Tag Archives: losing streak

2003 Rewind: Game Fifty-five

SEATTLE 9, MINNESOTA 5 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Sunday, June 1.

Batting stars:  Corey Koskie was 2-for-3 with a walk.  A. J. Pierzynski was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer (his sixth) and a double.  Jacque Jones was 1-for-5 with a home run, his sixth.  Lew Ford was 1-for-1 with a home run.

Pitching stars:  Tony Fiore pitched five innings of relief, giving up two runs on three hits and no walks and striking out three.  J. C. Romero pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.  Eddie Guardado struck out two in a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Edgar Martinez was 4-for-5 with a home run (his fourteenth), a double, three runs, and two RBIs.  Greg Colbrunn was 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBIs.  Bret Boone was 2-for-5 with a home run (his fifteenth), two runs, and two RBIs.  Mike Cameron was 2-for-5.

The game:  The Mariners scored six runs in the first inning before anyone was out.  Oddly enough, Brad Radke was not the Twins' starting pitcher.  They started the game with five singles:  Randy Winn, Carlos Guillen, Boone, Martinez, and Cameron all singled.  Colbrunn then hit a two-run triple and Jeff Cirillo singled, bringing the score to 6-0.  Jones led off the bottom of the first with a home run, but Boone led off the second with a home run, making the score 7-1.

To the Twins' credit, they battled to try to make a game of it.  In the second Doug Mientkiewicz doubled and Pierzynski hit a two-run homer, making it 7-3.  In the third, singles by Cristian Guzman and Koskie and a walk to Torii Hunter brought the tying run to the plate with one out.  All the Twins could manage was a sacrifice fly, though, and it was 7-4.

That was as good as it got for the Twins.  Martinez homered it the fourth to make it 8-4.  In the eighth Martinez doubled, went to third on a fly ball, and scored on a sacrifice fly to make it 9-4.

The Twins got one more in the ninth.  With two out Ford pinch-hit for Luis Rivas and hit a home run, his first major league homer.  That brought the score to 9-5, and that's where it stayed.

WP:  Freddy Garcia (5-6).  LP:  Kenny Rogers (4-2).  S:  None.

Notes:  With the home run, Ford was batting .500.  Jones dropped his average to .327.  Dustan Mohr was 0-for-3 and was batting .315.

Ford was the only lineup substitute.

Rogers lasted just 1.1 innings, allowing seven runs on ten hits and no walks.  He struck out one.  He had a game score of seven, which was by far his worst game of the season.

Garcia pitched seven innings for the Mariners, giving up four runs on seven hits and three walks and striking out seven.  I remember him as being better than he was.  Not that he was bad or anything, but he was average to slightly above average for most of his career.  He started out really well, though, which may have skewed my memory.  He finished second to Carlos Beltran in Rookie of the Year voting in 1999, going 17-8, 4.07, although with a 1.47 WHIP.  He made the all-star team in 2001 and again in 2002.  2001 was his best year:  he was 18-6, 3.05, 1.12 WHIP.  He led the league in ERA, innings, and home runs per nine innings, the only times he ever led the league in anything except for 2005, when he led the league in wild pitches.  He finished third in Cy Young voting that year to Roger Clemens and Mark Mulder, and while I can't say that the voters were wrong it looks like his season was every bit as good as theirs.  For his career he was 156-108, 4.15, 1.30 WHIP and had a lifetime ERA+ of 107.  He appeared in 376 games, 357 of them starts, and pitched 2264 innings.  He was durable, pitching over 200 innings seven times.  Not a Hall of Famer or anything, but certainly a respectable career.

As mentioned above this was Lewwwwww's first home run.  He would hit 35 in his career, with a career high of 15 in 2004.

Ex-Twin Greg Colbrunn's triple was the last of his major league career.  He hit 12 of them, with a career high of three in 1999.

After playing so well for almost the entire month of May, the Twins had now lost four in a row.  They were swept at home, the first time that had happened since the Yankees series in April.  Luckily, second-place Kansas City was struggling, too, and had slipped to an even .500.

Record:  The Twins were 31-24, in first place in the American League Central, 3.5 games ahead of Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game Fifty-four

SEATTLE 5, MINNESOTA 2 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Saturday, May 31.

Batting stars:  Dustan Mohr was 2-for-3 with a home run (his seventh) and two RBIs.  Doug Mientkiewicz was 2-for-4.

Pitching stars:  LaTroy Hawkins struck out two in a scoreless inning, giving up two hits.  Johan Santana pitched a perfect inning, striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Ichiro Suzuki was 3-for-5 with a home run (his fifth), a triple, and two runs.  John Olerud was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk.  Bret Boone was 2-for-5.  Edgar Martinez was 1-for-4 with a home run, his thirteenth.  Ryan Franklin pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and a walk and striking out three.

The game:  There was no score, or even a threat, until the fourth.  Boone led off with a single and Olerud hit a one-out single.  With two down, Randy Winn and Jeff Cirillo each hit an RBI single to make it 2-0 Mariners.  It went to 4-0 in the fifth.  Suzuki led off with a triple and scored on a ground out.  Edgar Martinez followed with a home run.

The Twins got on the board in the fifth.  Torii HunterDoug Mientkiewicz, and Mohr all singled to lead off the inning, bringing in a run and putting men on first and second.  A bunt moved the runners to second and third with one out, but the Twins could not get either run across, leaving the score 4-1.

Suzuki homered in the top of the seventh to make it 5-1.  Mohr homered in the bottom of the seventh to make it 5-2.  And that was it.  The Twins did not get a hit after Mohr's homer.

WP:  Franklin (4-3).  LP:  Rick Reed (3-6).  S:  Kazuhiro Sasaki (9).

Notes:  Tom Prince was behind the plate in place of A. J. Pierzynski.  Chris Gomez was at second base in place of Luis Rivas.  Bobby Kielty was the DH.  There were no in-game lineup substitutions.

Jacque Jones was 0-for-4 and was batting .330.  Mohr was batting .322.

Reed started and pitched seven innings, but allowed five runs on nine hits and a walk and striking out four.

Hawkins lowered his ERA to 1.46.  Santana lowered his ERA to 2.68.

The first five Seattle batters were batting over .500.  Suzuki was at .317, Carlos Guillen was at .321, Boone was at .308, Martinez was at .314, and Olerud was at .302.

Suzuki would set a career high, up to that point, in home runs in 2003 at 13.  He would top that in 2005 with 15.  For his career, he hit 117 home runs, which is more than I would have thought.  He hit 118 in nine seasons in Japan, with a high of 25 in 1995.

This was the first time the Twins had lost three in a row since a six-game losing streak from April 18-24.

Record:  The Twins were 31-23, in first place in the American League Central, 3.5 games ahead of Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game Fifty-three

SEATTLE 6, MINNESOTA 0 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Friday, May 30.

Batting star:  Cristian Guzman was 1-for-3 with a walk.

Pitching stars:  Kyle Lohse pitched eight innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and one walk and striking out three.

Opposition stars:  Joel Piniero struck out twelve in a complete game shutout, giving up four hits and two walks.  Randy Winn was 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs.  Ben Davis was 2-for-4.  Carlos Guillen was 2-for-5.  Mike Cameron was 1-for-1 with a two-run homer, his sixth.

The game:  The Mariners opened the scoring in the second.  Randy Winn walked, went to third on a Jeff Cirillo double, and scored on a Davis single, making it 1-0.  They added two more in the fourth.  Singles by Edgar Martinez, John Olerud, and Randy Winn plated one run and a sacrifice fly brought home another, increasing the lead to 3-0.  They got three more in the ninth to put the game out of reach.

And that was it.  The Twins threatened in the third when Lew Ford led off with a walk and went to second on Jacque Jones' one-out single.  A fly out and a strikeout ended the inning.  The threatened again in the ninth when Guzman and Corey Koskie singled with one out.  The next two batters struck out to end the game.

WP:  Piniero (5-4).  LP:  Lohse (4-4).  S:  None.

Notes:  Ford was in center field in place of Torii Hunter.  There were no in-game lineup substitutions.

Jacque Jones was 1-for-4 and was batting .337.  Ford was 0-for-2 to drop his average to .333.  Dustan Mohr was 1-for-3 and was batting .313.  Matthew LeCroy was 0-for-4, dropping his average below .300 for the first time since May 10.

Lohse's ERA went to 3.09.

This was one of two shutouts for Piniero in 2003.  The other would come on July 26 in Texas.  His twelve strikeouts were easily a season high--his next highest total was eight, on September 10.

This was the first time the Twins had lost two games in a row since April 26-27.

Record:  The Twins were 31-22, in first place in the American League Central, 3.5 games ahead of Kansas City.

Mazatlan Recap: Game Fifteen

MEXICALI 3, MAZATLAN 1 IN MAZATLAN

Batting stars:  Edson Garcia was 2-for-3 with a double.  Carlos Munoz was 2-for-4.

Pitching stars:  Marco Antonio Duarte pitched five innings, giving up one run on five hits and three walks and striking out four.  Ivan Zavala struck out two in a perfect inning.  Alejandro Soto pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Miguel Pena pitched six innings, giving up one run on five hits and three walks and striking out none.  Luis Juarez was 2-for-3 with a home run (his second) and a walk.  Eric Aguilera was 2-for-4 with a double.  Fabricio Macias was 2-for-4.  Edgar Gomez pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.  Greg Mahle pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.  Jake Sanchez pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk.

The game:  It was scoreless until the fourth.  Ricardo Valenzuela walked, went to second on a ground out, and scored on Chris Roberson's single to put Mazatlan up 1-0.

That was as good as it got, though.  Mexicali tied it in the next half-inning.  Macias singled, stole second, and scored on a pair of wild pitches to make it 1-1.  In the seventh, Javier Salazar walked and Juarez hit a two-run homer to make it 3-1 Mexicali.

And that was it.  Mazatlan got a man on in each of the last two innings, bringing the tying run to the plate, but each time a double play ended the inning.

WP:  Pena (1-0).  LP:  Roman Pena (0-2).  S:  Sanchez (2).

Notes:  Munoz raised his average to .333.

Duarte's ERA is 1.17.  Zavala's ERA is 2.57.

Mazatlan has now lost four consecutive games.

Record:  Mazatlan is 5-10, tied for seventh with Guasave.

Next game:  Mazatlan again hosts Mexicali (4-11) tonight.

Mazatlan Recap: Games Three and Four

LOS MOCHIS 9, MAZATLAN 8 IN LOS MOCHIS

Batting stars:  None.  That sounds strange, that you could score eight runs with no batting stars, but Mazatlan hit no home runs and had no one with more than one hit and one walk.

Pitching stars:  None.

Opposition stars:  Josuan Hernandez was 3-for-4 with a home run, a double, three runs, and three RBIs.  Isaac Rodriguez Salazar was 3-for-5 with a double and three runs.  Eddy Martinez was 3-for-5 with a double.  Carlos Soto was 2-for-3.  Esteban Quiroz was 2-for-4 with a grand slam, a double, and six RBIs.  Hector Soto pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk.

The game:  Los Mochis scored in the first inning, as Salazar led off with a double, went to third on a ground out, and scored on a sacrifice fly.  It went to 2-0 in the third when Hernandez and Quiroz hit back-to-back doubles.

Mazatlan got on the board in the fourth when Edson Garcia walked and scored on an error.  They tied it in the fifth when Ramon Rios doubled and scored on a Diego Madero single.  But Los Mochis got the lead right back in the bottom of the fifth when Salazar singled and Hernandez hit a two-run homer, making it 4-2 Los Mochis.

Mazatlan tied it back up in the sixth.  Garcia doubled and Anthony Giansanti walked.  A bunt moved the runners to second and third, a fielder's choice scored one, and a sacrifice fly made it 4-4.  They took the lead in the seventh.  Chris Roberson reached on an error, and with two out singles by Giansanti and Carlos Munoz brought home the tie-breaking run.  A wild pitch scored another to make it 6-4.  It went to 8-4 in the top of the eighth.  Issmael Salas doubled and scored on a Ricardo Valenzuela single.  An error moved Valenzuela to third, and a sacrifice fly brought him home.

Then came the bottom of the eighth.  Saul Soto walked and Juan Camacho singled.  With one out, Salazar singled to load the bases.  Hernandez was hit by a pitch to make it 8-5, and Quiroz hit a grand slam to put Los Mochis ahead 9-8.

Mazatlan went down in order in the ninth and went down to defeat.

WP:  Vidal Sotelo (1-0).  LP:  Ivan Zavala (0-1).  S:  Jose Quezada (1).

Notes:  Ignacio Marrujo started for Mazatlan.  He went 3.1 innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and a walk and striking out one.  Jonas Garibay started for Los Mochis.  He went five innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on four hits and two walks and striking out one.

Record:  Mazatlan was 1-2.

LOS MOCHIS 7, MAZATLAN 5 IN LOS MOCHIS

Batting stars:  Ricky Alvarez was 2-for-4 with two doubles.  Anthony Giansanti was 1-for-3 with two walks.

Pitching stars:  Marco Antonio Rivas pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit and striking out one.  Ryan Newell struck out two in a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Eddy Martinez was 3-for-4 with a home run, a double, and two runs.  Amilcar Gomez was 3-for-4.  Esteban Quiroz was 2-for-4 with a home run, his second.  Leandro Castro was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his second.  Adrian Hernandez pitched two shutout innings, giving up two hits and two walks and striking out one.  Juan Gomez pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk.

The game:  Los Mochis jumped out to the lead early.  With two out, Quiroz homered, Martinez singled, and Castro homered, giving Los Mochis a 3-0 lead.  In the second, again with two out, Gomez and Isaac Rodriguez Salazar singled and Josuan Hernandez hit a two-run triple to make it 5-0.

Mazatlan got back into the game in the third.  Diego Madero walked and Chris Roberson was hit by a pitch.  Edson Garcia then delivered an RBI single, Giansanti followed with another RBI single, and a run scored on a ground out to cut the margin to 5-3.  Los Mochis got one run back in the bottom of the third when Martinez homered, making it 6-3.  It stayed there until the sixth, when Saul Soto homered to make it 7-3.

Mazatlan got back into the game in the eighth.  Giansanti walked, Carlos Munoz singled, and Ricky Alvarez hit an RBI double.  A sacrifice fly made it 7-5.  That was as much as Mazatlan could do, however, as they managed only a walk for the rest of the game and went down 7-5.

WP:  Rafael Ordaz (1-0).  LP:  Carlos Felix (0-1).  S:  Juan Gamez (2).

Notes:  The decisions went to the starters.  Ordaz pitched five innings, giving up three runs on three hits and three walks and striking out none.  Felix pitched 1.2 innings, allowing five runs on six hits and no walks and striking out one.

The attendance at the game was 493.  I have no idea what average attendance is at a Mexican League game.  I also have no idea how many fans they're actually allowing into the games.

Record:  Mazatlan is 1-3, tied for seventh place, three games behind Obregon.

Next game:  Mazatlan comes home to play Navajoa on Tuesday.

2003 Rewind: Game Nine

NEW YORK 2, MINNESOTA 0 IN NEW YORK

Date:  Thursday, April 10.

Batting stars:  Chris Gomez was 2-for-4.  A. J. Pierzynski was 0-for-1 with two hit-by-pitches.

Pitching stars:  Rick Reed pitched four innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on six hits and two walks and striking out two.  Johan Santana struck out eight in four shutout innings of relief, giving up four hits.

Opposition stars:  David Wells pitched a complete game shutout, giving up three hits and striking out six.  Hideki Matsui was 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.  Bernie Williams was 3-for-4.  John Flaherty was 2-for-4 with a double.

The game:  The Yankees had men on first and second with two out in the first and second and third with one out in the second, but did not score either time.  That changed in the third.  With one out, Jason Giambi walked and went to third on Williams' single-plus-error.  Matsui then delivered a two-run double to give New York a 2-0 lead.

And that was it for the scoring.  The Twins got a one-out double from Gomez in the fourth, but he was stranded on second.  They put two on with two out in the fifth and did nothing with them.  They did not get a man past first after that, managing only a pair of singles over the next four innings.

WP:  Wells (2-0).  LP:  Reed (0-2).  S:  None.

NotesGomez was at short in place of Cristian Guzman.  Dustan Mohr was in left in place of Jacque Jones.  Michael Cuddyer was in right.

Gomez was batting .364.

The Twins had five starters in this game with batting averages below .200.  At the bottom was Rivas at .091.  Matthew LeCroy was batting .125.  Torii Hunter was batting .129.  Cuddyer was batting .143.  Mohr was batting .158.

The Twins made no lineup substitutions.

I don't know why Reed came out after just four innings.  He had thrown seventy pitches, which is a lot for four innings but doesn't seem like a lot for a game.  He would not miss his next start.  Santana obviously did an excellent job, which didn't help in this game but did save the rest of the bullpen for the next one.

You probably remember that Wells threw a perfect game against the Twins.  For his career, he was actually better against them than Mussina was:  19-6, 2.34, 1.01 WHIP in 200.1 innings (38 games, 25 starts).

After sweeping Detroit to start the season, the Twins had now been swept by Toronto and New York.  In the Yankee series, they were outscored 11-4.  In the losing streak they were outscored 30-10.  They would next travel to Toronto to take another shot at the Blue Jays.

Record:  The Twins were 3-6, in fourth place in the American League Central, five 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.

2003 Rewind: Game Seven

NEW YORK 7, MINNESOTA 3 IN NEW YORK

Date:  Tuesday, April 8.

Batting stars:  Torii Hunter was 1-for-2 with a double, a walk, and two RBIs.  Jacque Jones was 1-for-3 with a double, a walk, and two runs.  Cristian Guzman was 1-for-3 with a walk.

Pitching star:  Tony Fiore pitched three shutout innings, giving up a hit and a walk and striking out two.

Opposition stars:  Nick Johnson was 2-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base.  Robin Ventura was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer, his third.  Hideki Matsui was 1-for-3 with a grand slam, a walk, and two runs.  Antonio Osuna struck out three in 2.1 scoreless innings, giving up a walk.

The game:  The Yankees opened the scoring in the second.  Jorge Posada hit a one-out double and Raul Mondesi delivered a two-out single, putting New York up 1-0.  The Twins tied it in the fourth.  Jones led off with a double, Corey Koskie drew a one-out walk, and Hunter hit a run-scoring double.  The Twins still had men on second and third with one out, but Matthew LeCroy hit a grounder to third and Koskie was thrown out at the plate on what we assume was the contact play.  Doug Mientkiewicz grounded out and the threat was over.

It cost them, because the Yankees went into the lead to stay in the bottom of the fourth.  Matsui led off the inning with a walk and Ventura hit a one-out two-run homer, making the score 3-1 New York.  With one out in the fifth Johnson singled and Jason Giambi singled Johnson to third, with Giambi moving to second on the throw.  Bernie Williams was intentionally walked and Matsiu followed with a grand slam, making it 7-1 Yankees.

The Twins tried to get back into it in the sixth.  Jones and Guzman led off the inning with walks.  A forceout put men on first and third and Hunter's sacrifice fly scored a run.  A passed ball moved Guzman to second and he scored on LeCroy's single.  Mientkiewicz singled and a wild pitch moved the runners to second and third.  A hit could've moved the Twins to within two, but Michael Cuddyer struck out to end the inning and leave the score 7-3.

That was pretty much it.  The Twins had only one baserunner the rest of the game, a two-out walk to Hunter in the eighth.

WP:  Andy Pettitte (2-0).  LP:  Joe Mays (1-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Cuddyer was in right field, as he was for most of the month of March.  The Twins did not make any lineup substitutions.

Koskie was batting .375.  Jones was batting .357.

The Twins had five regulars batting below .200 in the young season.  Hunter was at .174.  A. J. Pierzynski was also at .174.  Cuddyer was batting .167.  LeCroy was batting .143.  Luis Rivas was at .118.  You don't win many games that way, and of course this was the Twins' fourth loss in a row.  But that's why you don't make judgments after seven games.

After a solid first outing, Mays again lasted five innings, but this time allowed seven runs on eight hits and two walks.  He struck out three.  He did fairly well except for the home runs, but that's a little like saying the Titanic did fairly well except for that big hole in the side.  Fiore did an excellent job of saving the bullpen, though, and that should not be overlooked.

Yankee starter Andy Pettitte pitched 5.2 innings, giving up three runs on five hits and three walks and striking out two.

The Twins had started with three wins, but now had four losses.

Record:  The Twins were 3-4, in third place in the American League Central, three games behind Kansas City.

Random Rewind: 1973, Game One Hundred Twenty-eight

MILWAUKEE 3, MINNESOTA 2 IN MINNESOTA

DateL  Sunday, August 26.

Batting star:  Jim Holt was 2-for-4 with a double.

Pitching stars:  Bert Blyleven struck out eleven in 7.2 innings, giving up three runs on nine hits and no walks.  Bill Hands retired all four men he faced, striking out two.

Opposition stars:  Jim Slaton pitched 8.2 innings, giving up two runs on six hits and a walk and striking out none.  Bob Coluccio was 2-for-4 with a double and a stolen base, his tenth.  Pedro Garcia was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer, his eleventh.

The game:  The Brewers put men on second and third with none out in the first, but Blyleven came back to strike out Johnny Briggs and George Scott before retiring Don Money on a liner to left.  In the second, however, Tim Johnson hit a two-out single and Garcia followed with a two-run homer, putting Milwaukee ahead 2-0.

Holt had a leadoff double in the third but did nothing came of it.  That was the only time either team got a man past first base until the sixth, when Coluccio doubled and Money delivered a two-out single to make it 3-0.

Brewers starter Slaton appeared to be in complete control.  In the ninth, however, Larry Hisle led off with a triple and Tony Oliva singled him home, making the score 3-1 and bringing the tying run up to bat.  Mike Adams came in to run for Oliva and got as far as second with two out.  Chris Short came in to face Steve Braun, but when Bobby Darwin pinch-hit he was intentionally walked.  That was the only man Short would face, as Carlos Velazquez came in to face pinch-hitter Eric Soderholm.  Soderholm delivered an RBI single, cutting the margin to 3-2 and putting the tying run on third.  Jerry Terrell fouled out to third, however, and the game was over.

WP:  Slaton (9-11).  LP:  Blyleven (15-14).  S:  Velazquez (2).

Notes:  Phil Roof caught in place of George Mitterwald, presumably because it was a day game after a night game.

Rich Reese was at first base, one of only four games he started for the Twins.  He was at the end of his career, having been released by Detroit a couple of weeks earlier, and was apparently brought back to the Twins out of sentiment.  Harmon Killebrew was still the primary first baseman, but he missed a couple of months due to injury.  Joe Lis played the most games at first in 1973, with 96.

Terrell shared the shortstop position with Danny Thompson.  Both were pretty much dead weight offensively.  Terrell was a little better, at .265/.297/.315.  Thompson batted .225/.259/.282.  Thompson played more games at short, 95 to 81.

Darwin was the regular right fielder, but was given the day off.  Holt, who played the most games in left (80), was in right, with Hisle in left.  Hisle also played quite a bit of center field, but Steve Brye played the most games there and was there in this game.

All the substitutions came in the ninth inning and are mentioned above.

Carew, not surprisingly, was leading the team in batting at .347.  He would finish at .350 and be the team's only .300 hitter.  The Twins would actually lead the league in batting at .270.  Carew was obviously a big part of that, but Holt batted .297, Oliva .291, and Braun .283.  Soderholm also batting .297 in 111 at-bats.

Darwin led the team in home runs with 18.  Mitterwald and Oliva each had 16, Hisle 15, and Holt 11.  The Twins were seventh in home runs with 120.

Blyleven, of course, was the ace of the pitching staff, going 20-17, 2.52.  Dick Woodson was 10-8, 3.95; Jim Kaat was 11-12, 4.41; Joe Decker was 10-10, 4.18.  Others to make double digit starts were Hands (7-10, 3.49) and Dave Goltz (6-4, 5.25).  Hands' record is deceiving.  In his fifteen starts he went 5-7, 4.55.  Moved to the bullpen, he was excellent, going 2-3, 1.34, 1.09 WHIP, and two saves in 47 relief innings.

The Twins didn't really have a closer.  Ken Sanders started the year as the closest thing to one, but he often was used for two or three innings.  He had eight saves, but also had an ERA of over six when he was waived in early August.  Ray Corbin took over the closer role and actually was fairly good, getting 14 saves.  The Twins preferred to have him in a longer role, so Bill Campbell was eventually made the closer near the season's end.

This was Bob Coluccio's rookie year.  He was a regular for Milwaukee for two seasons but couldn't get his batting average out of the .220s.  Presumably he was considered a fine fielder.

This was also Pedro Garcia's rookie year.  He batted .245/.296/.395, which was good enough to place him second in Rookie of the Year voting behind Al Bumbry.  That was as good as it would get for him, though.  He slumped to .199 the next year and was never a regular again.  His was a second baseman, and presumably was not all that good in the field, because while he spent a few seasons as a reserve he was never used at another position.

This was the end of a stretch in which the Twins lost eight out of nine.  They would win seven of the next nine.

Record:  The Twins were 60-68, in third place in the American League West, 16.5 games behind Oakland.  They would finish 81-81, in third place, 13 games behind Oakland.

The Brewers were 62-65, in fifth place in the American League East, 12.5 games behind Baltimore.  They would finish 74-88, in fifth place, 23 games behind Baltimore.

Random record:  The Twins are 38-35 in Random Rewind games.

Random Rewind: 2001, Game One Hundred Twenty-six

TORONTO 7, MINNESOTA 5 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Tuesday, August 21.

Batting stars:  Cristian Guzman was 3-for-5.  A. J. Pierzynski was 2-for-3.  Brian Buchanan was 1-for-4 with a home run, his eighth.

Pitching stars:  Eddie Guardado pitched 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up a hit and a walk and striking out one.  Todd Jones pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Carlos Delgado was 3-for-5 with a home run (his thirty-sixth), two runs, and two RBIs.  Raul Mondesi was 2-for-3 with a home run (his twenty-second), a double, a walk, and two RBIs.  Alex Gonzalez was 2-for-4 with a walk and two runs.  Shannon Stewart was 2-for-5 with a home run (his ninth) and a double.  Jose Cruz was 1-for-5 with a home run, his twenty-fourth.  Scott Eyre struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up a hit and a walk.

The game:  Brad Radke was pitching and so, as you might guess, the Blue Jays scored in the first inning.  With one out, Gonzalez singled and was balked to second.  Delgado delivered a two-out RBI single and scored from first on Mondesi's double, giving Toronto a 2-0 lead before the Twins came to bat.  The Twins put men on first and second with one out in the bottom of the first, but a double play took them out of the inning.

The Blue Jays wasted a leadoff triple in the third.  It looked like it might cost them, as the Twins tied it up in the bottom of the inning.  Pierzynski led off with a single and scored on Luis Rivas' double-plus-error.  Rivas scored on a Guzman single to make it 2-2.  The Twins then took the lead in the fourth on Buchanan's two-out home run.  Cruz homered in the fifth, evening the score again at three.  The Twins took the lead back again in the bottom of the fifth, as Doug Mientkiewicz hit a two-out double and Corey Koskie circled the bases on a double-plus-error-plus-error, giving the Twins a 5-3 advantage.

Jack Cressend came in to relieve Radke in the sixth.  He gave up a home run to each of the first three batters he faced, Stewart, Delgado, and Mondesi, to put Toronto back in front at 6-5.  They added a run in the seventh when Gonzalez singled, Stewart doubled, Mondesi was intentionally walked with two out, and Brad Fullmer singled, making the score 7-5.

The Twins had their chances after that.  With one out in the seventh, Jacque Jones walked and Guzman singled, with a wild pitch moving them to second and third.  In the ninth, singles by Denny Hocking and Guzman put men on first and second with two out.  In both cases, however, the Twins were turned aside and 7-5 was the final score.

WP:  Brandon Lyon (2-2).  LPCressend (2-2).  S:   Billy Koch (29).

Notes:  Buchanan was in right field.  Matt Lawton had been the regular right fielder, but he was traded to the Mets for Rick Reed at the end of July.  Buchanan was the mostly-regular right fielder the rest of the way.

Hocking pinch-hit for Pierzynski in the ninth.

Mientkiewicz was batting .326.  He would finish at .306.  Guzman was batting .314.  He would finish at .302.  The Twins were fourth in team batting at .272.

Torii Hunter led the team in home runs with 27.  Koskie was right behind at 26.  The Twins had six other players with double-digit home runs:  David Ortiz (18).  Mientkiewicz (15), Jones (14), Guzman (10), Lawton (10), and Buchanan (10).  The Twins were ninth in home runs with 164.

Ortiz is widely considered to have been a bust during his time with the Twins.  He certainly wasn't the "Big Papi" he would become, but in 2001 he hit 18 homers and had an OPS of .799.  In 2002, his age 26 seasons, he batted 272, hit 20 homers, and had an OPS of .839.  I'm not claiming that's Hall-of-Fame worthy or anything, but it's a long way from Scott Stahoviak.

Radke pitched five innings, allowing three runs on six hits and a walk while striking out five.  Radke had a good year in 2001, going 15-11, 3.94.  The best starter was actually Joe Mays, in his one good year:  he went 17-13, 3.16.  Eric Milton was solid:  15-7, 4.32.  But from there, it went downhill fast:  Kyle Lohse (4-7, 5.68), Rick Reed (4-6, 5.19), J. C. Romero (1-4, 6.23).  Romero, of course, would go on to give the Twins a couple of good years out of the bullpen.  Reed would go on to be an important contributor to the 2002 division champions.

Cressend was actually a solid reliever for the Twins in 2001, although you obviously couldn't tell it by this game.  He went 3-2, 3.67, 1.17 WHIP in 56.1 innings (44 games).  He gave up six home runs on the season, half of them in this game.

This was the last of a streak in which the Twins would win just one game out of twelve.  They lost eight in a row, won one, then lost the next three.

Record:  The Twins were 65-61, in second place in the American League Central, 5.5 games behind Cleveland.  They would finish 85-77, in second place, 6 games behind Cleveland.

The Blue Jays were 60-66, in third place in the American League East, 14 games behind New York.  They would finish 80-82, in third place, 16 games behind New York.

Random record:  The Twins are 36-33 in Random Rewind games.