Tag Archives: no fifth starter

Random Rewind: 1992, Game One Hundred Twenty-five


Date:  Monday, August 24.

Batting stars:  Kent Hrbek was 2-for-4 with a home run, his fourteenth.  Shane Mack was 2-for-4.  Randy Bush was 2-for-4.

Pitching stars:  Mike Trombley struck out four in three innings of relief, giving up one run on three hits.  Rick Aguilera pitched a perfect inning, striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Eric King pitched seven innings, giving up one run on four hits and one walk and striking out five.  Skeeter Barnes was 2-for-4 with a stolen base, his third.  Mark Carreon was 2-for-4.  Tony Phillips was 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs.  Dan Gladden was 1-for-5 with a two-run homer, his sixth.  Cecil Fielder was 1-for-4 with a home run, his twenty-eighth.

The game:  Neither team did much for the first two innings, but the Tigers opened the third with consecutive singles by Carreon, Barnes, and Gary Pettis to take a 1-0 lead.  They did no more damage, however, and when Hrbek homered with two out in the fourth, the scored was tied 1-1.

But then Detroit took over in the fifth.  Barnes led off with a single and went to third on a stolen base-plus-error.  Pettis walked, Phillips hit a two-run double, and Gladden followed with a two-run homer.  The Tigers had a 5-1 lead.

The Twins put men on second and third with two out in the bottom of the fifth, but nothing came of it.  Fielder homered leading off the seventh to make it 6-1.  The Twins got one in the eighth on singles by Chuck Knoblauch and Mack and an infield out by Kirby Puckett, but that was all they could do.

WP:  King (4-4).  LP:  Bill Krueger (10-5).  S:  None.

Notes:  The only variation from the standard 1992 lineup is that Bush was in right field rather than Pedro Munoz, who was apparently just given the day off.

The Twins used their bench in the ninth, although it didn't help any.  Jeff Reboulet pinch-ran for Bush.  Gene Larkin pinch-hit for Scott Leius.  Mike Pagliarulo pinch-hit for Greg Gagne.

Puckett was batting .329.  He would finish at .329, which led the team.  Mack was batting .325.  He would finish at .315.  Brian Harper was batting .305.  He would finish at .307.  As a team the Twins batted a league-leading .277, well ahead of second-place Milwaukee at .268.

The 1992 team was not a homerun-hitting team.  Puckett led the squad with 19.  Mack was second at 16, followed by Hrbek with 15 and Munoz and Chili Davis with 12 each.  The Twins hit 104 home runs, which was tenth in the league.

Krueger lasted five innings and allowed five runs on seven hits and a walk, striking out six.  He had a decent-enough year, going 10-6, 4.30, 1.31 WHIP, not bad for a fourth starter.  The staff ace was John Smiley, who was 16-9, 3.21, 1.12 WHIP.  At the time Smiley was considered somewhat of a disappointment, but that's unfair.  The Twins were coming off a World Series win, and Smiley was supposed to be the guy to lead them back there again.  When they didn't get there, he got some of the blame, but he more than did his part.  The main reason the Twins didn't get back to the World Series is that Oakland improved by twelve games.  The Twins had a good team.  The Athletics just had a better team.

Anyway, the rest of the rotation was Kevin Tapani (16-11, 3.97, 1.25) and Scott Erickson (13-12, 3.40, 1.32).  Another reason the Twins couldn't overtake Oakland is that they couldn't find a fifth starter.  Pat Mahomes started and ended the season as the fifth starter, but in the middle it was Willie Banks.  Neither of them got the job done.   Mahomes was 3-4, 5.04, 1.58 WHIP.  Banks was 4-4, 5.70, 1.65 WHIP.

The bullpen was extremely good, with five relievers with ERAs below three.  Rick Aguilera was 2-6, 2.84, 1.16.  Carl Willis was 7-3, 2.72, 1.06.  Tom Edens was 6-3, 2.83, 1.32.  Mark Guthrie was 2-3, 2.88, 1.09.  Gary Wayne was 3-3, 2.63, 1.35.  That's a reliable bullpen.

The Twins were third in ERA at 3.70.  Milwaukee led at 3.43.  The Twins were second in WHIP at 1.29.  Milwaukee led there, too, at 1.22.

By game scores, this was the best game of the season for Eric King.  He was a solid pitcher from 1988-1990, but was not any more by 1992.  This was his last year, and he went 4-6, 5.22, 1.49.  But he was too much for the Twins on this day.  That's baseball.

August was the worst month of the season for the Twins, as they went 12-17.  One could argue that this poor month cost the Twins the pennant, too.

Record:  The Twins were 69-56, in second place in the American League West, 7 games behind Oakland.  They would finish 90-72, in second place, 6 games behind Oakland.

The Tigers were 60-66, in fourth place in the American League East, 11.5 games behind Toronto.  They would finish 75-87, in sixth place, 21 games behind Toronto.

Random Record:  The Twins are 43-43 in Random Rewind games.


Random Rewind: 2014, Game Twenty-eight


Date:  Saturday, May 3.

Batting stars:  Joe Mauer was 3-for-4 with a home run (his second), two runs, and four RBIs.  Brian Dozier was 3-for-4 with a home run (his eighth) and three runs.  Kurt Suzuki was 2-for-4 with a double.

Pitching stars:  Kevin Correia pitched seven innings, giving up one run on five hits and no walks and striking out three.  Casey Fien pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.  Jared Burton pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  J. J. Hardy was 2-for-4 with a double.  Nick Markakis was 2-for-4 with a double.  Wei-Yin Chen pitched five innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on six hits and a walk and striking out five.

The game:  In the first inning Mauer hit a one-out single and scored from first on Trevor Plouffe's double.  The Orioles tied it in the second when Adam Jones reached on a strikeout-plus-wild pitch, stole second and scored on a Hardy single.  Dozier led off the third with a home run, putting the Twins back up 2-1.

The Twins got an insurance run in the fifth when Dozier got to second on a single-plus-error and scored on a Mauer single.  They put it away in the seventh.  Pedro Florimon and Dozier led off with singles and Mauer hit a three-run homer, giving the Twins a 6-1 lead.  Baltimore did not threaten to get back into the game.

WP:  Correia (1-3).  LP:  Chen (3-2).  S:  None.

Notes:  Florimon began the season as the starting shortstop, but when he predictably didn't hit he was replaced by Eduardo Escobar.  Jason Kubel was in left in place of Josh Willingham, who was injured.  Sam Fuld was in center field.  Aaron Hicks, who started the year as the regular in center, was apparently out with a minor injury.  Danny Santana would eventually take over in center field.  Chris Colabello was in right field, as Oswaldo Arcia was out due to injury.

Josmil Pinto was the DH.  The Twins didn't have a regular DH in 2014.  Kennys Vargas played the most games there with just 40.  Kendrys Morales had 26, PInto 21, Mauer 19, Colabello 13, and Willingham 13.  Fourteen others were at DH at least once, including such sluggers as Florimon and Doug Bernier.  In fairness, I suspect players like that were used as pinch-runners and so technically became the DH.

The only substitution the Twins made was that Chris Herrmann pinch-ran for Colabello in the seventh and stayed in the game in right field.

The Twins had no one batting over .300 at this stage of the season.  The only one who would end up over .300 is Santana, who batted .319.  They did have two batters below .200--Pinto (.198) and Florimon (.121).  The Twins would finish seventh in batting at .253.  Detroit led the league at .277.

Dozier led the team in home runs with 23.  Arcia was not far behind with 20.  The only others in double figures were Plouffe (14) and Willingham (12).  The Twins were eleventh in home runs with 128.  Baltimore led the league with 211.

Correia was not good for the Twins, but unfortunately did not particularly stand out.  Phil Hughes was easily the best starter at 16-10, 3.42.  Kyle Gibson was adequate at 13-12, 4.47.  After that it was Ricky Nolasco (6-12, 5.38) and Correia (5-13, 4.94).  They never really did settle on a fifth starter, with Yohan Pino making the most starts out of that slot with 11.  He was 2-5, 5.07.  Others who made at least five starts were Trevor MaySamuel Deduno (and his magical zoomball), Mike Pelfrey, and Tommy Milone.  The Twins were dead last in ERA at 4.57--Seattle led at 3.17.  They were twelfth in WHIP at 1.39--Oakland led at 1.15.

This team had a lot of "oh yeah" Twins, as in "oh yeah, I remember that we had that guy".  Some of them will eventually be forgotten Twins, but not enough time has passed.  I would put Correia, FlorimonFienFuldMoralesPino, and Milone all in that category, and maybe a few others.

Players with Twins connections who played for Baltimore in this game were Nelson Cruz, J. J. Hardy, Steve Pearce, and Jonathan Schoop.

This win broke a four-game losing streak and started a three-game winning streak.

Record:  The Twins were 13-15, in third place in the American League Central, 4.5 games behind Baltimore.  They would finish 72-90, in fifth (last) place, 20 games behind Detroit.

The Orioles were 15-13, in second place in the American League East, a half game behind New York.  They would finish 96-66, in first place, 12 games ahead of New York.  It hardly seems possible that Baltimore was that good that recently, but there you go.

Random record:  The Twins are 39-37 in Random Rewind games.