“The Yankees lose so seldom you have to celebrate every single time” – WP Kinsella
It is satisfying when the random date generator generates a Twins win over the Yankees. On May 31, 1974. The Twins were 19-23 heading into a three-game weekend series with the New York Yankees, who stood at 23-26.
The Yankees had not been to the World Series in a decade, and had yet to win a division title (divisional play began in 1969). They had started slow again in 1974, and were no longer the draw that they once had been – only 7,241 fans showed at Metropolitan Stadium for the Friday night series opener, just slightly up from the average for the season so far.
Frank Quilici’s Twins jumped ahead of the Yankees early, stringing five hits together to score three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Steve Brye’s two RBI double capped an inning for the Twins in which the opposing pitcher, Dick Tidrow, only retired one batter. Rod Carew was caught stealing for the first out, and Brye was retired attempting to stretch his double into a triple. The damage was done, but it could have been an even bigger inning for the home team. By game’s end, the Twins might have thought they could have scored more than the five runs they scored on 15 hits.
In the end, however, the Yankees squandered enough scoring opportunities of their own. While they managed six hits off of Twins pitching (all at the expense of starter Joe Decker, who lasted 7 2/3 innings), they drew 7 walks. At game’s end, the Yankees had left nine men on base, and hit into three double plays.