Tag Archives: second-guessing

1970 Rewind: Game One Hundred Thirty-two


Date:  Tuesday, September 1.

Batting stars:  Harmon Killebrew was 2-for-3 with a home run (his fortieth), three walks, and four RBIs.  Cesar Tovar was 2-for-5 with a walk and two RBIs.

Pitching stars:  Tom Hall struck out seven in six shutout innings, giving up four hits and three walks.  Jim Kaat pitched 2.1 scoreless innings, giving up two hits and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Ted Kubiak was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Jerry McNertney was 2-for-5.  Al Downing pitched seven innings, giving up one run on five hits and six walks and striking out two.  Ken Sanders pitched two perfect innings and struck out one.

The game:  Tovar led off the game with a single, was bunted to second, and scored on a Killebrew single, giving the Twins a 1-0 lead.

And it stayed 1-0 until the bottom of the ninth.  There were threats, of course.  The Twins had men on first and second with two out in the third.  The Brewers had men on first and second with two out in the fourth.  The Twins had men on first and second with one out in the fifth and men on second and third with two out in the sixth.  Milwaukee had men on first and second with two in the sixth and loaded the bases with two out in the seventh.

But it was still 1-0 until the bottom of the ninth.  The first two Brewers went out, but consecutive singles by Tito Francona, Bob Burda, and Kubiak tied the score 1-1 and we went to extra innings.

Neither team got a man on in the tenth, but in the eleventh.  The Twins put it away.  Jim Holt walked and Rich Reese singled.  Leo Cardenas reached on an error to bring in a run.  A bunt moved the runners up and Kaat was intentionally walked.  Tovar delivered a two-run single.  A force out put men on first and third and Killebrew hit a three-run homer to make it 7-1 Twins.  Milwaukee got a leadoff double in the bottom of the eleventh, but could do no more.

WP:  Kaat (11-10).

LP:  Bobby Bolin (5-11).

S:  None.

Notes:  Danny Thompson was again at second base in place of Rod Carew.  Jim Holt went to center field in the fifth inning, with Tovar moving to left and Brant Alyea coming out of the game.  Frank Quilici went to second base in the eleventh inning, with Thompson moving to third and Killebrew coming out of the game.

Tony Oliva was 0-for-6 and was batting .314.  Hall had an ERA of 2.76.  Ron Perranoski pitched two-thirds of an inning without giving up a run and had an ERA of 2.27.  Stan Williams gave up a run in two innings and had an ERA of 2.09.

Alyea must have been an absolutely awful outfielder, the way Bill Rigney would take him out for defense in the fifth or sixth inning.

I had forgotten that Al Downing pitched for Milwaukee.  He was there for less than four months--traded there with Francona for Steve Hovley in mid-June and traded to the Dodgers before the 1971 season for Andy Kosco.

I know Kaat was considered a good hitter, and I know they were trying to set up a double play, but there's no way in the world I intentionally walk Kaat to pitch to Tovar.  That makes no sense to me at all.  You get Kaat out and then walk Tovar to pitch to Thompson.  Manager Dave Bristol made a big mistake there.

The Twins swept the doubleheader, giving up just one run to the Brewers.

Record:  The Twins were 78-54, in first place in the American League West, 4.5 games ahead of California.

1970 Rewind: Game Ninety-eight


Date:  Friday, July 31.

Batting stars:  Tony Oliva was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer, his seventeenth.  Brant Alyea was 2-for-4.  Rich Reese was 2-for-5 with two runs.  Leo Cardenas was 2-for-5.  Danny Thompson was 2-for-5.  Charlie Manuel was 1-for-1 with a pinch-hit homer.  Bob Allison was 1-for-1 with a pinch-hit two-run homer.

Pitching star:  Tom Hall struck out three in a scoreless inning, giving up a walk.

Opposition stars:  Jim Northrup was 2-for-5 with a home run (his twentieth), two runs, and four RBIs.  Dick McAuliffe was 1-for-3 with two walks and two RBIs.

The game:  Cesar Gutierrez led off the third with a single, Mickey Stanley drew a two-out walk, and Northrup hit a three-run homer to give the Tigers a 3-0 lead.  It stayed 3-0 until the sixth, when the Twins got six runs.  Thompson singled and Oliva homered to cut the lead to 3-2.  Harmon Killebrew then walked, Reese singled, Alyea hit a two-run single-plus-error, and Cardenas singled to give the Twins a 5-3 lead.  The next two batters went out, but singles by Cesar Tovar and Thompson produced another run, making it 6-3 Twins.

That lead lasted until the seventh, when Detroit got a touchdown of its own.  Don Wert singled and Russ Nagelson walked.  Elliot Maddox had an RBI double and McAuliffe delivered a two-run single to tie it 6-6.  Stanley and Northrup each singled to give the Tigers a 7-6 lead.  Al Kaline drew a walk to load the bases.  Bill Freehan was hit by a pitch to force in a run and Nagelson walked again to force home another run.  Detroit led 9-6 through seven.

The Twins came back again.  Manuel hit a pinch-hit homer in the eighth to cut the margin to 9-7.  In the ninth Oliva led off with a walk, but Killebrew lined into a double play.  Reese then singled, however, and Allison hit a two-run pinch-hit homer to tie it 9-9.

But it was all for naught.  Kaline led off the bottom of the ninth with a walk.  The next two batters grounded out, making two out with a man on second.  Wert was intentionally walked.  Pinch-hitter Ike Brown walked to load the bases, and Maddox walked to force in the deciding run.

WP:  Tom Timmerman (4-3).

LP:  Pete Hamm (0-1).

S:  None.

Notes:  Thompson was at second base in place of Rod Carew.  Tom Tischinski was behind the plate in place of George Mitterwald.  Jim Holt went to left field in the seventh in place of Alyea.  Rick Renick pinch-hit for Tischinski in the eighth, with Paul Ratliff going behind the plate.  Manuel pinch-hit for Hall in the eighth.  Allison pinch-hit for Holt in the in the ninth and stayed in the game in left field.

Oliva was batting .326.  Killebrew was 1-for-3 and was batting .307.  Tovar slipped under .300 at .299.  Bert Blyleven allowed five runs in six innings and had an ERA of 2.87.  Ron Perranoski allowed four runs without retiring anyone and had an ERA of 1.84.  Hall had an ERA of 2.75.

Allison raised his average to .173.  Hamm allowed one run in 1.2 innings and had an ERA of 10.80.

Denny McLain started for Detroit.  He allowed four runs in five innings.

Russ Nagelson presumably tied a record by drawing two walks in an inning.  He drew those walks as a pinch-hitter, which puts into more select company.  I don't know how many guys walked twice in the same inning as a pinch-hitter--I'm sure there are some, but I doubt that it's all that common.

What a frustrating way to lose a game.  Not only do you force in two runs in the seventh with a bases-loaded hit batsman and a bases-loaded walk, but you force in the deciding run with a bases-loaded walk.  And not only that, but the Tigers did not get a hit in the bottom of the ninth--they scored on four walks.

Not that it excuses anything else, but I don't understand the intentional walk to Don Wert.  For his career, he batted .242/.314/.343.  At this point in 1970 he was batting .234/.315/.339.  Yes, it brought up the pitcher's spot, but Bill Rigney had to figure the Tigers would pinch-hit.  The pinch-hitter, Ike Brown, was batting .279/.392/.512.  They did not gain a platoon advantage with this--both Wert and Twins pitcher Hamm were right-handed, as was Brown.  It does not make much sense to me.

The Twins had lost three in a row and five out of seven.

Record:  The Twins were 62-36, in first place in the American League West, 6.5 games ahead of California.

1970 Rewind: Game Seventy-five


Date:  Sunday, July 5.

Batting stars:  Harmon Killebrew was 2-for-3 with a home run (his twenty-fourth), two walks, two runs, and two RBIs.  Leo Cardenas was 2-for-3 with a double and three RBIs.  Jim Holt was 2-for-5 with two RBIs.  Tony Oliva was 2-for-5.

Pitching star:  Stan Williams retired all ten men he faced, striking out one.

Opposition star:  Duane Josephson was 2-for-4 with a triple.

The game:  The Twins started the scoring in the second.  Killebrew walked, Rich Reese singled, and Paul Ratliff was hit by a pitch, loading the bases with one out.  All the Twins could get out of it was a Cardenas sacrifice fly, leaving them up 1-0.  In the third, though, the offense came alive.  Cesar Tovar and Holt singled, putting men on first and third, and Oliva singled in a run.  A wild pitch scored another, and Killebrew singled to bring home a third.  Singles by Ratliff and Cardenas brought home a run and a sacrifice fly plated one more, making it 6-0 Twins through three.

The Twins added some more runs in the fifth.  Killebrew led off with a home run.  Reese walked and went to third on a stolen base-plus error.  Cardenas walked, Danny Thompson singled in a run, Tovar was hit by a pitch to load the bases, and Holt singled in two runs, pushing the Twins' lead to 10-0.

The White Sox got on the board in the sixth.  Jim Kaat had shut them down through five and a third innings on just four singles, but with one out in the sixth Walt Williams walked, Luis Aparicio doubled, Tom McCraw had an RBI double, Carlos May drove in a run with a ground out, and Josephson tripled home a run.  That was as good as it got for Chicago, though, as Williams came in at that point and retired every White Sox batter for the rest of the game.

The Twins added single runs in the sixth and seventh.  In the sixth, Ratliff was hit by a pitch with two out and scored on a Cardenas double.  In the eighth an error, an Oliva single-plus-error, and an intentional walk loaded the bases and Reese was hit by a pitch to bring in the game's final run.

WP:  Kaat (7-6).

LP:  Bob Miller (3-4).

S:  Williams (7).

Notes:  Holt was in left field in place of Brant Alyea.  Ratliff was behind the plate in place of George Mitterwald.  Thompson was at second base in place of Rod Carew.  Herman Hill pinch-ran for Tovar in the seventh and stayed in the game in center field.  Frank Quilici pinch-ran for Killebrew in the seventh and stayed in the game at second base, with Thompson moving to third.

Oliva was batting .326.  Killebrew was batting .313.  Tovar was batting .311.  Williams had an ERA of 1.67.

Kaat had pitched very well through five innings, but his final line was 5.2 innings, three runs, seven hits, two walks, and no strikeouts.

Ex-Twin Bob Miller started for the White Sox and pitched just two innings, allowing five runs on five hits and a walk and striking out one.

I find it odd that Chicago manager Don Gutteridge would order an intentional walk to Killebrew in the eighth inning.  I mean, yes, he's Harmon Killebrew, but the score was 11-3, it was the eighth inning, and the White Sox had just one more turn at bat.  It just seems like a bit of poor sportsmanship to me.  Not that anything should've been done about it--I'm not saying it was outrageously outrageous or anything.  I just don't see the point of it.  Play the game.  Let the big man hit.

Record:  The Twins were 49-26, in first place in the American League West, four games ahead of California.

1970 Rewind: Game Twenty-seven


Date:  Sunday, May 10.

Batting stars:  Harmon Killebrew was 2-for-4 with a double.  Bob Allison was 2-for-4.  Leo Cardenas was 1-for-4 with a home run (his third), a walk, and two runs.

Pitching stars:  Tom Hall struck out two in 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up one hit and two walks.

Opposition stars:  Duke Sims was 2-for-4 with two home runs and three RBIs.  Sam McDowell pitched 8.1 innings, giving up four runs on nine hits and two walks and striking out eight.  He also hit a home run.

The game:  In the bottom of the first, Larry Brown reached on an error and scored on a double by Ted Uhlaender, giving the Indians a 1-0 lead.  McDowell homered leading off the third and Sims homered with one out in the fourth to make it 3-0.  Meanwhile, the Twins had only two singles through five innings and only advanced one man as far as second base.

The changed in the sixth when Cardenas got the Twins on the board with a home run.  The Twins' joy was short-lived, however, as with two out in the sixth Vada Pinson walked and Sims followed with a two-run homer, putting Cleveland up 5-1.

The Twins did try to come back.  In the eighth Cardenas walked, Killebrew singled, and Tony Oliva had an RBI single to cut the lead to 5-2.  In the ninth Allison singled, Rick Renick had a pinch-hit double, and Minnie Mendoza hit a two-run single, cutting the lead to 5-4 and putting the tying run on base with one out.  The Twins could do no more, however, and the game ended with a 5-4 score.

WP:  McDowell (4-3).

LP:  Dave Boswell (0-5).

S:  Rich Hand (2).

Notes:  Allison was at first base in place of Rich Reese.  Frank Quilici was at second in place of Rod Carew.  Mendoza went to second base in the seventh inning as part of a double switch.  Renick pinch-hit for Hall in the ninth.  Carew pinch-hit for Cesar Tovar in the ninth.  Jim Holt pinch-ran for Mendoza in the ninth.

Oliva was 1-for-3 and was batting .345.  Killebrew was batting .330.  Carew was 0-for-1 and was batting .328.  Renick was 1-for-1 and was batting .308.  Brant Alyea was 0-for-4 and was batting .308.  Tovar was 0-for-4 and was batting .300.

Mendoza was 1-for-2 and was batting .154.  Quilici was 0-for-3 and was batting .167.  Mitterwald was 0-for-4 and was batting .186.  Boswell allowed five runs (four earned) in 5.2 innings and had an ERA of 6.17.

This was only Hall's seventh game of the season.  Prior to this game, he had pitched just 1.1 innings since April 24.  I don't know if he was battling an injury, but it doesn't appear that way.  He just was not being used for some reason.

This was the second and last home run of Sam McDowell's career.  The other came in 1967.  He also had seven doubles and two triples.  His lifetime batting numbers are .154/.171/.176.

I find it odd that, with Rod Carew on the bench, Bill Rigney chose to use him in place of Tovar, rather than the light-hitting MendozaMendoza got a two-run single, so either Rigney knew something I don't or he just got lucky.

The Twins went 6-3 on their nine-game East Division road trip, taking two of three in each series.

Record:  The Twins were 18-9, in first place in the American League West, a half-game ahead of California.

1970 Rewind: Game Sixteen


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


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.