The “replay” Twins would enter July of their first campaign in Minnesota, riding 10 games above their actual W-L record thru the end of June, with 39 wins and 35 losses in the replay, compared to 29 wins and 45 losses in real-life.
July for the real-life Twins was their best month of the season as they went 16-11 in actual play (in April they were 9-6 in actual play). For the replay Twins, this July would come within 1 game of their actual performance, going 15-12. As of end of the day, July 31, the replay Twins are now standing 9 games above their actual record at 54-47 (45-56 actual).
A quick look at the replay Twins record vs teams in the AL, shows the Twins handling both the Tigers and Orioles with surprising success. But the Twins still find themselves in the bottom half of the standings, winning pct wise. My only guess as to why the Twins have been able to pen the Tigers thus far, in using the actual lineups, the Tigers in ’61 did not always have their strongest going against the Twins.
The Twins still have 6 remaining vs each the Tigers and Orioles, so I expect the Twins fortunes may change vs those 2 clubs.
The biggest replay surprise story for this 1961 Twins team thus far, would have to be the pitching of Jack Kralick (BYZ). Kralick thru the end of July, is riding a 16-4 record. In 22 starts, he has 175-1/3 IP, 9 CG, a 2.05 ERA and just 10 round-trippers allowed.
Camilo Pascual (BX) has an 11-8 record with a 3.67 ERA and Pedro Ramos (CYZ), who lost 20 in real-life ’61, is also 11-8 with a 3.20 ERA. Jim Kaat (CY) has not faired as well, currently with a 6-10 record and a 4.80 ERA. These 4 starters account for 82 of the Twins 101 starts thus far.
Offensively, the Twins are currently slugging and scoring at a better rate (29 more runs) than they did in real-life ’61, through 101 games. They have hit 138 homers in 101 games played. In real-life, they hit 167 homers in 161 games. The Twins are slugging at a rate of .421 compared to .397 actual (full season). They have scored 489 runs compared to 460 through 101 games. Harmon Killebrew leads the club with 33 homers (he had 32 at the same point in real-life). The Twins team batting average (.241) is actually worse off through 101 games, compared to their actual full season BA (.250).
Defensively, the Twins have a .978 fielding pct, compared to their full-season actual .971 pct.
The net result of strong pitching, where through 101 games, a team ERA of 4.00 compared to their actual 4.28 ERA (full season), along with the stronger fielding, means the Twins have given up far fewer runs, 66. The Twins have allowed 443 runs through their 101 replay games, vs 509 actual runs allowed.
A quick look at the high-lights and low-lights in the July replay …
- The Twins open July with a loss to the Athletics, who have compiled a 6-5 record over the Twins, thus far.
- After taking 2 of 3 from the White Sox, the Twins are swept by the Angels in a 2-game series, July 5-6.
- The Twins lose their 3rd straight, on July 7th, but then go on to win 6 straight, before finally losing again, in the 2nd game of a July 16th double-header with the Indians.
- The 6th straight win, in the 1st game of the July 16th double-header at Cleveland, was a 16-15 slugfest win over the Indians. The Twins led 16-3 heading into the bottom of the 7th, when they gave up 10 runs, making the score 16-13, before giving up 2 more runs in the bottom of the 9th. One of the craziest games I have rolled in my long 40 year history of rolling APBA Baseball games.
- July 19th, 1st game of double-header vs the LA Angels, Camilo Pascual (BX) ties the ’61 Twins single-game high for strike-outs, with 11 (Kralick also K’d 11 on June 2nd).
- July 21-23, Twins are swept 3-straight by Cleveland.
- The Twins close out July by taking 2 of 3 vs the mighty Tigers (Twins swept the series in real-life), ending July with a 7-4 loss.
The month of July:
(click on game scores below for either the REPLAY boxscore or the ACTUAL boxscore)
Series #27: Twins at Athletics, June 30, July 1, 2
TWINS RECORD: Replay (40-36) – Actual (30-46)
In the Twins 2-1 win over Kansas City, the Twins avoid a sweep, and Billy Martin goes 2 for 5 with his 4th Twins homer.
Series #28: White Sox at Twins, July 3, 4 (2)
TWINS RECORD: Replay (42-37) – Actual (33-46)
Bill Tuttle hits his 2nd and 3rd Twins homers in games # 78 and #79 vs Chicago, as the Twins win 7-6 and 4-2, with Tuttle going 4 for 11 in the series.
Series #29: Angels at Twins, July 5, 6
TWINS RECORD: Replay (42-39) – Actual (33-48)
The Angels George Thomas, a native of Bloomington, MN, goes 5 for 11 with 2 HR, a triple and 8 RBI vs the Twins in his hometown.
Series #30: Twins at Senators, July 7, 8, 9
TWINS RECORD: Replay (44-40) – Actual (34-50)
Harmon Killebrew continues to haunt the new Senators, hitting a 6th inning solo HR (his 27th of the season) to break a 0-0 tie, in the Twins 1-0 win in game #83 at Griffith Stadium. The Twins head into the All-Star Break with a 44-40 record.
Series #31: Twins at Indians, July 13
TWINS RECORD: Replay (45-40) – Actual (35-50)
Veteran player and utility man, Ted Lepcio, acquired earlier in the summer from the Phillies by the Minnesota Twins (Twins manager, Sam Mele, and Ted were former teammates with the Red Sox), makes his presence known with his 2nd Twins homer, a 3-run blast propelling the Twins to a win over the Indians in game #85.
Series #32: Twins at Tigers, July 14, 15
TWINS RECORD: Replay (47-40) – Actual (36-51)
Earl Battey (1-5-6 power) continues to launch baseballs over the fence at a pace much greater than his actual 1961 pace. In the 2-game sweep of the Tigers, Battey hit his 18th and 19th homers of the season replay (he hit 17 homers in all of ’61 in real-life). He is 2nd on the team in homers (Killebrew has 28) and leads the team in batting average at a .336 clip (.302 in actual 1961).
Series #33: Twins at Indians, July 16 (2)
TWINS RECORD: Replay (48-41) – Actual (37-52)
It was difficult to “highlight” one player from this crazy 2-game set between the Twins and Indians. In game 1 of the July 16th double-header, the Twins were cruising with a 16-3 lead heading into the bottom of the 7th. The Tribe put up 10 runs in the bottom of the 7th, highlighted by a Johnny Romano grandslam (his 2nd homer of the game). Cleveland would score 2 more in the bottom of the 9th, falling a run short, losing 16-15. The Indians avoid the double-header sweep, winning the 2nd game, 9-5.
Series #34: Twins at Angels, July 18, 19 (2)
TWINS RECORD: Replay (50-42) – Actual (38-54)
Camilo Pascual ties the Twins single-game high K total, 11, in game #91. Jack Kralick also K’d 11 on June 2nd vs Detroit.
Series #35: Indians at Twins, July 21, 22, 23
TWINS RECORD: Replay (50-45) – Actual (40-55)
The Indians, Barry Latman (CYZ), completes the sweep of the Twins, pitching a CG, 4-hit, shut-out.
Series #36: Senators at Twins, July 25, 26, 27
TWINS RECORD: Replay (52-46) – Actual (42-56)
Zoilo Versalles (early in his career, he was referred to as Zorro, from the late 1950’s TV series, “Zorro”, against his wishes) return to the Twins lineup as lead-off man, was welcomed with Zoilo going 5 for 10 in the first 2 games of the series vs Washington, and finished the series going 5 for 14.
Series #37: Twins at Tigers, July 28, 29, 30
TWINS RECORD: Replay (54-47) – Actual (45-56)
Game #2 of the series and Game #100 of the season, Jim Kaat (coming into the game with a 5-10 record) twirls a CG shut-out of the heavy-hitting Detroit Tigers, winning 3-0.
TWINS Stats thru end of July (click on link to read):
TWINS month-by-month Summaries (click on link to read):
JULY (W-L): 15-12 (16-11 Actual)
A heartfelt tribute to Harmon Killebrew on Youtube: