Tag Archives: second-guessing

1970 Rewind: Game Sixteen

CLEVELAND 3, MINNESOTA 1 IN CLEVELAND

Date:  Tuesday, April 28.

Batting stars:  Brant Alyea was 2-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base.  Leo Cardenas was 2-for-4.

Pitching stars:  Jim Perry pitched a complete game, giving up three runs (one earned) on seven hits and no walks and striking out five.

Opposition stars:  Tony Horton was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.  Vada Pinson was 2-for-4 with a double.  Roy Foster was 2-for-4.  Barry Moore pitched eight innings, giving up one run on six hits and three walks and striking out four.

The game:  The Twins got two singles in the second but did not score.  They got on the board in the third when Cesar Tovar hit a one-out triple and scored on a Cardenas single.  The Indians tied it in the fifth when singles by Horton and Foster put men on first and third with none out and a double play brought a run home.

The Twins missed chances in the seventh and eighth.  In the seventh Alyea singled and stole second and Frank Quilici was intentionally walked, putting men on first and second with two out and bringing up Perry.  He reached on an error, but Alyea was thrown out trying to score from second, ending the inning.  In the eighth, Cardenas singled and two-out walks to Tony Oliva and Alyea loaded the bases, but Rich Reese fouled out to end the inning.

It cost them, because Cleveland broke through in the ninth.  After Killebrew missed a foul popup, Ted Uhlaender singled with one out.  He was forced out, but a single by Pinson put men on first and second with two down.  Horton then hit a two-run double, making it 3-1 Indians.  The Twins got the leadoff man on in the ninth when Paul Ratliff was hit by a pitch, but the next three batters flied out.

WP:  Moore (2-1).

LPPerry (3-1).

S:  Phil Hennigan (1).

NotesQuilici remained at second base in the absence of Rod Carew.  The Twins used three pinch-hitters in the ninth.  Ratliff batted for George Mitterwald, Jim Holt batted for Quilici, and Charlie Manuel batted for Perry.

Alyea raised his average to .413.  Tovar was 1-for-5 and was batting .329.  Oliva was 0-for-3 and was batting .324.  Killebrew was 0-for-4 and was batting .308.  Perry had an ERA of 2.19.

Mitterwald was 1-for-3 and was batting .170.

It's always fun to second-guess fifty-year-old managerial decisions.  In the seventh, with a man on second and two out, Cleveland manager Alvin Dark intentionally walked Quilici, bringing up the pitcher's spot.  Quilici was not a very good batter (career .214/.281/.287).  He was better than Perry, but not by a lot (career .199/.228/.247).  And, of course, there was the chance that Bill Rigney would use a pinch-hitter.  Dark either was confident that Rigney would not do that or was thinking that at least that would get Perry (who was pitching well) out of the game.  The Twins pinch-hitting options were not particularly good, as you can see from the three they used in the ninth.  At any rate, Rigney did not use a pinch-hitter, and while Perry did reach on an error the Twins did not score.

Barry Moore was a decent pitcher for a few seasons, but that's all.  He posted ERAs in the mid-threes for Washington from 1966-1968, which isn't terrible but is not as impressive as it sounds when you remember the era.  His ERA went up to 4.30 in 1969 and the Senators traded him to Cleveland.  He moved on to the White Sox in mid-June and did not pitch well for them.  He was traded to the Yankees after the 1970 season, later moved on to Pittsburgh, but never got out of AAA for the rest of his career, which ended after the 1973 season.  This game would be the next-to-last win of his career.  "Barry" was actually his middle name.  It would've been really cool if his given first name was "Lionel" or "Drew" or something like that, but in fact it was "Robert".

Record:  The Twins were 10-6, in second place in the American League West, one game behind California.

1970 Rewind: Game Nine

MINNESOTA 4, CHICAGO 3 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Tuesday, April 21.

Batting stars:  Cesar Tovar was 2-for-3 with a triple, a walk, and a stolen base (his fourth).  Harmon Killebrew was 2-for-4 with a three-run homer, his second.

Pitching star:  Jim Kaat pitched 7.2 innings, giving up three runs (one earned) on seven hits and no walks.

Opposition stars:  Carlos May was 2-for-4 with a double.  Tommy John pitched six innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and two walks and striking out one.

The game:  The White Sox opened the game with singles by Ken Berry and Luis Aparicio.  An error then allowed Berry to score and put Chicago up 1-0.  The Twins did not threaten until the fifth, when Rick Renick singled and George Mitterwald drew a one-out walk, but Kaat hit into a double play.  Chicago added a run in the sixth when John singled, went to second on an error, and scored on May's single.

The Twins took the lead in the sixth.  Tovar walked, Rod Carew doubled, and Killebrew hit a three-run homer to make it 3-2.  The Twins added a run in the seventh when Kaat reached on an error and scored on a triple by Tovar.

The White Sox pulled back within one in the eighth when May hit a two-out double and scored on a Bill Melton single.  Syd O'Brien led off the ninth with a single and was bunted to second, but a strikeout and a line out ended the game.

WP:  Kaat (2-1).

LP:  John (0-4).

S:  Perranoski (3).

Notes:  Renick was at third, with Killebrew moving to first and Reese on the bench.  In the eighth Frank Quilici replaced Renick and Jim Holt replaced Brant Alyea in left.  In the ninth Reese replaced Killebrew.

Alyea was 1-for-3 and was batting .444.  Carew was 1-for-4 and was batting .359.  Oliva was 0-for-4 and was also batting .359.  Tovar was batting .350.  Renick was 1-for-3 and was batting .333.  Holt was 0-for-1 and was batting .333.  Killebrew was batting .321.

Kaat had an ERA of 2.70.  Stan Williams pitched two-thirds of an inning and had an ERA of zero.  Perranoski retired both men he faced and had an ERA of 2.08.

Mitterwald was 0-for-2 and was batting .188.

It's fun to second-guess manager's decisions from games that were played over fifty years ago.  In the fifth the Twins were down 1-0, had men on first and second with one out, and Kaat up to bat.  Manager Bill Rigney did not have Kaat bunt, but rather allowed him to swing away, and he hit into a double play to end the inning.  Kaat was considered a good batter, but it was in the sense of "a good batter for a pitcher" rather than an actual good batter.  His lifetime slash line was .185/.227/.267.  In the prior year, 1969, he had batted .207/.247/.368.  So a bunt, with Tovar on deck and Carew in the hole, would seem to have been the play.  It's easy to say that now, of course, after we know what actually happened.  Had Kaat gotten a hit we probably wouldn't even have the discussion.  But again, it's always fun to second-guess a manager.

Perranoski now had saves in three consecutive games.  There was a day off before this one, of course, but he had still pitched 6.2 innings in three games.

Syd O'Brien was a mostly-regular in 1970, starting 105 games.  65 were at third, 38 at second, and 2 at short.  He got 441 at-bats; his next-highest total was 263.  He really wasn't up to the task, batting .247/.285/.340.  He was traded to California after the season, then finished up his career with Milwaukee, to whom he was traded in mid-1972 (a trade which involved ex-Twins Ron Clark and Paul Ratliff).

Record:  The Twins were 7-2, in first place in the American League West by winning percentage, but even with 9-4 California in games.