Tag Archives: LaTroy Hawkins

2003 Rewind: ALDS, Game Two

NEW YORK 4, MINNESOTA 1 IN NEW YORK

Date:  Thursday, October 2.

Batting starsShannon Stewart was 2-for-3 with a walk.  Torii Hunter was 2-for-4 with a home run.  Those were the only hits the Twins had.

Pitching stars:  Brad Radke pitched 6.1 innings, giving up two runs on five hits and two walks and striking out four.  Juan Rincon pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk.

Opposition stars:  Andy Pettitte struck out ten in seven innings, giving up one run on four hits and three walks.  Alfonso Soriano was 3-for-4 with a stolen base and two runs.  Jason Giambi was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.  Mariano Rivera pitched two perfect innings and struck out one.

The game:  Singles by Soriano, Derek Jeter, and Giambi loaded the bases for the Yankees with none out in the first.  All the Yankees could do, though, was get a sacrifice fly from Bernie Williams to take a 1-0 lead.  The Twins got a man to second with two out in the third and New York had a man on second with one out in the fourth, but the score remained 1-0.

Hunter led off the fifth with a home run to tie it 1-1.  An error and a single put men on first and third with two out, but the Twins could not take the lead.  The Yankees had men on first and second with two out in the fifth and the Twins had men on first and second with two out in the sixth, but the score remained tied.

But New York took control in the seventh.  Nick Johnson was hit by a pitch and was bunted to second.  Soriano delivered an RBI single to give the Yankees the lead.  Jeter then reached on an error, putting men on second and third, and Giambi hit a two-run single to make it 4-1 New York.  Rivera came in and the Twins could do nothing with him, so there is where the score ended.

WP:  Pettitte.  LP:  Radke.  S:  Rivera.

Notes:  Stewart was in left and Jones in right.  The Twins made no in-game lineup substitutions.

LaTroy Hawkins had a great year, but he couldn't get it done in this game.  He entered in the seventh with the score tied, a man on second, and one out.  He gave up the Soriano single, made the error on Jeter's grounder, and gave up the Giambi single.  J. C. Romero got the side out after that, but the game was gone.

Hunter and Stewart were batting .500 over the two games.  Corey Koskie was batting .250.  No other Twin was over .167.

Still, the Twins were even in the series, and were coming home for the next two games.  It seemed like they had a good chance to win the series.  At the risk of revealing a spoiler, it didn't quite work out that way.

Record:  The Twins were tied with the Yankees 1-1 in the best-of-five series.

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Twenty-seven

MINNESOTA 4, KANSAS CITY 3 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Thursday, August 21.

Batting star:  Shannon Stewart was 2-for-4 with a home run (his thirteenth) and four RBIs.

Pitching stars:  Kenny Rogers pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on nine hits and three walks and striking out three.  LaTroy Hawkins pitched a perfect inning.  Eddie Guardado pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.

Opposition stars:  Joe Randa was 3-for-4 with two doubles.  Brent Mayne was 1-for-3 with a home run (his fifth).

The game:  It did not look good early.  Aaron Guiel led off with a single and scored from first on Randa's double.  Mayne homered leading off the third to make it 2-0 Royals.  In the third Carlos Beltran singled, Raul Ibanez walked, and Ken Harvey singled to increase the lead to 3-0.

Kansas City left the bases loaded, however, and it cost them.  The Twins did not get a hit for the first five innings.  In the sixth, however, Dustan Mohr got an infield single, Cristian Guzman walked, and Stewart hit a three-run homer.  That quickly, it was tied 3-3.  The Twins went into the lead in the seventh.  A. J. Pierzynski led off with a double and Mohr walked.  A bunt moved the runners up and Stewart again came through, delivering an RBI single to put the Twins up 4-3.  The Royals did not get a baserunner in the last two innings, and the game went to the Twins.

WP:  Rogers (11-6).  LP:  Al Levine (3-6).  S:  Guardado (29).

Notes:  Matthew LeCroy was at first base in place of Doug Mientkiewicz.  Mientkiewicz came in for defense in the ninth inning.

It was again Stewart in left, Mohr in right, and Jacque Jones at DH.

Stewart raised his average to .310.  Jones was 0-for-3 and went down to .305.  Pierzynski was 1-for-3 and got back up to .300.

Hawkins lowered his ERA to 2.17.

Ex-Twin Paul Abbott started for Kansas City.  He did very well for five innings, but his line ended up 5.2 innings, three runs, three hits, four walks, and four strikeouts.

Since his awful outing of July 13 (four runs in a third of an inning), Hawkins had appeared in 17 games and pitched 16.2 innings.  He had allowed just two runs on sixteen hits and three walks and had struck out twelve.

As mentioned above Stewart hit his thirteenth home run in this game.  He would set his career high in home runs in 2003.

With the win, the Twins finally climbed out of third place and into second.  Could they stay there?  Could they move up to first?

Record:  The Twins were 66-61, in second place in the American League Central, a half game behind Chicago.  They were a half game ahead of third place Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Eighteen

MINNESOTA 5, CLEVELAND 3 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Monday, August 11.

Batting stars:  Dustan Mohr was 3-for-4 with two doubles and a stolen base, his fourth.  Luis Rivas was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his fourth.

Pitching stars:  Kyle Lohse pitched eight innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and two walks and striking out four.  LaTroy Hawkins pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Jody Gerut was 3-for-4 with a double.  Terry Mulholland struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up two hits.

The game:  The Twins opened the scoring in the third inning.  Mohr led off with a double and Cristian Guzman followed with an RBI single.  Rivas then hit a one-out two-run homer to make it 3-0 Twins.  The Indians got one back in the fourth on two singles and a doubleplay grounder, cutting the lead to 3-1.

It stayed 3-1 until the sixth.  Torii Hunter was hit by a pitch with two out and scored on A. J. Pierzynski's double.  Mohr followed with a run-scoring single to make it 5-1 Minnesota.

There was no more scoring until the ninth.  Gerut and Ben Broussard opened the inning with back-to-back doubles.  Ryan Ludwick singled, bringing the tying run to the plate in the dangerous Travis Hafner.  But Hawkins got him to hit into a double play, bringing home a run but emptying the bases.  Josh Bard then struck out to end the game.

WP:  Lohse (9-9).  LP:  Jake Westbrook (5-7).  S:  Hawkins (1).

Notes:  Stewart was in left, Mohr in right, and Jones at DH.  Michael Restovich pinch-ran for Jones in the eighth.

Stewart was 0-for-3 and was batting .316.  Jones was 1-for-3 and was batting .305.  Corey Koskie was 1-for-4 and was batting .303.  Pierzynski was 1-for-4 and was batting .301.

Lohse got his ERA back below five at 4.97.

Hawkins lowered his ERA to 2.33.  I don't know why Ron Gardenhire went with Hawkins rather than Eddie Guardado.  Guardado had pitched the day before, but had thrown just fifteen pitches.  He had not pitched the day before that, and after all, he was "Everyday Eddie".  This was one of two saves Hawkins had for the season.

Westbrook pitched six innings, but allowed five runs on eight hits and a walk and struck out three.  His ERA was 4.77.

The Twins had won four games in a row and were in striking distance of second place.

Record:  The Twins were 61-57, in third place in the American League Central, 2.5 games behind Kansas City.  They were one game behind second-place Chicago.

Happy Birthday–December 21

Cy Williams (1887)
Josh Gibson (1911)
Bob Rush (1925)
Howie Reed (1936)
Paul Casanova (1941)
Elliott Maddox (1947)
Dave Kingman (1948)
Joaquin Andujar (1952)
Tom Henke (1957)
Roger McDowell (1960)
Andy Van Slyke (1960)
Dustin Hermanson (1972)
LaTroy Hawkins (1972)
D’Angelo Jimenez (1977)
Freddy Sanchez (1977)
Philip Humber (1982)
Danny Duffy (1988)

Josh Gibson is generally considered to have been the greatest batter in Negro League history.

We would also like to wish a very happy birthday to hungry joe’s wife, peckish jane.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–December 21

Random Rewind: 1995, Game One Hundred Thirty-one

MINNESOTA 10, KANSAS CITY 4 IN KANSAS CITY (GAME 2 OF DOUBLEHEADER)

Date:  Monday, September 18.

Batting stars:  Kirby Puckett was 4-for-5 with a double and three runs.  Pedro Munoz was 3-for-4 with a double, a walk, and three RBIs.  Marty Cordova was 2-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs.  Pat Meares was 2-for-5 with two doubles.

Pitching star:  Pat Mahomes pitched 3.1 scoreless innings of relief, giving up two hits and a walk and striking out two.

Opposition stars:  Keith Lockhart was 3-for-4 with two runs.  Wally Joyner was 2-for-3 with two doubles and a walk.  Jon Nunnally was 2-for-3 with a walk.  Brent Mayne was 2-for-4 with a double.  Tom Goodwin was 2-for-5 with a double and a stolen base, his forty-fourth.

The game:  It was scoreless through three.  In the fourth, Puckett doubled and Cordova reached on an error.  Munoz had an RBI single to put the Twins on the board.  A double play threatened to take them out of the inning, but Matt Walbeck had an RBI single, stole second (!), and scored on a Jeff Reboulet single to put the Twins up 3-0.

The lead lasted until the next time the Royals batted.  Joyner led off the inning with a walk.  He was still on first with two out, but Lockhart singled, Nunnally had an RBI double, and Greg Gagne (yes, that Greg Gagne) had a two-run single, tying the game at three.

It stayed tied until the Twins batted in the next inning, as the once low-scoring game got wild.  Meares led off with a double and went to third on Brian Raabe's single.  Puckett and Cordova had RBI singles and Munoz had a run-scoring double to put the Twins up 6-3.  This time the lead would not only hold, but the Twins would add to it.  In the sixth Meares walked, and with two out PuckettCordova, and Munoz all singled, plating two runs and making the score 8-3.

It was pretty much over at that point.  Kansas City got a run in the sixth on singles by Lockhart, Nunnally, and Mayne.  The Twins added two in the eighth.  Raabe walked, Puckett singled, and Munoz walked, loading the bases.  Ron Coomer then delivered a two-run single, making the final score 10-4.

WP:  LaTroy Hawkins (1-3).  LP:  Dilson Torres (1-2).  S:  Mahomes (3).

Notes:  1995 was a strike year in which the season did not start until late April.  Thus, game 131 was in the middle of September.  The Twins would play 144 games.

Coomer was at first base in place of Scott Stahoviak.  This was Coomer's rookie season, as he came up on August 1.  He played both first and third that season, as he would do for much of his career.

Raabe was at second base in place of Chuck Knoblauch, as this was the second game of a doubleheader.  Reboulet was at third in place of Scott Leius, presumably for the same reason.  Puckett was the DH, with Munoz in right field.  Most of the time, that was reversed.

Matt Lawton pinch-ran for Munoz in the eighth and stayed in the game in right field.  It was Lawton's first season--he was a September call-up.  Dan Masteller pinch-ran for Coomer in the eighth and stayed in the game at first base.  This was Masteller's only season in the majors.

Puckett was batting .321.  He would finish at .314.  Munoz was batting .311--he would finish at .301.  Reboulet was batting .300--he would finish at .292.  Knoblauch, who did not play, would lead the team in batting at .333.

Starter Hawkins pinched 5.2 innings and allowed four runs on ten hits and one walk while striking out two.  This was also Hawkins' first season.  He would make six starts for the Twins and go 2-3, 8.67.  He would, of course, have better seasons.

Mahomes pitched very well in this game.  That didn't happen very often in 1995--he finished 4-10, 6.37.  He would have better seasons, too, although, to be honest, not a lot of them.  This was one of his five career saves.

The Walbeck stolen base was one of three he had for the season and one of 13 in his career (13-for-25).  Three was his career high in stolen bases, which he attained three times.

It was quite a group of pitchers the Royals sent out there.  Dave Fleming started, followed by Dilson Torres, Jim Converse, and Billy Brewer.  Fleming and Brewer at least had a couple of decent seasons, but I suspect one would have to be as much of a die-hard Royals fan as I am a Twins fan to remember much about them.

No one knew it at the time, but this was one of the last games of Puckett's career.  He would play ten more games in 1995, then be forced to retire.

This game started a four-game winning streak for the Twins.

Record:  The Twins were 49-82, in fifth (last) place in the American League Central, 42 games behind Cleveland.  They would finish 56-88, in fifth place, 44 games behind Cleveland.

The Royals were 68-64, in second place in the American League Central, 23.5 games behind Cleveland.  They would finish 70-74, in second place, 30 games behind Cleveland.