On July 26th, 1987, the Minnesota Twins lost a game to the Toronto Blue Jays 4-2. Why is this game notabl..."/>

On July 26th, 1987, the Minnesota Twins lost a game to the Toronto Blue Jays 4-2. Why is this game notabl..."/>

On July 26th, 1987, the Minnesota Twins lost a game to the Toronto Blue Jays 4-2. Why is this game notabl..."/>

1987 Minnesota Twins On This Date: July 26th, Oh How Times Have Changed

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 4: A Minnesota Twins fan holds up a sign honoring the 1987 World Series winners during a tribute to the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on October 4, 2009 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Genevieve Ross/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 4: A Minnesota Twins fan holds up a sign honoring the 1987 World Series winners during a tribute to the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on October 4, 2009 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Genevieve Ross/Getty Images) /
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On July 26th, 1987, the Minnesota Twins lost a game to the Toronto Blue Jays 4-2. Why is this game notable?

The Minnesota Twins are celebrating the 30th anniversary of their 1987 World Series championship this season, so from time to time, we at Puckett’s Pond will take a look back at a significant event that happened on a certain day of the 1987 season.

Today’s look back is at a game that really was not of any significance for stats or standings, but after multiple days having games that ranged into the 4+ hour length and having to watch late into the evening to catch the Twins on the West Coast, this particular game struck a chord, and you’ll understand why!

The Game: Toronto 4, Minnesota 2

You can read the full box score above. The Twins traveled to Toronto to play a series at old Exhibition Stadium in Toronto. This particular game was a Sunday game, played on turf, and played during the day.

The first thing to notice was the attendance. The Blue Jays were just beginning their rise to prominence in 1987 that would lead them to back to back World Series wins in 1992 and 1993 with many of the players that played in this game or using players in this game as major trade pieces in acquiring the pieces that brought them those back-to-back championships, so this was a game of two very good teams – in fact, the Blue Jays had the better record at the time of the game.

The game featured a matchup of the Twins grizzled co-ace, Bert Blyleven, and Toronto’s young outstanding lefty, Jimmy Key. Key would go on in 1987 to lead the entire major leagues in ERA, so he was in the midst of a very good season, one of two seasons that he would finish as the runner up in the Cy Young Award.

As the Twins were playing on a “get away Sunday” where they would immediately have to get into the plane to fly across the country to start a series with Seattle on Monday, the lineup wasn’t exactly their “A team”. Kirby Puckett was at DH and Kent Hrbek had the day off, with Gene Larkin taking his place.

That change from Hrbek to Larkin would cost the Twins one run as Larkin made an error, giving the Blue Jays a run in the 2nh inning to tie the game at 1 after the Twins had taken the lead in the 1st inning on a solo home run from Kirby.

The Twins took the lead back in the top of the 3rd on a Dan Gladden single that scored Steve Lombardozzi after he’d opened the inning with a double. The Blue Jays came back to tie the game in the bottom of the 5th and then win the game by scoring two in the bottom of the 8th.

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Why It’s Noteworthy

You’ll not see this game on any MLB Network classic games replay or anything of that sort, but after the last few nights, the first thing that stuck out to me was this little bit:

"Game Duration: 2:38"

That’s right. Two hours, thirty-eight minutes. Blyleven went the complete game, throwing 8 innings, striking out 12, but also walking three and throwing three wild pitches. Key went 8 2/3 innings, but Tom Henke came in to strike out the final batter to finish the game. Key was more sharp on the day, with just 5 base runners allowed on 4 hits and a hit by pitch.

The Blue Jays also attempted four stolen bases in the game and were successful three times. If you add up all the stolen bases, walks, wild pitches, etc., there’s no way this same game in 2017 is under 3 hours in length!

So while this game may have been a seemingly meaningless game amidst a very meaningful season for the Twins, it’s a great example of how the game has changed in 30 years!

I hope you enjoyed this look back today. If there are certain pieces of the 1987 season that you would like us to take a look back and cover in more depth, comment below or find us on Twitter or Facebook!