October 20, 2016: Take Three

This morning is (or was, for you late risers) my third attempt at getting a work certification done after an apartment fire got in the way of the first attempt and a scheduling snafu screwed up the second. By 10 in the morning I should be done with it, but as I drift off to sleep, I have serious difficulty seeing it happen.

Happy Birthday–October 20

Jigger Statz (1897)
Judy Johnson (1900)
Bruce Campbell (1909)
Mickey Mantle (1931)
Juan Marichal (1937)
Dave Collins (1952)
Keith Hernandez (1953)
Jerry Meals (1961)
Rudy Seanez (1968)
Juan Gonzalez (1969)

William Julius "Judy" Johnson was a star third baseman in the Negro Leagues.

Jerry Meals has been a major league umpire since 1998.

It appears that no players associated with the Twins were born on this day.

We also want to wish a very happy birthday to GreekHouse and to freealonzo’s mother.

Winter Wonderland: Games of October 18


Ryan McMahon's two-run triple capped a three-run seventh that broke a 1-1 tie and provided Salt River with its margin of victory.  Mitch Garver was 0-for-4 with an RBI.  Tanner English was 1-for-4.  Mason Melotakis pitched a perfect inning.


Magallanes took a 3-0 lead after five and never trailed, although Anzoategui twice cut the lead to one run.  Luis Arraez was 1-for-2 with two walks and an RBI for Magallanes.  Niko Goodrum was 0-for-5 for Anzoategui.


Three consecutive singles brought home the game's only run in the sixth inning.  The last of those was by Wilfredo Tovar, who was 1-for-4 with an RBI for Caracas.

1987 Rewind: Game Sixteen


Date:  Thursday, April 23.

Batting stars:  Gary Gaetti was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his fourth.  Kent Hrbek was 2-for-4.  Steve Lombardozzi was 1-for-3 with a walk.

Pitching stars:  None.

Opposition stars:  Wally Joyner was 2-for-4 with a home run (his third) and a walk, scoring twice.  Devon White was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer, his sixth.  Brian Downing was 1-for-5 with a two-run homer, his seventh.

The game:  Gaetti's two-run homer in the first made it 2-0 and an error in the fifth put the Twins up 3-2, but it was all downhill after that.  In the sixth, Joyner's homer tied it and an RBI single by Darrell Miller made it 4-3 Angels.  A three-run ninth made it 7-3.  The Twins didn't give up, loading the bases with none out in the bottom of the ninth, but Mark Salas popped up, Randy Bush struck out, and Dan Gladden flied out to end the game.

Of note:  Gladden went 0-for-5 to drop his average to .314...Kirby Puckett was 0-for-4 with a run.  It was his fourth consecutive oh-fer and dropped his average to .328...Frank Viola started and pitched 7.1 innings, but allowed four runs on seven hits and a walk with six strikeouts.  John Candelaria was the California started.  He worked seven innings and gave up three runs (one earned) on four hits and a walk with six strikeouts.

Record:  The Twins record was 10-6, dropping them into a first-place tie with the Angels.

Notes:  Newman started at shortstop in this game, with Greg Gagne going to the bench...Tim Laudner was the DH, replacing Roy Smalley...When I saw that the go-ahead run was knocked in by "D. Miller", I wondered who in the world that was.  I kind of remember the name "Darrell Miller', but did not remember a thing about him.  It turns out he's the older brother of Cheryl Miller and Reggie Miller.  He spent his entire major league career with the Angels, getting drafted in the ninth round in 1979.  He started out as a catcher, moving to the outfield in 1981.  He reached the majors in mid-August of 1984 after an excellent season in AAA Edmonton.  He spent almost all of 1985 with the Angels but rarely played, appearing in fifty-one games but making only five starts.  Granted that they had Brian Downing, Gary Pettis, and Reggie Jackson in the outfield, but you can't find more than five starts for a guy who hit .326 with a .937 OPS in AAA?  He did well in his limited playing time, batting .375 in 1985, but it did him no good.  He was with California for half of 1986, starting a grand total of six games.  He continued to hit well in AAA.  1987 was his only full season in the majors, but he got only 108 at-bats and started twelve games.  In 1988 they moved him back to catcher and he played a little more, but not much.  The Angels let him go after that season.  He was in AAA with the Yankees in 1989 and with Baltimore and Seattle in 1990.  There could be reasons the Angels didn't think he would succeed--they may have thought his AAA numbers were inflated by playing in the Pacific Coast League, and he may have been a poor defensive player (although, other than Pettis and Devon White, these Angels teams did not exactly have a gold glove outfield).  Still, it looks like Gene Mauch unfairly buried him on the bench without ever giving him a chance to see if he could play, and that's too bad.  According to wikipedia, he is now major league baseball's vice-president of Youth and Facility Development.

Happy Birthday–October 19

Mordecai Brown (1876)
Fred Snodgrass (1887)
Bob O'Farrell (1896)
Al Brazle (1913)
Walt Bond (1937)
Sandy Alomar (1943)
Al Gallagher (1945)
Mark Davis (1960)
Tim Belcher (1961)
Dave Veres (1966)
Keith Foulke (1972)
Horacio Estrada (1975)
Michael Young (1976)
Randy Ruiz (1977)
Jose Bautista (1980)
Rajai Davis (1980)
J. A. Happ (1982)

The Twins chose Tim Belcher with the first pick of the 1983 draft, but he did not sign.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–October 19

Winter Wonderland: Games of October 17


Nick Gordon's two-run double put the Saguaros ahead 2-0 in the third and they never trailed.  Gordon was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk, scoring once and driving in two.  Tanner English was 0-for-3.


A three-run fourth put Lara up 4-0 and they stayed in control of the game.  Reynaldo Rodriguez was 2-for-4 for Zulia.

1987 Rewind: Game Fifteen


Date:  Wednesday, April 22.

Batting stars:  Al Newman was 2-for-4 with a triple, scoring once and driving in two.  Dan Gladden was 2-for-4 with a stolen base (his second) and an RBI.  Tom Brunansky was 1-for-3 with a walk and a run.

Pitching stars:  Bert Blyleven pitched six innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and a walk with three strikeouts.  Juan Berenguer struck out four in 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Mark Langston pitched a complete game, allowing three runs on seven hits and two walks with nine strikeouts.  Rey Quinones was 2-for-3 with a home run (his second) and a walk, scoring twice.  Harold Reynolds was 2-for-4 with a stolen base (his fourth), scoring once and driving in one.

The game:  Blyleven left a pitch up to Quinones in the fourth to tie the game 1-1, but Newman's two-run single in the fifth put the Twins up 3-1.  The Mariners tied it with two in the seventh.  In the eighth, Seattle got three consecutive singles off George Frazier, with the last a run-scoring hit by Reynolds, to take the lead.  The Twins put two on with two out in the ninth, but Mark Davidson popped up to end the game.

Of note:  Newman raised his average to .317...Gladden was batting .357...Kirby Puckett was 0-for-4 to drop his average to .351...Kent Hrbek was 2-for-4.

Record:  The Twins were 10-5, in first place by a game over California.

Notes:  Newman started at second base in place of Steve Lombardozzi...Gladden was in center field, with Davidson in left.  Puckett was the DH...It seems highly unlikely that Langston would be allowed to pitch a complete game today in this situation.  I don't have a pitch count for him, but he had allowed three runs in eight innings and had a one-run lead, so the closer would almost certainly be brought in to start the ninth.  Even if not, it seems like a move would be made after Langston allowed a single and a walk with two out.  That's not to say which is better or worse, just that times have changed.

Happy Birthday–October 18

Candy Cummings (1848)
Cliff Carroll (1859)
Walt Wilmot (1863)
Boileryard Clarke (1868)
Hans Lobert (1881)
Burt Shotton (1884)
Charlie Berry (1902)
Skeeter Newsome (1910)
Roy Cullenbine (1913)
Andy Carey (1931)
Bobby Knoop (1938)
Willie Horton (1942)
Ed Farmer (1949)
George Hendrick (1949)
Andy Hassler (1951)
Jerry Royster (1952)
Mike Walters (1957)
Alan Mills (1966)
Doug Mirabelli (1970)
Alex Cora (1975)
David Murphy (1981)
Yoenis Cespedes (1985)

Alex Cora was drafted by Minnesota in the twelfth round in 1993, but he did not sign.

We would also like to wish a very happy birthday to AMR.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–October 18

Winter Wonderland: Games of October 15-16



Surprise scored two in the first and never trailed.  Mitch Garver was 3-for-4 with a home run, a double, and a walk.  Nick Gordon was 1-for-4 with a walk and a run.  John Curtiss struck out two in one inning but allowed a run on three hits.  Randy Rosario pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and striking out one.


Leading 5-3, Anzoategui scored nine in the seventh to put away the win.  Niko Goodrum was 2-for-4 with a double and a walk, scoring three times for Anzoategui.  Wilfredo Tovar was 2-for-3 with two doubles and a walk, scoring twice and driving in two, for Caracas.


Trailing 3-1, Zulia scored five in the fifth to go into the lead to stay.  Reynaldo Rodriguez was 1-for-5 with a run and two RBIs for Zulia.  He circled the bases on a three-run single-plus-error in the fifth, driving in the tying and go-ahead runs.


Luis Arraez is 0-for-2 with a walk and a run for Magallanes.  Jairo Rodriguez is 2-for-2 with a run and an RBI for Aragua.


No Twins played.



An RBI double by Luis Domoromo and a run-scoring single by Hernan Iribarren provided the margin of victory for Anzoategui.  Niko Goodrum was 1-for-6 for Anzoategui.  Wilfredo Tovar was 1-for-4 with a run for Caracas.


Reynaldo Rodriguez was 1-for 3 with a home run (his third) in the second inning to provide the game's only run.  Lara used four pitchers and Zulia used six.


La Guaira scored five in the third to go up 5-2 and was never threatened.  Heiker Meneses was 3-for-4 with a home run and a double, scoring twice and driving in three for La Guaira.  Nick Greenwood started for Margarita and pitched three innings, allowing five runs on six hits and two walks with one strikeout.


Magallanes scored six runs in the first on their way to an easy victory.  Luis Arraez was 0-for-3 for Magallanes.  Jairo Rodriguez was 1-for-3 for Aragua.

1987 Rewind: Game Fourteen


Date:  Tuesday, April 21.

Batting stars:  Tom Brunansky was 1-for-4 with a three-run homer, his second.  Kent Hrbek was 1-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base, scoring twice and driving in one.  Gary Gaetti was 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI.

Pitching star:  Les Straker pitched seven shutout innings, giving up three hits and three walks with five strikeouts.

Opposition stars:  Phil Bradley was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk, scoring once.  Ken Phelps was 1-for-2 with two walks and an RBI.  Mike Kingery was 2-for-4 with a triple.

The game:  Brunansky's three-run homer in the second put the Twins up 3-0.  RBI singles by Hrbek and Gaetti made it 5-0 after three.  Straker took it from there.  The only times he was in any trouble were the first, when the Mariners had men on first and second with two out, and the sixth, when men were on second and third with two out.

Of note:  Kirby Puckett went 0-for-3 with a walk and saw his average fall to .377.  Mark Salas was 0-for-3 with an RBI to drop his average to .333.  Keith Atherton pitched two innings and allowed his first run of the season, raising his ERA to 0.93.

Record:  The Twins were 10-4, in first place, leading California by one game.

Notes:  Hrbek stole thirty-seven bases in his career.  His season high was five, in 1987, 1990, and 1992.  He stole at least one in every season of his career except 1988, when he was 0-for-3, and his last year, 1994, when he did not attempt any steals.  He was not a good percentage base stealer, going 37-for-63 (59%)...Al Newman was at second in this game, replacing Steve Lombardozzi...Randy Bush was again in right, with Brunansky in left and Dan Gladden on the bench...Salas started for the second time in three games.  He would make eight more starts for the Twins before being traded to the Yankees in June for Joe Niekro...Mike Morgan, who had started yesterday's game but faced only six batters, retiring none, came in at the start of the sixth and pitched a perfect inning of relief.

October 17, 2016: Nine Years?!

Sour Cream had another birthday last night. Lately I've spent countless hours remembering the Milklings as infants and toddlers, and find their current state almost impossible to believe.

Skim sorta has a boyfriend. She went to school with him in Phoenix and they just do Google Hangouts now and then. Kind of a harmless first boyfriend, I guess.

1987 Rewind: Game Thirteen


Date:  Monday, April 20.

Batting stars:  Al Newman was 2-for-4 with a double and a walk, scoring twice and driving in two.  Gary Gaetti was 1-for-3 with a three-run homer (his third) and a walk.  Randy Bush was 1-for-2 with a double and a walk, scoring once and driving in one.

Pitching star:  Mike Smithson pitched seven innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on eight hits and a walk with no strikeouts.

Opposition stars:  John Moses was 4-for-5 with a run and an RBI.  Ken Phelps was 1-for-3 with a home run (his fourth) and a walk, driving in two.  Rey Quinones was 1-for-3 with a double and a run.

The game:  The Twins scored six runs in the first and never had a lead of less than four after that.  Mariners starter Mike Morgan faced six batters and did not retire any of them, giving up RBI doubles to Bush and Kent Hrbek, the Gaetti three-run homer, and a home run to Roy Smalley.

Of note:  Newman raised his average to .333...Kirby Puckett was 0-for-3 with a walk and a run, dropping his average to .400...Dan Gladden was 1-for-1 as a reserve and was batting .346.

Record:  The Twins were 9-4 and in first place, leading California by one game.

Notes:  Newman started the game at shortstop in place of Greg Gagne.  Gagne entered the game in the eighth inning to give Gaetti a break, with Newman moving to third base...Bush was again in right and Tom Brunansky in left.  Gladden entered the game in the seventh and took over for Puckett in center...Smithson did a lot of pitching from 1982-86, and it appears to have taken a toll on him.  He pitched 199.1 innings in 1982 (most in AAA), 223.1 in 1983, 252 in 1984 (his first year with the Twins), 257 in 1985, and 198 in 1986.  He led the league in starts in both 1984 and 1985.  He did very well 1984, was still decent in 1985, was not very good in 1986, and by 1987 he was done as an effective pitcher.  His first two starts in 1987 were good, this one was okay, but it would go downhill from here.  He made a couple of starts that weren't bad, but most of them were.  He spent part of the season in the minors and would only make one more really good start, on September 5.  The Twins released him after the season, he had a couple of poor years with Boston, and then he was done, apparently a victim of overuse.  When the old school guys talk about how modern pitchers are "babied", they never mention the Mike Smithsons of baseball, but a guy could find an awful lot of them if he wanted to take the time to look.

Remodeled basement. Same half-baked taste.