Tag Archives: pinch-hitters

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Forty-Four

CHICAGO 8, MINNESOTA 6 IN CHICAGO

Date:  Tuesday, September 9.

Batting stars:  Corey Koskie was 3-for-3 with a double, two walks, and two runs.  Doug Mientkiewicz was 2-for-4.

Pitching star:  Jesse Orosco pitched a scoreless inning despite giving up a hit and two walks.  He struck out one.

Opposition stars:  Carlos Lee was 3-for-4 with a home run (his twenty-eighth), a double, a stolen base (his seventeenth), two runs, and two RBIs.  Joe Crede was 2-for-4 with a double.  Magglio Ordonez was 2-for-5 with a home run (his twenty-seventh), two runs, and two RBIs.  Roberto Alomar was 1-for-4 with a home run (his fifth) and a walk.  Mark Buehrle pitched six innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and three walks and striking out two.

The game:  The White Sox opened the scoring in the second inning.  Lee singled and Paul Konerko walked, putting two men on with one out.  Crede doubled home a run, a sacrifice fly brought in another, and Tony Graffanino singled in a third to make it 3-0 Chicago.

The Twins got back into it in the fourth.  Mientkiewicz and Koskie singled, Torii Hunter had an RBI double, and a ground out cut the lead to 3-2.  It went to 4-2 in the fifth when Ordonez homered.  The Twins had three baserunners in the sixth, but did not score because they lost two runners on the bases.

The White Sox took control in the seventh.  The first two batters went out, but then Alomar homered, Frank Thomas doubled, Ordonez had an RBI single, and Lee hit a two-run homer to give Chicago an 8-2 lead.

The Twins loaded the bases in the eighth but didn't score.  It cost them, because they did get back into the game in the ninth.  Lew Ford led off with a double, Denny Hocking had an RBI triple, and Justin Morneau drove in a run with a single.  With one out, walks to Koskie and Hunter loaded the bases.  A sacrifice fly made it 8-5 and Jacque Jones singled.  It was 8-6 with the tying run on base and the winning run at bat in Michael Cuddyer.  He struck out, however, and the game was over.

WP:  Buehrle (12-13).  LP:  Carlos Pulido (0-1).  S:  Tom Gordon (11).

Notes:  Chris Gomez was at second base in the continuing absence of Luis Rivas.  Shannon Stewart was in left with Dustan Mohr in right.

The Twins used five pinch-hitters.  Michael Ryan pinch-hit for Gomez in the seventh, with Hocking going in to play second base.  Cuddyer pinch-hit for Cristian Guzman in the eighth and stayed in the game at second base, with Hocking moving to short.  Ford pinch-hit for Stewart in the ninth.  Morneau pinch-hit for Mientkiewicz in the ninth.  Jones pinch-hit for Mohr in the ninth.

Ryan was 0-for-1 and was batting .375.  Ford was 1-for-1 and was batting .333.  Stewart was 0-for-3 and was batting .311.  Mientkiewicz was batting .305.  Jones was 1-for-1 and was batting .305.  A. J. Pierzynski was 1-for-3 and was batting .302.

With various Twins starters either injured or ineffective, the Twins turned to Pulido for the start in this game.  He pitched three innings, allowing three runs on four hits and two walks and striking out one.  His ERA was 2.38.  Rick Reed came in and pitched three solid innings but fell apart in his fourth inning, so his line is 3.2 innings, three runs, four hits, and a walk.  His ERA was 5.08.  Orosco's scoreless inning lowered his ERA to 7.47.

The Twins scored their runs in the ninth off Jose Paniagua.  This was his only major league appearance in 2003 and the last of his career.  A sad way to end:  one-third of an inning, four runs, three hits, one walk.  He continued to pitch for several more years--in the minors, in winter ball, in independent ball, in foreign countries--not ending his playing career until 2008.  In his major league career, he went 18-21, 4.49, 1.52 WHIP.  He pitched 357 innings in 270 games (14 starts).

It came as a surprise to me that Carlos Lee had 125 stolen bases in his career.  He had 18 in 2003, one shy of his career mark of 19 in 2006.  He had double-digit stolen bases in seven seasons.

The Twins had dropped two in a row to the division leaders.  Kansas City lost again, so the Twins had no worries about dropping to third.

Record:  The Twins were 76-68, in second place in the American League Central, two games behind Chicago.  They were 2.5 games ahead of third-place Kansas City.

Random Rewind: 1971, Game Thirty

MINNESOTA 6, WASHINGTON 5 IN MINNESOTA (10 INNINGS)

Date:  Sunday, May 9.

Batting stars:  Jim Holt was 3-for-4 with two triples, a walk, and three runs.  Tony Oliva was 3-for-4 with two doubles.  Leo Cardenas was 1-for-5 with a home run, his second.

Pitching star:  Ray Corbin struck out four in four shutout innings of relief, giving up no hits and one walk.

Opposition stars:  Tim Cullen was 2-for-4 with a triple and two runs.  Del Unser was 1-for-5 with a home run, his second.

The game:  Unser led off the game with a home run, putting the Senators up 1-0.  In the second, walks to Joe Foy and Jim French and a single by Cullen loaded the bases with none out.  A 1-2-3 double play kept Washington off the board momentarily, but Denny McLain hit a two-run triple to give the Senators a 3-0 lead.

The Twins came back in the fourth.  Cardenas led off the inning with a home run.  Oliva doubled, followed by a run-scoring single-plus-error by Harmon Killebrew.  Holt then tripled to tie the score and Brant Alyea hit a sacrifice fly to put the Twins up 4-3.

The Senators went back in front in the sixth.  French singled, Cullen tripled, and Toby Harrah hit a sacrifice fly to give them a 5-4 advantage.  The lead only lasted until the Twins came up to bat, because Holt hit a one-out triple and Alyea followed with his second sacrifice fly to tie it 5-5.

It stayed tied until the tenth.  The first two Twins batters went out.  Holt and Alyea then singled, putting men on first and third.  Rich Reese was intentionally walked to load the bases and bring up George Mitterwald.  Mitterwald came through with an RBI single and the Twins won 6-5.

WP:  Corbin (3-1).  LP:  McLain (3-5).  S:  None.

Notes:  Killebrew was at third base in this game, with Reese at first.  Killer played both first and third in 1971, with Steve Braun usually playing third when Harmon was at first.

Alyea was in left in place of Cesar Tovar, who missed a few days, presumably with a minor injury or illness.  Tom Tischinski caught in place of Mitterwald.

Paul Ray Powell pinch-ran for Oliva in the eighth.  He stayed in the game in center field, with Holt moving to right.  Charlie Manuel pinch-hit for Tischinski in the ninth, with Mitterwald entering the game to catch in the tenth.

Despite using three pitchers, the Twins did not pinch-hit for any of them.  Stan Williams batted twice (0-for-2) and Corbin batted twice (0-for-2).

There were four triples in this game.  While I'm sure that's nowhere near a record, it's still a lot of triples, especially when you think of the number of games that can go by where you don't even see one.  I imagine the record was set back in the dead ball era, and I'm sure it's a lot more than four, but four is still remarkable.

Holt hit two of the triples.  He had three for the season and ten in his career.  Cullen had four triples for the season and nine in his career.  This was one of two triples McLain had in his career.

Astonishingly, McLain pitched a complete game.  I know men were men back then, but it's not exactly like he was mowing them down.  He allowed six runs on thirteen hits and two walks.  His game score was forty-four.  They don't give pitch counts for games that old, but it had to be a lot.  It's not like their bullpen was terrible--they had Joe Grzenda (5-2, 1.92), Paul Lindblad (6-4, 2.58), Denny Riddleberger (3-1, 3.23), and Horacio Pina (1-1, 3.59).  After his two Cy Young seasons, 1968-1969, McLain fell off sharply and never had a good year again.  This was his last full season in the majors, and he went 10-22, 4.28, 1.41 WHIP.

1971 is somewhat analogous to 2011.  It's not a perfect analogy by any means, but in both cases you had a team that had been good for a while suddenly fall off a cliff.  The Twins had won the division in 1969 and 1970, and as is seen below, were nowhere close in 1971.

Record:  The Twins were 15-15, in fourth place in the American League West, five games behind Oakland.  They would finish 74-86, in fifth place, 26.5 games behind Oakland.

The Senators were 13-16, in fifth place in the American League East, six games behind Boston.  They would finish 63-96, in fifth place, 38.5 games behind Baltimore.