1970 Rewind: Game Fifty

NEW YORK 5, MINNESOTA 2 IN NEW YORK

Date:  Tuesday, June 9.

Batting star:  Jim Holt was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.

Pitching stars:  Bill Zepp pitched two shutout innings, giving up a walk.

Opposition stars:  Bobby Murcer was 3-for-4 with a walk, a stolen base (his fifth), and two RBIs.  Danny Cater was 2-for-4.  Stan Bahnsen was 2-for-4.  He also pitched a complete game, giving up two runs on four hits and four walks and striking out seven.  Roy White was 2-for-5.

The game:  The Yankees put men on first and third in the first inning but did not score.  It looked like it would cost them, as the Twins scored two in the second.  Harmon Killebrew led off with a walk, Holt hit a one-out double, and Leo Cardenas singled them both home, giving the Twins a 2-0 lead.

New York matched the two runs in the bottom of the second, though.  Ron Woods walked, Gene Michael singled, and Bahnsen had a bunt single, loading the bases with one out.  Horace Clarke struck out, but Murcer delivered a two-run single, tying the score 2-2.

Cesar Tovar led off the third with a single-plus-error but was stranded at second.  Paul Ratliff hit a two-out triple in the fourth but was also stranded.  In the sixth, singles by Thurman Munson and John Ellis and a walk to Woods loaded the bases with none out.  All the Yankees got out of it was a sacrifice fly by MIchael, but it was enough to put New York ahead 3-2.  They added two more in the seventh when Murcer and White singled, moved up on a ground out, and scored on a fielder's choice-plus-error, giving the Yankees a 5-2 lead.  The Twins did not get a hit after the fourth inning.

WP:  Bahnsen (4-4).

LP:  Jim Kaat (5-3).

S:  None.

Notes:  Holt was in left field in place of Brant Alyea.  Ratliff was behind the plate in place of George Mitterwald.  The Twins made no position player substitutions.

Rod Carew returned to the lineup and was 0-for-3.  He was batting .385.  Tony Oliva was 0-for-4 and was batting .332.  Killebrew was 0-for-2 and was batting .320.

Kaat was pitching in consecutive games, although with an off-day in-between.  He didn't do terribly, but he wasn't great, either.  He pitched six innings, giving up five runs (three earned) on twelve hits and two walks and striking out two.  Bringing him in to pitch relief might not have been the best idea, although I'm sure he was more than willing to do it.

It's interesting how many times pitchers have shown up in the best batter lists lately.  I'm all for the DH, but there were at least some pitchers who could hit back in the day.

We think of the Yankees of this era as being bad teams, but they were not bad in 1970.  They were 93-69-1, and no, I did not check to see what happened that they had a tie.  Presumably a rain-shortened game.  But anyway, they had a very good team.  They just weren't as good as Baltimore.

Record:  The Twins were 34-16, in first place in the American League West, two games ahead of California.  Again, the difference was all in the loss column, as the Angels were 34-20.

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