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2006 Minnesota Twins season

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

2006 Minnesota Twins
American League Central Champions
Major League affiliations
Location
Results
Record96–66 (.593)
Divisional place1st
Other information
Owner(s)Carl Pohlad
General manager(s)Terry Ryan
Manager(s)Ron Gardenhire
Local televisionWFTC
FSN North
(Bert Blyleven, Dick Bremer)
Local radio830 WCCO AM
(Herb Carneal, John Gordon, Dan Gladden, Jack Morris)
< Previous season     Next season >

The 2006 Minnesota Twins Season was the Minnesota Twin's 46th season playing in the Twin Cities and their 106th season in the American League. They were managed by Ron Gardenhire and played their home games in the Metrodome.

The Twins finished first in the American League Central with a 96-66 record. They were swept in three games by the Oakland Athletics in the 2006 American League Division Series.[1]

Offseason

Regular season

The Twins stumbled out of the gate after the death of Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett in late March, accumulating a dismal 25-33 record by June 7. Around that time, the team dropped underperforming veterans like Tony Batista, Juan Castro, and Kyle Lohse, replacing them with talented rookies from the Rochester Red Wings. The Twins went 9-1 in their next ten games, evening their record at 34-34. Interleague play was particularly generous to the team; the Twins had Major League Baseball's best Interleague record at 16 wins and 2 losses. By July 26 the team had won 34 of 42 games, leaving them tied with the White Sox at 59-41, but still 8.5 games behind the division-leading Tigers.

As the season neared its conclusion, the Twins continued to put distance between them and the White Sox, while gaining on the Tigers. A key series starting on September 7 saw the Twins take three out of four from the Tigers. And after a commanding win in Boston on September 19, the Twins found themselves within a half game of the Central-leading Tigers. On September 25, the Twins beat Kansas City 8-1 to secure an American League playoff berth.

A win in a 10-inning game against the Royals on September 28 moved the Twins into a tie with the Tigers atop the AL Central. With that win, the Twins broke a major league record by moving into first place after the team's 159th game. This was the latest in a season that a team moved into first place for the first time all season. (It was a tie for first at this point.)

The Tigers led the season series, so a tie at the end of the season between the Tigers and Twins would have meant the Twins get the wild card. Instead, the Tigers were swept by 100-game-losers Kansas City to end the season, and the Twins took one of three from the White Sox, giving the Twins their fourth AL Central title in five years. It was the first time in major league history that a team clinched on the last day of the season after never having held sole possession of first place.

  • The representatives of the Twins in the All-Star Game were Johan Santana, Joe Mauer, and Francisco Liriano.
  • The highest paid Twin in 2006 is Torii Hunter at $10,750,000.00.
  • The motto for the 2006 Twins was "Smell 'em." Backup catcher Mike Redmond coined the phrase, saying the hitters have to "smell those RBIs" when they see runners in scoring position in key situations. Hitters will tap their noses when they come through. After a 9-5 victory over the Detroit Tigers on September 8 that followed a two-week-long hitting drought, hitting coach Joe Vavra remarked: "The 'smell 'ems' were out again tonight. That's the good feeling we were missing."[4]
  • In reference to the scrappy, fleet-footed hitters that make up almost half of their lineup, many of the Twins' players have been referred to by Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillén as "little piranhas".[5] The moniker has stuck, and the team has printed and markets T-shirts bearing the nickname.
  • Johan Santana won his second Cy Young Award, a unanimous decision. He also won the pitching triple crown, leading the majors in wins, strikeouts, and ERA. The last pitcher to lead both leagues in all 3 categories was Dwight Gooden in 1985.
  • Justin Morneau won his first AL MVP Award, a decision won narrowly over New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter 320 points to 306 points, with 15 of a possible 28 first place votes. He was the first Twins MVP since Rod Carew in 1977.
  • Joe Mauer was the first American League catcher ever to win the Major League Baseball batting crown.

Season standings

AL Central W L Pct. GB Home Road
Minnesota Twins 96 66 0.593 54–27 42–39
Detroit Tigers 95 67 0.586 1 46–35 49–32
Chicago White Sox 90 72 0.556 6 49–32 41–40
Cleveland Indians 78 84 0.481 18 44–37 34–47
Kansas City Royals 62 100 0.383 34 34–47 28–53


Record vs. opponents


Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14]
Team BAL BOS CWS CLE DET KC LAA MIN NYY OAK SEA TB TEX TOR NL 
Baltimore 3–15 2–5 4–2 3–3 5–1 4–6 3–6 7–12 2–4 4–6 13–6 3–6 8–11 9–9
Boston 15–3 4–2 3–4 3–3 4–5 3–3 1–5 8–11 3–7 4–6 10–9 5–4 7–12 16–2
Chicago 5–2 2–4 8–11 12–7 11–8 6–3 9–10 2–4 3–3 5–4 3–3 5–5 5–4 14–4
Cleveland 2–4 4–3 11–8 6–13 10–8 4–5 8–11 3–4 3–6 4–5 6–1 5–4 4–2 8–10
Detroit 3–3 3–3 7–12 13–6 14–4 3–5 11–8 2–5 5–4 6–3 5–3 5–5 3–3 15–3
Kansas City 1–5 5–4 8–11 8–10 4–14 3–7 7–12 2–7 4–5 3–5 1–5 3–3 3–4 10–8
Los Angeles 6–4 3–3 3–6 5–4 5–3 7–3 4–2 6–4 11–8 10–9 7–2 11–8 4–6 7–11
Minnesota 6–3 5–1 10–9 11–8 8–11 12–7 2–4 3–3 6–4 5–3 6–1 4–5 2–5 16–2
New York 12–7 11–8 4–2 4–3 5–2 7–2 4–6 3–3 3–6 3–3 13–5 8–2 10–8 10–8
Oakland 4–2 7–3 3–3 6–3 4–5 5–4 8–11 4–6 6–3 17–2 6–3 9–10 6–4 8–10
Seattle 6–4 6–4 4–5 5–4 3–6 5–3 9–10 3–5 3–3 2–17 6–3 8–11 4–5 14–4
Tampa Bay 6–13 9–10 3–3 1–6 3–5 5–1 2–7 1–6 5–13 3–6 3–6 3–6 6–12 11–7
Texas 6–3 4–5 5–5 4–5 5–5 3–3 8–11 5–4 2–8 10–9 11–8 6–3 4–2 7–11
Toronto 11–8 12–7 4–5 2–4 3–3 4–3 6–4 5–2 8–10 4–6 5–4 12–6 2–4 9–9


Notable transactions

Roster

2006 Minnesota Twins
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Other batters

Manager

Coaches

Game log

2006 Game Log
April
# Date Opponent Score Win Loss Save Attendance Record
1 April 4 @ Blue Jays 6–3 Halladay Santana Ryan 50,449 0–1
2 April 5 @ Blue Jays 13–4 Radke Towers 18,156 1–1
3 April 6 @ Blue Jays 6–3 Chacín Silva Ryan 16,221 1–2
4 April 7 @ Indians 11–6 Byrd Lohse 42,445 1–3
5 April 8 @ Indians 3–0 Johnson Baker Wickman 25,107 1–4
6 April 9 @ Indians 3–2 Westbrook Santana Wickman 23,311 1–5
7 April 11 Athletics 7–6 Radke Haren Nathan 48,911 2–5
8 April 12 Athletics 6–5 Silva Loaiza Nathan 22,603 3–5
9 April 13 Athletics 8–2 Lohse Blanton 13,520 4–5
10 April 14 Yankees 5–1 Baker Mussina 30,622 5–5
11 April 15 Yankees 6–5 Rincón Rivera 42,316 6–5
12 April 16 Yankees 9–3 Wang Radke 22,627 6–6
13 April 18 Angels 8–2 Escobar Silva Shields 15,757 6–7
14 April 19 Angels 12–10 Nathan Romero 21,507 7–7
15 April 20 Angels 6–4 Gregg Crain Rodríguez 12,990 7–8
16 April 21 @ White Sox 7–1 Buehrle Santana 31,287 7–9
17 April 22 @ White Sox 9–2 García Radke 38,955 7–10
18 April 23 @ White Sox 7–3 Contreras Silva 38,102 7–11
19 April 25 @ Royals 2–1 Liriano Hudson Nathan 12,911 8–11
20 April 26 @ Royals 3–1 Hernández Baker Burgos 9,188 8–12
21 April 27 @ Royals 7–3 Santana Redman 11,391 9–12
22 April 28 @ Tigers 9–0 Robertson Radke 23,263 9–13
23 April 29 @ Tigers 18–1 Verlander Silva 24,258 9–14
24 April 30 @ Tigers 6–0 Rogers Lohse 24,323 9–15
May
# Date Opponent Score Win Loss Save Attendance Record
25 May 1 Mariners 8–2 Piñeiro Baker 11,796 9–16
26 May 2 Mariners 5–1 Santana Washburn 14,513 10–16
27 May 3 Royals 6–1 Radke Mays 15,996 11–16
28 May 4 Royals 1–0 Affeldt Silva Burgos 11,803 11–17
29 May 5 Tigers 9–6 Rogers Lohse Jones 23,892 11–18
30 May 6 Tigers 7–6 Rincón Jones 20,907 12–18
31 May 7 Tigers 4–2 Santana Maroth Nathan 20,548 13–18
32 May 8 @ Rangers 6–4 Koronka Radke Otsuka 18,609 13–19
33 May 9 @ Rangers 15–5 Silva Millwood 19,316 14–19
34 May 10 @ Rangers 4–3 Loshe Padilla Nathan 23,008 15–19
35 May 12 White Sox 10–1 Santana Garland 30,473 16–19
36 May 13 White Sox 8–4 Radke Vázquez 33,021 17–19
37 May 14 White Sox 9–7 Buehrle Silva Jenks 21,796 17–20
38 May 15 White Sox 7–3 García Baker 19,413 17–21
39 May 16 @ Tigers 7–4 Robertson Lohse Jones 18,115 17–22
40 May 17 @ Tigers 2–0 Verlander Santana Jones 16,669 17–23
41 May 18 @ Tigers 5–3 Rogers Radke Jones 26,732 17–24
42 May 19 @ Brewers 7–1 Liriano Davis 28,462 18–24
43 May 20 @ Brewers 16–10 Baker Hendrickson 43,422 19–24
44 May 21 @ Brewers 5–3 Capuano Crain Turnbow 35,180 19–25
45 May 23 Indians 6–5 Nathan Mota 19,334 20–25
46 May 24 Indians 11–0 Sabathia Radke 22,789 20–26
47 May 26 Mariners 3–1 Liriano Hernández Nathan 28,082 21–26
48 May 27 Mariners 9–5 Bonser Moyer Rincón 25,305 22–26
49 May 28 Matiners 4–3 Nathan Guardado 24,388 23–26
50 May 29 @ Angels 4–3 Shields Crain 40,007 23–27
51 May 30 @ Angels 6–3 Weaver Baker Rodríguez 37,299 23–28
52 May 31 @ Angels 7–1 Liriano Santana 40,001 24–28
June
# Date Opponent Score Win Loss Save Attendance Record
53 June 1 @ Athletics 4–0 Zito Bonser 12,025 24–29
54 June 2 @ Athletics 2–1 Santana Saarloos Nathan 16,138 25–29
55 June 3 @ Athletics 2–1 Halsey Radke Street 23,194 25–30
56 June 4 @ Athletics 5–1 Halsey Silva 25,247 25–31
57 June 6 @ Mariners 4–2 Hernández Liriano Putz 21,028 25–32
58 June 7 @ Mariners 10–9 Mateo Crain 24,785 25–33
59 June 8 @ Mariners 7–3 Santana Piñeiro 27,341 26–33
60 June 9 Orioles 7–5 Nathan Chen 22,894 27–33
61 June 10 Orioles 9–7 Cabrera Silva 24,478 27–34
62 June 11 Orioles 4–0 Liriano Bédard 25,438 28–34
63 June 13 Red Sox 5–2 Reyes Tavárez 25,531 29–34
64 June 14 Red Sox 8–1 Radke Clement 26,492 30–34
65 June 15 Red Sox 5–3 Silva Wakefield Nathan 21,191 31–34
66 June 16 @ Pirates 4–2 Liriano Snell Nathan 33,025 32–34
67 June 17 @ Pirates 5–3 Crain Marte Nathan 34,085 33–34
68 June 18 @ Pirates 8–2 Santana Pérez 25,104 34–34
69 June 20 @ Astros 6–5 Nathan Miller 32,713 35–34
70 June 21 @ Astros 5–3 Wheeler Lohse Lidge 33,243 35–35
71 June 22 @ Astros 4–2 Liriano Clemens Nathan 43,769 36–35
72 June 23 Cubs 7–2 Santana Mármol 34,361 37–35
73 June 24 Cubs 3–0 Bonser Prior Nathan 42,304 38–35
74 June 25 Cubs 8–1 Radke Marshall 35,128 39–35
75 June 26 Dodgers 8–2 Silva Billingsley 22,258 40–35
76 June 27 Dodgers 9–2 Liriano Lowe 30,681 41–35
77 June 28 Dodgers 6–3 Santana Pérez Nathan 34,157 42–35
78 June 30 Brewers 8–2 Radke Villanueva 28,412 43–35
July
# Date Opponent Score Win Loss Save Attendance Record
79 July 1 Brewers 10–7 Rincón Turnbow Nathan 35,056 44–35
80 July 2 Brewers 8–0 Liriano Jackson 35,466 45–35
81 July 3 @ Royals 6–5 Crain Sisco Nathan 28,401 46–35
82 July 4 @ Royals 7–2 Gobble Bonser Dessens 23,996 46–36
83 July 5 @ Royals 6–3 Affeldt Crain Burgos 12,085 46–37
84 July 7 @ Rangers 9–4 Wasdin Silva 30,207 46–38
85 July 8 @ Rangers 4–0 Liriano Rheinecker 36,035 47–38
86 July 9 @ Rangers 5–2 Bauer Santana Otsuka 23,268 47–39
87 July 13 Indians 6–4 Lee Liriano Wickman 21,085 47–40
88 July 14 Indians 3–2 Nathan Mujica 21,279 48–40
89 July 15 Indians 6–2 Santana Sabathia 33,904 49–40
90 July 16 Indians 5–2 Silva Sowers Nathan 31,838 50–40
91 July 17 Devil Rays 6–3 Baker Corcoran Nathan 17,071 51–40
92 July 18 Devil Rays 8–1 Liriano Kazmir 22,808 52–40
93 July 19 Devil Rays 7–2 Radke Seo 25,866 53–40
94 July 20 Devil Rays 6–4 Santana Shields Nathan 25,104 54–40
95 July 21 @ Indians 14–6 Reyes Sabathia 29,695 55–40
96 July 22 @ Indians 11–0 Sowers Baker 26,895 55–41
97 July 23 @ Indians 3–1 Liriano Westbrook Nathan 25,889 56–41
98 July 24 @ White Sox 7–4 Radke Vázquez 39,750 57–41
99 July 25 @ White Sox 4–3 Santana Contreras Nathan 36,984 58–41
100 July 26 @ White Sox 7–4 Silva Buehrle Nathan 39,387 59–41
101 July 28 Tigers 3–2 Rodney Rincon Jones 45,478 59–42
102 July 29 Tigers 8–6 Robertson Radke Jones 45,496 59–43
103 July 30 Tigers 6–4 Neshek Bonderman Nathan 43,204 60–43
104 July 31 Rangers 15–2 Silva Rheinecker 19,532 61–43
August
# Date Opponent Score Win Loss Save Attendance Record
105 August 1 Rangers 9–0 Eaton Baker 25,969 61–44
106 August 2 Rangers 10–2 Wells Bonser 26,492 61–45
107 August 3 @ Royals 8–2 Radke de la Rosa 12,022 62–45
108 August 4 @ Royals 8–5 Reyes Dohmann Nathan 19,394 63–45
109 August 5 @ Royals 14–3 Silva Hernández 25,131 64–45
110 August 6 @ Royals 11–5 Reyes Wellemeyer 14,064 65–45
111 August 7 @ Tigers 9–3 Miner Liriano 34,870 65–46
112 August 8 @ Tigers 4–2 Radke Robertson Nathan 35,624 66–46
113 August 9 @ Tigers 4–3 Santana Zumaya Nathan 36,339 67–46
114 August 10 Blue Jays 5–0 Lilly Silva 30,118 67–47
115 August 11 Blue Jays 7–1 Burnett Garza 31,814 67–48
116 August 12 Blue Jays 4–0 Downs Bonser 36,261 67–49
117 August 13 Blue Jays 5–0 Radke Marcum 32,811 68–49
118 August 15 Indians 4–1 Santana Westbrook 34,854 69–49
119 August 16 Indians 7–2 Neshek Carmona 42,328 70–49
120 August 17 Indians 3–2 Byrd Garza 27,664 70–50
121 August 18 White Sox 7–3 Neshek García 43,204 71–50
122 August 19 White Sox 4–1 Garland Radke Jenks 46,215 71–51
123 August 20 White Sox 7–3 Santana Vázquez 42,537 72–51
124 August 22 @ Orioles 6–3 Loewen Silva Ray 19,756 72–52
125 August 23 @ Orioles 4–1 Garza López Nathan 19,258 73–52
126 August 24 @ Orioles 11–2 Bonser Benson 24,848 74–52
127 August 25 @ White Sox 5–4 Crain MacDougal Nathan 35,931 75–52
128 August 26 @ White Sox 8–7 Eyre Thornton 38,636 76–52
129 August 27 @ White Sox 6–1 Buehrle Silva 35,193 76–53
130 August 29 Royals 2–0 Redman Garza 24,904 76–54
131 August 30 Royals 4–3 Hudson Bonser Nelson 28,668 76–55
132 August 31 Royals 3–1 Santana de la Rosa Nathan 21,287 77–55
September/October
# Date Opponent Score Win Loss Save Attendance Record
133 September 1 @ Yankees 8–1 Lidle Silva 54,311 77–56
134 September 2 @ Yankees 6–1 Baker Karstens Crain 53,220 78–56
135 September 3 @ Yankees 10–1 Rasner Garza 55,155 78–57
136 September 4 @ Devil Rays 2–1 Bonser Corcoran Nathan 15,910 79–57
137 September 5 @ Devil Rays 8–0 Santana Seo 8,256 80–57
138 September 6 @ Devil Rays 4–2 Camp Neshek McClung 8,492 80–58
139 September 7 Tigers 7–2 Verlander Baker 21,229 80–59
140 September 8 Tigers 9–5 Neshek Ledezma 29,042 81–59
141 September 9 Tigers 2–1 Bonser Robertson Nathan 39,160 82–59
142 September 10 Tigers 12–1 Santana Bonderman 40,158 83–59
143 September 11 Athletics 9–4 Silva Blanton Nathan 15,728 84–59
144 September 12 Athletics 7–5 Reyes Kennedy Nathan 20,991 85–59
145 September 13 Athletics 1–0 Haren Garza Street 18,902 85–60
146 September 14 @ Indians 9–4 Crain Davis 21,424 86–60
147 September 15 @ Indians 5–4 Cabrera Neshek 32,473 86–61
148 September 16 @ Indians 4–1 Silva Sabathia Nathan 26,757 87–61
149 September 17 @ Indians 6–1 Baker Byrd Guerrier 20,324 88–61
150 September 19 @ Red Sox 7–3 Garza Wakefield 36,242 89–61
151 September 20 @ Red Sox 8–2 Bonser Hansen 36,484 90–61
152 September 21 @ Red Sox 6–0 Beckett Santana 36,434 90–62
153 September 22 @ Orioles 7–3 Cabrera Silva 21,051 90–63
154 September 23 @ Orioles 8–5 Guerrier Bédard Nathan 21,980 91–63
155 September 24 @ Orioles 6–3 Garza Loewen Nathan 23,005 92–63
156 September 25 Royals 8–1 Bonser de la Rosa 18,108 93–63
157 September 26 Royals 3–2 Santana Peralta Nathan 24,819 94–63
158 September 27 Royals 6–4 Redman Silva Nelson 28,540 94–64
159 September 28 Royals 2–1 Nathan Dohmann 26,254 95–64
160 September 29 White Sox 4–3 Freddy García Bonser Jenks 45,439 95–65
161 September 30 White Sox 6–3 Garland Garza 46,219 95–66
162 October 1 White Sox 5–1 Silva Vázquez 45,182 96–66

Team overview

Offense: Power and the Piranhas

For the first time since 1987, the Twins had legitimate power hitters in Justin Morneau, Torii Hunter, and Michael Cuddyer. On August 9, Morneau became the first Twin to hit 30 or more home runs since 1987, when Tom Brunansky, Gary Gaetti, and Kent Hrbek did it. The Twins led the Major Leagues in batting average with a team average of .287.[6]

During the same span:

  • Every other team in the majors had at least three 30-homer hitters.
  • Nine teams had 20 or more 30-homer hitters.
  • 478 players, including 14 in 2006, hit 30 or more home runs in a season.
  • 138 players hit 40 or more homers. Twenty of those reached 50.[7]

Morneau finished the season with 34 home runs, 130 runs batted in, and a .321 average and was named American League MVP.

Both Morneau and Joe Mauer won their first Silver Slugger Awards.

Hunter enjoyed a late season surge to also reach the 30 home run mark. On September 25, he homered off Kansas City Royals pitcher Zack Greinke in the bottom of the 7th inning and became the second Twin to hit 30 home runs in 2006. He finished the season with 31 home runs and 98 runs batted in.

Michael Cuddyer also had a breakout season as the Twins' cleanup hitter. He did not start the season as a regular player, but eventually replaced the ineffective opening day right fielder, Jason Kubel. By June, he was hitting fourth in the lineup, and he finished the season with 24 home runs, 109 runs batted in, scored 102 runs, and hit for a .284 average.

Morneau and catcher Joe Mauer may have finally earned the nickname "The M&M Boys", that had been prematurely applied to them early in the 2005 season. (This was the nickname applied to Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris in the early 1960s.) Not only did Mauer win the American League batting title, but he led the major leagues with a .347 average, finishing ahead of National League champion Freddy Sanchez. Mauer was the first catcher to lead either the American League or the majors in hitting. Two catchers did win the National League batting title. Bubbles Hargrave of the Cincinnati Reds did it in 1926. Ernie Lombardi led the National League twice: once for the Reds in 1938 and once for the Boston Braves in 1942. However, neither catcher won the major league title.

These strong hitters were complemented by the top and bottom of the Twins' order, where the players gave the hitters plenty of opportunities to drive in runs. Midway through the season, the Twins opted for a lineup that included Jason Tyner batting eighth, Jason Bartlett ninth, Luis Castillo first, and Nick Punto second. Manager Ron Gardenhire said that these players were like four leadoff hitters: all were fast and hit for average but not power. All four hit between .290 (Punto) and .312 (Tyner), but hit a combined six home runs.[8]

Players like this caused Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillén to dub the team "the piranhas."[9][10] Said Guillen:

"All those little piranhas -- blooper here, blooper here, beat out a ground ball, hit a home run, they're up by four. They get up by four with that bullpen? See you at the national anthem tomorrow. When I sit down and look at the lineup, give me the New York Yankees. Give me those guys because they've got holes. You can pitch around them, you can pitch to them. These little guys? Castillo and all of them? People worry about the catcher, what's his name, Mauer? Fine, yeah, a good hitter, but worry about the little [guys], they're on base all the time."[11]

Despite the fact that the term came from a rival manager, it was quickly embraced by both the players and the fans, as well as media outlets such as ESPN.[12] After running a popular "Twins Territory" commercial in 2007 featuring Jason Bartlett and Nick Punto at the Mall of America's Underwater World as "Piranhas" [13] the Minnesota Twins organization marketed official T-shirts, hats, signs, the team even had a "Little Piranha Night" in which piranha finger puppets were given to fans attending the game that evening.[14]

The four finished their MLB careers hitting a combined .274 and just 79 HRs in 14262 at-bats.[15][16][17][18]

Team Leaders
Statistic Player Quantity
HR Justin Morneau 34
RBI Justin Morneau 130
BA Joe Mauer .347*
SB Luis Castillo 25
Runs Michael Cuddyer 102
*Major League Leader

Pitching

For much of the season, the Twins' starting rotation was its most apparent weakness. This is surprising, because the 2005 Minnesota Twins had one of the strongest rotations in baseball. The team started the season with a rotation of Johan Santana, Brad Radke, Carlos Silva, Kyle Lohse, and Scott Baker. By September, only Santana could be counted on for a full, effective start.

Baker was not effective and was quickly demoted to the minors, though he came back a couple times and had a couple competent starts. Lohse was ineffective, surly, and traded to the Cincinnati Reds midway through the season. Radke started slowly but seemed to find his form, providing some consistency to the number two spot before being sidelined with a torn labrum and a stress fracture in his right shoulder. Silva was unable to find his 2005 form, finishing the season with an ERA of 5.94. He did make a few strong starts in September before regressing.

On May 19, talented rookie Francisco Liriano entered the starting rotation. He pitched well enough to earn an All-Star berth, finishing with a 12-3 record and a minuscule ERA of 2.16. Unfortunately, he was sidelined after the All-Star break with elbow problems. He did not pitch at all in 2007, as he was recovering from Tommy John surgery. Boof Bonser had an up-and-down season, but finished strong with a 7-6 record and 4.22 ERA. This earned him a spot in the postseason rotation. Matt Garza was the team's top pitching prospect, but was inconsistent during his first partial year in the majors.

The Twins had one of baseball's best bullpens. Dennys Reyes, signed to a minor-league deal during the offseason, provided a pleasant surprise with an excellent season as the Twins' sole left-handed reliever. Right-handers Jesse Crain and Juan Rincón set the stage throughout the season for closer Joe Nathan, with homegrown rookie Pat Neshek contributing some solid innings after being recalled from the minor leagues in July. Pitchers like Willie Eyre and Matt Guerrier ate up innings when the starters faltered.

In the May 27 game against Seattle, Jesse Crain – with a lead – loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth. Juan Rincón replaced Crain, and promptly ended the threat – with just one pitch – by inducing Mariner Kenji Johjima to hit into a triple play. Rincon threw 26 more pitches in the ninth for the save.

Team Leaders
Statistic Player Quantity
Wins Johan Santana 19*
Saves Joe Nathan 36
IP Johan Santana 233⅔1
ERA Johan Santana 2.771
Strikeouts Johan Santana 2451
*Tied for league lead
1Led league

Defense

The Twins finished tied for second place in the American League with a .986 fielding percentage.[19] The team's defense was noticeably stronger when the left side of the infield was revamped in June, when the team traded shortstop Juan Castro to Cincinnati and released third baseman Tony Batista. Jason Bartlett and Nick Punto stepped into those roles, providing an immediate upgrade.

In center field, Torii Hunter won his sixth Gold Glove Award.

Player stats

Batting

Starters by position

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 Joe Mauer 140 521 181 .347 13 84
1B Justin Morneau 157 592 190 .321 34 130
2B Luis Castillo 142 584 173 .296 3 49
SS Jason Bartlett 99 333 103 .309 2 32
3B Nick Punto 135 459 133 .290 1 45
LF Lew Ford 104 234 53 .226 4 18
CF Torii Hunter 147 557 155 .278 31 98
RF Michael Cuddyer 150 557 158 .284 24 109
DH Rondell White 99 337 83 .246 7 38

Other batters

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
Jason Kubel 73 220 53 .241 8 26
Jason Tyner 62 218 68 .312 0 18
Mike Redmond 47 179 61 .341 0 23
Tony Batista 50 178 42 .236 5 21
Shannon Stewart 44 174 51 .293 2 21
Juan Castro 50 156 36 .231 1 14
Luis Rodríguez 59 115 27 .235 2 6
Josh Rabe 24 49 14 .286 3 7
Terry Tiffee 20 45 11 .244 2 6
Phil Nevin 16 42 8 .190 1 4
Rubén Sierra 14 28 5 .179 0 4
Alexi Casilla 9 4 1 .250 0 0
Chris Heintz 2 1 0 .000 0 0

Pitching

Starting pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Johan Santana 34 233.2 19 6 2.77 245
Carlos Silva 36 180.1 11 15 5.94 70
Brad Radke 28 162.1 12 9 4.32 83
Francisco Liriano 28 121.0 12 3 2.16 144
Boof Bonser 18 100.1 7 6 4.22 84
Scott Baker 16 83.1 5 8 6.37 62
Matt Garza 10 50 3 6 5.76 38
Mike Smith 1 3 0 0 12.00 1

Other pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Kyle Lohse 22 63.2 2 5 7.07 46

Relief pitchers

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Juan Rincón 75 3 1 1 2.91 65
Jesse Crain 68 4 5 1 3.52 60
Dennys Reyes 66 5 0 0 0.89 49
Joe Nathan 64 7 0 36 1.58 95
Willie Eyre 42 1 0 0 5.31 26
Matt Guerrier 39 1 0 1 3.36 37
Pat Neshek 32 4 2 0 2.19 53
Glen Perkins 4 0 0 0 1.59 6

Playoffs

After the Twins won the division, the American League playoff matchups were decided as follows: number two seed Minnesota Twins hosting number three seed Oakland Athletics, and number one seed New York Yankees hosting the wild card Detroit Tigers.

The Twins were defeated by Oakland in a three-game sweep, ending their playoff run for 2006. The Twins got great starts from both Johan Santana and Boof Bonser (who made his first post season appearance) at the Metrodome. After losing game 1 by the score of 3-2, the Twins came back to even the score at 2 in game 2. With two outs and a runner on first in the top of the 7th inning, Mark Kotsay hit a line drive to center field that Torii Hunter made a valiant dive for. Unfortunately, the ball sailed past him all the way to the wall, resulting in an inside-the-park home run for Kotsay. This play seemed to take all the momentum away from the Twins. The Twins never led in any game in this series.

Other post-season awards

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Rochester Red Wings International League Stan Cliburn
AA New Britain Rock Cats Eastern League Riccardo Ingram
A Fort Myers Miracle Florida State League Kevin Boles
A Beloit Snappers Midwest League Jeff Smith
Rookie Elizabethton Twins Appalachian League Ray Smith
Rookie GCL Twins Gulf Coast League Nelson Prada

[20]

External links

References

  1. ^ "2006 Minnesota Twins Statistics". Baseball Reference. Retrieved March 20, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Rubén Sierra at Baseball Reference
  3. ^ Rob Bowen at Baseball Reference
  4. ^ MLB – Detroit Tigers/Minnesota Twins Recap Friday September 8, 2006 – Yahoo! Sports
  5. ^ The Official Site of The Minnesota Twins: News: Notes: Ozzie praises Twins 'piranhas'[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "2006 MLB Team Statistics". Baseball Reference. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  7. ^ http://www.startribune.com/509/story/605847.html[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ Yahoo! Sports – MLB – Minnesota Twins – Stats
  9. ^ http://www.startribune.com/souhan/story/624549.html[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ Helfand, Betsy (September 1, 2019). "As Twins continue home run tear, Guillen upgrades them from piranhas to sharks". Retrieved June 11, 2020.
  11. ^ Thesier, Kelly (August 19, 2006). "Notes: Ozzie praises Twins". Twins Baseball News. MLB Advanced media, L.P. Retrieved June 11, 2020.
  12. ^ Thesier, Kelly. "Twins embrace 'little piranhas' moniker". Twins Baseball News. MLB. Retrieved October 12, 2010.
  13. ^ "YouTube – This is Twins Territory – Little Piranhas". YouTube. Archived from the original on June 25, 2010. Retrieved October 12, 2010.
  14. ^ "Homestand highlights for Friday, May 4 – Sunday, May 13". Twins Baseball Official Info. MLB. Retrieved October 12, 2010.
  15. ^ "Nick Punto". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  16. ^ "Luis Castillo". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  17. ^ "Jason Bartlett". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  18. ^ "Jason Tyner". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  19. ^ The Official Site of Major League Baseball: Stats: Sortable Team Stats
  20. ^ Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 2007
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