Tag Archives: small sample sizes

1970 Rewind: Game Eighty-four


Date:  Friday, July 17.

Batting stars:  Tom Tischinski was 2-for-2 with three walks and two runs.  Jim Holt was 2-for-3.  Rich Reese was 2-for-5 with a three-run homer, his seventh.  Harmon Killebrew was 2-for-5 with a home run (his twenty-eighth) and two runs.  Cesar Tovar was 2-for-5.

Pitching stars:  Jim Kaat pitched a scoreless inning, walking one and striking out one.  Ron Perranoski pitched three shutout innings, walking one and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Mark Belanger was 3-for-5.  Elrod Hendricks was 2-for-4 with a home run, his sixth.  Paul Blair was 2-for-4 with a double and a walk.  Dave Johnson was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer (his seventh), two walks, two runs, and two RBIs.  Mike Cuellar pitched 6.2 innings, giving up three runs on six hits and three walks and striking out three.

The game:  The Orioles opened the first with a Don Buford single and a Blair double, putting men on second and third with none out, but only scored once on a ground out.  Each team threatened in the second but did not score.  The Twins loaded the bases in the fourth, the second time they had done so, but again did not score.  Baltimore loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth on a walk to Johnson and singles by Hendricks and Belanger, but again only scored once on a ground out, leaving them up 2-0.  It went to 3-0 in the sixth when Hendricks homered.

The Twins came back in the seventh.  Tischinski and Tovar singled and Reese hit a two-out three-run homer to tie it 3-3.  The Orioles grabbed the lead right back in the bottom of the seventh when Frank Robinson was hit by a pitch and Johnson hit a two-run homer, making it 5-3.

Killebrew homered in the eighth to cut the lead to 5-4.  In the ninth, Tischinski walked, went to second on a passed ball, and scored on a Tovar single, tying the score 5-5.

Killebrew led off the tenth with a single.  With one out, Perranoski bunted and was safe on a fielder's choice, putting men on first and second.  With two out Tischinski delivered an RBI single to give the Twins their first lead of the game.  It was the only lead they needed, as Baltimore went down in order in the bottom of the tenth.

WP:  Perranoski (6-2).

LP:  Ed Watt (2-6).

S:  None.

Notes:  Charlie Manuel was in left field in place of Brant Alyea.  Jim Holt was in center, with Tovar moving to second base.  Tischinski was at catcher in place of George Mitterwald.

Paul Ratliff pinch-hit for Kaat in the seventh.  Danny Thompson pinch-hit for Manuel in the eighth and stayed in the game at second base, with Tovar moving to center field.  Alyea pinch-hit for Holt in the eighth.  Bob Allison went to left.  Frank Quilici went to second base in the tenth, with Thompson moving to third and Killebrew coming out of the game.

Tischinski was batting .375.  Killebrew was batting .326.  Tony Oliva was 0-for-5 and was batting .319.  Tovar was batting .314.  Bill Zepp gave up three runs in five innings and had an ERA of 2.80.  Stan Williams allowed two runs in an inning and had an ERA of 1.64.  Perranoski had an ERA of 1.55.

Manuel was 0-for-2 and was batting .150.  Allison was 0-for-2 and was batting .174.

Kaat was once again used in relief.  Someone in the starting rotation being used in relief on consecutive days is certainly not something you see very often.  He would go back to starting three days later and would not appear in relief again until September.

This was Tischinski's only multi-hit game of the season.  He raised his average from .167 to .375.

Oddly, Bill Rigney did not pinch-run for either Tischinski in the ninth, when he represented the tying run, or for Killebrew in the tenth, when he represented the go-ahead run.  Not pinch-running for Killebrew is understandable--it was a tie game, and you might need Harmon's bat if the game continued.  But not running for Tischinski in the ninth, when you needed to pull out all the stops to tie the game, seems strange.  Quilici was still on the bench, available for use, but he was not used.  Rigney got away with it, but it's hard to think it was the right thing to do.

Record:  The Twins were 55-29, in first place in the American League West, four games ahead of California.


1970 Rewind: Game Fourteen


Date:  Sunday, April 26.

Batting starsLuis Tiant was 3-for-4 with a double and a stolen base.  Cesar Tovar was 2-for-4 with a stolen base, his sixth.  Rich Reese was 2-for-4.  Harmon Killebrew was 2-for-5 with two RBIs.  Tony Oliva was 2-for-5.

Pitching stars:  Tiant pitched a complete game shutout, giving up three hits and a walk and striking out six.

Opposition star:  Dick McAuliffe was 2-for-4.

The game:  The Twins put men on second and third with two out in the third but did not score.  They broke through in the fourth, however.  Oliva singled, Brant Alyea walked, Reese had an infield single to load the bases, and George Mitterwald had another infield single to make it 1-0 Twins.

The Twins put two on in the fifth, but did not score.  They broke the game open in the sixth with a two-out rally.  The first two men were retired, but Frank Quilici singled, Tiant hit an RBI double, Tovar had an infield single, Tiant and Tovar pulled off a double steal, Leo Cardenas tripled them both home, and Killebrew had an RBI single, making the score 5-0 Twins.

The Twins added one more in the eighth.  Tiant singled, a wild pitch moved him to second, Tovar bunted him to third, and Killebrew singled him home.

The Tigers never had a man beyond first base and only once had the leadoff man on base.

WP:  Tiant (3-0).

LP:  Mickey Lolich (4-2).

S:  None.

Notes:  Quilici was again at second in the absence of Rod Carew.  Cardenas remained in Carew's number two spot in the batting order.

Jim Holt replaced Brant Alyea in left field in the eighth inning.  Minnie Mendoza pinch-ran for Killebrew in the eighth and remained in the game at third base.

Tiant was batting .556.  Brant Alyea was 0-for-3 and was batting .390.  Tovar was batting .367.  Oliva was batting .344.  Killebrew was batting .341.  Quilici was batting .308.

Mitterwald was 1-for-4 and was batting .175.  Cardenas was 1-for-5 and was batting .192.

Tiant wasn't a terrible batter over his career, but he wasn't exceptional, either:  a career line of .164/.185/.224.  In 1970, however, he was exceptional:  .406/.424/.531 in 32 at-bats.  Small sample size, obviously, and maybe that's the full explanation.  But it's still pretty amazing.  The stolen base he got in this game was the only one he had in his career, and it was a steal of third on the front end of a double steal.  I don't know how many players have a steal of third as the only stolen base of their career, but I suspect it's a pretty short list.

This was Tiant's only shutout in 1970, and one of two complete games.

Lolich pitched 5.2 innings, allowing five runs on ten hits and a walk and striking out six.  It was the Tigers' fifteenth game of the season, and it was Lolich's sixth start.  The other five had been complete games (one of them 9.2 innings) and two of them had been shutouts.  Lolich pitched over 200 innings every year from 1964-1975; over 220 from 1968-1975; over 240 from 1969-1975; over 270 from 1970-1974, and over 300 from 1971-1974, with a high of 376 in 1971.  Interestingly, he only led the league in starts and complete games once, both 1971, when he had 45 starts and 29 complete games.  He continued to be an effective starter through age 35, and had a really good half-season as a reliever for the Padres in 1978, when he was thirty-seven.  Memory and a google search reveal that he was considered overweight, but he's listed at 6' 1", 170.  If he was overweight, it certainly didn't affect his pitching.

The Twins had won four, lost two, won four, lost two, and now won two.  Could they win four?

Record:  The Twins were 10-4, in first place in the American League West by winning percentage, but a half game behind California.

2003 Rewind: Game Three


Date:  Thursday, April 3.

Batting stars:  Corey Koskie was 2-for-4 with a triple and a double.  A. J. Pierzynski was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.

Pitching stars:  Kyle Lohse pitched eight shutout innings, giving up two hits and no walks and striking out five.  Eddie Guardado pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Adam Bernero pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on five hits and one walk and striking out one.  Omar Infante was 1-for-3 with a double.

The game:  With one out in the first inning Cristian Guzman tripled and scored on a ground out to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  With two out in the fourth, Koskie tripled and scored on a Bobby Kielty single.

Meanwhile, the Tigers did not have a baserunner for the first five innings.  The streak ended with one out in the sixth when Infante doubled, but he did not advance past second.  They got another hit in the seventh when Dmitri Young got a one-out single.

The Twins added a run in the eighth when Jacque Jones and Torii Hunter walked, Jones stole third, and Koskie hit into a force out to bring home a run.  Shane Halter hit a two-out single in the ninth and stole second (one suspects hometown scoring in giving him a stolen base rather than defensive indifference), but Bobby Higginson flied out to end the game.

WP:  Lohse (1-0).  LP:  Bernero (0-1).  S:  Guardado (1).

Notes:  Chris Gomez was at second base in place of Luis Rivas.  Kielty was the DH.  He had the second-most games at DH on the team, behind Matthew LeCroy.

Denny Hocking pinch-ran for Koskie in the eighth and remained in the game at third base.

Small sample size stats are fun.  Koskie was batting .571 with an OPS of 1.143.  Pierzynski was batting .400 with an OPS of 1.335.  Hocking was batting .333 with an OPS of 1.000.

As with Joe MaysKyle Lohse could not sustain the success he had in this first game.  By game scores, this would be the best game he would pitch all season, narrowly beating out a complete game shutout against Tampa Bay in May.

This was also one of the best games Adam Bernero would pitch all season, even if he didn't get rewarded for it.  For the season he would go 1-14 with a 5.87 ERA.  He would also be traded to Colorado for Ben Petrick.  Overall, he pitched in parts of seven major league seasons and never had a good one.  His career record was 11-27, 5.91, 1.50 WHIP in 376 innings.  He appeared in 150 games, starting 37 of them.  He was pretty good in AAA--25-25, 3.39, 1.27--which is probably why he kept getting chances.  But for whatever reason, he simply could not make the jump to the majors.

We probably got excited about the Twins sweeping this opening series, especially with the Twins pitchers giving Detroit just two runs.  We could not have realized just how awful the Tigers would turn out to be.  On the other hand, Detroit fans probably realized very quickly that getting swept at home, and being outscored 14-2, was a sign that this was going to be a long season.

Record:  The Twins were 3-0, tied for first place in the American League Central with Kansas City.

Game 157: Almost Done Losing

The Twins are almost done losing for the year, so that's a positive. Tonight's meaningless tilt features Kyle Gibson (12-11, 4.64 ERA) hoping to be good Gibson going against some guy named Andrew Chafin (0-0, 1.64 ERA).

It would be great if the Twins could at least notch four more victories in this last week to hit 70-wins. The 7 at least looks a little better than the 6. It would be really great if the Twins could shore up this pitching staff for next season. The box scores from an offensive standpoint seem fun and encouraging.

I was sitting around relaxing on the couch last night after another long deck day and came a across a tweet from a certain brunch enthusiast about Vance Worley's success in Pittsburgh. The discussion below was pretty terrible, basically saying Rick Anderson should be fired because of this (and Liriano). In other words, between that and the way Joe Mauer gets slagged by the loudest people online makes me think this losing team is deserved.