Tag Archives: Kyle Lohse

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Forty-eight

MINNESOTA 2, CLEVELAND 0 IN CLEVELAND

Date:  Saturday, September 13.

Batting stars:  Cristian Guzman was 1-for-3 with a home run.  Torii Hunter was 1-for-4 with a home run, his twenty-fifth.

Pitching stars:  Kyle Lohse struck out nine in 7.1 scoreless innings, giving up six hits and a walk.  Eddie Guardado pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.

Opposition stars:  Jason Stanford pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on four hits and a walk.  Rafael Betancourt struck out three in two shutout innings, giving up two hits.  Jody Gerut was 2-for-4.

The game:  Neither team even got a man to third base for five innings.  Doug Mientkiewicz hit a two-out double in the first.  Travis Hafner hit a two-out single in the second and went to second on a wild pitch.  Those were the only players to even reach second base in the first five innings.

Guzman put that all to rest by leading off the sixth with a home run, the first home run he had hit all season.  In the seventh, Hunter homered with one out to make it 2-0 Twins.

That was all the Twins would need.  The Indians put men on first and second with two out in the seventh and with one out in the eighth, but did not score either inning.

WP:  Lohse (13-11).  LP:  Stanford (0-2).  S:  Guardado (35).

Notes:  Shannon Stewart was in left and Jacque Jones in right.  Lew Ford replaced Jones in right in the fifth inning--presumably Jones injured himself in the prior half-inning trying to break up a double play.  He would pinch-hit in the next game and be back in the lineup after that, although he was often removed late in the game.  Dustan Mohr then replaced Ford in the ninth.  Michael Restovich pinch-ran for Matthew LeCroy in the eighth.

Ford was 0-for-1 and was batting .327.  Stewart was 1-for-4 and was batting .312.  Mientkiewicz was 1-for-3 and was batting .306.  Jones was 1-for-2 and was batting .302.  A. J. Pierzynski was 0-for-3 and was batting .301.

Lohse had been mediocre-to-poor since mid-June, but he came up big in this game.  His game score of 74 was his highest since May 8 and his first over 60 since June 11.  In a pennant race where every game counts, he chose the right time to have an excellent game.

LaTroy Hawkins retired both men he faced to drop his ERA to 1.90.  Guardado lowered his ERA to 2.90.

This was the fifth start of Jason Stanford's career.  He did pretty well in a small sample size in 2003:  1-3, 3.60, 1.28 WHIP in 50 innings (13 games, 8 starts).  He started 2004 with Cleveland and In two starts was excellent:  0-1, 0.82 in 11 innings, although with a 1.55 WHIP.  He then was injured and was never the same pitcher.  He had a couple of mediocre years in AAA with the Indians and got 26.1 more major league innings with the in 2007.  He played for a few minor league teams in 2008, then his playing career came to an end.  He came to the majors late and was 27 when he got hurt, so he probably wouldn't have been a superstar or anything.  But he might well have been a useful pitcher if not for the injury.

The White Sox and Royals both won, so the Twins did not gain any ground on their closest rivals.  On the other hand, they didn't lose any ground, either.

Record:  The Twins were 79-69, tied for first with Chicago in the American League Central, 3.5 games ahead of third-place Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Twenty-three

MINNESOTA 14, KANSAS CITY 5 IN KANSAS CITY

Date:  Saturday, August 16.

Batting stars:  Doug Mientkiewicz was 3-for-5 with a walk and two RBIs.  A. J. Pierzynski was 2-for-4 with a double, a stolen base (his second), two runs, and two RBIs.  Dustan Mohr was 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, and two runs.  Luis Rivas was 2-for-5 with a walk and three runs.  Torii Hunter was 2-for-5 with three RBIs.

Pitching star:  Juan Rincon pitched two shutout innings, giving up two hits.

Opposition stars:  Carlos Beltran was 3-for-4 with two home runs (his nineteenth and twentieth) and three RBIs.  Mendy Lopez was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his second.

The game:  The first two Twins batters went out.  Then Mientkiewicz walked, Corey Koskie singled, Jacque Jones and Hunter had RBI singles, and Pierzynski hit a two-run double, putting the Twins up 4-0.  The Royals responded in the bottom of the first, as Aaron Guiel doubled and Beltran hit a two-run homer, leaving the score 4-2 after one.

The Twins gradually pulled away.  In the second Mientkiewicz had an RBI single and Koskie hit a sacrifice fly to make it 6-2.  Cristian Guzman hit an RBI triple in the third to make it 7-2.  Hunter had a two-run single in the fourth to make it 9-2.  Shannon Stewart's RBI single in the fifth made it 10-2.

Beltran homered again in the sixth to cut the lead to 10-3.  The Twins responded with three in the seventh.  A single and two walks loaded the bases with one out.  MIentkiewicz had an RBI single, Pierzynski was hit by a pitch to force home a run, and a third run scored on a ground out.  Lopez hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh.  The game's final run scored on Michael Ryan's sacrifice fly in the eighth.

WP:  Kyle Lohse (10-9).  LP:  Runelvys Hernandez (7-5).  S:  None.

Notes:  Stewart was again in left, Mohr in right, and Jones at DH.  Denny Hocking replaced Koskie at third base in the seventh.  Ryan replaced Stewart in left in the seventh.  Michael Restovich entered the game in the ninth, going to right with Mohr going to center and Hunter coming out of the game.

Stewart was 1-for-3 and was batting .310.  Jones was 1-for-6 and was batting .309.  Koskie was 1-for-2 and was batting .302.

Lohse pitched seven innings, allowing five runs on six hits and no walks and striking out four.  He pitched well if you don't count the home runs, but of course the home runs do count.  His ERA went to 5.03.

This would be the last start of the season for Hernandez.  He would go on the disabled list, would not pitch at all the next season, and never really be any good again.  In this game he pitched 3.1 innings and allowed nine runs on nine hits and three walks, striking out one.

Pierzynski stole fifteen bases in his career.  His high for a season was three, set in this season and matched in 2010.  He was caught stealing twenty-three times in his career but only once in this season.

The Twins were not only getting back over .500, they had two consecutive wins over the first-place team in their ballpark.  They also caught up to second-place Chicago.  Could the Twins get a sweep?

Record:  The Twins were 63-60, tied for second with Chicago, two games behind Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game Eighty-eight

TEXAS 8, MINNESOTA 6 IN TEXAS

Date:  Tuesday, July 8.

Batting stars:  Luis Rivas was 2-for-3 with a stolen base, his eighth.  Doug Mientkiewicz was 2-for-5.

Pitching star:  Grant Balfour pitched three shutout innings, giving up a walk and striking out two.

Opposition stars:  Michael Young was 3-for-5 with two runs.  Kevin Mench was 2-for-2 with two doubles and a hit-by-pitch.  Todd Greene was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs.  Hank Blalock was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Rafael Palmeiro was 1-for-4 with a home run (his twenty-first) and a walk.  Juan Gonzalez was 1-for-4 with a home run (his twenty-first) and two RBIs.  Jay Powell pitched 2.1 scoreless innings, giving up two hits and striking out one.

The game:  After a scoreless first, the Twins scored five runs in the second inning.  Bobby Kielty and Justin Morneau walked, Chris Gomez had an RBI single, and A. J. Pierzynski was hit by a pitch to load the bases.  A sacrifice fly scored a run, Lew Ford's double scored two more, and Mientkiewicz singled home another to give the Twins a 5-0 lead.

The lead lasted until the Rangers batted in the bottom of the second.  Palmeiro led off the inning with a home run.  The next two batters went out, but Mench and Mark Teixiera hit back-to-back doubles, Greene had an RBI single, Young singled and Blalock walked to load the bases, and Alex Rodriguez hit a two-run double to tie it 5-5.  Gonzalez homered leading off the third, and that quickly it was 6-5 Texas.

The Twins opened the fourth with singles, but nothing came of it.  The Rangers scored on a sacrifice fly to make it 7-5.  In the fifth, Greene doubled and scored on a Young single to increase the lead to 8-5.

The Twins did not threaten until the ninth.  Rivas led off with a single and stole second.  Mientkiewicz singled with one out to bring the tying run to the plate.  A sacrifice fly brought home a run, but it was the second out.  Torii Hunter walked to bring the winning run to the plate and a wild pitch moved the tying run into scoring position.  But Bobby Kielty lined to center to end the game.

WP:  Powell (2-0).  LP:  Kyle Lohse (6-7).  S:  Ugueth Urbina (25).

Notes:  Gomez was at short in place of Cristian Guzman.  Ford was in left in the continuing absence of Jacque Jones, with Kielty in right.  Morneau was the DH.

Matthew LeCroy pinch-hit for Morneau in the eighth.

Ford was 1-for-4 and was batting .314.  Mientkiewicz raised his average to .301.  LeCroy was 1-for-1 and was batting .300.

Lohse lasted just three innings and allowed seven runs on ten hits and a walk.  He struck out three.  Whatever magic he'd had early in the season was clearly gone:  in his last five starts, he had pitched 23 innings and allowed 29 earned runs.  His ERA went from 2.91 to 4.63.

The Texas starter was Tony Mounce.  He also pitched just three innings, allowing five runs on five hits and three walks and striking out none.  This was the only major league season of his career.  He made 11 starts and went 1-5, 7.11, 1.78 WHIP.  He was 3-10, 4.41, 1.56 WHIP in 149 AAA innings and 31-21, 4.26, 1.46 WHIP in 431 AA innings.  There was obviously something about him that the Rangers liked, but it's also obvious that he was just not good enough to be a major league pitcher.

The Twins had now lost three in a row and seven of eight.  Another loss would drop them below .500.

Record:  The Twins were 44-44, in second place in the American League Central, 2.5 games behind Kansas City.  They were one game ahead of third-place Chicago.

2003 Rewind: Game Sixty-three

MINNESOTA 7, COLORADO 4 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Wednesday, June 11.

Batting stars:  Corey Koskie was 4-for-4 with two doubles and a walk.  Justin Morneau was 3-for-4 with a walk.  Jacque Jones was 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, and two runs.  Luis Rivas was 2-for-4 with a double.  Cristian Guzman was 2-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs.

Pitching stars:  Kyle Lohse struck out seven in six innings, giving up one run on six hits and a walk.  LaTroy Hawkins struck out two in 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up one hit.  Eddie Guardado pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Preston Wilson was 3-for-5.  Jay Payton was 2-for-5 with a home run (his eighth), two runs, and two RBIs.  Todd Helton was 2-for-5.  Larry Walker was 2-for-5.

The game:  Guzman singled, went to second on a wild pitch, and scored on Morneau's single to put the Twins on the board in the first inning.  It went to 4-0 in the third.  Rivas led off the inning with a single, Jones doubled, Guzman delivered a two-run single, Koskie singled, and Torii Hunter knocked in a run with a ground out.

Payton homered leading off the fourth to cut the lead to 4-1.  The Twins put two on with two out in the bottom of the fourth, but did not score.  In the fifth, however, the Twins started the inning with consecutive singles by KoskieMorneauHunter, and Doug Mientkiewicz, plus a wild pitch, taking a 6-1 lead.

The Rockies loaded the bases with two out in the sixth but did not score.  The Twins added a run in the bottom of the sixth on doubles by Jones and Koskie to go ahead 7-1.

Colorado came back in the seventh.  Charles Johnson walked, Juan Uribe hit a one-out double, and Payton singled to drive in a run.  Helton also had an RBI single, and Walker delivered a two-out single, cutting the lead to 7-4.

But that was as close as the Rockies would come.  They got a single in each of the last two innings, but did not bring the tying run to the plate.

WP:  Lohse (6-4).  LP:  Aaron Cook (2-6).  S:  Guardado (18).

Notes:  Morneau was again at DH.  There were no in-game lineup substitutions.

Morneau made an immediate impact, going 5-for-8 in his first two games for a .625 batting average.  Jones raised his average to .312.

Lohse lowered his ERA to 2.91.  This was the last time it would be under three--within a month it would be over four and in about six weeks it would be over five.  He sure kept the rotation afloat for the first two and a half months of the season, though.

Micheal Nakamura pitched again, so he started his career pitching in four consecutive games.  I wonder if that's close to some kind of record.  I'm sure it would take more time to figure that out than I'm willing to take, but if someone wanted to do the work, it would be appreciated.

Hawkins lowered his ERA to 2.35.  Guardado cut his ERA to 2.60.

I had forgotten that there was a pitcher named Nelson Cruz.  He pitched in parts of six seasons, 1997 and 1999-2003.  He was pretty good for two of those seasons, going 5-2, 3.07, 1.27 WHIP for Detroit in 2000 and 3-3, 4.15, 1.17 WHIP for Houston in 2001.  This was his last season, and he was not very good:  3-5, 7.21, 1.42 WHIP.  He gave up a run in two innings in this game.

Despite going 3-for-5, Preston Wilson did not drive in a run in this game.  I mention that simply because he led the league in RBIs in 2003, with 141.

Cook was the starter for Colorado.  He pitched four innings, giving up six runs on eleven hits and three walks and striking out two.

Justin Speier finished the game on the mound for the Rockies.  He is the son of Chris Speier, who played for the Twins briefly in 1984.

Record:  The Twins were 36-27, in first place in the American League Central, 4.5 games ahead of Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game Fifty-eight

MINNESOTA 5, SAN FRANCISCO 2 IN SAN FRANCISCO

Date:  Thursday, June 5.

Batting stars:  Cristian Guzman was 3-for-5 with a triple.  A. J. Pierzynski was 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBIs.  Bobby Kielty was 2-for-4 with a walk.

Pitching stars:  Kyle Lohse pitched eight innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and no walks and striking out three.  Eddie Guardado pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Benito Santiago was 2-for-4 with a double.  J. T. Snow was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer, his third.  Jim Brower struck out four in three innings, giving up one run on two hits and a walk.

The game:  Guzman tripled with one out in the first and scored on a Doug Mientkiewicz single to put the Twins up 1-0.  Their first two batters in the second reached base, but it stayed 1-0 until the third.  Torii Hunter walked with one out, stole second, and scored on Kielty's single to make it 2-0.  In the fourth Chris Gomez doubled and scored on Guzman's single to boost the lead to 3-0.  In the fifth Kielty got a two-out single and scored on Pierzynski's triple to put the Twins ahead 4-0.

The Giants got back into the game in the bottom of the fifth when Santiago led off with a double and Snow followed with a two-run homer.  That was all they could do, however, and in the seventh Hunter walked, stole second, took third on a ground out, and scored on a sacrifice fly to make it 5-2 Twins.

The Giants brought the tying run to bat in the eighth and the ninth, but did not score either time.  They had men on first and third with two out in the eighth, but Rich Aurelia grounded out.  Bonds walked to lead off the ninth and Santiago followed with a single, but the next three batters went out to end the game.

WP:  Lohse (5-4).  LP:  Jesse Foppert (3-5).  S:  Guardado (17).

Notes:  Gomez was at second base in place of Luis Rivas.  Kielty was in right field (there was no DH).  Dustan Mohr went to right in the ninth.

Jacque Jones was 0-for-5 and was batting .310.  He was on a 6-for-34 streak, dropping his average from .343.

Lohse's ERA was 3.01.  Guardado's ERA was 1.75.

Over his last six starts, Lohse was 3-1, 1.90.  He pitched at least 6.1 innings in all of them, at least eight in four of them, and had two complete games.  His ERA fell from 4.46.

Pierzynski hit 24 triples in his career, with a high of six in 2002.  Half of his career triples came with the Twins.

Benito Santiago seems to have kind of dropped out of memory, but early in his career he was as good a catcher as anyone.  He won the Rookie of the Year award in 1977.  He won four Silver Sluggers and three Gold Gloves.  He made five all-star teams.  The thing is that he did all of that, except for one all-star team, in his first six full seasons.  He was still a decent player after that, though.  He played in twenty major league seasons, which is pretty good in and of itself.  I don't say he belongs in the Hall of Fame or anything, but he was one of the top catchers in baseball for several seasons.

Record:  The Twins were 33-25, in first place in the American League Central, 4.5 games ahead of Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game Forty-eight

MINNESOTA 7, SEATTLE 2 IN SEATTLE

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

MINNESOTA 5, TAMPA BAY 0 IN TAMPA BAY

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

CHICAGO 7, MINNESOTA 4 IN CHICAGO

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

NEW YORK 8, MINNESOTA 2 IN NEW YORK

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

NEW YORK 2, MINNESOTA 1 IN NEW YORK

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.