Thursday, September 17, 2015

John bracket: Twins (69) defeat Nationals (09) in five games

Game One: 69 Twins 5, 09 Nationals 2
WP: J Perry (3-0)
LP: L Hernandez (1-2)
Save: Chance (1)
HR: Reese (1)

Game Two: 09 Nationals 3, 69 Twins 1
WP: Detweiler (1-0)
LP: Boswell (1-1)
Save: MacDougal (1)

Game Three: 69 Twins 9, 09 Nationals 6
WP: Woodson (1-0)
LP: Bergman (0-2)
Save: Chance (2)
HR: Oliva (2), Tovar (3)

Game Four: 69 Twins 5, 09 Nationals 4
WP: Worthington (1-0)
LP: Tavarez (0-1)
Save: Perranoski (2)
HR: Dunn (1)

Game Five: 69 Twins 4, 09 Nationals 3
WP: J Perry (4-0)
LP: L Hernandez (1-3)
Save: Perranoski (3)
HR: Oliva (3)

The heavily favored 1969 Minnesota Twins made quick, if competitive, work of the 2009 Washington Nationals.

The Twins never trailed in Game One, held in Metropolitan Stadium. Tony Oliva singled home two runners in the first inning. The Nats pieced together a pair of one-run innings in the second and fifth to even the score, but the Twins broke the tie in the eighth on singles by John Roseboro and pinch-hitter Charlie Manuel followed by a Rod Carew sac fly. Rich Reese hit a two-run homer in the ninth to widen the final margin.

Ross Detweiler and four relievers held the Twins to just one run in Game Two. The Twins had men in scoring position in seven of the nine innings but only plated one of them. Cristian Guzman doubled home two runs in the third inning for a lead Washington never relinquished. Willie Harris had a pinch-hit triple in the seventh to drive in the third Nationals run.

The series move to Nationals Park for Game Three, and lefties Jim Kaat and John Lannan were both knocked out early. The Twins ripped Lannan for five runs in the third, highlighted by Oliva's two-run homer. But the Nats scored six in their half of the inning, aided by a Harmon Killebrew error. Three of the six runs were unearned.

Dick Woodson, Al Worthington and Dean Chance fired off six shutout frames for the Twins after Kaat's departure, combining to allow three singles and two walks. The Nats also used three relievers in the final six innings, but Julian Tavarez, Jason Bergman and Tyler Clippard combined to allow four runs, including a two-run homer by Cesar Tovar in the eighth off Clippard.

Game Four was an odd duel of sacrifice flies and passed balls. The Twins scored five runs without an RBI hit; they got four sac flies and scored the remaining run as a double-play consolation. Twins catcher George Mitterwald was charged with three passed balls, two if them in one inning one of which let in a run. And one of the Twins runs was set up when Leo Cardenas led off the fourth inning by reaching on a strikeout-passed ball by Josh Bard.

Tom Hall started for the Twins, but gave up a two-run homer in the first to Adam Dunn and was victimized for two unearned runs in the third on a Cardenas error and two of Mitterwald's passed balls. The Blade lasted just four innings. But the Twins pieced together five innings from Bob Miller (two innings), Worthington (one), Chance (two outs), Joe Grzenda (one out) and Ron Perranoski (one inning). The Twins got sac flies from Mitterwald, Tovar, Ted Uhlaender and Cardenas.

With a depleted bullpen, the Twins looked to Jim Perry to get them through Game Five, and their ace came through after allowing two runs in a shaky first inning (two walks, a hit batter and a single). Uhlaender and Roseboro hit doubles in the second, and the Twins scored three in the fifth (featuring a double by Carew and a homer by Oliva) to take a 4-2 lead. Killebrew's throwing error in the seventh let the Nats pull within one, but Perry escaped a two-on, one-out jam in the eighth, and Perranoski threw a scoreless ninth to wrap up the game and the series.

Player of the series: We'll split it up among the Twins bullpen. Dean Chance, Joe Grzenda, Bob Miller, Ron Perranoski, Dick Woodson and Al Worthington combined for 16 innings in the five games without a run allowed, earned or otherwise, picking up two wins and four saves in the process.

Player availability: With four days off, everybody will be fully rested for the third round.

Projected rotation: Perry-Dave Boswell-Kaat-?-(Perry)-(Boswell)-(Kaat)

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