Game 115: California Angels (57-56) @ Minnesota Twins (62-52)

February 14, 2007

Wednesday August 12, 1987

Angels 8, Twins 2

This time it was the Angels’ turn to jump on the starting pitcher early. They scored six runs off of Les Straker in the first four innings, while Kirk McCaskill was able to hold the Twins to only two runs in 7 1/3 innings pitched.

The loss ended the Twins’ five game winning streak, and pulled the Angels within 3 1/2 games of the AL West lead.

Player of the Game
polidor.jpg
Gus Polidor 2-, 1 R, 3 RBI

AL West Standings through 8/12 (Retrosheet)

Team Name                        G    W    L    T   PCT    GB    RS   RA
Minnesota Twins                115   62   53    0  .539     -   578  581
California Angels              114   58   56    0  .509   3.5   548  557
Kansas City Royals             113   57   56    0  .504   4.0   477  460
Oakland Athletics              114   57   57    0  .500   4.5   583  549
Seattle Mariners               114   56   58    0  .491   5.5   538  583
Texas Rangers                  112   54   58    0  .482   6.5   608  601
Chicago White Sox              112   45   67    0  .402  15.5   503  546

Tomorrow vs California: Steve Carlton (L) 1-1 7.43 vs Mike Witt 13-8 3.87
Friday-Monday vs SEA
Tuesday-Thursday @ DET
8/21-8/23 @ BOS
8/24-8/26 vs DET


The All-Franchise Team 1901-1910

February 14, 2007

street.jpgC Gabby Street 1908-1910
357 G 100 FRAR 10.6 WARP3
.207/.267/.256 1.8 BFW 21 WS

stahl.jpg1B Jake Stahl 1904-1906
420 G 19 FRAR 9.8 WARP3
.245/.289/.343 0.1 BFW 47 WS

jdelahanty.jpg2B Jim Delahanty 1907-1909
281 G 24 FRAR 12.1 WARP3
.278/.346/.365 3.9 BFW 40 WS

mcbride.jpgSS George McBride 1908-1910
465 G 136 FRAR 19.2 WARP3
.232/.291/.276 8.7 BFW 44 WS

coughlinbill_photo1.jpg3B Bill Coughlin 1901-1904
450 G 73 FRAR 14.0 WARP3
.274/.310/.370 1.6 BFW 49 WS

delahanty_ed_1.jpg LF Ed Delahanty 1902-1903
165 G 16 FRAR 12.4 WARP3
.366/.437/.552 5.9 BFW 37 WS

milan.jpg CF Clyde Milan 1907-1910
450 G 77 FRAR 12.8 WARP3
.247/.316/.308 1.8 BFW 46

anderson.jpg RF John Anderson 1905-1907
335 G 13 FRAR 10.2 WARP3
.281/.323/.356 1.9 BFW 48 WS

johnson.jpg P Walter Johnson 1907-1910
135 G 1033 IP 25.5 WARP3
57-65 1.73 ERA/2.54 FIP/1.04 WHIP 8.2 PW 72 WS

patten2.jpgP Case Patten 1901-1908
269 G 2059.3 IP 12.9 WARP3
105-127 3.34 ERA/3.53 FIP/1.35 WHIP -0.4 PW 79 WS

hughestom_photo.jpg P Tom Hughes 1904-1909
184 G 1016.3 IP 13.8 WARP3
55-86 3.39 ERA/3.21 FIP/1.52 WHIP -3.2 BFW 58 WS


Game 114: California Angels (57-55) @ Minnesota Twins (61-52)

February 13, 2007

Tuesday August 11, 1987

Twins 7, Angels 2

Once again the Twins scored runs early in the Metrodome and coasted to a win on the strength of a solid outing by Frank Viola in front of 47,000 fans.

The offense scored three runs in the second inning, helped mostly by a Mark Davidson 2-RBI double with two outs. As it turned out, three runs would be enough. The Twins added a few runs, including a Gary Gaetti solo shot in the sixth, but Frank Viola won his 13th game of the season by allowing the Angels only two runs over eight innings pitched.

Howard Sinker had a note in the Star Tribune:

Don Baylor, Boston’s veteran designated hitter, reportedly is available. Executive vice president Andy MacPhail said the Twins would have more interest if he batted lefthanded. “It’s hard to see how he would fit into our plans,” MacPhail said

Player of the Game
viola.jpg
Frank Viola

AL West Standings through 8/11 (Retrosheet)

Team Name                        G    W    L    T   PCT    GB    RS   RA
Minnesota Twins                114   62   52    0  .544     -   576  573
California Angels              113   57   56    0  .504   4.5   540  555
Oakland Athletics              113   57   56    0  .504   4.5   580  545
Kansas City Royals             112   56   56    0  .500   5.0   475  459
Seattle Mariners               113   55   58    0  .487   6.5   534  580
Texas Rangers                  111   53   58    0  .477   7.5   596  598
Chicago White Sox              111   45   66    0  .405  15.5   496  538

Tomorrow vs California: Les Straker 5-6 4.42 vs Kirk McCaskill 2-4 5.66
Thursday vs CAL
Friday-Monday vs SEA
8/18-8/20 @ DET
8/21-8/23 @ BOS


The Franchise 1910

February 12, 2007

1910 Washington Nationals
1907-1911thumb.gif
Manager: Jimmy McAleer 10th Season (1st with Washington 66-85-6)
66 W 85 L 6 T 501 RS 551 RA 7th AL 36.5 GB (Philadelphia 102-48-5)
3.19 RPG (AL = 3.64) 2.46 ERA (AL = 2.52)
.691 DER (6th AL)

al_1910_washington.gif
1910 Washington Nationals uniforms from baseballhalloffame.org

Franchise (1901-1910) 546-918-36

Cantillon Fired
After three seasons, two last place finishes, 297 losses, and only 158 wins; Joe Cantillon was fired. His replacement was Jimmy McAleer. McAleer was, prior to 1910, the only manager the St. Louis Browns had. After a second place finish is his first season, 1902, the team had just two more winning seasons (1906, 1908) and McAleers final record in St. Louis was 551-632.

mcaleer.jpg
Jimmy McAleer’s 1909 Ramley Tobacco Card

A Tradition Begins
On April 14, President Taft and his wife surprised the team by showing up for opening day at American League Park. McAleer made an off-the-cuff suggestion that the President throw out the first pitch. Taft obliged, and became the first President to do so, throwing the first pitch to Walter Johnson who took the ball and promptly shut out the eventual AL Champion Philadelphia A’s.

prz_wt.jpg
William Howard Taft makes history

Busy Train
The biggest on-the-field story of 1910 was the emergence of Walter Johnson. For the past several years, the Washington pitching staff has been a strength (as much as any part of a last place team can be called a “strength”) consistently outperforming the team’s horrible offense, and finishing right in the middle of league pitching staffs. The fact that the 1910 ‘Nats were fourth in AL ERA (2.46) and third in AL runs allowed/game (3.50) is less a statement of the overall quality of the staff than an expression of how good Walter Johnson had become.

Johnson pitched in 29% of his team’s games, 27% of the innings, and earned 38% of the ‘Nats victories in 1910 while only allowing 15% of the team’s earned runs. What’s more, Johnson led the league in strikeouts, and accounted for almost half of Washington’s total.

It’s safe to say that, in 1910, the fact that the Nationals’ team pitching was better than league average was due to Walter Johnson. Take Johnson off the team and the staff becomes well below average.

1910 World Series
Both pennant races were essentially over in July, and two 100+ victory teams matched up in the World Series. Philadelphia, led by a pitching staff featuring Jack Coombs, Chief Bender, Eddie Plank, and Cy Morgan easily handled the Chicago Cubs 4-1 in the series.

Roster/Stats
Bold = player new to Washington in 1910

C Gabby Street .202/.273/.237 1 HR 0.6 BFW 4 WS
Street shared 1910 catching duties with Eddie Ainsmith and Heinie Beckendorf, so he only played 89 games behind the plate. A .273 OBP matched his career total.

1B Bob Unglaub .234/.270/.274 0 HR -1.2 BFW 5 WS
For his final season, Unglaub returned to his most comfortable position: first base. After leading the team in home runs in 1909, he hit zero in ’10.

2B Red Killefer .229/.318/.284 0 HR 10.5 BFW 8 WS
On August 27 Killefer, who came to the ‘Nats in last season’s Delahanty trade, laid down four sacrifice bunts in the first game of a double-header against Detroit. In his first at-bat of the second game, he does it again to become the only player in recorded major league history to bunt successfully in five straight plate appearances.

SS George McBride .230/.321/.288 1 HR 4.1 BFW 16 WS
McBride dazzled defensively once again in his third season as the anchor of the Washington infield. He also had a career-high in OBP that would stand through his entire career.

3B Kid Elberfeld .251/.322/.392 2 HR -0.3 BFW 12 WS
Elberfield was a 35 year-old veteran of 11 seasons when Washington purchased him from the New York Highlanders in the offseason. His height was reportedly between 5’5” and 5’7″, but he had the reputation of a hothead, earning him the nickname “the Tabasco Kid.”

elberfeld.jpg

LF Jack Lelivelt .265/.343/.311 0 HR 0.8 BFW 10 WS
This was the only season in which Lelivelt was an every day player.

CF Clyde Milan .279/.379/.333 0 HR 2.6 BFW 23 WS
Milan equaled or surpassed career highs in nearly every offensive category in his third season as a full time player. He finished fifth in the AL in OBP due partially to his ability to draw walks. He was second in the AL in that category with 72 bases on balls.

RF Doc Gessler .259/.361/.355 2 HR 1.4 BFW 17 WS
A late 1909 trade brought Gessler to D.C., where he put up some decent deadball numbers at the age of 29.

P Walter Johnson 25-17 1.36 ERA 0.91 WHIP 5.5 PW 36 WS
1910 may be the year that Johnson made the jump from a very good pitcher to a dominant pitcher. In 1910, he led the AL in games pitched (45), complete games (38) innings pitched (370), strikeouts (313), and strikeouts per nine innings (7.61). His adjusted ERA+ was 183, a great number to be sure, but one Johnson will surpass many times before his career is over. On July 8 against the Browns, Johnson struck out the first seven men he faced. On September 25, Johnson tosses a near-perfect game, allowing the Browns only a single.

P Bob Groom 12-17 2.76 ERA 1.25 WHIP -1.6 PW 10 WS
Groom improved on his 1909 ERA by just one tenth of a run, but managed a much more respectable won-loss record due to an improved offense giving him support (the same offense that accounted for Johnson’s 20-win season on the heels of a 20-loss season).

groom.jpg
Bob Groom

P Dolly Gray 8-19 2.63 ERA 1.23 WHIP -0.2 PW 10 WS
“Goodbye” Dolly Gray would get one more chance to show he could succeed in 1911.

P Dixie Walker 11-11 3.30 ERA 1.23 WHIP -1.4 PW 8 WS
He pitched only four games in his first season in 1909. His sons, Dixie and Harry, had considerably more distinct major league careers.

P Doc Reisling 10-10 2.54 ERA 1.20 WHIP 0.2 PW 11 WS
Reisling, true to his nickname, was a practicing dentist. He did not begin his major league career until he was 29 years old. Reisling appeared in 19 games between 1904 and 1909. In 1910 he played in 30 games before his season was interrupted by illness.


Game 113: Oakland A’s (56-54) @ Minnesota Twins (60-52)

February 11, 2007

Sunday August 9, 1987

Twins 7, A’s 5

When the A’s arrived in Minneapolis four days ago, they held a percentage point lead in the AL West race. Four days later they have been swept by the Twins and find themselves in third place in the division, behind California, the next opponent for the Twins.

Though the score was closer than in the previous three games, it wasn’t as close as it looked. The Twins scored all of their runs on four home runs. Kent Hrbek hit a three run shot in the third, the biggest home run of the day. Tom Brunansky, Tim Laudner, and Gary Gaetti all added home runs as well. All of the home runs came off of A’s starter Steve Ontiveros.

Bert Blyleven pitched six innings to earn the win, while Jeff Reardon closed the game out for his 23rd save of the year.

Player of the Game
hrbek.JPG
Kent Hrbek

AL West Standings through 8/9 (Retrosheet)

Team Name                        G    W    L    T   PCT    GB    RS   RA
Minnesota Twins                113   61   52    0  .540     -   569  571
California Angels              112   57   55    0  .509   3.5   538  548
Oakland Athletics              111   56   55    0  .505   4.0   563  533
Kansas City Royals             110   54   56    0  .491   5.5   457  453
Seattle Mariners               111   54   57    0  .486   6.0   522  563
Texas Rangers                  109   52   57    0  .477   7.0   586  593
Chicago White Sox              109   44   65    0  .404  15.0   482  525

Twins Stats through 8/9

Dan Gladden LF .257/.320/.353 4 HR
Greg Gagne SS .271/.313/.430 4 HR
Kirby Puckett CF .324/.363/.508 17 HR
Kent Hrbek 1B .278/.374/.539 27 HR
Gary Gaetti 3B .256/.309/.491 23 HR
Tom Brunansky RF .265/.357/.497 23 HR
Gene Larkin DH .286/.354/.443 4 HR
Steve Lombardozzi 2B .235/.295/.341 5 HR
Tim Laudner C .195/.256/.440 14 HR

Roy Smalley DH .282/.347/.415 5 HR
Al Newman UT .215/.286/.320 0 HR
Randy Bush RF .229/.329/.374 6 HR
Mark Davidson OF .248/.319/.314 1 HR
Sal Butera C .195/.238/.286 1 HR
Tom Nieto C .247/.310/.377 1 HR (IR)

Bert Blyleven 11-9 4.40 ERA/5.14 FIP/1.37 WHIP
Frank Viola (L) 12-7 2.93/4.15/1.10
Les Straker 5-6 4.24/5.30/1.35
Joe Niekro 3-4 5.04/5.10/1.59 suspended
Steve Carlton (L) 1-1 7.43/5.31/1.88

Jeff Reardon 5-6 5.20/5.06/1.41
Juan Berenguer 5-0 3.87/3.80/1.33
Keith Atherton 4-4 4.08/3.86/1.41
George Frazier 5-5 5.55/5.00/1.67
Dan Schatzeder (L) 3-0 6.45/6.11/1.97
Roy Smith 0-0 6.75/5.51/3.85

Tuesday vs California: Frank Viola (L) 12-7 2.93 vs John Candelaria 6-3 4.40
Wednesday-Thursday vs CAL
Friday-Monday vs SEA
8/18-8/20 @ DET
8/21-8/23 @ BOS


Game 112: Oakland A’s (56-53) @ Minnesota Twins (59-52)

February 10, 2007

Saturday August 8, 1987

Twins 9, A’s 2

Another big first inning led the Twins to their third straight nine-run game, as well as the third straight win against the closest challenger for the AL West crown.

The Twins scored four in the first when the first four hitters reached safely, including a run-scoring double by Kirby Puckett and a two RBI triple by Gary Gaetti. Puckett added a home run in the third inning, and ended the day 4-4 with four runs scored and two RBI.

Steve Carlton improved upon his horrible first start as a Twin with an 8 2/3 inning, two run, six hit performance.

“That felt good,” said Carlton (6-10, 5.59), who threw 74 pitches in eight innings en route to his first victory in nine starts since beating Seattle 9-2 June 20. “I’ve been throwing a lot of pitches this year, and that’s one of the problems I’ve been having. In the ninth, I did what I’ve been doing all year, overthrowing and losing control.”

“It was frustrating (losing the shutout),” Carlton said. “I have three complete games, but not a game like this, not a shutout for eight innings. Not even close.”

The Twins are now 36-16 at home this season (24-36 on the road), and have won 23 of the last 28 games in the Metrodome. The good news is that 28 of the last 50 games will be home games.

Player of the Game
kirby.jpg
Kirby Puckett

AL West Standings through 8/7 (Retrosheet)

Team Name                        G    W    L    T   PCT    GB    RS   RA
Minnesota Twins                112   60   52    0  .536     -   562  566
Oakland Athletics              110   56   54    0  .509   3.0   558  526
California Angels              111   56   55    0  .505   3.5   531  543
Seattle Mariners               110   54   56    0  .491   5.0   517  556
Kansas City Royals             109   53   56    0  .486   5.5   449  450
Texas Rangers                  108   52   56    0  .481   6.0   582  588
Chicago White Sox              108   44   64    0  .407  14.0   478  517

Tomorrow vs Oakland: Bert Blyleven 10-9 4.40 vs Steve Ontiveros 6-5 3.11
Tuesday-Thursday vs CAL
Friday-Monday vs SEA
8/18-8/20 @ DET
8/21-8/23 @ BOS


Game 111: Oakland A’s (56-52) @ Minnesota Twins (58-52)

February 9, 2007

Friday August 7, 1987

Twins 9, A’s 4

For the second straight game the Twins defeated the A’s by a score of 9-4. This time the Twins put together a four run first inning off of A’s starter Dennis Lamp and never looked back, cruising to take a two game lead in the AL West.

Joe Niekro, who is in the process of appealing the 10-game suspension, pitched eight innings and allowed four runs.

Warming up in the bullpen, where Niekro (6-8, 4.38) paused once before the game to work his nails with an emery board, butterflies fluttered more than usual. He wondered about his pitching, he wondered about the crowd, he wondered whether he would help the Twins increase their lead in the Western Division.

“I was a little nervous, I really was, I’ll admit it,” Niekro said. “My knees were shaking a little bit when I was warming up. But I was fortunate that I had a good knuckleball and that it was around the plate. We scored a lot of runs. This club, Oakland, came here in first place and now we’ve beaten them twice. That’s great.

Player of the Game
niekro.jpg
Joe Niekro

AL West Standings through 8/7 (Retrosheet)

Team Name                        G    W    L    T   PCT    GB    RS   RA
Minnesota Twins                111   59   52    0  .532     -   553  564
Oakland Athletics              109   56   53    0  .514   2.0   556  517
California Angels              110   56   54    0  .509   2.5   528  538
Kansas City Royals             108   53   55    0  .491   4.5   446  442
Seattle Mariners               109   53   56    0  .486   5.0   512  553
Texas Rangers                  107   51   56    0  .477   6.0   571  583
Chicago White Sox              106   43   63    0  .406  13.5   467  506

Tomorrow vs Oakland: Steve Carlton (L) 0-1 17.36 vs Curt Young (L) 10-5 3.75
Sunday vs OAK
Tuesday-Thursday vs CAL
8/14-8/17 vs SEA
8/18-8/20 @ DET


Top Career ERA+ (Twins Franchise)

February 9, 2007

1. johnson2.jpgWalter Johnson 146 (1907-1927)

2. santana.jpegJohan Santana 144 (2000-2006)

3. coveleski.jpgStan Coveleski 135 (1925-1927)

4. aguilera.jpgRick Aguilera 130 (1989-1995)

5. chance2.jpgDean Chance 125 (1967-1969)

6. braxton.jpgGarland Braxton 121 (1927-1930)

7. blyleven2.jpgBert Blyleven 120 (1970-1976; 1985-1988)

8. mogridge.jpgGeorge Mogridge 119 (1921-1925)

9. marberry.jpgFirpo Marberry 117 (1923-1932; 1936)

10. leonard.jpgDutch Leonard 116 (1938-1946)

Stats from Baseball Reference

What is ERA+?


Game 110: Oakland A’s (56-51) @ Minnesota Twins (57-52)

February 8, 2007

Thursday August 6, 1987

Twins 9, A’s 4

Oakland’s ace Dave Stewart allowed two runs in the first inning without allowing a hit. That, and a four run fourth inning helped the Twins to cruise past the A’s and reclaim first place in the AL West.

Frank Viola wasn’t dominant, but he pitched seven innings and allowed only three runs to earn his 12th win of the year.

Gary Gaetti and Kirby Puckett each had three RBI. Kent Hrbek and Tim Laudner each added a solo home run.

Off the field, Joe Niekro was handed a 10-game suspension yesterday by the league office, but will pitch tomorrow due to a likely appeal.

Player of the Game
viola.jpg
Frank Viola

AL West Standings through 8/6 (Retrosheet)

Team Name                        G    W    L    T   PCT    GB    RS   RA
Minnesota Twins                110   58   52    0  .527     -   544  560
Oakland Athletics              108   56   52    0  .519   1.0   552  508
California Angels              109   56   53    0  .514   1.5   528  524
Kansas City Royals             107   53   54    0  .495   3.5   443  438
Seattle Mariners               108   52   56    0  .481   5.0   498  553
Texas Rangers                  106   51   55    0  .481   5.0   569  574
Chicago White Sox              105   43   62    0  .410  12.5   463  499

Tomorrow vs Oakland: Joe Niekro 2-4 5.43 vs Dennis Lamp 1-2 4.39
Saturday-Sunday vs OAK
Tuesday-Thursday vs CAL
8/14-8/17 vs SEA
8/18-8/20 @ DET


Game 109: Minnesota Twins (57-51) @ California Angels (55-52)

February 7, 2007

Wednesday August 5, 1987

Angels 6, Twins 1

The Twins lost the final game of a West Coast road trip to the Angels. The loss opened the door for Oakland, the Twins’ next opponent, to take a slight percentage point lead in the AL West.

The Twins went 4-9 over the 13 games in Seattle, Oakland, and Anaheim. In the next two weeks, the Twins will see all three of those teams again, this time in a 14-game home stand.

The Angels jumped on the Twins in the first five innings, the biggest blow being a Bill Buckner three run home run in the fifth off of Bert Blyleven. Gus Polidor also had two RBI, while John Candelaria allowed the Twins only two hits in six innings pitched.

Player of the Game
candelaria.jpg
John Candelaria

AL West Standings through 8/5 (Retrosheet)

Team Name                        G    W    L    T   PCT    GB    RS   RA
Oakland Athletics              107   56   51    0  .523     -   548  499
Minnesota Twins                109   57   52    0  .523     -   535  556
California Angels              108   56   52    0  .519   0.5   524  509
Kansas City Royals             107   53   54    0  .495   3.0   443  438
Texas Rangers                  106   51   55    0  .481   4.5   569  574
Seattle Mariners               107   51   56    0  .477   5.0   483  549
Chicago White Sox              105   43   62    0  .410  12.0   463  499

Tomorrow vs Oakland: Frank Viola (L) 11-7 2.89 vs Dave Stewart 14-7 3.44
Friday-Sunday vs OAK
Tuesday-Thursday vs CAL
8/14-8/17 vs SEA
8/18-8/20 @ DET