, September 13.

Batting stars:  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-4 with a walk and two runs.  Chuck Knoblauch was 2-for-5 with a double.  Kent Hrbek was 1-for-4 with a three-run homer, his seventeenth.

Pitching stars:  David West struck out five in four innings of relief, giving up one run on two hits and two walks.  Gary Wayne struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Kevin Brown pitched seven innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on five hits and a walk and striking out five.  Mario Diaz was 3-for-3 with two runs.  Brian Downing was 2-for-5 with a home run, his sixteenth.

The game:  Downing led off the bottom of the first with a home run, giving the Rangers a quick 1-0 lead.  The Twins tied it in the third.  Gladden and Knoblauch hit two-out singles, putting men on first and third, and a pickoff attempt went awry to allow Gladden to score.

Texas went back into the lead in the fifth.  Diaz led off with a single, went to second on a wild pitch, took third on a ground out, and scored on a sacrifice fly, making it 2-1 Rangers.  The Twins again tied it in the seventh.  Puckett singled and Hrbek walked.  A double play moved Puckett to third and he scored on Randy Bush's pinch-hit single, making it 2-2.

Texas again went back into the lead in the bottom of the seventh.  One-out singles by Diaz and Downing put men on first and third and a ground out made it 3-2 Rangers.  The Twins again tied it in the eighth.  Gene Larkin drew a one-out walk.  Pinch-runner Jarvis Brown stole second and third and scored on a Knoblauch double to tie it at three.

The Twins took their only lead of the game in the tenth.  With one out Lenny Webster singled and Gladden walked.  Puckett's two-out single scored one run and Hrbek delivered a three-run homer to give the Twins a 7-3 advantage.   Texas got only one single in the bottom of the tenth.

WP:  Terry Leach (1-1).  LP:  Kenny Rogers (9-10).  S:  None.

Notes:  Pedro Munoz was in right field in place of Shane Mack.  Junior Ortiz caught in place of Brian Harper.

The Twins made extensive use of the bench.  Bush pinch-hit for Munoz in the seventh and remained in the game in right field.  Al Newman pinch-hit for Ortiz in the seventh and remained in the game at shortstop.  Larkin pinch-hit for Greg Gagne in the seventh.  Brown pinch-ran for him and Webster then came in to catch.  Mack entered the game in the eighth in right field in place of Bush.  Scott Leius pinch-hit for Mike Pagliarulo in the ninth and remained in the game at third base.  I'm going to miss teams being able to make that many moves in September games.

Puckett raised his average to .328.  Mack was 0-for-1 and was batting .313.  Webster was 1-for-1 and was batting .400.

Scott Erickson started for the Twins but pitched just two innings, giving up one run on two hits and a walk.  He threw twenty-nine pitches.  I assume he came out because of his elbow.  He would not miss a start, however.

Erickson's ERA went to 3.15.  Leach pitched two-thirds of an inning scorelessly to make his ERA 3.06.  Rick Aguilera similarly pitched two-thirds of an inning scorelessly to make his ERA 2.17.

This was Leach's only win of the season.

Kenny Rogers was primarily a reliever in his first four years in the majors.  In fact, he led the league in appearances in 1992 with 81.  He made just twelve starts in those first four seasons before becoming a full-time starter in 1993.

Diaz was not in the starting lineup.  He batted for Jeff Huson in the fifth inning.

The White Sox defeated California 1-0, but again, time was running out on them.

Record:  The Twins were 86-56, in first place in the American League West, 8.5 games ahead of Chicago.

In the East, Toronto and Boston both won, so the Blue Jays remained in the lead by 3.5 games.


1991 Rewind: Game Forty-four


Date:  Monday, May 27.

Batting stars:  Kirby Puckett was 4-for-5.  Dan Gladden was 2-for-5 with two runs.  Kent Hrbek was 1-for-4 with a home run (his third) and three RBIs.  Chuck Knoblauch was 0-for-1 with four walks.

Pitching stars:  None.

Opposition stars:  Juan Gonzalez was 3-for-5 with a double, two runs, and three RBIs.  Rafael Palmeiro was 3-for-5 with two runs.  Steve Buechele was 2-for-3 with a walk.  Julio Franco was 2-for-5 with a home run (his fifth), a triple, two runs, and three RBIs.  Mike Stanley was 2-for-5 with a double.  Brian Downing was 1-for-3 with a triple, two walks, and two RBIs.

The game:  Well, the Twins got off to a good start.  Gladden led off with a bunt single, Chuck Knoblauch walked, and Puckett delivered an RBI single, giving the Twins a run before anyone was retired.  A double play and a ground out took them out of the inning, though, and it was all downhill from there.

With one out in the bottom of the first, Palmeiro singled and Ruben Sierra doubled.  A ground out held the runners at second and third and gave the Twins hope, but the hope was dashed as Gonzalez hit a two-run double and Stanley followed with an RBI single, putting the Rangers up 3-1.

The Twins opened the second with a single and a walk, but a double play again took them out of the inning.  They got men to second and third with one out in the third, but again could not tally.

Texas added a run in the third on singles by Buechele, Stanley, and Mario Diaz.  The Rangers put it out of reach in the fourth.  Downing led off with a walk, Palmeiro singled, and Sierra's sacrifice fly made it 5-1.  Franco had an RBI triple and scored on Gonzalez' single and the score was 7-1.

Hrbek hit a two-run homer in the fifth to cut the margin to 7-3.  The Twins put men on second and third in the seventh but could not bring them home.  Texas padded their lead with a two-run triple by Downing in the bottom of the seventh and a two-run homer by Franco in the eighth.

The Twins tried to rally in the ninth.  Gladden led off with a single, Knoblauch walked, Puckett singled, and Hrbek walked, forcing in a run and leaving the bases loaded with none out.  "Leaving the bases loaded", however, is exactly what the Twins did, as Kenny Rogers came in to strike out Chili Davis, get Brian Harper on a short fly ball, and strike out Pedro Munoz to end the game.

WP:  Kevin Brown (4-3).  LP:  Allan Anderson (1-4).  S:  None.

Notes:  Munoz was in right field.  Al Newman was at third base.  Scott Leius came into the game in the eighth inning to play shortstop, replacing Greg Gagne.

Harper was 1-for-5 and was batting .361.  Puckett raised his average to .339.  Davis was 1-for-5 and was batting .310.  Munoz was 1-for-4 with a walk and was batting .302.

Anderson lasted just 3.1 ininngs, allowing seven runs on eleven hits and a walk and striking out two.  It was his third poor start out of four, and his ERA was up to 5.20.

Paul Abbott relieved Anderson, making his 1991 debut.  He had made seven starts for the Twins in 1990.  He did not pitch particularly well, either, going 3.1 innings and giving up two runs on three hits and four walks.  He did strike out three.  He would stay on the team until mid-August, then come back as a September call-up.

Terry Leach finished up.  He had his second consecutive bad game, pitching 1.1 innings and allowing two runs on one hit and a walk and striking out three.  Over his last two games, his ERA rose from 2.08 to 3.66.

Texas starter Brown pitched five innings, giving up three runs on six hits and five walks and striking out two.

The Twins stranded twelve men and were 2-for-15 with men in scoring position.

The Twins had lost three in a row, seven of eight, and nine of twelve.

I'd forgotten that Kenny Rogers spent his first four major league seasons in the bullpen.  In fact, he led the league in appearances with 81 in 1992.  He would become a starter the following season, 1993, jumping from 78.2 innings to 208.1.  He would remain in a major league rotation through 2008, when he was forty-three.  He was clearly on the down side by then, but he had an excellent season in 2006, when he was forty-one:  He went 17-8, 3.84, 1.26 WHIP and finished tied for fifth (with Joe Nathan) in Cy Young voting.  For his career, he was 219-156, 4.27, 1.40 WHIP.  That may not sound super, but he was in a major league rotation for sixteen consecutive seasons and made thirty or more starts in fourteen of them, and that's pretty good.

Record:  The Twins were 20-24, in sixth place, mere percentage points ahead of seventh-place Kansas City.  They were 7.5 games behind first-place Texas and one game behind fifth-place Chicago.