MINNESOTA 4, TORONTO 0 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Sunday, July 28.
Batting stars: Torii Hunter was 3-for-4 with a double and a home run, his twenty-fourth. David Ortiz was 2-for-4. Corey Koskie was 1-for-4 with a double.
Pitching stars: Johan Santana struck out thirteen in eight shutout innings, giving up two hits and three walks. Eddie Guardado struck out two in a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.
Opposition stars: Carlos Delgado was 2-for-4 with a double. Shannon Stewart was 1-for-4 with a triple. Scott Eyre retired all four batters he faced.
The game: Doubles by Cristian Guzman and Koskie gave the Twins a 1-0 lead in the first inning. It stayed 1-0 until the sixth, when the Twins loaded the bases with one out and a Michael Cuddyer sacrifice fly and an A. J. Pierzynski singled made it 3-0. Hunter added a home run in the eighth to round out the scoring. The Blue Jays twice got a man to third base but did not score.
WP: Santana (5-2). LP: Esteban Loaiza (4-6). S: None.
Notes: Cuddyer started at first base, with Doug Mientkiewicz on the bench. He was 0-for-2 with a walk and a sacrifice fly.
Denny Hocking was 1-for-3 in place of Luis Rivas.
Hunter raised his average to .315.
Bobby Kielty was 0-for-2 with two walks to make his average .328.
Pierzynski was 1-for-4 and was batting .303.
This was the best start of the season for Santana, at least by game scores. He would then make two relief appearances before making his next start on August 6.
As you may have noticed, I kind of like checking out the careers of guys I don't remember. Today it's Scott Cassidy, who pitched the last inning for Toronto in this game. This was his rookie year. He'd signed as a free agent with the Blue Jays in 1998. He did well in a 2001 split between AA and AAA and started 2002 in the Toronto bullpen. He appeared in 58 games and had a fine WHIP, 1.27, but posted an ERA of 5.73. He gave up 12 home runs in 66 innings, which probably contributed to that. He then spent the next two years in the minors, and when he got back to the big leagues it was with Boston in 2005. He was called up in July appeared in one game, and was traded to San Diego. He was sent back to AAA, but got a September call-up with the Padres. He didn't do much, but he started 2006 with San Diego and did quite well, posting a 2.79 ERA in 37 appearances. Then in mid-July, for no apparent reason, he was sent back to AAA, not coming back until September. Still, his numbers that year were 6-4, 2.53, 1.36 WHIP, and it appeared that age thirty Scott Cassidy had finally figured it out. Instead, he never got back to the majors again. He appeared in forty games in AAA in 2007, then his career was done. It seems like there must be more to the story than that, but a quick google search did not reveal it. Scott Cassidy is currently the head baseball coach at LeMoyne College in Syracuse.
Record: The Twins were 64-42, in first place, leading Chicago by fourteen games.