Tag Archives: Minnesota Twins

2002 Rewind: Game Forty-five

NEW YORK 3, MINNESOTA 0 IN NEW YORK

Date:  Sunday, May 19.

Batting star:  Dustan Mohr was 2-for-4.

Pitching stars:  Mike Jackson pitched 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up one hit.  J. C. Romero pitched a scoreless inning, walking one and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Roger Clemens struck out thirteen in eight shutout innings, giving up four hits and two walks.  Alfonso Soriano was 3-for-4.  Robin Ventura was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer, his eleventh, and a walk.

The game:  Derek Jeter singled home Soriano in the first inning, giving the Yankees a 1-0 lead before anyone was out.  It stayed 1-0 until the sixth, when Ventura hit a two-run homer.  The Twins had men on second and third in the second and on first and third in the fourth.  They also got the tying run to the plate with two out in the ninth, but Mariano Rivera struck out pinch-hitter Brian Buchanan to end the game.

WP:  Clemens (7-2).  LP:  Matt Kinney (1-4).  S:  Mariano Rivera (13).

Notes:  Kielty again played first base, going 1-for-4 to make his average .324.  David Ortiz was in the lineup as the DH...Jay Canizaro was at third, with Denny Hocking at second...Kinney struck out six in 5.1 innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on eight hits and a walk...Torii Hunter was 0-for-4, dropping his average to .331...Mohr raised his average to .324...A. J. Pierzynski was 0-for-2 with a walk, making his average .303...Jackson's ERA fell to 1.00...Romero's ERA was 0.36...Future Twins Rondell White was in the lineup for the Yankees, going 0-for-3.

Record:  The Twins were 25-20, in first place by a half game over Chicago, who had gone 3-7 over the last ten games just as the Twins had.

2002 Rewind: Game Forty-four

NEW YORK 6, MINNESOTA 2 IN NEW YORK

Date:  Saturday, May 18.

Batting stars:  Dustan Mohr was 2-for-4 with a double.  Bobby Kielty was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.

Pitching star:  Mike Trombley struck out two in a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Ted Lilly struck out nine in seven innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on five hits and one walk.  Bernie Williams was 2-for-2 with two walks.  Jason Giambi was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk.

The game:  Four consecutive singles produced two first-inning runs for the Yankees.  Tom Prince singled home a run in the second to cut the lead to 2-1 and Mohr's RBI double in the sixth tied it 2-2.  In the bottom of the sixth, however, New York opened the inning with a pair of singles, bringing in Bob Wells.  He gave up a three-run homer to Alfonso Soriano to put the Yankees in the lead to stay.  Shane Spencer singled home an insurance run in the seventh.  The Twins put two on with none out in the eighth, but their last six batters were retired.

WP:  Lilly (1-3).  LP:  Tony Fiore (2-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Brian Buchanan was at DH, going 0-for-4...Kielty was again at first base.  He raised his average to .329...Casey Blake was at third base, going 0-for-4...Prince was in at catcher and was 1-for-4, making his average .333...Denny Hocking was at second, going 0-for-4...Tony Fiore made an emergency start, one of two he would make in 2002 and the only two starts of his career.  He had a fine year in 2002, going 10-3, 3.16, 1.29 WHIP.  If you take out those two starts, though, he's even better:  9-2, 2.79, 1.02 WHIP...Torii Hunter was 1-for-4, making his average .339...Mohr raised his average to .318...This would be the last good outing of Mike Trombley's career.  He would pitch in just one more game.

Record:  The Twins were 25-19, in first place by a half game over Chicago.

2002 Rewind: Game Forty-three

NEW YORK 13, MINNESOTA 12 IN NEW YORK (14 INNINGS)

Date:  Friday, May 17.

Batting stars:  Bobby Kielty was 4-for-7 with a double and three runs.  Brian Buchanan was 4-for-7 with a double and a stolen base, his second (he had nine stolen bases for his career, six of them with San Diego in 2003).  Denny Hocking was 3-for-7 with three RBIs.

Pitching stars:  Bob Wells pitched a perfect inning.  J. C. Romero pitched 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up one hit while lowering his ERA to 0.37.  Jack Cressend struck out five in three shutout innings, giving up four hits.

Opposition stars:  Never mind.

The game:  It was tempting to just skip over this one entirely.  If you were a Twins fan in 2002, you remember this game.  If you weren't, well, take it from me that you don't want to know.  If you really must know more, you can find the b-r.com information here.  https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYA/NYA200205170.shtml

Record:  The Twins were 25-18, in first place by 1.5 games over Chicago.

 

2002 Rewind: Game Forty-two

MINNESOTA 14, KANSAS CITY 5 IN KANSAS CITY

Date:  Thursday, May 16.

Batting stars:  Torii Hunter was 4-for-6 with two home runs, his tenth and eleventh.  He scored three times and drove in four.  Tom Prince was 2-for-4 with a home run (his fourth), a walk, and three RBIs.  Jacque Jones was 2-for-6 with a home run, his eighth.

Pitching stars:  Jack Cressend pitched two shutout innings.  Bob Wells pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Carlos Beltran was 2-for-3 with a walk.  Juan Brito was 2-for-4 with two doubles.  Michael Tucker was 2-for-5 with a double.

The game:  Hunter homered in the first to put the Twins up 1-0.  Jay Canizaro and Denny Hocking each had an RBI double in a three-run second that made it 4-0.  They added two more in the third and Jones homered in the fourth to make it 7-0.  The Royals scored three in the fifth to cut the lead to 7-3, but Prince and Cristian Guzman each homered in the sixth and the Twins were never threatened again.  Hunter put an exclamation point on the game with a three-run homer in a five-run seventh.

WP:  Kyle Lohse (3-2).  LP:  Chris George (0-4).  S:  None.

Notes:  Doug Mientkiewicz apparently had a minor injury, as he missed his second straight game and would not play again until May 22.  Bobby Kielty was at first place, one of five times he would play there in 2002 and one of eight times he would play there in his career.  He went 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, and a stolen base, his second.  He raised his average to .300....It would be interesting to know why Ron Gardenhire sometimes played Hocking at third and Canizaro at second and sometimes did it the other way around.  In this game it was Hocking at second and Canizaro at third...Hunter raised his average to .342...Prince also raised his average to .342...Dustan Mohr was 2-for-5 with a walk and two stolen bases, his second and third, to make his average .311...Lohse pitched five innings, giving up three runs (one earned) on four hits and five walks with two strikeouts...Chuck Knoblauch stole two bases for Kansas City, his eleventh and twelfth.  This was his thirty-eighth game.  Twelve stolen bases in thirty-eight games is pretty good when your OBP is only .271...The two doubles by Juan Brito were the only two he would get in the majors in 2002.  He played only nine games for the Royals, getting sent back to the minors ten days later despite the fact that he was batting .304 at the time.  He would not get back to the majors until 2004, when he was with Arizona.  He came up in June and stayed for the rest of the season, batting .205 in 171 at-bats.  That would be it for his major league career, although he played in AAA through 2007 and played in winter ball through 2010.  He batted .216/.252/.309 in 194 at-bats.  It appears that he is the brother of Jorge Brito, who caught for Colorado in 1995-96.

Record:  The Twins were 25-17, in first place, 1.5 games ahead of Chicago.

2002 Rewind: Game Forty-one

MINNESOTA 8, KANSAS CITY 6 IN KANSAS CITY

Date:  Wednesday, May 15.

Batting stars:  Jacque Jones was 2-for-5 with two home runs (his sixth and seventh) and four RBIs.  Bobby Kielty was 2-for-3 with a walk.  A. J. Pierzynski was 2-for-4.

Pitching stars:  Mike Jackson retired all four men he faced.  Eddie Guardado pitched as scoreless ninth despite giving up two hits.

Opposition stars:  Mike Sweeney was 4-for-5 with a home run (his fifth) and two doubles.  Carlos Febles was 2-for-4 with a stolen base, his fourth.  Neifi Perez was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer.

The game:  Jones led off the game with a home run and Kielty singled home a run later in the inning to give the Twins a 2-0 lead.  Kielty delivered another RBI single in the third to make it 3-0.  The Royals got a run on a wild pitch in the third and Febles delivered a two-run single in the fourth to tie it 3-3.  Sweeney homered in the fifth to put Kansas City up 4-3.  In the sixth, the Twins loaded the bases with one out.  Denny Hocking tied the score with a ground out and Jones followed with a three-run homer to give Minnesota a 7-4 lead.  Perez hit a two-run homer in the seventh to cut the lead to 7-6, but that was as close as the Royals would come.  Hocking contributed another run-scoring ground out in the eighth to provide and insurance run.  Kansas City tried to rally in the ninth.  Guardado came in to start the inning.  Chuck Knoblauch had a one-out single and Sweeney a two-out single to put men on first and second.  They then pulled off a double steal to make it second and third.  Guardado then struck out Carlos Beltran to end the game.

WP:  Eric Milton (5-3).  LP:  Dan Reichert (1-4).  S:  Guardado (14).

Notes:  David Ortiz was at first base, replacing Doug Mientkiewicz.  He went 1-for-5.  Brian Buchanan was the DH and went 0-for-4...Casey Blake was again at third base, going 1-for-4...Hocking was at second base and was 1-for-4...Eric Milton started and got the win despite not pitching very well.  He went 5.1 innings, giving up six runs (five earned) on eight hits and no walks with no strikeouts...Mike Trombley, who had started the season with the Dodgers and been released, made his season debut with the Twins, giving up one hit in one-third of an inning.  Unfortunately, he would make only four more appearances with the Twins before his career came to an end...Torii Hunter was 0-for-4 with a walk and was batting .329...Pierzynski raised his average to .310...Jackson's ERA fell to 1.15...Guardado's ERA was 1.89...Dan Reichert played in the majors for most of three seasons and parts of two others without really doing anything to show he belonged there.  His "best" season, I suppose, was 2000, when he went 8-10, 4.70, 1.62 WHIP, 5.10 FIP.  He appeared in 44 games that year, eighteen of them starts.  It was the lowest ERA and the lowest FIP of his career, although not by much in the latter case.  He came up to the Royals in 1999 and stayed through 2002, going to Toronto in 2003.  For his career he was 21-25, 5.55, 1.68 WHIP, 5.14 FIP in 395.1 innings.  You can't even really call him a AAAA pitcher, because his AAA numbers are 24-19, 4.33, 1.46 WHIP in 363.1 innings.  He had 8.3 strikeouts per nine innings in AAA, which may be why he kept getting chances in the majors.  Whenever I see a guy like this, I think of the players who succeed in AAA year after year and never get a real shot, while someone like this gets chance after chance.  At last report, he was the pitching coach of the Lincoln Saltdogs.

Record:  The Twins were 24-17, in first place by 1.5 games over Chicago.

2002 Rewind: Game Forty

KANSAS CITY 8, MINNESOTA 1 IN KANSAS CITY

Date:  Tuesday, May 14.

Batting stars:  Torii Hunter was 2-for-3.  A. J. Pierzynski was 2-for-4.

Pitching star:  LaTroy Hawkins pitched two shutout innings, giving up one hit while striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Jeff Suppan pitched eight shutout innings, giving up an unearned run on nine hits and no walks.  Neifi Perez was 3-for-4 with a triple.  A. J. Hinch was 2-for-4 with a home run (his third) and four RBIs.

The game:  Doug Mientkiewicz hit a sacrifice fly in the first to give the Twins a 1-0 lead, but it was all downhill from there.  Chuck Knoblauch homered to lead off the bottom of the first and tie the score.  Hinch had an RBI single in a two-run second to make it 3-1 Royals.  Kansas City added two more in the fourth and Hinch hit a three-run homer in the fifth.  The Twins had nine hits, but eight of them were singles and they had only five at-bats with men in scoring position, going 1-for-5.

WP:  Suppan (4-4).  LP:  Matt Kinney (1-3).  S:  None.

Notes:  Brian Buchanan was again in right field, going 1-for-4...With both Corey Koskie and Luis Rivas out, the Twins had been going with either Casey Blake or Denny Hocking at third and Jay Canizaro at second.  In this game, however, Hocking was at second and Canizaro at third...Matt Kinney lasted only 3.2 innings, giving up five runs on seven hits and five walks with one strikeout...Hawkins lowered his ERA to 1.52...Jeff Suppan pitched a long time without really being all that good.  In a seventeen year career, he only once had an ERA under four (2005) and only had five seasons in which his ERA was under 4.50 (2001, 2003-2006).  In contrast, he had eight seasons in which his ERA was over 5.00, although two of those were his first two seasons in which he pitched only 22.2 innings per season and one was his last in which he pitched 30.2 innings.  He was a very durable pitcher, throwing over 200 innings in six seasons and over 160 in eleven seasons.  2002 was not one of his best seasons--he went 9-16, 5.32.  He had a fine game here, though.

Record:  The Twins were 23-17, in first place by a half game over Chicago.

2002 Rewind: Game Thirty-nine

MINNESOTA 3, KANSAS CITY 2 IN KANSAS CITY

Date:  Monday, May 13.

Batting stars:  Brian Buchanan was 2-for-4 with a home run, his fourth.  Jay Canizaro was 1-for-4 with a walk.  David Ortiz was 1-for-4 with a double.

Pitching stars:  Brad Radke pitched two shutout innings, giving up one hit and no walks with two strikeouts.  J. C. Romero pitched 2.2 scoreless innings, giving up one hit while striking out one.  Eddie Guardado pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.

Opposition stars:  Neifi Perez was 2-for-4 with two doubles.  Michael Tucker was 1-for-2 with two walks and a stolen base, his sixth.  Jeremy Affeldt pitched 5.2 innings, giving up two runs on five hits and a walk with three strikeouts.

The game:  There was no score until the fourth, when the Royals took a 1-0 lead on an RBI ground out.  The Twins tied it in the fifth when Tom Prince led off with a double and scored on a Cristian Guzman single.  Kansas City went back in front in the bottom of the fifth on two walks and a Guzman throwing error.  The Twins tied it again in the sixth on Buchanan's two-out solo home run.  In the eighth, Doug Mientkiewicz led off with a  double and scored from first on an Ortiz double to give the Twins the lead 3-2.  The Royals did not get a baserunner after Perez' one-out double in the sixth.

WP:  Romero (3-0).  LP:  Jason Grimsley (1-2).  S:  Guardado (13).

Notes:  Apparently there was nothing wrong with the Twins that playing Not The Yankees couldn't fix...Jacque Jones was again out of the starting lineup, with Dustan Mohr in left and Buchanan in right.  This is the third time in five games he was out of the lineup--perhaps he had a minor injury.  He would be back in the lineup regularly starting with the next game...Canizaro was the second baseman and leadoff batter...Ortiz returned to the starting lineup as the DH, having been out since April 18...Prince caught in place of A. J. Pierzynski.  He went 1-for-3 and was batting .324...Torii Hunter was 0-for-4, dropping his average to .331...Mohr was 1-for-4 and was batting .306...Denny Hocking was at third base and went 0-for-2...Radke pitched the first two innings, then left the game due to injury.  He would make an abortive comeback attempt May 30, but would not return to the rotation until August 3...Romero's ERA dropped to 0.40...Mike Jackson struck out both batters he faced to drop his ERA to 1.26...Guardado's ERA dropped to 2.00...Ex-Twin Chuck Knoblauch was 0-for-3 with a walk, lowering his average to .189.

Record:  The Twins were 23-16, in first place by 1.5 games over Chicago.

2002 Rewind: Game Thirty-eight

NEW YORK 10, MINNESOTA 4 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Sunday, May 12.

Batting stars:  Matthew LeCroy was 2-for-4 with a three-run homer, his second.  Jay Canizaro was 3-for-4 with two doubles.  Cristian Guzman was 2-for-4.

Pitching star:  Tony Fiore pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Jorge Posada was 4-for-5 with a home run (his fourth) and two doubles.  Jason Giambi was 3-for-5 with a home run (his seventh) and three RBIs.  Robin Ventura was 2-for-5 with a home run, his ninth.

The game:  It was a good game for four innings.  Bernie Williams singled home a run in the first to put the Yankees up 1-0.  Posada and Ventura hit back-to-back two-out homers in the fourth to make it 3-0.  The Twins had threatened in the first, putting men on first and third with two out, and again in the third on Canizaro's lead-off double, but each time Mike Mussina turned the threat aside.  New York broke it open in the fifth, getting solo homers by Nick Johnson and Derek Jeter and a two-run shot by Giambi.  It was 7-0 and Minnesota was never in the game again.  Casey Blake singled home a run in the seventh and LeCroy hit a three-run homer in the eighth, but all that did was cut the lead to 9-4.

WP:  Mussina (5-2).  LPRick Reed (4-2).  S:  None.

Note:  LeCroy was again at DH and raised his average to .322...Brian Buchanan was back in right field and went 0-for-4.  He was in a 2-for-19 stretch...Blake was again at third base and was 1-for-4...Canizaro was the second baseman...Reed struck out six in 4.2 innings, but allowed five runs on seven hits and no walks.  He gave up four home runs--maybe he should've walked a few people...The Twins were swept by the Yankees, a trend that would continue throughout Ron Gardenhire's tenure as manager...I assume most people remember Mussina's dominance of the Twins.  For his career against Minnesota (33 starts), he was 22-6, 3.09, 1.17 WHIP, 186 strikeouts in 230.1 innings.  That's pretty much a Cy Young season.  The only team against whom he registered more wins was Toronto (25 in 44 starts).  There was no American League team against whom he had a higher winning percentage.

Record:  The Twins were 22-16, still in first place by a game over Chicago, which had been losing to Anaheim.

2002 Rewind: Game Thirty-seven

NEW YORK 4, MINNESOTA 2 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Saturday, May 11.

Batting stars:  Matthew LeCroy was 2-for-4 with a double.  Bobby Kielty was 1-for-3 with a walk.

Pitching stars:  Kyle Lohse pitched 6.1 innings, giving up two runs on three hits and two walks with five strikeouts.  J. C. Romero pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits.

Opposition stars:  Bernie Williams was 3-for-4 with a triple and a double.  Robin Ventura was 2-for-4 with a home run (his eighth) and three RBIs.  Ted Lilly pitched 5.2 innings, giving up two runs on four hits and two walks with one strikeout.

The game:  The Yankees scored the first run of the game in the fourth inning on a double play.  The Twins tied it in the fifth, with LeCroy hitting a two-out double and scoring on a single by Kielty.  The Twins took a 2-1 lead in the sixth on Brian Buchanan's RBI single, but the Yankees tied it in the seventh when Williams tripled and scored on a Ventura single.  In the ninth that combination struck again, as Williams doubled and Ventura hit a two-run homer.  The Twins got a man on in the ninth on an error, but did not advance him past first base.

WP:  Mike Stanton (2-0).  LP:  Eddie Guardado (0-1).  S:  Mariano Rivera (12).

Notes:  Dustan Mohr led off and played left field in place of Jacque Jones.  He went 1-for-4 and was batting .309...Torii Hunter was 1-for-4 and was batting .345...LeCroy raised his average to .309...Casey Blake was again at third base, going 0-for-3 with a walk...Buchanan was at DH, with Kielty in right field...Tom Prince caught, replacing A. J. Pierzynski.  He went 0-for-4 to drop his average to .323...Denny Hocking was at second base...Guardado entered in the ninth inning and took the loss.  He still did not have a blown save...Ted Lilly had a fine major league career, playing from 1999-2013.  He made two all-star teams, in 2004 with Toronto and 2009 with the Cubs.  He was never a real star--the only time he led the league in anything was 2008, when he led the league in starts--but he was a dependable starting pitcher for most of his career.  He pitched between 177-207 innings ever season but one from 2003 through 2011.  He had double-digit wins in every season from 2003 through 2011 and had a solid ERA in each of those years except 2005, when he missed part of the season due to injury.  His career numbers are 130-113, 4.14 ERA, 1.26 WHIP in almost 2000 innings.  He's not going to get into the Hall of Fame or anything, but for about nine years he was a pitcher that you were quite happy to have on your team.

Record:  The Twins were 22-15, in first place, a game ahead of Chicago.

2002 Rewind: Game Thirty-six

NEW YORK 5, MINNESOTA 3 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Friday, May 10.

Batting stars:  Doug Mientkiewicz was 3-for-3 with a walk.  Jacque Jones was 2-for-5.  Brian Buchanan was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his third.

Pitching star:  Tony Fiore struck out five in three shutout innings, giving up no hits and one walk.

Opposition stars:  Bernie Williams was 3-for-5.  Derek Jeter was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer, his fifth.  David Wells pitched 6.2 innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on nine hits and one walk with six strikeouts.

The game:  A throwing error on Jeter allowed the Twins to score a run in the first inning and take a 1-0 lead.  The Yankees tied it in the top of the third on Williams' RBI single, but Buchanan hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the third to put Minnesota ahead 3-1.  That was as good as it would get for the Twins, though.  Jeter hit a two-run homer in the fifth to tie the score.  Later in the fifth, Jorge Posada put New York ahead with a run-scoring double and a run was walked in still later in the inning, making the score 5-3.  Minnesota did not advance a man past first base after that.

WP:  Wells (5-1).  LP:  Eric Milton (4-3).  S:  Mariano Rivera (11).

Notes:  Buchanan was again in right field...Dustan Mohr got the call at DH, going 0-for-4 to make his average .311...Maybe Buchanan was a better outfielder than I remember, and I confess that I don't understand defensive stats very well, but I don't know why you wouldn't do that the other way, with Mohr in right and Buchanan as the DH...Corey Koskie was apparently injured, as Casey Blake was called up and made the start at third base, going 1-for-4.  He would stay with the Twins through May 22, then go back to AAA...Jay Canizaro started at second base, going 0-for-3...Jones raised his average to .310...Torii Hunter was 1-for-4 to make his average .348...Milton pitched just four innings-plus, giving up five runs on ten hits and two walks with two strikeouts...Tony Fiore was awesome through this point in the season.  Seven appearances, 17.1 innings, 1 run, 6 hits, 5 walks, 11 strikeouts, 0.49 ERA, 0.63 WHIP.  Prior to this, he had thrown 24.2 innings in the big leagues with an ERA of 7.30.  He wouldn't keep it up, obviously--in fact, he would give up runs in his next four appearances--but 2002 was easily his best year in the majors, and in fact the only good year he had.

Record:  The Twins were 22-14, in first place, a game ahead of Chicago.