Tag Archives: 1969 rewind

1969 Rewind: Game Seventy

KANSAS CITY 9, MINNESOTA 8 IN KANSAS CITY

Date:  Friday, June 27.

Batting stars:  Rich Reese was 2-for-5 with a three-run homer, his fourth.  Cesar Tovar was 2-for-5 with two runs.  Tony Oliva was 1-for-3 with a three-run homer and two walks, scoring twice.

Pitching stars:  None.

Opposition stars:  Joe Foy was 3-for-5 with a walk, scoring twice and driving in two.  Mike Fiore was 2-for-3.  Ex-Twin Jackie Hernandez was 2-for-4 with two doubles.  Bob Oliver was 2-for-5 with a double.  Jerry Adair was 2-for-5.  Future Twin Tom Burgmeier pitched three shutout innings, giving up a hit and a walk and striking out one.

The game:  It looked good early.  In the first, Ted Uhlaender reached on an error, Tovar singled, and Oliva hit a three-run homer, giving the Twins a 3-0 lead three batters into the game.  Kansas City got on the board in the second on back-to-back two-out doubles by Eliseo Rodriguez and Hernandez.  With one out in the third, Tovar singled and Oliva walked.  Harmon Killebrew flied out, but Reese hit a three-run homer to give the Twins a 6-1 lead through three innings.

The Royals opened the fifth with a walk to Foy and a single by Pat Kelly, but a fly out and a ground out held them to second and third with two down.  Then, however, Twins starter Dick Woodson uncorked a wild pitch (wild pitches are always "uncorked") which somehow allowed both runners to score, cutting the Twins lead to 6-3.  In the sixth, Hernandez doubled and was still on second with two out.  Foy singled him home, there was a walk to Kelly, Ed Kirkpatrick had an RBI single, and Oliver drove in a run with a double, tying the score 6-6.

The Twins had the bases loaded with one out in the seventh, but Killebrew popped up and Reese bounced back to the pitcher.  Minnesota did take the lead in the eighth, however.  With men on second and third and one out, Ron Perranoski laid down a squeeze bunt to put the Twins up 7-6.  Uhlaender followed with a double to make it 8-6.  In the bottom of the eighth, Oliver singled home Kelly to cut the lead to 8-7.

There it stood going to the bottom of the ninth.  Perranoski, in his third inning of work, gave up a single to Adair and walked Rodriguez.  Hernandez flied out and Dennis Paepke struck out, and it looked like he might work out of the jam.  Joe Foy singled to tie the score, however, and Kelly was hit by a pitch, loading the bases.  Al Worthington came in, but Hawk Taylor singled to left to win the game for the Royals.

WP:  Moe Drawbowsky (5-5).  LP:  Perranoski (4-3)  S:  None.

Notes:  Tovar was again at second base in place of Rod Carew.  Graig Nettles was in left.  Frank Quilici came in for defense in the ninth, but this time Billy Martin did not use him to send Tovar to the outfield.  Instead, Quilici came in to play third, Killebrew moved from third to first, Reese came out of the game, and Nettles remained in left field.

Perranoski had not pitched in the previous game, but had pitched 2.1 innings the day before.  This was his sixth consecutive appearance of two innings or more.

Twins starter Woodson pitched 5.2 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and five walks and striking out five.  Kansas City starter Dick Drago pitched three innings, allowing six runs (five earned) on four hits and a walk and striking out one.

Jackie Hernandez was a major league player from 1965-1973 (1967-1968 with the Twins), but this was the only season he was a regular.  In fact, it was the only season he had more than 250 at-bats.  He didn't do much with the chance, batting .222/.278/.282.

Catcher Eliseo Rodriguez was the Royals' lone all-star representative in 1969.  He batted just .236/.333/.296 that season, although in fairness it should be noted that he batted much better in the first half--.260/.342/.339.  Interestingly, Lou Piniella, who won the Rookie of the Year award, did not make the all-star team.  Rodriguez was also an all-star in 1972, when he was with Milwaukee and batted .285/.382/.352.  Oddly for a two-time all-star, he never had as many as four hundred at-bats in a season, and the season in which he came the closest--1974, with 395--he did not make the all-star team.  In addition to the Royals and Brewers, he played for the Yankees (9 games in 1968), California, and the Dodgers.  His lifetime numbers are .245/.356/.308.  He may have had the least distinguished career of any two-time all-star in the history of baseball, but at least he got there, which is more than a lot of players can say.

Record:  The Twins were 39-31, in second place in the American League West, a half game behind Oakland.

1969 Rewind: Game Sixty-nine

MINNESOTA 7, CALIFORNIA 4 IN CALIFORNIA

Date:  Thursday, June 26.

Batting stars:  Harmon Killebrew was 2-for-3 with a home run (his eighteenth) and a walk, scoring twice and driving in two.  Rich Reese was 2-for-4.  Tony Oliva was 2-for-5 with two doubles, scoring twice and driving in two.  Cesar Tovar was 2-for-5 with two doubles and two runs.

Pitching stars:  Jim Kaat pitched six innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on seven hits and a walk and striking out two.  Al Worthington struck out four in three shutout innings, giving up four hits.

Opposition stars:  Bubba Morton was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.  Rick Reichardt was 2-for-4.  Sandy Alomar was 2-for-5 with a double.  Jim Fregosi was 2-for-5.

The game:  Sandy Alomar led off the first with a double and scored on an error by left fielder Charlie Manuel, putting the Angels up 1-0.  The Twins had only one hit through the first three innings, but Killebrew homered with one out in the fourth to tie the score 1-1.

Jim Hicks led off the fifth with a home run to give California a 2-1 lead.  It was short-lived, however, as the Twins came back with two in the sixth.  Tovar and Oliva hit back-to-back one-out doubles to tie it and Killebrew followed with an RBI single to give Minnesota a 3-2 lead.  That lead was short-lived as well, as the Angels got two in the bottom of the sixth.  Singles by Fregosi and Aurelio Rodriguez and a two-run double by Morton gave California the lead, 4-3.

The Twins went into the lead to stay with a four-run eighth.  Tovar and Oliva again hit back-to-back one-out doubles to tie the score.  Killebrew was intentionally walked, but Reese singled to bring home the go-ahead run.  A wild pitch moved the runners up to second and third, a walk to Manuel loaded the bases, and a passed ball brought home the third run of the inning.  Johnny Roseboro then delivered an RBi single to make the score 7-4.

The Angels got three hits in the last two innings, but thanks to a double play never got a man past first base.

WP:  Worthington (1-0).  LP:  Jim McGlothlin (5-7).  S:  None.

Notes:  Rod Carew was out of the lineup, with Tovar at second base.  In the eighth, Frank Quilici came in to play second, with Tovar moving to left to replace Manuel.

Oliva raised his average to .305.  Over his last six games he was 15-for-28 with 9 doubles and 2 home runs.  Reese raised his average to .313.  He was 7-for-11 in his last three games.

The Twins' two-through-five batters were 8-for-17 with a home run, four doubles, and a walk.  They scored seven runs and drove in five.

After giving up six runs in two-thirds of an inning on June 17, Worthington had pitched 7.1 scoreless innings over five games.  His ERA fell from 17.18 to 5.73.

Kaat's ERA was now 2.70.

They say that everybody loves a Bubba, but Bubba Morton batted well enough to make on think he should've gotten more of a chance than he did.  He was the first black player signed by the Detroit Tigers.  He batted .324 as a twenty-four-year old in Class D in 1956, but was promoted only to Class B in 1957, where he batted .310.  He batted .285 in AAA Charleston in 1959, but was made to repeat AAA in 1960.  He finally got to the majors in 1961, at age thirty, but was used primarily as a pinch-hitter, appearing in 77 games but getting only 108 at-bats.  Remarkably, he batted .287/.382/.407 in that role.  He had another solid year in 1962.  In fairness to the Tigers, it should be pointed out that Morton was a corner outfielder, and they had Al Kaline and Rocky Colavito to play corner outfield at the time, so there wasn't much room for Morton.

In 1963 he went 1-for-11 to start the season and was sold to Milwaukee.  The Braves had Hank Aaron in their outfield, but their other outfielders were Don Dillard, Mack Jones, Ty Cline, and Hawk Taylor, so you'd think they might have given Morton a shot.  Instead, they continued to use him as a pinch-hitter and sent him to the minors after just twenty-eight at-bats.  He didn't get back to the majors until 1966.  He batted .303 with an OPS of .843 in AAA in 1964, and all it got him was a sale to Cleveland.  He batted .319 With an OPS of .836 in AAA in 1965, and all it got him was a sale to California.  He got a September call-up with them in 1966 and stayed with them through 1969.  He was still often used as a pinch-hitter, but at least got some playing time in the outfield, making forty to fifty starts a season.  With the Angels, he batted .267/.351/.436 in 586 at-bats.  He played in Japan in 1970, then was done as a player.  He was the head coach at the University of Washington from 1972-1976, then worked for Boeing.  He passed away in 2006.

His career numbers were .267/.351/.370, numbers compiled in the 1960s when offense was very low.  His career numbers as a pinch-hitter are .281/.378/.331 in 189 pinch-hitting appearances.  I don't know why he didn't get more of a chance to play.  Was racism involved?  Was he a very poor defensive player?  Was he such a good pinch-hitter that teams didn't want to take him out of that role?  Was it a matter of age?  It would be an interesting thing to research by someone who had the time.

Record:  The Twins were 39-30, in first place in the American League West, a half game ahead of Oakland.

1969 Rewind: Game Sixty-eight

MINNESOTA 3, CALIFORNIA 2 IN CALIFORNIA

Date:  Wednesday, June 25.

Batting stars:  Johnny Roseboro was 2-for-3 with a double.  Tony Oliva was 2-for-4 with a double.  Charlie Manuel was 2-for-4.

Pitching stars:  Jim Perry pitched 6.2 innings, giving up two runs on six hits and four walks and striking out one.  Ron Perranoski pitched 2.1 scoreless innings, giving up one hit and striking out two.

Opposition stars:  Jim Spencer was 2-for-2.  Andy Messersmith pitched 7.2 innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and three walks and striking out five.  Ken Tatum struck out three in 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up one hit.

The game:  the Twins got two in the first inning.  Ted Uhlaender walked and went to third on a Cesar Tovar single.  Oliva doubled home the first run.  Harmon Killebrew was intentionally walked, and Rich Reese hit a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.  Manuel singled to load the bases, but Roseboro hit into a fly out/double play.

It stayed 2-0 until the fifth.  The Angels loaded the bases with none out on singles by Sandy Alomar and Bill Voss and a walk to Jim Fregosi.  Rick Reichardt hit a sacrifice fly to bring home one, but a popup and a ground out limited the damage.  The Twins still led 2-1.

California tied it in the seventh.  Aurelio Rodriguez hit a two-out single and scored on Spencer's single-plus-error.  An intentional walk to Joe Azcue and an accidental walk to Messersmith loaded the bases and brought Perranoski in to replace Perry.  He got Alomar to fly out to leave the score tied.

The Twins took the lead for good in the eighth.  Again the damage came with two out and none on.  Oliva singled and went to second on a wild pitch.  Killebrew was again intentionally walked, and Reese again came through, delivering a single that put Minnesota up 3-2.  The Angels threatened in the ninth, getting a leadoff double from Winston Llenas, but he did not advance past second.

WP:  Perranoski (4-2).  LP:  Messersmith (3-6).  S:  None.

Notes:  Rod Carew was held out of the lineup, with Tovar at second.  Frank Quilici came in to play second in the ninth inning, with Tovar moving to left to replace Manuel.

Oliva raised his average to .303.   Over his last five games, he was 13-for-24 with eight doubles and two home runs.

This was Perranoski's fifth consecutive appearance in which he'd pitched two innings or more.

Winston Llenas spent his entire career in the Angels' organization, other than when he played in Mexico.  He had only two full seasons in the majors, 1972 and 1974, but he played in parts of four others.  He was a reserve throughout his career, and was often used as a pinch-hitter:  197 of his 592 plate appearances came in a pinch-hitting role.  He was fairly good at it, batting .259/.294/.339 as a pinch-hitter.  When he did play in the field he played all over:  49 games at second base, 48 in the outfield, 44 at third base, 6 at first base.  His career high in games was 78 in 1973, but his career high in at-bats was 138 in 1974.  In his six major league seasons, he had 531 at-bats and batted .230/.277/.279, so he actually batted better as a pinch-hitter than he did when he was actually playing.  He finished with the Angels in 1975, but played in Mexico through 1982.  He managed in the Mexican League from 1978-1982 and managed in the minors for the Angels from 1983-1986.  A native of the Dominican Republic, he ran the Cleveland Indians Dominican Baseball Academy for several years.

Record:  The Twins were 38-30, in first place in the American League West, a half game ahead of Oakland.

1969 Rewind: Game Sixty-seven

MINNESOTA 5, CALIFORNIA 3 IN CALIFORNIA

Date:  Tuesday, June 24.

Batting stars:  Rich Reese was 4-for-4 with a double.  Ted Uhlaender was 2-for-3 with a double and two runs.  Leo Cardenas was 2-for-3 with a triple.  Harmon Killebrew was 2-for-3 with a hit-by-pitch.  Cesar Tovar was 2-for-5.  Tony Oliva was 1-for-5 with a two-run homer, his ninth.

Pitching star:  Dave Boswell pitched a complete game, giving up three runs on seven hits and three walks and striking out six.

Opposition stars:  Eddie Fisher struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up three hits.  Bob Priddy pitched 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up one hit.

The game:  The Twins started the scoring in the second on Reese's RBI double.  They made it 3-0 in the third when Uhlaender singled and Oliva hit a two-run homer.

The Angels tied it with a three-run fourth.  Jim Fregosi led off with a triple and scored on a Rick Reichardt single.  Roger Repoz walked, and with one out Jim Spencer and Joe Azcue each hit an RBI single to make the score 3-3.

The Twins went into the lead to stay in the fifth.  Uhlaender doubled, went to third on Tovar's single, and scored on an infield hit by Killebrew.  They got an insurance run in the sixth when Reese led off with a single, went from first to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a squeeze bunt by Cardenas, making the score 5-3.

Aurelio Rodriguez hit a one-out double in the sixth, but he was erased on a line drive double play.  California did not get a hit after that.

WP:  Boswell (9-7).  LP:  Tom Murphy (4-5).  S:  None.

Notes:  Rod Carew was again not in the starting lineup, but he came in to play defense in the sixth inning.  Tovar had started the game at second and moved to center field, with Uhlaender coming out of the game.  Carew went 1-for-2 and was batting .379.

Oliva dropped his average to an even .300.  Boswell's ERA dropped to 2.88.

Charlie Manuel was the starting left fielder in this game, going 0-for-4.

Reese raised his average to .307.  It was the second consecutive game in which a Twin went 4-for-4.

Over his last three starts, Boswell had pitched 26.1 innings.  He had two complete games and went 8.1 innings in the middle game of the three.

Murphy was the California starter.  He pitched 5.1 innings and allowed all five runs on ten hits.  He did not walk anyone and struck out one.  He had faced the Twins on June 16 and had only lasted four innings.  In between, he made a start against the White Sox and allowed just one run in ten innings.

Record:  The Twins were 37-30, in first place in the American League West, leading Oakland by a half game.

1969 Rewind: Game Sixty-six

CALIFORNIA 5, MINNESOTA 2 IN CALIFORNIA

Date:  Monday, June 23.

Batting star:  Tony Oliva was 4-for-4 with a home run (his eighth) and two doubles.

Pitching stars:  Jerry Crider pitched three shutout innings, giving up four hits and a walk.  Al Worthington pitched a perfect inning, striking out two.

Opposition stars:  Rick Reichardt was 3-for-4.  Joe Azcue was 3-for-4.  Jim Spencer was 3-for-4.  Aurelio Rodriguez was 2-for-4.  Sandy Alomar was 2-for-5 with a home run and two RBIs.  George Brunet pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on four hits and three walks and striking out six.  Ken Tatum pitched two shutout innings, giving up two hits and striking out one.

The game:  The Twins opened the game with a Cesar Tovar single and a Tony Oliva double, putting men on second and third with none out.  The Twins could only score once, however, on a Harmon Killebrew sacrifice fly.  The Angels made them pay, scoring twice in the bottom of the first.  Alomar led off the first with an inside-the-park home run, tying the score, and Rodriguez delivered a two-out RBI single to put the Angels up 2-1.

They went up 3-1 in the second.  Azcue led off with a single, was bunted to second, took third on a wild pitch, and scored on Alomar's single.  The Twins cut the margin to 3-2 in the third as Oliva hit a two-out solo home run.

In the bottom of the third the Angels got consecutive one-out singles by Rodriguez, Spencer, and Azcue to go up 4-2.  They got one more in the fourth as Bill Voss singled, went to second on a ground out, and scored on a Reichardt single.

And that was it for the scoring.  The Twins did not even mount much in the way of a threat after that.  The best they could do was get a man to second base in the eighth and the ninth, both times with two out.

WP:  Brunet (3-6).  LP:  Dick Woodson (4-3).  S:  Tatum (2).

Notes:  The Twins had six hits.  Oliva had four of them.  Over his last three games he was 10-for-14 with six doubles and a home run.  He raised his average from .279 to .302, his slugging average from .402 to .453, and his OPS from .757 to .826.

Rod Carew, who had been removed early from the second game of yesterday's doubleheader, did not start in this game, although he did pinch-hit.  Frank Quilici started at second base.  Tovar was in center field, replacing Ted Uhlaender.  Bob Allison started in left, Rick Renick at third, and George Mitterwald behind the plate.

Bob Miller, who had started the second game of the previous day's doubleheader and pitched 3.1 innings, threw 2.2 innings of relief in this game.  Crider, who had pitched 2.2 innings in the first game of the previous day's doubleheader, threw three innings in this game.

Ken Tatum was in his rookie year, which was by far the best year of his career.  He came up in late May and by this point had just become their closer.  He went 7-2, 1.36, 1.04 WHIP with 22 saves, finishing fourth in Rookie of the Year voting (behind Lou Piniella, Mike Nagy, and Carlos May).  He had another solid season in 1970, going 7-4, 2.94, 1.06 WHIP with 17 saves, but he also had seven blown saves and lost the closer job in late July.  He was traded to Boston after that season in a deal involving Tony Conigliaro.  He was not their closer, and was a pretty marginal pitcher in two seasons with the Red Sox, going 2-6, 4.03, 1.51 WHIP with 13 saves.  He was in AAA almost all of 1972, was not very good there, and was traded to St. Louis with Reggie Smith for Bernie Carbo and Rick Wise.  He did not play in the majors for the Cardinals, and was dealt to the White Sox in late April.  He again had a poor season and his playing career was over.

Some say the turning point in Tatum's career was when he hit Paul Blair in the face with a pitch on May 31, 1970.  The story, which he himself confirms, is that he was afraid to pitch over the inner half of the plate after that.  His career marks are 16-12, 2.93, 1.23 WHIP, 52 saves.  For about a year, though, he was as good a relief pitcher as any in the league.

Record:  The Twins were 36-30, in second place in the American League West, a half-game behind Oakland.

1969 Rewind: Game Sixty-five

MINNESOTA 4, OAKLAND 3 IN OAKLAND (GAME 2--13 INNINGS)

Date:  Sunday, June 22.

Batting stars:  Tony Oliva was 3-for-6 with three doubles.  Ted Uhlaender was 3-for-6.  Rod Carew was 2-for-3.  Charlie Manuel was 2-for-5 with a walk.  Leo Cardenas was 2-for-5.  Harmon Killebrew was 2-for-6.

Pitching stars:  Ron Perranoski pitched 3.1 scoreless innings, giving up three hits and a walk and striking out one.  Jim Perry pitched two scoreless innings, giving up one hit and striking out one.  Jim Kaat pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Tommie Reynolds was 3-for-5.  Rick Monday was 3-for-5.  Reggie Jackson was 2-for-6 with a double.  Blue Moon Odom pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and two walks and striking out two.  Jim Roland pitched two shutout innings, giving up two hits.  Rollie Fingers pitched four innings, giving up one run on five hits and two walks and striking out one.

The game:  The Twins got on the board in the first inning, as Ted Uhlaender singled, went to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a Rod Carew single.  The Athletics tied it in the second on singles by Sal Bando, Monday, and Reynolds.

Oakland forged ahead in the fourth when Jackson led off with a double and scored on Danny Cater's one-out single.  The Twins took the lead in the sixth.  Carew and Killebrew singled and Oliva doubled to tie the score.  With one out Manuel singled to bring Oliva home and put Minnesota up 3-2.  They still had men on first and third with one out, but could not add to their lead.

The Athletics tied it in the seventh.  With two out and none on, Reynolds singled, Larry Haney walked, and Mike Hershberger singled to tie it 3-3.  Each team missed chances to win in nine innings.  Oliva led off the eighth with a double but did not score.  Oakland had men on first and second with one out in the ninth, but Joe Rudi hit into a double play.  The Twins also had a chance in the eleventh, putting men on first and second with two out, but could not bring anyone across the plate.

The Twins went ahead to stay in the thirteenth.  Oliva again led off the inning with a double and went to third on a ground out.  Manuel was intentionally walked, and Jim Perry laid down a squeeze bunt to bring in the lead run.  Kaat came in to pitch and set the Athletics down in order to end the game.

WP:  Perry (6-3).  LP:  Rollie Fingers (3-4).  S:  Kaat (1).

Notes:  Carew raised his average to .380, but was removed from the game in the sixth for a pinch-runner (Cesar Tovar).  You may recall that he had come out of a game early a couple of days ago as well.  Perhaps he had some nagging injury.  He would be out of the lineup the next day, although he did pinch-hit.

Bob Miller came out of the bullpen to make his first start of the season.  It went about as well as one could expect--he went 3.1 innings and allowed two runs on eight hits and no walks and struck out two.  He actually made eleven starts in 1969 and even threw a complete game.

Perranoski had now pitched 9.2 relief innings over three days.  Perry had started the previous day's game, going 5.1 innings.  Kaat had started the first game of the doubleheader, going three innings.  Teams would use a position player to pitch and concede the game rather than do such things today.  That's not to say which is better or worse--it's simply a comment on how times change.  Of course, one of the things Billy Martin was known for was not being too concerned about blowing out a pitcher's arm.

Have I discussed Tommie Reynolds before?  If I have, I can't remember.  He was with the Kansas City Athletics from 1963-1965, mostly as a reserve.  He was in AAA all of 1966 and went to the Mets in 1967, again used in a reserve role.  He was again in AAA all of 1968 and was back with the Athletics, now in Oakland, in 1969.  This was the season he got the most playing time of his career, as he was as close to a regular left fielder as the A's had.  It was also his best season, but unfortunately for him that's not saying too much--he batted .257/.343/.308 in 315 at-bats.  He was with California from 1970-1971 and with Milwaukee in 1972.  That ended his major league career, but he was in AAA with the Brewers through 1978.  He had some fine AAA seasons for the Brewers, batting over .300 four times and posting an OPS over .800 four times, but never got another shot at the big leagues.  His major league numbers are .226/.306/.296, so I guess it's understandable why Milwaukee wasn't too anxious to give him another shot.  He was a coach with Oakland and St. Louis in the 1990s.

Record:  The Twins were 36-29, tied for first place with Oakland in the American League West, although they were second based on winning percentage, .556 to .554.

1969 Rewind: Game Sixty-four

OAKLAND 7, MINNESOTA 3 IN OAKLAND (GAME ONE)

Date:  Sunday, June 22.

Batting stars:  Tony Oliva was 3-for-4 with a double.  Rod Carew was 3-for-5 and scored twice.  Ted Uhlaender was 2-for-5 with two doubles.

Pitching star:  Al Worthington pitched two shutout innings, giving up one hit and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Ted Kubiak was 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs.  Sal Bando was 2-for-3 with two home runs (his thirteenth and fourteenth), a walk, and three RBIs.  Future Twin Phil Roof was 2-for-3 with a hit-by-pitch.  Reggie Jackson was 2-for-4 with a home run (his twenty-seventh), two runs, and three RBIs.  Chuck Dobson pitched a complete game, giving up three runs on eleven hits and a walk and striking out three.

The game:  The Twins got two in the first inning, as Uhlaender doubled, Carew got an infield single, and Harmon Killebrew hit a two-run double.  The Athletics matched the two runs in the bottom of the first on Bando's two-run homer.  Oakland took the lead in the third.  With two out and none on, Kubiak, Jackson, and Bando each homered to give the Athletics a 5-2 lead.

Each team missed a good chance in the fourth.  The Twins got singles from Rich Reese and Leo Cardenas, putting men on first and second with one out, but did not score.  Oakland loaded the bases with none out on two singles and a hit batsman, but a popup and a double play ended the threat.

The Twins got two within two in the fifth as Carew scored from first on Oliva's double.  The Athletics again loaded the bases in the fifth, this time with two out, and again did not score.  In the sixth, however, with men on second and third and two out, Jackson delivered a two-run single to make the score 7-3.

The Twins had men on first and second with two out in the seventh, but Reese fouled out to end the inning.  The last seven Twins were retired.

WP:  Dobson (8-5).  LP:  Jim Kaat (7-6).  S:  None.

Notes:  Carew raised his average to .376.

Kaat lasted just three innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and no walks and striking out one.  As you can see above, the runs scored on four home runs.  His ERA went to 2.63.

Utility infielder Ted Kubiak was 5-for-8 with a home run and a walk over the last two games.  The home run was one of two he had in 1969 and one of just thirteen in his ten-year career.  He was not much of a batter, really--his career high in batting average was .252, in 1970 for Milwaukee, and his career best OPS was .671 in a 1971 split between Milwaukee and St. Louis.  He hit a career-high seven triples that year and also matched his career high in home runs with four, giving him a career high slugging average of .379.  He actually hit more triples (21) than home runs in his career.  In addition to the teams listed above, he played for Texas in 1972, went back to Oakland in the middle of that season and stayed through early 1975, then finished his career with San Diego in 1975-1976.  He was traded for some good players--in 1971 the Brewers sent him and minor leaguer Chuck Loseth to St. Louis for Jose Cardenal and Dick Schofield.  In 1975 he was traded to San Diego for Sonny Siebert.  His career numbers are .231/.307/.289 in 2447 at-bats.

I think it was 1973 that Oakland had a bunch of light-hitting infielders, and so briefly experimented with pinch-hitting for the second baseman whenever he came to bat.  Kubiak was part of that experiment, along with Dick Green, Mike Andrews, Dal Maxvill, and Manny Trillo.  I could have some details wrong--a quick google search did not turn up anything, so I'm going off memory and a look at the Oakland rosters from that time.  The experiment did not last long.  If anyone has time to fill in more details on this, feel free to do so.

Record:  The Twins were 35-29, in second place in the American League West, one game behind Oakland.

1969 Rewind: Game Sixty-three

MINNESOTA 14, OAKLAND 4 IN OAKLAND (10 INNINGS)

Date:  Saturday, June 21.

Batting stars:  Rod Carew was 3-for-6 with three runs.  Harmon Killebrew was 2-for-4 with a home run (his seventeenth) and two walks, scoring three times and driving in four.  Johnny Roseboro was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Leo Cardenas was 2-for-5.  Ted Uhlaender was 2-for-6 with a double and three runs.

Pitching stars:  Jim Perry pitched 5.1 innings, giving up two runs on eight hits and two walks and striking out three.  Ron Perranoski pitched 2.2 innings, giving up one run on one hit and one walk and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Danny Cater was 3-for-5 with a home run, his fourth.  Ted Kubiak was 2-for-5 with a stolen base.  Ex-Twin Jim Roland struck out three in 2.2 scoreless innings, giving up two walks.

The game:  The Athletics opened the scoring in the second with two singles and a Larry Haney sacrifice fly.  It went to 2-0 in the third when Kubiak singled, stole second, and scored on a Sal Bando single.

The Twins got on the board in the fourth when Uhlaender led off the inning with a double and scored on Killebrew's single.  The Twins put men on first and third with one out in the fifth, but a foul out and a fly ball kept them off the board.  The Twins did take the lead in the sixth.  Carew led off the inning with a single and Killebrew walked, the next two men went out, but Graig Nettles and Cardenas each came through with an RBI single to make it 3-2 Minnesota.

Oakland loaded the bases with one out in the sixth but did not score.  In the eighth, however, Cater led off with a home run to tie it 3-3.

The Twins exploded in the tenth, sending sixteen men to the plate and scoring eleven runs.  Killebrew hit a three-run homer to make it 6-3 Twins.  Far from killing the rally, it ignited it.  They did not get another extra-base hit, but they had five singles and four walks.  Oakland made three errors in the inning, and the Twins also had a stolen base.  It took a line drive double play to end the inning.  The Athletics did get on back in the bottom of the tenth.

WP:  Joe Grzenda (2-1).  LP:  Paul Lindblad (4-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Carew raised his average to .370.

Perranoski's ERA was now 1.57.

Perranoski, who had pitched 3.1 innings in the previous day's game, pitched 2.2 innings in this game.

Catfish Hunter started the game for Oakland.  He pitched six innings, giving up three runs on six hits and two walks and striking out four.

I'm sure it's not a record, but eleven runs in an extra inning is a lot.

Paul Lindblad started the tenth inning and gave up singles to Uhlaender and Carew.  Lew Krausse then came in and gave up the three-run homer to Killebrew.  He stayed in and walked Tony Oliva, gave up a single to Cesar Tovar, walked Frank Quilici, and gave up a single to Cardenas.  Marcel Lachemann then came in for the duration, giving up four unearned runs on three hits and two walks.

Catfish Hunter had not yet become a superstar, but he was a good pitcher.  He had made the all-star team in 1966 and 1967.  He was regularly making thirty-five starts a year and pitching around two hundred fifty innings with about ten complete games.  He was posting ERAs under 3.50 and WHIPs under 1.20. He was not yet posting good won-lost records--his lifetime W-L record through 1969 was 55-64.  That would come, however.  He would go 18-14 in 1970 and then go 111-49 from 1971-1975.  He led the league in winning percentage in 1972-1973 and in wins in 1974-1975.  For his career he made eight all-star teams and won one Cy Young award, finishing in the top four three other times.  For his career he was 224-166, 3.26, 1.13 WHIP.  He pitched in 500 games, 476 of them starts, over fifteen seasons.  He passed away on September 9, 1999.

Record:  The Twins were 35-28, tied for first in the American League West with Oakland, although they trailed in winning percentage, .557 to .556.

1969 Rewind: Game Sixty-two

OAKLAND 3, MINNESOTA 2 IN OAKLAND (14 INNINGS)

Date:  Friday, June 20.

Batting starsHarmon Killebrew was 4-for-6 with a walk.  Dave Boswell was 2-for-3 with a home run and a walk.  Rich Reese was 2-for-4.  Ted Uhlaender was 2-for-7 with a stolen base, his eleventh.

Pitching stars:  Boswell pitched 8.1 innings, giving up two runs on eight hits and four walks and striking out eight.  Ron Perranoski pitched 3.2 scoreless innings, giving up two hits and a walk and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Jim Nash pitched seven innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on eight hits and two walks and striking out four.  Danny Cater was 2-for-5.  Bert Campaneris was 2-for-6 with a walk and a stolen base, his thirty-second.  Rick Monday was 2-for-6.

The game:  Each team had a ton of missed opportunities.  It started in the top of the first, when the Twins put men on first and third with one out and did not score.  In the third, the Athletics had men on first and second with none out and did not score.  The Twins put men on fist and second with two out in the fourth and did not score.

The Twins finally got on the board in the fifth.  A walk, a hit batsman, and a pickoff error put men on second and third with two out.  Harmon Killebrew got an infield single to bring home the run and put Minnesota up 1-0.  Oakland got the run back in the sixth on a single, two walks, and a Cater sacrifice fly.

Boswell helped his own cause (whenever a pitcher gets a big hit, you have to say he helped his own cause.  it's in the sportswriter's code someplace).  with a home run leading off the seventh to put the Twins up 2-1.  The Athletics nearly tied it in the eighth.  With two out, Reggie Jackson walked and Sal Bando singled.  Cater then singled, but Jackson was thrown out trying to score.  In the bottom of the ninth, however, Rick Monday singled, was bunted to second, and scored on a single by South Dakota native Dick Green, sending the game to extra innings.

In the tenth, the Twins had men on first and second with two out.  A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third and Leo Cardenas was intentionally walked to fill the bases and bring up the pitcher's spot.  Oddly, Ron Perranoski (lifetime batting numbers .096/.147/.114) was allowed to bat.  To the surprise of, one assumes, no one, he struck out, stranding the runners.  Oakland had two on with two out in the eleventh and did not score.

In the thirteenth, the Twins had one out and none on and Perranoski was again allowed to bat.  To the surprise of, one assumes, everyone, he singled to center.  At that point, he was removed from the game for pinch-runner Rick Renick.  Uhlaender followed with a single, but the next two men were retired.  The Twins again put two men on in the fourteenth and did not score.

In the bottom of the fourteenth, future Twin Phil Roof opened the inning by reaching on a two-base error by Cardenas.  Tommie Reynolds then bunted him to third and was safe on an error by Rod Carew.  Carew was removed from the game at that point, with Cesar Tovar moving from third to second, Killebrew moving from first to third, and Bob Allison coming in to play first base.  An intentional walk loaded the bases.  The next batter was Ted Kubiak, and what happened is described as "Groundout: RF-SS/Forceout at 2B; Hunter Scores/unER; Reynolds to 3B."  Why Tony Oliva would throw to second base for a forceout in that situation is anyone's guess, but it brought home the game-winning run for Oakland.

WP:  Marcel Lachemann (2-0).  LP:  Bob Miller (0-2).  S:  None.

NotesCarew was 1-for-7, dropping his average to .366,.

Boswell's ERA was 2.87.  Perranoski's ERA was 1.45.  Miller's ERA was 2.40.

The Twins stranded eighteen men and went 1-for-17 with men in scoring position.  Oakland stranded thirteen men and went 2-for-9 with men in scoring position.

Any one-run game gives opportunities for second-guessing, and a fourteen-inning game gives even more.  That said, I have no idea what Billy Martin was doing allowing Perranoski to bat twice, especially when he was clearly not a good batter.  The first one, in the tenth, basically conceded the inning with the bases loaded.  The second one, in the thirteenth, came when he was prepared to take Perranoski out anyway.  If someone wants to try to explain this, go ahead, because it makes no sense to me.

As I look at it a little more closely, Martin had shorted himself somewhat on the bench.  When the Twins went up 2-1, he made some defensive changes, inserting Tovar in left for Graig NettlesFrank Quilici at third, with Killebrew moving to first and Rich Reese coming out, and Tom Tischinski replacing Johnny Roseboro behind the plate.  Charlie Manuel pinch-hit in the tenth and replaced Quilici in the lineup (playing left with Tovar moving to third).  However, he still clearly had Renick and Allison on the bench, and one assumes George Mitterwald as well, all of whom had a substantially better chance of doing something positive at the plate than Perranoski.

I don't know why Carew was removed from the game in the fourteenth inning.  He may have been shaken up on the play, although he started the next day.  I suppose it's also possible that Martin thought the error was due to a lack of hustle or something--we know Martin was not above embarrassing someone if he thought they weren't playing hard.  If anyone knows more about this, feel free to comment.

Record:  The Twins were 34-28, in second place in the American League West, one game behind Oakland.

 

1969 Rewind: Game Sixty-one

MINNESOTA 8, CALIFORNIA 1 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Thursday, June 19.

Batting stars:  Rod Carew was 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, a stolen base (his thirteenth), two runs, and two RBIs.  Bob Allison was 2-for-5 with three RBIs.

Pitching star:  Dick Woodson pitched a complete game, giving up one run on three hits and two walks and striking out eight.

Opposition star:  Jim Fregosi was 1-for-4 with a home run, his fifth.

The game:  Cesar Tovar put the Twins on the board in the bottom of the first, leading off the inning by circling the bases on a triple-plus-error.  In the third the Twins had three consecutive singles that produced two runs.  Carew singled and Harmon Killebrew followed with a single-plus-error that put men on second and third.  Allison then delivered a two-run single that made the score 3-0.

The Twins added some more runs in the third.  Tom Tischinski led off with a single and Woodson reached on an error.  A pickoff error moved them to second and third.  With one out, Carew hit a two-run double to right and with two out, Allison had an RBI single.  The score was then 6-0.

Fregosi got the Angels on the board in the seventh with a one-out home run--they'd had only one hit before that.  The Twins got the run back in the bottom of the seventh when Rick Renick had a two-out single and pinch-runner Ted Uhlaender scored from first on a Frank Quilici double.

The Twins finished the scoring in the eighth.  Cesar Tovar drew a one-out walk and somehow went from first to third on a ground out to the pitcher.  He then scored on a Rich Reese single.

WP:  Woodson (4-2).  LP:  George Brunet (2-6).  S:  None.

Notes:  Carew raised his average to .374.

Tony Oliva was given the day off, with Renick in right field.  This was one of four games in his career that Renick played in right field.  Tovar was in center, with Uhlaender given the day off other than his pinch-running appearance and subsequent play in right in the last two innings.  Allison started in left.  Quilici started at third base, with Killebrew at first.  Reese came in as a defensive replacement in the seventh.  Tischinski was the catcher, with Johnny Roseboro given the day off.

George Brunet was nearing the end of a long and not-all-that-distinguished career.  He played for nine different teams over fifteen seasons.  The Angels clearly got his best years.  The only other team for which he had an ERA under four was Pittsburgh, for whom he pitched just 16.2 innings.  For six of the nine teams he pitched for, his ERA was over five.  He made fifteen appearances with the Kansas City Athletics from 1956-1960, when he was traded to the Milwaukee Braves.  He appeared in twenty-two games for them through 1961, when he moved on to Houston.  He also appeared in twenty-two games for them, went to Baltimore during the 1963 season, and made sixteen appearances as an Oriole.  After that season he was twenty-eight years old, had not pitched a full season in the majors, and his lowest season ERA was 4.50 in 54 innings with the 1962 Houston Colt 45s.  He was in AAA in 1964 when he was sold to the Angels in August.  They brought him up to the majors and something immediately clicked.  In four full and two partial seasons with the Angels, Brunet posted an ERA of 3.13 and a WHIP of 1.20.  Unfortunately for him, he didn't get a lot of run support--his won-lost record in those years was 54-69 and he twice led the league in losses.  He was still pitching well in 1969, but the Angels sold him to the Seattle Pilots at the end of July.  His career went backward again and he was out of the majors after the 1971 season, although he pitched in AAA for a couple of years after that.  b-r.com doesn't say so, but it appears he then pitched in Mexico for several more seasons.  He was elected to the Mexican Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969.  For his major league career, he was 69-93, 3.62, 1.32 WHIP.

Record:  The Twins were 34-27, tied for first place in the American League West with Oakland although they trailed in winning percentage, .559 to .557.