This was the game where I realized Out of the Park 21 gives me far too much power.
Not only can I set shifts, make all kinds of substitutions, and send runners to steal home on a whim, I can throw as many beanballs as I want. And with Don Drysdale on the mound for the Dodgers in Game 1, such a practice was very tempting.
But I’m running this simulation as if both teams want to win, so there was no headhunting in the opener.
Instead, Jim Kaat allowed just three hits over eight innings and Tony Oliva banged out a trio of hits on his own as the Twins claimed a 2-0 victory.
Minnesota took the lead in the top of the first, as Bob Allison led off with a single, moved to second on a Don Mincher groundout, and scored on Harmon Killebrew’s single. Despite a regular supply of hits, recording nine in the game and eight off Drysdale, the Twins were unable to add to the score for several innings.
Meanwhile, Kaat made quick work of Dodger hitters, allowing just six baserunners: three hits, a walk, a plunk, and a Zoilo Versalles error. Kaat only faced five batters in one inning, when in the seventh Lou Johnson singled and Ron Fairly took a fastball off the torso. After Wes Parker’s lineout, Willie Davis moved the runners with a grounder to second, but Kaat induced another bouncer to the same spot from John Roseboro to end the frame.
With that excitement in the book, Oliva promptly opened the eighth inning by lining a Drysdale fastball 359 feet, just clearing the left field wall for a solo home run.. Drysdale would allow another extra-base hit with two outs, a Jimmie Hall double, but Earl Battey flied out to end his day.
The Twins nearly squandered their lead in the ninth. Kaat had been lifted for a pinch hitter in the eighth, so Jim Perry was called in and gave up two one-out singles, bringing Al Worthington from the bullpen. Parker again lined out, but after Davis singled to load the bases, Roseboro swung through a fastball to end the game.
Despite 10 strikeouts, Drysdale was saddled with the loss. Kaat struck out four in his eight innings of work, and Oliva’s three hits led all players.
Mudcat Grant is scheduled to face Sandy Koufax in Game 2.
Jim Kaat: 8 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 4 K; 1-3
Tony Oliva: 3-4, HR
Al Worthington: 0.2 IP, H, 0/2 inherited runners scored
Don Mincher: 0-4, K
Earl Battey: 0-4, K
Jim Perry: 0.1 IP, 2 H