1970 Rewind: Game Four


Date:  Wednesday, April 15.

Batting stars:  Brant Alyea was 1-for-2 with a grand slam (his third homer) and a walk.  Leo Cardenas was 1-for-4 with a home run.  Cesar Tovar was 1-for-5 with a home run.

Pitching star:  Jim Perry pitched a complete game, giving up two runs on five hits and no walks and striking out five.

Opposition stars:  Jay Johnstone was 2-for-4 with a home run.  Alex Johnson was 2-for-4 with a stolen base.

The game:  The Angels put two on with two out in the first, but nothing came of it.  They broke through in the fourth, though.  Johnson singled and stole second.  Johnstone had an infield single and Roger Repoz grounded out, bringing Johnson home for a 1-0 Angels lead.

That changed in the sixth.  The Twins had managed only one hit through the first five innings, but Tovar led off the sixth with a home run to tie it 1-1.  Rod Carew reached on a two-base error and scored on Tony Oliva's single to put the Twins up 2-1.  Harmon Killebrew walked, Rich Reese was hit by a pitch, and Alyea hit a grand slam to make it 6-1 Twins.  The grand slam did not kill the rally, although it did knock starter Andy Messersmith from the game.  Mel Queen came in and gave up a single to George Mitterwald and a two-run homer to Cardenas to increase the lead to 8-1.

That was pretty much it.  Jim Fregosi hit a one-out double in the sixth but was stranded at second.  Johnstone led off with a homer in the seventh to make it 8-2.  But that was the last baserunner California got, and it ended 8-2.

W:  Perry (2-0).

L:  Messersmith (2-1).

S:  None.

NotesJim Holt replaced Alyea in left field in the sixth.  Frank Quilici pinch-ran for Killebrew in the seventh and stayed in the game at third base.

Alyea was batting .600.  Carew was 1-for-5 and was batting .375.  Mitterwald was 1-for-4 and was batting .375.  Oliva was 1-for-5 and was batting .350.  Quilici was 0-for-1 and was batting .333.  Holt was 0-for-1 and was batting .333.  Killebrew was 1-for-3 and was batting .308.

Perry had an ERA of 1.00.

Reese was 0-for-3 and was batting .133.

Alyea must have been endearing himself to Twins fans with that kind of start.  6-for-10 with three home runs and eleven RBIs.  Hard to do much better than that.

I wonder, though, if Alyea was a butcher in the field.  In all three of those games he was replaced for defense with Holt.  It's a long time ago, of course, and to be honest I don't understand defense stats very well.  But I certainly don't recall Holt being regarded as some sort of defensive wizard.  I don't doubt that he might have been better than Alyea--I'm just thinking that might have been a low bar, sort of like when Pedro Munoz replaced Gene Larkin for outfield defense under Tom Kelly.

The Twins did not keep to their one-day-on, one-day-off schedule.  Instead, they had three days off before their fourth game.  I assume it was some combination of bad weather and planned off days.

It's very early, obviously, but this was a matchup between the first and second place teams in the division.

Wally Wolf pitched a scoreless ninth for the Angels.  It was one of 7.2 major league innings that he pitched.  2.1 of them were in 1969 and 5.1 in 1970.  He would appear in three more major league games one in April and two in May.  He had basically topped out in AA--his career AAA numbers are 1-12, 6.66, 1.81 WHIP in 104 innings.  He had a strong AA season in 1969, which got him a September call-up and a chance to open 1970 in the majors, but that was as good as it would get for him.  1970 was his last professional season.  But, hey, he got 7.2 major league innings, which is 7.2 more than I'll ever get.

Record:  The Twins were 4-0, in first place in the American League West, a half game ahead of California.

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