April 27, 2005
Twins 9, Royals 4
vs LHP (2002-04) AVG OBP SLG OPS
Lew Ford .294 .367 .493 .860
Jacque Jones .241 .299 .350 .649
Jones went 1-for-3 with a single and two strikeouts against Anderson.
I would have though that Mays, who was making just his third start since missing an entire season after Tommy John surgery, would be on a short enough leash for the bullpen to be on-call at that point. Giving up four runs in six innings is certainly far from a disaster, but it's a shame that he couldn't have left the mound on a positive note. Instead, he was visibly upset in the dugout, shaking his head and generally just looking frustrated. The good news is that he more or less cruised through the first five innings, and got 12 of his 18 outs on ground balls.
Oh, and here's a Mays-related tidbit that is probably of interest only to me: Mays' win last night was his first since June 19, 2003, when the Twins beat the Royals 16-2 and Mays pitched eight strong innings. That day was also a milestone for this blog, as AG.com surpassed 100,000 visitors. So in the time it took Mays to win another game, over 1.1 million people visited this website. The following players who are no longer with the team played in that game: Tom Prince, A.J. Pierzynski, Bobby Kielty, Dustan Mohr, Doug Mientkiewicz, Corey Koskie, and Cristian Guzman.
The funny thing is, while Bremer and Blyleven were discussing Knoblauch's place in the batting order, I typed "Retrosheet.org" into my web browser and found the information they had been searching for within 30 seconds. The answer? Knoblauch had 460 at-bats batting second in 1991, along with 85 at-bats leading off, and a total of 20 at-bats hitting in other spots in the lineup. In addition to that, I can also tell you that he batted .298/.369/.374 in the #2 spot, compared to just .200/.250/.247 leading off.
The most shocking thing about this is not that the information is so easily found online (I have learned to assume that everything is available online until proven otherwise), but rather that not a single person associated in any way with the television broadcast of an MLB team is aware of its availability.
Well, needless to say that led to Ozzie Guillen -- and eventually Crede -- being ejected from the game. Which in turn led to the strange sight of Jermaine Dye playing shortstop for the White Sox (Crede had started at shortstop because of injuries to Juan Uribe, Tadahito Iguchi, and Pablo Ozuna). And the entire time all this was happening, Hawk Harrelson and Darrin Jackson were going absolutely nuts about the umpiring in the series on Chicago's TV broadcast.
They were talking about how this particular umpiring crew had a history of screwing the White Sox, and about how they long suspected things would turn out badly during the series because of it. Jackson even uttered one of the most laughable comments I have ever heard during a baseball game, saying, "Well, the umpires just lost us the game." Keep in mind that Jackson said that while Crede was actually still batting with a 2-2 count and two men on base in a tie game.
Needless to say Oakland scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the inning when Marco Scutaro doubled past a diving Chris Widger down the third-base line, scoring Erubiel Durazo. Yes, that's right, the White Sox had a 34-year-old catcher at third base and a 31-year-old right fielder at shortstop in the bottom of the ninth inning. It can't all be blamed on the umpires though, because Widger actually started the game at third (his first career appearance there in nine big-league seasons).
And just to be clear (since I can almost hear White Sox fans typing their angry e-mails to me as I write this), I thought it was, at best, an extremely iffy call. I imagine that if I were, say, rooting for the White Sox to win games instead of rooting for them to have the worst season possible, I would have been just slightly less outraged than "Hawk" and "D.J." All of which brings me to the fact that the Twins are now just three games back of Chicago in the American League Central.
Today at The Hardball Times:
- Ten Things I Didn't Know Last Week (by Studes)
Today's Picks (25-15, +$1,075):