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Random Rewind: 1972, Game Eleven

MINNESOTA 5, NEW YORK 4 IN NEW YORK (GAME 2 OF DOUBLEHEADER)

Date:  Sunday, April 30.

Batting stars:  George Mitterwald was 3-for-5 with two doubles.  Bobby Darwin was 2-for-3 with a walk and a hit-by-pitch.  Danny Thompson was 2-for-4 with a double and a walk.  Rod Carew was 2-for-5 with two RBIs.

Pitching stars:  Dick Woodson pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on five hits and two walks and striking out five.  Dave LaRoche struck out two in two innings, giving up an unearned run on two hits.

Opposition stars:  Mike Kekich pitched 5.2 innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on ten hits and two walks and striking out four.  John Ellis was 2-for-4 with a home run.  Roy White was 1-for-4 with a home run.

The game:  The Twins loaded the bases in the first inning but did not score.  In the second, Ellis hit a one-out homer to get the Yankees on the board.  Later in the inning Jerry Kenney walked and Kekich hit a two-out triple to make the score 2-0 New York.

The Twins tied it in the fourth.  Darwin and Steve Brye led off the inning with singles.  With one out Mitterwald hit a ground-rule double to put the Twins on the board.  With two out, Cesar Tovar was hit by a pitch, loading the bases, and Thompson walked to force in a run.  With the bases still loaded the Twins had a chance to take the lead, but Carew struck out to end the inning.

The Twins took the lead in the sixth, however, when Tovar singled and scored on a double-plus-error by Thompson.  The lead lasted until the bottom of the sixth, when White homered to tie it 3-3.

In the eighth, Mitterwald singled, Danny Monzon reached on an error, and Tovar was hit by a pitch to load the bases with none out.  Thompson struck out, but Carew delivered a two-run single to give the Twins a 5-3 lead.  The Twins had a chance for a bigger lead, loading the bases with two out, but a ground out ended the inning.

The lead held up, but it wasn't easy.  With one out in the ninth Felipe Alou doubled and scored on Ellis' single-plus-error, cutting the margin to 5-4.  The tying run was on second, but Thurman Munson fouled out and Ron Swoboda was caught looking to end the game.

WP:  Woodson (2-0).  LP:  Fred Beene (0-1).  S:  LaRoche (4).

Notes:  Mitterwald shared time behind the plate with Phil Roof and Glenn Borgmann, with Rick Dempsey playing a handful of games.  Borgmann did not come up until mid-season (it was his rookie year), and he took over the starting job at that point.

Rich Reese pinch-ran for Harmon Killebrew in the eighth and remained in the game at first base.

Darwin was batting .439 in the young season.  He would finish at .267.  Mitterwald was batting .375.  He would finish at .234.  Thompson was batting .311.  He would finish at .276.  Carew, who was batting just .227, would end up leading the team in batting at .318.  The Twins finished fourth in the league in batting average at just .244.

Killebrew would lead the team in home runs with 26.  Darwin would hit 22 and Eric Soderholm, who would become the starting third baseman, had 13.

1968 was The Year of the Pitcher, but 1972 was a pretty good year for pitchers, too.  Here are the Twins' starters:  Bert Blyleven:  17-17, 2.73; Woodson, 14-14, 2.72; Jim Perry, 13-16, 3.35; Ray Corbin, 8-9, 2.62; Jim Kaat, 10-2, 2.06; Dave Goltz, 3-3, 2.67.  The designated hitter would come in the next year to try to generate more offense in the American League.

LaRoche was pretty much the co-closer with Wayne Granger.  Granger had 19 saves and LaRoche 10.

Despite Kekich's RBI triple, he was not a good batter.  He was not even a good batter for a pitcher.  His career numbers are .120/.140/.134.  This was the only triple of his major league career.  He also had just one double, in 1969, and no home runs.

The Twins lost the first game of the doubleheader, snapping a six-game winning streak.  The win in the second game would start a five-game winning streak.  The Twins were 23-12 at the end of May, but would not have another month in which they were over .500.

This was a strike/lockout year, so the season did not begin until April 15.  That's why, on April 26, the Twins were only playing their eleventh game.

Record:  The Twins were 8-3, in first place in the American League West, one game ahead of Oakland.  They would finish 77-77, in third place, 15.5 games behind Oakland.

The Yankees were 4-8, in fifth place in the American League East, 3.5 games behind Detroit.  They would finish 79-76, in fourth place, 6.5 games behind Detroit.

Random record:  The Twins are 32-27 in Random Rewind games.

Random Rewind: 1993, Game One Hundred Fifty-two

MINNESOTA 5, NEW YORK 2 IN NEW YORK

Date:  Wednesday, September 22.

Batting starsDave Winfield was 3-for-4 with two doubles.  Pedro Munoz was 1-for-4 with a three-run homer, his thirteenth.  Kent Hrbek was 1-for-4 with a home run, his twenty-second.

Pitching stars:  Kevin Tapani pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on five hits and no walks and striking out five.  Carl Willis pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.  Rick Aguilera pitched a scoreless inning.

Opposition stars:  Randy Velarde was 2-for-3.  Mike Gallego was 1-for-3 with a home run, his tenth.

The game:  The Twins did almost all of their damage in the second inning.  Hrbek led off the inning with a home run.  Winfield doubled, Brian Harper singled, and Munoz hit a three-run homer, putting the Twins ahead 4-0.

The Yankees had only two hits through the first four innings.  They got on the board in the fifth when Bernie Williams doubled and Velarde singled.  It stayed 4-1 until the eighth.  In the top of the inning Chuck Knoblauch walked, went to second on a ground out, and scored on Kirby Puckett's single.  Gallego homered leading off the bottom of the eighth to make it 5-2.  New York got one man on in the ninth but did not bring the tying run to the plate.

WP:  Tapani (10-15).  LP:  Scott Kamieniecki (9-7).  S:  Aguilera (32).

Notes:  Scott Stahoviak was at third base.  I had completely forgotten that Stahoviak came up as a third baseman.  He played 19 games there in 1993 and 22 in 1995 before moving to first base.  Terry Jorgensen and Jeff Reboulet also saw significant time at third.  Mike Pagliarulo had been the regular third baseman, but he was traded to Baltimore in mid-August.

David McCarty was in right field.  The person who actually got the most games in right field was Puckett, with 47, but he also had the most games in center with 95.  Shane Mack played center when Puckett did not and usually played left when Puckett did.  Munoz had the next highest number of games in right field with 41.  McCarty had 34, Winfield had 31, and Gene Larkin had 25.  Munoz moved to left for this game, which he often did when someone else was in right.

Harper was the lone Twin over .300, at .305.  He would finish at .304.  Chip Hale, who did not play in this game, batted .333 in 186 at-bats.

Stahoviak was batting .175 after this game.  He would finish at .193.  It was his rookie season at age 23.  I'd forgotten that he actually had a fine year in 1996--.284/.376/.469 with 13 homers and 30 doubles.  If he'd been able to stay near that level, he'd have been a good player.  Unfortunately, the next season he batted .229 and he played in only nine big-league games after that.

Tapani pitched well in this game but did not have a good year, going 12-15, 4.43.  Maybe it's because of his fine 1991 season, when he was instrumental in the World Championship, but Tapani really does not appear to have been as good as I remember him.  He wasn't awful, but his career numbers--143-125, 4.35, 1.31 WHIP--are really pretty average.  He was really good in 1991, though.

This was the second game of a stretch in which the Twins would win eight out of nine.

Record:  The Twins were 64-88, in sixth place in the American League West, 22.5 games behind Chicago.  They would finish 71-91, tied for fifth with California, 23 games behind Chicago.

The Yankees were 83-70, in second place, 5 games behind Toronto.  With only nine games left, the loss to the lowly Twins really hurt them.  They would finish 88-74, in second place, 7 games behind Toronto.

Random Rewind: 1995, Game Seventy

MINNESOTA 11, NEW YORK 4 IN NEW YORK

Date:  Friday, July 14.

Batting stars:  Pedro Munoz was 3-for-4 with a double and four RBIs.  Marty Cordova was 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBIs.  Jeff Reboulet was 2-for-4 with a hit-by-pitch and four runs.  Chuck Knoblauch was 2-for-4 with a triple, a stolen base (his twenty-first), a walk, and two runs.  Dan Masteller was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.  Kirby Puckett was 2-for-5 with a double and a stolen base, his third.

Pitching stars:  Mark Guthrie pitched three shutout innings, giving up a hit and a walk and striking out two.  Dave Stevens pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Jim Leyritz was 2-for-5 with a home run, his fifth.  Luis Polonia was 2-for-4 with a walk.  Don Mattingly was 2-for-4.

The game:  In the first inning Reboulet reached on an error, went to second on Puckett's single, took third on a wild pitch, and scored on a sacrifice fly to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  It lasted until the bottom of the first.  Polonia singled and scored on a double by Dion James.  James went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly to give the Yankees a 2-1 lead.  The Twins tied it in the top of the second on singles by Scott Leius and Matt Walbeck and another sacrifice fly, but New York again took the lead in the bottom of the second when Leyritz led off the inning with a home run.

The Twins wasted a leadoff triple by Knoblauch in the third.  In the fourth, however, Cordova led off with a double, went to third on a ground out, and scored on Masteller's single to tie it 3-3.  The Twins took the lead in the fifth when Knoblauch singled, Reboulet was hit by a pitch, and Munoz delivered a two-run double.  The Yankees cut the lead to 5-4 in the bottom of the fifth when Wade Boggs doubled and scored on a Paul O'Neill single.

The Twins took control of the game in the sixth.  Walbeck led off with a single, but was still on first with two out.  Knoblauch walked.  Reboulet had an RBI single, Puckett hit a run-scoring double, Munoz drove in a run with a single, and Cordova hit a two-run double.  It was 10-4 Twins.

The Twins got their last run in the eighth on singles by RebouletMunoz, and Cordova.  The Yankees did not threaten to get back into the game.

WP:  Brad Radke (6-7).  LP:  Sterling Hitchcock (3-6).  S:  None.

Notes:  Masteller was at first base.  Twins first basemen in 1995 included Scott Stahoviak (69 games), Masteller (48), Ron Coomer (22), David McCarty (18), Reboulet (17), and Jerald Clark (11), along with four others who played less than ten games there.  It was Coomer's rookie season, and he did not come up until August 1.  it's saying something that he would be the best player out of that group.

Reboulet was at shortstop in place of Pat Meares.  Reboulet played all over the infield in 1995--39 games at shortstop, 22 at third base, 17 at first base, and 15 at second base.  This was his best season in the majors:  .292/.373/.398 in 246 plate appearances.

Knoblauch was leading the team in batting at .319.  He would finish at .333.  Munoz was batting .303.  He would finish at .301.

Radke pitched five innings, allowing four runs on nine hits and one walk and striking out none.  It was his rookie season, and at age 22 he was not ready, going 11-14, 5.32 in 28 starts.  That was actually above average for Twins starters in 1995, though--others who had a significant number of starts were Kevin Tapani (6-11, 4.92), Mike Trombley (4-8, 5.62), Frankie Rodriguez (5-6, 5.38), Scott Erickson (4-6, 5.95), and Jose Parra (1-5, 7.95).  The Twins had thirteen pitchers start games in 1995--other than Tapani, the only one to have an ERA below five was Rich Robertson, who only made four starts.

Hitchcock pitched just four innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits, with no walks and no strikeouts.  Other Yankee pitchers were Scott Bankhead, Dave Pavlas, and Bob MacDonald.  Ah, the good old days.

The 1995 season did not start until late April due to a strike or a lockout, I forget which.  Thus, the Twins were only on their seventieth game on July 14.

Record:  The Twins were 23-47, in fifth (last) place in the American League Central, 25.5 games behind Cleveland.  They would finish 56-88, in fifth place, 44 games behind Cleveland.

The Yankees were 32-37, in fourth place in the American League East, 7.5 games behind Boston.  They would finish 79-65, in second place, seven games behind Boston, but winning the wild card.

Random Rewind: 1969, Game Thirty-seven

MINNESOTA 2, NEW YORK 1 IN NEW YORK

Date:  Saturday, May 24.

Batting stars:  Leo Cardenas was 2-for-3.  Tony Oliva was 2-for-4.

Pitching stars:  Jim Kaat pitched a complete game, giving up an unearned run on five hits and two walks and striking out four.

Opposition stars:  Bobby Murcer was 2-for-4.  Bill Burbach pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on five hits and a walk and striking out four.

The game:  The Twins started the scoring in the second on singles by Harmon KillebrewGraig Nettles, and Cardenas.  They ran themselves out of a chance for a bigger inning when, with men on first and third and one out, Nettles was thrown out trying to steal home on the back end of a second-and-home double steal attempt.  It went to 2-0 in the third when Rod Carew walked, stole second, and scored on Oliva's single.

It stayed 2-0 for a while, as neither team was getting much else going offensively.  Tom Tresh led off the sixth with a double but did not advance.  The Yankees got on the board in the seventh when, with a man on first and two out, Carew made a two-base error on a pop fly to short right field, scoring Billy Cowan.  Neither team threatened after that, and the game ended 2-1.

WP:  Kaat (4-2).  LP:  Burbach (2-4).  S:  None.

Notes:  Cesar Tovar was again at third base, with Nettles in left field.  In the eighth, Frank Quilici came in to play third, with Tovar moving to left.

Carew was 0-for-3 with a walk, dropping his average to .384.  Oliva went up to .306.  Kaat's ERA fell to 2.50.

The Twins went 1-for-4 in stolen bases.  In addition to NettlesOliva was caught stealing twice, in the third and the sixth.

The Twins were having trouble scoring runs in this period.  They had scored just thirteen runs in their last eight games.  Part of it was that they hit a stretch where they faced some good pitchers, but that was not the case in this game (more on that below).

It strikes me that one reason pitchers threw more innings and more complete games back then is that balls were simply put in play more frequently.  Yes, there were some pitchers with high strikeout totals, but a lot of successful pitchers did not strike out that many batters.  Kaat pitched a complete game here, but struck out just four and walked only two.  For the season, in 242.1 innings, he struck out just 139 and walked 75 (including 15 intentional walks).  I am making no judgment about what is better or worse, just observing that you're going to be able to face more batters if you don't throw as many pitches per at-bat.  And if you can get those batters to make outs, well, you're probably going to throw more innings and get more complete games.

I have absolutely no memory of Bill Burbach.  As it turns out, he's an ex-Twin that I had missed, although he did not play in the majors for Minnesota.  1969 was his rookie season.  He was in the rotation pretty much all year and did fairly well, going 6-8, 3.65.  He pitched 140.2 innings and gave up just 112 hits, but he walked 102 batters, leading to a WHIP of 1.52.  He was just twenty-one years old in this season, though, and one can imagine people saying, "If he can just learn to throw strikes, he'll be a great pitcher."  It didn't happen for him, though.  He made four starts for the Yankees in 1970, posting a 10.26 ERA, and spent the rest of the year in AAA Syracuse.  1971 was similar--two appearances in the majors early in the season, the rest of the year in AAA.  It wasn't AAA Syracuse, though--the Yankees traded him to Baltimore for Jim Hardin in late May.  The Orioles traded him to Detroit before the 1972 season, but somehow he ended up making thirty-three appearances for Tacoma in the Twins' organization that season.  He wasn't very good, posting an ERA of 4.50 and a WHIP of 1.75.  He improved some at throwing strikes as his career, although no one would ever have called him a control pitcher.  As his walk rate went down, however, his hits allowed rate went up.  One wonders if he might have thrown a magical zoomball, and if in the process of trying to control it, it became hittable.  At any rate, he was out of baseball after the 1972 season at age twenty-five.  His career major league numbers are 6-11, 4.48, 1.60 WHIP in 160.2 innings.

Record:  The Twins were 21-16, tied for first with Oakland in the American League West.  They would finish 97-65, in first place, nine games ahead of Oakland.

The Yankees were 20-22, in fourth place in the American League West, ten games behind Baltimore.  They would finish 80-81, in fifth place, 28.5 games behind Baltimore.

Random Rewind: 1967, Game Sixteen

MINNESOTA 13, NEW YORK 4 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Tuesday, May 2.

Batting stars:  Zoilo Versalles was 2-for-4 with a triple, two runs, and two RBIs.  Ron Clark was 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs.  Cesar Tovar was 2-for-4 with a double.  Jerry Zimmerman was 2-for-4 with a walk and two runs.  Ted Uhlaender was 2-for-5 with a triple, a double, and two runs.

Pitching star:  Dean Chance pitched six innings, giving up two runs on five hits and two walks and striking out four.

Opposition star:  Tom Tresh was 2-for-3 with a two-run homer (his third) and two walks.

The game:  The Yankees put men on second and third with two out in the first but did not score.  That was the last time the Yankees were in the game.  The Twins scored six times in the first inning.  Tovar and Uhlaender started the inning with back-to-back doubles.  Versalles singled and Harmon Killebrew hit a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.  Bob Allison had an RBI single.  With two out Clark had a run-scoring double.  Zimmerman was intentionally walked, Chance was accidentally walked to load the bases, and Tovar got his second hit of the inning, a two-run single, to make it 6-0 Twins.

It stayed 6-0 until the fifth, when New York got on the board.  John Kennedy led off with a walk and Tresh hit a two-out two-run homer to cut the margin to 6-2.  The Twins came back with three in the sixth.  Zimmerman singled and Chance reached on an error.  Tovar bunted the runners up, and with two out Versalles hit a two-run triple, followed by Killebrew's RBI double, giving the Twins a 9-2 lead.

The Twins added a run in the seventh when Andy Kosco reached on a three-base error and scored on a sacrifice fly.  In the eighth Uhlaender tripled, Frank Quilici walked, Killebrew hit a sacrifice fly, Allison walked, and Kosco and Clark had RBI singles, making the score 13-2.  The Yankees added two in the ninth.  Bill Robinson reached on an error and Dick Howser singled.  A force out put men on first and third, a wild pitch scored one, and Ray Barker's single made the final 13-4.

WP:  Chance (3-1).  LP:  Fritz Peterson (0-2).  S:  None.

Notes:  Tovar was at second base in place of rookie Rod Carew, who missed a couple of days with a minor injury.  Kosco was in right field in place of Tony Oliva, who missed a couple of weeks.  Clark was at third base in place of Rich Rollins, who missed about three weeks.  As we mentioned yesterday, Earl Battey missed much of the season due to injury, so Zimmerman was the regular catcher.

Quilici entered the game in the seventh and went to second base, with Tovar moving to short and Versalles leaving the game.  Rich Reese replaced Killebrew at first base in the ninth.

There were a couple of interesting managerial decisions.  In the first, with two out, a man on second, and the score 4-0, Zimmerman was intentionally walked to bring up Chance.  Chance was a notoriously bad batter--he only had one year in which he batted over .100, and his lifetime average was .066.  But Zimmerman was a pretty bad batter, too--his lifetime average was .204, and he was batting .133 at this time.  So yes, you were bringing up a worse batter, but it seems like if you don't have confidence that your pitcher can get a batter like Zimmerman out, you probably shouldn't be using that pitcher in the first place.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Twins led 6-2.  Zimmerman led off with a single and Chance was allowed to bat.  Maybe he was supposed to bunt--the play-by-play doesn't say that, it simply says that he reached on an error.  But Chance came out of the game to start the seventh, with Al Worthington coming in to pitch.  Maybe if the score had stayed 6-2, Chance was going to pitch the seventh, but when it went to 9-2 Sam Mele decided to give him a break and use Worthington instead.

Peterson did not get out of the first inning.  The walk to Chance was the last straw, and he was removed in favor of Jim Bouton.  Bouton then pitched the next 5.1 innings of relief.

This is the first time random.org gave us back-to-back games from the same year.  It has also given us the same opponent three times in a row.

Record:  The Twins were 6-10, in tenth (last) place in the American League, four games behind Detroit.  They would finish 91-71, tied for second, one game behind Boston.

The Yankees were 9-7, tied for second place in the American League, one game behind Detroit.  They would finish 72-90, in ninth place, twenty games behind Boston.

Random Rewind: 1967, Game Forty-one

MINNESOTA 3, NEW YORK 0 IN NEW YORK

Date:  Tuesday, May 30.

Batting stars:  Harmon Killebrew was 3-for-4 with a double.  Cesar Tovar was 2-for-4 with a double.

Pitching star:  Jim Merritt struck out eleven in a complete game, giving up two hits and no walks.

Opposition star:  Hal Reniff pitched three shutout innings, giving up only a walk and striking out two.

The game:  With one out in the first, Rod Carew doubled.  Zoilo Versalles drove him in with a single and went to second on an error.  Killebrew drove him in with a single and went all the way to third on an error.  Tony Oliva drove him in with a single and the Twins had a 3-0 lead.

And there it stood the rest of the game.  The Yankees never threatened.  Horace Clarke got a leadoff single in the second but never got past first base.  He reached on an error in the third but again stayed at first.  Bill Robinson reached on an error in the fifth and had a similar fate.  Charley Smith hit a one-out double in the seventh and went to third on a ground out, but stayed there.

WP:  Merritt (3-0).  LP:  Fritz Peterson (0-4).  S:  None.

Notes:  Earl Battey was injured much of 1967, catching only forty-one games, so Jerry Zimmerman was the regular catcher.

Tovar was in center field in this game in place of Ted Uhlaender.  As you probably know, Tovar could play pretty much anywhere on the diamond.  In 1967 he played 72 games at third base, 64 in center field, 35 at second base, 10 in left field, 9 at shortstop, and 6 in right field.  I can't tell you how good he was defensively, but he was good enough that his managers kept making sure he was in the lineup someplace.  In 1967 he led the league in games played with 164 (I assume there were a couple of games that were called for weather as ties or something), plate appearances at 726, and at-bats at 649.

This was Merritt's best year in the majors.  He went 13-7, 2.53, 0.99 WHIP.  Some might say his best years were 1969-1970, when he went a combined 37-21 for Cincinnati (winning twenty games and making the all-star team in 1970), but his ERA, his WHIP, and his FIP are all substantially lower in 1967.  This was one of four shutouts he pitched that year--he had no more than one in any other season and nine for his career.  This was only his second start of the season--he had started the year in the bullpen.  His first start, on May 26, was a shutout of Kansas City.

I like the good old days, when the Twins could beat the Yankees.

Record:  The Twins were 20-21, in sixth place in the American League, 6.5 games behind Detroit.  They would finish 91-71, tied for second place, one game behind Boston.

The Yankees were 17-22, in ninth place in the American League, 8.5 games behind Detroit.  They would finish 72-90, in ninth place, twenty games behind Boston.

1969 Rewind: Game Thirty-seven

MINNESOTA 2, NEW YORK 1 IN NEW YORK

Date:  Saturday, May 24.

Batting stars:  Leo Cardenas was 2-for-3.  Tony Oliva was 2-for-4.

Pitching stars:  Jim Kaat pitched a complete game, giving up an unearned run on five hits and two walks and striking out four.

Opposition stars:  Bobby Murcer was 2-for-4.  Bill Burbach pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on five hits and a walk and striking out four.

The game:  The Twins started the scoring in the second on singles by Harmon KillebrewGraig Nettles, and Cardenas.  They ran themselves out of a chance for a bigger inning when, with men on first and third and one out, Nettles was thrown out trying to steal home on the back end of a second-and-home double steal attempt.  It went to 2-0 in the third when Rod Carew walked, stole second, and scored on Oliva's single.

It stayed 2-0 for a while, as neither team was getting much else going offensively.  Tom Tresh led off the sixth with a double but did not advance.  The Yankees got on the board in the seventh when, with a man on first and two out, Carew made a two-base error on a pop fly to short right field, scoring Billy Cowan.  Neither team threatened after that, and the game ended 2-1.

WP:  Kaat (4-2).  LP:  Burbach (2-4).  S:  None.

Notes:  Cesar Tovar was again at third base, with Nettles in left field.  In the eighth, Frank Quilici came in to play third, with Tovar moving to left.

Carew was 0-for-3 with a walk, dropping his average to .384.  Oliva went up to .306.  Kaat's ERA fell to 2.50.

The Twins went 1-for-4 in stolen bases.  In addition to NettlesOliva was caught stealing twice, in the third and the sixth.

Despite the win, the Twins' run-scoring slump continued.  They had scored just thirteen runs in their last eight games.  This time, they did not have the excuse of facing a top-notch pitcher (more on that below).

As I've been going through these games, it strikes me that one reason pitchers threw more innings and more complete games back then is that balls were simply put in play more frequently.  Yes, there were some pitchers with high strikeout totals, but a lot of successful pitchers did not strike out that many batters.  Kaat pitched a complete game here, but struck out just four and walked only two.  For the season, in 242.1 innings, he struck out just 139 and walked 75 (including 15 intentional walks).  I am making no judgment about what is better or worse, just observing that you're going to be able to face more batters if you don't throw as many pitches per at-bat.  And if you can get those batters to make outs, well, you're probably going to throw more innings and get more complete games.

I have absolutely no memory of Bill Burbach.  As it turns out, he's an ex-Twin that I missed, although he did not play in the majors for Minnesota.  1969 was his rookie season.  He was in the rotation pretty much all year and did fairly well, going 6-8, 3.65.  He pitched 140.2 innings and gave up just 112 hits, but he walked 102 batters, leading to a WHIP of 1.52.  He was just twenty-one years old in this season, though, and one can imagine people saying, "If he can just learn to throw strikes, he'll be a great pitcher."  It didn't happen for him, though.  He made four starts for the Yankees in 1970, posting a 10.26 ERA, and spent the rest of the year in AAA Syracuse.  1971 was similar--two appearances in the majors early in the season, the rest of the year in AAA.  It wasn't AAA Syracuse, though--the Yankees traded him to Baltimore for Jim Hardin in late May.  The Orioles traded him to Detroit before the 1972 season, but somehow he ended up making thirty-three appearances for Tacoma in the Twins' organization that season.  He wasn't very good, posting an ERA of 4.50 and a WHIP of 1.75.  He improved some at throwing strikes as his career, although no one would ever have called him a control pitcher.  As his walk rate went down, however, his hits allowed rate went up.  One wonders if he might have thrown a magical zoomball, and if in the process of trying to control it, it became hittable.  At any rate, he was out of baseball after the 1972 season at age twenty-five.  His career major league numbers are 6-11, 4.48, 1.60 WHIP in 160.2 innings.

Record:  The Twins were 21-16, tied for first with Oakland in the American League West.

Game 96 recap: Twins 10 Yankees 1

If you missed the game, I found the file footage of Yankees pitching

 

Miguel Sano's two run HR in the first was really something. (side not, how many times are we going to something like that over his career? 100? 150?) Taking borderline pitches to work the count then found a hanging cutter and crushed it over the CF wall and he didnt full extension of his arms!

Two runs is all Phil Hughes needed as he scattered 7 hits over 7 innings of work as the Twins moved to 52-44 on the season and gained a game on the Royals in the AL Central race. I dont like seeing Wild Card standings. The WC is a crap shoot. Winning divisions guarantees you 3 playoff games.

Kurt Suzuki flashed some of his 2014 form by knocking in two runs to pad the lead. Torii Hunter lined a HR in the 7th, then Trevor Plouffe and Brian Dozier blasted homers in the 8th to make it a laugher. Also of note Eddie Rosario hit 3 doubles.

 

I love when the Twins beat down an opponent, but there are two teams I really love to see them against: The White Sox and the Yankees. Yeah, this game was awesome. Lets do it again Saturday night!

Game 12 Recap: The Yankees can’t believe they lost

Twins 6, Yanks 4 (I refuse to believe that Matt Capps allowed any runs)
WP: The Marquis de Sade (1-0, 7.2 ERA)
LP: Kuroda (1-2, 5.0 ERA)
SAVE(ONE): Shortening (3)

Fangraphs gets it's wings every time the yankees lose.

Joey G looked at his script and shook his head. Something didn't make sense, but he just couldn't put his finger on it. He was totally down with his starter giving up 4 runs in the first. You've got to build drama, right? But where was the dramatic comeback? Where was the walk off home run? Where was the shaving cream pie to the face? Who were these clowns that dared to defy the narrative? Yeah, these clowns are from Minnesota, and they don't read scripts unless they're acting in awesome commercials.

NYC print tour: NYC is bursting a the seams with printmaking. Universal Limited Art Editions has been producing excellent work for 50 years. Tatyana Grosman founded the press as a way to earn a living supporting her husband who had suffered a heart attack and couldn't work anymore. Some of the folks they printed for included Helen Frankenthaler, Jasper Johns, and Robert Rouschenberg. They're still producing high quality, limited edition, original prints today. Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop has also been around a long time, and offers excellent art. Purchasing a print published by these fine folks allows them to continue offering artists of all skill level "unfettered access" to their presses and master printers. The LeRoy Neiman Center for Print Study is the printing / publishing wing of the printmaking department at Columbia University. They publish work from international, national emerging and established artists. The proceeds from prints sold "sustain future artist and student collaborations, exhibitions, equipment upgrades, and fellowships." And for a slightly different, less formal take on printmaking I give you Cannonball Press. These guys are as legit as they come. Their stated mission is to publish one pass, black and white woodcuts and screen prints that sell for 20 bucks apiece. Their work is impeccable, and for the price you can't beat it. I encourage you to check out their stock of artists and images.