Two series in the Harmon Killebrew round have reached elimination games at their earliest possible point. Let’s see how they went.
(9) 1925 Senators 0
(16) 2017 Twins 3
2017 wins series 3-0
Ervin Santana and the ’17 bullpen four-hit ‘25 as their offense used singles and big flies to bring runs across, sweeping their way into the Kirby Puckett round by a fitting score of 3-0.
While Santana kept ‘25 out of the hits column for four innings, the ‘17 lineup produced a pair of singles over the same length of time before finally breaking Walter Johnson’s attempt at a shutout in the fifth. With two outs, Byron Buxton singled, stole second, moved to third on Muddy Ruel’s throwing error, and scored on Brian Dozier’s single. They added a pair in the next frame on solo homers by Miguel Sano and Eduardo Escobar.
‘25’s best opportunities to score came in consecutive innings immediately after ‘17 took the lead. In the top of the sixth, Bucky Harris was hit by a pitch and Joe Judge moved him to third with a double. After Ruel struck out, Taylor Rogers relieved Santana and induced a grounder to short from Goose Goslin which was unable to bring Harris home. Rogers walked Joe Harris to load the bases, but on a full count, Sam Rice flew out to right, putting another zero on the scoreboard. One inning later, with Tyler Duffey on the mound, Earl McNeely led off with a double and Roger Peckinpaugh’s fly ball dropped in front of Buxton for a single. But Buxton threw out McNeely at the plate, preserving the shutout and allowing Duffey to continue a scoreless seventh.
Peckinpaugh’s single ended up as ‘25’s fourth and last hit of the game, as Matt Belisle worked around two walks for a quiet eighth and Ryan Pressly concluded the series with a perfect ninth.
Stars of the Game
‘25 — 1B Joe Judge: 1-2, 2B, 2 BB
‘25 — DH Joe Harris: 0-1, 3 BB
‘17 — 3B Miguel Sanó: 2-4, HR, R, RBI
‘17 — CF Byron Buxton: 1-3, R, OF assist at home
Miguel Sanó (‘17 3B)
5-12, HR, 2B, 2 R, RBI, 3 BB
(12) 2006 Twins 2
(13) 2003 Twins 3
‘03 leads 2-1
Kenny Rogers dueled Johan Santana pitch for pitch before his ‘03 club finally took their only lead of the game, Shannon Stewart doubling home Luis Rivas in the 10th to walk off ‘06 3-2.
‘06 struck first off Rogers when Torii Hunter led off the second inning with a solo home run, but Rogers allowed no further runs in his six innings of work. Rivas tied the game in the third with a solo shot of his own off Santana.
After Juan Rincon replaced Rogers in the seventh, ‘06 took the lead once again and nearly burst open the game. Nick Punto led off with a single, Jason Tyner walked, and Jason Bartlett singled home Punto. Luis Castillo singled to load the bases with no outs, but Joe Mauer grounded into a 6-2-3 double play and Justin Morneau struck out, allowing Rincón to escape with only one run allowed.
‘03 quickly got that run back, as with two outs in the bottom of the seventh and Santana still pitching, Torii Hunter doubled, Dustan Mohr singled, and Cristian Guzman brought in Hunter with another single.
While ‘06 put a man on base in the eighth, ninth, and 10th, they could not advance their runners. But ‘03 put two hits together in the bottom of the 10th, Rivas sending a ground ball through the infield for a single and Stewart’s double to left bringing him home, to notch their third run and take the lead in the series.
Stars of the Game
‘06 — CF Torii Hunter: 2-4, HR, R, RBI
‘06 — SP Johan Santana: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB, 9 K
‘03 — 2B Luis Rivas: 2-4, HR, 2 R, RBI, GW run
‘03 — SP Kenny Rogers: 6.0 IP, 6 H, R, ER, BB, 3 K
Maija Regional (played)
(3) 1969 Twins 4
(6) 1924 Senators 0
1969 wins series 3-0
Though ‘69 broke open a close game in the ninth, they hardly had need, as Jim Perry pitched seven innings of three-hit ball on the way to a 4-0 victory and a series sweep.
Starters Perry and Curly Ogden each allowed only two hits in their first four innings, but ‘69 more than doubled that total in the fifth to get on the scoreboard for the first time. With one out, Leo Cárdenas and Rick Renick singled, and after George Mitterwald struck out, Rod Carew lined a double to score Cárdenas.
Although Ogden left the game after the first batter of the sixth inning, ‘24’s bullpen kept the game 1-0 until the eighth, when Harmon Killebrew walked, moved to third on César Tovar’s double, and scored on a wild pitch. ’69 doubled their lead with two outs in the ninth: after Mitterwald was hit by a pitch and Rod Carew singled, Allen Russell entered in relief only for Tony Oliva to double in both pinch runner Ted Uhlander and Carew.
Joe Grzenda closed out the game, pitching two innings and facing the minimum to earn the save and advance his team into the next round.
Stars of the Game
‘69 — SP Jim Perry: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K, W
‘69 — 2B Rod Carew: 3-5, 2B, R, RBI
‘24 — SP Curly Ogden: 5.0 IP, 6 H, R, ER, BB, 2 K
‘24 — C Bennie Tate: 1-2
Rod Carew (‘69 2B)
6-13, 3 2B, 2 R, 4 RBI
(2) 1933 Senators 7
(7) 2019 Twins 5
‘33 leads 2-1
‘33 needed only two innings to compile their scoring output for the game, tallying seven runs off Jose Berrios and withstanding a late ‘19 rally to win 7-5.
Both teams put a run on the board in the first before ‘33 knocked Berríos out of the game in the second. After loading the bases with one out, Ossie Bluege doubled in a pair and both Joe Cronin and Buddy Myer singled in a run. Trevor May relieved Berríos, but both of his inherited runners came all the way around the bases thanks to a single, hit batsman, and passed ball.
Though the ‘19 bullpen did not allow another run, their offense could not come back, failing to score again until Monte Weaver left the game after six innings. In the bottom of the seventh, however, patience and key hitting finally closed the gap. With one out, Max Kepler singled and Eddie Rosario walked, but C.J. Cron popped an infield fly to third for the second out. Byron Buxton kept the inning alive with a full-count walk before Luis Arraez cleared the bases with a line-drive double to center.
Mitch Garver added an unearned run in the eighth, doubling and scoring on a two-out error, but ‘33 closer Jack Russell retired the side in order in the ninth to prevent a comeback.
Stars of the Game
‘33 — SP Monte Weaver: 6.0 IP, 3 H, R, ER, 2 BB, K, W
‘33 — SS Joe Cronin: 2-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI
‘19 — 2B Luis Arraez: 2-4, 2B, R, 3 RBI, BB
‘19 — RP Randy Dobnak: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
With two semifinalists known, we now have a bracket of:
Walter Johnson Round: Day 1 / Day 2 / Day 3 / Day 4 / Day 5
Harmon Killebrew Round: Day 1 / Day 2 / Day 3 / Day 4 / Day 5
Kirby Puckett Round: Day 1 / Day 2 / Day 3 / Day 4 / Day 5 / Day 6 / Day 7
Joe Mauer Round: Preview / Game 1 / Game 2 / Game 3 / Game 4 / Game 5 / Game 6 / Game 7