1987 Rewind: Game One Hundred Forty-eight


Date:  Friday, September 18.

Batting stars:  Randy Bush was 2-for-3 with a home run (his tenth), a stolen base (his eighth) and a walk, driving in five.  Tom Brunansky was 2-for-3 with a home run (his thirtieth), a triple, and a walk.  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-4 with a home run (his twenty-fifth) and a walk, driving in two.

Pitching stars:  Bert Blyleven struck out nine in eight innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on five hits and three walks.  Jeff Reardon struck out two in a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Brook Jacoby was 3-for-4 with a two-run homer, his thirtieth.  Cory Snyder was 1-for-4 with a home run, his thirty-second.  Julio Franco was 1-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base, his thirtieth.

The game:  Blyleven left a pitch up to Snyder in the third and he put the Indians up 1-0.  The solo homer didn't hurt the Twins, though, as they bounced back with two in the bottom of the third and took control with a four-run fourth.  Puckett homered in the third and Brunansky and Bush homered in the fourth, with Bush hitting a two-run shot.  Bush hit a two-run single in the sixth to make it 8-1.  Cleveland scored two in the seventh and one in the eighth but never really got back into the game.

Of note:  Bush was again at first base and batting third, with Kent Hrbek remaining out of the lineup...Puckett batted fourth and raised his average to .327...Cleveland's starter was Darrel Akerfelds.  He lasted four innings, allowing six runs (three earned) on six hits and three walks with one strikeout.

Record:  The Twins were 78-70, in first place by 3.5 games over Oakland, who defeated Kansas City 4-0.

Happy Birthday–February 28

Terry Turner (1881)
Jud Wilson (1897)
Bob Howsam (1918)
George Maloney (1928)
Frank Malzone (1930)
Bill Haller (1935)
Marty Perez (1946)
Mark Wiley (1948)
Tom Gamboa (1948)
Jim Wohlford (1951)
Mike Milchin (1968)
Trent Oeltjen (1983)
Aaron Thompson (1987)
Aroldis Chapman (1988)

Jud Wilson played in the Negro Leagues from 1922-1945 and had a lifetime batting average of .351.

Bob Howsam was the general manager of the Cincinnati Reds and helped put together the Big Red Machine.

George Maloney was an American League umpire from 1969-1983.

Bill Haller is the older brother of Tom Haller and was an American League umpire from 1963-1982.

Tom Gamboa was a minor league manager who won league championships twice and reached the playoffs four other times in a ten year career.  Unfortunately, he is best known as the Kansas City Royals coach attacked by two White Sox "fans" in Comiskey Park in 2002.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–February 28

World Baseball Challenge

No doubt inspired by the upcoming World Baseball Classic and his new MLB.com gig, JoePos threw down a couple pretty interesting challenges for his readers the other day:

Challenge One:

Try to beat my lineup and starting pitcher — with this caveat. Every player in the lineup and the pitcher must be active and born in a different country. So you have 10 players — 9 in the lineup (including DH) and starting pitcher.

Bonus point: Add a closer from a different country.

Challenge Two:

Come up with a 25-man roster that beats mine where all 25 players are born in different countries. This one you don’t have to just use active players, you can go back as far back in history as you like.

Bonus point: Get a manager who is from a different country.

Hint: All territories count as separate countries … Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, etc.

JoePos hasn't posted his lineup or roster yet, nor has he detailed his criteria for "best." He did add a few provisos: Only a player's MLB time counts, and a player "must be viable at the position you put him at, including the specific three outfield spots." As I put my submission together I realized how tricky it was to get all the right pieces for a 25-man roster. It certainly forces some hard choices, which I think say a lot about your philosophy & approach to building a roster.

I'll spoiler my roster and observations below, but feel free to post your own active lineup or full roster. This seemed like a fun way to limber up for some quadrennial international baseball.

'My 25-Man/Country Roster' SelectShow
'Things I Learned' SelectShow

1987 Rewind: Game One Hundred Forty-seven


Date:  Wednesday, September 16.

Batting stars:  Greg Gagne was 3-for-5 with a home run (his seventh) and two doubles, scoring twice and driving in two.  Dan Gladden was 2-for-5 with a home run (his seventh) and a double, scoring twice and driving in two.  Chris Pittaro was 2-for-4 with two runs.

Pitching star:  Steve Carlton pitched two shutout innings of relief, giving up two hits and a walk with two strikeouts.

Opposition stars:  Harold Baines was 3-for-5 with a home run (his nineteenth) and a double, scoring twice and driving in four.  Ozzie Guillen was 3-for-5 with three doubles, scoring twice and driving in three.  Greg Walker was 2-for-5 with a home run (his twenty-fifth) and a double, scoring twice.

The game:  Gladden led off the game with a home run to put the Twins up 1-0.  The White Sox got the run back in the second, but the Twins got single runs in the third and fifth to lead 3-1.  That's when it went bad.  Chicago got three doubles in a five-run fifth to go ahead 6-3 and scored seven times in the sixth, getting a two-run homer from Baines and a solo shot from Walker, to take a 13-3 lead.  To the Twins' credit, they came back and made a game of it.  Gagne homered and Don Baylor doubled in a three-run seventh that made it 13-6.  Gary Gaetti hit a two-run double in a three-run eighth that made it 13-9.  They scored once more in the ninth to cut it to 13-10, but could not get the tying run up to bat before the game ended.

Of note:  Gladden was not only back in the lineup, he was in center field, with Kirby Puckett given the day off.  Puckett was used as a pinch-hitter in the ninth and popped up, making his average .326...Randy Bush batted third and played first base, with Kent Hrbek out of the lineup...Billy Beane was in right field, with Tom Brunansky again shifting to left...Pittaro was at second base, with Steve Lombardozzi out of the lineup...Mike Smithson started for the Twins but pitched only 4.2 innings, allowing six runs on six hits and two walks with two strikeouts...Jose DeLeon was the Chicago starter.  He went 6.2 innings, allowing six runs (four earned) on seven hits and four walks with six strikeouts...This was one of two times the Twins used Carlton in relief.  Cleveland had pitched him in relief nine times.  Before the 1987 season, the last time he had been used in relief was 1971.

Record:  The Twins were 77-70, in first place by 3.5 games over both Kansas City and Oakland.  The Royals lost to California 6-4 and the Athletics fell to Texas 4-1.

Happy Birthday–February 27

Walter Briggs (1877)
Cy Perkins (1896)
Hilton Smith (1907)
Bill Capps (1919)
Buck Elliott (1919)
Johnny Pesky (1919)
Connie Ryan (1920)
John Wockenfuss (1949)
Ron Hassey (1953)
Greg Cadaret (1962)
Pete Smith (1966)
Matt Stairs (1968)
Willie Banks (1969)
Craig Monroe (1977)
Anibal Sanchez (1984)
Denard Span (1984)
Yovani Gallardo (1986)

Walter Briggs was involved in the ownership of the Detroit Tigers from 1920-1952, becoming sole owner in 1935.

Hilton Smith was a star pitcher in the Negro Leagues from 1931-1950.  Some observers considered him the equal of, if not better than, Satchel Paige.

Bill Capps was a third baseman who played in the minors for twenty years, fifteen of them at Class A or below.

Buck Elliott was an outfielder who played in the minors for fourteen years, all but one of them at Class A or below.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–February 27