GOTW 1968: Pascual v Kaat

Monday August 12, 1968

Neither the Twins or the Senators were contenders by early August of 1968. The Twins were 54-59, good for 6th place, 18 1/2 games behind the first-place Tigers, and fresh off a three-game sweep of the Yankees in the Bronx. Washington had been in last place since June 11, and were 30 1/2 games out of first place.

Though the game meant very little in the grand scheme of the pennant race, it was an intriguing pitching  match up. Both men were members of the original Washington American League Franchise, and both had also pitched for the Twins.

Jim Kaat was 29-years-old and in the midst of his 10th major league season. He was two seasons removed from his 25-win campaign in 1966, but came into the game just 8-8 with a 3.23 ERA – a number that looks good but was in context of a 2.98 AL League ERA.

Camilo Pascual was 34-years-old and in his 13th major league season. He had pitched for the Twins as recently as 1966, until he was traded in the offseason in a deal that brought Ron Kline to Minnesota. At the time, it looked as though his career as an effective pitcher might be over. Pascual rebounded a bit after the trade, however, and had at least two good years left. Since leaving the Twins, Pascual had a 1-3 record in games against his former team. He came into the August 12 game with a 10-6 record and a 2.70 ERA.

The two former teammates exchanged zeroes for the first five innings. From the AP account:

A bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Cap Peterson, a pinch-hitter, in the sixth inning broke up a scoreless duel between Pascual and Jim Kaat…

The Senators loaded the bases with none out in the sixth on singles by Ken McMullen, Frank Howard, and Brant Alyea.

Pascual then helped his own cause with an RBI single off of Twins reliever Al Worthington in the ninth inning. The final count for Pascual in the 2-0 win, 9 IP 5 H 0 R 1 BB 3 K.

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