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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: 1968, Game Ninety


Date:  Friday, July 19.

Batting star:  Tony Oliva was 2-for-3 with a walk.  Cesar Tovar was 1-for-2 with two hit-by-pitches.

Pitching star:  Ron Perranoski struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up two hits.

Opposition stars:  Blue Moon Odom pitched eight innings, giving up two runs on six hits and three walks and striking out two.  Bert Campaneris was 4-for-4 with a stolen base, his twenty-seventh.  Sal Bando was 2-for-3 with a walk.  Reggie Jackson was 1-for-4 with a three-run homer, his sixteenth.

The game:  With two out and none on in the first, Rick Monday and Bando singled and Jackson hit a three-run homer.  In the bottom of the first, Tovar was hit by a pitch, Rich Reese singled, and Oliva walked, loading the bases with one out.  A wild pitch brought a run home and led to an intentional walk to Ted Uhlaender.  Frank Quilici hit a sacrifice fly, cutting the lead to 3-2.

And that was pretty much it.  Neither team got a man past first again until the sixth.  Campaneris singled, was bunted to second, and scored on Bando's single to make the lead 4-2.  The Twins never were able to get a man past first again, and 4-2 was the final score.

WP:  Odom (8-6).  LP:  Jim Merritt (5-11).  S:  Diego Segui (1).

Notes:  Reese was at first base.  This was the year Harmon Killebrew was injured in the all-star game and missed two months of the season.  He'd been having a poor season before that, batting just .204 when he was injured.

Rick Renick was at shortstop.  The Twins used four players at short in 1968, with Jackie Hernandez getting the most games there with 79.  Ron Clark had 44, Renick 40, and Tovar 35.  The only one of the who hit much was Tovar, but he was needed elsewhere and was probably stretched defensively at shortstop anyway.

Frank Quilici was at third.  The Twins used four players at third base, too, not counting Killebrew, who played 11 games there.  Tovar played the most, at 77.  Rich Rollins was there for 56, Ron Clark 53, and Quilici 40.  Again, Tovar was the only one who hit much.  The Twins played Tovar all over the diamond, but unfortunately they could only play him in one position at a time.

In this game Tovar was in left field in place of Bob Allison.  Allison may have been dealing with some minor injury, as he played sparingly or not at all for about a week.

Rollins pinch-hit for pitcher Merritt in the seventh.  Bruce Look pinch-hit for Renick in the ninth.  Hernandez pinch-ran for Johnny Roseboro in the ninth.  Allison pinch-hit for pitcher Perranoski in the ninth.

The only Twin over .300 at this time was Quilici, who was batting .315.  He would bat .212 in the second half of the season and finish at .245.  The leading batter for the Twins would be Oliva at .289, which was good for second in the league.  The Twins would bat .237, which was also good for second in the league.  Oakland led at .240.

With Killebrew missing so much time, Allison led the team with 22 home runs and Oliva was second with 18.  Killebrew hit 17.  The Twins hit 105 home runs, sixth in the league.  Detroit led with 185, which was 52 more than the second place team (Baltimore).

Merritt pitched seven innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and two walks and struck out three.  He pitched very well after the first inning, but unfortunately the rules don't allow mulligans.  Think how good Brad Radke would've been if they did.  On paper the Twins' rotation looks really good, although this was the Year of the Pitcher.  Dean Chance led in starts with 39 and went 16-16, 2.53.  Merritt was 12-16, 3.25.  Jim Kaat was 14-12, 2.94 and Dave Boswell was 10-13, 3.32.  When a fifth starter was needed, it was Jim Perry, who was 8-6, 2.27.

The bullpen was essentially four pitchers, five if you count Perry.  Perranoski was 8-7, 3.10 with 6 saves.  Al Worthington was 4-5, 2.71 with 18 saves.  Bob Miller was 0-3, 2.74 with two saves and Jim Roland was 4-1, 3.50.

The Twins were sixth in the league in ERA at 2.89.  Cleveland led at 2.66.  The Twins were fourth in WHIP at 1.14.  Cleveland led there, too at 1.11.

Record:  The Twins were 43-47, in sixth place in the American League, 15 games behind Detroit.  They would finish 79-83, in seventh place, 24 games behind Detroit.

The Athletics were 44-47, in fifth place in the American League, 14.5 games behind Detroit.  They would finish 82-80, in sixth place, 21 games behind Detroit.

Random record:  The Twins are 41-41 in Random Rewind games.

Random Rewind: 2009, Game Sixty-two


Date:  Thursday, June 11.

Batting stars:  Justin Morneau was 2-for-4.  Delmon Young was 2-for-4.  Joe Crede was 1-for-4 with a three-run homer, his tenth.

Pitching star:  Nick Blackburn pitched eight innings, giving up three runs on six hits and three walks and striking out three.

Opposition stars:  Jack Hannahan was 2-for-4 with a triple.  Adam Kennedy was 1-for-2 with a two-run homer (his fifth), a walk, and a hit-by-pitch.  Trevor Cahill pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and two walks and striking out two.  Brad Ziegler struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up a hit and a walk.

The game:  The Twins started the second with two singles, but nothing came of it.  In the fourth Morneau singled with one out.  Jason Kubel walked and Crede followed with a three-run homer, putting the Twins ahead 3-0.

That's all the Twins did on offense, but for a while it looked like that would be enough.  Blackburn appeared to be in control, giving up just three hits through seven innings.  With one out in the eighth, however, Hannahan tripled, Orlando Cabrera had an RBI single, and Kennedy hit a two-run homer, tying the score at 3-3.

We went to the bottom of the ninth.  Sean Henn started the inning and walked Jason Giambi.  Matt Guerrier came in and hit Kennedy with a pitch, moving the deciding run to second.  A bunt moved the runners up and Rajai Davis singled, ending the game in Oakland's favor.

WP:  Ziegler (1-1).  LP:  Henn (0-2).  S:  None.

Notes:  Brian Buscher was at first base, with Morneau at DH.  Kubel, who played the majority of games at DH, was in right field.  Michael Cuddyer, normally in right, was in center.  Carlos Gomez, normally in center, was given the day off.

Matt Tolbert was at second base in place of Alexi Casilla.  Casilla was in the process of losing the second base job, and would have lost it by now had the Twins had a decent alternative.  As his competition was Tolbert and Punto, he still managed to play the most games at the position, 72.

Brendan Harris was at shortstop.  He and Nick Punto shared the shortstop spot until the end of July, when the Twins traded for the above-mentioned Orlando Cabrera.

Gomez came in to run for Kubel in the eighth.  He then went to center, with Cuddyer moving to right.

Mauer, whose season didn't start until the first of May, was batting .410.  He would finish at .365.  Morneau was batting .340--he would finish at .274.  Kubel was batting .311--he would finish at .300.  Denard Span, who did not play in this game, batted .311.  He was essentially a regular, but is not listed as one because he did not play the most games at any one position.  He played 84 games in center, 74 in left, and 39 in right.

At the other end of the batting scale, Tolbert was batting .183.  For some reason, he led off in this game.  He would finish at .232.  Buscher was batting.195.  He would finish at .235.  The Twins were still third in batting in 2009 at .274.  Los Angeles led with .285.

Cuddyer led the team in home runs with 32.  Morneau was right behind at 30 and Mauer and Kubel were not far back at 28.  Crede contributed 15 and Young 12.  The Twins were ninth in home runs with 172.  New York led with 244.

Blackburn had a solid year for the Twins, going 11-11, 4.03.  He led the starters in ERA and was tied for the most starts with Scott Baker, who led the team in wins.  He went 15-9, 4.37.  From there it got kind of ugly.  Francisco Liriano 5-13, 5.80 and Glen Perkins was 6-7, 5.89.  Kevin Slowey went 10-3 despite a 4.86 ERA, and Carl Pavano was 5-4, 4.64 in 12 starts.  Anthony Swarzak also made 12 starts and went 3-7, 6.25.

The Twins did have a pretty solid bullpen.  Joe Nathan saved 47 games and had a 2.10 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP.  Guerrier, although he did not pitch well in this game, had an ERA of 2.36 and a WHIP of 0.97.  Jose Mijares appeared in 71 games, posting an ERA of 2.34 and a WHIP of 1.18.  Also contributing were Jon Rauch (1.72 ERA, 1.21 WHIP in 17 games) and Ron Mahay (2.00 ERA, 1.11 WHIP in 16 games).

The starters, though, dragged the Twins down to eleventh in ERA at 4.50.  Seattle led with 3.87.  They were sixth in WHIP at 1.38.  Seattle led that, too, at 1.30.

There were several "oh, yeah" Twins in this game:  TolbertHarrisCredeBuscherHenn.  The main thing I remember about Crede is the Twins Territory ad that referred to him as "Home Run Greedy Crede".

Oakland players with a Twins connection are Cabrera and Kurt Suzuki.

Hannahan's triple was one of five he had in his career.

The Twins were in a stretch where they won four out of five.  This was their only loss.

Record:  The Twins were 30-32, in second place in the American League Central, four games behind Detroit.  They would finish 87-76, in first place, one game ahead of Detroit.

The Athletics were 27-32, in fourth (last) place in the American League West, seven games behind Texas.  They would finish 75-87, in fourth place, 22 games behind Los Angeles.

Random record:  The Twins are 40-40 in Random Rewind games.

Random Rewind: 1973, Game One Hundred Twenty-eight


DateL  Sunday, August 26.

Batting star:  Jim Holt was 2-for-4 with a double.

Pitching stars:  Bert Blyleven struck out eleven in 7.2 innings, giving up three runs on nine hits and no walks.  Bill Hands retired all four men he faced, striking out two.

Opposition stars:  Jim Slaton pitched 8.2 innings, giving up two runs on six hits and a walk and striking out none.  Bob Coluccio was 2-for-4 with a double and a stolen base, his tenth.  Pedro Garcia was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer, his eleventh.

The game:  The Brewers put men on second and third with none out in the first, but Blyleven came back to strike out Johnny Briggs and George Scott before retiring Don Money on a liner to left.  In the second, however, Tim Johnson hit a two-out single and Garcia followed with a two-run homer, putting Milwaukee ahead 2-0.

Holt had a leadoff double in the third but did nothing came of it.  That was the only time either team got a man past first base until the sixth, when Coluccio doubled and Money delivered a two-out single to make it 3-0.

Brewers starter Slaton appeared to be in complete control.  In the ninth, however, Larry Hisle led off with a triple and Tony Oliva singled him home, making the score 3-1 and bringing the tying run up to bat.  Mike Adams came in to run for Oliva and got as far as second with two out.  Chris Short came in to face Steve Braun, but when Bobby Darwin pinch-hit he was intentionally walked.  That was the only man Short would face, as Carlos Velazquez came in to face pinch-hitter Eric Soderholm.  Soderholm delivered an RBI single, cutting the margin to 3-2 and putting the tying run on third.  Jerry Terrell fouled out to third, however, and the game was over.

WP:  Slaton (9-11).  LP:  Blyleven (15-14).  S:  Velazquez (2).

Notes:  Phil Roof caught in place of George Mitterwald, presumably because it was a day game after a night game.

Rich Reese was at first base, one of only four games he started for the Twins.  He was at the end of his career, having been released by Detroit a couple of weeks earlier, and was apparently brought back to the Twins out of sentiment.  Harmon Killebrew was still the primary first baseman, but he missed a couple of months due to injury.  Joe Lis played the most games at first in 1973, with 96.

Terrell shared the shortstop position with Danny Thompson.  Both were pretty much dead weight offensively.  Terrell was a little better, at .265/.297/.315.  Thompson batted .225/.259/.282.  Thompson played more games at short, 95 to 81.

Darwin was the regular right fielder, but was given the day off.  Holt, who played the most games in left (80), was in right, with Hisle in left.  Hisle also played quite a bit of center field, but Steve Brye played the most games there and was there in this game.

All the substitutions came in the ninth inning and are mentioned above.

Carew, not surprisingly, was leading the team in batting at .347.  He would finish at .350 and be the team's only .300 hitter.  The Twins would actually lead the league in batting at .270.  Carew was obviously a big part of that, but Holt batted .297, Oliva .291, and Braun .283.  Soderholm also batting .297 in 111 at-bats.

Darwin led the team in home runs with 18.  Mitterwald and Oliva each had 16, Hisle 15, and Holt 11.  The Twins were seventh in home runs with 120.

Blyleven, of course, was the ace of the pitching staff, going 20-17, 2.52.  Dick Woodson was 10-8, 3.95; Jim Kaat was 11-12, 4.41; Joe Decker was 10-10, 4.18.  Others to make double digit starts were Hands (7-10, 3.49) and Dave Goltz (6-4, 5.25).  Hands' record is deceiving.  In his fifteen starts he went 5-7, 4.55.  Moved to the bullpen, he was excellent, going 2-3, 1.34, 1.09 WHIP, and two saves in 47 relief innings.

The Twins didn't really have a closer.  Ken Sanders started the year as the closest thing to one, but he often was used for two or three innings.  He had eight saves, but also had an ERA of over six when he was waived in early August.  Ray Corbin took over the closer role and actually was fairly good, getting 14 saves.  The Twins preferred to have him in a longer role, so Bill Campbell was eventually made the closer near the season's end.

This was Bob Coluccio's rookie year.  He was a regular for Milwaukee for two seasons but couldn't get his batting average out of the .220s.  Presumably he was considered a fine fielder.

This was also Pedro Garcia's rookie year.  He batted .245/.296/.395, which was good enough to place him second in Rookie of the Year voting behind Al Bumbry.  That was as good as it would get for him, though.  He slumped to .199 the next year and was never a regular again.  His was a second baseman, and presumably was not all that good in the field, because while he spent a few seasons as a reserve he was never used at another position.

This was the end of a stretch in which the Twins lost eight out of nine.  They would win seven of the next nine.

Record:  The Twins were 60-68, in third place in the American League West, 16.5 games behind Oakland.  They would finish 81-81, in third place, 13 games behind Oakland.

The Brewers were 62-65, in fifth place in the American League East, 12.5 games behind Baltimore.  They would finish 74-88, in fifth place, 23 games behind Baltimore.

Random record:  The Twins are 38-35 in Random Rewind games.

Random Rewind: 1984, Game One Hundred Fourteen


Date:  Saturday, August 11.

Batting stars:  Tom Brunansky was 3-for-4 with two home runs (his twenty-second and twenty-third), a walk, and three RBIs.  Tim Teufel was 2-for-4 with a home run, his twelfth.  Randy Bush was 2-for-4 with a double and a walk.

Pitching stars:  Mike Smithson pitched 7.1 innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on seven hits and no walks and striking out six.  Ron Davis pitched 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up two hits and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Salome Barojas pitched 7.2 innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and four walks and striking out four.  Alvin Davis was 3-for-4 with a two-run homer (his twenty-fourth), a walk, and two runs.  Steve Henderson was 2-for-4 with a double.  Ken Phelps was 2-for-4.  Al Cowens was 2-for-5 with a double.

The game:  The Twins loaded the bases with two out in the first but could not score.  The Mariners put men on first and third with two out in the first but could not score.  In the third, however, Seattle did score--Jack Perconte hit a one-out double and Davis hit a two-out two-run homer to give the Mariners a 2-0 lead.

The Twins got one back in the fourth on Brunansky's homer.  It stayed 2-1 until the eighth.  With two out Bush walked and Brunansky struck again, hitting a two-run homer to give the Twins their first lead at 3-2.

The lead lasted until the bottom of the eighth.  With one out Spike Owen reached on an error.  Davis and Phelps followed with singles, tying the score, and Henderson hit a two-out double that put Seattle back in front 4-3.  The Twins came right back in the ninth, as Teufel hit a leadoff homer to tie it 4-4.

The Twins went down in order in the top of the tenth.  In the bottom half, Owen led off with a single and Davis walked.  Barry Bonnell fouled out, but Cowens delivered an RBI single that gave the Mariners the victory.

WP:  Edwin Nunez (2-1).  LP:  Pete Filson (6-4).  S:  None.

Notes:  Tim Laudner was the catcher.  He shared the job with Dave Engle in 1984, with Engle catching slightly more games (86 to 81).  Neither was anything great at the plate--Engle hit for a better average, Laudner had more power, but both posted an OPS below .670.  Neither had a reputation as a great defensive catcher, either.

Darrell Brown was in left in place of Mickey Hatcher, who was out for a few days.

Andre David pinch-hit for Houston Jimenez in the seventh.  Ron Washington came in to play shortstop.

Kent Hrbek was leading the team in batting average at .326.  He would finish at .311.  Kirby Puckett was batting .301.  He would finish at .296.  Hatcher would also finish over .300, at .302.

The Twins had three solid starters in 1984:  Frank Viola (18-12, 3.21), Smithson (15-13, 3.68), and John Butcher (13-11, 3.44).  They couldn't find a fourth or a fifth, though.  Making double-digit starts were Ken Schrom (5-11, 4.47), Ed Hodge (4-3, 4.77), and Al Williams (3-5, 5.77).

If you're like me, when 1984 came up and you saw the Twins had lost in extra innings, you may have suspected that Davis had blown the game.  Well, yes and no.  He came in in the eighth inning with men on first and second, one out, and a tie game.  He retired one man and then gave up the RBI double to Henderson that put Seattle in front 4-3.  The Twins tied it in the ninth and he retired the side in the bottom of the ninth with no trouble.  Filson came in to start the tenth and Mike Walters eventually gave up the deciding hit.

Even though the Twins were in contention most of the way, they were a pretty flawed team.  They had some very good players, but also some very obvious holes.  We discussed catcher and fourth and fifth starter.  Another hole was shortstop.  Jimenez played the most there, but batted .201/.238/.245 in 317 plate appearances.  Washington was a superior batter, batting .294/.307/.447 in 206 plate appearances, but he was not good enough to field the position.  Others tried were Lenny Faedo and Chris Speier (at the end of his career).  Had the Twins been able to find even an average shortstop, they probably would have won the division.

Record:  The Twins were 59-55, in first place in the American League West, 1.5 games ahead of California.  They would finish 81-81, tied for second with California, three games behind Kansas City.

The Mariners were 53-65, in sixth place in the American League West, 8 games behind Minnesota.  They would finish 74-88, tied for fifth with Chicago, 10 games behind Kansas City.

Rewind Record:  The Twins are 35-29 in Random Rewind games.

Random Rewind: 2015, Game One Hundred Four


Date:  Monday, August 17.

Batting stars:  Trevor Plouffe was 3-for-5 with a home run (his eighteenth), two runs, and two RBIs.  Miguel Sano was 3-for-5 with a two-run homer, his eighth.  Brian Dozier was 3-for-5 with a stolen base, his tenth.  Eddie Rosario was 2-for-5.  Aaron Hicks was 1-for-6 with a home run, his eighth.

Pitching stars:  Casey Fien struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up a walk.  Kevin Jepsen pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.

Opposition stars:  Brian McCann was 3-for-5 with a home run (his twenty-first), a double, and five RBIs.  Jacoby Ellsbury was 3-for-5.  Carlos Beltran was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his thirteenth.

The game:  The Yankees jumped on Kyle Gibson for three runs in the first inning.  Ellsbury led off with a single, Alex Rodriguez drew a one-out walk, and McCann hit a three-run homer to give New York a 3-0 lead.

To their credit, the Twins battled back.  With two out in the second, consecutive singles by RosarioKurt Suzuki, and Eduardo Nunez got them on the board.  In the third, Dozier led off with a single and Sano hit a one-out two-run homer to tie the game.  Plouffe then singled, went to third on an error, and scored on a Rosario single to put the Twins ahead 4-3.

The lead didn't last long.  In the fourth, Ellsbury led off with a single and Brett Gardner walked.  Rodriguez reached on an error, but Ellsbury was thrown out trying to score, leaving men on first and third.  Rodriguez stole second with two out and McCann delivered a two-run single to put New York back in front 5-4.

Again, the Twins battled back.  Hicks led off the fourth with a home run and Plouffe led off the fifth with a home run, giving the Twins a 6-5 lead.  In the sixth, consecutive two-out singles by Joe MauerSano, and Plouffe made it 7-5 Twins.  In the bottom of the sixth, however, Mark Teixeira walked and Beltran hit a two-run homer to tie the score 7-7.

The Yankees loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh but did not score.  There were no other threats in regulation, so we went to an extra inning.  Greg Bird and McCann led off with back-to-back doubles, but Bird only got to third base on McCann's double, so the game continued.  Beltran was intentionally walked, but Chase Headley hit a weak ground ball to short that scored the deciding run.

WP:  Andrew Miller (1-2).  LP:  Glen Perkins (1-4).  S:  None.

Notes:  The leader in batting average in the starting lineup was Miguel Sano at .292.

In addition to those listed above, Twins relivers used were Brian Duensing and Ryan O'Rourke.

Nunez was at shortstop in this game.  Eduardo Escobar is listed as the starting shortstop in 2015, but he played just seventy-one games there.  Next highest was Danny Santana at sixty-six.  Escobar did come into the game in the tenth after the bases were loaded.  He replaced Torii Hunter and is listed in right field, but I suspect Paul Molitor went with a five-man infield.

Twins starter Kyle Gibson pitched five innings, allowing six runs on four hits and three walks and striking out two.  Yankees starter Bryan Mitchell pitched 1.2 innings, giving up one run on four hits and no walks and striking out two.  Mitchell came out after Nunez hit a line drive back to the pitcher, which I assume is why he was removed.  He would not pitch again until August 28.

When I saw the game random.org had given me, I thought seriously about telling it to try again.  I decided against it, but if it gives me very many more like this we may have to change the rules.

In real life, 2015 doesn't seem very long ago to me.  When I look at some of these names, though, it does.

Record:  The Twins were 59-59, in second place in the American League Central, 12.5 games behind Kansas City.  The Twins would end the season 83-79, in second place in the American League Central, twelve games behind Kansas City.

The Yankees were 65-52, in first place in the American League East, one game ahead of Toronto.  The Yankees would finish 87-75, in second place in the American League East, six games behind Toronto.  They did, however, win the wild card.