Tag Archives: Shannon Stewart

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Eight

MINNESOTA 10, DETROIT 4 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Friday, August 1.

Batting stars:  A. J. Pierzynski was 3-for-4 with two doubles.  Shannon Stewart was 3-for-5 with a home run (his ninth), a double, and two RBIs.  Cristian Guzman was 2-for-4 with a double.  Doug Mientkiewicz was 2-for-4 with a walk.

Pitching stars:  Kyle Lohse pitched six innings, giving up three runs on six hits and no walks and striking out two.  James Baldwin pitched three innings, giving up one run on five hits.

Opposition stars:  Ben Petrick was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer.  Carlos Pena was 2-for-4.  Alex Sanchez was 2-for-5 with a stolen base, his thirtieth.

The game:  Sanchez led off the game with a single, went to third on a pair of ground outs, and scored on a Kevin Witt single to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.  The Twins responded with five in the bottom of the first.  Stewart led off with a home run. Rivas singled, stole second, and scored on a Mientkiewicz single.  Jacque Jones singled to put men on first and third and then stole second.  A sacrifice fly scored a run, Michael Restovich walked, and Denny Hocking delivered a single-plus-error that scored two runs, making the score 5-1 Minnesota.

The Twins added three more in the third.  Torii Hunter and Pierzynski singled and Restovich followed with a two-run triple.  Hocking then hit a sacrifice fly to make it 8-1.

It was pretty much over from there.  Petrick hit a two-run homer in the fourth to make it 8-3.  Ramon Santiago homered in the seventh to make it 8-4.  The Twins added a run in the seventh when Hunter walked and scored on a Pierzynski double.  The last run came in the eighth when Guzman doubled and scored on a Stewart single.

WP:  Kyle Lohse (7-9).  LP:  Jeremy Bonderman (4-15).  S:  Baldwin (1).

Notes:  Hocking was at third in the continuing absence of Corey Koskie.  Stewart was in left and Restovich in right.  Jones was the DH.

Alex Prieto pinch-hit for Rivas in the eighth and stayed in the game at second base.

Restovich was batting .375.  Stewart was batting .319.  Jones was 1-for-5 and was batting .310.  Pierzynski was batting .303.

Lohse's ERA was 5.15.  Baldwin's ERA was 2.25.  The three-inning save was the first save of Baldwin's career.  He would get one more, with Texas in 2005.

Stewart was 27-for-56 in his last thirteen games.

Pierzynski was 7-for-10 in his last two games.

Kevin Witt was the Tigers' cleanup hitter.  If you don't remember him, it's understandable.  2003 was the only year he got significant major league playing time, playing in 93 games and getting 270 at-bats.  He wasn't awful, batting .263/.301/.407 with 10 homers, but he wasn't really good, either.  He was 27 that year, so that was probably as good as it was going to get, and as first baseman/DH he wasn't going to contribute enough on defense to get by with that level of offense.  He played a couple of years in Japan and really didn't get much accomplished there, either.  He has been a minor league coach for several seasons, and was with the Jupiter Hammerheads at last report.

When your team needed to get well in 2003, it was good to play Detroit.

The Twins had once again gotten back to .500.  Could they get over the hump this time?

Record:  The Twins were 54-54, in third place in the American League Central, 3.5 games behind Kansas City and Chicago, who were in a virtual tie for first.

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Five

BALTIMORE 7, MINNESOTA 5 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Tuesday, July 29.

Batting stars:  Luis Rivas was 2-for-4 with a home run (his third), a walk, and three RBIs.  Shannon Stewart was 2-for-4 with a double and a walk.  Michael Restovich was 2-for-4 with a double.

Pitching star:  James Baldwin pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up a hit and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Jay Gibbons was 2-for-3 with a home run (his sixteenth), a walk, and three RBIs.  Tony Batista was 2-for-4 with a home run, his nineteenth.  Jeff Conine was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs.  Luis Matos was 2-for-5 with a stolen base (his thirteenth) and two runs.

The game:  The Orioles jumped out to a lead in the first inning.  Matos singled and scored from first on Conine's double.  Gibbons hit a two-out two-run homer, and it was 3-0 Baltimore before the Twins even came to bat.

The Twins got on the board in the third when Stewart hit a two-out double and Rivas followed with a two-run homer.  Batista homered leading off the fourth to make it 4-2.  The Twins got that run back in the bottom of the fourth but missed a chance for more.  Torii Hunter led off with a double and went to third on A. J. Pierzynski's single, but Jacque Jones hit into a double play.  It scored the run but took the Twins out of the inning, leaving the Orioles ahead 4-3.

The Twins tied it in the fifth when Chris Gomez singled, was bunted to second, and scored on a Rivas single.  But Baltimore went right back into the lead in the sixth when Matos singled, stole second, and scored on a Gibbons single.  The Twins tied it again in the seventh when Restovich led off with a double and scored on Cristian Guzman's single.

But in the eighth the Orioles went into the lead to stay.  Singles by Conine and Batista put men on first and third and a wild pitch scored a run.  They added an insurance run in the ninth on singles by Larry Bigbie and Deivi Cruz and an error.  The Twins put men on first and second with none out in the eighth and with two out in the ninth, but did not score.

WP:  Hector Carrasco (1-2).  LP:  LaTroy Hawkins (8-3).  S:  Jorge Julio (24).

Notes:  Gomez remained at third in place of Corey Koskie.  Stewart was in left, with Restovich in right and Jones as the DH.

Matthew LeCroy pinch-hit for Jones in the eighth but did not bat.  A pitching change prompted Ron Gardenhire to then bat Todd Sears for LeCroy.

This was Restovich's season debut.  He had appeared in eight games for the Twins in 2002.  After this game, he was batting .500.  Stewart raised his average to .311.  Jones was 0-for-3 and was batting .310.

Johan Santana's transition to the rotation was not going as hoped.  In four starts, he had allowed 14 runs in 24.1 innings.  In this game, he allowed five runs on six hits and no walks in 5.2 innings.  He did strike out seven.

Baldwin lowered his ERA to 2.00.  Hawkins gave up a run in one inning and had an ERA of 2.63.

Stewart was staying hot.  In his last ten games he was 20-for-42 with four doubles, a home run, and five walks.  He raised his average from .289 to .311.

Baltimore players with Twins connections included Tony Batista, Hector Carrasco, and Rick Helling.

The Twins had lost three games in a row and continued to sink more deeply into third place.

Record:  The Twins were 51-54, in third place in the American league Central, 6.5 games behind Kansas City.  They were 3.5 games behind second-place Chicago.

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Two

MINNESOTA 6, CLEVELAND 5 IN CLEVELAND

Date:  Friday, July 25.

Batting stars:  Doug Mientkiewicz was 3-for-5 with two doubles and two RBIs.  Shannon Stewart was 3-for-5 with a double.  Torii Hunter was 2-for-5 with two RBIs.

Pitching star:  Eddie Guardado struck out two in a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Milton Bradley was 3-for-4 with a double.  Ryan Ludwick was 2-for-4 with a home run, a double, and two RBIs.  Coco Crisp was 2-for-5.

The game:  It was all Indians early.  In the first Crisp doubled, an error put men on first and third, and Bradley hit a two-run double to put Cleveland up 2-0.  In the second, Ben Broussard walked, went to second on a ground out, and scored on Crisp's single to make it 3-0.  In the third Bradley singled and scored from first on Ludwick's double to increase the lead to 4-0.

The Twins started coming back in the fourth.  Singles by HunterA. J. Pierzynski, and Jacque Jones loaded the bases with one out.  All the Twins could do, though, was score on a ground out to cut the lead to 4-1.  They scored again in the fifth, but again missed a chance to do more damage.  Cristian Guzman walked and scored on Stewart's double.  Luis Rivas walked and Mientkiewicz singled to again load the bases, this time with none out.  But again, all the Twins could do was score on a ground out, so they remained behind at 4-3.

Ludwick homered leading off the bottom of the sixth to make it 5-3.  In the seventh the first two Twins struck out, but Rivas walked and scored from first on a Mientkiewicz double and Hunter followed with an RBI single to tie it 5-5.

The Twins took their only lead in the ninth.  Guzman singled and stole second.  With two out Mientkiewicz came through with a double to make it 6-5 Twins.  The Indians went down in order in the bottom of the ninth.

WP:  LaTroy Hawkins (8-2).  LP:  Danys Baez (0-7).  S:  Guardado (24).

Notes:  Denny Hocking was at third base in the continued absence of Corey Koskie.  Stewart was again in right and Morneau was again the DH.

Stewart raised his average to .310.  Jones was 1-for-4 and was also batting .310.

Kenny Rogers pitched six innings, giving up five runs (four earned) on eight hits and a walk and striking out four.  James Baldwin pitched two-thirds of an inning without giving up a run to make his ERA 2.35.  Hawkins retired both men he faced to make his ERA 2.55.

Jake Westbrook started for Cleveland.  He pitched 6.2 innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and three walks and striking out six.

Stewart was 15-for-27 in his last seven games.  He had three doubles, a home run, and four walks over that stretch.  He had also scored at least one run in each of those games.

This was Ludwick's first home run as an Indian.  He had hit one for Texas the year earlier, when he was up for a month.  He wouldn't get regular playing time in the majors until 2007, when he was St. Louis.  He ended with 154 major league homers, with a high of 37 in 2008.  That was the year he made his only all-star team and also won his only Silver Slugger award.  That year really stands out for him.  He batted .299/.375/.591, compared to career numbers of .260/.330/.451.  His next highest numbers in all those categories came in 2012, when he batted .275/.346/.531 with 26 homers.

Despite the chances they missed, the Twins stranded just seven and went 4-for-14 with men in scoring position.

The win moved the Twins back to .500.  Could they get above it this time?

Record:  The Twins were 51-51, in third place in the American League Central, 5.5 games behind Kansas City.  They were 1.5 games behind second-place Chicago.

2003 Rewind: Game Ninety-six

MINNESOTA 9, OAKLAND 4 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Saturday, July 19.

Batting stars:  Doug Mientkiewicz was 2-for-3 with a two-run homer (his eighth), a walk, and three runs.  Matthew LeCroy was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, two runs, and three RBIs.  Dustan Mohr was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.

Pitching star:  Juan Rincon struck out three in two shutout innings, giving up a walk.

Opposition stars:  Terrence Long was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer (his eleventh), a walk, a stolen base (his second) and two runs.  Ramon Hernandez was 2-for-4 with a home run, his twelfth.  Scott Hatteberg was 2-for-4 with a walk.

The game:  The Twins put runners on second and third with one out in the second but did not score.  The Athletics took advantage of that, taking the lead in the top of the third.  Mark Ellis drew a one-out walk and Long homered, making it 2-0 Oakland.  It went to 3-0 in the fourth when Hernandez homered.

The Twins came back in the bottom of the fourth.  Mientkiewicz led off with a single and LeCroy drew a one-out walk.  With two down, Chris Gomez and Mohr hit back-to-back doubles that plated three runs, tying the score.  The Athletics got the lead back in the fifth when Long walked, stole second, and scored on a Miguel Tejada single.  But the Twins took their first lead in the bottom of the fifth when Shannon Stewart led off with a walk and Mientkiewicz hit a two-run homer, making it 5-4 Minnesota.

The Twins took control of the game in the seventh.  Cristian Guzman singled and Stewart walked.  A bunt moved the runners up and Mientkiewicz was intentionally walked to load the bases.  It looked like the strategy might work, as Torii Hunter hit into a force out at the plate for the second out.  But LeCroy foiled the strategy with a bases-clearing double, putting the Twins up 8-4.  An error brought home one more run and the Twins were in command.  Oakland put two on in the eighth and one in the ninth, but did not come close to getting the tying run up to bat.

WP:  Brad Radke (6-9).  LP:  Mark Mulder (12-7).  S:  None.

Notes:  LeCroy was behind the plate in place of A. J. Pierzynski.  Denny Hocking was at second in place of Luis Rivas.  Chris Gomez was at third in the continuing absence of Corey Koskie.  Stewart was the DH.

Rivas replaced Hocking for defense in the eighth inning.

Jones was 1-for-4 and was batting .305.  LeCroy raised his average back to .300.

Radke pitched 6.2 innings, but allowed four runs on seven hits and two walks and struck out five.  His ERA was 5.49.  J. C. Romero did not give up a run, despite allowing two hits and a walk in a third of an inning.  His ERA was 5.02.  Rincon had an ERA of 3.00.

Mulder pitched six innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and two walks and striking out five.  Mulder had a fine year in 2003, going 15-9, 3.13, leading the league in complete games with nine and in shutouts with two, and making his first all-star team.  This was the first time he had a game score below fifty in about six weeks.

Stewart got his first hit as a Twin, going 1-for-3 with two walks.

This was the Twins' third consecutive win.  It was the first time they had won three in a row since June 11-13.

Record:  The Twins were 47-49, in second place in the American League Central, 6.5 games behind Kansas City.  They were a half game ahead of third place Chicago.

2003 Rewind: Game Ninety-four

MINNESOTA 6, OAKLAND 2 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Thursday, July 17.

Batting stars:  Jacque Jones was 3-for-4 and was hit by a pitch.  A. J. Pierzynski was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.  Torii Hunter was 2-for-5 with a home run (his fifteenth), two runs, and two RBIs.

Pitching stars:  Rick Reed pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on eight hits and two walks and striking out one.  J. C. Romero pitched a scoreless inning, walking one and striking out one.  LaTroy Hawkins pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Mark Ellis was 3-for-4.  Chris Singleton was 2-for-4.

The game:  The all-star break was apparently what the Twins needed, as they scored five runs in the first inning to put this one away early.  With one out Cristian Guzman reached on an error and Jones singled, putting men on first and second.  Then came three more singles, producing four runs:  Hunter had an RBI single, Pierzynski drove in two with a single, and Doug Mientkiewicz had a run-scoring single.  Another run scored on a ground out to make it 5-0 after one inning.

The Athletics got on the board in the second on consecutive two-out singles by Terrence Long, Ellis, and Singleton.  The Twins got the run back in the bottom of the second when Hunter homered.

And that was pretty much it.  Oakland got one more run, scoring in the sixth when Miguel Tejada singled and scored on a Ramon Hernandez double.  Hernandez was thrown out trying to go to third, however, and the Athletics did not mount another threat the rest of the game.

WP:  Reed (5-9).  LP:  Tim Hudson (7-4).  S:  None.

Notes:  Chris Gomez was at third base in the continuing absence of Corey Koskie.

Jones raised his average to .306.  Pierzynski was batting .300.

Much was made of the Twins debut of Shannon Stewart in this game, but he went 0-for-5 as the DH.  More important was the return of Jones to the lineup, as he had three hits and scored a run.  Stewart would eventually see time in left field, with Jones either in right or at DH.  The playing time of people like Justin Morneau and Matthew LeCroy would be substantially reduced, with Morneau eventually being sent back to AAA simply because there was not a spot for him.

It really was a big deal to Twins fans when they acquired Stewart.  I still remember finding out about it.  I had been at a local ball game that night, and turned on ESPN while getting ready for bed.  The bottom line crawl said that Stewart had been traded, and my thought was "Oh.  I wonder who got him."  Then the crawl said it was the Twins, and I just went, "Wow!"  I was stunned that they would pull off a trade like that.

Hawkins lowered his ERA to 2.51.

Hudson pitched seven innings for Oakland, giving up six runs (four earned) on eleven hits and one walk and striking out two.  He was having what was probably the best season of his career.  He would finish 16-7, 2.70, 1.08 WHIP and would finish fourth in Cy Young voting.   He could've finished better--I'm not saying it was injustice, just that his numbers are pretty much in line with the top three that year (Roy Halladay, Esteban Loaiza, and Pedro Martinez).

The win snapped an eight-game losing streak, and was the first win for the Twins since the fourth of July.  Their drop to third place turned out to be brief.

Record:  The Twins were 45-49, in second place in the American League Central, 7.5 games behind Kansas City.  They were a half game ahead of third-place Chicago.

Happy Birthday–February 25

Bob Bescher (1884)
Al Hollingsworth (1908)
Roy Weatherly (1915)
Monte Irvin (1919)
Andy Pafko (1921)
Syd Thrift (1929)
Johnny Schaive (1934)
Jerry Reinsdorf (1936)
Denny Lemaster (1939)
Danny Cater (1940)
Ron Santo (1940)
Stump Merrill (1944)
Ken Szotkeiwicz (1947)
Cesar Cedeno (1951)
Bob Brenly (1954)
Ken Dayley (1959)
Paul O'Neill (1963)
Shannon Stewart (1974)

Syd Thrift was the general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1986-88 and of the Baltimore Orioles from 2000-02.  He also held a variety of other front office positions, generally having to do with overseeing minor league player development.

Infielder Johnny Schaive was in the Washington organization from 1955-1960, reaching the majors for parts of the 1958-1960 seasons.  He was selected by the new Washington franchise as the 36th pick in the 1960 expansion draft.

Jerry Reinsdorf became part-owner of the Chicago White Sox in 1981.

Stump Merrill was the manager of the New York Yankees from 1990-91.  A catcher, he was drafted by Minnesota in the twenty-third round in 1965, but did not sign.

Shortstop Ken Szotkiewicz was chosen by Minnesota with the third pick of the 1967 June Secondary draft, but did not sign.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–February 25