Tag Archives: pennant race

Random Rewind: 1962, Game One Hundred Thirty-two

KANSAS CITY 12, MINNESOTA 1 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Friday, August 24.

Batting stars:  Zoilo Versalles was 2-for-4.  Bernie Allen was 1-for-3 with a walk.

Pitching stars:  Georges Maranda struck out three in 2.2 scoreless innings, giving up one hit.  Frank Sullivan pitched two scoreless innings, giving up three walks and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Orlando Pena pitched a complete game, giving up one run on five hits and five walks and striking out three.  Billy Bryan was 2-for-4 with a three-run homer (his second) and a walk.  Norm Siebern was 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, and two runs.  Jerry Lumpe was 2-for-4 with a walk, two runs, and two RBIs.  Bobby Del Greco was 2-for-4 with a walk, a hit-by-pitch, and two runs. Gino Cimoli was 2-for-5 with a double, two runs, and four RBIs.  Wayne Causey was 2-for-5 with two RBIs.  Ed Charles was 2-for-6.

The game:  Del Greco led off the game with a base hit, went to second on a passed ball, and scored on Lumpe's single.  The Twins loaded the bases with two out in the second, but nothing came of it.

Then came the third.   Del Greco and Charles singled.  An error brought home a run.  Siebern had a two-run double.  That chased starter Bill Pleis and brought in Lee Stange.  He gave up a two-run single to Cimoli, a single to George Alusik, an RBI single to Causey, and a three-run homer by Bryan.  The first eight batter reached base, all scored, and it was 9-0 Athletics.

That was pretty much it.  The Twins scored in the fifth when Versalles singled, Don Mincher walked, a force out put men on first and third, and Vic Power hit a sacrifice fly.  Kansas City added three in the eighth when Lumpe and Siebern singled, Cimoli hit a two-run double, and Causey had an RBI single.

WP:  Pena (2-1).  LP:  Pleis (2-4).  S:  None.

Notes:  The Twins used their standard lineup at the time.  Jerry Zimmerman caught the ninth to give Earl Battey a break.  MincherJohnny Goryl, and George Banks were used as pinch-hitters for various pitchers.

Rollins was the only batter over .300, at .308.  He would finish at .298.  He was a good batter in 1962 and 1963, still fairly good in 1964, but then just stopped hitting.  I think injuries may have been involved, but I really don't remember.  He would continue to play through 1970, but he really was not very good for his last several seasons.

Pleis lasted just two innings, allowing five runs (three earned) on six hits and one walk and striking out three.  This was the last of four starts he would make in 1962 and one of only ten in his career.  He did have some good years out of the bullpen.

Orlando Pena had a very long career, pitching through 1975, when he was forty-one.  He was a reliever in 1958-1960, a starter through 1964, and then went back to the bullpen to stay, other than an occasional spot start.  If I had more time I'd give more of a biography--it looks like it would be fairly interesting.  He pitched for eight different teams.  It doesn't look like he was ever a team's main short reliever, but he was usually an important part of the bullpen.  His career numbers:  58-77, 3.71, 40 saves, 1.27 WHIP.  Nothing great, but not too shabby, either.  He appeared in 427 games and pitched 1202 innings.  A very respectable career.

The Twins were in a pennant race in 1962, so a loss to the lowly Athletics was costly.  It was their third straight loss, but they would go on to win eight of their next ten and ten of their next thirteen.

Record:  The Twins were 79-52, in third place in the American League, 5.5 games behind New York.  They would finish 91-71, in second place, five games behind New York.

The Athletics were 60-70, in ninth place in the American League, seventeen games behind New York.  They would finish 72-90, in ninth place, twenty-four games behind New York.

Game 155: royals @ twins

What a difference a week makes.

Last week, as I wrote the game log, I was deeply concerned about the potential for a sweep -- and not the awesome kind we got treated to. The rotation is in tatters, all of the power hitters hurt or swinging wildly. We were going into a doubleheader armed with nothing but bullpen games.

And then, Saturday happened.

Now, it's all about getting ready for the Yankees. Wherever we end up facing them, the name of the game is putting this team in the best position to make it to the ALCS.

To that end, Berrios gets his penultimate warmup start tonight. I'm not expecting that he'll go very deep into the game. I'd hope that after six, they've got a big enough lead that they can give guys like Alcala and Hildenberger some face time.

They take on a Royals team that (shy of Soler) has basically folded for the year. The first two games have gone largely according to plan. Let's press on toward that sweep and, dare I say it, 103 wins.

Game 141: Division Chasers at Division Leaders

Last night's game felt special. Cleveland lost early in the day. There was a chance to extend the lead. Things weren't working amazingly for the offense, but they did enough, and the pitching really stepped up. It had the feel of a team that knew what they had to do, and just executing. And then that final play... Winning a game on a memorable play like that... it seems like the kind of thing you see from the teams that are putting the pressure on others, not dealing with it themselves.

And tonight, the Twins get to apply that pressure directly. With a 6.5 game lead and just 22 to play, Cleveland is running out of room fast. Every win the Twins rack up this weekend further dents the Indians' chances to make to playoffs. It's a stark difference from the last time Cleveland left town, having tied up the division. Two very different directions for the clubs, and now it feels like the Twins can play loose and easy, and let their game be what it is.

I'm looking forward to a great weekend series, and hopefully, maybe even a Francisco Lindor concession speech.

Game 123: twins @ rangers

Okay, that's more like it.

This is pretty clearly going to be a dogfight to the end of the season, but last weekend, things were looking pretty dire.

They still need to tighten up just about every part of their game (the defense,in particular, has looked really sloppy these last few weeks), but now that the Twins are taking on lesser teams, and now that the Clevelanders are taking on actual contenders, this thing looks doable.

Berrios takes on Jurado tonight. This SHOULD be a winnable game. Let's make it happen.

I'm taking MarWIN.

Game 122: Twins at Rangers

What is there to say at this point of the season? It's a beautiful August evening, the Twins are in a pennant race, we've got a few weeks left of summer (today's discussion notwithstanding), and the weekend is here. Crack open a cold one, crank up the 'CCO, find some outdoor project to tinker on, or neighbor to chat with, and listen to the Twins bring another W home.

This is the good life.

This is why we're here.

Game 117: Clevelanders @ Twins

This sucks, folks.

No way around it. Yes, Cleveland has done insanely well over the past 50+ games, but a double digits lead evaporated quick enough to make my head spin. It sucks.

But! We've still got the easiest schedule in baseball going forward, and I still feel that we've got this.

One of the most important pieces moving forward toward the division title takes the hill today. Odorizzi played like a deserving all star in the first half, and has played like someone who wants to go into free agency looking for a pillow contract so far in the last month or so. That needs to turn around. We need Buxton and Cruz, but it all begins with getting better starts from our rotation.

Get it done, Odo.

Game 116: Cleveland at Minnesota

Alternatively titled: In Which The Twins Get Off Their Butts And Start Winning Games Again, Thus Marking The Part Of The Season Where They Take Care Of Business Like The Professional Hitters They Are, And Also Who Does This Shane Bieber Think He Is, Anyway?

Let's see what this Smeltzer kid has when he's used as more of a conventional attack than a surprise one, eh?

Featured image courtesy of our division lead.

Game 91: twins @ cleveland

Well, that was fun! Let's do it again.

I think Gibson is a decent pitcher, but he is prone to the type of game he had last night, where he just doesn't have it. Rocco realizing that in the fourth inning and taking him out probably saved the ballgame. That's the type of good decision making that adds up over a season and becomes magnified in the postseason.

It also turned "I don't have a good feeling about this series" to "hey, this could work..."

Trying to keep the good vibes going today is Jake Odorizzi. He's taken a bit of a tumble lately, bit I'm thinking that his true self is somewhere between the truly great April and May that he had and the significantly less good June where he lost his hold on the All Star Game start and, eventually, a couple of layers of skin on one of his fingers.

We all know this series is big. A win or (dare I even a think it) a sweep puts Cleveland back in their places and (hopefully) gives them a seller's mentality here in the next few weeks.

Cleveland counters with Trevor Bauer. He's been up and down lately after his strong start. The Twins got to him last time. Hopefully, they do it again.

I've got Kepler today, btw. Go Twins!