Tag Archives: that’s baseball

1970 Rewind: Game Ninety-six


Date:  Wednesday, July 29.

Batting stars:  Tony Oliva was 3-for-4 with a home run (his sixteenth) and four RBIs.  Rich Reese was 3-for-4 with two runs.  Danny Thompson was 2-for-4.  Harmon Killebrew was 1-for-3 with a home run, his thirty-second.

Pitching star:  Stan Williams struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up one hit and one walk.

Opposition stars:  Dean Chance was 2-for-3 with two RBIs.  Graig Nettles was 1-for-3 with a home run (his sixteenth), a walk, and two runs.  Vada Pinson was 1-for-5 with a grand slam, his tenth homer.

The game:  Killebrew homered leading off the second to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  With one out in the bottom of the second, Larry Brown walked, Eddie Leon singled, and Chance delivered an RBI single.  With two out, Lou Klimchock walked to load the bases and Duke Sims walked to force in a run, putting the Indians up 2-1.

Cleveland appeared to take control of the game in the third.  Nettles led off the inning with a walk.  With one out walks to Brown and Leon filled the bases.  Chance then delivered another RBI single, followed by Pinson's grand slam.  The Indians led 7-1 after three.

The Twins got a couple of hits in the fourth, but did nothing with them.  Nettles homered in the fourth to make it 8-1.  In the fifth Leon walked, was bunted to second, and scored on Buddy Bradford's double, making it 9-1.

Then the Twins came back.  In the sixth Reese singled and Oliva homered to make it 9-3.  They wasted a one-out double in the seventh.  In the eighth, however, Cesar Tovar walked, Reese singled, and Oliva singled home a run.  A pickoff error brought home another run and it was 9-5.

Come the ninth.  Singles by ThompsonBrant AlyeaCharlie Manuel, and Tovar cut the lead to 9-7 and put the tying run on base with none out.  Reese bunted to move the tying run to scoring position.  Oliva hit a sacrifice fly to make it 9-8, but Rick Renick grounded out to end the game.

WP:  Chance (6-5).

LP:  Dave Boswell (3-7).

S:  Phil Hennigan (3).

Notes:  Jim Holt started in left in place of Alyea.  Thompson was at shortstop in place of Leo Cardenas.  Frank Quilici was at second in place of Rod Carew.

Paul Ratliff pinch-hit for the pitcher in the fifth.  Renick went to third in the sixth in place of Killebrew.  Manuel pinch-hit for the pitcher in the seventh.  He stayed in the game in left field, with Holt moving to center, Tovar moving to second, and Quilici coming out of the game.  Alyea pinch-hit for the pitcher in the ninth.

Oliva was batting .327.  Killebrew was batting .310.  Tovar was 1-for-4 and was batting .304.  Williams had an ERA of 1.58.

Manuel was 1-for-2 and was batting .182.  Boswell allowed five runs in 2.1 innings and had an ERA of 6.42.  Pete Hamm made his major league debut and allowed three runs in 1.2 innings, giving him an ERA of 16.20.

Killebrew was pulled in the sixth with the Twins down 9-3.  I have no problem with that move.  I suspect, though, that Bill Rigney regretted the move when Renick came up in the eighth with the score 9-5 and a man on second and struck out.  He probably regretted it further in the ninth, when Renick came up with the tying run on second and two out and grounded out to end the game.  Again, I don't mean to imply Rigney did anything wrong--he was trying to get the big guy off his feet in what was then a blowout game.  But that's baseball.

If you know anything about Dean Chance, you know he was a terrible batter.  His career line is .066/.113/.069.  He had sixteen RBIs in his career.  I haven't checked, but it wouldn't surprise me if this was the only two-hit game or two-RBI game in his career.  He had three hits and three RBIs in all of 1970.  But that's baseball.

There were several ex-Twins in this game.  Nettles and Chance, of course.  Also Ted Uhlaender, who was 0-for-4, and Fred Lasher, who allowed three runs in one inning of work.

Hamm was twenty-two when he made his major league debut.  He would make ten appearances for the Twins in 1970 and thirteen in 1971.  He didn't do well in the majors, but he had a very good year in AAA Portland, and at age twenty-three, one would've thought this was a promising young pitcher.  Instead, the Twins sold him to Chicago after the 1971 season and they sent him to AA.  He dominated the Eastern League, as you'd expect, but he never got promoted and his playing career was done after the 1972 season.  I've always thought there has to be some sort of story there, but I've never been able to find out what it is.

Record:  The Twins were 62-34, in first place in the American League West, seven games ahead of California.

1970 Rewind: Game Sixty-seven


Date:  Sunday, June 28.

Batting stars:  Jim Holt was 3-for-4.  Leo Cardenas was 3-for-5.  Cesar Tovar was 3-for-5.  Harmon Killebrew was 2-for-4 with two home runs (his nineteenth and twentieth) and three RBIs.  Tony Oliva was 2-for-5 with a home run (his tenth), two home runs, and two RBIs.

Pitching stars:  Tom Hall struck out seven in 6.2 innings, giving up one run on seven hits and two walks.  Bill Zepp pitched 2.1 scoreless innings, giving up two hits.

Opposition stars:  Luis Aparicio was 2-for-4 with a double.  Walt Williams was 2-for-5.  Jim Magnuson pitched two perfect innings, striking out one.

The game:  Consecutive singles by Paul RatliffHolt, and Danny Thompson put the Twins on the board in the second.  In the third Oliva hit a two-out single and Killebrew followed with a two-run homer, making it 3-0.

The Twins continued to build the lead.  In the fourth Holt singled, went to second on a ground out, and scored on a Hall single.  Singles by Tovar and Cardenas followed, making it 5-0 Twins.  Oliva homered leading off the sixth to make it 6-0.

The White Sox had two singles leading off the first and had a single and a walk in the fifth, but otherwise did not threaten through six innings.  Finally in the seventh, Ken Berry hit a one-out single.  With two down Williams singled and Aparicio followed with an RBI double, getting Chicago on the board at 6-1.

That was all the White Sox did, though.  In the eighth Killebrew homered.  Later in the inning Ratliff walked, went to third on a Holt single, and scored on a sacrifice fly.  In the ninth Tovar singled, took third on a Cardenas single, and scored on a fielder's choice to bring the total to 9-1.

WP:  Hall (3-2).

LP:  Joel Horlen (6-9).

S:  Zepp (1).

Notes:  Ratliff was at catcher in place of George Mitterwald.  Holt was once again in left in place of Brant Alyea.  Thompson was again at second in place of Rod Carew.  Frank Quilici came in for defense in the eighth, going to second with Thompson moving to third and Killebrew coming out of the game.  Herman Hill pinch-ran for Oliva in the ninth and remained in the game in right field.

Oliva was batting .322.  Killebrew was batting .306.  Hall had an ERA of 2.23.  Zepp had an ERA of 2.55.

Quilici was 0-for-1 and was batting .169.

This was the first start of the season for Hall.  They clearly weren't worried about stretching him out, as he pitched 6.2 innings.  He had pitched multiple innings in relief several times, pitching more than three innings five times, with a high of five innings.  He had pitched 3.2 innings as recently as June 25.  He was not taking anyone's place in the rotation at this point, but instead was making a spot start due to a doubleheader.

This was the first career save for Zepp.  He would end up with four, two in 1970 and two in 1971.  The save rule was clearly different then, as he entered the game with two out in the seventh with the Twins leading 6-1.

Horlen pitched five innings, allowing six runs on twelve hits and no walks and striking out one.  Horlen was having the worst year of his career.  He would not win a game the rest of the season, finishing 6-16, 4.86, 1.39 WHIP.  The weak Chicago offense didn't help him--in his next six starts, the White Sox would score a total of eight runs, with a high of two.  He missed all of August, leading one to believe he may have been pitching with an injury much of the season.  He had pitched over two hundred innings in six consecutive seasons prior to 1970, when he pitched 172.  He was a fine pitcher from 1963-1969, and also had a good year out of the bullpen for Oakland in 1972, his last season.

After scoring nine runs over their previous four games, the Twins scored eighteen in their next two.  That's baseball.

Record:  The Twins were 43-24, in first place in the American League West, three and a half games ahead of California.

2003 Rewind: Game Seventy-seven


Date:  Thursday, June 26.

Batting star:  Corey Koskie was 2-for-4 with a double.

Pitching star:  Micheal Nakamura pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.

Opposition stars:  Mark Buehrle struck out nine in a complete game, giving up one run on five hits and two walks.  Jose Valentin was 2-for-3 with a triple, a double, and two RBIs.

The game:  With two out in the third Sandy Alomar singled and scored from first on a D'Angelo Jimenez double.  Aaron Rowand followed with a run-scoring single and it was 2-0 White Sox.  In the sixth, Magglio Ordonez and Brian Daubach singled, and Valentin circled the bases on a double-plus-error, making the score 5-0.

Meanwhile the Twins were doing next to nothing on offense.  Through eight innings they had three hits and did not advance a man past first base.  They avoided the shutout in the ninth when Denny Hocking led off with a single and scored from first on Koskie's double.  The next three batters went out and the game was over.

WP:  Buehrle (5-10).  LP:  Brad Radke (5-7).  S:  None.

Notes:  Matthew LeCroy was behind the plate in place of A. J. Pierzynski.  Hocking was at short in place of Cristian Guzman.  Bobby Kielty was the DH.  There were no in-game lineup substitutions.

Koskie raised his average to .311.  Mientkiewicz was 0-for-3 and was at an even .300.  Jacque Jones was 0-for-4 and fell under .300 at .299.

Radke pitched eight innings but allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits.  He walked none and struck out two.  His ERA came down to 5.64.

By game scores, this was Buehrle's best game of the season, narrowly beating eight shutout innings in his second start of the year.  The Twins had beaten up on him the last time they saw him, on May 16 (10 runs, 9 earned, in 3.1 innings), but he got his revenge here.  That's baseball.

Record:  The Twins were 41-36, in second place in the American League Central, one game behind Kansas City.

2003 Rewind: Game Sixty-four


Date:  Thursday, June 12.

Batting stars:  Lew Ford was 4-for-5 with a double and two runs.  A. J. Pierzynski was 3-for-4 with two home runs (his seventh and eighth), three runs, and seven RBIs.  Matthew LeCroy was 3-for-5 with a home run (his sixth), two runs, and three RBIs.  Corey Koskie was 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, two runs, and two RBIs.  Cristian Guzman was 2-for-5 with a triple.  Dustan Mohr was 2-for-4 with two runs.

Pitching stars:  Kenny Rogers pitched eight innings, giving up three runs on nine hits and a walk and striking out three.  Tony Fiore pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Juan Uribe was 3-for-5.  Todd Helton was 2-for-2 with a double and a walk.  Larry Walker was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer, his sixth.

The game:  This one was over early, as the Twins scored seven runs in the first inning.  Ford led off with a single and scored on Guzman's triple.  Koskie walked and LeCroy had an RBI single.  Doug Mientkiewicz walked to load the bases and Mohr had an RBi single.  Pierzynski then hit a grand slam, making it 7-0 Twins.

The Rockies scored single runs in the second and third.  in the second Greg Vaughn doubled and scored on a Bobby Estalella single.  In the third Helton doubled and scored on a couple of productive outs.  But that was as close as Colorado would come.

The Twins got one in the sixth when Pierzynski singled, went to second on a balk, and scored on Ford's single.  They really put it away in the seventh, getting another seven-run inning.  Koskie led off with a single and LeCroy hit a two-run homer.  With one out Mientkiewicz and Mohr singled and Pierzynski hit a three-run homer.  Luis Rivas and Ford singled and Koskie hit a two-out two-run double, making the score 15-2.

Walker homered in the eighth to round out the scoring at 15-3.

WP:  Rogers (5-2).  LP:  Darren Oliver (3-5).  S:  None.

Notes:  Mohr was in left in place of Jacque Jones.  Ford was in center in place of Torii Hunter.  Bobby Kielty was in right.

Denny Hocking pinch-hit for Mientkiewicz in the eighth inning and stayed in the game at first base.

Ford raised his average to .429.  Hocking was 0-for-1 to drop to .176.

Rogers threw 103 pitches over his eight inning.  Tony Fiore came in to pitch the ninth.  I strongly suspect that, when he entered the game, John Gordon solemnly stated, "This is not a save situation."

Two Rockies in the game had the same name as other, more famous players, even though they had solid careers in their own right.  Bobby Estalella was a reserve catcher for parts of nine seasons, but is not as fondly remembered as the outfielder immortalized by Dave Frishberg in the song "Van Lingle Mungo".  Javier Lopez, who gave up seven runs in this game, was in the first year of what turned out to be a fourteen-year career, but when we say Javier Lopez, most of us think of the Atlanta catcher.

After scoring zero runs two games ago, the Twins scored first seven and then fifteen.  That's baseball.

Record:  The Twins were 37-27, in first place in the American League Central, five games ahead of Kansas City.

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.

Random Rewind: 1996, Game One Hundred Forty-four


Date:  Tuesday, September 10.

Batting star:  Chuck Knoblauch was 1-for-2 with two walks and a stolen base, his thirty-ninth.

Pitching star:  Scott Klingenbeck struck out two in two shutout innings.

Opposition stars:  Dave Telgheder pitched a complete game shutout, giving up three hits and three walks and striking out seven.  Mike Bordick was 3-for-5 with a double and a stolen base, his fifth.  Brian Lesher was 2-for-4 with two runs.  Tony Batista was 2-for-5 with a walk and a stolen base, his sixth.  Jason Giambi was 2-for-5.  Ernie Young was 1-for-4 with a three-run homer, his seventeenth.

The game:  The Twins put two on in the first, but a double play took them out of the inning.  The Athletics started the scoring in the second when Lesher singled, went to second on a passed ball, and scored on a Bordick double.  Oakland increased its lead in the fourth.  Singles by Giambi, Bordick, and Tony Batista plated one run, Scott Brosius walked to load the bases, and a sacrifice fly made it 3-0.

Todd Walker doubled leading off the fourth but did not advance. The Athletics put the game away in the fifth.  They opened the inning with walks to Terry Steinbach and Lesher, and with one out Young hit a three-run homer to give Oakland a 6-0 lead.  They added one more in the sixth when Steinbach walked and Lesher and Giambi singled.

The Twins had only three hits.  Their last came in the sixth, when Rich Becker singled.  He got as far as third base, but that was it.

WP:  Telgheder (3-6).  LP:  Rich Robertson (7-14).  S:  None.

Notes:  Matt Walbeck was the catcher.  He shared catching duties with Greg Myers in 1996, with Myers playing in the majority of games.

Walker was the third baseman.  Dave Hollins was the regular third baseman most of the season, but he was traded at the August deadline.  Walker came up and was immediately given the third base job for the rest of the season.  He would, of course, play second base for most of his major league career.

Brent Brede went to right field in the eighth in place of Matt Lawton.  Mike Durant went behind the plate in the eighth in place of Walbeck.  Chip Hale pinch-hit for Pat Meares in the eighth.  Denny Hocking then went in to play short in the ninth.

Walker, in limited at-bats, was batting .343.  He would finish at .256.  Paul Molitor, at age thirty-nine, was batting .340.  He would finish at .341.  Knoblauch was batting .339.  He would also finish at .341.  Marty Cordova was batting .306.  He would finish at .309.  Part-time outfielder Roberto Kelly would bat .323 in 322 at-bats.

So with all those .300 hitters, did the Twins have an exceptional offense in 1996?  Not really.  They were tied for second in team batting average at .288, but only eighth in runs scored with 877.  The biggest reason, as you may have guessed, was a lack of power.  They finished dead last in the league in home runs with 118.  The team leader was Cordova with 16.  They had five others in double figures:  Scott Stahoviak (13), Knoblauch (13), Hollins (13), Becker (12), and Ron Coomer (12).

Robertson lasted 4.1 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and six walks and striking out two.  He would finish 7-17, 5.12.  Of their five most used starters, only one, Brad Radke, had an ERA under five.  The others were Frankie Rodriguez (5.05), Scott Aldred (5.09), and Rick Aguilera (5.42).  Aguilera had re-signed with the Twins on the condition that they give him the chance to start.  Dave Stevens was the closer at the start of the year.  When he couldn't do the job, they went closer by committee for a while and finally gave the job to Mike Trombley at the end of the season.

This was the only shutout of Dave Telgheder's career.  It was also the only complete game of his career.  As a starter for his career, he was 14-18, 5.39, 1.58 WHIP.  That's the pitcher who shut down the Twins in this game.  Yes, it's baseball, and it happens, but it happens to you a lot more when you're not very good.

Record:  The Twins were 72-72, in third place in the American League Central, 13.5 games behind Cleveland.  They would finish 78-84, in fourth place, 21.5 games behind Cleveland.

The Athletics were 71-75, in third place in the American League West, 13 games behind Texas.  They would finish 78-84, in third place, 12 games behind Texas.

1991 Rewind: Game Thirty-seven


Date:  Sunday, May 19.

Batting stars:  Mike Pagliarulo was 3-for-3 with two home runs.  Al Newman was 2-for-3.

Pitching star:  Carl Willis pitched four shutout innings, giving up a hit and a walk and striking out three.

Opposition stars:  Dan Petry pitched eight innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on eight hits and no walks and striking out two.  Pete Incaviglia was 2-for-3 with a home run (his fourth), a walk, and two runs.  Mickey Tettleton was 2-for-4 with a triple and a walk.  Tony Phillips was 2-for-5 with a double.  Milt Cuyler was 1-for-3 with a grand slam and a walk.  Cecil Fielder was 1-for-4 with a three-run homer, his sixth.

The game:  The Tigers made it a laugher early, scoring seven runs in the first inning off Twins starter Jack Morris.  Tony Phillips singled, Lou Whitaker walked, and with one out Fielder hit a three-run homer.  It did not kill the rally, as Tettleton singled, Incaviglia had a two-out single, Travis Fryman reached on an error, and Cuyler hit a grand slam to make the score 7-0 Detroit.  It was pretty much over at that point.

The Twins got on the board in the third.  Pagliarulo led off with an inside the park home run.  Greg Gagne followed with a double and scored on Newman's bunt single-plus-error.  Incaviglia got one of the runs back in the bottom of the third with a home run, making the score 8-2.  Pagliarulo hit an outside the park home run in the fifth to make it 8-3.

And that was pretty much it.  The Twins did not get a man past first after that and the Tigers only once got a man as far as second.

WP:  Petry (2-2).  LP:  Morris (3-5).  S:  None.

Notes:  Newman was at second base, replacing Chuck Knoblauch.  Pedro Munoz was in right field.  With Knoblauch out, Munoz batted second.  Randy Bush pinch-hit for Munoz in the eighth and remained in the game in right field.  Gene Larkin pinch-hit for Chili Davis in the ninth and had the honor of making the last out of the game.

Brian Harper was 0-for-3 and was batting .372.  Munoz was 1-for-3 and was batting .333.  Kirby Puckett was 1-for-4 and was batting .310.  Gagne was 1-for-3 and was batting .308.  With four shutout innings, Willis lowered his ERA to 3.38.

Morris lasted four innings and gave up eight runs (four earned) on seven hits and six walks.  He struck out three and threw 107 pitches in his four innings.  This would be good to remember the next time he or Bert complain about pitchers needing a hundred pitches to get through five innings.   It was the third time in four games he had given up five or more runs.  Morris' ERA was 5.34.  He may never have lost with ten runs, but here he would've lost with seven.

It would seem pretty unusual for the same pitcher to give up a three-run homer and a grand slam in the same inning.  I'm not suggesting it's as rare as an unassisted triple play, but it doesn't seem like something that happens very often.

I had completely forgotten that Pagliarulo had an inside the park home run for the Twins.  I have no details of it to share with you, other than that it came on a fly ball to left field and that Phillips was the left fielder.

This was the second time in four days that Willis saved the bullpen by pitching multiple good innings of relief.  In his last three appearances (10.1 innings) he had given up one run on seven his and one walk while striking out four.

I think, if Carl Willis was my pitching coach and he came out for a mound visit, I would not be able to resist the urge to say, "What you talkin' 'bout, Willis?"

In a lineup that had Cecil Fielder, Pete Incaviglia, Rob Deer, Travis Fryman, and others, it was Milt Cuyler who delivered the key blow with the grand slam.  He hit three home runs in 1991 and had ten for his career.  Things like that are either the most glorious or the most frustrating thing about the game, depending on which side of them you're on.  But regardless of which side you're on, things like that just make you shrug your shoulders and say, "Well, that's baseball."

Record:  The Twins were 19-18, in sixth place in the American League West, but just one percentage point behind fifth-place Chicago.  They trailed division-leading Oakland by 3.5 games.