Tag Archives: Rod Carew

Happy Birthday–October 1

Ray Kolp (1894)
Carmen Hill (1895)
Jimmie Reese (1901)
Jim Russell (1918)
Hal Naragon (1928)
Chuck Hiller (1934)
Rod Carew (1945)
Bill Bonham (1948)
Pete Falcone (1953)
Jeff Reardon (1955)
Vance Law (1956)
Mark McGwire (1963)
Roberto Kelly (1964)
Chuck McElroy (1967)
John Thomson (1973)
Brandon Knight (1975)
Matt Cain (1984)
Erik Komatsu (1987)

Jimmie Reese played in the majors only briefly, but was a coach in the majors or minors for most of his life.  He was Babe Ruth's roommate for a short period and uttered the famous line that in reality, he roomed with Babe Ruth's suitcase.  He is also remembered for his skill with a fungo bat, to the extent that he would sometimes pitch batting practice with it.

We would also like to wish Beau a very happy birthday.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–October 1

Random Rewind: 1977, Game Fifty

BOSTON 5, MINNESOTA 2 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Saturday, June 4.

Batting star:  Larry Hisle was 3-for-4 with a home run (his twelfth) and a double.

Pitching star:  Tom Burgmeier pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Bill Lee pitched a complete game, giving up two runs on six hits and no walks and striking out one.  Denny Doyle was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, a stolen base (his second), and two runs.  Bernie Carbo was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk.  Fred Lynn was 2-for-5 with two RBIs.  Carlton Fisk was 2-for-5 with a stolen base, his fifth.

The game:  The Twins had men on first and third with none out in the second, but Butch Wynegar hit into a 6-2-5-3-6 double play to take them out of the inning.  The Red Sox got on the board in the third when Doyle doubled and Fred Lynn singled.  They made it 2-0 in the fourth when Carl Yastrzemski tripled and Carbo singled.

The Twins got on the board in the fourth when Hisle homered.  Boston got the run back in the fifth on two-out singles by Fisk and George Scott and a wild pitch.  They added a run in the seventh when Doyle singled, stole second, and scored on Lynn's single.  They got one more in the eighth when Carbo doubled, was bunted to third, and scored on a sacrifice fly.

The Twins got their second and last run in the eighth when Wynegar doubled and scored on a pair of ground outs.

WP:  Lee (3-1).  LP:  Paul Thormodsgard (3-2).

Notes:  The only change from their regular lineup is that Jerry Terrell was at third base in place of Mike Cubbage.  Terrell, who had a .295 OBP, was batting leadoff for some reason.  His career OBP was .288, so it's not like he was just in a temporary slump.  What makes it worse is that Lyman Bostock, who was batting .331 with an OBP of .399, was batting seventh.  I know some people say batting order doesn't make a lot of difference, but it seems like you should still try to take advantage of whatever little difference it makes.

Rod Carew was leading the team in batting at .376, despite going 0-for-4 in this game.  He would finish at .388.  For as great a hitter as he was, I don't remember Carew ever having a really long hitting streak.  My memory is that he tended to get his hits in bunches.  Obviously, when you bat .388 you're not getting a lot of 0-for-4s, but I suspect it was not as uncommon as one might expect.

Hisle was batting .328.  He would finish at .302 and lead the league in RBIs with 119.

Roy Smalley was batting just .210, and he would finish the season at only .231.  He was twenty-four in this season, and had not yet established himself as a batter.  He would bat .273 in 1978 and would go on to be a productive batter through 1983.

Thormodsgard pitched 5.2 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and a walk and striking out one.  This was his only full season as a rotation starter.  He went 11-15, 4.62, 1.38 WHIP.  For a twenty-three-year-old who had been jumped from A ball, that's not awful.  It was as good as it would get for him, though.  He started 1978 in the rotation, but in twelve starts he went 1-6, 5.05, 1.49 and was sent back to AAA.  He pitched well in AAA for the Twins in 1978 and 1979 and for Philadelphia in 1980, but he never got another chance at the majors.  I'm sure there were reasons, but it seems like he did enough to deserve more of a chance than he got.  As we've observed many times, life and baseball are not always fair.

Carlton Fisk had 128 stolen bases in his career.  His high was seventeen, which he did twice, in 1982 and again in 1985, when he was thirty-seven.

Record:  The Twins were 31-19, in first place in the American League West, two games ahead of Chicago.  They would finish 84-77, in fourth place, 17.5 games behind Kansas City.

The Red Sox were 26-23, in third place in the American League East, two games behind Baltimore.  They would finish 97-64, tied for second, 2.5 games behind New York.

Random Rewind: 1976, Game One Hundred Twenty-four

MINNESOTA 6, DETROIT 4 IN DETROIT (12 INNINGS)

Date:  Sunday, August 22.

Batting stars:  Mike Cubbage was 3-for-5 with a home run (his second), a walk, and two RBIs.  Lyman Bostock was 3-for-6 with a double, two runs, and two RBIs.  Rod Carew was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Butch Wynegar was 2-for-6 with a double.  Larry Hisle was 2-for-6.

Pitching stars:  Dave Goltz pitched eight innings, giving up four runs (two earned) on seven hits and five walks and striking out one.  Tom Johnson pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up a hit and a walk.  Bill Campbell struck out three in 2.2 scoreless innings, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Vern Ruhle pitched 6.1 innings, giving up three runs on nine hits and a walk and striking out four.  Rusty Staub was 2-for-5 with a double, a walk, and a stolen base (his third).  Ron LeFlore was 2-for-6 with a double.

The game:  With two out in the first, the Twins got consecutive singles from CarewWynegar, and Bostock to take a 1-0 lead.  It stayed that way, with no particular threats, until the bottom of the fifth.  With one out, Mark Wagner singled, Chuck Scrivener reached on an error, LeFlore singled home a run, and Ben Oglivie delivered a two-out two-run single to put the Tigers up 3-1.

The Twins got one back in the sixth on singles by CarewBostock, and Hisle.  They tied it in the seventh on singles by Steve Braun and Roy Smalley and Carew's sacrifice fly.  Cubbage homered in the eight to give the Twins a 4-3 advantage, but the Tigers tied it back up in the bottom of the eighth.  Staub led off with a double, Aurelio Rodriguez drew a one-out walk, and Bill Freehan singled to load the bases.  Alex Johnson hit a sacrifice fly, but that was all Detroit could do.

The Twins put men on first and second in both the ninth and tenth.  The Tigers put men on first and second in the tenth and got a one-out double in the eleventh.  Then came the twelfth.  Wynegar and Bostock led off with consecutive doubles and Cubbage contributed an RBI single to give the Twins a 6-4 lead.  The Tigers went down in order on three ground balls and the Twins had the win.

WP:  Campbell (13-3).  LP:  John Hiller (11-7).  S:  None.

Notes:  Braun was the DH and batted leadoff.  I'd forgotten this, but Braun was often used as the leadoff batter that year, batting first sixty-two times.

Tony Oliva pinch-hit for second baseman Bobby Randall in the seventh.  It was his last season and he was used primarily as a pinch-hitter, getting an occasional start at DH.  Jerry Terrell went in to play second base in the bottom of the seventh.

Steve Brye went to right field to replace Dan Ford in the tenth.  Ford had doubled in the top of the inning--perhaps he tweaked something running the bases.  He would not miss any games.

Craig Kusick pinch-hit for Braun in the eleventh.

Carew was batting .322 after this game.  He would end the season at .331.  Bostock was batting .321.  He would end the season at .323.

This was the year Campbell won seventeen games, all out of the bullpen.  He would become a free agent and sign with Boston.  His "closer" role would be filled by Johnson, who would win sixteen games, all out of the bullpen, the next year.

Goltz was the Twins' ace, to the extent they had one, at this point of the season.  Bert Blyleven had started the season with the Twins, but had been traded to Texas by this point.  Goltz had a pretty good year, going 14-14, 3.36, 1.32 WHIP.  He would win twenty games for the only time in his career in the following season.

Record:  The Twins were 62-62, in third place in the American League West, fourteen games behind Kansas City.  They would finish 85-77, still in third place, but just five games behind Kansas City.

Detroit was 58-64, in fourth place in the American League East, fifteen games behind New York.  They would finish 74-87, in fifth place, twenty-four games behind New York.

Random Rewind: 1968, Game One Hundred Four

DETROIT 6, MINNESOTA 5 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Friday, August 2.

Batting stars:  Ron Clark was 3-for-4 with a home run.  Rod Carew was 3-for-4 with a double.  Ted Uhlaender was 3-for-5 with two doubles.  Rich Reese was 2-for-5 with a two-run homer (his third) and two runs.  Cesar Tovar was 2-for-5.

Pitching stars:  Al Worthington pitched 3.1 scoreless innings of relief, giving up only a walk and striking out two.  Ron Perranoski pitched a perfect inning and struck out one.

Opposition stars:  Don McMahon pitched four shutout innings of relief, giving up four hits and striking out three.  Bill Freehan was 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs.  Dick McAuliffe was 2-for-4.

The game:  The Tigers jumped on Twins starter Jim Merritt early.  McAuliffe led off with a single and Mickey Stanley walked.  With one out, Willie Horton walked to load the bases.  Freehan then doubled in two runs, Jim Northrup hit a sacrifice fly, and Don Wert delivered an RBI single.  It was 4-0 Detroit before the Twins even came up to bat.

The Twins tried to battle back.  They threatened in the first, when uhlaender hit a two-out double, and in the second, when Carew hit a one-out double and Frank Quilici walked.  Clark then singled, but apparently Carew rounded third too far and was thrown out, taking them out of the inning.

The Twins finally broke through in the third.  Reese hit a one-out single, Uhlaender doubled, and Bob Allison walked, loading the bases.  John Roseboro hit a sacrifice fly and Carew had an RBI single, cutting the margin to 4-2.  They took the lead in the fourth.  Clark led off with a home run.  With one out, Tovar singled and Reese hit a two-run homer to put the Twins up 5-4.

It wouldn't last.  The first two Tigers went out in the fifth.  Then came consecutive singles by Stanley, Al Kaline, Horton, and Freehan, resulting in two runs and a 6-5 advantage for the Tigers.

The Twins had consecutive singles to open the fifth, but nothing came of it.  They did not get a man past first base after that, and the score remained 6-5.

WP:  McMahon (3-1).  LP:  Bob Miller (0-2).  S:  Daryl Patterson (5).

Notes:  Tovar was in right field in place of Tony Oliva, who was out for about ten days, presumably with an injury.  Reese was at first base in place of Harmon Killebrew, who you may remember was injured in the all-star game.  Frank Quilici was at third base.  Clark was at shortstop.

Merritt was the starter for the Twins, but he lasted just two-thirds of an inning, allowing four runs on three hits and two walks.  He struck out one.  The Detroit starter was Joe Sparma.  He lasted just 2.2 innings, allowing two runs on six hits and two walks and striking out one.  Mickey Lolich was used in relief, one of seven times he relived for the Tigers in 1968.  The Tigers really didn't have a closer that year--I guess with a rotation of Denny McLain, Earl Wilson, Lolich, and Sparma, they really didn't need one.  Patterson was tied with Pat Dobson for the team lead with seven.

Clark's home run was the only one he would hit in 1968.  He would hit five in his career.

Reese did not have much power early in his career.  He would hit four home runs in 1968, the same amount he had hit in 1967 in about a third as many at-bats.  He would set his career high, 16, the following year of 1969.

Of the players in the starting lineup this day, Uhlaender led the team in batting (at this point of the season) at .299.  Carew was second at .296.

Record:  At this point of the season, the Twins were 49-55, in seventh place in the American League, sixteen games behind first-place Detroit.  The Tigers would go on to win the American League pennant.  The Twins would finish 79-83 and in seventh place.