Tag Archives: Mike Smithson

Random Rewind: 1985, Game One Hundred Fifty-three


Date:  Thursday, September 26.

Batting star:  Kent Hrbek was 3-for-4.

Pitching star:  Mike Smithson pitched an eight-inning complete game, giving up two runs on six hits and four walks and striking out four.

Opposition stars:  Jose Guzman pitched 8.2 scoreless innings, giving up six hits and a walk and striking out five.  Gary Ward was 3-for-3 with a stolen base, his twenty-second.  Pete O'Brien was 1-for-1 with a home run (his twenty-first) and three walks.  I guess they should've walked him the other time, too.

The game:  The Twins put man on second and third with two out in the first inning but did not score.  That was as close as the Twins would come to scoring all night.

The Rangers didn't get anything accomplished in the first three innings, either, but in the fourth O'Brien hit a one-out homer to give Texas a 1-0 lead.  They added a run in the seventh on singles by Ward and Bob Jones, a walk to Duane Walker, and an infield out.

The Twins put one more threat together in the ninth, when Kent Hrbek and Tom Brunansky singled with two out.  Dwayne Henry came in and struck out Mark Salas to end the game.

WP:  Guzman (2-2).  LP:  Smithson (14-13).  S:  Henry (2).

Notes:  Jeff Reed, who was a September call-up, started behind the plate in place of Salas.  Salas mostly platooned with Tim Laudner in 1985.

Roy Smalley was at shortstop in place of Greg Gagne.  Smalley was used at DH more than any other position, but he still played a significant number of games at short in 1985.  Salas was the DH in this game.

Dave Engle pinch-hit for Reed in the eighth and stayed in the game behind the plate.  Gagne replaced Smalley at shortstop in the eighth.  Smalley would miss the next couple of games--perhaps he tweaked something.  If not, it seems odd to make a defensive substitution in a game you're losing by two runs.

Salas was batting .301.  He would be the team's lone .300 hitter, at least of players with a significant number of at-bats, as he finished at exactly .300.

The team leader in home runs was Brunansky at 27.  Hrbek had 21 and Gary Gaetti 20.  Also in double figures were Smalley (12), Randy Bush (10), and Tim Teufel (10).

Smithson had eight complete games in 1985.  From 1983-1986 he had 36 complete games and led the league in starts in two of those seasons.  That may be why he was pretty much done after 1986.

This was the year Bert Blyleven came back to the Twins in early August.  He was easily the team's best starter the rest of the season.  Other starters were SmithsonFrank ViolaJohn Butcher, and Ken Schrom.  Viola was the best of the rest, going 18-14, 4.09, 1.32 WHIP.

Even though he shut them down in this game, the Twins did pretty well most of the time against Guzman.  He was 5-6, 4.25, 1.45 WHIP against them.  This was only the fourth start of his major league career, as he came up as a September call-up.

Texas really didn't have a closer in 1985.  Seven different pitchers had saves, with Greg Harris leading with eleven.  Henry was in his rookie year, coming up in mid-August.

Record:  The Twins were 70-83, in sixth place in the American League West, 16.5 games behind California and Kansas City.  They would finish 77-85, tied for fourth with Oakland, 14 games behind Kansas City.

The Rangers were 58-94, in seventh (last) place in the American League West, 28 games behind California and Kansas City.  They would finish 62-99, in seventh place, 28.5 games behind Kansas City.

Random record:  The Twins are 29-27 in Random Rewind games.

Random Rewind: 1985, Game Forty


Date:  Friday, May 24.

Batting stars:  Gary Gaetti was 1-for-3 with a home run (his sixth) and a walk.  Tom Brunansky was 1-for-3 with a home run (his twelfth) and a walk.

Pitching star:  Curt Wardle struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up two hits.

Opposition stars:  Ray Burris pitched 6.2 innings, giving up one run on three hits and three walks and striking out five.  Rick Manning was 3-for-4 with two doubles.  Cecil Cooper was 2-for-4.  Ernie Riles was 2-for-4.  Paul Molitor was 1-for-4 with a home run (his second) and a stolen base (his seventh).

The game:  Gaetti opened the scoring with a home run in the second.  In the fourth, however, Robin Yount singled, stole second, and scored on a Ted Simmons single to tie it.  Singles by Ben Oglivie and Manning brought Simmons home to give the Brewers a 2-1 lead.  In the fifth, Charlie Moore walked, Cooper singled, Yount had an RBI single, and Simmons hit a sacrifice fly, making it 4-1 Milwaukee.

The Twins' best chance to come back came in the seventh.   Brunansky and Randy Bush drew one-out walks and Gaetti walked with two out.  But pinch-hitter Mike Stenhouse flied to center and the inning was over.  Molitor hit a home run leading off the seventh and Brunansky homered leading off the ninth to complete the scoring.

WP:  Burris (2-4).  LP:  Mike Smithson (4-4).  S:  Rollie Fingers (5).

Notes:  Roy Smalley was at shortstop in place of Greg Gagne.  Gagne had some injury problems in May--he was on the disabled list for a couple of weeks, and while he was back on the active roster at this point he was not yet at full speed.  Smalley was a mostly-regular, but he had more time at DH than at shortstop.  Randy Bush was the DH in this game.

As noted above, Stenhouse pinch-hit for Tim Teufel in the seventh inning, with Ron Washington then going to second base.  Stenhouse was with the Twins for all of 1985 but was mostly used as a pinch-hitter and part-time DH.  He had just 209 plate appearances, batting .223 with an OPS of .665.

Brunansky was batting .345.  He would finish at .242.  Mark Salas was batting .327.  He would finish at .300.  Mickey Hatcher was batting .303.  He would finish at .282.  Kirby Puckett was batting .300.  He would finish at .288.

Smithson started and pitched six innings, allowing five runs on ten hits and three walks and striking out one.  He had pitched well in 1984 but slipped in 1985.  He wasn't terrible--15-14, 4.34--but it was the start of a downhill slide that never really stopped for him.  He pitched over 250 innings in 1984 and 1985, which may have contributed to his slide.  He led the league in starts in both of those seasons.

This was one of the few good games of Wardle's career.  As a Twin, he was 1-3, 5.43 in 53 innings.  For his career, he was 8-9, 6.13 in 119 innings.

This was the third of a ten-game losing streak for the Twins.

Record:  The Twins were 21-19, in third place in the American League West, two games behind California.  They would finish 77-85, tied for fourth, 14 games behind Kansas City.

The Brewers were 16-21, in sixth place in the American League East, 8.5 games behind Toronto.  They would finish 71-90, in sixth place, 28 games behind Toronto.

It's remarkable how many times a team stays in more-or-less the same place they were early in the season.

Happy Birthday–January 21

Mike Tiernan (1867)
Lew Fonseca (1899)
Sam Mele (1922)
Danny O'Connell (1927)
Johnny Oates (1946)
Bill Stein (1947)
Mike Krukow (1952)
Dave Smith (1955)
Mike Smithson (1955)
Jose Uribe (1959)
Andy Hawkins (1960)
Darryl Motley (1960)
Chris Hammond (1966)
Tom Urbani (1968)
Rusty Greer (1969)
Jason Ryan (1976)

Tom Urbani was drafted by Minnesota in the twenty-ninth round in 1989, but did not sign.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–January 21

1987 ALCS Champs’ Domecoming

I found this gem shortly after JeffA started his 1987 Rewind. This evening seemed like the appropriate time to share it. I didn't want to detract from Jeff's content, and in any case figured there were enough goodies that this would be worth its own post. Hope you don't mind, Chaps.

3 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 103 votes, average: 10.00 out of 10 (3 votes, average: 10.00 out of 10)
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