Important Games #9: May 24 (Twins Lose, 19-3)

Not only was May 24 the worst loss of the year for the Twins, it also spelled the end of Boof Bonser’s career as a starter in a Twins uniform. I know it seems I am focusing a lot on the nasty losses the Twins were dealt, but honestly, these were the games that forced the changes that the Twins needed in order to make a run at the playoffs. The weird thing about this game, as compared to the last of this series, is that the Twins didn’t feel out of it right away. The Twins outhit the Tigers 5-2 through 2 innings, and Alexi Casilla had a very nice home run (351 feet, the announcers said). So, without further ado, I bring you the play-by-play:

  • Boof Bonser was solid for two innings, then wretched for 1+ innings. He ended the game having given up 9 runs (8 ER) on 7 hits and 2 walks.
  • Alexi Casilla had a home run; it was actually a pretty impressive affair.
  • Carlos Gomez struck out three times; he was never anywhere near the pitch on any of his Hulk swings.
  • Tigers’ starter Nate Robertson actually looked pretty bad; he wasn’t focused, but the Twins were doing a great job of getting themselves in the hole with first-pitch swings.
  • Brian Bass, who I had almost forgotten about (isn’t he with the Orioles now?), gave up seven runs on 7 hits in 1.1 innings. Hey, at least he didn’t walk anyone.
  • Juan Rincon gave up three runs on two hits after allowing both of Bass’ inherited runners to score.
  • You know the game is over when Mauer and Morneau are substituted for.

Box Score:

Minnesota AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Gomez, CF 5 0 0 0 0 3 4 .279
Casilla, 2B 4 1 1 2 0 0 2 .269
Mauer, C 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 .338
Redmond, C 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 .226
Morneau, 1B 3 0 2 0 0 0 0 .311
Clark, 1B 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .250
Cuddyer, RF 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 .222
Monroe, DH 4 0 0 0 0 1 2 .226
Young, LF 2 1 0 0 2 1 1 .274
Macri, 3B 3 1 2 1 1 1 1 .667
Harris, SS 4 0 1 0 0 1 3 .253
Totals 34 3 8 3 3 8 18
BATTING
HR: Casilla (2, 3rd inning off Robertson, 1 on, 2 out).
TB: Casilla 4; Mauer; Redmond; Morneau 2; Macri 2; Harris.
RBI: Casilla 2 (9), Macri (1).
2-out RBI: Casilla 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Cuddyer; Casilla.
GIDP: Harris.
Team LOB: 7.

BASERUNNING
SB: Macri (1, 2nd base off Robertson/Rodriguez).

FIELDING
E: Bonser (2, throw), Mauer (2, throw).

Detroit AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Granderson, CF 6 2 2 1 0 0 4 .245
Polanco, 2B 5 4 4 1 1 0 0 .294
Sheffield, DH 6 2 2 3 0 2 5 .208
Ordonez, RF 3 4 3 6 1 0 0 .330
Raburn, RF 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .257
Cabrera, 1B 4 1 1 1 0 0 3 .282
Thames, 1B 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 .254
Guillen, 3B 3 0 1 1 0 0 0 .287
Inge, 3B 2 1 0 0 0 1 0 .229
Joyce, LF 5 1 1 2 0 1 1 .256
Rodriguez, C 4 1 2 0 1 0 0 .274
Santiago, SS 2 3 1 2 2 0 1 .353
Totals 42 19 17 17 5 5 14
BATTING
2B: Ordonez (14, Bonser), Rodriguez (13, Bonser), Polanco (12, Bass).
HR: Ordonez 2 (9, 1st inning off Bonser, 1 on, 2 out; 4th inning off Bass, 1 on, 0 out).
TB: Granderson 2; Polanco 5; Sheffield 2; Ordonez 10; Cabrera; Guillen; Joyce; Rodriguez 3; Santiago.
RBI: Ordonez 6 (35), Cabrera (27), Guillen (22), Granderson (16), Polanco (15), Sheffield 3 (12), Joyce 2 (10), Santiago 2 (11).
2-out RBI: Ordonez 4; Cabrera; Guillen; Joyce 2; Santiago 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Joyce; Granderson; Sheffield.
S: Santiago.
Team LOB: 5.

FIELDING
DP: (Polanco-Santiago-Cabrera).

Minnesota IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Bonser (L, 2-6) 3.0 7 9 8 2 2 1 6.16
Bass 1.1 7 7 7 0 0 1 5.74
Rincon 2.2 2 3 3 2 3 0 4.50
Reyes 1.0 1 0 0 1 0 0 3.29
Detroit IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Robertson (W, 2-5) 6.1 7 3 3 2 4 1 5.88
Lopez 2.2 1 0 0 1 4 0 2.35
Bonser pitched to 3 batters in the 4th.

WP: Rincon, Robertson.
Pitches-strikes: Bonser 48-31, Bass 47-27, Rincon 42-27, Reyes 16-8, Robertson 99-62, Lopez 52-34.
Ground outs-fly outs: Bonser 2-6, Bass 3-1, Rincon 1-5, Reyes 2-1, Robertson 8-7, Lopez 1-3.
Batters faced: Bonser 19, Bass 11, Rincon 13, Reyes 5, Robertson 27, Lopez 10.
Inherited runners-scored: Bass 1-1, Rincon 2-2, Lopez 2-0.

I don’t know what to say about this game. It was really the low of the season for me. I was pretty depressed, base-ball-wise, after the Chisox series in which the Twins had their rears handed to them every night for four days, but this was terrible. Bonser was terrible, Bass was worse, and Rincon continued the train of suck. Cuddyer was, at this point, suffering some of the ill effects of his strained finger; he would go on the DL a month later, after re-re-re-aggravating the injury sliding into a base and then swinging a bat too early. The bright spot of this game was Matt Macri, who got two hits, a stolen base, and scored a run in his first major-league experience. He also took a walk and struck out. It was a very good debut.

So what ranks this game in the most important? This game was at a time in which the Twins were competitive. The Tigers were the bottom of the division; it would take KC losing 8 of 10 to jog them from that position. The Twins were 2.5 back of the Chisox, and threw away this game miserably. It would turn out that the division would only tighten, but at the time I had the overwhelming feeling that this could cost the Twins the division. In effect, it did, since one more win would have made that nonsense with Game 163 unneccessary. Oh well.

The next game in the series is already written, and should be posted tomorrow; it is a Twins win, I promise.

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