Babe Hits For Cycle – Again!, Oakland Amazes, and Full Action From Around The League For Aug. 28-30

New York Wins 2 of 3 in Minnesota
August 28: New York 8, Minnesota 4
August 29: New Yor 20, Minnesota 3
August 30: Minnesota 2, New York 1

The Yanks won the first two games of the set on the strength of mammoth hitting. In game one, Minnesota starter George Mogridge made his Rhubarb debut and performed admirably for his seven innings of work and handed the bullpen a 4-3 lead. Joe Nathan quickly coughed up the lead in the top of the eighth on a two-run Derek Jeter jack, and Joe DiMaggio added a three-run dagger to the seats in the ninth. Lou Gehrig tacked on three more hits and a walk to his ludicrous season totals. Dellin Betances made an appearance from the New York bullpen to become the first player in the Rhubarb to take the field with 2017 stats factored into his card.

In game two, the biggest offense in the league had their biggest offensive game of the season as a string of Minnesota hurlers got bashed. Gehrig reached four times again and knocked his 33rd dong, and Babe Ruth collected his and the league’s second cycle of the season. The Babe first pulled the trick on May 13th in Seattle. Ruth singled in the first against Dutch Leonard, flew out in the third against Leonard, launched a three-run homer in the fourth against Firpo Marberry, drove in two with a double in the fifth against Marberry, drew a walk in the seventh off Al Worthington, and collected his sixth RBI of the game with a triple off Rick Aguilera in the eighth.

The finale could not have been much different. Minny starter Camilo Pascual managed to hold the NY bats to one run in seven innings, and Eddie Guardado nailed down two shutout innings to make the Twins’ two runs hold up.

Oakland’s Amazing Run Gains Momentum With Suffocating Sweep of Detroit
August 28: Oakland 3, Detroit 2 (16 inn.)
August 29: Oakland 3, Detroit 0
August 30: Oakland 7, Detroit 0

The Swingin’ A’s won their fifth straight series and are on a 17-4 roll that has them within two games of the division-leading Red Sox.

Detroit started the series in good shape, taking a 2-0 lead into the top of the eighth inning in game one. Starter Schoolboy Rowe made his season debut for the Tigers and did not allow an earned run in seven innings. But center gardener Al Kaline erred on a Bert Campaneris fliner to start the eighth, and the Tigers were doomed for the rest of the series. The two runs Detroit plated in the second inning of game one were the first and last they would score in the whole three-game, 34-inning series.

But game one was far from over after Campaneris reached in the eighth. Campy came around to score, and the A’s tied it up in the top of the ninth on the strength of a Jason Giambi walk and singles by Home Run Baker and Mickey Cochrane. The two bullpens dug in from there and it took seven extra innings to decide the competition. Oakland starter Chief Bender was strong for eight innings, and then Huston StreetDennis Eckersley, Rube Walberg, and Eddie Rommel came out of the Oakland pen for eight shut-down frames.

Dizzy Trout mowed down Oakland in the 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, and 15th and was still going in the 16th when Cochrane started it off with a single and Campaneris frozen-roped a triple to finally break the stalemate. In the bottom of the 16th, the Tigers got runners on the corners with just one out against Walberg, who was pulled in favor of Rommel. Rommel whiffed Hank Greenberg and grounded out Travis Fryman to end the saga.

Detroit looked dejected and done with their disappointing season in the next two games. Barry Zito twirled a shutout for the A’s in the middle game and Rube Waddell turned the same trick in game three. Jimmie Foxx provided fireworks on offense for Oakland with a homer in game two and three hits that included two doubles in game three.  Continue reading “Babe Hits For Cycle – Again!, Oakland Amazes, and Full Action From Around The League For Aug. 28-30”


Suddenly Good Anaheim Upsets Sliding Minnesota

August 25: Anaheim 6, Minnesota 3

Jim Edmonds smashed a three-run bomb in the first inning and the Angels held the lead the rest of the way. It was the Twins’ seventh straight loss.

                  R H BB
MN  010 000 020 - 3 8  1
ANA 301 002 00x - 5 8  3
HR: B. Grich (11), J. Edmonds (11)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
C. Pascual   6.0  6  6  2  3  2  
D. Chance    7.2  3  2  0  1  3 

MN 68-59, ANA 54-74

August 26: Minnesota 3, Anaheim 1

‘Twas a great pitching match-up in the middle game as Johan Santana and Jered Weaver both powered through excellent starts. The first seven outs that Santana recorded were all by way of strikeouts. The only mar on Weaver’s day was a two-run bomb by Mickey Vernon that provided the winning runs for Minnesota.

                  R H BB
MN  000 002 001 - 3 7  0
ANA 010 000 000 - 1 5  1
HR: T. Oliva (12), M. Vernon (9)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Santana  7.0  1  1  0  1 11  
J. Weaver   8.0  2  2  1  0  4 

MN 69-59, ANA 54-75

escobarAugust 27: Anaheim 5, Minnesota 2

Angels starter Kelvim Escobar had a day he won’t soon forget as he out-pitched Walter Johnson. Escobar gave up no earned runs in a complete game, the second time he’s pulled that trick this season.

Bobby Grich led off the bottom of the first with a single against Johnson, and Brian Downing followed it up with a triple to take a quick lead against the Big Train. Johnson did not have his usual command and walked a season-high seven.

The teams split their six games this season.

The Angels are on a 15-6 run and are close to clawing their way out of the cellar in the Expansion Division. The Twins on the other hand are on a bit of a skid with a 5-13 stretch that has seen them lose ground in the Original Division chase.

                  R H BB
MN  000 020 000 - 2 6  1
ANA 201 101 00x - 5 7  7
HR: none

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
W. Johnson  8.0  5  4  0  7  8  
K. Escobar  9.0  2  0  0  1  5 

MN 69-60, ANA 55-75

Houston Shocks Minnesota With Sweep

August 22: Houston 6, Minnesota 2

Houston did not let Walter Johnson intimidate them and they put up six runs against him. Lance Berkman tagged one that was just the Big Train’s second home run given up all season.

Meanwhile, Nolan Ryan handled the Minnesotan offense. He pitched around seven walks by striking out eight and running into some good fortune when Harmon Killebrew lined into a triple play in the seventh.

                  R H BB
MN  000 020 000 - 2 5  7
HOU 020 010 03x - 6 9  3

HR: J. Cronin (4), L. Berkman (25)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
W. Johnson   7.0  6  4  1  3  6  
N. Ryan      8.0  2  2  1  7  8 

MN 68-56, HOU 54-69

August 23: Houston 9, Minnesota 0

Houston won even more handily the next day as the Houston bombers assaulted Bert Blyleven. Jeff Bagwell took him deep in the first, then the bottom of the third started with four straight hits for the ‘Stros and out came Blyleven. Moises Alou, Berkman, Bob Watson, Cesar Cedeno, Morgan Ensberg, and Johnny Edwards all had multi-hit games. Edwards was perfect with a walk and three hits in his four plate appearances.

Roy Oswalt painted the black and did not walk a soul in his seven innings.

                  R  H BB
MN  000 000 000 - 0  8  0
HOU 114 111 00x - 9 18  3
HR: J. Bagwell (24), M. Alou (25), L. Berkman (26)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
B. Blyleven  2.0  6  6  1  1  1  
R. Oswalt    7.0  0  0  0  0  4 

MN 68-57, HOU 55-69

scottAugust 24: Houston 6, Minnesota 2

It was more of the same in the finale. Craig Biggio had a three-hit day at the top of Houston’s lineup. Mike Scott walked zippo and went the distance on the hill in one of his finest performances of the year.

Houston took four of six from Minny this year.

                  R H BB
MN  000 020 000 - 2 7  0
HOU 003 102 00x - 6 8  5
HR: none

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Shaw    6.0  6  6  0  5  3  
M. Scott   9.0  2  2  0  0  4 

MN 68-58, HOU 56-69

Baltimore Invades Minnesota and Comes Up With Huge Sweep

brobMinnesota entered the series in first place, three games ahead of fourth-place Baltimore.

August 19: Baltimore 7, Minnesota 3

Harmon Killebrew, Kirby Puckett, and Tony Oliva all got hits in the bottom of the third to open a 3-0 lead for Minnesota, but Brooks Robinson tied it right back up in the top of the fourth with a three-run pachinko. The Twins bats were quiet from there, while the Orioles rang out a bunch more hits, including a Cal Ripken triple, and tacked on four more runs for the victory.

                  R  H BB
BAL 000 301 102 - 7 11  5
MN  003 000 000 - 3  8  3

HR: B. Robinson (7)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
E. Bedard   7.0  3  3  0  3  2  
J. Shaw     8.0  5  4  1  5  3 

BAL 66-55, MN 68-53

August 20: Baltimore 6, Minnesota 3

It was all Baltimore for the first seven innings, after which they held a 5-0 lead. The Minnesota bats finally woke up a bit in the eighth and ninth. Starter Jack Powell ran out of gas at the end, and the Twins got the tying run to the plate with two outs in the ninth, but Zach Britton saved the day for the birds by relieving Powell and whiffing Stan Spence.

Joe Cronin did what he could to spur on the Twins by swatting two doubles and a triple. Cronin’s wOBA raised to .343, second best among qualified shortstops to Texas’s Alex Rodriguez.

                  R  H BB
BAL 200 012 001 - 6  9  4
MN  000 000 012 - 3 10  2
HR: F. Robinson (25)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Powell   8.2  3  3  0  2  1  
C. Pascual  5.2  5  5  0  3  4 

BAL 67-55, MN 68-54

August 21: Baltimore 6, Minnesota 3

The Twins had the right man on the mound to avoid a sweep in Johan Santana, but it looked like Santana might finally have his first truly bad day of the year after four of the first five Baltimore batters in the top of the first slapped hits and three of them came around to score. But Santana got back in his groove from there and allowed no more runs in six total innings. Minnesota relievers Firpo Marberry and Eddie Guardado did not hold the fort from there though, giving up three more to Baltimore.

Just like Powell the day before, Harry Howell was trying to complete a complete game win but sputtered in the bottom of the ninth. Minnesota again got the tying run to the plate, and this time Darren O’Day relieved and induced a ground-out from Mickey Vernon to put the finishing touches on a monumental sweep for Baltimore.

The two teams are now in a virtual tie for first with the Soxes Red and White (whose results for August 19-21 are yet to come in.)

                  R  H BB
BAL 300 000 111 - 6 12  2
MN  010 100 001 - 3  9  3
HR: E. Murray (15)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
H. Howell   8.2  3  3  0  3  3  
J. Santana  6.0  3  3  0  2  4 

BAL 68-55, MN 68-55

Tied For First Going In, Minnesota Slips Past Boston In Tight Series


August 16: Minnesota 5, Boston 4 (10 innings)

The two teams tied for first in the Original Division kicked off a big series with a tense thriller featuring some top-notch pitching, but not great fielding. ERA leader Johan Santana was knifelike again, and shaved a few more points off his ERA by allowing one earned in eight innings. 21 starts into the season, Santana is yet to make a single bad start, and plenty of great ones.

Tris Speaker doubled in the first off Santana and Ted Williams drove in Speaker with a single to plate Boston’s one earned run against Johan. A Joe Cronin error in the third helped Boston to their second run.

Lefty Grove was also sharp for Boston. Rod Carew scored one against Grove by wall-scraping his first homer of the year, and later a Tony Oliva walk followed by two singles drove home the second and last earned run Grove gave up in 9.2 innings.

In the top of the 10th, Grove retired the first two Minny batters and then walked Harmon Killebrew before inducing a Mickey Vernon grounder to shortstop Nomar Garciaparra that should have been the third out, except Nomah booted it. Kirby Puckett made Boston pay with an RBI double to put the Twins up 3-2, and Oliva drove in two insurance runs with a single.

Joe Nathan had mound duties in the bottom of the 10th and almost blew it. Thanks to a Darrell Evans walk and a Carl Yastrzemski pinch-hit double, the Sox had runners at second and third, but with two outs. Tris Speaker laced an RBI single to cut the score to 5-3, and Ted Williams followed with his own RBI single to cut it to 5-4. Out came Nathan, in came Firpo Marberry, who walked Jimmie Foxx to load the bases. The Fenway faithful were going wild as the previously hot-hitting Carlton Fisk took his place in the box, but Pudge popped to first to quell the come-back. Fisk had a quiet series, reaching just once in the series with a walk in two games played.

                    R  H BB
MN  001 001 000 3 - 5 11  4
BOS 101 000 000 2 - 4  7  4
HR: R. Carew (1)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Santana  8.0  2  1  0  2  7  
L. Grove    9.2  5  2  1  4  2 

MN 67-51, BOS 66-52

August 17: Boston 4, Minnesota 3

Walter Johnson and Smoky Joe Wood faced off and both tossed complete games. Johnson was not sharp out of the gate, and the Red Sox scored three quick runs before the Big Train settled in. A Sam Rice error in the fifth helped Boston to their fourth run.

Minnesota managed plenty of singles against Wood, but only scratched across two earned runs plus another on the back of errors by Fisk and John Valentin. Wood dropped his ERA to an even 3.00, third best in the league behind Santana and Johnson.

                  R  H BB
MN  100 001 010 - 3 11  1
BOS 210 010 00x - 4  7  3

HR: none

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
W. Johnson  8.0  4  3  0  3  3  
S.J. Wood   9.0  3  2  0  1  4 

MN 67-52, BOS 67-52

August 18: Minnesota 8, Boston 5

The rubber match determined who would end the series in first, and Boston probably liked their chances with a Bert Blyleven vs. Roger Clemens match-up. But Clemens has lost it a bit lately, and the Twins got him for five runs in seven innings, Clemens’s third straight rough start. Goose Goslin spanked a two-run triple in the fourth against him.

Blyleven wasn’t great either, and Bobby Doerr tied the game at four with a two-run dinger in the fourth against Blyleven. The Twins turned to Firpo Marberry to pitch the final four innings of the game, and the Amazing Firpo gave up just one run to hold down the fort for Minnesota while their high-average bats kept the offense going. Firpo is holding it down as the most valuable reliever in the league with a 1.63 ERA in 80 innings (despite a 4.62 FIP).

In the eighth, the Twins knocked Boston reliever Derek Lowe out of the game with four straight hits before Lowe could record an out.

Minnesota’s Rice, Puckett, Goslin, Cronin, and Cecil Travis all reached safely three times, and the Twins enjoy a narrow lead at the top of the Original Division for now.

                  R  H BB
MN  010 310 030 - 8 11  5
BOS 101 200 010 - 5 12  0

HR: B. Doerr (9)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
B. Blyleven  5.0  4  4  1  0  4  
R. Clemens   7.0  5  5  0  5  4 

MN 68-52, BOS 67-53

Chicago Wins 2 of 3 in Minnesota, Keeping Things Tight In Original Division

fiskAugust 13: Chicago 5, Minnesota 1

Boston’s young Carlton Fisk is currently in the mix to win MVP honors, but Chicago’s old Fisk has mostly spent the year on the bench as Sherm Lollar’s back-up. But Chicago Fisk got the start in this game, and brought a little of that Pudge magic with two homers. Chicago’s Johnny Rigney was spot on in a complete game start.

                  R H BB
CHI 000 001 400 - 5 8  1
MN  000 000 010 - 1 8  1

HR: C. Fisk-2 (5)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Rigney    9.0  1  1  0  1  3  
B. Blyleven  6.1  4  4  1  0  3 

CHI 64-51, MN 65-50

August 14: Chicago 7, Minnesota 2

The White Sox pulled into a tie with Minnesota with another W the next day. Chris Sale was nearly perfect for his seven innings of work. He actually was perfect against everyone except for Harmon Killebrew, who drew two walks and doubled in his three PAs against Sale.

Minnesota’s starter Jim Shaw was quite good also, and gave up just one in six innings of work. He seemed to fade a bit in the sixth, so manager Bucky Harris went to the bullpen beginning in the seventh inning. Rick Aguilera turned in a scoreless seventh, but got plowed in the eighth inning when he gave up dongs to Lollar and Chet Lemon.

                  R  H BB
CHI 000 001 051 - 7 15  4
MN  000 000 002 - 2  4  3
HR: C. Lemon (7), S. Lollar (7), G. Goslin (3)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
C. Sale     7.0  0  0  0  2  4  
J. Shaw     6.0  1  1  0  3  3 

CHI 65-51, MN 65-51

August 15: Minnesota 2, Chicago 1

The winner of this game would finish the series tied for first with Boston. Starters Eddie Cicotte and Camilo Pascual rose to the occasion with a nice duel.

Joe Mauer scored in the bottom of the second after doubling, and Sam Rice scored in the sixth after tripling. That was all that Cicotte gave up, but Pascual gave up just one in his seven innings and Joe Nathan came on and pitched two scoreless frames to take a squeaker for Minnesota. Chicago was in good shape in the top of the ninth with runners on the corner and no outs, but Nathan wriggled his way out of it with a fly-out and a double play.

The top of the Original Division stays delightfully crammed:

MN 66-51
BOS 66-51
CHI 65-52
BAL 64-53

                  R H BB
CHI 010 000 000 - 1 6  1
MN  010 001 00x - 2 7  5

HR: none

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
E. Cicotte  9.0  2  2  0  5  1  
C. Pascual  7.0  1  1  0  0  5 

CHI 65-52, MN 66-51


Last-Place Detroit Knocks Off First-Place Minnesota

August 10: Detroit 5, Minnesota 4

Detroit’s top three hitters in the lineup Ty Cobb, Bobby Veach, and Harry Heilmann provided tons of offense, combining for eight hits, half of which went for extra bases. The Twins tied it up in the top of the seventh on a Cecil Travis two-RBI triple, but Cobb, Veach, and Heilmann all singled in a row to take the lead back for the Tigers in the bottom of the same inning.

Joe Mauer and Travis were on second and third in the top of the ninth with two outs hoping to tie the game with high-average Rod Carew at bat, but Doug Brocail whiffed Carew.

                  R  H BB
MN  020 000 200 - 4 11  1
DET 200 110 10x - 5 12  1
HR: H. Heilmann (12)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
C. Pascual  7.0  5  4  1  1  1  
G. Uhle     7.0  4  4  0  1  0 

MN 64-48, DET 53-39

August 11: Minnesota 8, Detroit 7 (10 innings)

This started out as a lopsided affair with ERA leader Johan Santana weaving his magic for Minnesota and Detroit starter Tommy Bridges getting beat up. With a 6-1 lead, Minnesota manager Bucky Harris took out Santana after the sixth to conserve Santana’s precious innings. The worm turned once Santana was out though, and Detroit battled back against ineffectual relief pitching by Rick Aguilerea and Joe Nathan.

Hank Greenberg belted a two-out, two-RBI single in the bottom of the ninth against Nathan to send the game to extras. In the top of the 10th, Cecil Travis smacked a lead-off double that was his fifth extra-base hit of the series. Carew then punched one of his vintage singles into shallow right field that drove in Travis for the game winner.

                    R  H BB
MN  210 210 001 1 - 8 15  5
DET 001 000 042 0 - 7 12  3
HR: none

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Santana  6.0  1  1  0  1  8  
T. Bridges  3.1  5  5  0  3  2 

MN 65-48, DET 53-60

donovanAugust 12: Detroit 2, Minnesota 0

It looked like a terrible starting pitcher match-up for Detroit as their Bill Donovan drug his 5.95 ERA to the mound against the great Walter Johnson, but Donovan seemed to draw inspiration from the imposing match-up.  He was sharper than he’d been all year and plowed through the Twins lineup, facing just 33 and recording his first shutout of the year.

Johnson was excellent too, but in the bottom of the fifth, Alan Trammell, Cobb, and Heilmann each managed a base-hit to plate the only two runs of the game.

Minnesota dropped into a tie for first with Boston while Detroit moved up into a tie for last with Cleveland.

                  R H BB
MN  000 000 000 - 0 5  4
DET 000 020 00x - 2 8  0
HR: none

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
W. Johnson  8.0  2  2  0  0  2  
B. Donovan  9.0  0  0  0  4  3 

MN 65-49, DET 54-60