Tag Archives: so much for the winning streak

2003 Rewind: Game One Hundred Fifty-nine


Date:  Thursday, September 25.

Batting stars:  Justin Morneau was 1-for-5 with a two-run homer, his fourth.  Michael Cuddyer was 1-for-3 with two walks.

Pitching stars:  Johan Santana pitched five shutout innings, giving up two hits and a walk and striking out three.  J. C. Romero pitched a perfect inning, striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Nate Robertson pitched seven innings, giving up one run on five hits and three walks and striking out five.  Dmitri Young was 2-for-3 with two walks.  Carlos Pena was 2-for-5.  Shane Halter was 1-for-2 with a home run, his twelfth.  Craig Monroe was 1-for-5 with a home run, his twenty-second.  Chris Mears struck out three in two perfect innings.

The game:  The Twins put men on first and second with two out in the second but did not score.  In the third, however, singles by Lew FordCuddyer, and Matthew LeCroy got the Twins on the board with a 1-0 lead.

The Tigers did very little for six innings.  In the seventh, however, Young and Pena led off with singles.  A bunt moved them to second and third and a ground out scored one.  Andres Torres then walked and went to second on defensive indifference.  Ramon Santiago delivered a two-run double to give Detroit a 3-1 lead.

The Twins went back in front in the eighth.  Ford walked, went to second on a ground out, and stole third.  Cuddyer then walked.  A sacrifice fly made it 3-2 and Morneau hit a two-run homer to make it 4-3 Minnesota.

The lead didn't last, as Monroe hit a one-out homer in the bottom of the eighth to tie it 4-4.  The Tigers had a man on third with two out in the tenth but did not score.  In the eleventh, however, Halter hit a two-out home run to win it for Detroit.

WP:  Mears (1-3).  LP:  Brad Thomas (0-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  The Tigers were trying to avoid breaking the 1962 Mets record for worst record in the expansion era.  The Twins, who were simply getting ready for the playoffs, certainly didn't put up as much resistance as they might have.  Not to say that the players weren't trying, but they were definitely using a B or even C lineup and bullpen.  LeCroy was behind the plate in place of A. J. Pierzynski.  Morneau was at first base in place of Doug Mientkiewicz.  Denny Hocking was at short in place of Cristian Guzman.  Cuddyer was at third in place of Corey Koskie.  Michael Restovich was in left, Dustan Mohr in center, and Ford in right.  Michael Ryan was the DH.  Substitutes were Rob Bowen replacing LeCroy at catcher in the sixth and Chris Gomez replacing Luis Rivas at second in the seventh.  The relief pitchers used were Carlos PulidoGrant BalfourJesse OroscoJuan RinconJ. C. Romero, and Thomas.

Ryan was 1-for-3 and was batting .346.  Ford was 1-for-4 and was batting .328.  Bowen was 0-for-1 and had a batting average of zero (0-for-4).

Orosco retired the only man he faced to make his ERA 7.56.  Thomas gave up one run in 1.2 innings to make his ERA 10.13.  This was only his second appearance of the season.

This was the only major league win of Chris Mears' career.  2003 was his only season in the majors.  He went 1-3, 5.44, 1.48 WHIP.  He appeared in 29 games (3 starts) and pitched 41.1 innings.  He would spend the next two seasons in the minors before ending his playing career.  He was born in Ottawa and pitched for Team Canada in the 1999 Pan American Games, the 2001 World Cup, and the 2006 Olympic qualifying tournament.  He later scouted for the Red Sox.

I have to wonder about the "defensive indifference" ruling on Andres Torres in the seventh.  It was a 1-1 game with two out and men on first and third.  Did the Twins really not care if Torres took second.  I mean, I know it was a meaningless game for them, but still, you play the game.  Were they really not holding him on or something?  It just seems strange.

The loss snapped an eleven-game winning streak for the Twins.  Again, I know it was a meaningless game for them, and the logical thing for them to do is get ready for the playoffs.  Emotionally, though, I'm sure I was upset the that the winning streak ended with B and C players on the field and Brad Thomas on the mound.

Record:  The Twins were 89-70, in first place in the American League Central, six games ahead of Chicago and Kansas City.

1991 Rewind: Game Fourteen


Date:  Tuesday, April 23.

Batting stars:  Brian Harper was 3-for-4 with two RBIs.  Greg Gagne was 2-for-4 with a home run (his second) and two runs.  Dan Gladden was 1-for-5 with a two-run homer.

Pitching star:  Terry Leach pitched two shutout innings, giving up a hit and a walk.

Opposition stars:  Jose Canseco was 2-for-3 with two walks, two stolen bases, (his third and fourth), and two runs.  Dave Henderson was 2-for-5 with two doubles.  Willie Wilson was 2-for-5 with a triple.  Lance Blankenship was 2-for-5.  Terry Steinbach was 1-for-4 with a three-run homer, a hit-by-pitch, and two runs.  Kirk Dressendorfer pitched 5.1 innings, giving up two runs on six hits and three walks and striking out two.  Steve Chitren pitched two shutout innings, giving up a hit and striking out one.

The game:  The Athletics jumped on Twins starter Mark Guthrie for three runs in the first inning.  With one out, Henderson doubled, Canseco walked, and Steinbach hit a three-run homer to put Oakland ahead 3-0.  The Twins had a good chance in the second.  Chili Davis drew a one-out walk and Harper singled.  Mike Pagliarulo delivered a single, but Davis was thrown out at the plate.  Randy Bush was caught looking and the inning was over.

The Athletics added to their lead in the third.  Canseco singled, stole second, and went to third on a wild pitch.  Mark McGwire walked, and with two out McGwire and Canseco pulled off a double steal of second and home.  The baserunning gave Oakland a 4-0 lead.  It went to 6-0 in the fourth, as Fred Manrique singled, Wilson tripled, and Henderson doubled.

The Twins got on the board in the fourth.  With one out, Kent Hrbek and Davis walked and Harper had an RBI single.  The Twins still had men on first and third with one out.  Pagliarulo hit a fly to left on which Harper somehow took second without Davis scoring.  Perhaps, having been thrown out at the plate once, Davis (or third base coach Ron Gardenhire) did not want to risk having it happen again.  At any rate, Bush then grounded out to end the inning with the score 6-1.

The teams exchanged runs, with Harper singling one home in the sixth and the Athletics answering with a Blankenship RBI single in the seventh.  The Twins tried to get back into it in the bottom of the seventh.  Gagne singled and Gladden homered to cut the lead to 7-4.  Gagne led off the ninth with a homer to make it 7-5, but that was as good as it would get for the Twins.

WP:  Dressendorfer (2-1).  LP:  Guthrie (0-2).  S:  Dennis Eckersley (5).

Notes:  Bush again started in right field, with Kirby Puckett in center.  Shane Mack pinch-hit for Bush in the sixth and stayed in the game in center, with Puckett moving to right.  Gene Larkin pinch-hit for Mack in the eighth and stayed in the game in right, with Puckett moving back to center.

Larkin was 0-for-1 and was batting .375.  Harper raised his average to .343.  Puckett was 0-for-5 and was batting .309.  Gagne raised his average to .306.

Gladden raised his average to .109.  Mack was 0-for-1 and was batting .133.  Bush was 0-for-2 and was batting .143.  Hrbek was 1-for-3 with a walk and was batting .152.  Scott Leius was 1-for-2 and was batting .176.

Guthrie lasted just 2.1 innings, allowing four runs on four hits and three walks and striking out one.  His ERA was 18.00.  Carl Willis saved the bullpen by pitched 4.2 innings of relief.  He gave up three runs on seven hits and a walk and struck out two.  His ERA was 5.79.  Terry Leach lowered his ERA to 5.40.

The 4.2 innings of relief were not the most Willis would pitch in 1991.  Twice he pitched five innings of relief.  He also had a 4.1 inning appearance and three appearances of four innings.  We can safely say he was used as a long reliever.  For the season, he pitched 89 innings over 40 games.  He was very good, posting an ERA of 2.63 and a WHIP of 1.07.

The Twins winning streak ended at just two.

This was Steve Chitren's only full season in the majors.  He had gotten a September call-up in 1990.  He started 1991 very well, not giving up a run in his first eleven appearances (11 innings).  He had nowhere to go but down, and he did.  He had only one month other than April in which he posted an ERA below 4.00, and he had an awful August (9.39).  For the season, he had an ERA of 4.33 with a WHIP of 1.51.  He was born in Tokyo, but appears to have been raised in the United States.  There's a Steve Chitren of about the right age who was on the run from the law for numerous theft charges in Las Vegas.  He apparently had done the thefts to provide money for a gambling addiction.  No article mentions that he was a former big league ballplayer, though, and one would expect that to be something they would mention, so it may well be a different Steve Chitren.

Record:  The Twins were 4-10, in seventh (last) place in the American League West, six games behind the White Sox.  They were 2.5 games behind sixth-place Kansas City.