Happy Birthday–January 27

Andy Lotshaw (1880)
Milt Gaston (1896)
Bibb Falk (1899)
Fred Heimach (1901)
John Lowenstein (1947)
Tom Trebelhorn (1948)
Eric Wedge (1968)
Phil Plantier (1969)
Angel Berroa (1980)
Gavin Floyd (1983)

Andy Lotshaw had a thirteen-year minor league career as an outfielder/first baseman, leading his league in triples four times and in home runs five times.  He also played professional basketball.  He then became the trainer for the Chicago Cubs from 1922-1952.

Tom Trebelhorn managed the Milwaukee Brewers from 1986-1991 and the Chicago Cubs in 1994.

There do not appear to be any players with connections to the Minnesota Twins born on this day.

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Eleven

SEATTLE 8, MINNESOTA 0 IN SEATTLE

Date:  Saturday, August 10.

Batting stars:  Mike Pagliarulo was 3-for-4.  Randy Bush was 2-for-4 with a double.  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-4.

Pitching stars:  Carl Willis pitched five shutout innings, giving up four hits and two walks and striking out two.  Terry Leach pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Erik Hanson pitched eight shutout innings, giving up eight hits and a walk and striking out four.  Ken Griffey was 3-for-5 with a stolen base, his tenth.  Dave Cochrane was 2-for-4 with a home run (his second), a double, two runs, and three RBIs.

The game:  The Twins put men on second and third with two out in the first inning but did not score.  It cost them, as the Mariners jumped out for five runs in the bottom of the first.  Edgar Martinez walked and moved to third on a pickoff error.  Harold Reynolds singled him home, Griffey singled, and Pete O'Brien had an RBI single.  A ground out scored the third run, Cochrane doubled home the fourth run, and Omar Vizquel singled home the fifth run.

The Twins got two on with none out in the sixth and loaded the bases with two out in the seventh, but there was no more scoring until the bottom of the seventh.  Paul Abbott, who had come into the game in the sixth, walked O'Brien, but he was erased on a double play.  Jay Buhner then walked and Cochrane hit a two-run homer to make the score 7-0.  Scott Bradley singled, and consecutive walks to Vizquel, Martinez, and Reynolds brought home an eighth run.  The Twins did not threaten after that.

WP:  Hanson (7-5).  LP:  Scott Erickson (15-4).  S:  None.

Notes:  Dan Gladden got the day off.  Shane Mack was in left, with Randy Bush in right.  Chuck Knoblauch batted leadoff, with Bush second.  Junior Ortiz was behind the plate in place of Brian Harper.  Al Newman was at short in place of Greg Gagne.

With a blowout game, the Twins made some substitutions in the eighth.  Gene Larkin replaced Puckett and went to first base.  Harper replaced Kent Hrbek and went to left field.  Scott Leius replaced Mack and went to center field.

Puckett was batting .327.

Willis lowered his ERA to 1.88.  Leach's ERA went to 2.85.

The Twins stranded nine runners and went 1-for-7 with men in scoring position.

Erickson surrendered five runs on five hits and two walks in two-thirds of an inning.  His ERA went from 2.36 to 2.65.  He clearly was still hurting, but did not miss a start, even though he would not have a good one again until September.  This game was his worst of the season by game scores.  I guess I don't really understand how game scores work.  He got a 20 for this, which is obviously not good, but he got a 22 for a game on June 29 when he allowed seven runs on eleven hits in 6.1 innings.  It seems to me that, while neither start was good, this one was a lot worse than that one, and yet they're pretty much even according to game scores.

This was one of eight career home runs for Cochrane.  He played for the White Sox in 1986 and was with the Mariners from 1989-1992.  He had 218 career games and 562 plate appearances, batting .235/.294/.333.  As John Gordon would say, he played around, playing 54 games of outfield, 53 games of third base, 43 games behind the plate, 39 games at shortstop, 19 games of first base, and five games of second base.  In today's era of small benches, he'd have been more valuable.  Even at that time, he'd have had a long career if he could've hit a little more.

Over his first fifty-six starts, from 1988-1990, Erik Hanson was really good.  He went 29-17, 3.22, 1.16 WHIP with 322 strikeouts in 391 innings.  He threw 236 innings in 1990, many more than he had thrown previously.  Whether that made the difference or not, he was not the same pitcher after that.  He had a couple of decent years after that, but he was never the kind of dominant pitcher he had been.  He's apparently also a fine golfer, qualifying for the U. S. Senior Open in 2015.

The White Sox defeated Baltimore 6-4, cutting the Twins' lead in half.

Record:  The Twins were 66-45, in first place in the American League West, one game ahead of Chicago.

Happy Birthday–January 26

Due to personal time constraints, this is a reprint from last year which has not been updated.

Francis Richter (1854)
Kaiser Wilhelm (1877)
Tubby Spencer (1884)
George Blaeholder (1904)
Charlie Gelbert (1906)
Bob Nieman (1927)
Ray Knoblauch (1928)
Bob Uecker (1934) 
Mike Pazik (1950)

Rick Schu (1962)
Jeff Branson (1967)
Esteban German (1978)
Andres Torres (1978) 
Ryan Rowland-Smith (1983)

Francis Richter was the editor of two  influential early baseball publications, the Sporting Life and the Reach Guide.

The father of Chuck Knoblauch, Ray Knoblauch pitched in the minors from 1948-1957, going 54-51.

We would also like to wish a very happy birthday to Daneeka's Ghost.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–January 26

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Ten

MINNESOTA 5, SEATTLE 2 IN SEATTLE

Date:  Friday, August 9.

Batting stars:  Shane Mack was 2-for-3 with a triple.  Brian Harper was 2-for-4.

Pitching star:  David West pitched eight innings, giving up one run on five hits and a walk and striking out three.

Opposition stars:  Ken Griffey was 3-for-4 with a home run (his fourteenth) and a double.  Randy Johnson pitched six innings, giving up four runs (two earned) on six hits and a walk and striking out four.  Calvin Jones pitched two shutout innings, giving up a hit and a walk and striking out two.

The game:  Mack hit a two-out triple in the second but did not score.  The first run of the game came in the fourth, when Griffey led off with a home run.  In the fifth the Twins loaded the bases with none out, as Harper reached on an error and Mack and Kent Hrbek singled.  A pair of ground outs plated two runs to give the Twins a 2-1 lead.  In the sixth Chuck Knoblauch was hit by a pitch, went to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a Kirby Puckett single.  With one out Harper singled to move Puckett to third, and a sacrifice fly made the score 4-1.  They added one more run in the ninth when Scott Leius singled and scored on a Dan Gladden triple.

The Mariners did not go away quietly, though.  With one out Tracy Jones singled and Alonzo Powell walked.  A force out put runners on first and third and Alvin Davis singled to make it 5-2.  That brought the tying run to the plate, but Scott Bradley struck out to end the game.

WP:  West (3-2).  LP:  Johnson (10-8).  S:  Rick Aguilera (30).

Notes:  Greg Gagne was apparently dealing with a minor injury.  He last played August 6 and would not play again until August 11.  Al Newman was at shortstop in his place.

Puckett was 1-for-4 and was batting .326.  Harper raised his average to .312.

Randy Johnson was still not fully Randy Johnson yet in 1991.  He was 13-10, 3.98, but with a 1.50 WHIP because he led the league in walks with 152.  Against the Twins that season he was 1-2, 4.50, 1.65 WHIP.

You can be forgiven if you don't remember Calvin Jones.  Apart from having a pretty common name, he only pitched in the majors for two seasons.  This was his first one, and he was pretty good:  2-2, 2 saves, 2.53, 1.34 WHIP, 42 strikeouts in 46.1 innings.  In 1992, however, he was not good:  3-5, 5.69, 1.57 WHIP in 61.2 innings.  He then pitched in the minors for a few years and in Mexico and in the Atlantic League through 2002.  He later became a scout for the Dodgers, and is credited with signing Clayton Kershaw.

By game scores this was nearly West's best game of the season, second only to his seven shutout innings on July 4.  He would have only one more game score higher than fifty (53 on August 28) and would be out of the rotation by early September.

The White Sox won yesterday, when the Twins were idle, and won again on this day, defeating Baltimore 7-4.

Record:  The Twins were 66-44, in first place in the American League West, two games ahead of Chicago.

Remodeled basement. Same half-baked taste.