1969 Rewind: Game One Hundred Fifty-six


Date:  Thursday, September 25.

Batting stars:  Rick Renick was 2-for-4 with a home run, his fifth.  Tom Tischinski was 2-for-4.

Pitching stars:  None.

Opposition stars:  Greg Goossen was 3-for-4 with two home runs (his seventh and eighth) and a double, scoring three times and driving in three.  Steve Barber struck out ten in eight innings, giving up one run on nine hits and three walks.

The game:  The Twins had men on first and second with one out in the first, but Bob Allison and Renick both struck out.  It cost them, as the Pilots scored two in the bottom of the first.  John Kennedy walked and Goossen hit a two-out two-run homer to give Seattle a 2-0 lead.

The Twins missed another chance in the fourth, as singles by Leo Cardenas and Tischinski put men on first and second with two out but Jim Kaat struck out.  Again, the Pilots scored in the bottom of the inning.  With one out, Goossen doubled, Jerry McNertney was intentionally walked, and John Donaldson singled to load the bases.  Steve Whitaker delivered a sacrifice fly and Seattle led 3-0.

The Twins opened the sixth with singles by Renick and Cotton Nash, putting men on first and third with none out.  They were turned aside once more, as Rod Carew grounded out, Tischinski popped up, and Tony Oliva grounded out.  The Pilots did not score right away in the sixth this time, but they did add a run in the seventh, as triples by Whitaker and Kennedy made the score 4-0.

The Twins finally got on the board in the eighth as Renick hit a solo homer.  Goossen got the run back with a homer in the bottom of the eighth to make it 5-1.  The Twins got their first two men on base in the ninth, but that was as close as they would come.

WP:  Barber (4-6).  LP:  Kaat (13-13).  S:  John O'Donoghue (6).

Notes:  The Twins kind of treated this like a spring training game.   Renick started the game in left field and Allison was in right, with both Ted Uhlaender and Oliva on the bench.  Frank Quilici started at third base, with Harmon Killebrew moving to first and Rich Reese on the bench.  Tischinski was behind the plate, with Johnny Roseboro again out.

Oliva was used as a pinch-hitter.  In the sixth, Nash replaced Cardenas and went to left field, with Renick going to shortstop.  In the eighth, Graig Nettles went to center field, replacing Cesar Tovar.  In the eighth, Jim Holt replaced Killebrew and went to right field, with Allison moving to left and Nash to first base.  Also, Herman Hill went to center field in place of Carew, with Nettles moving to third base and Quilici going to second.

Carew was 1-for-4 and was batting .333.

Kaat struck out six in five innings, but gave up three runs on three hits and three walks.  Tom Hall pitched the last three innings, giving up two runs on four hits and striking out one.

This was the only outfield appearance of Nash's career, although he did see time there in the minors.  This was the second and last appearance in center field of Nettles' career--he had played four innings there in 1968.

Greg Goossen is best remembered for the Casey Stengel quote (when both were with the Mets) "I've got a kid here named Goossen, he's twenty years old and in ten years he's got a chance to be thirty."  He actually had a fine year in 1969 (when he was twenty-three), batting .309/.385/.597, although in just 157 plate appearances.  He had hit well in AAA Vancouver in 1969, too, and one would've thought he looked like a star in the making.  He started 1970 in the majors but played sporadically.  He did well when he was given the chance, batting .255/.407/.353 in 59 plate appearances, but the Brewers preferred Mike Hegan  at first base and sent him to the minors in mid-May, then sold him to Washington.  The Senators had Mike Epstein at first base, so he never got much chance there, either.  He was in AAA in 1971, played in Mexico in 1972, then was done.  My recollection from "Ball Four" is that Goossen was kind of a character, and characters weren't always welcome in baseball back then.  Still, one wonders what would've happened if he'd just been put in the lineup and given a chance to play.

Record:  The Twins were 94-62, in first place in the American League West, ten games ahead of Oakland.  They had clinched first place in the division.