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1970 Rewind: Game Sixty-eight


Date:  Sunday, June 28.

Batting stars:  Tony Oliva was 3-for-5 with a two-run homer (his eleventh) and three runs.  George Mitterwald was 3-for-5 with a home run (his sixth) and four RBIs.  Cesar Tovar was 2-for-5 with a hit-by-pitch and two stolen bases (his sixteenth and seventeenth).

Pitching stars:  Ron Perranoski pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk.  Tom Hall pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Ken Berry was 2-for-4 with a home run (his sixth) and two RBIs.  Syd O'Brien was 2-for-4 with a double.  Bill Melton was 2-for-5 with a home run (his fourteenth), two runs, and two RBIs.  Danny Murphy was 1-for-1 with a home run.  He also pitched four innings, giving up an unearned run on three hits and three walks.  Luis Aparicio was 1-for-3 with a home run (his third), two walks, and two runs.

The game:  The Twins scored four in the top of the first inning.  Tovar led off with a single, went to second on a ground out, stole third, and scored on a sacrifice fly.  Oliva then singled, Brant Alyea walked, and Mitterwald hit a three-run homer, putting the Twins up 4-0.

The lead lasted until the bottom of the first.  O'Brien led off with a double and Aparicio walked.  Starter Dave Boswell then came out of the game due to injury.  Dick Woodson came in.  Carlos May walked, loading the bases.  An error brought home two runs, Ed Herrmann singled home a run, Rich McKinney hit a two-run double, and after McKinney was picked off Berry hit a home run, giving the White Sox a 6-4 lead after one inning.  It went to 8-4 in the second, as singles by Melton, Bob Spence, Berry, and Barry Moore plated two runs.

The Twins got back into it in the third.  Harmon Killebrew walked, Oliva singled, and Alyea was hit by a pitch, loading the bases with none out.  A pair of RBI ground outs and a run-scoring double by Frank Quilici cut the Chicago lead to 8-7 through three innings.

The Twins put two on in the fifth but did not score.  In the bottom of the fifth, solo homers by Murphy and Aparicio made it 10-7 White Sox.  Melton homered in the sixth to make it 11-7.

In the seventh, walks to Jim Holt and Paul Ratliff and a two-out RBI single by Rick Renick cut the lead to 11-8.  In the eighth Killebrew singled and Oliva followed with a two-run homer to make it 11-10.  But that was as good as it got.  The Twins had men on first and second with two out, but a ground out ended the inning.  In the ninth Tovar singled and stole second with one out, but a pair of strikeouts ended the game.

WP:  Murphy (1-0).

LP:  Woodson (0-1).

S:  Wilbur Wood (11).

Notes:  Danny Thompson remained at second base in place of Rod Carew.  Quilici pinch-hit for Thompson in the third and stayed in the game at second base.  Bob Allison pinch-hit for pitcher Steve Barber in the third.  Holt pinch-hit for Alyea in the seventh and stayed in the game in left field.  Paul Ratliff pinch-hit for Quilici in the seventh.  Herman Hill pinch-hit for pitcher Jim Kaat in the seventh, but when Wood then came in to pitch Renick pinch-hit for Hill.  Renick stayed in the game in left field, with Holt moving to center and Tovar to second.  Tom Tischinski pinch-hit for pitcher Ron Perranoski in the eighth.

Oliva was batting .327.  Killebrew was 1-for-4 and was batting .305.  Bill Zepp gave up two runs in 2.2 innings and had an ERA of 2.80.  Perransoki had an ERA of 1.75.  Hall had an ERA of 2.18.

Thompson was 0-for-1 and was batting .188.  Quilici was 1-for-2 and was batting .180.  Boswell gave up two runs in zero innings and had an ERA of 6.55.

Boswell had doubtless been pitching with an injury all season, but it apparently finally became too much for him in this game.  He would make his next start, however, making five starts in July before finally giving up.

Hall, as you may remember, had pitched 6.2 innings in the first game of the doubleheader, then came in to pitch an inning in the second game.  I wonder when the last time is someone started the first game of a doubleheader and then relieved in the second game.  I especially wonder when the last time is someone started and pitched that many innings in the first game and then relieved in the second game.  In the b-r.com game log, under days rest, it says "-1".

The Twins used seven reserve position players in this game.  I don't know if it was a better game when teams had that many players on the bench, but I think it was more fun.  They also used seven pitchers.

Tom Tischinski was one of those seven.  He got his first at-bat of the season in this game, going 0-for-1.  He would stay with the Twins the rest of the season as the third catcher.

Wood got a hit in this game, going 1-for-1.  He had two hits in all of 1970, going 2-for-18.

The Twins closed out their road trip of three of the worst teams in the league with a record of 5-6.  They would now go home to play two of those same teams, Kansas City and Chicago.

Record:  The Twins were 43-25, in first place in the American League West, three games ahead of California.

1970 Rewind: Game Fifty-five


Batting stars:  Tony Oliva was 2-for-4.  Harmon Killebrew was 1-for-2 with a three-run homer (his sixteenth), two walks, and two runs.

Pitching stars:  Bill Zepp pitched 2.1 scoreless innings, giving up two hits and a walk.  Ron Perranoski struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up a hit and a walk.

Opposition stars:  Ed Stroud was 2-for-4.  Frank Howard was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer (his nineteenth) and two walks.

The game:  The Senators took the early lead, as Stroud hit a one-out single in the first and Howard followed with a two-run homer.  Rod Carew hit a one-out double in the bottom of the first but was stranded at third base.  The Twins got on the board in the third, however, when Cesar Tovar hit a one-out triple and scored on Oliva's two-out single.

Washington got the run back in the fifth.  Jim French led off the inning with a walk.  Stroud drew a two-out walk, putting men on first and second.  Howard was then intentionally walked, loading the bases, and Mike Epstein drew an accidental walk, forcing in a run.  Rick Reichardt grounded out to end the inning, but the Senators led 3-1.

The Twins got one back in the sixth when Killebrew drew a one-out walk, went to third on a Rich Reese double, and scored on a ground out.  They finally took the lead in the seventh.  Tovar was hit by a pitch with one out.  With two down, Oliva singled and Killebrew followed with a three-run homer, putting Minnesota ahead 5-3.  That's where it stayed, as the Senators got only one hit in the last two innings.

WP:  Zepp (3-0).

LP:  Joe Coleman (5-4).

S:  Perranoski (16).

Notes:  Jim Holt was again in left field in place of Brant Alyea.  Charlie Manuel pinch-hit for Zepp in the seventh.  Frank Quilici replaced him and went to third base as part of a double switch, with Perranoski replacing Killebrew in the lineup.

Carew was 1-for-4 and was batting .370.  Oliva was batting .336.  Killebrew was batting .326.  Tom Hall gave up no runs in two-thirds of an inning and had an ERA of 2.45.  Zepp had an ERA of 2.97.  Perranoski had an ERA of 1.91.

Manuel was 0-for-1 and was batting .188.  Quilici was 0-for-1 and was batting .167.  Dave Boswell allowed three runs in four innings and had an ERA of 7.09.

Coleman struck out nine in 7.1 innings, giving up five runs on nine hits and three walks.

This was Boswell's tenth start of the season, and he had yet to have a game score as high as fifty.  He'd gone 20-12, 3.23 the year before.  He clearly wasn't right, but Bill Rigney continued to run him out there.  It would be another month and a half before Boswell finally left the rotation, and he never had a good season again.

Some interesting managerial decisions regarding the other team's big slugger in this game.  In the fifth, Washington had men on first and second with two out, leading 2-1.  Despite the fact that the only open base was third, Rigney ordered an intentional walk to Frank Howard, moving two men into scoring position.  It backfired to an extent, as Epstein walked to force in a run, but that was the only run the Senators got and it was better than having Howard hit a three-run homer.  In the seventh, the Twins also had men on first and second with two out, trailing 3-2.  Washington manager Ted Williams had his pitcher pitch to Harmon Killebrew, who hit a three-run homer to provide the margin of victory.  That's not to say Rigney was right and Williams was wrong--strategy is one thing, and how well you execute the strategy is another.  It's just interesting that managers went opposite ways in a similar situation in the same game.

Record:  The Twins were 37-18, in first place in the American League West, 4.5 games ahead of California.

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Forty-seven


Date:  Wednesday, September 18.

Batting stars:  Gene Larkin was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk.  Mike Pagliarulo was 2-for-3 with two RBIs.

Pitching star:  Willie Banks pitched three innings, giving up one run on four hits and two walks and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Jorge Pedre was 2-for-3.  George Brett was 2-for-4 with a double.  Todd Benzinger was 2-for-5 with a triple and two runs.  Kurt Stillwell was 2-for-5 with a double.

The game:  It was scoreless through three, with each team managing only one hit.  In the fourth, however, Brett had a one-out double, Danny Tartabull walked, and Jim Eisenreich delivered a two-run triple.  Eisenreich was then picked off third, but Twins catcher Junior Ortiz threw the ball away, allowing him to score and making it 3-0 Royals.

The Twins came back to tie it in the fifth.  Chili Davis walked, Shane Mack was hit by a pitch, and Larkin walked, loading the bases with none out.  Pagliarulo singled in two and a ground out brought home a third to make it 3-3.  The tie only lasted until Kansas City batted in the sixth.  Stillwell doubled and scored on a Tartabull single.  Benzinger drove in Tartabull with a triple and Bill Pecota followed with an RBI double.  David Howard singled to put men on first and third, and Pedre then circled the bases on a three-run single-plus-error, giving the Royals a 9-3 advantage.

It was pretty much over at that point Mike MacFarlane had an RBI single in the eighth to make it 10-3 and Greg Gagne had an RBI double in the ninth to make the final 10-4.

WP:  Luis Aquino (8-3).  LP:  Scott Erickson (18-7).  S:  None.

Notes:  Mack was in left and Larkin in right with Dan Gladden on the bench.  Gagne moved into the leadoff spot.  Ortiz was behind the plate in place of Brian Harper.

Lenny Webster came in to catch in the seventh, replacing Ortiz once Erickson was out of the game.  Pedro Munoz pinch-hit for Pagliarulo in the ninth.

Kirby Puckett was 0-for-5 and was batting .321.  He was 1-for-16 and 5-for-34 since September 8.  Mack was 0-for-3 and was batting .308.  Webster was 0-for-1 and was batting .391.

Erickson continued to try to pitch through his injury, and it continued to not work very well.  He did well for three innings, but his line was 5.2 innings, seven runs (six earned), eight hits, one walk, four strikeouts.  His ERA was up to 3.34, still quite good but nowhere near what it had been earlier in the season.

Carl Willis gave up two unearned runs in a third of an inning, making his ERA 2.34.

This was the fifth big league appearance of Banks' career, and his last of 1991.  He would go on to pitch for the Twins through 1993 and would be in the big leagues through 2002.

I mentioned a few days back that Jorge Pedre played in fourteen major league games, going 5-for-23.  Three of his five hits came against the Twins.  He was 3-for-5 with a double against the Twins, for a slash line of .600/.600/.800.  Against everyone else, then, he had a slash line of .111/.238/.222.  Maybe if he'd played against the Twins more, he'd have had a longer career.

The White Sox defeated Oakland 6-0 to come a game closer to the Twins.  The lead was not in serious jeopardy, but I suspect at least a few Twins fans were thinking "you never know..."

Record:  The Twins were 87-60, in first place in the American League West, six games ahead of Chicago.

In the East, Toronto and Boston both won, keeping the Blue Jays' lead at 2.5 games.

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Twenty-six


Date:  Sunday, August 25.

Batting stars:  Mike Pagliarulo was 2-for-4 with a double.  Greg Gagne was 2-for-4 with a stolen base, his tenth.

Pitching stars:  Terry Leach pitched 2.1 innings, giving up one run on two hits and striking out one.  Mark Guthrie pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and two walks and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Mike Mussina pitched eight innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on seven hits and four walks and striking out four.  Chito Martinez was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and two RBIs.  Leo Gomez was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.  Joe Orsulak was 2-for-4 with a double.

The game:  It was scoreless through three, and Scott Erickson had given up just one hit, a single.  It fell apart in the fourth, though.  Orsulak led off with a single.  With one out, Glenn Davis singled and Randy Milligan walked, loading the bases.  Martinez singled in a run, Gomez doubled home two, and a sacrifice fly made it 4-0 Orioles.

The Twins came back with two in the fifth.  Pagliarulo led off with a double and scored on a pair of ground outs.  Dan Gladden then singled, stole second, and scored on a Gagne single to cut the lead to 4-2.  In the bottom of the fifth, however, Baltimore added three more.  Orsulak had a one-out double and Cal Ripken was intentionally walked.  A wild pitch advanced the runners.  With two out, Milligan hit a two-run double and Martinez followed with another double, making the score 7-2.

The Twins got one back in the fifth.  Kent Hrbek led off with a single, a ground out advanced him to second, and an error brought him home to cut the margin to 7-3.  That was as close as it got, though.  The Twins did not even get another threat going until the ninth.  Pagliarulo and Chuck Knoblauch led off with singles, but a double play followed.  Randy Bush walked, but Gene Larkin lined out to end the game.

WP:  Mussina (2-3).  LP:  Erickson (16-6).  S:  Todd Frohwirth (2).

Notes:  With Erickson pitching, Junior Ortiz caught in place of Brian Harper.  Al Newman was at second base in place of Knoblauch.

The Twins again made liberal use of the bench, using three pinch-hitters in the ninth inning.  Knoblauch batted for Ortiz, Bush batted for Gladden, and Larkin batted for Gagne.  Oddly, Newman and his .207 batting average (and .504 OPS) were not pinch-hit for.

Kirby Puckett was 0-for-4 to drop his average to .328.  Shane Mack was 0-for-4 and fell to .305.

Erickson continued to struggle.  He pitched well for three innings, but his line was 4.1 innings, six runs, six hits, two walks, and three strikeouts.  His ERA went up to 3.22.  Leach's ERA went to 2.78.

Frohwirth had an awesome year in 1991.  He started the year in AAA, not coming to the majors until late May, but once he got there he went 7-3, 1.87, 0.97 WHIP with three saves.  He had another good year in 1992 and was still fairly good in 1993, then he fell off a cliff.  In 1994, pitching for Boston, he went 0-3, 10.80, 2.14 WHIP.  He made only four more major league appearances, for California in 1996.  I suspect an injury was involved, but I don't remember and don't have time to check.

The White Sox lost to Cleveland 3-0 and Oakland lost to Milwaukee 8-2, so the Twins' lead remained the same.

Record:  The Twins were 75-51, in first place in the American League West, six games ahead of Chicago and Oakland.

1991 Rewind: Game One Hundred Sixteen


Date:  Thursday, August 15.

Batting stars:  Dan Gladden was 2-for-4 with a stolen base, his ninth.  Chuck Knoblauch was 1-for-2 with two walks.

Pitching star:  Terry Leach pitched 3.2 innings, giving up one run on one hit.

Opposition stars:  Mark Langston pitched seven shutout innings, giving up two hits and three walks and striking out three.  Shawn Abner was 2-for-4 with a home run (his second), two runs, and two RBIs.  Lance Parrish was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer, his fifteenth.  Wally Joyner was 2-for-5 with two doubles and two RBIs.  Luis Sojo was 1-for-4 with a home run, his second.

The game:  The Twins had men on first and second with none out in the first and did not score.  In the third, the Angels exploded for five runs.  With one out, Joyner doubled and Gary Gaetti singled him to third.  Dave Parker hit an RBI double, there was a run-scoring ground out, Abner had an RBI single, and Parrish hit a two-run homer,  making the score 5-0 California.

The Twins had men on first and second with two out in the third and did not score.  Abner homered in the fifth to make it 6-0.  In the sixth, Donnie Hill walked and Luis Polonia and Joyner hit back-to-back doubles to increase the lead to 8-0.  Sojo homered in the eighth to make it 9-0.

The Twins finally got on the board in the bottom of the eighth.  With two out, they got consecutive singles by GladdenKnoblauch, and Shane Mack, avoiding the shutout with a score of 9-1.

WP:  Langston (15-6).  LP:  Scott Erickson (15-5).  S:  None.

Notes:  Gene Larkin was at first base with Kent Hrbek on the bench.  With Erickson pitching, Junior Ortiz was behind the plate in place of Brian Harper.  Al Newman was at shortstop in place of Greg Gagne.

With the changes, Mack was in the third spot in the batting order, with Puckett batting fourth and Chili Davis fifth.

Erickson pitched just three innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and a walk.  His ERA went to 2.89.  It was his second consecutive bad start and third out of four.  His injury was clearly affecting him, but the Twins kept sending him out there.

Puckett was 0-for-4 and was batting .323.  Ortiz was 0-for-4 and was batting .194.  Denny Neagle allowed three runs in 2.1 innings to make his ERA 5.63.  Leach's ERA went down to 2.73.

I'm pretty sure that, when Mike Fetters came in to pitch the ninth for the Angels, John Gordon solemnly stated, "This is not a save situation."

1991 was probably Langston's best year.  He went 19-8, 3.00, 1.16 WHIP.  He finished sixth in Cy Young voting that year and probably should have been higher.  From 1987-1995 he was a consistently good pitcher, making the all-star team four times, but 1991 was the best.

The White Sox lost to Detroit 6-4, so the Twins maintained their lead.

Record:  The Twins were 68-48, in first place in the American League West, 1.5 games ahead of Chicago.