Tag Archives: Mark Guthrie

Happy Birthday–September 22

Doc Powers (1870)
Hooks Dauss (1889)
Urban Shocker (1890)
Ira Flagstead (1893)
Harry Walker (1918)
Bob Lemon (1920)
Tommy Lasorda (1927)
Ken Aspromonte (1931)
Jim Fairey (1944)
Larry Dierker (1946)
Jeffrey Leonard (1955)
Wally Backman (1959)
Vince Coleman (1961)
Bob Geren (1961)
Mark Guthrie (1965)
Mike Matheny (1970)

Four players born on this date made their debuts in 2019.  That may not be a record, but it is unusual.

We would also like to wish a happy birthday to Spookymilk’s oldest daughter.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–September 22

Happy Birthday–September 22

Doc Powers (1870)
Hooks Dauss (1889)
Urban Shocker (1890)
Ira Flagstead (1893)
Harry Walker (1918)
Bob Lemon (1920)
Tommy Lasorda (1927)
Ken Aspromonte (1931)
Jim Fairey (1944)
Larry Dierker (1946)
Jeffrey Leonard (1955)
Wally Backman (1959)
Vince Coleman (1961)
Bob Geren (1961)
Mark Guthrie (1965)
Mike Matheny (1970)

Four players born on this date made their debuts in 2019.  That may not be a record, but it is unusual.

We would also like to wish a happy birthday to Spookymilk’s oldest daughter.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–September 22

Random Rewind: 1993, Game Seventeen


Date:  Sunday, April 25.

Batting stars:  Gene Larkin was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk.  Kirby Puckett was 1-for-3 with a home run (his fourth) and a hit-by-pitch.

Pitching starsWillie Banks pitched 6.1 innings, giving up three runs on five hits and four walks and striking out six.  Rick Aguilera struck out two in a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Alan Trammell was 3-for-5 with a home run, a stolen base (his third), two runs, and two RBIs.  Mickey Tettleton was 2-for-3 with a home run (his fifth), a double, two walks, and three runs.  Kirk Gibson was 2-for-5 with a double, a hit-by-pitch, and two runs.  Chad Kreuter was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer (his second) and a walk.  Tony Phillips was 1-for-4 with a home run (his second), two walks, and two runs.

The game:  It looked good for the Twins for a long time.  Not right away--Tettleton led off the second with a home run to put the Tigers up 1-0.  But it stayed 1-0 until the fourth.  Then Puckett homered to tie it 1-1.  In the fifth, Pedro Munoz and Larkin led off with singles.  A double play followed, but Jeff Reboulet and Chuck Knoblauch walked to load the bases.  Shane Mack then delivered a two-run single to make it 3-1 Twins.

The Twins added two more in the sixth.  Brian Harper led off with a single.  With one out, Larkin walked, Terry Jorgensen had an RBI single, Reboulet walked, and Knoblauch hit a sacrifice fly.  It was 5-1 Twins through six, and things were looking good.

But the roof fell in in the seventh.  Not literally--the Metrodome was still standing at the end of the game.  With one out Scott Livingstone walked, and two wild pitches moved him to third.  Trammell delivered an RBI single to cut the lead to 5-2.  Banks came out and Mark Guthrie came in.  He gave up back-to-back homers to Krueter and Phillips, tying the score.  He retired Lou Whitaker, but Gibson hit a ground-rule double.  That led to Guthrie going out and Brett Merriman coming in.  He gave up an RBI double to Cecil Fielder, intentionally walked Tettleton, Rob Deer hit a two-run double, and Livingstone got an RBI single.  It was 9-5 Tigers.

Detroit scored seven more in the eighth.  No need to go into great detail about it.  Milt Cuyler hit a three-run double, a couple of runs scored on wild pitches, there was a sacrifice fly, and Trammell hit a home run.  Nobody got on base after that.

WP:  Mark Leiter (1-1).  LP:  Guthrie (1-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Larkin was at first-base in place of Kent Hrbek.  Terry Jorgensen was at third base in place of Mike Pagliarulo.

Jeff Reboulet was apparently the starting shortstop at the beginning of 1993.  He was replaced by Pat Meares in early May.

The two pitchers who allowed most of the runs for the Twins were their weakest relief pitchers in 1993.  Guthrie, who'd had an excellent year in 1992, was dealing with an injury in 1993 and would be done for the season in late May.  Merriman would make one more appearance and then go back to the minors, not returning until the end of August.

They spoiled a solid effort by Banks, who had started 1993 really well. This was his third start--he'd given up one run in 13.1 innings in his first two starts.  His ERA would be 2.66 at the end of April.  By the end of May, however, it was 4.14 and he would end the season at 4.04.  It was still his best season as a Twin and the best he ever had as a starter.

The Tigers had Trammell batting eighth in this game.  He was coming off an injury from 1992, but he batted .329 in 1993.  I suspect he did not stay in the eighth spot too long.

Yes, I'm getting tired of random.org giving us Twins losses, too.  But such is randomness.

Record:  The Twins were 8-9, tied for third place in the American League West, 4.5 games behind California.  They would end 71-91, tied for fifth with California, twenty-three games behind Chicago.

Detroit was 12-5, in first place in the American League East, two games ahead of Boston.  They would end 85-77, tied for third with Baltimore, ten games behind Toronto.

1991 Rewind: Game Seventy-nine


Date:  Wednesday, July 3.

Batting star:  Brian Harper was 3-for-4 with two doubles.

Pitching star:  Mark Guthrie pitched five shutout innings of relief, giving up four hits and no walks and striking out four.

Opposition stars:  Tom Candiotti struck out seven in seven shutout innings, giving up six hits and three walks.  Roberto Alomar was 2-for-3 with a double and a hit-by-pitch.  Joe Carter was 2-for-4 with two home runs (his eighteenth and nineteenth) and three RBIs.  Pat Tabler was 2-for-4.  Ed Sprague was 2-for-4.  Devon White was 1-for-4 with a home run, his fourth.

The game:  The Twins got a single and two walks in the first inning but did not score, thanks in part to a pickoff.  The Blue Jays took the lead in the bottom of the first when Alomar hit a one-out double and Carter followed with a two-run homer.  Toronto loaded the bases with two out in the second and didn't score, but got on the board again in the third on another Carter homer, making it 3-0.  The Blue Jays again loaded the bases after the home run, but again did not score.

Paul Sorrento led off the fourth with a walk and Harper followed with a double, but Sorrento was thrown out trying to score from first (Gardy'd?) and the Twins were kept off the board.  White homered leading off the fourth to increase the lead to 4-0.

And that was it.  The Twins had a few threats--Al Newman singled and stole second in the fifth, Harper had a two-out double in the sixth, Scott Leius reached on a strikeout/passed ball in the seventh and got as far as third on a couple of ground outs--but they could not tally and the game ended with a 4-0 score.

WP:  Candiotti (8-7).  LP:  Allan Anderson (4-7).  S:  None.

Notes:  Jarvis Brown led off and played left field in place of Dan Gladden.  Randy Bush batted second and was in right field.  Paul Sorrento was at first base in place of Kent Hrbek.  Al Newman was at second base in place of Chuck Knoblauch.

Harper raised his average to .326.  Kirby Puckett was 0-for-4 and fell to .325.

Sorrento was 0-for-3 and was batting .143.  Brown was 1-for-4 and was batting .167.

Twins starter Allan Anderson lasted just three innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and two walks and striking out one.  He would make one more start, on July 12, then be removed from the rotation.

This was Guthrie's first appearance since being removed from the rotation.  I may have mentioned this before, but he did much better as a reliever than as a starter.  In 1991 he was 5-4, 5.73, 1.82 WHIP as a starter and 2-1, 2.51, 1.37 WHIP with two saves as a reliever.  For his career he was 13-18, 4.95, 1.52 WHIP as a starter and 38-36, 3.75, 1.36 WHIP with fourteen saves as a reliever.  It could reasonably said that the move to the bullpen saved his career.

This was the Twins' seventh loss in eight games.  Looking at that lineup, one has to say that TK wasn't panicking and going all-out to win every game.  The losing streak was largely a failure of the bats.  In the seven losses, the Twins scored just fifteen runs and were shutout twice.  How low would they go?  We'll see.

Record:  The Twins were 45-34, in second place in the American League West, one percentage point behind California (.571 to .570--the Angels had played two fewer games).  They were two games ahead of third-place Texas.

1991 Rewind: Game Sixty-two


Date:  Saturday, June 15.

Batting stars:  Scott Leius was 3-for-4 with four RBIs.  Chuck Knoblauch was 3-for-5 with two runs.  Dan Gladden was 3-for-5.  Brian Harper was 2-for-3 with a double, a hit-by-pitch, and two runs.

Pitching stars:  Paul Abbott pitched 6.1 innings of relief, giving up one run on three hits and five walks and striking out three.

Opposition stars:  Felix Fermin was 3-for-4 with a walk.  Chris James was 2-for-5 with a double.

The game:  Chili Davis' RBI single got the Twins on the board in the first inning.  The Indians came back in the bottom of the first.  Singles by Mike Huff and Fermin, a sacrifice fly, a walk to Brook Jacoby, and Jeff Manto's two-run double gave Cleveland a 3-1 lead.  In the second a walk, an error, and RBI singles by Fermin and James made it 5-1 Indians, and the Twins' winning streak appeared to be in serious trouble.

Not to worry.  The Twins put up a six-spot in the third and went into the lead to stay.  With one out, Gladden and Knoblauch singled and Kirby Puckett delivered a two-run triple.  Davis walked, followed by Harper's RBI single.  Kent Hrbek walked, a force out brought home a run to tie it, and Leius came through with a two-run single to put the Twins up 7-5.

The Twins added to their lead in the fifth.  Davis walked, Harper doubled, a ground out scored one run, and Leius had another run-scoring single to make the score 9-5 Twins.  The Indians got one back in the bottom of the fifth on two walks and two ground outs, cutting it to 9-6, but the Twins took control in the seventh.  Harper was hit by a pitch and Shane Mack got a one-out double.  Leius singled home another run and a sacrifice fly made it 11-6.  Cleveland got a run in the ninth on a double play to round out the scoring.

WP:  Abbott (2-0).  LP:  Jeff Mutis (0-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  It was a standard lineup, but the Twins made numerous late changes.  Pedro Munoz pinch-hit for Puckett in the eighth and went to right field, with Mack moving to center.  Lenny Webster went in to catch in the eighth, replacing Harper, and Al Newman went to short in the eighth, replacing Greg Gagne.  Randy Bush pinch-hit for Hrbek in the ninth and stayed in the game at first base.

Harper raised his average to .341.  Puckett was 1-for-4 and was batting .320.  Davis was 1-for-3 and was batting .301.  Abbott dropped his ERA to 1.98.

Bush went 0-for-1 and was batting .193.  Twins starter Mark Guthrie pitched just 1.1 innings and allowed five runs (three earned), raising his ERA to 5.60.  He would struggle through two more starts, then be dropped from the rotation.

Cleveland starter Jeff Mutis pitched just 2.2 innings, allowing seven runs on six hits and two walks.  This was his major league debut, and it obviously didn't go quite like he dreamed.  He made two more starts for the Indians in 1991 and continued to struggle.  He was with them again briefly in 1992 and was actually in their rotation at the start of 1993, but never had success in the majors.  He was in the Florida bullpen in 1994 but fared no better there.  For his career, he was 4-11, 6.48, 1.76 WHIP in 143 innings.  He appeared in 58 games, 18 of them starts.  He wasn't very good in AAA, either, going 17-16, 4.72, 1.49 WHIP.  He was with teams who were desperate for pitching, and there was apparently something about him teams liked, but there was really no reason for him to get that many chances in the major leagues.  His wikipedia entry closes with "In 1994, on December 15th, he birthed a beautiful child, named Carolyn Mutis".  At last report, he was living in Ontario and was a software engineer.  We hope he has more success in his current occupation.

So the Twins had made it fourteen in a row and seventeen of eighteen.  How long could they keep it going?

Record:  The Twins were 37-25, in second place in the American League West, a half-game behind first-place Oakland.  They led third-place Texas by three games.

1991 Rewind: Game Forty-seven


Date:  Thursday, May 30.

Batting stars:  Greg Gagne was 2-for-3.  Chili Davis was 1-for-4 with a home run, his ninth.

Pitching star:  Mark Guthrie pitched 7.1 innings, giving up one run on six hits and three walks and striking out four.

Opposition star:  Mark Gubicza pitched 7.1 innings, giving up three runs on five hits and two walks and striking out three.

The game:  The Twins opened the scoring in the third.  Gene Larkin led off with a walk and was followed by singles by Mike Pagliarulo and Gagne to bring home the first run.  A fly ball and a force out scored a second run to put the Twins up 2-0.

The Royals threatened in the bottom of the third, as one-out singles by Terry Shumpert and Brian McRae were followed by a double steal to put men on second and third.  Shumpert, however, was thrown out trying to score on an grounder to third and another ground out ended the inning.  Kansas City did get on the board in the fifth when Kurt Stillwell led off with a triple and Bill Pecota followed with a double, but the next three batters could not get the ball out of the infield and the score stayed 2-1.

The Twins got some insurance in the late innings.  In the eighth, Pagliarulo walked and scored on Gagne's single-plus-error.  Davis hit a two-out solo homer in the ninth.  The Royals got one more in the bottom of the ninth, as Jim Eisenreich led off with a double and scored on a two-out single by Kirk Gibson, but McRae grounded out to end the game.

WP:  Guthrie (4-3).  LP:  Gubicza (1-3).  S:  Aguilera (10).

Notes:  Larkin was in right field.  Mack replaced him in the field in the eighth.  In the top of the eighth, Al Newman pinch-ran for Pagliarulo and Randy Bush pinch-hit for Chuck Knoblauch.  Newman remained in the game at second with Scott Leius coming in to play third.

Brian Harper was 0-for-4, dropping his average to .344.  He was now 2-for-16 in his last four games.  Kirby Puckett was 0-for-4 and was batting .330.  Gagne raised his average to .320.  Davis was batting .305.  Rick Aguilera pitched 1.2 innings and gave up a run, but his ERA was still just 1.88.

This was the last really good start Guthrie would have in 1991.  Not that every other start was awful, but his best were no more than okay, and as we all know, just okay is not okay.  He went to the bullpen at the end of June and did quite well there the rest of the season.

I remember thinking that Terry Shumpert would be a good player.  He wasn't, and looking back on it I don't know why I thought he would be.  1991 was his only season as a mostly-regular, and he batted just .217 with an OPS of .605.  He stayed in the Royals organization through 1994, went to Boston in 1995, to the Cubs in 1996, and to San Diego in 1997.  Each year he would play a handful of games in the majors, but he never did much.  Then he signed with Colorado for 1998 and had the season of his life.  In 304 plate appearances he batted .347/.413/.584, for a .997 OPS.  He had never done anything close to that before and never would again.  His next highest batting average was .289, also with Colorado in 2001.  His next highest OPS was .796 with Colorado in 2000.  By 2002, however, even playing in Colorado couldn't save him.  His OPS dropped to .676, he played one more year for Tampa Bay, and then was done.  His numbers for the Rockies are .282/.349/.463; his career numbers are .252/.315/.409.  If there was ever a poster boy for a Coors Field effect, it would be Terry Shumpert.

Record:  The Twins were 23-24, fifth in the American League West, 5.5 games behind Oakland.  They were two games behind fourth-place Seattle and a game ahead of sixth-place Chicago.

1991 Rewind: Game Twenty-four


Date:  Saturday, May 4.

Batting starsGreg Gagne was 3-for-4 with a home run (his third), two doubles, and two runs.  Chili Davis was 3-for-5 with two doubles.  Randy Bush was 3-for-5.  Shane Mack was 2-for-3 with a walk.  Kent Hrbek was 2-for-5 with a double, two runs, and two RBIs.

Pitching starMark Guthrie pitched six shutout innings, giving up three hits and three walks and striking out four.

Opposition stars:  Willie Randolph was 2-for-4.  Greg Vaughn was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his sixth.  Rick Dempsey was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his second.

The game:  In the second, Davis led off with a double, went to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a ground out to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  Gagne homered in the third to make it 2-0.

The Brewers got their first threat in the fourth, when Randolph singled and Franklin Stubbs drew a two-out walk, but Vaughn fouled out to end the inning.  The Twins added another run in the fifth when Gagne doubled with one out and scored on a Dan Gladden single.  Milwaukee got another threat in the sixth on one-out singles by Randolph and Robin Yount, but a pop up and a strikeout put it to bed.

The Twins took control in the seventh.  Gagne led off with a double but was thrown out trying to go to third on Gladden's ground ball to short.  Chuck Knoblauch walked, though, putting men on first and second, and Hrbek came through with a two-run double.  Singles by Davis and Bush scored Hrbek to increase the Twins' lead to 6-0.  They got one more in the ninth when Hrbek singled and scored on Davis' double.

The Brewers did not quit, though.  Steve Bedrosian, in his third inning, gave up a one-out single to Stubbs and Vaughn followed with a two-run homer.  Dante Bichette reached on an error, and with two out Dempsey homered to cut the lead to 7-4.  Greg Brock grounded out, however, and the game was over.

WPGuthrie (1-2).  LP:  Chris Bosio (3-3).  SBedrosian (1).

NotesBush was in right field in this game, with Mack in center and Kirby Puckett given the day off.

Gagne raised his average to .333.  Knoblauch was 0-for-3 with two walks and was batting .319.  Davis raised his average to .303.

Mike Pagliarulo was 0-for-4 and was batting .179.  Mack raised his average to .184.  Hrbek raised his average to .190.

With his six shutout innings, Guthrie lowered his ERA to 7.94.  That may not sound like much, but it was 16.88 going into the game.  He had made two starts and two relief appearances going into this game.  He would be in the starting rotation through the end of June, then go to the bullpen for the rest of the season.  He did much better there--for the season he was 5-4, 5.73, 1.78 WHIP as a starter, 2-1, 2.51, 1.37 WHIP as a reliever.  He would make only two more starts the rest of his career, both in 1994.

I'm sure I included it in his biography, but I had completely forgotten that Rick Dempsey was even still in the league in 1991, much less played for the Brewers.  He appeared in 60 games, but had just 147 at-bats.  He would have one last hurrah with Baltimore in 1992 before hanging it up for good at age forty-two.

The Twins were 0-for-2 in stealing bases, with Mack and Bush getting caught stealing.  Plus, there was Gagne getting thrown out trying to go from second to third on a grounder to short.  It didn't cost them the game, but losing three baserunners is not the recommended way to go about things.

Bedrosian got a three-inning save despite giving up four runs in the ninth.  He would have six saves on the season, three of them of the three-inning variety.

Milwaukee starter Chris Bosio pitched 6.1 innings, allowing six runs on ten hits and three walks and striking out four.  It's interesting how much the game has changed, and how much longer starters were allowed to stay in games in 1991 even when they were giving up runs.

Record:  The Twins were 11-13, tied for fifth with Seattle in the American League West, 4.5 games behind Oakland.


1991 Rewind: Game Five


Date:  Saturday, April 13.

Batting stars:  Chuck Knoblauch was 3-for-3 with two walks, a stolen base, and two runs.  Greg Gagne was 2-for-4 with a double.  Brian Harper was 2-for-4 with a double.  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-5 with a home run, two runs, and three RBIs.  Kent Hrbek was 1-for-5 with a two-run homer.

Pitching star:  Steve Bedrosian struck out three in two shutout innings, giving up a hit and a walk.

Opposition stars:  Dave Winfield was 5-for-6 with three home runs, a double, four runs, and six RBIs.  Ex-Twin Gary Gaetti was 4-for-6 with a double.  Wally Joyner was 3-for-5 with a double, a walk, three runs, and three RBIs.  John Orton was 2-for-4 with a double.  Scott Bailes struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up one hit.

The game:  With two out in the first inning, Joyner singled, Winfield homered, and Lance Parrish homered to put the Angels up 3-0.  The Twins responded in the bottom of the first, as Knoblauch drew a one-out walk and Puckett hit a two-run homer, cutting the margin to 3-2.

California seemed to take control of the game in the third.  Dick Schofield led off with a single and Luis Sojo followed with an RBI triple.  With one out, Winfield hit a two-run homer.  It did not kill the rally, as Parrish walked, Gaetti doubled, and Junior Felix had an RBI single to make the score 7-2 Angels.  Winfield homered again leading off the fifth, and California led 8-2.

The Twins got back into the game in the bottom of the seventh.  With one out, Gagne doubled and scored on a Dan Gladden single-plus-error.  Knoblauch had an RBI single, went to second on a wild pitch, and scored on Puckett's single.  Hrbek then hit a two-run homer, and the Twins trailed by just 8-7.

But as quickly as the Twins got back into the game, they were back out of it.  Orton led off the sixth with a single and went to second on a wild pitch.  With one out, Donnie Hill doubled to score Orton and Joyner singled to score Hill.  Winfield followed with a double, Parrish was intentionally walked, Gaetti drove in a run with a single, and Felix hit a sacrifice fly.  The Angels were back up by five at 12-7.

The Twins again tried to come back.  Harper doubled to lead off the bottom of the sixth.  Randy Bush walked.  Gagne had an RBI single to make it 12-8.  A double play threatened to take them out of the inning, but Knoblauch walked and a wild pitch made it 12-9.  Puckett grounded out, however, and the inning ended.

That was the last threat the Twins would have.  California added three in the ninth, as Dave Gallagher had a bunt single, Hill drew a two-out walk, Joyner delivered a two-run double, and Winfield added an RBI single.

WP:  Bailes (1-0).  LP:  Mark Guthrie (0-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Puckett was in center field.  Bush was in right, replacing Shane Mack.

Gagne raised his average to .417.  Chili Davis was 1-for-4 and was batting .353.  Knoblauch raised his average to .353.  Puckett was batting .350.  Scott Leius pinch-hit and was 0-for-1, making his average .333.

On the other end, Gladden got his first hit of the season and was batting .059.  Hrbek was batting .158.  Bush was 0-for-2 with a walk and was batting .167.

Guthrie pitched just 2.1 innings, giving up six runs on seven hits.  He did not walk anyone (maybe he should have) and struck out three.  This would be his last year as a starter, and by the end of June he would become a full-time reliever.  He went on to have a long career in the bullpen, lasting through 2003.  In addition to the Twins, he played for the Dodgers, Boston, the Cubs, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Oakland, the Mets, and the Cubs again.  He would reach the post-season five times.

I have zero memory of John Orton.  He was a backup catcher for parts of five seasons, all with the Angels.  He appears to have been your standard no-hit backup backstop.  In AA he batted .230/.314/.406.  In AAA he batted .230/.315/.354.  In the majors he batted .200/.265/.274.  His career spanned 1989-1993.  In his five big-league years, he appeared in 156 games and had 448 plate appearances.  He stayed in baseball after his playing career ended, managing in the White Sox organization from 2001-2005.  He became the Sox' minor league catching coordinator in 2011 and continues to hold that position.

Record:  The Twins were 2-3, in fifth place in the American League West, 2.5 games behind California.