Tag Archives: Matthew LeCroy

2003 Rewind: Game Thirty-eight

MINNESOTA 4, KANSAS CITY 2 IN MINNESOTA (10 INNINGS)

Date:  Tuesday, May 13.

Batting stars:  Matthew LeCroy was 2-for-3 with a double.  Dustan Mohr was 2-for-4.  Todd Sears was 1-for-1 with a two-run homer and a walk.

Pitching stars:  Kyle Lohse struck out seven in seven innings, giving up one run on eight hits and no walks and striking out seven.  LaTroy Hawkins pitched two shutout innings, giving up one hit and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Kyle Snyder pitched 6.1 innings, giving up one run on five hits and no walks and striking out three.  Desi Relaford was 3-for-4 with a stolen base, his fifth.  Ken Harvey was 2-for-4 with a double.  Carlos Beltran was 2-for-4 with a walk and a stolen base, his fourth.  Mike Sweeney was 2-for-5.

The game:  The Royals had a man on third with two out in the first and had two on with none out in the fifth, but it was still scoreless through five.  Beltran led off the sixth with a single.  A force out meant that it was Raul Ibanez on first with two down.  Harvey singled, and then Relaford delivered an RBI single.  Relaford was out trying to stretch it to a double, but it was till 1-0 Kansas City.

The Twins tied it in the seventh.  LeCroy hit a one-out double and scored on a two-out single by Doug Mientkiewicz.  The tie lasted until the next half-inning.  In the eighth, Beltran and Ibanez walked and Harvey delivered a double to put the Royals back up 2-1.

It was still 2-1 until the bottom of the ninth.  But Chris Gomez led off with a single, went to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a Bobby Kielty single to tie it 2-2.

We went to the tenth.  Kansas City got a two-out single, but no more.  In the bottom of the inning, Mohr singled with one out.  With two out, Sears hit a walkoff two-run homer to give the Twins a 4-2 victory.

WP:  Hawkins (2-0).  LP:  Albie Lopez (4-2).  S:  None.

Notes:  Chris Gomez was at shortstop in place of Cristian Guzman.  Mohr was in left in place of Jacque Jones.  Denny Hocking was in right field.

Tom Prince pinch-ran for LeCroy in the seventh.  Sears pinch-hit for Hocking in the eighth and stayed in the game at first base, with Mientkiewicz moving to right field.  Jacque Jones pinch-hit for Luis Rivas in the eighth.  Cristian Guzman then came in to play short, with Gomez moving to second.  Bobby Kielty pinch-hit for Prince in the ninth.

Jones was 0-for-1 and was batting .340.  LeCroy raised his average to .318.  Kielty was 1-for-1 and was batting .306.  Mohr was batting .302.

Hocking was 0-for-2 and was batting .095.

Lohse lowered his ERA to 3.27.  Johan Santana gave up one run in one inning to make his ERA 1.57.  Hawkins lowered his ERA to 1.62.

LeCroy was 9-for-20 in his last five games and 15-for-39 in his last ten games.

I mentioned Sears' first home run the other day.  This was his second and last.  He didn't have a long or particularly good career, but he has this one story of a walkoff home run that he can tell his grandchildren some day.

Neither starter walked a batter, and there were only three walks in the entire game.  Either the pitchers had excellent control, the batters were swinging at everything, or the umpire had a really big strike zone.

If you remember Mike Sweeney as a Twins-killer, you're right.  For his career he batted .325/.384/.554 with twenty-five home runs against them.  His slugging average and OPS were higher against the Twins than against any other team, excluding National League teams against which he had fewer than fifty at-bats.  In 2003, however, not so much:  he hit .281/.369/.421 with just two home runs..  That's good, but it's nothing to get particularly excited about.

I couldn't quickly find out how many times Prince was used as a pinch-runner in his career, but it can't be very many.  That he was used in this game, at age thirty-eight, when he'd lost any little bit of speed he had, says something about LeCroy's running ability.

Record:  The Twins were 21-17, in second place in the American League Central, 2.5 games behind Kansas City.

Random Rewind: 2007, Game One Hundred Forty-eight

DETROIT 4, MINNESOTA 3 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Saturday, September 15.

Batting star:  Nick Punto was 2-for-3 with a stolen base (his sixteenth) and two runs.

Pitching stars:  Johan Santana pitched eight innings, giving up four runs on six hits and two walks and striking out seven.  Matt Guerrier struck out two in a scoreless inning, giving up a walk.

Opposition stars:  Ivan Rodriguez was 1-for-4 with a double and three RBIs.  Joel Zumaya pitched 1.2 perfect innings.

The game:  The Tigers scored all of their runs in the first inning.  Ryan Raburn and Placido Polanco led off with singles.  With one out Magglio Ordonez walked to load the bases.  Carlos Guillen singled home a run and Rodriguez hit a three-run double.  It was 4-0 Detroit before the Twins came to bat.

The Twins spent the rest of the game trying to come back and could not get there.  In the third Punto singled, went to third on a Jason Bartlett single, and scored on a wild pitch.  In the fifth Luis Rodriguez led off with a double, went to third on a fly ball, and scored on a ground out, cutting the lead to 4-2.

The Twins had their best chance to tie it in the seventh.  Punto singled and Bartlett walked.  With one out Jason Kubel reached on an error, making the score 4-3 and leaving men on first and second.  But Joe Mauer hit into a double play, ending the inning.  The Twins had only one baserunner, a two-out walk to Brian Buscher in the ninth, after that.

WP:  Zumaya (2-3).  LP:  Santana (15-12).  S:  Todd Jones (36).

Notes:  Rodriguez was at second base.  Luis Castillo had been the regular second baseman, but he was traded at the July deadline.  Alexi Casilla became the regular second baseman after that.

Garrett Jones was the DH, one of the 31 games he played as a Twin.  He would go on to have a few fairly good years for Pittsburgh.  The Twins did not have a regular DH in 2007.  Players used there included Kubel (36 games), Jason Tyner (26), Jeff Cirillo (24), Mauer (19), Rondell White (19), Mike Redmond (18), Justin Morneau (14), and Jones (13).

Matthew LeCroy pinch-hit for Jones in the sixth.  Tyner pinch-hit for LeCroy in the ninth.  Buscher pinch-hit for Punto in the ninth.  Casilla pinch-ran for Buscher in the ninth.

LeCroy was at the end of his career.  He had spent the season in Rochester and hadn't done very well, but was given a September call up anyway, probably for sentimental reasons.  He was 1-for-3 at this point, and so was the only Twin over .300 at .333, but ended up 3-for-20.  They had four players in the .290s.  Buscher was at .294--he would finish at .244.  Tyner was at .292--he would finish at ,286.  Mauer was at .291--he would finish at .293.  Torii Hunter was at .290--he would finish at .287.

Santana's ERA was 3.14.  He would finish at 3.33.  Guerrier's ERA was 2.29.  He would finish at 2.35.

Detroit's starter was Yorman Bazardo.  He pitched 4.2 innings, giving up two runs on four hits and two walks and striking out two.

This was the third of a four-game losing streak for the Twins.

Record:  The Twins were 72-76, in third place in the American League Central, 15 games behind Cleveland.  They would finish 79-83, in third place, 17 games behind Cleveland.

The Tigers were 82-67, in second place in the American League Central, 5.5 games behind Cleveland.  They would finish 88-74, in second place, 8 games behind Cleveland.