All posts by Jeff A

1969 Rewind: Game Forty-three

BOSTON 3, MINNESOTA 2 IN BOSTON

Date:  Friday, May 30.

Batting stars:  Rod Carew was 3-for-5 with a double.  Tony Oliva was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch.  Harmon Killebrew was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer (his tenth) and a walk.

Pitching stars:  Dave Boswell struck out eight in five innings, giving up two runs on four hits and no walks.  Bob Miller pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.

Opposition stars:  Reggie Smith was 2-for-3.  Jim Lonborg struck out seven in 6.1 innings, giving up two runs on six hits and four walks.

The game:  With one out in the first, Carew singled and Oliva doubled, putting men on second and third.  It went for naught, as Killebrew and Charlie Manuel both fanned.  Boston took advantage of the failure, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first.  Mike Andrews was hit by a pitch, Smith hit a two-out single, and Rico Petrocelli followed with a double to give the Red Sox a 2-0 lead.

Boston missed a chance to add to their lead in the third, as two singles put men on first and third with none out.  A strikeout, a popup, and a strikeout ended the inning.  The Twins got a pair of walks in the fourth that were similarly fruitless.

Minnesota threatened in both the fifth and the sixth.  Carew hit a one-out double in the fifth and Oliva walked, but Killebrew hit into a forceout and Manuel flied to center.  In the sixth, a walk and a hit batsman put men on first and second with two out, but Ted Uhlaender grounded out to end the inning.

The Red Sox got an insurance run in the sixth, as Smith reached second on a single-plus-error and Tony Conigliaro singled him home.  They needed it, because with one out in the seventh, Oliva singled and Killebrew hit a two-run homer, cutting the margin to 3-2.

The Twins had their chances to tie the score.  In the eighth pinch-hitter Rick Renick drew a one-out walk, Carew hit a two-out single, and a wild pitch moved them to second and third.  Oliva struck out to end the inning.  In the ninth, Killebrew drew a leadoff walk and was replaced on the basepath by Jim Perry.  A passed ball moved him to second and a line out to right advanced him to third with one out.  Cesar Tovar grounded to second and pinch-hitter Rich Reese struck out to end the game.

WP:  Lonborg (4-0).  LP:  Boswell (5-6).  S:  Vicente Romo (9).

Notes:  Manuel was back in left field.  Tovar was at third base.

Reese made his first appearance since May 22 when he pinch-hit with two out in the ninth.  Quite a spot to make your return in.

Carew raised his average to .407.  Oliva raised his average to .303.

Dean Chance pitched an inning and a third and allowed an unearned run, lowering his ERA to 2.32.  He would not pitch again until August 1.

Perranoski faced one batter, Dalton Jones, and got him to line into a double play.  His ERA fell to 1.93.

Joe Grzenda had a box score line of 0-0-0-0-0-0.  He faced two batters:  the first reached on an error and the second was hit by a pitch.  Miller came in to retire the side with no damage done.

Miller pitched really well in the month of May.  In 9.1 innings, he gave up no runs on four hits and four walks and struck out four.  His ERA dropped from 4.05 to 1.69 in May.

This was the Twins' third straight loss.  They were 5-10 in their last fifteen games.  They had scored thirty-nine runs in those games.  Fifteen of them came in two games, which means they scored twenty-four runs in the other thirteen games.

Eleven of the fifteen games were on the road.  The Twins would play two more games on the road, then come home for a sixteen-game homestand.  Maybe that's how they did things back then.   That homestand would be followed by a sixteen-game road trip, then a fifteen-game homestand.  They would go on the road for eight, be home for seven, then be back on the road for fifteen.  I don't know if that would be better or worse than they way they do things now.  A sixteen-game road trip would be really long, but a sixteen-game homestand would give you a chance to really get settled in.  It might be better than being on the road for a short time but also being at home for a short time.  I don't know.

Record:  The Twins were 24-19, in first place in the American League West, leading Oakland by one game.

 

Happy Birthday–November 13

Johnny Kling (1875)
Jackie Price (1912)
Ted Wilks (1915)
Jim Delsing (1925)
Steve Bilko (1928)
Wes Parker (1939)
Mel Stottlemyre (1941)
Gene Garber (1947)
John Sutton (1952)
Dan Petry (1958)
Pat Hentgen (1968)
Jason Simontacchi (1973)
Gerald Laird (1979)
Asdrubal Cabrera (1985)
Luke Bard (1990)

Jackie Price played one season in the major leagues, but was better known as a baseball entertainer.  He is sometimes called a "baseball clown", but that's not really accurate, because he really performed tricks more than actually clowning.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–November 13

1969 Rewind: Game Forty-two

WASHINGTON 4, MINNESOTA 3 IN WASHINGTON

Date:  Wednesday, May 28.

Batting stars:  Rod Carew was 2-for-3 with a double and two walks.  Bob Allison was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.

Pitching star:  Jim Kaat pitched a complete game, giving up four runs on ten hits and four walks and striking out six.

Opposition stars:  Frank Howard was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Hank Allen was 2-for-5 with a double.  Dennis Higgins struck out four in three shutout innings, giving up three hits and two walks.

The game:  In the first a single by Ed Brinkman and a walk to Howard put men on first and third with one out.  Future Twin Brant Alyea doubled home one run and a sacrifice fly by Ken McMullen made it 2-0.  In the third, Allen doubled and a pickoff throw from George Mitterwald went into center field, allowing Allen to score and put the Senators up 3-0.

The Twins got on the board in the fourth.  Singles by Carew and Harmon Killebrew were followed by a double by Tony Oliva, making the score 3-1.  With men on second and third and none out, however, the Twins could not score more.  Mitterwald struck out, Cesar Tovar lined to third, and Allison grounded out.  The Twins got a pair of two-out walks in the fifth, but again could do nothing with them.

The Twins tied the score in the sixth.  With one out, MItterwald singled, Tovar doubled, and Allison drove in two with a double.  That was all they got, though, leaving the score tied 3-3.  The Twins had a chance to take the lead in the eighth as well.  With two out, Allison and Ted Uhlaender singled and a wild pitch put them on second and third.  Manager Billy Martin elected not to pinch-hit for Jim Kaat, and the strategy backfired as Kaat struck out to end the inning.

The Twins had yet another chance in the ninth.  Carew hit a one-out double and advanced to third on Killebrew's ground out.  Oliva was intentionally walked, and Charlie Manuel pinch-hit for Mitterwald.  But he lined to center, and the game remained tied.

The Twins would pay for their missed opportunities.  In the bottom of the ninth, Mike Epstein drew a one-out walk and Allen hit a two-out single.  Kaat remained in the game to face Howard, and Howard singled home the deciding run.

WP:  Higgins (4-5).  LP:  Kaat (4-3).  S:  None.

Notes:  Uhlaender and Tovar were both in the lineup, and had done the vast majority of the leadoff batting, but in this game Leo Cardenas batted first.  It didn't work, as he went 0-for-4.

Johnny Roseboro must have had some minor injury, as he was again out of the lineup.  Further, when Mitterwald was pinch-hit for, it was Tom Tischinski who went behind the plate.  Roseboro would return to the lineup May 30.

Tovar was again at third base.

Carew was batting .400.  Kaat's ERA is 2.69.

Maybe it's just the difference between 1960s baseball and today's game, but the decision to allow Kaat to bat in the eighth, and leaving him in through the ninth, seems strange.  As we've already discussed, Kaat had a reputation as a good hitter, but he was a good hitter for a pitcher, not an actual good hitter.  And while he was not pitching terribly, he was not exactly dominating the game, either.  Martin had certainly shown no hesitancy to bring Ron Perranoski into games like this in the past, and Perranoski had not pitched since May 25.

Dennis Higgins was a major league reliever from 1966-1972.  His best season was his first one, when as a twenty-six year old rookie he went 1-0, 2.52, 5 saves, 1.07 WHIP for the White Sox.  He was apparently injured much of 1967, and when 1968 came around he had been traded to Washington.  He had a solid year for them, going 4-4, 3.25, 13 saves, 1.27 WHIP.  After that, however, wildness caught up to him.  He continued to post decent ERAs for a couple more years, but his WHIP was over 1.5, leading one to think he may have let in a lot of inherited runners.  In 1969, he went 10-9 (19 decisions out of the bullpen), 3.48, 1.58 WHIP.  He was with Cleveland for 1970 and with St. Louis in 1971-72, although he spent most of his Cardinals years in the minors.  Interestingly (to me, anyway), he is a cousin of ex-Twin Joe Crede.  His major league numbers are 22-23, 3.42, 1.39 WHIP in 410.1 innings (241 games).

Record:  The Twins were 24-18, in first place in the American League West, leading Oakland by one game.

Happy Birthday–November 12

Jack Ryan (1868)
Moonlight Graham (1877)
Carl Mays (1891)
Joe Hoerner (1936)
Bruce Bochte (1950)
Jody Davis (1956)
Donnie Hill (1960)
Greg Gagne (1961)
Jeff Reed (1962)
Randy Knorr (1968)
Sammy Sosa (1968)
Aaron Heilman (1978)
Charlie Morton (1983)

Aaron Heilman was drafted by Minnesota in the first round in 2000, but did not sign.

We would also like to wish a happy anniversary to Mr. and Mrs. FT"HM"LT.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–November 12

1969 Rewind: Game Forty-one

WASHINGTON 5, MINNESOTA 1 IN WASHINGTON

Date:  Tuesday, May 27.

Batting stars:  Leo Cardenas was 2-for-4.  Rick Renick was 1-for-4 with a home run.

Pitching star:  Jerry Crider pitched 2.1 scoreless innings of relief, giving up one hit and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Future Twin Brant Alyea was 3-for-4 with a home run (his fifth) and three RBIs.  Barry Moore pitched a complete game, giving up one run on six hits and two walks and striking out three.  Paul Casanova was 2-for-4.

The game:  With two out in the bottom of the first, Frank Howard reached on an error and Alyea made the Twins pay with a two-run homer, putting the Senators up 2-0.  The Twins wasted a two-out double from George Mitterwald in the second and also did not score in the third after getting a pair of singles.

Washington added to its lead in the fourth.  With one out, Tim Cullen and Casanova singled.  Moore bunted them up, and Ed Brinkman delivered a two-run single to make the score 4-0 Senators.

Renick got the Twins on the board in the fifth with a leadoff home run.  With two out in the inning Cardenas singled and Harmon Killebrew walked, but Tony Oliva flied out to end the inning with the score still 4-1.  The Senators added one more run in the seventh, and it was Alyea again doing the damage.  With one out, Hank Allen singled and stole second.  Howard was intentionally walked, but Alyea singled the run home to put Washington ahead 5-1.  The Twins did not threaten again.

WP:  Moore (3-1).  LP:  Tom Hall (2-3).  S:  None.

Notes:  It was kind of a B lineup, with many regulars rested.  Cesar Tovar was in center instead of Ted Uhlaender.  Bob Allison was in left, which was not that unusual but Charlie Manuel had been getting the starts there recently.  George Mitterwald caught in place of Johnny Roseboro.  Frank Quilici was at second instead of Rod Carew.  Renick was at third.

Hall apparently had some sort of injury.  He was awesome in his first four appearances of the season (two starts, two in relief), then struggled in his next three starts.  He did not pitch from April 30 to May 23.  He struggled in two more starts, would do well in his next one, then go back to the bullpen, then miss another month.  In this game, he lasted just 3.2 innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks and striking out one.

Cardenas raised his average to .301.

This was Crider's second major league appearance.  He had not given up a run in three innings.

Dean Chance, who had not pitched since May 17, pitched two innings of mop-up relief in this game.  He would make one more appearance on May 30, then miss the next two months, coming back on August 1.  His ERA was 2.43 at this point.

So who is this Barry Moore that threw a complete game at the Twins?  It turns out he was a fairly decent pitcher for a couple of years, anyway.  He made eleven starts for Washington in 1966 and was 3-3, 3.75, although with a WHIP of 1.51.  He did fairly well in 1967 and then had his best season in 1968, going just 4-6 but with an ERA of 3.37 and a WHIP of 1.34.  He made 18 starts and 14 relief appearances that season.  It looks like he always had control trouble--he only had one season in which his walks per nine innings were less than 4.3.  That was, as one might assume, that best season of 1968, when his walk rate went all the way down to 3.2.  1969 was the only year he had a winning record, at 9-8, but his ERA was up to 4.30 and his WHIP was up to 1.42.  The Senators apparently saw that his effectiveness was at an end and traded him to Cleveland after the season.  He split 1970 between the Indians and the White Sox, pitched in AAA for three seasons, and then was done.  For his career he was 26-37, 4.16, 1.46 WHIP.  He walked 4.5 batters per nine innings and struck out just 4.2.  From 1966-1968, though, he posted an ERA of 3.61 in 323.2 innings.  This was one of eight complete games in his career, four of them coming in 1969.  His only shutout came in 1967 and was also against the Twins.

Record:  The Twins were 24-17, in first place in the American League West, one game ahead of Oakland.

Happy Birthday–November 11

Joe Battin (1853)
Freddy Parent (1875)
Rabbit Maranville (1891)
Al Schacht (1892)
Pie Traynor (1898)
Hal Trosky (1912)
George Case (1915)
Ike Delock (1929)
Ron Musselman (1954)
John Hobbs (1955)
Cory Snyder (1962)
Roberto Hernandez (1964)
Damion Easley (1969)
Jason Grilli (1976)

Sadly, Joe Battin wasn't much good at battin'.  An infielder, he batted .225/.241/.281.  His career spanned ten seasons, though, so I assume he was really good at fieldin'.

Al Schacht played in the majors for three years, but was better known as "The Clown Prince of Baseball".

On this Veterans' Day, we would like to thank all current and former members of the military for their service, especially those who are part of the wgom.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–November 11

1969 Rewind: Game Forty

MINNESOTA 7, WASHINGTON 1 IN WASHINGTON

Date:  Monday, May 26.

Batting stars:  Tony Oliva was 3-for-5 with a double.  Johnny Roseboro was 2-for-3 with a walk.  Rod Carew was 2-for-4 with two home runs (his fourth and fifth) and a walk, driving in four.  Leo Cardenas was 2-for-4.

Pitching star:  Jim Perry pitched a complete game, giving up one run on nine hits and no walks and striking out three.

Opposition stars:  Ken McMullen was 3-for-3.  Frank Howard was 2-for-4 with a home run, his fifteenth.  Del Unser was 2-for-4.  Casey Cox pitched three shutout innings, giving up three hits and two walks and striking out two.

The game:  The Twins got two walks and a single in the first but did not score due to a double play.  Would this be another game of missed opportunities for the Twins?

No.  In the third, Ted Uhlaender led off with a walk and Carew followed with a two-run homer to put the Twins up 2-0.  They then put together a big inning in the fourth.  Cardenas and Roseboro led off with singles and advanced on a wild pitch, putting them on second and third.  Cesar Tovar delivered a two-run single to make it 4-0.  With one out, Tovar stole second and scored on Uhlaender's single.  Carew then hit another two-run homer, leaving the Twins up 7-0 and in control of the game.

Howard led off the bottom of the fifth with a home run to put Washington on the board.  Their only other threat was in the eighth, when singles by McMullen and Ed Stroud put men on first and second with one out.  Unser and Ed Brinkman each grounded out to end the inning.

WP:  Perry (4-1).  LP:  Joe Coleman (2-5).  S:  None.

Notes:  Charlie Manuel was again in left and Tovar at third.  The defensive switch was made in the seventh, with Frank Quilici taking over at third and Tovar moving to left.

Carew would hit only eight home runs in 1969.  He had 92 in his career, with a season high of fourteen in 1975 and 1977.  I don't have time to look up how many two-homer games he had in his career, but it can't have been very many.

This was Perry's fifth start of the season and his second complete game.  He had joined the rotation on May 22 and would remain there the rest of the season.

Carew was batting .394.  Manuel was 0-for-4 and was batting .321.  Oliva raised his average to .305.  Perry lowered his ERA to 2.70.

Washington starter Joe Coleman lasted just three innings, allowing five runs on five hits and four walks and striking out three.  Coleman, who'd had a solid year in 1968, was struggling at this point in 1969, posting a 2-5 record and an ERA of 4.67.  He would get straightened out, however.  He would post a second-half ERA of 2.84, giving him a final season record of 12-13, 3.27.  His July was particularly impressive--4-2, 1.44, 1.00 WHIP, 51 strikeouts in 50 innings.  He would remain a good rotation starter through 1973, was a rotation starter for two years after that, and pitched out of the bullpen for major league teams through 1979.  His best year was either 1971, when he went 20-9, 3.15, or 1972, when he was 19-14, 2.80.  1972 was when he made his only all-star team.  His highest wins and innings pitched totals were in 1973, when he was 23-15, 3.53 in 288 innings.  His innings pitched total was in the 280s every year from 1971-1974.

Record:  The Twins were 24-16, in first place in the American League West, two games ahead of Oakland.

Happy Birthday–November 10

Jim Whitney (1857)
Cy Morgan (1878)
Del Gainer (1886)
Chick Fewster (1895)
Jimmie Dykes (1896)
Birdie Tebbetts (1912)
Johnny Lipon (1922)
Cal Ermer (1923)
Gene Conley (1930)
Norm Cash (1934)
Mike Vail (1951)
Larry Christenson (1953)
Larry Parrish (1953)
Paul Thormodsgard (1953)
Bob Stanley (1954)
Jack Clark (1955)
Keith Lockhart (1964)
Kenny Rogers (1964)
Butch Huskey (1971)
Shawn Green (1972)
Brian Dinkelman (1983)
Matt Magill (1989)

Continue reading Happy Birthday–November 10

1969 Rewind: Game Thirty-nine

MINNESOTA 3, NEW YORK 2 IN NEW YORK (GAME 2 OF DOUBLEHEADER)

Date:  Sunday, May 25.

Batting stars:  Harmon Killebrew was 3-for-4 with a double and a walk.  Charlie Manuel was 2-for-3 with a home run (his second) and a walk.  Rod Carew was 2-for-3 with a double, two walks, and a stolen base (his ninth).

Pitching star:  Dick Woodson struck out nine in eight innings, giving up one run on four hits and two walks.

Opposition stars:  Stan Bahnsen struck out six in 5.2 innings, giving up two runs on five hits and five walks.  Johnny Ellis was 1-for-1 with two RBIs.

The game:  The Yankees put men on first and second in the third but did not score.  In the fourth, the Twins loaded the bases with one out as Carew walked, Killebrew doubled, and Manuel was intentionally walked.  They only scored one, as Leo Cardenas hit a fielders' choice and Cesar Tovar grounded out.  Still, it was a 1-0 Minnesota lead.

The Twins again loaded the bases in the fifth, this time with two out.  Woodson hit a one-out single, Carew had a two-out double, and Tony Oliva was intentionally walked.  Killebrew flied out, however, and the Twins did not score.

The Twins got another run in the sixth, but again missed a bigger chance.  Manuel led off with a home run.  Tovar doubled, Johnny Roseboro was intentionally walked, and the two pulled off a double steal of second and third with one out.  It went for naught, however, as Woodson struck out and Ted Uhlaender lined to center.  Still, the score was now 2-0.

The Twins added a run in the seventh.  Carew led off with a single and Oliva bunted him to second.  New York elected to pitch to Killebrew, and he delivered an RBI single to make the score 3-0.

The Yankees got back into it in the ninth.  Jerry Kenney led off with a walk, which resulted in Woodson being pulled in favor of Ron Perranoski.  He walked Bobby Murcer, and a ground out put men on second and third.  Ellis pinch-hit for Jimmie Hall and brought them both home with a single to make it 3-2.  Perranoski came back to strike out Frank Fernandez and get Tom Tresh on a grounder to end the game.

WP:  Woodson (2-1).  LP:  Bahnsen (1-7).  S:  Perranoski (9).

Notes:  Tovar again played third base.  He moved to left in the seventh, replacing Manuel, with Frank Quilici coming in to play third.

Woodson made only ten starts in 1969, coming out of the bullpen thirty-four times.  By game scores, this was his best so far and would be his second-best of the season. It was topped only by a complete game he would pitch on June 19 against California.  His fifth-inning single was one of only two hits (in twenty-seven at-bats) that he would have in 1969.

Carew was now batting .391.  Manuel was now hitting .347.  Woodson's ERA was now 2.85.

Killebrew had been in something of a batting slump.  From an average of .316 on May 4, he was down to .259 prior to this game.  He did not take a prolonged 0-for, but this was only his second multi-hit game since May 7.  Killer's calling card was power, of course, not batting average, but he had not hit for much power, either.  He had hit only one home run since May 9 and his double here was only his third in that span.

The Twins won three of four from the Yankees despite scoring just eight runs.  They out-scored New York by eight to seven in the series.  They had scored just eighteen runs in their last ten games but managed to win four of them.

Record:  The Twins were 23-16, in first place in the American League West, 1.5 games ahead of Oakland.

Happy Birthday–November 9

George Wood (1858)
Harvey Hendrick (1897)
Johnny Gooch (1897)
Jerry Priddy (1919)
Bob Wren (1920)
Bill Bruton (1925)
Whitey Herzog (1931)
Bob Gibson (1935)
Jim Riggleman (1952)
Teddy Higuera (1958)
Dion James (1962)
Chad Ogea (1970)
Adam Dunn (1979)
Chuck James (1981)
Joel Zumaya (1984)

Bob Wren was the head coach of Ohio University from 1949-1972.

Jim Riggleman has managed San Diego, the Cubs, Seattle, and Washington.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–November 9