Game 101: Tigers at Twins, Happy Bert Day!

I figured this will work for a game log and a Blyleven Hall of Fame speech log. The game was moved back to 3:10 CDT so fans could watch both, and I plan on doing just that.

Blyleven has always been one of my favorite pitchers for the Twins. I didn't know him in his first stint with the Twins, when he was more cantankerous than a character. I became a Twins fan after he rejoined the Twins. I really didn't start following the Twins on an everyday basis until 1986 when a sparkplug of a centerfielder had a breakout year and captured the attention of the nation, at least for the first half of the season. Before that, we moved to Maple Grove in 1984 and we went to a game or two each season, but I really didn't know baseball that well. Blyleven was traded to the Twins in 1985, but I seem to recall there being some buzz about such a good pitcher being acquired by the Twins.

My love affair with the Twins started in 1987. Most Twins fans seem to remember the 1991 team more fondly, but for me, 1987 will always be the best season. 1991 was more about the World Series, but 1987 was about the whole season. There was something magical about that team right from the beginning, especially at the Metrodome. And that team was full of characters, led by Blyleven. He was the biggest character and was terrific most of the season, especially in the big games. Most people forget that he was warming up early in Game 7 after pitching Game 5 three days' prior. If Tom Kelly had had a quicker hook for Frank Viola, who had been hammered in Game 4, Blyleven might have won Game 7 on two days rest and probably would have been the WS MVP. If that had happened, it might not have taken so long for him to get to this day. Look how much mileage Jack Morris has gotten out of his Game 7 moment.

This day for Bert has been a long time coming and I am very happy for him. In fact, I feel like I may have played a very tiny part in this. While I was a sports copy editor for a newspaper, I had a short-lived column about baseball stats, and in one of those columns I discussed the Hall of Fame case of Blyleven. I was surprised when I received a request from the administrator of bertbelongs.com asking if the website could link to my column. I of course said yes and it still is there today. Actually, my discussions about the hall of fame with the columnist at the newspaper may have had more of an effect, since I know he eventually went from a "no" to a "yes" on Blyleven, although I don't know if he was able to vote this year, since he was layed off from the newspaper the same time I was.

But this isn't about me, this is about Bert and I am thrilled for him. I just hope they don't broadcast his speech live. We know how dangerous that can be.

As for the game, the Twins need this one to finish with a winning homestand and to keep it just disappointing instead of a bad homestand. It's Liriano vs. Rick Porcello, who's had a lot of success against the Twins despite Kubel being 11-for-22 against him. It will be interesting to see if Mauer is behind the plate once again. Joe Nathan also could tie Rick Aguilera for the Twins' all-time record for saves. Let's get it done. GO TWINS!!

Minor Details: Games of 7/23

Rochester 12, Indianapolis 5 in Indianapolis.  The Red Wings led 5-0 after three and a half, had the lead cut to 6-5 after six, then scored five in the eighth to put it away.  Rene Rivera hit two homers, a double, and a single, scoring three times and driving in three.  Brandon Roberts had three singles and a double.  Jeff Bailey doubled and homered, driving in three.  Denard Span had two hits.  Dustin Martin hit a two-run homer.  Eric Hacker got the win despite allowing five runs on eight hits in five innings.  He struck out five and walked none.  Dusty Hughes struck out four and gave up one hit in two shutout innings, and Jake Stevens struck out two in two perfect innings.

Altoona 7, New Britain 2 in Altoona.  The Curve scored five in the first inning.  Mark Dolenc provided all the Rock Cats offense with a two run homer.  Starter Matt Schuld was charged with five runs on nine hits and four walks in 2.2 innings.  Andrew Albers struck out five in 4.1 innings, giving up a run on four hits and two walks.

Clearwater 8, Ft. Myers 6 in Clearwater.  The Threshers scored two in the fourth to break a 4-4 tie and never trailed.  Oswaldo Arcia had two singles and a double.  Jamaal Hawkins had two doubles.  Josmil Pinto singled and doubled, driving in four.  James Beresford had two hits.  Pat Dean surrendered six runs on nine hits and a walk in four innings.  Alex Wimmers struck out six in two innings, but allowed two runs on four walks and a hit.  Matt Hauser struck out three in a shutout inning, walking one.

Lansing 3, Beloit 1 in Lansing.  The Lugnuts scored single runs in the first, third, and eighth.  Reggie Williams provided the only Snapper run with his first homer.  A. J. Achter struck out seven in six innings, giving up two runs on three hits and two walks.  Blayne Weller fanned two in a perfect inning.

Elizabethton 3, Princeton 1 in Princeton.  The Twins scored in the first, fifth, and ninth.  Jairo Rodriguez had two hits.  Pedro Guerra worked 6.1 scoreless innings, giving up seven hits and a walk while striking out six.  Madison Boer struck out three in 1.1 innings, giving up one hit and getting his seventh save.

GCL Twins 6, Red Sox 1 at Red Sox.  The Twins took the lead with three in the fifth.  Michael Quesada singled and doubled.  Candido Pimentel and Jorge Polanco each had two hits.  Starter Hung Yi Chen pitched only three innings, giving up a run on five hits and a walk.  The win went to Nathan Fawbush, who threw two shutout innings and allowed just one hit.  Gonzalo Sanudo struck out four in two shutout innings, giving up no hits and no walks. Marcus Limon got the save with two more shutout innings, giving up two hits.

DSL Twins.  No games scheduled.

Happy Birthday–July 24

Tommy McCarthy (1863)
Jack Clements (1864)
Joe Schultz (1893)
Cotton Nash (1942)
Mike Port (1945)
Shigeru Takada (1945)
Mike Adams (1948)
Jerry Augustine (1952)
Barry Bonds (1964)
Joe Oliver (1965)
Jim Wolf (1969)
Stephen Larkin (1973)
Brent Stentz (1975)

Pitcher Brent Stentz did not play in the majors, but was in the Twins' minor league system from 1997-2001.  In 1998, he set an Eastern League record with 43 saves.
Stephen Larkin is the brother of Barry Larkin.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–July 24

Belly – Full Moon, Empty Heart

in a similar vein, this is one of my favorite one hit wonders from the 90s. truthfully, OHW status might be a little generous. yeah, "feed the tree" got some plays in the MTV rotation, but i don't think that mark mcgrath will be pimping it in 10 years for a new time life collection infomercial like is bound to happen to "lovefool". anyway, i know there are some fans around the nation, so enjoy.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4C4diINVaaQ
1993

6 votes, average: 6.17 out of 106 votes, average: 6.17 out of 106 votes, average: 6.17 out of 106 votes, average: 6.17 out of 106 votes, average: 6.17 out of 106 votes, average: 6.17 out of 106 votes, average: 6.17 out of 106 votes, average: 6.17 out of 106 votes, average: 6.17 out of 106 votes, average: 6.17 out of 10 (6 votes, average: 6.17 out of 10)
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Game 100: Twins 4, Tigers 1

Finally!

The Twins finally get a win over the Tigers after losing 11 straight to them, seven this season. Hopefully, this is will start a turnaround in the season series between these two teams. It's not like the Tigers were playing well coming in. They had just lost a three-game series to the White Sox and split a two-game series with the A's, both at home. In fact, the Tigers are 15-16 in their last 31 games dating back to June 17.

The key to the game was the pitching. Baker was terrific in his start, which was abbreviated due to being on a shorter pitch count since he was coming back from a sore arm. He obviously was feeling fine after pitching five shutout innings against the Tigers, who had averaged over seven runs per game against the Twins.

The bullpen was fine as well. It only allowed one run in four innings and never allowed the Tigers to bring the tying run to the plate, which makes it difficult to blow a lead.

The Twins had their best lineup out there since April the last two days and still only managed six runs. Saturday, they had runners all over the bases the first four innings, but had to settle for four runs as Brad Penny had two hard-hit ground balls turned into double plays behind him in key situations. Maybe the most encouraging part of the offense was getting five walks and just five strikeouts. The Twins had been struggling with walks on this homestand for the most part. They got seven in the first game and four in the second, but since then they had just 12 walks in their last eight games and 46 strikeouts before today's game. It should be no surprise that the Twins averaged just 3.2 runs in those eight games.

The Twins now have guaranteed a .500 homestand, which is by no means good, but they at least avoided the disaster of a losing homestand. They can still salvage a 7-5 homestand, which would still be disappointing after splitting eight games with the top-two teams in the division.

Minor Details: Games of 7/22

Indianapolis 5, Rochester 4 in Indianapolis (10 innings).  The Red Wings overcame a 4-2 Indians lead only to lose in the tenth.  Brandon Roberts singled and doubled.  Kyle Gibson allowed four runs on seven hits and five walks in just five innings.  Kyle Waldrop struck out three in three shutout innings, giving up two hits and a walk.  Jim Hoey came in at the start of the ninth and took the loss.

New Britain 6, Altoona 1.  The Rock Cats scored two in the sixth to break a 1-1 tie, then got a single run in each of the remaining innings.  Brian Dozier had two doubles and a single, raising his average to .305.  Chris Parmelee had three hits.  Joe Benson hit his seventh homer and Deibinson Romero hit his ninth.  Bobby Lanigan got the win with five innings of work, giving up a run on five hits and three walks while striking out four.  Deolis Guerra pitched two shutout innings, giving up two hits and striking out two.

Clearwater 9, Ft. Myers 0 in Clearwater.  The Threshers scored six in the first.  The Miracle had only two hits, both singles.  Edgar Ibarra lasted only a third of an inning, surrendering all six first-inning runs on eight hits.  Clinton Dempster struck out four in 3.2 innings of relief, giving up a run on five hits and a walk.

Great Lakes 5, Beloit 2 in Great Lakes.  The Loons scored two in the second and never trailed.  The Snappers had only four hits.  Manuel Soliman allowed five runs on four hits and two walks in six innings.

Princeton 5, Elizabethton 4 in Princeton.  The Rays scored two in the third and two in the fifth.  Rory Rhodes had two hits.  Todd Van Steensel yielded four runs on seven hits and a walk in five innings.

GCL Red Sox 5, Twins 0 at Twins.  The Twins had only three hits and made four errors.  Three of the Red Sox’ runs were unearned.  Jorge Polanco singled and doubled.  Starter Bobby O’Neill allowed three runs (one earned) on six hits in just three innings.  Mark Trau threw two shutout innings, giving up one hit.

DSL Padres 7, Twins 6 at Padres.  The Twins had leads of 3-0 and 5-2, but could not hold them.  The Twins had only five hits.  Junior Subero worked four shutout innings, giving up three hits and no walks while striking out three.  Yeison Florentino took the loss, surrendering two runs on three walks and a hit in just one inning.

Happy Birthday–July 23

Ginger Beaumont (1876)
Hod Ford (1897)
Jimmie Wilson (1900)
Ival Goodman (1908)
Pee Wee Reese (1918)
Johnny Groth (1926)
Anthony Gubicza (1928)
Bert Convy (1933)
Don Drysdale (1936)
Dean Look (1937)
Hank Allen (1940)
Chuck Crim (1961)
Nomar Garciaparra (1973)

Anthony Gubicza, a pitcher in Class D and C leagues from 1950-1951, is the father of Mark Gubicza. 

Actor/singer/game show host Bert Convy was an outfielder in Class D and C leagues from 1951-1952. 

White Sox' catcher Dean Look is the brother of ex-Twin Bruce Look. 

Outfielder Hank Allen, who played for Washington, Milwaukee, and the White Sox, is the brother of Dick Allen and Ron Allen.

There do not appear to be any major league players with connections to the Minnesota Twins who were born on this day.

Remodeled basement. Same half-baked taste.