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Mr. Killebrew Comes To Bat: A 1967 GIF-a-Rama

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Some Twins Purple Fireworks For A Dad and His Girl

- Definitely: start playback, then bust for 720 HD view, hover cursor near gear, lower right of vid - 
Just imagine: if Prince had mixed fireworks audio into every track, could have been such a star! 

51934499153__B882D8E5-EC8B-409F-A5C8-41F8E2626EA2.JPG

It was a gift-wrapped, late spring night, hinting at rain, but never actually materializing. One that I could spend with my oldest daughter on a rare night off from her restaurant job. It wasn’t perfect - her sister was scheduled to work at the same venue, but you take what you can get.

Thus, I put away my stat charts, calculators and nerdball Twins stories to just enjoy time with the dear one, and buy up some frosty malts and hot dogs. The real payoff for her, however, more than the game itself (let’s not kid ourselves, here)  was the Prince umbrella giveaway and the promise of the Twins spectacular, post-game fireworks.

So, even a lousy, languid  8-2 beating at the hands of the surging Cleveland Indians (BRef Box Score) couldn't take away that goldenness. The girl made her feelings very clear about my idea to leave early and avoid possible postgame traffic, or protesters of the Philandro Castillo verdict invading local roadways. NOT favorable! So damn the consequences, we stayed to enjoy another spectacle together, because that's what you do in life. When there's joy to be had, sleep and comfort can wait. Gold-dang worth it.

And if it isn’t obvious already, the Twins devoted the evening to honoring the departed star Prince. I’ve always admired his talent, and recall vividly the mid-1980s, when “Purple Rain” took over the national charts. These days, I can pull up the Prince station on iHeart Radio and completely marvel at just how incredible his artistry was, even though I never bought an LP or CD of his while he was alive (the Twins let me in the gates, despite that). It’s been stated before, but Prince truly did light up our musical sky, and added color and passion and inventiveness to Minnesota and the world...and then poignantly disappeared one day. Isn’t that just like life?  Appearing one day with splendor and glory, and then...gone forever?
It’s a little bit like those carefree days I spent with my daughter, pushing her and her sister in a suspended rope tree swing -  where did they go?

Were we ever really that young? Was I really such a geeky goofball, trying to make them laugh with silly faces and boisterous games of tag, giving horseback rides, reading “Three Billy Goats Gruff” and “Tuck Everlasting,” or building card castles on the living room carpet??

The carefree days of their childhood are definitely past for my wife and me, have left the yard just as Herb Carneal  announced a Harmon Killebrew bomb (audio): "...It's going, going and... GONE."

And just like the wisps of pyrotechnics that reach into the night skies of Minneapolis, above the city streets where young Prince Rogers Nelson used to walk, we parents grasp at these fleeting memories, remembering old days fondly, and yet rejoicing in and savoring the present we have. When did they become so intelligent, thoughtful? So lovely and dear? Those grainy videos of kids playing in the pool and on the playground climber, who are mature, young women now? Who make me proud, and laugh, becoming who they will be?

When did that happen?

All set for the purple haze n' rain
I’ll take that payback for letting go of the past. It’s nice to think of the coming summer days and nights to hang some more with these grown kids and my wonderful wife. As long as I can go back and playback that old video once in awhile.

So long, everybody!” - Herb Carneal




Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Eddie Rosario-Glory Hogs Spotlight-3 Homeruns Vs Mariners


Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire
Last night, Eddie Rosario became the seventh Twins player to hit as many as three home runs in a game, in Minnesota's 20-7 bludgeoning of the Mariners (BBRef box). I would judge him the most unlikely one to do so, given that he was batting from the ninth place slot.

That last bit speaks to the relative confidence Manager Paul Molitor had in his ability to generate runs, based on his particularly unspectacular performance over his last ten games, with him batting .242, a .265 OBP, .227 BAbip, and 1 extra basehit in 33 at bats, all causing him to losing playing time in left field to Robbie Grossman. He becomes the second Twin leftfielder (Harmon Killebrew being the first, LOL!) to get the homer hat trick (MLB Video).

Player Date Opp Rslt AB R H HR WPA aLI BOP Pos Summary
EDDIE ROSARIO 2017-06-13SEAW 20-753430.244.3349LF
Brian Dozier2016-09-05KCRL 5-1153330.1491.42212B
Max Kepler2016-08-01CLEW 12-563430.343.5573RF
Justin Morneau2007-07-06 (2)CHWW 12-053330.308.43051B
Tony Oliva1973-07-03KCRL 6-753330.5491.2403DH
Harmon Killebrew1963-09-21 (1)BOSW 13-453330.125.3904LF
Bob Allison1963-05-17CLEW 11-453330.238.7044RF
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/14/2017.

This is not a totally improbable event. Yes, he had played 270 games, and was past 1,000 plate appearances without having a two homer game, sure. But Eddie has drawn comparisons with Tony Oliva (I'm being serious here) and his fluid, spray-hitting swing earlier in his career, and his talent as such as a "pure" hitter is of a high degree. But he takes the "see ball - hit ball" ethic of the latter to such an extreme that he creates a much larger strike zone for pitchers, not being selective enough. That leads to prolonged slumps.

Be that as it may, baseball is nothing if not beautiful in its unpredictability. The previous night's 14-3 drubbing at the hands of these same Mariners would never have prepared one for this gaudy bonanza. I find it also notable that the game's starting lineup featured three of the seven Twins to bag three bombs in a game, Brian Dozier, herr Kepler, and Rosy. That's never happened before, of course. Oliva hit his three after Allison retired, three years previous.


Seriously, Eddie? Picking on poor (catcher turned pitcher) Carlos Ruiz?

The Twins blew past the previous franchise record for hits in a game, previously sitting at 25 in a 2002 game versus the Indians. In fact, the 28 were the 2nd most recorded in a game by one team in this century (Retrosheet link). Here are the top ten hit games in Twins/Senators history:

Rk Date Tm Opp Rslt PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB Attendance GmLen
12017-06-13MINSEAW 20-75149202820519217,922184
22002-06-04MINCLEW 23-25750232561322714,029194
31994-06-04MINDETW 21-75749212430420523,780194
41977-05-25 (1)MINBOSW 13-553481324622133195
51925-07-18WSHCLEW 19-652441924531183119
62014-08-03MINCHWW 16-35850162331316723,471241
72003-06-19MINKCRW 16-25450162350316422,559161
81997-07-04MINMILW 13-15447132360313420,024185
91937-07-25 (1)WSHSLBW 16-1050481623512152142
101920-05-18WSHSLBW 17-852431723631165132
Generated 6/14/2017.

"So long, everybody!" - Herb Carneal

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Shutout Kings In Twins Pitching History

Jim Gensheimer/Bay Area News Group

Ervin Santana has thrown three complete game shutouts to date in 2017, as he whitewashed the Giants last night (BBRef boxscore). Now, all he has to do is notch 6 more to tie the all-time, Twins single season record set by Blyleven in 1973.


And, if we're using shutouts as a guage of dominance, the below chart could be used to evaluate the greatest pitching seasons in club history. Blyleven as a 22 year-old in 1973, good god!


Top Individual Shutout Seasons
RkPlayerSHOYearAgeGGSCGWLIPHRERSOERAFIPERA+
1BERT BLYLEVEN91973224040252017325.0296109912582.522.32156
2Camilo Pascual81961273533151516252.1205114972213.463.39122
3Dean Chance61968274339151616292.022496822342.532.20124
4Mudcat Grant6196529413914217270.1252107991423.303.78108
5Geoff Zahn51980343835131418232.2273138114964.413.7599
6Bert Blyleven51971203838171615278.126795872242.812.51126
7Dean Chance51967264139182014283.2244109862202.732.56128
8Camilo Pascual51962283433182011257.2236100952063.322.99123
9Jim Kaat51962233935161814269.0243106941733.143.48130
10Frank Viola41984243535101812257.2225101921493.213.92131
11Dave Goltz41976273635131414249.1239113931333.363.45107
12Jim Kaat41971323938151314260.1275104961373.322.81107
13Jim Perry41970344040132412278.2258112941683.043.08125
14Jim Merritt4196723372811137227.219672641612.532.81138
15Ervin Santana3201734131338390.0472322632.204.43195
16Rich Robertson319962736315717186.11971131061145.125.50100
17Scott Erickson3199224323251312212.019786801013.404.22119
18Scott Erickson319912332325208204.018980721083.183.76135
19Bert Blyleven31986353636161714271.22621341212154.014.33107
20Mike Smithson3198530373781514257.02641341241274.344.05100
Generated 6/10/2017.




                  ABOVE - 1972 Topps Twins - click image for gigantic view

The '72 Twins were an embarrassment of riches, and the fact that staffs in that era could send multiple starters out to achieve this outcome is a pretty succinct testimony to what a low scoring time it was. To wit: Dick Allen led the American League that season (BBRef hitting leaders link) with 37 homeruns. A gaudy number, that was.

Rk
Year
Lg
#Matching

Twins Staffs With Pitchers Posting Three Or More 
Shutouts in a single season

1
1972
AL
3
2
1967
AL
3
3
1976
AL
2
4
1973
AL
2
5
1971
AL
2
6
1966
AL
2
7
1963
AL
2
8
1962
AL
2
9
1961
AL
2
10
2017
AL
1
11
1996
AL
1
12
1992
AL
1
13
1991
AL
1
14
1986
AL
1
15
1985
AL
1
16
1984
AL
1
17
1980
AL
1
18
1975
AL
1
19
1974
AL
1
20
1970
AL
1
Generated 6/10/2017.

"So Long, everybody!" - Herb Carneal