April 21, 2005

Thursday April 21, 2005
Twins 10, Royals 9

Top Play
With Mike MacDougal pitching in the bottom of the ninth inning, Jacque Jones doubled on a ground ball to left field, scoring Torii Hunter from third to tie the game.

Lew Ford MIN 0.40
Torii Hunter MIN 0.39
Jacque Jones MIN 0.32

Bottom WPA
Brian Anderson KC -0.66
Dave Gassner MIN -0.43
Shawn Camp KC -0.36

After this game, a lot of the focus was on a struggling Michael Cuddyer (from Mark Sheldon’s game story at MLB.com:

After Jacque Jones’ RBI double scored Hunter to tie the game at 9, Michael Cuddyer was up with runners on second and third with one out. Cuddyer, who has struggled in recent at-bats with runners in scoring position, grounded out to third.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire briefly contemplated pinch-hitting for Cuddyer, but decided it was important to stay the course with the third baseman.

“This young man is going to come up in a lot of big situations for us, and he’s going to have to drive in those runs for us,” Gardenhire. “It didn’t happen today, but we look for good things out of Michael Cuddyer.”

The game ended when the Twins loaded the bases with one out in the tenth inning.

Bartlett’s 10th-inning double to right field came off Kansas City reliever Shawn Camp (0-1). Torii Hunter was intentionally walked and the bases went full on Matthew LeCroy’s shallow single to left field.

Knowing he couldn’t take anything for granted, Bartlett readied himself as Kansas City drew its infield and outfield in.

“I was thinking, ‘Read this ball on the ground — I have to beat this ball home,'” Bartlett said. “I was looking for a chopper or something I could beat out, because I knew Lew would beat it out.”

“I was definitely looking up the middle or the other way,” said Ford, who was 4-for-6 in the game. “I didn’t want to roll over or hit a groundball to third base.”

Ford bounced a grounder that shot through the middle infield. Game over.

It was a day game after a night game, so Mike Redmond started at catcher, though Joe Mauer did enter the game as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the ninth. He was intentionally walked. It appears that Redmond left the game after a play at home plate in the 8th inning, making way for a Corky Miller appearance. Miller, one of Gardenhire’s famous third catchers, stayed in long enough to catch Angel Berroa stealing for the last out of the top of the ninth inning before being removed for Mauer in the bottom half.

After starting pitcher Dave Gassner’s day ended before the end of the second inning, the Twins trotted out Matt Guerrier, J.C. Romero, Jesse Crain, Juan Rincon, and Joe Nathan. It was a very stacked bullpen in 2005.



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