Tag Archives: Bert Blyleven

1970 Rewind: Game One Hundred Twenty-five

MINNESOTA 7, BOSTON 0 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Wednesday, August 26.

Batting stars:  Cesar Tovar was 2-for-3 with a double, two walks, a stolen base (his twenty-fourth), two runs, and three RBIs.  Jim Holt was 2-for-3 with a walk and two RBIs.  Tony Oliva was 2-for-5 with a triple.

Pitching stars:  Bert Blyleven pitched a complete game shutout, giving up four hits and a walk and striking out eight.

Opposition star:  George Scott was 2-for-3.

The game:  The Twins got on the board in the first when Tovar singled, stole second, and scored on a two-out single by Harmon Killebrew.  In the second, Leo Cardenas hit a one-out double, George Mitterwald hit a run-scoring single-plus-error, and Tovar delivered a two-out RBI single to make it 3-0 Twins.

The Twins missed some chances to add to their lead, wasting a leadoff triple by Oliva in the third and getting men on first and second with one out to no avail in the fourth.  In the sixth, however, the Twins put it out of reach.  Mitterwald led off with a walk and went to third when Blyleven reached on a two-base error.  Tovar doubled them both home to make it 5-0.  Walks to Rich Reese and Killebrew loaded the bases with two out and Holt hit a two-run single to increase the lead to 7-0.

Blyleven was in complete control.  The Red Sox never got a man to third and only twice got a man as far as second.  All four Boston hits were singles.

WP:  Blyleven (8-5).

LP:  Ray Culp (13-12).

S:  None.

Notes:  Oliva was batting .321.

Holt was in center, with Tovar moving to left and Brant Alyea on the bench.  Danny Thompson remained at second base in place of Rod Carew.  Frank Quilici replaced Killebrew in the eighth and went to second, with Thompson moving to third.

This was Blyleven's first career shutout.  He would end his career with sixty.  He led the league in shutouts three times--in 1973 (9). 1985 (5), and 1989 (5).

Culp was a good pitcher and he had a fine 1970 season, but he didn't have it in this game.  5.1 innings, seven runs (six earned), seven hits, four walks, and five strikeouts.

The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Twins.

Record:  The Twins were 74-51, in first place in the American League West, 3.5 games ahead of California.

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.

1970 Rewind: Game Ninety-four

MINNESOTA 5, BALTIMORE 2 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Monday, July 27.

Batting stars:  Frank Quilici was 3-for-4.  Jim Holt was 2-for-3 with a home run, his second.  George Mitterwald was 2-for-4 with a home run, his ninth.  Rich Reese was 2-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs.

Pitching stars:  Bert Blyleven pitched six innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and no walks and striking out four.  Ron Perranoski pitched three shutout innings, giving up one hit and striking out two.

Opposition stars:  Dave Johnson was 2-for-4 with a double.  Don Buford was 1-for-4 with a home run, his thirteenth.  Moe Drabowsky struck out four in two shutout innings, giving up one hit.

The game:  Holt started the scoring with a home run in the second inning.  In the third Quilici singled and Blyleven reached on an error.  With one out Reese hit a two-run triple and Tony Oliva followed with an RBI double, giving the Twins a 4-0 lead.

The Orioles got on the board in the sixth when Buford homered.  The Twins got the run back in the bottom of the sixth when Mitterwald homered.  The Twins left the bases full in that inning, and Baltimore got a run closer in the seventh when Brooks Robinson singled, was balked to second, and scored on Johnson's double.

But that was it.  The Orioles got only one hit after that, a single by Andy Etchebarren in the ninth.

WP:  Blyleven (5-3).

LP:  Jim Palmer (14-7).

S:  Perranoski (25).

Notes:  Holt was in left in place of Brant Alyea.  Quilici was again at second base in place of Rod Carew.  Danny Thompson replaced Harmon Killebrew at third base in the eighth.

Oliva was 1-for-4 and was batting .322.  Killebrew was 0-for-3 and was batting .312.  Cesar Tovar was 0-for-5 and was batting .305.  Blyleven had an ERA of 2.49.  Perranoski had an ERA of 1.35.

Blyleven was given what, for that era, were quick hooks, usually pulled after about six innings.  While one would like to think that the Twins were interested in protecting a young arm, what I suspect is that Bill Rigney was simply reluctant to trust the young rookie and so would pull him at the first sign of trouble.

Palmer lasted just five innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits and three walks and striking out one.  It was a rare bad game for Palmer, who would win twenty games and finish fifth in Cy Young voting.  His game score of thirty-three was tied for his worst of the season.  He had trouble with the Twins in 1970, going 0-2, 4.66 in three starts.  For his career, he was much better:  21-12, 2.78 in 45 games (39 starts).

Quilici was 7-for-14 in his last four games, raising his average from .195 to .242.  That was the highest his average had been since the end of April, and would be the highest it would be the rest of the season.

The Twins ended their homestand 5-4.  They would not go on a six-game road trip to Cleveland and Detroit.

Record:  The Twins were 61-33, in first place in the American League West, six games ahead of California.

1970 Rewind: Game Eighty-six

CLEVELAND 3, MINNESOTA 1 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Sunday, July 19.

Batting stars:  None.

Pitching stars:  Bert Blyleven pitched six innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and a walk and striking out two.  Steve Barber pitched 2.1 scoreless innings, giving up two hits and a walk.

Opposition stars:  Sam McDowell struck out fourteen in a complete game, giving up one run on three hits and no walks.  Roy Foster was 2-for-4 with two doubles.  Vada Pinson was 2-for-4 with a hit-by-pitch.  Graig Nettles was 2-for-5 with a two-run homer, his fourteenth.

The game:  The Twins got on the board in the first inning, as Cesar Tovar doubled and scored on a two-out single by Tony Oliva.  That was the first Twins run of the game, but it was also the last, and it was not enough.

The Indians took the lead in the third when Jack Heidemann walked and Nettles hit a two-out two-run homer.  In the fourth Ray Fosse led off with a single, went to third on Eddie Leon's single, and scored on a balk to make it 3-1 Cleveland.

The Twins never threatened after the first inning.  In fact, they had only one more hit after the first inning, and that came with two out in the ninth when Rich Reese singled.  It brought the tying run to the plate in Harmon Killebrew, but he struck out to end the game.

WP:  McDowell (14-4).

LP:  Blyleven (3-3).

S:  None.

Notes:  Rick Renick was in left in place of Brant AlyeaFrank Quilici was at second base in place of Rod Carew.  Tom Tischinski caught in place of George Mitterwald.  Alyea and Bob Allison were used as pinch-hitters for pitchers.

Oliva was 1-for-4 and was batting .325.  Killebrew was 0-for-4 and was batting ,.321.  Tovar was 1-for-4 and was batting .309.  Blyleven had an ERA of 2.67.  Stan Williams retired both men he faced and had an ERA of 1.63.

Quilici was 0-for-3 and was batting .183.

In Blyleven's three losses, the Twins scored a grand total of three runs.

Oddly, the Twins started a new series on a Sunday, having played in Baltimore the day before.  I assume this was a consequence of the all-star break, although the more common thing was to play a four-game series Thursday through Sunday after the break.  This would be the start of a nine-game homestand:  two with Cleveland, three with Detroit, and four with Baltimore.

Record:  The Twins were 56-30, in first place in the American League West, 3.5 games ahead of California.

1970 Rewind: Game Seventy-one

MINNESOTA 2, KANSAS CITY 1 IN MINNESOTA (10 INNINGS)

Date:  Wednesday, July 1.

Batting stars:  Cesar Tovar was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Rick Renick was 1-for-4 with a home run, his sixth.

Pitching stars:  Bert Blyleven struck out nine in seven innings, giving up an unearned run on five hits and one walk.  Ron Perranoski pitched three shutout innings, giving up three hits and two walks and striking out two.

Opposition stars:  Jim Rooker pitched nine innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on six hits and five walks and striking out five.  Amos Otis was 2-for-4.  Paul Schaal was 1-for-2 with two walks.

The game:  The Royals had men on first and second with one out in the first but did not score.  Instead, Renick homered leading off the second to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  Neither team really threatened after that until the sixth, when the Twins failed to capitalize on a Danny Thompson leadoff double.  In the seventh, Kansas City tied it.  Ed Kirkpatrick reached on a two-base error and scored on a two-out single by Tommy Matchick.

The Twins threatened in the bottom of the seventh.  Herman Hill, pinch-running for Brant Alyea, was on second with two out.  Tovar singled, but Hill was thrown out at the plate.  The Royals threatened in the ninth, loading the bases with one out, but Cookie Rojas grounded into a double play.  Kansas City threatened again the tenth, putting two on with two out, but Lou Piniella flied out to end the inning.

In the tenth, leadoff batter George Mitterwald reached on an error.  Jim Kaat pinch-ran for him.  Pinch-hitter Frank Quilici bunted and reached on another error, putting men on first and third.  Tovar was intentionally walked, loading the bases with none out.  Pinch-hitter Rich Reese hit a sacrifice fly to win the game.

WP:  Perranoski (5-2).

LP:  Rooker (4-7).

S:  None.

Notes:  Thompson was at second base in place of Rod Carew.  Renick was at third, with Harmon Killebrew moving to first and Reese going to the bench.  Hill pinch-ran for Alyea in the seventh and stayed in the game in center field, with Tovar moving to left.  Bob Allison and Quilici pinch-hit for pitchers.  Kaat pinch-ran for Mitterwald.  Reese pinch-hit for Thompson.

Tony Oliva was 1-for-4 and was batting .326.  Killebrew was 0-for-4 and was batting .307.  Tovar was batting .306.  Blyleven had an ERA of 2.38.  Perranoski had an ERA of 1.65.

Hill was 0-for-1 and was batting .133.

This was Blyleven's seventh major league start.  The Twins scored three or fewer runs in five of them.

The only ex-Twin to play for the Royals in this game was Jackie Hernandez, who went 1-for-4.

This was the third time Perranoski had pitched as many as three innings in a game in 1970.

Record:  The Twins were 46-25, in first place in the American League West, four games ahead of California.

1970 Rewind: Game Fifty-eight

KANSAS CITY 5, MINNESOTA 1 IN KANSAS CITY

Date:  Friday, June 19.

Batting stars:  Rod Carew was 3-for-4.  Jim Holt was 2-for-4.

Pitching stars:  Tom Hall struck out three in 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up a hit and a walk.  Steve Barber pitched two shutout innings, giving up a hit and a walk and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Amos Otis was 3-for-4 with a double.  Bob Oliver was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs.  Joe Keough was 2-for-4.  Dick Drago pitched a complete game, giving up an unearned run on seven hits and one walk and striking out five.

The game:  There was no score until the third, when Bobby Floyd led off with a walk, went to second on a ground out, and scored on a Cookie Rojas single.  The Royals added two in the fourth:  Oliver and Keough led off with singles and Lou Piniella followed with an RBI double.  Ed Kirkpatrick was intentionally walked, loading the bases with still none out.  All Kansas City could get out of that was one more, on a ground out, but it put the Royals up 3-0.  Kansas City added two more in the fifth.  Otis hit a one-out single and scored on Oliver's double.  Oliver went to third on Keough's single and scored on a ground out to make it 5-0 Royals.

The Twins didn't mount a lot of threats.  They had a walk and a single with two out in the second.  They got a pair of one-out singles in the seventh.  Their lone run scored in the eighth when Cesar Tovar reached on a two-base error and scored on a Carew single.

WP:  Drago (5-4).

LP:  Bert Blyleven (2-2).

S:  None.

Notes:  Holt was in left in place of Brant Alyea.  Charlie Manuel pinch-hit for Hall in the seventh.  Paul Ratliff pinch-hit for George Mitterwald in the ninth.

Carew was batting .373.  Tony Oliva was 0-for-4 and was batting .324.  Harmon Killebrew was 0-for-4 and was batting .310.  Hall had an ERA of 2.30.  Barber had an ERA of 2.87.

Manuel was batting .176.  Manuel had been with the Twins all season and had appeared in twenty games, all as a pinch-hitter.  That's a tough way to try to succeed.  He was in his age twenty-six season.  I'm sure he was happy to be in the majors, but it sure wasn't a way to try to develop a young-ish player.

This was Blyleven's first poor start.  He allowed five runs in 4.1 innings, giving up seven hits and two walks and striking out two.

I don't remember that I've ever heard of Bobby Floyd.  He played in parts of seven major league seasons, from 1968-1974, but only once got as many as a hundred at-bats in a season (134 in 1972).  He was an infielder, playing 98 games at shortstop, 56 games at second base, and 48 games at third base.  He batted .219/.264/.266 in 425 at-bats.  1970 was his best season at bat, as he batted .311/.360/.400 in 45 at-bats.  He was tied with me in major league career home runs, as we both hit zero.  He did have a lengthy career as a minor league manager and coach.

Record:  The Twins were 38-20, in first place in the American League West, five games ahead of California.

1970 Rewind: Game Forty-seven

MINNESOTA 2, WASHINGTON 1 IN WASHINGTON

Date:  Friday, June 5.

Batting stars:  Frank Quilici was 2-for-3.  Tony Oliva was 2-for-4.

Pitching stars:  Bert Blyleven struck out seven in seven innings, giving up one run on five hits and a walk.  Ron Perranoski pitched two perfect innings.

Opposition stars:  Lee Maye was 2-for-3 with a home run, his fourth.  Casey Cox pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and three walks and striking out three.  Darold Knowles pitched two shutout innings, giving up one hit.

The game:  Cesar Tovar led off the game with a walk, stole second, and scored on an Oliva single to put the Twins up 1-0.  Maye led off the bottom of the first with a home run, tying it 1-1.

The Twins put men on second and third with two out in the fourth, but it stayed 1-1 until the fifth.  Quilici led off with a single, was bunted to second, and scored on a Tovar single to put the Twins up 2-1.

And that was it.  The Senators only twice got a man to second and never got a man to third, as the Twins held the 2-1 victory.

WP:  Blyleven (1-0).

LP:  Cox (3-4).

S:  Perranoski (13).

Notes:  Jim Holt was in left field in place of Brant Alyea.  Quilici was at second base in place of Rod Carew.  Carew would not return until June 9, so he apparently was dealing with some minor injury or illness.

Oliva was batting .325.  Harmon Killebrew was 1-for-4 and was batting .317.  Blyleven had an ERA of 1.29.  Perranoski had an ERA of 1.80.

Quilici was batting .191.

As you have probably figured out by now, this was Blyleven's major league debut.  He had been 4-2, 2.50 at AAA Evansville.  The story he told so often was true--the first man he faced, Lee Maye, hit a home run off him.  And in fact, he did strike out Frank Howard in the sixth.

We're in early June, and neither TovarKillebrew, nor Oliva has been given a game off yet.  I know this is the old days when men were men, but I suspect Bill Rigney was somewhat of an old-school manager even for his time.

The Senators played two ex-Twins:  second baseman Bernie Allen, who was 1-for-3, and John Roseboro, who pinch-hit and was 0-for-1.

Casey Cox was a pretty fair pitcher for several years:  39-42, 3.70, 1.32.  I suspect his won-lost record is affected by the fact that he spent his entire career with bad teams:  the Senators/Rangers and the early-seventies Yankees.  He appeared in 308 games, starting 59 of them.  Slightly more than half of his starts--30--came in 1970.

Record:  The Twins were 32-15, in first place in the American League West, two games ahead of California.

 

Happy Birthday–April 6

Smokey Joe Williams (1885)
Mickey Cochrane (1903)
Ernie Lombardi (1908)
Phil Regan (1937)
Marty Pattin (1943)
Bert Blyleven (1951)
Kenny Williams (1964)
Bret Boone (1969)
Lou Merloni (1971)

A star in the Negro Leagues, some say that Smokey Joe Williams was a better pitcher than Satchel Paige.

Four Hall-of-Fame players born on the same day is the record.  It also happened on May 14.  May 14 also has two non-players, Alex Pompez and J. L. Wilkinson.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–April 6

2003 Rewind: Game Ninety-nine

SEATTLE 10, MINNESOTA 8 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Tuesday, July 22.

Batting stars:  Shannon Stewart was 3-for-5 with a home run, his eighth.  Luis Rivas was 2-for-4.

Pitching star:  James Baldwin pitched 3.1 scoreless innings, giving up no hits and three walks and striking out two.

Opposition stars:  Randy Winn was 3-for-5 with a two-run homer (his fourth) and two runs.  Dan Wilson was 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, and two RBIs.  Mark McLemore was 2-for-5 with a double, a walk, and two runs.  John Olerud was 2-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs.  Julio Mateo pitched 4.1 innings of relief, giving up one run on three hits and no walks and striking out three.

The game:  The Mariners loaded the bases with none out in the second.  They scored one on a ground out and Wilson then delivered a two-run double, giving Seattle a 3-0 lead.  The Twins came right back with two in the bottom of the second.  A. J. Pierzynski doubled and scored on a Jacque Jones single.  Chris Gomez singled to put runners on the corners and a ground out cut the margin to 3-2.

The Twins appeared to take control of the game in the third.  A single, a walk, and an infield single tied the score.  A hit batsman loaded the bases, Justin Morneau walked to force in a run, another scored on a wild pitch, one more scored on a sacrifice fly, and Cristian Guzman hit an RBI single to give the Twins a seemingly comfortable 7-3 lead.

The Marines did not agree, however.  Bret Boone hit a two-run homer in the fifth to make it 7-5.  In the sixth, a walk and two singles loaded the bases.  Olerud had a single-plus-error to bring home three runs and Winn followed with a two-run homer, putting Seattle up 10-7.

The Twins got one back in the bottom of the sixth when Stewart homered, but that was as good as it got.  The Twins got only one more hit after that, Stewart's leadoff single in the ninth.  A double play erased him and a ground out ended the game.

WP:  Mateo (2-0).  LP:  Joe Mays (8-7).  S:  Shigetoshi Hasegawa (7).

Notes:  Gomez remained at third in place of Corey Koskie.  Stewart was in right field.  Morneau was the DH.

Todd Sears, who was back up for a couple of weeks, pinch-hit for Rivas in the ninth.

Jones was 1-for-3 and was batting .307.  Stewart went up to .306.

Rick Reed started and pitched five innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and two walks.  He struck out five.  His ERA was 5.06.  Mays allowed five runs in two-thirds of an inning, raising his ERA to 6.77.  Baldwin lowered his ERA to 2.57.

Freddy Garcia started for the Mariners but lasted just 2.2 innings, allowing seven runs on seven hits and two walks.  He struck out two.  His ERA jumped to 5.05.  By game scores this was only his third-worst game of the season.  His ERA would reach a high of 5.57 on August 1.  He would then turn things around, and gave up just two earned runs in his last four starts of the season (27 innings) to end with an ERA of 4.51.

I can't think of Shigetoshi Hasegawa without remembering how Bert Blyleven struggled to pronounce his name.

The loss snapped the Twins' five-game winning streak and dropped them back below .500.  It also dropped them back into third place.

Record:  The Twins were 49-50, in third place in the American League Central, 5.5 games behind Kansas City.  They were a half game behind second-place Chicago.