Tag Archives: resting the regulars

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: 1977, Game One Hundred Eighteen


Date:  Monday, August 15.

Batting stars:  Dan Ford was 3-for-5 with a double, a stolen base (his sixth), two runs, and two RBIs.  Larry Hisle was 2-for-3 with a double, two walks, a stolen base (his eighteenth), two runs, and two RBIs.  Craig Kusick was 2-for-4 with two home runs (his ninth and tenth) and five RBIs.  Bob Gorinski was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer (his second).  Bobby Randall was 2-for-5 with two runs.

Pitching star:  Ron Schueler pitched three innings, giving up one run on two hits and no walks and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Ken Singleton was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer (his eighteenth), a walk, and two runs.  Eddie Murray was 2-for-4 with a walk and two RBIs.  Lee May was 2-for-4 with a home run, his ninteenth.  Al Bumbry was 2-for-4 with a double and a walk.  Andres Mora was 2-for-5 with two home runs (his eighth and ninth) and three RBIs.

The game:  Roy Smalley led off the game with a walk, was bunted to second, went to third on a ground out, and scored on Hisle's single to put the Twins up 1-0.  The Orioles took the lead in the bottom of the second when Bumbry and Singleton singled, May walked to load the bases, and Murray delivered a two-run single.  The Twins went back in front in the second when Butch Wynegar walked and Gorinski followed with a two-run homer.  It was 3-2 Twins after an inning and a half.

Baltimore took the lead back in the third when Singleton walked and Mora hit a two-run homer.  They added to their lead in the fourth when Dave Skaggs singled and scored on Bumbry's double-plus-error.  But in the fifth, Randall singled, Hisle walked, and Kusick hit a three-run homer to put the Twins ahead 6-5.

The Orioles loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth, but did not score.  It cost them, as the Twins scored five times in the sixth.  The first two batters went out, but then Smalley walked, Randall doubled, Ford had a two-run single, Hisle had an RBI double, and Kusick hit a two-run homer, making the score 11-5.

Baltimore tried to get back into it.  Singleton hit a two-run homer in the sixth and Mora a solo shot in the seventh to cut the lead to 11-8.  But the Twins got a run in the eighth when Ford doubled and scored on a Rod Carew single and one more in the ninth Lyman Bostock doubled and scored on a Bud Bulling single.  May homered in the ninth to complete the scoring, but the Orioles did not get the tying run even to the on-deck circle.

WP:  Schueler (5-4).  LP:  Rudy May (13-11).  S:  None.

NotesKusick, normally the DH, was at first base in place of CarewBulling was in the lineup at DH.  Jerry Terrell was at third in place of Mike Cubbage.  Bostock, normally in center, was out of the lineup, with Hisle moving from left to center and Gorinski in left.

Carew pinch-hit for Kusick in the eighth and stayed in the game at first base.  Cubbage pinch-hit for Terrell in the eighth and stayed in the game at third base.  Bostock pinch-hit for Gorinski in the ninth and stayed in the game in left.

Oddly, Bostock played 90 games in center and 60 in left, while Hisle played 71 games in left and 63 in center.  I don't remember, but it appears Gene Mauch couldn't make up his mind which way his defense would be stronger.  On the other hand, knowing Mauch, he may have based it on the field they were playing in, which way the wind was blowing, whether his pitcher was a groundball or a flyball pitcher, or any of a hundred other factors.

Carew was leading the team in batting at .380.  He would finish at .388.  Bostock was batting .334.  He would finish at .336.  Hisle would also finish over .300, at .302.  Unsurprisingly, the Twins led the league in batting average at .282.

Hisle led the team in homers with 28.  Carew and Bostock each hit 14.  Kusick has 12, Ford 11, and Wynegar 10.  The Twins were eleventh in the league in home runs.

Dave Goltz started for the Twins.  He had a good year in 1977, but you couldn't tell it from this game.  He lasted just four innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and two walks and striking out three.  By game scores, it was tied for his second-worst game of the season.  For the season, he was their best starting pitcher, and in fact their only reliable starting pitcher, going 20-11, 3.36.  The others were Paul Thormodsgard (11-15, 4.62), Geoff Zahn (12-14, 4.68), and Pete Redfern (6-9, 5.18).  It was pretty much a four-man rotation all year, as no one else made more than seven starts.  Reliever Tom Johnson was second on the team in wins, going 16-7, 3.13.  He also had 15 saves.

This was one of three games Bulling had at DH, and one of fifteen games he played as a Twin.  He was normally a catcher.

This was the only season of Gorinski's major league career.  The home run he hit was one of three in his career.  He had hit 28 home runs at AAA Toledo in 1976, and was one of a long line of "next Killebrews" before the Twins finally realized that you can't just create a "next Killebrew".

The Twins had three regulars out of the lineup, two of who were batting well over .300, and yet scored thirteen runs.  That's baseball.

Record:  The Twins were 68-50, in first place in the American League West, a half game ahead of Chicago.  They would finish 84-77, in fourth place, 17.5 games behind Kansas City.  The Royals went 38-10 after this date.

The Orioles were 67-49, in second place in the American League East, 3.5 games behind Boston.  They would finish 97-64, tied for second with Boston, 2.5 games behind New York.  The Yankees went 34-12 after this date.

Random Record:  The Twins are 35-27 in Random Rewind games.