Tag Archives: Kyle Lohse

2003 Rewind: Game Forty-eight


Date:  Saturday, May 24.

Batting stars:  A. J. Pierzynski was 3-for-4 with a three-run homer (his fourth) and two runs.  Chris Gomez was 3-for-5 with a triple and a double.  Jacque Jones was 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs.  Corey Koskie was 1-for-4 with a home run (his sixth) and a walk.

Pitching star:  Kyle Lohse pitched a complete game, giving up two runs on six hits and a walk and striking out seven.  He threw 114 pitches.

Opposition stars:  Ichiro Suzuki was 2-for-4.  Julio Mateo struck out four in four innings of relief, giving up one run on two hits and two walks.

The game:  The Twins put men on first and second with one out in the first but did not score.  In the second, however, Todd Sears walked, Dustan Mohr singled, and Pierzynski hit a three-run homer.  They got a pair of singles, putting men on first and second with one out, but could do no further damage.  Still, it was 3-0 Twins after two.

Each team scored once in the fourth.  Gomez hit a one-out triple and scored on a two-out single by Matthew LeCroy.  The Mariners got the run back on singles by Suzuki, Bret Boone, and John Olerud, making the score 4-1.

Each team again scored in the fifth.  The Twins got two in the top of the inning.  With two out, Pierzynski and Luis Rivas singled and Jones hit a two-run double.  Seattle scored once in the bottom of the inning when Randy Winn doubled and Suzuki delivered a two-out RBI single, bringing the score to 6-2.

Koskie led off the sixth with a home run to make it 7-2.  And that was it.  The Mariners only got one more hit, a two-out single by Carlos Guillen in the eighth.

WP:  Lohse (4-3).  LP:  Joel Piniero (4-4).  S:  None.

Notes:  Sears was at first base in place of Doug Mientkiewicz.  Mientkiewicz came in for defense in the ninth.  Gomez was at short in place of Cristian Guzman.

Jones raised his average to .345.  Mohr was batting .317.  LeCroy was 1-for-5 and was batting .313.  Gomez raised his average to .300.

Lohse lowered his ERA to 3.06.  This was one of two complete games he had in 2003, with the other coming May 8.  It was his third-highest game score of the season, behind the May 8 game and his eight shutout innings in his first start.  It is very unlikely that he would've been allowed to complete a game like this today.

Gomez was a home run away from the cycle.

I have no particular memory of Julio Mateo, but he spent six years in the Seattle bullpen.  In two of those years he was really good:  2003, when he went 4-0, 3.15, 0.96 WHIP with 71 strikeouts in 85.2 innings; and 2005, when he was 3-6, 30.6, 1.09 WHIP with 52 strikeouts in 88.1 innings.  For his career he was 18-12, 3.68, 1.20 WHIP.  He walked only 2.4 per nine innings.  He was never a closer, and in fact had only two career saves.  But he was a solid reliever for much of the first decade of the twenty-first century.

Record:  The Twins were 28-20, in first place in the American League Central, 1.5 games ahead of Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game Thirty-three


Date:  Thursday, May 8.

Batting stars:  Dustan Mohr was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs.  Corey Koskie was 1-for-2 with two walks.

Pitching star:  Kyle Lohse pitched a complete game shutout, giving up five hits and no walks and striking out three.

Opposition star:  Rocco Baldelli was 2-for-4.

The game:  The Twins opened the game with singles by Jacque JonesCristian Guzman, and Koskie, plating a run.  A double play took them out of the inning, but the Twins led 1-0.  Mohr led off the second with a double, Doug Mientkiewicz singled to put men on first and third, A. J. Pierzynski doubled home a run, and a ground out brought home another, making it 3-0 Twins.

It remained 3-0, with neither team building much of a threat, until the seventh.  Mohr singled, went to second on a passed ball, and scored on an error to make it 4-0.  They added one more in the eighth when Guzman reached on an error, went to second when Koskie walked, took third on a double play, and scored on a Torii Hunter double.

The Devil Rays only once got a man as far as second base.  Al Martin led off the second with a single and stole second with one out.  He was stranded there.

WP:  Lohse (3-3).  LP:  Dewon Brazelton (0-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Bobby Kielty was the DH.  The Twins made no in-game lineup substitutions.

Jones was 1-for-4 and was batting .333.  Kielty was 0-for-4 and was batting .304.

Luis Rivas was 0-for-4 and was batting .188.

By game scores, this was Lohse's second-best game of the season, second to his eight innings of shutout ball on April 3.  He threw 101 pitches.  He would pitch very well through the middle of June, then pitch quite poorly until mid-September, when he got it going again.  His ERA was 3.57 at this point.

Tampa Bay's starter, Brazelton, did not pitch badly.  He went seven innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on seven hits and two walks and struck out three.  This was only his second game of the season and just the fourth of his major league career.  I don't mean to be unkind to him, but he simply was not a good major league pitcher.  His best season was 2004, when he went 6-8, 4.77, 1.44 WHIP in 120.2 innings (22 games, 21 of them starts).  For his career he was 8-25, 6.38, 1.68 WHIP in 271 innings (63 games, 43 of them starts).  He wasn't very good in AAA, either--14-19, 4.55, 1.44 WHIP in 219.2 innings (42 games, 41 of them starts).  He was drafted third overall, behind Joe Mauer and Mark Prior, which is probably why he got as many chances as he did.  But he walked too many guys, didn't strike out very many, and really had no business having as long a career as he had.  He does have an interesting life story, though, and I encourage you to read the SABR biography of him.

It was yet another series sweep the Twins were involved in, their eighth in ten series.  The Twins had won four in a row and eight of nine.

Record:  The Twins were 18-15, in second place, three games behind Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game Twenty-three


Date:  Saturday, April 26.

Batting stars:  Jacque Jones was 2-for-5.  Michael Cuddyer was 1-for-1 with a two-run homer, his second.  Corey Koskie was 1-for-4 with a home run, his second.  A. J. Pierzynski was 1-for-4 with a home run, his second.

Pitching star:  Mike Fetters pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk and striking out one.

Opposition stars:   Carlos Lee was 3-for-4 with a home run (his sixth), two doubles, and two runs. Jon Garland pitched 5.2 innings, giving up two runs on four hits and two walks and striking out five.  Tom Gordon struck out three in 2.1 scoreless innings, giving up one hit.  Frank Thomas was 2-for-3 with a home run (his fifth), two walks, and two runs.  Magglio Ordonez was 2-for-4 with two home runs (his fourth and fifth) and three RBIs.

The game:  There were no hits on either side until the second, when Lee hit a two-out two-run homer.  Pierzynski matched it with a leadoff home run in the third, so it was 1-1.  The Twins put two on with one out, but could do no more.

The White Sox took control in the fourth.  Thomas and Ordonez led off the inning with home runs.  Lee hit a one-out double and Joe Crede had a two-out RBI single to make it 4-1.  They added another run in the fifth.  Jose Valentin walked, Thomas singled, and Ordonez was hit by a pitch, loading the bases with one out.  Brian Daubach then singled home a run.  Fetters came in to retire the next two batters and hold the score at 5-1.

Koskie homered in the sixth to make it 5-2, but that was as close as the Twins would come.  Ordonez hit a two-run homer in the eighth to build the lead to 7-2.  Cuddyer hit a pinch-hit two-run homer to cut the margin back to three, but that was it.

WP:  Garland (1-2).  LP:  Kyle Lohse (2-3).  S:  None.

Notes:  Chris Gomez was at second base in place of Luis Rivas.  Bobby Kielty was in right field.

Cuddyer pinch-hit for Gomez in the ninth.

Gomez was 0-for-3 and was batting .346.  Kielty was 0-for-4 and fell to .345.  Jones raised his average to .305.

Lohse struck out eight but lasted just 4.1 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and two walks.  This was the second poor game in a row for Lohse.  Over those two games, his ERA rose from 1.69 to 4.80.  It is, of course, still early in the season.

This was Garland's fifth start of the season, and only the second one that was any good.  His ERA at this point of the season was 6.49.  Garland made over 30 starts a year for nine consecutive seasons, and pitched over 190 innings in each of those seasons.  However, only twice in those nine seasons was his ERA below four and only two other times was it below 4.50.  What he did still has value, but of course he would have had more value if he'd actually been good in all those years.

I have no memory of Tom Gordon as a member of the White Sox.  This was his only year with them, but it was a darn good one:  7-6, 12 saves, 3.16, 1.19 WHIP.  He would go on to have two excellent years for the Yankees and one fine year for Philadelphia.  2006 was his last good season, but he would pitch for three more years before his career ended.  His earlier years, of course, were with Kansas City and Boston.  It was a pretty good career.  He led the league in saves i 1998 with 46.  He was second in Rookie of the Year voting in 1989 (behind Gregg Olson).  He made three all-star teams.  He also pitched in 21 seasons.  He won't make the Hall of Fame, but he had a career to be proud of.

With the loss, the Twins streak of series sweeps to start the season ended at seven.

Record:  The Twins were 10-13, in third place in the American League Central, eight games behind Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game Eighteen


Date:  Sunday, April 20.

Batting stars:  A. J. Pierzynski was 2-for-3 with a double.  Chris Gomez was 2-for-4.

Pitching stars:  Johan Santana struck out two in 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up one hit and three walks.  Mike Fetters pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.  Eddie Guardado pitched a scoreless inning, striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Mike Mussina struck out eight in seven innings, giving up two runs on five hits and three walks.  Nick Johnson was 2-for-3 with two walks and two runs.  Alfonso Soriano was 2-for-4 with a walk and two runs.  Bernie Williams was 2-for-5 with a home run (his fourth), a double, two runs, and two RBIs.  Jason Giambi was 2-for-5 with a three-run homer, his fourth.  Raul Mondesi was 2-for-5 with a double,

The game:  The Yankees jumped on Twins starter Kyle Lohse, scoring three runs before a man was retired.  Soriano and Johnson singled and Giambi hit a three-run homer.  Williams homered in the third to make it 4-0.

The Twins got on the board in the fourth.  Gomez led off with a single and Corey Koskie walked.  The next two batters went out, but Bobby Kielty walked and Pierzynski had an RBI single.  The Twins missed a chance for more, however, when Koskie was thrown out at the plate.  The Yankees responded with three more in the fifth.  Soriano and Johnson again singled.  Giambi struck out this time, but Williams hit an RBI double and with two out, Jorge Posada hit a two-run double, making the score 7-1 New York.

New York left the bases loaded in the sixth, but added one in the seventh on doubles by Mondesi and Hideki Matsui.  The Twins got their last run in the seventh when Pierzynski doubled and scored on a pair of wild pitches.

WP:  Mussina (4-0).  LP:  Lohse (2-2).  S:  None.

NotesGomez was at short in place of Cristian Guzman.  Michael Cuddyer was in right field.  Bobby Kielty was the DH.

Matthew LeCroy went behind the plate in the eighth in place of A. J. Pierzynski.  Dustan Mohr went to center in the eighth in place of Torii Hunter.  Denny Hocking pinch-hit for Doug Mientkiewicz in the ninth.

Gomez raised his average to .474.  Kielty was 1-for-3 and was batting .366.  Jacque Jones was 0-for-4 and was batting .333.

Mohr was 0-for-1 and was batting .107.  Hocking was 0-for-1 and was batting .143.  Hunter was 0-for-3 and was batting .172.

Lohse lasted 4.1 innings, allowing seven runs on ten hits and a walk while striking out two.  By game scores this was his third-worst game of the season at 16.  He had a 13 (July 8) and a 12 (July 26).

Santana and Fetters each had an ERA of zero.  Guardado's ERA was 1.17.  Tony Fiore gave up a run in one inning and had an ERA of 8.00.

Randy Choate pitched an inning for the Yankees.  He went to spring training for the Twins in 2007.

This was a four-game wrap-around series, so the Twins had one more chance to avoid a series sweep.

Record:  The Twins were 9-9, in third place in the American League Central, 5.5 games behind Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game Eight


Date:  Wednesday, April 9.

Batting stars:  A. J. Pierzynski was 3-for-3.  Doug Mientkiewicz was 2-for-4 with a double.  Bobby Kielty was 1-for-3 with a walk.

Pitching star:  Kyle Lohse pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on three hits and a walk and striking out five.

Opposition stars:  Mike Mussina struck out eight in eight innings, giving up an unearned run on six hits and two walks.  Jorge Posada was 1-for-2 with a home run (his third) and a walk.  Raul Mondesi was 1-for-3 with a home run.

The game:  With one out in the second, Kielty got to second on a single-plus-error and scored on Pierzynski's two-out single to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  The Twins missed a chance to add to their lead in the fifth.  Kielty led off with a walk.  Pierzynski hit a one-out single and Luis Rivas walked, loading the bases.  But Jacque Jones hit back to the pitcher for a force at home and Cristian Guzman grounded out, ending the inning.

It cost the Twins, as the Yankees took the lead in the bottom of the fifth.  Posada hit a one-out homer and Mondesi hit a two-out homer, putting New York ahead 2-1.

And that's where it stayed.  Mientkiewicz hit a two-out double in the sixth.  Pierzynski singled with one out in the seventh and was erased by a double play.  Mientkiewicz hit a one-out single in the ninth.  But the Twins could not tie it up, and it was another loss.

WP:  Mussina (2-0).  LP:  Lohse (1-1).  S:  Juan Acevedo (2).

Notes:  Kielty was the DH in place of Matthew LeCroy.

The Twins made no lineup substitutions.

Kielty was batting .368.  Jones was 1-for-4 and was batting .344.  Corey Koskie was 0-for-4 and was batting .300.

Rivas was 0-for-2 and was batting .105.  Hunter was 0-for-4 and was batting .148.

By game scores this was Lohse's fourth-best game of the season, topped by his first game, a game in May, and one in September.

If you were around at that time, you remember how the Twins struggled against Mussina.  For his career, Mussia was 22-9 against the Twins with an ERA of 3.09 and a WHIP of 1.17.  He struck out 186 batters in 230.1 innings (33 starts) against the Twins.  But the Twins were not the only team that struggled against him, because Mussina was just a darn good pitcher.  He actually won more games against Toronto (23) and had a lower ERA against Detroit (2.91) and Kansas City (3.00).  He also had a lower ERA against several National League teams, although just in a few starts.  He had a lower WHIP against several teams, too.  He wasn't hard on the Twins because he had some sort of hex on them or something.  He was hard on the Twins because he was really good.

After winning their first three, the Twins had now lost their next five.  They would have one more chance to break their losing streak against the Yankees.

Record:  The Twins were 3-5, in fourth place in the American League Central, four games behind Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game Three


Date:  Thursday, April 3.

Batting stars:  Corey Koskie was 2-for-4 with a triple and a double.  A. J. Pierzynski was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.

Pitching stars:  Kyle Lohse pitched eight shutout innings, giving up two hits and no walks and striking out five.  Eddie Guardado pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Adam Bernero pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on five hits and one walk and striking out one.  Omar Infante was 1-for-3 with a double.

The game:  With one out in the first inning Cristian Guzman tripled and scored on a ground out to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  With two out in the fourth, Koskie tripled and scored on a Bobby Kielty single.

Meanwhile, the Tigers did not have a baserunner for the first five innings.  The streak ended with one out in the sixth when Infante doubled, but he did not advance past second.  They got another hit in the seventh when Dmitri Young got a one-out single.

The Twins added a run in the eighth when Jacque Jones and Torii Hunter walked, Jones stole third, and Koskie hit into a force out to bring home a run.  Shane Halter hit a two-out single in the ninth and stole second (one suspects hometown scoring in giving him a stolen base rather than defensive indifference), but Bobby Higginson flied out to end the game.

WP:  Lohse (1-0).  LP:  Bernero (0-1).  S:  Guardado (1).

Notes:  Chris Gomez was at second base in place of Luis Rivas.  Kielty was the DH.  He had the second-most games at DH on the team, behind Matthew LeCroy.

Denny Hocking pinch-ran for Koskie in the eighth and remained in the game at third base.

Small sample size stats are fun.  Koskie was batting .571 with an OPS of 1.143.  Pierzynski was batting .400 with an OPS of 1.335.  Hocking was batting .333 with an OPS of 1.000.

As with Joe MaysKyle Lohse could not sustain the success he had in this first game.  By game scores, this would be the best game he would pitch all season, narrowly beating out a complete game shutout against Tampa Bay in May.

This was also one of the best games Adam Bernero would pitch all season, even if he didn't get rewarded for it.  For the season he would go 1-14 with a 5.87 ERA.  He would also be traded to Colorado for Ben Petrick.  Overall, he pitched in parts of seven major league seasons and never had a good one.  His career record was 11-27, 5.91, 1.50 WHIP in 376 innings.  He appeared in 150 games, starting 37 of them.  He was pretty good in AAA--25-25, 3.39, 1.27--which is probably why he kept getting chances.  But for whatever reason, he simply could not make the jump to the majors.

We probably got excited about the Twins sweeping this opening series, especially with the Twins pitchers giving Detroit just two runs.  We could not have realized just how awful the Tigers would turn out to be.  On the other hand, Detroit fans probably realized very quickly that getting swept at home, and being outscored 14-2, was a sign that this was going to be a long season.

Record:  The Twins were 3-0, tied for first place in the American League Central with Kansas City.

Happy Birthday–October 4

Orator Shafer (1851)
Ray Fisher (1887)
Frank Crosetti (1910)
Red Munger (1918)
Rip Repulski (1928)
Jimy Williams (1943)
Tony LaRussa (1944)
Glenn Adams (1947)
Dave Johnson (1948)
John Wathan (1949)
Lary Sorensen (1955)
Charlie Liebrandt (1956)
Joe Boever (1960)
Billy Hatcher (1960)
Dennis Cook (1962)
Chris James (1962)
Bruce Ruffin (1963)
Mark McLemore (1964)
Steve Olin (1965)
Kyle Lohse (1978)
Tony Gwynn (1982)
Jered Weaver (1982)
Kurt Suzuki (1983)

Frank Crosetti was a coach for the Twins from 1970-71.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–October 4


Do the Twins ever trade players who both have a few years ahead of them and are not supposedly difficult to manage? Off the top of my head, I can think of the following players who have been traded and had value:

(J.J. Hardy? were there personality issues there? -- 0.3 fWAR and counting)
Carlos Gomez -- 2.0 fWAR and counting
Jason Bartlett -- 7.7 fWAR and counting
Matt Garza -- 10.2 fWAR and counting
Kyle Lohse -- 9.8 fWAR and counting
A.J. Pierzynski -- 12.9 fWAR and counting

Going back further, I suppose you could even add Chuck Knoblauch (6.9 fWAR) and Todd Walker (11.1 fWAR) to that list. Castillo was traded not that long ago, but his knees barely worked and I don't think anyone expected him to have a lot of productive seasons ahead of him. If Jim Mandelero is to be believed, Ramos was hard to manage and didn't get along with his teammates. The Twins arguably got along well enough with Pierzynski, but I can't help but think that if he had Michael Cuddyer's personality, Joe Mauer's road to the majors would have involved additional minor league stops.

Excepting J.J. Hardy perhaps (I'm not sure what the Twins thought of his personality) I think maybe the last guy the Twins traded away with much potential for a future but no personality issues was Bobby Kielty. At least, I don't remember any run-ins with management, and I do remember being peeved that the Twins traded him for Shannon Stewart. Kielty went on to do essentially nothing, and Stewart had a great 750 PA with the Twins until 2005 hit and he ran out of gas.

Anyway, this was motivated because this Slowey situation is a dead ringer for Lohse's 2006 Twins exit. In terms of age and value over the three seasons prior to their trade, it practically couldn't be closer:

Slowey, trade pending, age 27, last three seasons fWAR: 2.2, 1.4, 3.0
Lohse, traded age 27, last three seasons fWAR: 2.2, 1.8, 3.3

I can't really argue that most of these guys were easy to get along with. Bartlett and Garza didn't last in Tampa all that long, Lohse pitched well for the Reds and they let him go, the Giants lost their minds and let AJP go for nothing in return. For all I know, I couldn't stand being in the same room with them. Yet, personality is a really frustrating motivation for a trade from where this fan sits. I can't tell you anything with any degree of certainty about any Twins' personality. I'm sure there are some legitimately good guys, and I'm sure there are some pricks. But I don't feel I can rely on the media to make those judgements, so I generally don't. And at that point, I'm left looking at a move where the Twins traded away a useful player, sometimes a player I was pretty excited about.

Anyway, am I missing someone big here? Or is just about the only way to get out of the Twins' organization to become a free agent or get on someone's nerves?

And this invites the question, are the Twins building a team of nice guys, and as nice guys are they indeed destined to finish last?