DETROIT 2, MINNESOTA 1 IN DETROIT
Date: Saturday, June 3.
Batting star: Zoilo Versalles was 2-for-4.
Pitching star: Pedro Ramos pitched seven innings, giving up one run on four hits and five walks and striking out five.
Opposition stars: Don Mossi pitched a complete game, giving up one run on seven hits and one walk and striking out four. Rocky Colavito was 1-for-4 with a home run (his fourteenth), two walks, and two runs.
The game: The Tigers put two on in the second and the Twins put two on in the third, but there was no score until the sixth. Colavito drew a one-out walk and Norm Cash followed with a single-plus-error, putting men on second and third. Steve Boros was intentionally walked, but Charlie Maxwell was accidentally walked, forcing in the first run of the game.
The Twins got a pair of two-out singles in the eighth, but could not get on the board. Colavito homered leading off the bottom of the eighth to make it 2-0. Bill Tuttle led off the ninth with a single and Jim Lemon drew a one-out walk. A forceout put men on first and third with two down. Bob Allison singled, making it 2-1 and putting the winning run on base, but Billy Martin hit into a forceout to end the game.
WP: Mossi (6-0). LP: Ramos (3-6). S: None.
Notes: Allison was at first base, with Harmon Killebrew at third. Killebrew normally played first in 1961, and when he didn't Don Mincher was usually at first--Allison played the vast majority of his games in right field. I don't know why the Twins went with this arrangement in this game. Tuttle, who did most of the third basing, was in center field, a position normally manned by Lenny Green. With Allison on first, Lemon moved from left to right and Green was in left.
When the bases were loaded with one out in the sixth, manager Cookie Lavagetto switched Green to right and Lemon to left. After the walk forced in the run, he moved them back. After Chico Fernandez fanned for the second out, he switched them around again. I'm sure he had very good reasons for it.
Billy Gardner pinch-hit for Earl Battey in the ninth. Jose Valdivielso pinch-ran for Lemon. Jim Kaat pinch-ran for Gardner.
Killebrew was batting .328. He would finish at .288. Versalles was batting .316. He would finish at .280. Green was batting .305. He would finish at .285.
We've been through the Twins 1961 stats at least a couple of times, so there's no need to repeat it.
This was Don Mossi's best year. He went 15-7, 2.96 with a WHIP of 1.18. He had 12 complete games. He was better than I realized: 101-80, 3.43, 1.21 WHIP. He appeared in 460 games, 165 of them starts. He spent his first five years with Cleveland and the next five with Detroit, finishing up with a year in Chicago and one in Kansas City.
Charlie Maxwell had a pretty long career, too. He first came to the big leagues in 1950 with Boston, but he never got a chance at regular play until mid-1955, when he was sold to Detroit. He responded in 1956 with a tremendous season, batting .326/413/.534 and making the first of two all-star teams. He was a regular through 1960, but he slumped to .237 that season and became a reserve in 1961. He kept playing through 1964 and batted .264/.360/.451 for his career. One wonders what he might have done if he'd gotten a chance to play regularly before he was 29. yes, the Red Sox had Ted Williams and Dom DiMaggio at that time, but they were also giving regular play to people like Faye Throneberry and Tom Umphlett. It might have been worth giving Maxwell a shot.
This was the seventh game of a thirteen-game losing streak for the Twins. The also lost 18 of 19. Six of the first seven losses were by two runs or one run.
Record: The Twins were 19-26, in eighth place in the American League, 11 games behind Detroit. They would finish 70-90, tied for seventh, 38 games behind New York.
The Tigers were 31-16, in first place in the American League, two games ahead of Cleveland. They would finish 101-61, in second place, eight games behind New York.
Random record: The Twins are 59-54 in Random Rewind games.