October 4, 2002
Rick Reed felt that he had some explaining to do after the Twins lost game three in front of the largest crowd in Twins history.
“I think I’m going to take full responsibility for this loss,” Reed said. “You got to give those guys lots of credit. They came out swinging the bats early, and they jumped on us early.”
The A’s took a 2-1 series lead on the strength of four solo home runs, all off of Twins’ starter Rick Reed, who set a new ALDS record for most home runs allowed in a single game.
The first was an unconventional inside-the-park home run off the bat of lead off man Ray Durham.
Ray Durham roped a tailing line drive to center field that was misplayed by All-Star Torii Hunter. The ball rolled to the wall for an inside-the-park home run.
Joe LaPointe had a more descriptive take on the play:
On the third pitch of the game, Durham lined a hit over second base. Torii Hunter, the center fielder for Minnesota, hesitated, charged toward the ball and then pulled up. The ball bounced directly in front of him, skipped past him and rolled to the fence, 408 feet from home plate, on the artificial turf. Durham began sprinting.
”He’s a tremendous center fielder, and I finally got one by him,” Durham said of Hunter. ”I’d definitely rather be jogging, but I’ll take it anyway I can get it.”
Durham said he expected to be held up at third base by the coach, Ron Washington, who waved him home. ”What, you’re kidding me!” Durham said he thought.
Reed also set another new mark, this one more positive. He struck out eight in his five innings of work, most by a Twins pitcher in postseason history.
That was small consolation for the Twins, who were looking at facing Tim Hudson and, if they could prolong the series, Mark Mulder in successive elimination games.
The game also featured a “Metrodome moment” when Scott Hatteberg lost a pop fly in the roof. He was still looking straight up when the ball landed 20 feet behind him.
I don’t believe WPA took Hunter’s misplay into account, so he was the top performer thanks to a big day at the plate.
1. Torii Hunter 0.19
2. Randy Velarde 0.16
3. Scott Hatteberg 0.13
Unsurprising despite the 8 K’s:
1. Rick Reed -0.22
2. Luis Rivas -0.21