BALTIMORE 5, MINNESOTA 0 IN BALTIMORE
Date: Sunday, July 12.
Batting stars: Greg Gagne was 1-for-2. Al Newman was 1-for-3. Those were the only two hits the Twins had.
Pitching star: Keith Atherton struck out two in two perfect innings.
Opposition stars: Dave Schmidt pitched a complete game shutout, giving up two hits and no walks with seven strikeouts. Mike Young was 2-for-3 with two home runs (his eighth and ninth), driving in four. Eddie Murray was 1-for-3 with a home run (his twentieth) and a walk, scoring twice.
The game: Young hit a two-run homer in the second, Murray homered leading off the fourth, and Young hit another two-run homer later in the fourth. The Twins did not have a baserunner until the sixth, when Gagne got a two-out single. Newman singled leading off the seventh, but was erased on a double play, so the Twins batted only one over the minimum.
Of note: Kirby Puckett was 0-for-3, dropping his average to .337...Roy Smalley was 0-for-3, dropping his average to .310...Joe Niekro pitched six innings, giving up five runs on six hits and three walks with four strikeouts.
Record: The Twins were 49-40, in first place, two games ahead of Kansas City and Oakland.
Notes: This was the Twins' last game before the all-star break...Newman played second and batted second, replacing Steve Lombardozzi. I know Lombardozzi was a weak bat, but he was no worse than Newman, and given that Lombardozzi was an excellent defensive player (at least in my recollection) it's hard to understand why Newman played so much.
Player profile: This is one of three career shutouts for Dave Schmidt, which isn't bad considering that he spent most of his career in the bullpen. He had 63 career starts and only started more than 14 games once, in 1989, while making 313 appearances in relief. He was drafted by Texas in the 26th round in 1979 and made his major league debut in 1981. He was with the Rangers through 1985 and pitched very well for them, going 20-22, 3.14, 1.26 WHIP with 26 saves in 343.2 innings. After the 1985 season, he was traded to the White Sox with Wayne Tolleson for Ed Correa, Scott Fletcher, and a player to be named later (Jose Mota). After a year there, he signed as a free agent with Baltimore. He started the year in the bullpen, went into the rotation in early June, and stayed there until late August, when his season ended due to injury. He started 1988 in the bullpen, but again was put into the rotation, this time in August. He pitched well in both roles, so one assumes teams generally found him to be more valuable in the bullpen. In 1989, however, he started the year in the rotation and had a bad year, going 8-11, 5.34 before being sent back to the pen in late July. A free agent after the season, he signed with Montreal and went back to relief, but was not the same pitcher he'd been. He pitched for two more years, mostly in AAA, then was done. A Google search reveals very little about his career other than his stats--one could speculate that his arm could not hold up to the rigors of starting regularly, but it would only be speculation. He has stayed in baseball, in the Orioles organization, and at last report was the Florida and Latin America pitching coordinator for Baltimore.