Tag Archives: lots of starters

Random Rewind: 1973, Game Sixty-three


Date:  Friday, June 22.

Batting stars:  Jerry Terrell was 2-for-3.  Bobby Darwin was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.

Pitching star:  Joe Decker pitched 8.1 innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and two walks and striking out four.

Opposition stars:  Richie Scheinblum was 3-for-4.  Sandy Alomar was 2-for-5 with a stolen base, his sixteenth.  Rudy May pitched 6.1 innings, giving up three runs (one earned) on seven hits and a walk and striking out five.  Dave Sells pitched 2.2 scoreless innings, giving up two hits and striking out one.

The game:  The Twins got a pair of one-out singles in the first, but a line drive double play took them out of the inning.  In the third Terrell got a two-out single, Danny Monzon reached on a two-base error, putting men on second and third, and Darwin delivered a two-run single to make it 2-0 Twins.  The Angels got on the board in the fourth when Alomar singled, went to second on a passed ball, stole third, and scored on a Frank Robinson single.  The Twins got the run back in the fifth.  Mike Adams and Steve Brye singled and Terrell hit a sacrifice fly, giving the Twins a 3-1 lead.

California put two in the seventh but did not score.  The Twins loaded the bases with one out in the eighth but did not score.  So, we went to the ninth with the Twins still ahead 3-1.  Decker, who had started the game, was still in to start the ninth.

Mike Epstein and Scheinblum led off with singles.  A bunt moved them to second and third.  Al Gallagher singled to cut the lead to 3-2 and chase Decker from the game.  Ken Sanders came in and gave up a single to Bob Oliver, tying the score.  He retired Winston Llenas on a fly ball, but Alomar singled to bring home the go-ahead run.

After the first man in the ninth was retired, the Twins used three consecutive pinch-hitters.  Jim Holt pinch-hit for Mike Adams and grounded out.  Tony Oliva pinch-hit for Brye and singled.  Harmon Killebrew pinch-hit for Terrell with a chance to win the game, but popped up instead and the game was over.

WP:  Sells (3-1).  LP:  Decker (1-2).  S:  None.

Notes:  Joe Lis was at first base in place of Killebrew, who was given the day off.  Injuries limited Killebrew to just fifty-seven games at first base, so Lis really ended up being the regular in 1973.

Monzon was playing second in place of Rod Carew, who was given the day off.  He did go in to pinch-run for Oliva in the ninth.  Why did Carew not pinch-hit?  I'm just guessing but he did not play in the game before this and did not start in the game after it, so I'm guessing he might have had a minor injury of some sort.

Terrell was at shortstop, splitting time there with Danny Thompson.  Both were right-handed, so I don't know on what basis Frank Quilici decided who would play.  If he was trying to find the hot hand, well, good luck with that.  Terrell batted .265/.297/.315.  Thompson checked in at a robust .222/.259/.282.

Adams was in left in place of Holt, who was given the day off.  Brye was in center in place of Larry Hisle.  Hisle missed four games around this time, so was perhaps also dealing with a minor injury.  Danny Walton was at DH in place of Oliva, who was given the day off.

I don't know why so many regulars were given the day off.  It was a Friday night, so it was not a day game after a night game.  They were in the pennant race at this point, so I wouldn't think they were just wanting to look at some young players.  Killebrew and Oliva were both getting older, plus this was after Oliva's knee injury--maybe they just both needed more time off.  I don't know.

Monzon was batting .360 at this point, but it was in just twenty-five at-bats.  He would finish at .224.  Terrell was batting .314--as shown above, he finished at .265.  The Twins had four starters in this game with averages below the Mendoza line.  Lis was batting .175--he would finish at .245.  Brye was batting .167--he would finish at .263 and actually had a decent season.  Walton was batting .154--he would finish at .177.  Adams was batting .083--he would finish at .212 (but with an OBP of .381).

Carew led the team in batting at .350.  He was the only .300 hitter, but Holt batted .297 and Oliva was at .291.  The Twins led the league in batting at .270.

Power was a different story.  Darwin led the team with 18 home runs.  George Mitterwald and Oliva were next at 16.  Hisle hit 15 homers and Holt 11.  If you're wondering, Killebrew hit just five home runs in 248 at-bats.  He would struggle through one more season with the Twins, play for Kansas City in 1975, and then was done.  The Twins hit 115 home runs, good for eighth in the league.

Bert Blyleven was the ace of the staff, and really the only reliable starter they had.  20-17, 2.52 with 25 complete games in 40 starts.  He threw 325 innings at age 22.  Jim Kaat was 11-12, 4.41 in 28 starts.  Decker was 10-10, 4.17 in 24 starts.  Dick Woodson was 10-8, 3.95 (but with a 1.45 WHIP) in 23 starts.  Others to make double-digit starts were Bill Hands (7-10, 3.49, 15 starts and 24 relief appearances) and Dave Goltz (6-4, 5.25, 10 starts, 22 relief appearances).  Ten different Twins made starts in 1973, which is kind of remarkable given that they only used thirteen pitchers.  Six different pitchers had saves, with Ray Corbin leading with 14.  The Twins were sixth in ERA at 3.77--Baltimore led at 3.07.  They were also sixth in WHIP at 1.35--Baltimore led there, too, at 1.21.

Quilici is not particularly well thought-of in the line of Twins managers--in fact, he's mostly ignored.  But maybe he was better than he's given credit for.  Look at who he had playing regularly on this team:  George MitterwaldJoe Lis, Danny Thompson, Jim Holt, Bobby Darwin.  One reliable starting pitcher.  And yet, he had the Twins in contention for a while and managed to finish at .500.  In fact, his complete managerial record is just below .500 with teams that had a lot of forgettable players.  Could he have won with a better team?  We'll never know, but I think he actually did a fairly good job of getting what he could out of the talent he had.

Record:  The Twins were 34-29, in second place in the American League West, a half game behind Chicago.  They would finish 81-81, in third place, 13 games behind Oakland.

The Angels were 34-31, in fifth place in the American League West, 1.5 games behind Chicago.  They would finish 79-83, in fourth place, 15 games behind Oakland.

Random Record:  The Twins are 48-47 in Random Rewind games.

Random Rewind: 2018, Game One Hundred Twenty-four


Date:  Monday, August 20.

Batting stars:  Max Kepler was 2-for-4 with a home run (his seventeenth) and a triple.  Ehire Adrianza was 2-for-4.  Jake Cave was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer (his sixth), a walk, and three runs.

Pitching stars:  Alan Busenitz pitched 2.2 innings, giving up an unearned run on two hits and two walks and striking out two.  Oliver Drake struck out four in two perfect innings.

Opposition stars:  Daniel Palka was 2-for-4 with a double and a walk.  Tim Anderson was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Matt Davidson was 2-for-5 with a home run (his eighteenth), two runs, and three RBIs.  Jose Abreu was 2-for-5 with a double, a stolen base (his second), and two RBIs.  Juan Minaya struck out five in two perfect innings.

The game:  The White Sox put men on first and third in the first inning but did not score.  In the second, however, they scored four times.  Nicky Delmonico tripled and Davidson hit an RBI single.  Yolmer Sanchez walked and Kevan Smith was hit by a pitch to load the bases.  Anderson singled home a run and Abreu doubled home two to make it 4-0 Chicago.

The Twins got one back in the bottom of the second when Mitch Garver walked and Cave hit an RBI double.  The White Sox got the run back in the fourth when Abreu singled, went to second on a ground out, and scored on a stolen base-plus-error to make it 5-1 Chicago.

The Twins got back into the game in the bottom of the fourth when Garver hit a two-out double and Cave delivered a two-run homer to cut the lead to 5-3.  It stayed 5-3 until the seventh.  At that point Avisail Garcia singled and Davidson hit a two-run homer.  They added one more in the eighth when Anderson singled and scored from first on Palka's double, making the score 8-3.

The Twins tried to come back in the ninth.  Kepler led off the inning with a home run.  Cave drew a one-out walk, took second on defensive indifference, and scored on Adrianza's two-out single.  But Joe Mauer grounded out, and the game was over.

WP:  Lucas Giolito (9-9).  S:  Stephen Gonsalves (0-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Adrianza was at second base.  Brian Dozier was the regular second baseman, but of course he was traded at the end of July.

Miguel Sano was at third base.  Nothing noteworthy about that, really, but injuries limited him to 56 games at third base.  Eduardo Escobar played the most games at third, 77.  Adrianza played 28 games there.

Cave played the most games in center and Kepler played the most games in right.  In this game, however, their roles were reversed, with Kepler in center and Cave in right.

Tyler Austin was the DH.  He had been acquired in a trade about ten days earlier.  The Twins used a bunch of guys at DH in 2018.  Robbie Grossman played the most games there, 36, but Logan Morrison was right behind at 35 and Mauer had 33.  Austin played 20 games at DH and Eddie Rosario had a dozen games there.

The Twins did not have a .300 hitter unless you count Willians Astudillo, who had 93 at-bats.  Jorge Polanco and Rosario each batted .288.  The Twins were seventh in the league in batting at .250.  Boston led the league at .268.

Rosario led the team in home runs with 24.  Kepler was second at 20.  Dozier had 16, Escobar and Morrison each had 15, and Cave and Sano each had 13.  The Twins were twelfth in home runs with 166.  New York led the league with 267.

This was the major league debut for Gonsalves.  It did not go well.  He pitched 1.1 innings, allowing four runs on six hits and two walks.  He did strike out three.  He would make three more starts and three relief appearances, going 2-2, 6.57.  The Twins struggled to find more than three starters.  Jose Berrios was 12-11, 3.84, 1.14 WHIP.  Kyle Gibson was 10-13, 3.62, 1.30.  Jake Odorizzi was 7-10, 4.49, 1.35.  But beyond that, it was tough.  Lance Lynn made twenty starts, going 7-8, 5.10, 1.63.  The only other pitcher to make double-digit starts was Fernando Romero, who was 3-3, 4.69, 1.42.  Eleven other pitchers made at least one start, with six of them making four or more.

Fernando Rodney was the closer most of the season and he did well enough, going 3-2, 3.09, 1.40 WHIP.  Taylor Rogers was very good:  1-2, 2.63, 0.95.  Ryan Pressly was reliable, for the most part:  1-1, 3.40, 1.36.  But Addison Reed and Trevor Hildenberger struggled, and beyond that it was a bunch of guys like Matt MagillZach Duke, and Matt Belisle.

The Twins were ninth in team ERA at 4.50.  Houston led at 3.11, far above the number two Rays at 3.74.  The Twins were tenth in WHIP at 1.38.  Houston led there, too, at 1.10, again significantly ahead of number two Tampa Bay at 1.20.

It seems like longer ago than two years that we were playing guys like Busenitz, Drake, and Morrison.

Record:  The Twins were 59-65, in second place in the American League Central, 13 games behind Cleveland.  They would finish 78-84, in second place, 13 games behind Cleveland.

The White Sox were 47-77, in fourth place in the American League Central, 25 games behind Cleveland.  They would finish 62-100, in fourth place, 29 games behind Cleveland.

Random Record:  The Twins are 44-44 in Random Rewind games.