On This Date In Twins Playoff History: October 2

While a handful of teams around the league play October baseball, the Twins are, of course, stuck at home. But here is what's occurred on this date in franchise history.

October 2, 2002

Twins: Jacque Jones (LF), Cristian Guzman (SS), Corey Koskie (3B), Matt LeCroy (DH), Torii Hunter (CF), Doug Mientkiewicz (1B), Michael Cuddyer (RF), A.J. Pierzynski (C), Luis Rivas (2B), Joe Mays (P)

Athletics: Ray Durham (DH), Scott Hatteberg (1B), Miguel Tejada (SS), Eric Chavez (3B), Jermaine Dye (RF), David Justice (LF), Mark Ellis (2B), Terrence Long (CF), Ramon Hernandez (C), Mark Mulder (P)

Oakland once again was off to a fast start in Game 2 of the ALDS, with Chavez continuing to haunt Minnesota by blasting a three-run homer off Mays. It's tough to be down three runs when you're just four hitters into a game, but not insurmountable by any means. It soon became insurmountable, when Mays proved to be wholly ineffective by the fourth inning. Tejada's double drove in the frame's first run, and after Gardenhire relieved his starter the palmball specialist Tony Fiore was unable to do any better. His first three batters saw a walk, triple, and a double, and by the time Fiore could record that pesky third out it was an 8-0 contest.

Guzman led off the sixth with a solo homer, but it was far too little and far too late. After coming from behind in Game One, the A's steamrolled the Twins in Game Two. LaTroy Hawkins and Kyle Lohse combined for three scoreless innings, including four strikeouts.

October 2, 2003

Twins: Shannon Stewart (LF), Luis Rivas (2B), Doug Mientkiewicz (1B), Matt LeCroy (DH), Jacque Jones (RF), Torii Hunter (CF), Corey Koskie (3B), A.J. Pierzynski (C), Cristian Guzman (SS), Brad Radke (P)

Yankees: Alfonso Soriano (2B), Derek Jeter (SS), Jason Giambi (DH), Bernie Williams (CF), Jorge Posada (C), Hideki Matsui (LF), Aaron Boone (3B), Nick Johnson (1B), Juan Rivera (RF), Andy Pettitte (P)

This one could have been much worse. Radke allowed three singles to start the game, and Williams pushed Soriano across to score with a sac fly before the Minnesota veteran picked up back-to-back strikeouts to keep the game in hand.

From there, Radke and Pettitte exchanged zeroes, albeit Pettitte had Twins hitters largely eating out of his hand. The only player who seemed to give him trouble was Hunter, who led off the fifth with a solo homer to tie the game at one all.

In the bottom of the seventh, with the game still tied, Radke plunked Johnson who moved to second on a sac bunt. Gardy took the opportunity to relieve Radke, who was approaching 100 pitches and brought in set-up man LaTroy Hawkins. Hawkins, who had been brilliant in the set-up role most of the season by posting career bests in a number of categories, sandwiched a pair of singles with a throwing error. He did it to himself, and handed the Yankees a three-run inning. Only J.C. Romero kept the inning from being any worse.

Mariano Rivera came on for Minnesota's next offensive push, and proceeded to pitch two perfect innings for the save. As the Twins had actually taken Game One two days earlier, on September 30, the Bomber victory evened the series at one game apiece.

Other Events On This Date

  • Harmon Killebrew appears in his final game as a Minnesota Twin. Killer pinch hit for Larry Hisle, taking a called third strike in front of just 2,570 fans. Rangers manager Billy Martin refused to use a designated hitter in the game, meaning neither team could utilize the position, and keeping Killebrew on the bench for all but a token appearance.
  • 1981: The Metrodome, the architectural marvel of the early 1980s, is inflated for the first time.
  • 1988: The Minnesota Twins become the first team in American League history to draw three million fans in a season.
  • 2004: A game against the Indians was suspended after 11 innings, so that the grounds crew could prepare the field for the Gophers' football game. When the game resumed the next day, Kyle Lohse pitched the twelfth inning and earned the win before taking the mound to start the game shortly thereafter.
  • 2009: Joe Nathan breaks Eddie Guardado's single-season save record by notching his 46th of the season. Nathan would save one more for a career high that still sets the benchmark against all other Twins closers.
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