February 18, 2019

The day the Twins took a 7-run lead into the 8th inning and lost

Baseball-Reference.com never ceases to amaze.

I visit this site nearly every day and always find something of interest, including a new list of the biggest regular season and postseason comebacks in baseball history.

I quickly scanned the list of regular season comebacks for the Twins and came across an ugly team and an ugly loss in the ugly, strike-shortened year of 1981.

On the final game of the season, the Twins, dead last in the American League West, limped into old Comiskey Park for one more tilt against an up-and-coming Chicago White Sox team led by Tony LaRussa.

The Comiskey Park of that era seated 44,000, but only about 8,000 showed up for that final game.

The Twins appeared devoid of any stars in that last-game lineup, except for perhaps Roy Smalley, Gary Ward and Kent Hrbek, who was called up late in the season.

The South Siders scored early and often until the Twins scored five runs in the 5th inning, four in the 6th and three in the 8th for a 12-5 lead going into the bottom of the 8th inning.

Hrbek gave the Twins a taste of what was to come: He went 4-for-4 with two doubles. The Twins had eight extra-base hits in that game, including two triples.

But if the lineup featured few stars, the rotation was a who’s who of who are these guys?

Four Twins pitchers issued 10 walks, including six from starter Albert Williams, who gave up five runs (four earned) in four-plus innings with no strikeouts. The three pitchers who followed him didn’t fare much better.

When it was all over, the White Sox scored four runs in the 8th, four runs in the 9th and won the game 13-12.

Baseball-Reference.com has it ranked in the top 100 regular season comebacks in baseball history.

Extra innings…

-The No. 1 biggest regular season comeback: With only a 0.01 percent chance of winning, the Chicago Cubs, losing by six runs to the Cincinnati Reds in the top of the 9th inning, won 9-8 on June 29, 1952.

-The No. 1 biggest postseason comeback: With only a 0.51 percent chance of winning, the Philadelphia A’s, losing by eight runs to the Chicago Cubs in the top of the 7th inning, won 10-8 during the 1929 World Series.

-Outfielder Max Kepler and infielder, Jorge Polanco, will continue to be Twins after the team agreed to five-year extensions for both players. According to MLB.com:

Kepler is guaranteed $35 million with a club option for a sixth year. Polanco is guaranteed $25.75 million, with a vesting option for a sixth year and a club option for a seventh.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

February 11, 2019

The day the Twins and Red Sox turned 10 double plays

The Twins Almanac is a website and active twitter feed that reports on the history of the team, its players and those athletes with a connection to Minnesota. An old Twins Almanac tweet showed up in my own twitter feed last week, reminding me of a time when the Twins turned two triple plays against... Continue Reading »

February 4, 2019

The offseason, a poem

January 28, 2019

Is there still room for Cesar Tovar in the Twins Hall of Fame?

Former reliever Joe Nathan and team president Jerry Bell are the newest inductees into the Twins Hall of Fame. I have no opinion on whether Bell deserves to be included, but Nathan certainly does. Nathan was one of three players the Twins were able to get from the San Francisco Giants for catcher A.J. Pierzynski... Continue Reading »

January 20, 2019

The day a Twins rookie took the mound opposite Don Larsen, Harvey Haddix and Jim Palmer

As July turned to August, the 1965 Twins found themselves with a five-game lead in the American League heading into an Aug. 2 matchup against a good Baltimore Orioles team, according to Cool Of The Evening, a book by Jim Thielman about that pennant-winning season for the Twins. But rather than wait and let a rookie pitcher... Continue Reading »

January 13, 2019

If only ex-Twin Al Worthington had pitched for the ’51 New York Giants

Pitcher Al Worthington began his career as a starter and ended it as a reliever for the Twins. He pitched six seasons for the club, including the pennant-winning season of 1965. Over that span, Worthington was a very respectable 37-31 with a 2.62 ERA and 88 saves. He also is still with us. Worthington is... Continue Reading »

January 6, 2019

The day Catfish faced Mudcat and only 537 bothered to watch

Down the stretch the Twins came in 1965 as they closed in on 102 wins and the American League pennant. They would win the pennant by seven games when it was all over, yet late in the season they would, at times, struggle to fill Metropolitan Stadium with fans. Incredible shot of @Twins first home... Continue Reading »

December 28, 2018

Twins get their man in Nelson Cruz

Despite being in the twilight of his career, a rumored deal for slugger Nelson Cruz (who turns 39 in July) became a reality Thursday after the club and Cruz agreed on a one-year deal worth $14 million, according to various reports. The Twins also have a $12 million club option for 2020 with a $300,000... Continue Reading »

December 24, 2018

Remembering Cookie Lavagetto, baseball manager

A decade after Cookie Lavagetto suspected the New York Giants were up to no good during the 1951 season — and was later famously captured on film sitting next to a bawling Ralph Branca after that history-making October loss — Lavagetto found himself in Minnesota, manager of a newly relocated team called the Twins. During... Continue Reading »

Next Previous

Hi, I’m Rolf Boone and I love the Twins.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.