GOTW: Cal Ripken’s 2,000th Consecutive Game

Monday August 1, 1995
HHH Metrodome

Baltimore Orioles (56-46) @ Minnesota Twins (47-56)

Though there was plenty to pay attention to on the field in 1994, including Cal Ripken’s consecutive games played streak, the baseball world, including the Minnesota Twins, was focused on some off the field news. A note from Jim Souhan in the August 2, 1994 edition of the Star Tribune:

The Twins shocked some baseball people when they cut their instructional league season to save about $150,000 this winter. They could soon shock some of their employees in an attempt to save more money.

If a strike wipes out the rest of the season and threatens the beginning of the ’95 season, few Twins employees would be surprised if the already-lean organization lays off employees throughout the organization.

“We’ve looked at a lot of possibilities, but we haven’t made any decisions,” Twins president Jerry Bell said.

Will the length of the strike play a factor in whether they cut employees? “It might,” he said.

Although all teams would be hurt by a strike that threatened the summer of ’95, the Twins could save money during a short strike. “If we lost the whole season, including the postseason money, then no, we probably wouldn’t save money,” Bell said. “But if we’re closed down for just a month, then we would save money, and we’re not the only ones. I think that’s a shame. That shouldn’t be the way it is.”

Bell’s point: Any business that saves money by not operating is a business in trouble.

While all of this was going on, there was still a game to be played on August 1. It was the first of three games between the Twins and the Orioles. The Twins were 14.5 games back in the central and were not looking at post season play in 1994 regardless of whether the strike happened. Baltimore sat eight games behind the AL East leading Yankees, but were only three games behind Cleveland for the AL Wild Card spot.

The story of the game, however, was baseball’s future Iron Man, and recent Hall of Fame inductee, Cal Ripken. For the 2,000th consecutive time, Cal Ripken’s name was in the Baltimore starting lineup.

   Baltimore Orioles             Minnesota Twins                      
1. B Anderson           CF    1. C Knoblauch          2B
2. J Hammonds           RF    2. A Cole               CF
3. R Palmeiro           1B    3. K Puckett            DH
4. C Ripken             SS    4. S Mack               LF
5. H Baines             DH    5. P Munoz              RF
6. L Gomez              3B    6. S Leius              3B
7. D Smith              LF    7. J Reboulet           1B
8. C Hoiles             C     8. M Walbeck            C
9. M McLemore           2B    9. P Meares             SS 

   A Rhodes             P        P Mahomes            P

Ripken was 0-for-4 in a game that was dominated by pitching (a rarity for 1994). Mark McLemore’s RBI single off of Pat Mahomes in the second inning turned out to be the only score for either team on the day.

The Twins managed just seven hits off of Arthur Rhodes, but failed to push any runners beyond second base, and two out of three times that happened in an inning when there were already two outs. The Twins best chance to score came when Chuck Knoblauch doubled with one out in the fifth inning, but Rhodes retired Alex Cole and Kirby Puckett without allowing Knoblauch to advance.

If you take out the second inning, Pat Mahomes was almost as good for the Twins. The run was unearned due to the error at first by Jeff Reboulet, and Mahomes allowed just six hits over eight innings pitched. He struggled with control, however, and walked five Orioles while throwing 128 pitches, only 72 of which were strikes.

Rhodes worked around a one out Scott Leius single in the ninth to close the game out. It was only his second win of the season. It was also his second complete game of the season, and only the fourth in his career. Once in 1992 Rhodes had a shut out, and this game in 1994 made it two for his career.

Stars of the Game
1. Arthur Rhodes BAL CG, SHO, 9 I, 7 H
2. Pat Mahomes MIN 8 IP, 6 H, 0 ER
3. Mark McLemore BAL 1-3, RBI

Box

Rhodes would post his third career shutout just a week later in Milwaukee, but wouldn’t have a chance to go for a third consecutive shut out in 1994 because on Thursday, August 11 baseball began player’s strike that would wipe out the rest of 1994, including the World Series. Major League Baseball would not be played again until the end of April in 1995.

Cal Ripken ended 1994 with 2,009 consecutive games played. He would resume the chase when baseball started up again and finally broke Lou Gehrig’s record on September 6, 1995 when he played in his 2,131st consecutive game.

Born August 1, 1951
Pete Mackanin
Mackanin finished his nine-year major league career with two season in Minnesota in 1980 and 1981.  Mackanin has had two stints as a manager, including his current job in Cincinnati.

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