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2004 Minnesota Twins season

The 2004 Minnesota Twins met their goal of three-peating as American League Central Division champions. The team was able to do this in spite of several new players and the absence of three former all-stars. Closer Eddie Guardado, set-up man LaTroy Hawkins, starter Eric Milton, and catcher A. J. Pierzynski had all been dealt prior to the beginning of the season, while first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz was traded midway through the season. The season had both highs – such as Johan Santana winning the Cy Young Award – and lows, such as highly anticipated rookie catcher Joe Mauer injuring his knee and playing for only 35 games. For the second year in a row, the team was not able to carry its regular season success into the post-season. The New York Yankees eliminated the Twins for the second year in a row in four games in the 2004 American League Division Series.

2004 Minnesota Twins
American league Central Champions
Major League affiliations
Location
Results
Record92–70 (.568)
Divisional place1st
Other information
Owner(s)Carl Pohlad
General manager(s)Terry Ryan
Manager(s)Ron Gardenhire
Local televisionKSTC-TV/KSTP-TV
FSN North
(Bert Blyleven, Dick Bremer)
Local radio830 WCCO AM
(Herb Carneal, John Gordon, Dan Gladden, Jack Morris)
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OffseasonEdit

Spring trainingEdit

The Twins posted a 20–10 record in spring training, the best of any major league team in 2004.[2] This includes split-squad games but not ties or exhibition games.

Regular seasonEdit

OffenseEdit

For a playoff team, the offense was not strong. This was partly due to injuries and starters absent from the lineup. Lew Ford surprised many by batting .299 in his first full year in the major leagues. Free agent acquisition José Offerman saw a majority of time in the designated hitter spot, but hit only .256 with two home runs. Shannon Stewart did hit .304, but injuries limited him to 378 at bats. In 107 at bats, Mauer was able to hit .307. In his absence, catcher Henry Blanco hit only .206. First baseman Doug Mientkiewicz's hitting continued to decline, as he hit .246 with five home runs before being dealt to the Boston Red Sox.

Nine players hit ten or more home runs. When the Twins hit their record 225 homers in 1963, only eight players reached double figures.

Team Leaders
Statistic Player Quantity
HR Corey Koskie 25
RBI Torii Hunter 81
BA Lew Ford .299
Runs Lew Ford 89

PitchingEdit

Brad Radke was the opening day starter, but he was soon overshadowed by Johan Santana's Cy Young year. Radke, Santana, and Carlos Silva anchored the starting rotation. Unfortunately, Kyle Lohse had a bad year that saw his ERA balloon to 5.34, while the fifth spot in the rotation was nebulous. (41-year-old Terry Mulholland made 15 starts, while Seth Greisinger made nine.)

The Twins set their club record of 32 consecutive scoreless innings in June, which included back-to-back-to-back shutouts by Radke, Santana and Lohse.

In the bullpen, Joe Nathan blew everyone away during his first year as a closer at any level, earning 44 saves with a 1.62 ERA. Juan Rincón and J. C. Romero continued playing as excellent set-up men, while the rest of the bullpen was weaker. Romero set a Twins record by going 36 innings over 32 appearances without allowing a run to score.

Santana finished the year with thirteen straight wins without a loss, then went 1-0 with a no-decision in the American League Division Series. He set the Twins record with 265 strikeouts this season.

Team Leaders
Statistic Player Quantity
ERA Johan Santana 2.61
Wins Johan Santana 20
Saves Joe Nathan 44
Strikeouts Johan Santana 265

DefenseEdit

Blanco and Mauer (when he played) were solid catchers, both with .991 fielding percentages. Mientkiewicz was a one-time Gold Glove winner, but his successor Justin Morneau surprised people with his .995 fielding percentage. Luis Rivas was dependable at second base, while Cristian Guzmán could turn exceptional plays at shortstop. (It was the routine ones that fooled him.) Corey Koskie was defensively average, while the outfield quartet of Hunter, Jacque Jones, Shannon Stewart and Ford were solid – especially Hunter, who won a Gold Glove.

Season standingsEdit

AL Central W L Pct. GB Home Road
Minnesota Twins 92 70 0.568 49–32 43–38
Chicago White Sox 83 79 0.512 9 46–35 37–44
Cleveland Indians 80 82 0.494 12 44–37 36–45
Detroit Tigers 72 90 0.444 20 38–43 34–47
Kansas City Royals 58 104 0.358 34 33–47 25–57


Record vs. opponentsEdit

2004 American League Records

Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14]
Team ANA BAL BOS CWS CLE DET KC MIN NYY OAK SEA TB TEX TOR NL 
Anaheim 6–3 4–5 5–4 4–5 7–2 7–0 5–4 5–4 10–9 13–7 6–1 9–10 4–5 7–11
Baltimore 3–6 10–9 2–4 3–3 6–0 6–3 4–5 5–14 0–7 7–2 11–8 5–2 11–8 5–13
Boston 5–4 9–10 4–2 3–4 6–1 4–2 2–4 11–8 8–1 5–4 14–5 4–5 14–5 9–9
Chicago 4–5 4–2 2–4 10–9 8–11 13–6 9–10 3–4 2–7 7–2 4–2 6–3 3–4 8–10
Cleveland 5–4 3–3 4–3 9–10 9–10 11–8 7–12 2–4 6–3 5–4 3–3 1–8 5–2 10–8
Detroit 2–7 0–6 1–6 11–8 10–9 8–11 7–12 4–3 4–5 5–4 3–3 4–5 4–2 9–9
Kansas City 0–7 3–6 2–4 6–13 8–11 11–8 7–12 1–5 2–7 2–5 3–6 4–5 3–3 6–12
Minnesota 4–5 5–4 4–2 10–9 12–7 12–7 12–7 2–4 2–5 5–4 4–5 5–2 4–2 11–7
New York 4–5 14–5 8–11 4–3 4–2 3–4 5–1 4–2 7–2 6–3 15–4 5–4 12–7 10–8
Oakland 9–10 7–0 1–8 7–2 3–6 5–4 7–2 5–2 2–7 11–8 7–2 11–9 6–3 10–8
Seattle 7–13 2–7 4–5 2–7 4–5 4–5 5–2 4–5 3–6 8–11 2–5 7–12 2–7 9–9
Tampa Bay 1–6 8–11 5–14 2–4 3–3 3–3 6–3 5–4 4–15 2–7 5–2 2–7 9–9 15–3
Texas 10–9 2–5 5–4 3–6 8–1 5–4 5–4 2–5 4–5 9–11 12–7 7–2 7–2 10–8
Toronto 5–4 8–11 5–14 4–3 2–5 2–4 3–3 2–4 7–12 3–6 7–2 9–9 2–7 8–10


Notable TransactionsEdit

RosterEdit

2004 Minnesota Twins
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders Manager

Coaches

Post SeasonEdit

The Twins entered and exited the postseason almost exactly the same as the previous season, losing to the Yankees, 3 games to 1. The Yankees would go on to be upset by the Boston Red Sox on their way to breaking the curse.

See 2004 American League Division Series.

Player statsEdit

BattingEdit

Starters by positionEdit

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
C Henry Blanco 114 315 65 .206 10 37
1B Doug Mientkiewicz 78 284 70 .246 5 25
2B Luis Rivas 109 336 86 .256 10 34
SS Cristian Guzmán 145 576 158 .274 8 46
3B Corey Koskie 118 422 106 .251 25 71
LF Lew Ford 154 569 170 .299 15 72
CF Torii Hunter 138 520 141 .271 23 81
RF Jacque Jones 151 555 141 .254 24 80
DH José Offerman 77 172 44 .256 2 22

Other battersEdit

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Shannon Stewart 92 378 115 .304 11 47
Michael Cuddyer 115 339 89 .263 12 45
Justin Morneau 74 280 76 .271 19 58
Matt LeCroy 88 264 71 .269 9 39
Joe Mauer 35 107 33 .308 6 17
Nick Punto 38 91 23 .253 2 12
Michael Ryan 36 71 17 .239 0 7
Jason Kubel 23 60 18 .300 2 7
Augie Ojeda 30 59 20 .339 2 7
Michael Restovich 29 47 12 .255 2 6
Terry Tiffee 17 44 12 .273 2 8
Pat Borders 19 42 12 .286 0 5
Alex Prieto 16 32 8 .250 1 4
Rob Bowen 17 27 3 .111 1 2
Jason Bartlett 8 12 1 .083 0 1

PitchingEdit

Starting pitchersEdit

Note: G = Games; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Johan Santana 34 228 20 6 2.61 265
Brad Radke 34 219.2 11 8 3.48 143
Carlos Silva 33 203 14 8 4.21 76
Kyle Lohse 35 194 9 13 5.34 111

Other pitchersEdit

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Terry Mulholland 39 123.1 5 9 5.18 60
Seth Greisinger 12 51 2 5 6.18 36
Matt Guerrier 9 19 0 1 5.68 11
J.D. Durbin 4 7.1 0 1 7.36 6

Relief pitchersEdit

Note: G = Games; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Juan Rincón 77 11 6 2 2.63 106
J.C. Romero 74 7 4 1 3.51 69
Joe Nathan 73 1 2 44 1.62 89
Aaron Fultz 55 3 3 1 5.04 37
Joe Roa 48 2 3 0 4.50 47
Grant Balfour 36 4 1 0 4.35 42
Jesse Crain 22 3 0 0 2.00 14
Carlos Pulido 6 0 0 0 8.74 9
Brad Thomas 3 0 0 0 16.88 0
Joe Beimel 3 0 0 0 43.20 2

MiscellaneousEdit

 
2004 AL Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana.

Other post-season awardsEdit

Farm systemEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ A. J. Pierzynski Statistics Baseball-Reference.com
  2. ^ "MLB Spring Training Standings – 2004". ESPN. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  3. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/m/mientdo01.shtml
  4. ^ Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 2007
  5. ^ Baseball America 2005 Annual Directory

External linksEdit