1970 Rewind: Game Fifty-one


Date:  Wednesday, June 10.

Batting starTony Oliva was 2-for-4 with a triple.

Pitching starsBert Blyleven pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and two walks and striking out three.  Ron Perranoski pitched a scoreless inning, walking one and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Thurman Munson was 2-for-3 with a double.  Horace Clarke was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer, his fourth.  Mel Stottlemyre pitched a complete game, giving up one run on four hits and a walk and striking out seven.

The game:  Neither team advanced a man past second, and neither team had more than one man on base, until the fourth, when Oliva led off with a triple and scored on a ground out to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  With two out in the fifth, Stottlemyre singled and Clarke hit a two-run homer, putting the Yankees up 2-1.

And that was it.  The Twins did not get a hit after Oliva's triple and the 2-1 score held up.

WP:  Stottlemyre (6-4).

LP:  Blyleven (1-1).

S:  None.

Notes:  Jim Holt was again in left field in place of Brant Alyea.  Charlie Manuel pinch-hit for Blyleven in the eighth.

Rod Carew was 0-for-3 and was batting .377.  Oliva was batting .335.  Harmon Killebrew was 0-for-4 and was batting .313.  Blyleven had an ERA of 1.93.  Perranoski had an ERA of 2.12.

What a frustrating way to lose a game.  Two out, no one on, the pitcher up.  He gets a hit, but no problem.  Horace Clarke, the player who would become emblematic of the state of the Yankees in the mid-60s to mid-70s, was next up.  And he hits a home run, the last homer he would hit all season and one of twenty-seven for his career.

Getting only one run is frustrating, too, but Stottlemyre was a fine pitcher.  164-139, 2.97, 1.22 WHIP, five all-star appearances, twenty-game winner three times.  A torn rotator cuff brought his career to an end at age thirty-two.  If he'd pitched longer, or pitched in an era where the Yankees were good, he'd have had a shot at the Hall of Fame.

Record:  The Twins were 34-17, in first place in the American League West, two games ahead of California.