Tag Archives: 1970 record

1970 Rewind: Game Seventy-seven


Date:  Tuesday, July 7.

Batting star:  Harmon Killebrew was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and three RBIs.

Pitching stars:  Tom Hall struck out six in four innings, giving up two runs on five hits and two walks and striking out six.  Stan Williams pitched five shutout innings, giving up two hits and two walks and striking out two.

Opposition stars:  Joe Rudi was 3-for-3 with a walk.  Sal Bando was 1-for-2 with a two-run homer (his seventeenth) and two walks.  Mudcat Grant pitched 2.2 scoreless innings, giving up a hit and a walk and striking out one.

The game:  Neither team threatened until the fourth, when the Twins had two on with one out but did not score.  In the bottom of the fourth Rudi walked and Bando hit a two-run homer to give the Athletics a 2-0 lead.  Tommy Davis followed with a double and Don Mincher singled, putting men on first and third with one out, but they did not score.

The Twins came back in the fifth.  Leo Cardenas and Danny Thompson started the inning with singles.  Hall hit into a force out at third base.  Cesar Tovar was hit by a pitch, loading the bases, and Jim Holt hit a sacrifice fly to bring home the first Twins run.  Tony Oliva walked, loading the bases again, and Killebrew delivered a three-run double, putting the Twins up 4-2.

That was it for scoring.  Oakland loaded the bases with two out in the sixth but did not score.  They did not put a man past first after that.

WP:  Williams (6-0).

LP:  Chuck Dobson (7-10).

S:  None.

Notes:  Holt was in left in place of Brant Alyea.  Paul Ratliff was behind the plate in place of George MitterwaldThompson was at second base in place of Rod Carew.  Alyea pinch-hit for Ratliff in the fifth, with Mitterwald going behind the plate in the next inning.

Oliva was 0-for-2 and was batting .322.  Killebrew was batting .317.  Tovar was 1-for-4 and was batting .315.  Hall had an ERA of 2.24.  Williams had an ERA of 1.53.

I suspect Hall must have had a slight injury or illness.  Not only was four innings a quick hook when he had given up just two runs, but Hall batted in the top of the fifth and then was replaced by Williams.  If he was injured or ill, it must have been minor, because he pitched in relief just two days later.

This was Rudi's first full season in the majors, and he took advantage of it, batting .309 with an OPS of .821.  He didn't really become a star until 1972, but he was already a good player.

In addition to Grant, another ex-Twin who played in this game was Jim Roland.  He faced one man in the fifth, Rich Reese, and walked him.  Roland was still a fine reliever in 1970, going 3-3, 2.70, 2 saves, 1.18 WHIP.  He continued to pitch well the following season, but had a poor 1972 and then was done at age twenty-nine.

The Twins had now won three in a row and eight out of nine.

Record:  The Twins were 51-26, in first place in the American League West, five games ahead of California.  They still had the best record in the American League, but were well behind the Big Red Machine, which was 59-23 in the National League.


1970 Rewind: Game Seventy-two


Date:  Thursday, July 2.

Batting stars:  Harmon Killebrew was 2-for-2 with a home run (his twenty-second) and a walk.  Leo Cardenas was 2-for-3 with a two-run homer (his sixth), a double, and two runs.  Cesar Tovar was 1-for-4 with a home run, his eighth.

Pitching star:  Tom Hall pitched seven innings, giving up one run on two hits and a walk and striking out six.

Opposition stars:  Eliseo Rodriguez was 2-for-3 with a triple and two runs.  Aurelio Monteagudo pitched two shutout innings, giving up one hit and striking out one.

The game:  Killebrew got the first hit of the game, a home run leading off the bottom of the second.  Rich Reese followed with a single, and with one out Cardenas hit a two-run homer, putting the Twins up 3-0.

Neither team had another hit until the fifth, when Cardenas doubled and went to third on a wild pitch.  George Mitterwald walked and Hall hit into a double play, scoring Cardenas.  Tovar followed with a home run to make it 5-0 Twins.

Rodriguez got the first Royals hit in the sixth, a leadoff triple, and scored on Jackie Hernandez' sacrifice fly to make it 5-1.  Cookie Rojas got a leadoff double in the seventh and got as far as third base with two out, but he got no farther.  In the eighth Rodriguez and Ed Kirkpatrick led off with singles, putting men on first and third with none out.  Pat Kelly drew a one-out walk to load the bases and Rojas hit a sacrifice fly to make it 5-2, but that was all Kansas City could get.  The Royals went down in order in the ninth.

WP:  Hall (4-2).

LP:  Al Fitzmorris (4-3).

S:  Stan Williams (6).

Notes:  Danny Thompson was at second in place of Rod Carew.  Rick Renick was in left field in place of Brant Alyea.  Herman Hill came in to play center in the eighth as part of a double switch, with Tovar moving to left and Renick coming out of the game.  Frank Quilici came in to play second base in the ninth, with Thompson moving to third and Killebrew leaving the game.

Tony Oliva was 0-for-3 and was batting .323.  Killebrew was batting .313.  Tovar was batting .305.  Hall had an ERA of 2.05.  Stan Williams gave up a run in two innings and had an ERA of 1.81.

Thompson was 0-for-4 and was batting .174.  Hill was 0-for-1 and was batting .125.

Hall had given up two runs in 13.2 innings in two starts.  He would make one more start, then return to the bullpen.  Bill Rigney apparently thought he was more valuable there, despite his success as a starter.

Hill was very fast, stealing 58 bases in the minors in 1967, and was considered an excellent defender.  Unfortunately, as we've observed before, none of the other "five tools" mean much if you can't hit, and he couldn't.  He did hit .300 in Denver in 1969, but a) it was Denver, and b) he still only had an OPS of .744.  He admittedly didn't get much of a chance in the majors, but he batted just .083 in 24 major league at-bats.

Aurelio Monteagudo had all the vowels in his first name, and all but one of the vowels in his last name.  Maybe he's who Hrbek could've bought a vowel from.

Record:  The Twins were 47-25, in first place in the American League West, four games ahead of California.