Tag Archives: triples

Random Rewind: 1971, Game Thirty

MINNESOTA 6, WASHINGTON 5 IN MINNESOTA (10 INNINGS)

Date:  Sunday, May 9.

Batting stars:  Jim Holt was 3-for-4 with two triples, a walk, and three runs.  Tony Oliva was 3-for-4 with two doubles.  Leo Cardenas was 1-for-5 with a home run, his second.

Pitching star:  Ray Corbin struck out four in four shutout innings of relief, giving up no hits and one walk.

Opposition stars:  Tim Cullen was 2-for-4 with a triple and two runs.  Del Unser was 1-for-5 with a home run, his second.

The game:  Unser led off the game with a home run, putting the Senators up 1-0.  In the second, walks to Joe Foy and Jim French and a single by Cullen loaded the bases with none out.  A 1-2-3 double play kept Washington off the board momentarily, but Denny McLain hit a two-run triple to give the Senators a 3-0 lead.

The Twins came back in the fourth.  Cardenas led off the inning with a home run.  Oliva doubled, followed by a run-scoring single-plus-error by Harmon Killebrew.  Holt then tripled to tie the score and Brant Alyea hit a sacrifice fly to put the Twins up 4-3.

The Senators went back in front in the sixth.  French singled, Cullen tripled, and Toby Harrah hit a sacrifice fly to give them a 5-4 advantage.  The lead only lasted until the Twins came up to bat, because Holt hit a one-out triple and Alyea followed with his second sacrifice fly to tie it 5-5.

It stayed tied until the tenth.  The first two Twins batters went out.  Holt and Alyea then singled, putting men on first and third.  Rich Reese was intentionally walked to load the bases and bring up George Mitterwald.  Mitterwald came through with an RBI single and the Twins won 6-5.

WP:  Corbin (3-1).  LP:  McLain (3-5).  S:  None.

Notes:  Killebrew was at third base in this game, with Reese at first.  Killer played both first and third in 1971, with Steve Braun usually playing third when Harmon was at first.

Alyea was in left in place of Cesar Tovar, who missed a few days, presumably with a minor injury or illness.  Tom Tischinski caught in place of Mitterwald.

Paul Ray Powell pinch-ran for Oliva in the eighth.  He stayed in the game in center field, with Holt moving to right.  Charlie Manuel pinch-hit for Tischinski in the ninth, with Mitterwald entering the game to catch in the tenth.

Despite using three pitchers, the Twins did not pinch-hit for any of them.  Stan Williams batted twice (0-for-2) and Corbin batted twice (0-for-2).

There were four triples in this game.  While I'm sure that's nowhere near a record, it's still a lot of triples, especially when you think of the number of games that can go by where you don't even see one.  I imagine the record was set back in the dead ball era, and I'm sure it's a lot more than four, but four is still remarkable.

Holt hit two of the triples.  He had three for the season and ten in his career.  Cullen had four triples for the season and nine in his career.  This was one of two triples McLain had in his career.

Astonishingly, McLain pitched a complete game.  I know men were men back then, but it's not exactly like he was mowing them down.  He allowed six runs on thirteen hits and two walks.  His game score was forty-four.  They don't give pitch counts for games that old, but it had to be a lot.  It's not like their bullpen was terrible--they had Joe Grzenda (5-2, 1.92), Paul Lindblad (6-4, 2.58), Denny Riddleberger (3-1, 3.23), and Horacio Pina (1-1, 3.59).  After his two Cy Young seasons, 1968-1969, McLain fell off sharply and never had a good year again.  This was his last full season in the majors, and he went 10-22, 4.28, 1.41 WHIP.

1971 is somewhat analogous to 2011.  It's not a perfect analogy by any means, but in both cases you had a team that had been good for a while suddenly fall off a cliff.  The Twins had won the division in 1969 and 1970, and as is seen below, were nowhere close in 1971.

Record:  The Twins were 15-15, in fourth place in the American League West, five games behind Oakland.  They would finish 74-86, in fifth place, 26.5 games behind Oakland.

The Senators were 13-16, in fifth place in the American League East, six games behind Boston.  They would finish 63-96, in fifth place, 38.5 games behind Baltimore.

1991 Rewind: World Series Game Five

ATLANTA 14, MINNESOTA 5 IN ATLANTA

Date:  Thursday, October 24.

Batting stars:  Al Newman was 1-for-1 with a triple.  Scott Leius was 1-for-2 with a walk.  Chuck Knoblauch was 1-for-3 with a walk.

Pitching stars:  None.

Opposition stars:  Ron Gant was 3-for-4 with a triple, a walk, and three runs.  Greg Olson was 3-for-5 with a stolen base, his second.  Brian Hunter was 2-for-2 with a home run (his second), two runs, and two RBIs.  Mark Lemke was 2-for-4 with two triples, a walk, two runs, and three RBIs.  Terry Pendleton was 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, and three runs.  Rafael Belliard was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.  David Justice was 2-for-5 with a home run (his second), a stolen base (his second), two runs, and five RBIs.  Lonnie Smith was 1-for-5 with a home run, his third.

The game:  It was scoreless for three innings, but that was shattered in the fourth.  Gant led off with a single and Justice hit a two-run homer.  Olson got a one-out single, Lemke tripled him home, and Belliard had an RBI double, making the score 4-0 Braves.  They added a run in the fifth when Pendleton and Gant singled and Justice had an RBI ground out.

The Twins rallied in the sixth.  With one out Knoblauch walked, Kirby Puckett singled, and Chili Davis walked, loading the bases.  Brian Harper and Leius each drew a bases-loaded walk, cutting the margin to 5-2.  A big hit would've gotten the Twins right back into the game, but all they could manage was a pair of ground outs.  One of them did score a run, making the score 5-3.

That was the end of the good news, though.  Atlanta put it out of reach with six in the seventh.  Smith homered, Justice and Hunter had RBI singles, Lemke drove in two with another triple, and Belliard had an RBI double, making the score 11-3.  The Twins got one back in the eighth, when Davis singled and scored on Newman's triple.  In the bottom of the eighth, however, Pendleton doubled, Gant tripled, and Hunter homered, bringing the score to 14-4.  The Twins got the final run of the game in the ninth when Dan Gladden tripled and scored on a ground out.

WP:  Tom Glavine (1-3).  LP:  Kevin Tapani (1-2).  S:  None.

Notes:  With no DH, Davis was in right field, with Shane Mack on the bench.

The Twins again made substantial use of the bench.  Gene Larkin pinch-hit for Tapani in the fifth.  Mike Pagliarulo pinch-hit for Terry Leach in the seventh.  Also in the seventh, Al Newman went to second base as part of a double switch that took Knoblauch out of the game.  Jarvis Brown pinch-hit for Puckett in the eighth, as Tom Kelly conceded the game.  Also in the eighth, Randy Bush pinch-hit for Harper and Paul Sorrento pinch-hit for Kent Hrbek.  Junior Ortiz came in to catch in the eighth, as Davis left the game as part of a double switch.  Sorrento went to first base, Brown went to center, and Bush went to right.

Tapani pitched four innings, allowing four runs on six hits and two walks and striking out four.  Atlanta starter Glavine pitched 5.1 innings, giving up three runs on four hits and four walks and striking out two.

The decision to put Davis in the outfield was much debated at the time, and is still a questionable move.  He had played only three innings of outfield all season, and all were in blowout games.  It seems like a desperation move, and the Twins weren't in a position where they needed to make a desperation move.  Did it make a difference in the outcome?  Probably not, although we'll never know for sure.  I seem to remember him misplaying one ball in the outfield, but I can't tell from the printed play-by-play when it happened or whether it would've made any difference.

The Twins bullpen pretty much melted down in this game.  Leach gave up one run in two innings, David West gave up four runs and didn't retire anyone, Steve Bedrosian gave up two runs in one inning, and Carl Willis allowed three runs in one inning.  The Twins were still in the game until the seventh inning, so if the bullpen had come through, the outcome might have been different.  Of course, if either Hrbek or Greg Gagne could have come up with a hit in the sixth, when the Twins were rallying, the outcome might have been different, too.

There were five triples hit in this game.  I wonder what the record is for most triples in a World Series game.  My guess is that it was set back in the dead ball era, but I really have no idea.

Mark Lemke was now 7-for-15 with three triples and a double in the series.

So the Twins would head back to Minnesota, with the Braves needing to win just one of two there to take the Series.  The Twins had lost two tough games, but now had been blown out and pretty much embarrassed.  Could the Twins rally?  Would someone step up and take the burden of leadership?  We'll see.

Record:  The Twins trailed the best-of-seven series two games to three.

1991 Rewind: Game Fifteen

MINNESOTA 7, OAKLAND 4 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Wednesday, April 24.

Batting stars:  Chuck Knoblauch was 3-for-4 with a triple, a walk, a stolen base (his second) and three RBIs.  Junior Ortiz was 2-for-3 with a walk.  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-4 with a triple.  Gene Larkin was 2-for-4.

Pitching stars:  Jack Morris pitched 7.2 innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and four walks and striking out six.  Rick Aguilera struck out two in 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up a walk.

Opposition stars:  Harold Baines was 2-for-4 with a triple.  Lance Blankenship was 1-for-2 with a walk.

The game:  The Twins missed a chance in the first.  With one out, Knoblauch walked and Puckett singled.  With two out, Chili Davis walked to load the bases, but a fly out ended the inning.  Each team put men on first and second in the fourth, but it remained scoreless until the fifth.

In the bottom of the fifth, Puckett tripled and scored on a ground out to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  The Athletics then broke through with four in the top of the sixth.  Willie Wilson doubled and scored on a Jose Canseco single to tie it 1-1.  Baines then tripled to give Oakland a 2-1 lead.  Terry Steinbach singled him home, and singles by Mark McGwire and Blankenship plated another run, making it 4-1 Athletics.

The Twins responded in the bottom of the sixth.  Mike Pagliarulo led off with a single.  Singles by Larkin and Greg Gagne loaded the bases with one out.  Dan Gladden singled one home, Knoblauch cleared the bases with a triple to give the Twins the lead, and Hrbek singled him home to provide an insurance run at 6-4.

Oakland did not get a hit the rest of the game.  The Twins got an insurance run in the eighth when Gladden was hit by a pitch, Knoblauch singled, and Puckett hit a sacrifice fly.

WP:  Morris (1-3).  LP:  Dave Stewart (1-2).  S:  Aguilera (4).

Notes:  Puckett started in center, with Larkin in right.  Shane Mack came in for defense in the eighth, playing center with Puckett moving to right.

Larkin raised his average to .417.  Puckett went up to .322.  Knoblauch raised his average to .308.  Gagne was 1-for-4 and was batting .300.

Aguilera had an ERA of 1.23.

Gladden was 1-for-4 and raised his average to .120.  Hrbek was 1-for-5 and was batting .157.  Morris got his ERA down to 5.88.

Morris threw 124 pitches.  Stewart was allowed to give up all seven runs in seven innings. giving up twelve hits and three walks while striking out six.  He threw 134 pitches.  Yes, men were men in those days.

There were three triples in this game.  I'm sure that's nowhere near a record, but it's not exactly common, either.  I would think the Oakland Mausoleum would be conducive to triples, although I didn't look it up to check.

Record:  The Twins were 5-10, in seventh (last) place, five games behind the White Sox, 2.5 games behind sixth-place Kansas City.