April 16, 1989

The Pirates erupted for three runs in the first inning, and utility infielder Dale Berra capped the team’s scoring with his first home of the season, as Pittsburgh held on to defeat San Francisco 6-4. Berra’s blast had given the Bucs a 6-2 lead in the seventh, but the Giants fought back with two tallies in their half of the inning, cutting the deficit to 6-4; however, Kent Tekulve was called on to pitch the final two innings and shut down the Giants for the save, preserving the victory for starter Jim Rooker (2-4). Frank Taveras had two doubles and a pair of RBI’s to lead the Pirates offense. The game was played at my apartment in Tempe, Arizona.  (Game #387,  5/11/78)

Major League Baseball

Baylor Does It Again: 3 HR’s Help Halos Crush O’s

CAL - Don BaylorFor Angels designated hitter Don Baylor, it’s become a bit routine, but for the Baltimore Orioles and rest of the American League, it’s nothing but an Orwellian nightmare.

Baylor slugged three home runs in a game for the second time this season, knocking in five runs in the process, as the Angels bombarded the Orioles 10-4 in a Sunday afternoon contest at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. Baylor last hit three HR’s in one game on May 17th, against the White Sox at Comiskey Park; for the year, he has 30 home runs and 82 runs batted in, leading the AL in both categories.

“I don’t know what it was,” said a beaming Baylor after the game, “but if it had anything to do with the Eggos I had for breakfast, you can bet I’ll be having more tomorrow.”

Waffles or not, Baylor seemed to possess superhuman powers when he connected for his trio of circuit clouts; each of Baylor’s shots traveled well beyond Memorial Stadium’s center field wall, which stands 445 feet from home plate, and his third dinged high off the National Bohemian Beer sign atop the scoreboard in left-center, bringing the 15,000 awestruck home fans to their feet. Orioles starter Dennis Martinez was the victim of the first two blasts, while the third came at the expense of Joe Kerrigan, the third of four Baltimore pitchers used in the game.

“He absolutely smoked it,” Kerrigan told WBAL about Baylor’s third HR. “I’ve had homers hit off me before, but not with that distance and ferocity.”

Baylor and the Angels struck early, taking a quick 2-0 lead with two out in the first when Baylor drilled a full-count offering off Martinez—with Joe Rudi on board after a double—for the first of his round-trippers on the day. That lead was short-lived, however, as the Orioles responded in the bottom half of the frame with a home run of their own from Doug DeCinces, whose connected with lead-off batter Ken Singleton on first to knot the score at 2-2.

Another O’s home run, this time by Pat Kelly with one down in the second inning, gave the O’s a 3-2 advantage; it would be their last lead of the game, however, as the Halos struck for three more tallies in the third—two of those coming on solo HR’s from Joe Rudi and Baylor once again—and two more in the sixth on Carney Lansford’s two-run single, which chased Martinez (4-15) from the proceedings and brought forth another Martinez, Tippy, who held the visitors scoreless in his two innings of work. Still, the Orioles owned a comfortable 7-4 lead after seven innings, with more damage yet to be done.

Meanwhile, California starter John Caneira, making his 1978 debut after spending the first half of the season at his team’s Salt Lake City affiliate, settled down after a shaky start and tamed the Orioles offense from the second inning on, allowing just two more hits and a pair of walks through the eighth, and without allowing a runner past first base. He served up a lead-off home run to Lee May in the ninth, but by then it was too late for the over-matched O’s, as the visitors had scored three more times in the top half of the ninth—two of which were again delivered by a Baylor home run—to claim the 10-4 win.

For Caneira (1-0), it was the first complete game of his short career, after he went without in the four September starts of his inaugural season of 1977. Both Baylor and Angels outfielder Rick Miller had three hits in the game to back Caneira’s 5-hit outing, and Baylor’s three homers put him at the 30 mark for the first time in his career, after eight seasons spent with Baltimore, Oakland, and California. With the win, the Angels took two out of three games in the series, knocking the fading O’s further down the AL East ladder.

The game marked the final visit to Memorial Stadium for the Halos this season, who travel back to Anaheim to begin a 4-game series with the resurgent A’s; the Orioles will remain in Baltimore and host the Twins for three games before hitting the road to face the Yankees and Blue Jays.

To see a full recap of the game and to make comments, click here.

Panicked Chisox Prep for Back-to-Back Twinbills

CHI-A - Tired Man logo whiteWith the realization that their squad had back-to-back doubleheaders scheduled by league offices for July 30th and 31st, the Chicago White Sox suddenly had several situations to contend with at once…and not one of them promising. “We’re in a whole heap of trouble,” stated Chicago manager Larry Doby, after yesterday’s 12-6 loss to the Rangers at Comiskey. “We used six pitchers tonight, and now we have nobody left. Everybody’s just flat-out dead.”

With Rich Wortham on the disabled list, recent call-up Ross Baumgarten suspended for five days, and only one rested starting pitcher on their roster, the Sox found themselves in dire need of pitching, and nowhere to go but down…as in, down to the minor leagues, and their American Association affiliate in Des Moines. Continue reading

TWISP Notes #60

February 7, 2014

• The A’s-Blue Jays match-up of July 23rd, which was postponed due to rain, was the last meeting of these two teams at Exhibition Stadium this season, and therefore had no make-up game scheduled. However, with playing all 2,106 games on the 1978 schedule an SP78 priority, the teams will now meet in Toronto on August 31st—an off day for both—and replay their game that evening, keeping their 162-game seasons intact.

• California infielder Dave Machemer, who homered in his first at-bat during the actual 1978 season, took just five at-bats to do so during the SP78 season, connecting for a pinch-hit grand slam off Milwaukee starter Andy Replogle in a fight-filled 6-5 Angels win over the Brewers on July 26th. Seven players were ejected in the game, including Machemer, who earned the respect of his teammates by joining a seventh-inning fray after Dave Chalk was hit by a pitch thrown by reliever Bob McClure, the third HBP of the game. Machemer struck again the next game, connecting for his second HR in as many nights, a two-run shot off Jerry Augustine that helped the Halos pummel the Brewers 8-2.

Continue reading

Trout Set To Make Chisox Debut Against Texas

Steve Trout, son of former major leaguer Dizzy Trout and a recent call-up by the White Sox from their AAA affiliate in Des Moines, will make his major league debut tomorrow, July 29th, against the front-running Rangers at Comiskey Park in Chicago. Trout, a 20-year-old southpaw, spent the past three seasons working his way through the team’s minor league system after being picked by the Sox in the first round of the 1976 draft, and was summoned to the parent club when starter Rich Wortham was injured and placed on the disabled list on July 26th.

Steve Trout (CHI-A)

Trout was 8-3 with Knoxville of the Southern League and 3-4 with Iowa of the American Association this year, sporting a 5.24 ERA in nine starts with the Oaks. He’ll join Steve Stone, Wilbur Wood, and Ken Kravec in the starting rotation as the team’s fourth starter, and will hopefully bring some spark to an otherwise dreary Chisox season. In an interview during a recent WMAQ pre-game show at Comiskey, Trout was excited about his impending start and the chance to pitch for the Sox. “I can’t wait to follow in my father’s footsteps,” he told Harry Caray. “He lasted fifteen seasons in the bigs…I’ll be thrilled if I last fifteen minutes.”

Tigers Promote Backstop Kimm To Evansville

The Detroit Tigers, after discovering they were the only team in the major leagues not to have a third-string catcher on their parent club or AAA roster, immediately promoted catcher Bruce Kimm from the AA Montgomery Rebels of the Southern League to the AAA Evansville Triplets of the American Association, where he’ll share catching duties with current backstops Steve Patchin and Bob Adams.

Kimm, who spent the previous two seasons with the Tigers serving as pitcher Mark Fidrych’s personal catcher, will now be available for a call-up to the junior circuit should an injury to or lack of production by Milt May or Lance Parrish create a need for a replacement back-up. A right-hander who began his career as an 18-year-old with the Gulf Port League White Sox in 1969, Kimm worked his way up through the Sox minor league system before being traded to the Tigers in 1973. In just three years he made his major league debut, against the Twins on May 4th, and eleven days later he caught rookie phenom Fidrych for the first time, and continued to do so for the remainder of the season.

“Every time I catch we draw 50,000 people,” he jokingly told Sports Illustrated in 1976, referring to the record-breaking crowds filling Tiger Stadium to see Fidrych pitch.