All posts by Jeff A

1970 Rewind: Game One Hundred Four

CALIFORNIA 7, MINNESOTA 5 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Wednesday, August 5.

Batting stars:  George Mitterwald was 2-for-4 with a triple and a double.  Tony Oliva was 2-for-5 with a double.  Danny Thompson was 2-for-5.

Pitching star:  Jim Kaat pitched six innings, giving up three runs on nine hits and one walk and striking out three.

Opposition stars:  Jim Spencer was 3-for-4 with two home runs (his ninth and tenth) and four RBIs.  Tommie Reynolds was 3-for-4 with three runs.  Jarvis Tatum was 2-for-5 with a stolen base.  Mel Queen pitched three shutout innings, giving up three hits and striking out two.

The game:  The Angels had two men on in each of the first two innings but did not score.  In the bottom of the second Rich Reese walked and scored when Jim Holt reached third on a single-plus-error.  A ground out scored Holt.  Mitterwald then doubled and scored on a Kaat single.  Kaat went to second on a ground out and scored on a Thompson single to make it 4-0 Twins.

The Angels got on the board in the fourth when Reynolds singled, went to third on Spencer's single, and scored on a sacrifice fly.  In the sixth Reynolds singled and Spencer followed with a two-run homer, cutting the lead to 4-3.

The Twins got an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth when Reese singled and scored on a Mitterwald triple.  It wasn't enough.  Ray Oyler led off the eighth with a single and Ken McMullen walked.  A double play gave the Twins hope of getting out of the jam, but Reynolds hit an RBI single and Spencer followed with another two-run homer, putting California up 6-5.  They added a run in the ninth when Sandy Alomar walked, went to third on Tatum's single, and scored on a squeeze bunt.

The Twins tried to rally in the bottom of the ninth.  With one out Rick Renick and Cesar Tovar had consecutive singles, bringing the deciding run up to bat.  But Thompson and Oliva flied out and the game was over.

WP:  Queen (2-3).

LP:  Ron Perranoski (7-3).

S:  None.

Notes:  Holt was in center field, with Tovar moving to left and Brant Alyea on the bench.  Charlie Manuel pinch-hit for Kaat in the seventh.  Renick came in to play left in the ninth as part of a double switch, with Tovar moving to center and Holt coming out of the game.

Oliva was batting .329.  Killebrew was 0-for-4 and was batting .301.  Tovar was 1-for-5 and slipped back below .300 at .299.  Tom Hall gave up a run in one inning and had an ERA of 2.80.  Perranoski gave up three runs in 1.1 innings and had an ERA of 2.20.  Stan Williams retired both men he faced and had an ERA of 1.77.

Angels starter Tom Murphy lasted just 1.2 innings, allowing four runs on five hits and a walk and striking out none.

I find it odd that Bill Rigney would suddenly decide to put Holt in center and Tovar in left after having done it the opposite way all season.  He presumably had a reason, but I have no idea what it might have been.

Record:  The Twins were 66-38, in first place in the American League West, seven games ahead of California and Oakland.

Happy Birthday–January 20

Everett Mills (1845)
C. I. Taylor (1875)
William Eckert (1909)
Jimmy Outlaw (1913)
Joe Dobson (1917)
Gene Stephens (1933)
Camilo Pascual (1934)
Dave Boswell (1945)
Cecil Espy (1963)
Ozzie Guillen (1964)
Kevin Maas (1965)
Marvin Benard (1970)
Brian Giles (1971)
David Eckstein (1975)
Matt Albers (1983)
Geovany Soto (1983)

Everett Mills holds the record for most at-bats in a season without drawing a walk (342).

 C . I. Taylor founded the first African-American professional baseball team, the Birmingham Giants, in 1904.

General William Eckert was the commissioner of baseball from 1965-1968,

Marvin Benard played in the major leagues for nine years and could never get announcers to stop calling him "Marvin Bernard".

We would also like to wish a very happy birthday to FTLT’s firstborn and to Twayn's younger daughter.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–January 20

1970 Rewind: Game One Hundred Three

MINNESOTA 5, MILWAUKEE 2 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Tuesday, August 4.

Batting stars:  Rich Reese was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.  Tony Oliva was 2-for-4.

Pitching star:  Bert Blyleven struck out twelve in a complete game, giving up two runs on seven hits and a walk.

Opposition stars:  Tommy Harper was 2-for-4.  Bob Humphreys struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up one hit.

The game:  It was scoreless until the third, when singles by Ted Kubiak, Harper, and Russ Snyder put the Brewers ahead 1-0.  The Twins took the lead in the fourth.  Back-to-back one-out doubles by Harmon Killebrew and Reese brought home the first run.  With two out, Leo Cardenas doubled and Blyleven contributed an RBI single to give the Twins a 3-1 advantage.

The Twins added two more in the fifth.  With one out, Oliva singled and Killebrew was hit by a pitch.  Reese singled home a run, leaving men on first and third, and a sacrifice fly made the score 5-1.

Blyleven took it from there.  He gave up a run in the seventh when Dave May singled and scored on a Roberto Pena double, but Milwaukee did not get the tying run up to bat in that or any other inning as the Twins won 5-2.

WP:  Blyleven (6-3).

LP:  Bobby Bolin (3-9).

S:  None.

Notes:  Jim Holt was in center in place of Cesar Tovar.  Danny Thompson remained at second in place of Rod Carew.  Charlie Manuel made a rare start in left in place of Brant Alyea.  Tovar went to left in the seventh, replacing Manuel.  Frank Quilici went to second in the ninth, with Thompson moving to third and Killebrew coming out of the game.

Oliva was batting .328.  Killebrew was 1-for-3 and was batting .304.  Tovar was 1-for-1 and was back up to .300.  Blyleven had an ERA of 2.78.

This was the third complete game for Blyleven.  He would have five for the season.

This was only the second time Tovar did not start, and each time he came in for defense late in the game.  He would not get a full game off until late September.

Bolin pitched 4.1 innings, allowing five runs on eight hits and a walk and striking out none.  He did not have a good season in 1970, but he struggled with the Twins more than most:  0-3, 5.91, 1.69 WHIP.  For the season he was 7-11, 4.63, 1.46 WHIP.

Record:  The Twins were 66-37, in first place in the American League West, eight games ahead of California and Oakland.  This was the largest lead the Twins had up to this point in the season.

Happy Birthday–January 19

Chick Gandil (1888)
Lee Head (1899)
Rip Radcliff (1906)
Chet Trail (1944)
Jon Matlack (1950)
Rich Gale (1954)
Brad Mills (1957)
Rick Adair (1958)
Chris Sabo (1962)
Jim Morris (1964)
Orlando Palmeiro (1969)
Jeff Juden (1971)
Phil Nevin (1971)
Chris Stynes (1973)
Amaury Telemaco (1974)
Byung-Hyun Kim (1979)
James Beresford (1989)
Nick Burdi (1993)

Lee Head played in the minors for twenty-one seasons.  He batted .304, but he was best known for his ability to avoid striking out.  In 1933 he struck out three times in 468 at-bats.  In 1935 he did even better, striking out once in 402 at-bats.

Chet Trail is the only player to have been on a World Series roster who never appeared in a major league game, regular season or post-season.  He is also the last man to make an out against Satchel Paige in an organized baseball game while playing in the Carolina League in 1966.  After baseball, he became a pastor and eventually a bishop in the Church of God in Christ.

Third baseman Brad Mills was drafted by Minnesota in the 16th round of the 1977 January draft, but did not sign.

Rick Adair was in baseball from 1979-2013.  Most recently, he was the pitching coach of the Baltimore Orioles.  He is the nephew of former Twins pitching coach Art Fowler.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–January 19

1970 Rewind: Game One Hundred Two

MILWAUKEE 4, MINNESOTA 2 IN MINNESOTA (GAME 2 OF DOUBLEHEADER)

Batting stars:  Danny Thompson was 2-for-4.  Jim Holt was 2-for-4.

Pitching stars:  Luis Tiant pitched five innings, giving up one run on four hits and two walks and striking out two.  Pete Hamm pitched two shutout innings, giving up one hit and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Bob Burda was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer (his third) and a walk.  Lew Krausse pitched 8.2 innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and a walk and striking out four.

The game:  With two out in the first Mike Hegan and Burda walked and Dave May delivered an RBI single, putting the Brewers up 1-0.  The Twins got a pair of one-out singles in the third but did not score.  Milwaukee got a pair of leadoff singles in the fifth but did not score.  So, it was still 1-0 going to the sixth.

With one out in the sixth Hegan walked and Burda followed with a two-run homer, making it 3-0.  Neither team threatened again until the ninth, when Roberto Pena and future Twin Phil Roof hit one-out singles and Krausse delivered a two-out single, increasing the Brewers' lead to 4-0.

The Twins finally got something going in the ninth.  Danny Thompson led off with a single and Tony Oliva bunted him to second (presumably bunting for a hit).  Harmon Killebrew doubled home the first Twins run.  After a ground out, Holt singled home Killebrew (who was not pinch-run for) to make the score 4-2.  But that was all there was, as Leo Cardenas grounded out to end the game.

WP:  Krausse (11-11).

LP:  Tiant (6-1).

S:  Ken Sanders (3).

Notes:  Thompson remained at second base in place of Rod Carew.  Holt was again in left in place of Brant Alyea.  Alyea pinch-hit for Stan Williams in the sixth.  Rick Renick pinch-hit for George Mitterwald in the eighth, with Paul Ratliff going behind the plate.  Charlie Manuel pinch-hit for Hamm in the eighth.

Tiant was 0-for-1 and was batting  .417  Oliva was 1-for-3 and was batting .326.  Killebrew was 1-for-4 and was batting .304.  Cesar Tovar was 0-for-4 and slipped below .300 at .298.  Williams allowed two runs in one inning and had an ERA of 1.79.

Hamm lowered his ERA to 6.75.

Thompson now had six multi-hit games in his last seven starts.  He was 16-for-32 in those seven starts and raised his average from .200 to ,290,

This was Tiant's first appearance since May 28.  He would remain in the Twins' rotation through the month of August.

Bob Burda had thirteen home runs in his career, one of them obviously in this game.  A first baseman/right fielder, he was traded to Milwaukee in early June and got the only semi-regular playing time of his career.  He wasn't up to it, batting .248/.303/.342 with four home runs in 222 at-bats.  He had a very good year as a pinch-hitter for St. Louis in 1971, batting .296 in 71 at-bats.  Traded to the Red Sox for 1972, he could not repeat his success and was out of baseball after that year.

Record:  The Twins were 65-37, in first place in the American League West, seven games ahead of California.

Happy Birthday–January 18

Eddie Moore (1899)
Danny Kaye (1913)
Mike Fornieles (1932)
Chuck Cottier (1936)
Satch Davidson (1936)
Curt Flood (1938)
Carl Morton (1944)
Billy Grabarkewitz (1946)
Sachio Kinugasa (1947)
Scott McGregor (1954)
Dave Geisel (1955)
Brady Anderson (1964)
Mike Lieberthal (1972)
Wandy Rodriguez (1979)
Michael Pineda (1989)

Entertainer Danny Kaye was one of the original owners of the Seattle Mariners.

Satch Davidson was a National League umpire from 1969-1984.

Sachio Kinusaga played in 2,215 games in Japan from 1970-1987.

Six players born on this day made their major league debuts in 2017:  Jaycob Brugman, Max Fried, Jarlin Garcia, Kyle Martin, Alex Mejia, and Gift Ngoepe.  I don't know, but I suspect this may be a record.

We would also like to wish a happy birthday to Scot's oldest son.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–January 18

Happy Birthday–January 18

Eddie Moore (1899)
Danny Kaye (1913)
Mike Fornieles (1932)
Chuck Cottier (1936)
Satch Davidson (1936)
Curt Flood (1938)
Carl Morton (1944)
Billy Grabarkewitz (1946)
Sachio Kinugasa (1947)
Scott McGregor (1954)
Dave Geisel (1955)
Brady Anderson (1964)
Mike Lieberthal (1972)
Wandy Rodriguez (1979)
Michael Pineda (1989)

Entertainer Danny Kaye was one of the original owners of the Seattle Mariners.

Satch Davidson was a National League umpire from 1969-1984.

Sachio Kinusaga played in 2,215 games in Japan from 1970-1987.

Six players born on this day made their major league debuts in 2017:  Jaycob Brugman, Max Fried, Jarlin Garcia, Kyle Martin, Alex Mejia, and Gift Ngoepe.  I don't know, but I suspect this may be a record.

We would also like to wish a happy birthday to Scot's oldest son.

Right-hander Jose Miguel "Mike" Fornieles made 11 relief appearances for Minnesota in 1963.  Born in Havana, he signed with Washington as a free agent in 1950.  He had two fine years in the low minors, pitching over 200 innings both years, and made his major-league debut with Washington in September of 1952.  That off-season, Fornieles was traded to the White Sox for Chuck Stobbs.  The White Sox never really settled on a role for Fornieles, sometimes making him a starter, sometimes a reliever.  He also spent some time in AAA in both 1954 and 1955, despite not pitching all that badly in the majors.  He was traded to Baltimore in May of 1956, but the Orioles didn't seem to know what to do with him, either, and traded him to Boston in June of 1957.  He was a starter for the Red Sox most of 1957, but mid-way through 1958, they moved him to the bullpen, and Fornieles finally found his niche.  His best year with Boston was 1960, when he went 10-5, 2.64 and led the league in appearances, saves, and games finished.  He also got a vote in the MVP balloting that year.  He was unable to repeat that the next season, although he made the 1961 all-star team.  He had a poor year in 1962 and was having another one in 1963 when he was sold to Minnesota in the middle of June.  He was with the Twins for about a month, pitching 22.2 innings and going 1-1, 4.76.  He was released in mid-July.  Fornieles was out of baseball for the rest of 1963, signed with Cincinnati for 1964, but was released before the season started, bringing his career to a close.  After his playing career ended, Mike Fornieles became a car salesman in Florida, a job which he held until his retirement.  Mike Fornieles passed away in St. Petersburg, Florida on February 11, 1998.

Right-hander Michael Francisco Pineda has been with the Twins since 2018.  He was born in Yaguate, Dominican Republic and signed with Seattle as a free agent in 2005.  He pitched quite well in the low minors, dominated the Southern League for half a season in 2010, did all right in AAA for the other half of the season, and was with the Mariners for all of 2011.  He did well there, going 9-10, 3.74, 1.10 WHIP in 28 starts at age 22.  The Mariners traded him to the Yankees after the season, but he missed all of 2012 with a torn labrum.  He made ten minor league starts in 2013 and thirteen major league starts in 2014, pitching very well when he was able to pitch.  He was back in the Yankees rotation for all of 2015 and 2016 and the first half of 2017.  He struck out a lot of guys but otherwise was pretty average, going 26-26, 4.56.  He then had Tommy John surgery and missed the second half of 2017.  He was a free agent after the season and signed a two-year contract with Minnesota despite the fact that he was not expected to pitch much in 2018.  And, in fact, he didn't pitch much in 2018, making four minor league appearances and throwing twelve innings.  He got off to a slow start in 2019 but then started pitching very well through early September.  Unfortunately, he was then suspended for using a banned substance.  The suspension lasted through the first month and a half or so of 2020, which meant it lasted most of the season.  He pitched well in the five starts he had.  So far as a Twin, he is 13-5, 3.91, 1.19 WHIP.  He turns thirty-two today.  One assumes he will be an important part of the Twins' rotation in 2021.

1970 Rewind: Game One Hundred One

MINNESOTA 2, MILWAUKEE 1 IN MINNESOTA (GAME 1 OF DOUBLEHEADER)

Date:  Monday, August 3.

Batting stars:  Danny Thompson was 3-for-4 with a double.  Rich Reese was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and two RBIs.

Pitching stars:  Jim Perry pitched eight innings, giving up one run on five hits and no walks and striking out six.  Tom Hall struck out three in a scoreless inning, giving up a walk.

Opposition stars:  Jerry McNertney was 2-for-3.  Marty Pattin pitched an eight inning complete game, giving up two runs on seven hits and four walks and striking out five.

The game:  There was no score until the fifth, when Roberto Pena singled, stole second, and scored on McNertney's single.  The Twins tied it in the sixth when Thompson hit a one-out single, Harmon Killebrew drew a two-out walk, and Reese followed with an RBI double.

The Twins wasted George Mitterwald's leadoff double in the seventh.  In the eighth, however, Thompson led off with a double and scored on a Reese two-out RBI single to give the Twins their first lead of the game.  Hall came in to retire the Brewers in the ninth and preserve the victory.

WP:  Perry (16-9).

LP:  Pattin (7-9).

S:  Hall (3).

Notes:  Thompson remained at second base in place of Rod Carew.  Jim Holt was in left in place of Brant Alyea.  Jim Kaat pinch-ran for Mitterwald in the seventh, with Tom Tischinski going in to catch in the eighth.

Tony Oliva was 1-for-4 and was batting .326.  Perry was 0-for-2 and was batting .306.  Killebrew was 0-for-2 and was batting .304.  Cesar Tovar was 0-for-4 and was batting .301.  Hall had an ERA of 2.71.

Without going back through the box scores, I couldn't find out how many times Kaat was used as a pinch-runner.  It was more than a few times, however.

It's interesting that Bill Rigney went with Hall to close out a 2-1 game.  First, it's surprising to me that Perry didn't finish the game--he had given up just a single in the seventh and had retired the side in order in the eighth.  Having decided to go to the pen, the choice of Hall was probably influenced by the fact that Ron Perranoski and Stan Williams had each pitched in three consecutive games.  It certainly worked out.

Pattin threw eleven complete games in 1970.  That was only good for tenth in the league.  Mike Cuellar led the league with twenty-one.

Thompson had six multi-hit games in his last seven starts.  He went 14-for-27 in those starts and raised his average from .200 to .282.

Record:  The Twins were 65-36, in first place in the American League West, 7.5 games ahead of California, which had regained second place from Oakland.

Happy Birthday–January 17

Louis Santop (1890)
Hank Leiber (1911)
Lum Harris (1915)
Mayo Smith (1915)
Don Zimmer (1931)
Keith Lieppman (1949)
Antonio Munoz (1949)
Pete LaCock (1952)
Darrell Porter (1952)
Mark Littell (1953)
Jerry Turner (1954)
Doug Simunic (1956)
T. R. Bryden (1959)
Chili Davis (1960)
SBG (1965)
Tyler Houston (1971)
Rob Bell (1977)
Trevor Bauer (1991)
Randy Dobnak (1995)

Catcher Louis Santop was a star in the Negro Leagues, hitting .349 over fifteen seasons.

Keith Lieppman was Oakland's Director of Player Development from 1992-2021, when he became a special advisor for player development.

Antonio Munoz was a long-time star in Cuba, winning eight home run titles and becoming the all-time leader in walks.

Doug Simunic was the manager of the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks from 1996-2017.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–January 17

1970 Rewind: Game One Hundred

MINNESOTA 4, DETROIT 3 IN DETROIT

Date:  Sunday, August 2.

Batting stars:  Tony Oliva was 3-for-5 with a home run (his eighteenth), two runs, and two RBIs.  Rich Reese was 2-for-4 with a double.  Cesar Tovar was 2-for-5.  Harmon Killebrew was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer (his thirty-third) and a walk.

Pitching stars:  Bill Zepp pitched 8.1 innings, giving up three runs (one earned) on six hits and four walks and striking out three.

Opposition stars:  Bill Freehan was 2-for-4.  Daryl Patterson struck out three in three shutout innings, giving up one hit and two walks.

The game:  Oliva homered in the first inning to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  The Tigers tied it in the second when Norm Cash walked, went to second on Bill Freehan's single, and scored on a double by Don Wert.  The Twins went back in front in the fourth when Oliva singled and Killebrew followed with a two-run homer.  They added a run in the fifth on singles by ZeppTovar, and Oliva, making the score 4-1.

It stayed 4-1 until the ninth.  Cash led off the inning with a single and Wert drew a one-out walk, bringing the tying run to the plate.  Ron Perranoski came in and retired Elliot Maddox on a line out, but Ike Brown singled to load the bases and an error brought home two runs.  It was 4-3 with men on first and third and two out.  Stan Williams then came in to retire Mickey Stanley on a line out to end the game.

WP:  Zepp (6-1).

LP:  Joe Niekro (10-9).

S:  Williams (8).

Notes:  Thompson remained at second base in place of Rod Carew.  Charlie Manuel was in left field in place of Brant Alyea.  Jim Holt pinch-ran for Manuel in the sixth and stayed in the game in left field.

Oliva was batting .327.  Killebrew was batting .306.  Tovar was batting .304.  Zepp had an ERA of 2.96.  Perranoski had an ERA of 1.90.  Williams had an ERA of 1.56.

Niekro gave up four runs in 4.1 innings, allowing eight hits and no walks and striking out one.

Manuel was with the Twins for all but a month of the 1970 season, but started only six games.  This was the second of those six, and as you can see above, he played barely over half the game.  In his month in AAA, when he actually got to play, he batted .329 with an OPS of 1.027.  I understand that he probably wasn't a very good defender, but this was a team that was playing Brant AlyeaHolt, and Rick Renick in left field.  There should've been more than six starts for Manuel.

This was the longest start of Zepp's career to date.  He would make only one longer, a shutout of the White Sox on September 11.

The Twins finished their road trip 3-3.  They would now come home for ten games against Milwaukee, California, and Oakland.

Record:  The Twins were 64-36, in first place in the American League West, 7.5 games ahead of California and Oakland.